Thursday, October 20, 2011

Radical Faith

What is faith? Well as the dictionary defines it: confidence or trust in a person or thing. Let's look at Genesis 22 and examine Abraham's faith in God and how we can relate to it now. To understand the context, God had miraculously provided a son for Abraham way later than normal. It's not normal to have a baby at 90 years old. But anyways, God had promised Abraham "I will make you a great nation." (Genesis 12:1-3). So Abraham now finally had a son to call his own and God's promise would be fulfilled.

But then, getting into our text, God commands Abraham to do something very odd. He tells Him to go and sacrifice Isaac, his one and only son, as a burnt offering to the Lord. What!? And what is Abraham's response? He gets up early the next morning to start the 3 day journey! He didn't delay the trip. When they got there, he told the servants that he and Isaac would return and worship together. Whoa! That's faith with the expectation that God will come through for them. That I would argue is true faith. If you take your faith in Christ away from your life, would your life look any different than it does now? Abraham proved his faith again by responding to his son saying "God will provide the lamb for the sacrifice." Again, faith with the expectation of God coming through. That's radical faith right? This is Biblical faith. It's radical because this type of faith is not seen nowadays and is so foreign to most churches.

This is the type of faith God is after. Now we'll look at God's response to Abraham's act of faith. The Lord saw his radical obedience to kill his own son because He told him to do so. God is glorified through our acts of faith and obedience. God provided a ram for the sacrifice because He saw that Abraham truly feared God. Abraham believed God would provide. To get very practical, when you pray do you believe wholeheartedly that God will answer that request? Abraham was willing to give up his most prized possession, his son, because God called him to. Would you? God is glorified when we prove our obedience through radical faith. This is the Biblical model of faith.

I leave you with Jesus' words on faith: He said to them, "... For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you."(Matt 17:20)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Biblical Philosophy of Missions

"I believe" Statements

1. I believe that God has called me to give my life for the sake of sharing the Gospel.

2. I believe God has called me to a local body of believers, but also to share Christ with the unsaved.

3. I believe that I play a part in advancing the Gospel.

4. I believe that through the power of Christ, I can be unashamed of the Gospel.

5. I believe the local church is the hub of God's activity in missions. 

References for Study

1 Chronicles 16:23-24, Psalms 96:3, Matt. 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8, Acts 26:17-18, Romans 1:16

Other Resources

(Getting an email sent to you each day with a specific group of people to pray for)
I would highly encourage you to take part in this. It's a very good way to remind yourself of the need in the world for the Gospel.

Ways to have a day-to-day Global Missions Mindset:

1. Pray, Pray, Pray for the advance of the Gospel
2. Expose yourself to certain missions (i.e. books, people, events, etc.)
3. Reminding yourself each day that there are people dying and going to Hell today because they are lost. 

Biblical Philosophy of Dress

"I believe" Statements:

1. I believe that the way I dress affects our influence on others.

2. I believe that the way I dress ought to glorify God.

3. I believe that the way I dress shouldn't be a stumbling block to others.

4. I believe the way I dress shows my desire for purity.

5. I believe that the way I dress should be align with my sexuality.

6. I believe that the way I dress should reflect Christ and not be centered on myself.

7. I believe that the way we dress should not be associated with something that God hates.

8. I believe that my clothing can become an idol. 

References for Study

1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Timothy 2:9-10, 1 Peter 3:2-5, Deuteronomy 22:5, Romans 14:21, Galatians 5:16, Genesis 3:21, Colossians 3, 2 Corinthians 5:15, etc.

Principles For Thought

1. Maintain the male/female distinction (Deut 22:5)
2. Consider the effect of clothing on our influence (Matt 5:13-16)
3. Make sure our clothing doesn't "offend" anyone (Romans 14:21)
4. Be sure our clothing is modest in God's sight (2 Cor 5:15)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Reading List 2010-2011

The Truth About Sex - Kay Arthur
Respectable Sins - Jerry Bridges
Erasing Hell - Francis Chan
Forgotten God - Francis Chan
Crazy Love - Francis Chan
Praise Habit - David Crowder
What is a Healthy Church - Mark Dever
The Deliberate Church - Mark Dever
Confessions of a Reformission Rev. - Mark Driscoll
Vintage Jesus - Mark Driscoll
Doctrine - Mark Driscoll
Cross-Cultural Connections - Duane Elmer
I Am Not But I Know I AM - Louie Giglio
The Air I Breathe - Louie Giglio
Growing Up Christian - Karl Graustein
Boy Meets Girl - Joshua Harris
I Kissed Dating Goodbye - Joshua Harris
Sex is Not the Problem (Lust Is) - Joshua Harris
Do Hard Things - Bret and Alex Harris
Dug Down Deep - Joshua Harris
Worship Matters - Bob Kauflin
Counterfeit Gods - Tim Keller
Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis
Humility - C.J. Mahaney
Living the Cross Centered Life - C.J. Mahaney
Blue Like Jazz - Donald Miller
He Is Not Silent - Robert Mohler
Grace Like River  - Christopher Parkening
Finally Alive - John Piper
Supremacy of God in Preaching - John Piper
God is the Gospel - John Piper
Desiring God - John Piper
Radical - David Platt
The Millenials - Thom and Jess Rainer
Facedown - Matt Redman
Visioneering - Andy Stanley
Next Generation Leader - Andy Stanley
Every Young Man’s Battle - Fred Stoeker and Stephen Arterburn
Tactics - Fred Stoeker
The Way I Was Made - Chris Tomlin
These are the books I've read this last year. They've been very beneficial in my own walk. Thought I would share to give you some ideas if you're looking for a good book or two. Wouldn't say I agree with everything these guys write, but still there are a lot of golden truths to be discovered and reminded of.
Much love to you all,