09 November 2012

This 'n' That

On my morning jog, I was listening to a wonderful sermon about the doctrine of regeneration. As I plodded down the trail, which winds through trees and woods, I noticed how active the wildlife was today. And I thought to myself, if any one of us were to be placed in the midst of a gathering of squirrels and chipmunks and deer, we would, quite obviously, be misplaced—a notably different creature. We are not the same as those furry, four-legged animals. And while we enjoy watching them from afar, and marvel at God's creation and provision of these otherwise helpless creatures, they are not in any way similar to mankind. We are out of place among them. Even if we were to try to look them, we would not belong.

Now, let us place ourselves in the midst of a gathering of men and women, but men and women who are caught up in and clinging to the world. If you are a believer, place yourself for a moment in the middle of a crowd of unbelievers and realize: you are an obvious different creature. Yes, you, like them, are flesh and blood, you are of the same physical nature. But you are not the same. You, dear Christian, are a new creation in Christ. The God Who gave you physical life also has given you spiritual life. Do you feel like a stranger, an alien, in the midst of a lost world? That is because you are not of this world. In a crowd of lost men and women, you are out of place. No matter how much you may (wrongly) try to look like them, you do not belong.

How thankful we are, then, for the reminder that, though we do not "fit in" here on this earth, it is because we are citizens of a greater Kingdom (Eph. 2:19)—an eternal Kingdom which will never fall or fail. Out of place for a moment, but perfectly prepared for something and someplace greater.

Now, before you go searching for your citizenship papers (hint: open your Bible), please take a moment and enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • Man prays to humongous 600 pound crucifix. Man thinks 600 pound crucifix heals ailing wife. 600 pound crucifix falls and crushes man's leg. Man's leg is amputated. Man sues church which housed 600 pound crucifix. See, if you put your faith in a statue, it will fail you. Or fall on you.
  • Pastor Tom Chantry shares his reaction to the election. If you only read one response to the elections, make it this one.
  • Newsweek never ceases to amaze me with its idiocy.
  • Noah as Al Gore? As if the world needed any help in turning historical, biblical characters into crazed, cartoonish caricatures.
  • German Protestants already are planning the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. They've invited Roman Catholics to join in the festivities, and the Catholics are a bit wary of the invite. Unfortunately, Reuters completely misses the point in reporting this one.
  • Steve Lawson's book, The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon, is only $5. I've read it and you should, too.
  • Speaking of Steve Lawson, Thirsty Theologian shares a quote from his Foundations of Grace demonstrating radical depravity in Romans.
  • Jonah: The World's Greatest Fish Story

5 comments:

  1. Hi EBenz, thank you so much for so much great stuff once again. Your efforts are really appreciated.

    Squirrel! What a great word picture for the new creature. It was very helpful to me.

    Newsweek: Is that Napoleon? Please tell me it's Napoleon...

    Don Green: I hadn't heard these sermons, I will listen to them in succession throughout the weekend. Thank you for the posting them and the reminder! Don Green is wonderful so I'm sure this will be a sweet time.

    Brannon Howse: I'm listening now. Justin Peters is terrific. I can't imagine the toll a discernment ministry like his takes on him. He is a faithful and Godly man.

    Have a wonderful weekend!!

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  2. OOPS I forgot one comment I'd thought of as I read through the news you'd listed...

    Falling Crucifix: reminded me of the Tower of Siloam. Sometimes, Mr Crucifix-Man, there is not a deep mystical reason for things, sometimes things just happen!

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  3. I agree with Pastor Tom Chantry point, I believe the reelection of Obama was a fine example of result of God executing his judgment on humanity by giving man over to even more sin (Romans 1). I disagree who is being judged in his final point.
    Still I wonder the reelection of Obama was more of a chastisement of the American church for its idolatry. The whole American for Jesus rally comes to my mind, with a who’s who of bible twisting, work righteousness and too close to Dominion Theology heresy for me. I have not even touched what happening in most evangelical churches; I listen to enough to Chris Rosebrough at Pirate Christian radio and reading your blog to figure out.
    Perhaps we can do way with the wrong headed notion the Church’s take back the American culture and get back to work of proclaiming Christ and him crucified to the world. If we want to have any (rather small) impact in American culture is not going to be through christless works righteousness laden political slogans, but only through God changing the human heart by the proclamation of the Gospel.

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  4. Good thoughts by Tom Chantry. I didn't have any trouble falling asleep. I did wake up the next day with this blank emptiness


    "Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?”
    For it is not wise to ask such questions." (Eccl. 7:10)

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  5. Thanks for posting the link to Pastor Tom Chantry. I think he is right on in his assessment.

    Also, thank you for the update on the situation at Harvest Bible Chapel. I am wondering how worse it is going to get over there before James MacDonald is removed as senior pastor and elder.

    ReplyDelete

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