Friday, October 31, 2008

Glad To Be A Pilgrim!

From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
A much needed reminder with election week looming:

They're Looking Down Only For A Little While

It was revealed to them [prophets] that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
1 Peter 1:12
The Greek word translated into English as “to look” means to stoop down, to bend beside, or to lean over. The angels so desperately want to stoop down from heaven, to bend or lean over the wall that separates the heavens and the earth. Why? So that they can see the work of the gospel which they have never and will never come into contact with in their own lives. I imagine that they are up there looking at the gospel transform our lives when we first get saved and then in our lives everyday thereafter and they are thinking to themselves and perhaps even asking each other, “What must that be like?”
I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
Luke 15:10
Whenever a sinner repents of his or her sins, trusts Christ as Savior, and begins to follow Him as Lord, Jesus tells us that there is joy before the angels of God. The angels of God are filled with rejoicing. Why? Because they are seeing the gospel at work as God is glorified in the salvation of His people.

The psalmist says that God has made humans a little bit lower than the heavenly beings (Psalm 8:5), referring to the angels. Even though it may seem that angels are higher in status than humans because they are now in heaven in the physical presence of God and we are struggling here on earth with our sin away from the physical presence of God, that’s not the way it will always be.

The writer to the Hebrews helps us understand what the psalmist really meant when he wrote Psalm 8.
Now it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere,

"What is man, that you are mindful of him,
or the son of man, that you care for him?
You made him for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned him with glory and honor,
putting everything in subjection under his feet."

Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death...
Hebrews 2:5-9
What does it mean that Jesus was made for a little while lower than the angels? It means that He became a man. But once He rose from the dead, He was crowned with glory and honor and seated at the right hand of His Father so that He is no longer lower than the angels. And one day when we are resurrected, we too will be crowned with glory and honor and seated at Jesus’ right hand (Revelation 3:21) so that we will no longer be lower than the angels.

The angels' song:
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!
Revelation 5:12
Our song:
Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!
Revelation 7:10

For Your blood has washed away my sin, Jesus thank You. The Father's wrath completely satisfied, Jesus thank You. Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table, Jesus thank You.
Notice the difference?

Thank You, Father, for this song You have given us to sing that the angels will never sing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How To Raise The Dead

We can't. And yet this is exactly what we are sent to do.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Evangelism Afterthoughts

Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." So the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought him something to eat?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."
John 4:31-38

Late this past Friday night, I drove home from San Jose to my apartment in Morgan Hill tired and frustrated. Getting less than 5 hours of sleep the night before is probably part of the reason why. But the bigger reason why I was tired and frustrated is because I had just spent the whole night hanging out with a friend of mine who completely rejects Jesus. I’ve known this guy longer than anyone else I know who isn’t a family member. He’s like a brother to me and ever since I started following Jesus in college, I have wanted him to follow Jesus also. So we’ve had lots of conversations about Jesus. And about Buddhism, because that’s his religion. We sat at dinner for over an hour talking about Jesus and I could have sworn it was like he didn’t hear the words that were coming out of my mouth. I tried to patiently listen to him and then engage with him about how Buddhism and Christianity are radically different, but he always concludes that they are more similar than they are different. So by the end I was tired because engaging like that takes emotional and mental energy. And frustrated because I feel like it was a waste of time that could have been spent in a more enjoyable or productive way.

This is often the way that I feel after I talk to people about Jesus. Just the week before I spent pretty much the entire bus ride from San Jose back to Morgan Hill talking to a woman I’ve gotten to know on the bus who describes herself as a non-practicing Jew. When she told me that she was going to the synagogue the next day, I was intrigued because she had told me she was non-practicing. So she explained to me that it was the one time in the year that she goes to the synagogue: to observe Yom Kippur, which for Jews is the day of atonement. In the Old Testament, God created this as a day to conduct rituals that would symbolically remove the sins of the people and cleanse them so that they would be right with God. I asked her what if she could have her sins removed and cleansed once for all so that she didn’t have to keep doing it year after year. At that point she got really defensive, claimed it was impossible, and then laughed as she walked off the bus. I was frustrated and disappointed as I drove home thinking about what I should have done differently.

Do you ever feel that way after you talk to people about Jesus? Tired? Frustrated? Disappointed? Discouraged? Feel like you failed? Or am I the only one? What thoughts are going through your mind after you have just done the work of an evangelist? Well, have you ever asked yourself what thoughts should be going through your mind after you have just done the work of an evangelist?

That was the introduction to the message I preached to the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter at San Jose State University last Wednesday night. You can read the entire message here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Folly Of Temptation

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
1 John 3:3
Last night, my roommate and I were discussing how we should go about fighting temptation to sin. He made mention to me of a book that he is reading about sin being a wisdom/foolishness issue. In the book, an illustration was used (I can't remember specifically) about temptation always looking attractive but having this bitterness and pain always associated that we cannot see. And the author explained that he goes about fighting temptation by reminding himself that it's always unwise to go where danger is certain.

Now I agree with this. And maybe I'm just wired differently than others, but I have never had great effectiveness in fighting temptation to sin that way. When it comes down to it, my heart often will usually bypass my mind. And thinking about what's wise becomes irrelevant when I feel so strongly about what I want in the moment of temptation. This caused me to go back to find this excerpt from a book I read about a year ago in which I highlighted almost the entire section (does this defeat the point of using a highlighter?). It's from a book called Hope, a meditation on 1 John 3:3, written by a Puritan named Jeremiah Burroughs:
PARTICULAR 3. The greatness of their hopes fills their hearts with so much comfort and satisfaction, their souls are so satisfied with the good that they hope for, that they account they have enough and need not look to any other thing for comfort and contentment. They have enough in their own hearts; their hope fills their souls with joy unspeakable and glorious. What is the reason why carnal hearts seek up and down for comfort in this and the other lust? It is because they do not have enough in God. But the saints have the spring of consolation within through these hopes; these hopes fill them with so much comfort that the temptation that would draw them to sin has no power to prevail against them; for where lies the power of a temptation to sin but in that it offers some contentment that the heart did not have before? And therefore people who are discontent are subject to temptation. You do not know how liable you make yourselves to temptations when you are discontent and lack comfort within. When the devil sees such a one, he says, "Here is an object fit for me; he lacks comfort. Now I will go and present some comfort to him, for he is vexed and troubled. And I may draw him to such and such an evil way."

No people are more in danger of temptations than melancholy and discontented persons, for the strength of a temptation lies in offering some contentment that we lack. Now if the heart is filled with comfort, and spiritual and heavenly things, so that I find my soul fully satisfied and quieted, I can say, "Return unto your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with me. Whatsoever I lack in the creature, I have the light of the face of God; and I know I have enough laid up in God, Christ, heaven, the covenant, and the promises."

Now the devil sees that there is little hope of prevailing with such a soul to draw it to sin. He thinks with himself, "How can I offer contentment to them? Their hearts are satisfied with better contentment than I can offer to them!" The reason a temptation prevails is because the devil thinks that he has better comforts and contentment than you have in your own hearts; but the devil, the world, and the flesh (put them all together) cannot offer better and sweeter comforts than this hope in the hearts of the saints fills them with. Hence it is that the greatness of the hopes of the saints helps to purge and keep the heart from sin, because they fill the heart with so much joy and comfort.

If a man should have his body filled with sweet wines, if you should come now to offer him a small beer, do you think you could prevail with him to drink it? The saints have the rich wine of heavenly consolation, and they fill themselves through the hopes that they have in those great things of the gospel. They fill their hearts with the rich wine of the consolation of the Spirit of God, and that which the devil, the world, or the flesh offer is but a little sapless stuff, dead beer, after they are so filled with other comforts.

-Jeremiah Burroughs, Hope, p.62-64
This is the most effective way I have ever been able to fight the temptation to sin in my life. The folly of temptation for me isn't so much the folly of walking into certain danger (though that is always very much the case), but rather the folly of trading an infinitely greater experience of pleasure and joy (in God)--even if I must wait for it--for the short-lived pleasure and joy offered by the sin that tempts me. I don't know why, but by God's grace the latter is much harder for my heart to bypass than the first.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Seeing Sin For What It Really Is In Us

And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled? (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these things come from within, and they defile a person.”
Mark 7:14-23
Here is part of the second message I gave at the high school retreat I spoke at a couple of weekends ago. I spoke on Mark 7:1-23 and the title of my message was "Seeing Sin For What It Really Is In Us." I don't think I've ever been more affected by a message that I have preached than I was affected by this one as I continue to work out the implications of it today. When I really get this, I will say with the apostle Paul that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost" (1 Timothy 1:15), and mean it.

So how do we see sin for what it really is? From verses 14 and 15, we should understand that sin doesn’t have to do with anything on the outside of our bodies. Sin is not something external.

Jesus says very clearly, “There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him…” He’s talking about food because the Pharisees were making a big deal about the disciples eating food that would be touched by unwashed hands. But when he says nothing, He means nothing. Things outside of us aren’t the source of our sin. Wearing certain kinds of clothes or certain kinds of jewelry isn’t sin in itself. Listening to certain kinds of music isn’t sin in itself. What I mean when I say that is that there is no kind of music that you are sinning if you listen to it and not sinning by not listening to it. There is no clothing or jewelry that you are sinning if you wear it and not sinning by not wearing it. Why? Because if this could be the case, then it would be something outside of you defiling you. But Jesus says that nothing outside of a person even if it goes into him can defile him.

So we know that sin doesn’t have to do with breaking the traditions or convictions of men that go beyond the Bible. Sin doesn’t have to do with something external. So what does sin really have to do with?

If you don’t understand yet, that’s OK. Jesus’ disciples didn’t understand either. At this point in verse 17, Mark tells us that they asked Jesus about the parable. They wanted to know what He meant.

Jesus then tells them why something that a person eats can’t make him unclean: because it goes through his stomach and out of his body. It doesn’t go into his heart. What’s the implication? Sin is what is in our hearts. The sin in you is what other people can never see and will never see. They will see some evidences of it. But they will never see it for what it really is. What this means is that we can only see sin for what it really is in ourselves. So how do we see sin for what it really is? We look inside ourselves. That’s the only place we’re going to truly be able to see it. Sin is completely internal.

And that’s why I said that the idea of judging others in our hearts leads to what Jesus teaches sin is really about. Sin isn’t most fundamentally about what we do. Sin is most fundamentally about what we think and feel.


So often we have trouble loving others because when we see them we find them hard to love. But here’s the crazy thing about that. Sin is in the heart. We can’t see their hearts. But if we have the eyes to see, we can see most of the ugliness in our own hearts. If we really saw how ugly our hearts were, then I don’t think there is anyone we could look at who wouldn’t be more beautiful and more lovable than what we see in ourselves.

You can get the entire sermon manuscript here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Blood Covers More Than We Often Think

But the blood of Christ can do greater things than our questioning hearts can conceive. Its virtue extends farther than either unbelief or self-righteousness will credit. It has the property of covering, not merely our sins before coming, however great these may be, but the defects of our act of coming. Our High Priest bears "the iniquity of our holy things." ... To separate that act of ours in coming, from the sins for the cleansing of which we come, so as to make it a thing by itself, on the right forth-putting of which the availableness of the blood depends, is to say that there is one class of sins to which the efficacy of the blood cannot extend.

Quoted in Christ Is All: The Piety Of Horatius Bonar (p.213, emphasis added)
Let's face it. None of us can come the right way. That's why there is no right way to come. Just come. I love the gospel. What a perfect way to prepare for the Lord's Day!

The Key To Loving Jesus

"Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven--for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little."
Luke 7:44-47 (emphasis added)
Two weekends ago, I had the undeserved privilege of being God's messenger as the speaker at the high school retreat for the home school co-op that is run by my church (where I teach Systematic Theology to juniors and seniors every Friday morning). I gave two messages that were directly related to each other. Below is the conclusion from the first message I gave on Luke 7:36-50 called "The Key To Loving Jesus."

How do we grow in our love for Jesus? We grow in our love for Jesus as we grow in seeing that our sin is greater than we could ever imagine. If our understanding of how great our debt is grows, then our understanding of how great our forgiveness is grows. You see, our brains are finite. So when I say that each of our debts before God is infinite, you hear what I’m saying but you can’t process how big that is. You must continually grow in your understanding of how great the debt is day by day. And as you grow in understanding how great that debt is, you will grow in your love for Jesus.

Think about it this way. Even when we are in heaven, we will never know God fully because He is infinite and we are finite and it will always be that way. So we will be growing in our knowledge of Him each day because there will always be more and more to learn. In the same way we will never fully know in this life how great our sin debt is because it is infinite and we are finite. So we must grow in our understanding of it through our entire lives if we will grow in treasuring our forgiveness and treasuring Jesus.

I didn’t become a Christian very long ago. It was about six years ago. But I became a Christian by becoming aware of my sin debt before God. And I’ll tell you this. From my perspective six years ago, I was only a 50 denarii debtor. Yes, I needed forgiveness. But the sins I recognized were obvious. I needed to stop stealing music. I needed to stop making an idol of worldly success (grades). I needed to stop feeding the lust in my heart. Among other things. By God’s grace He has freed me from the power of those particular sins in my life. But you know what, I now feel like a 5,000 denarii debtor. You probably couldn’t tell by looking at me from the outside because I usually can’t. The sins I recognize aren’t as obvious. And they are more deeply ingrained in my heart. I am often too fearful of people to share the gospel with them. I care too much about what people think after I teach rather than if I was faithful to God and His Word. I compare myself to other teachers of God’s word to see if I am better than them or worse than them in my ability to teach. I secretly judge people in my heart who don’t seem to pursue God as much as I think they should. I give God advice about the way I want things to be in my life. Among other things. And these sins feel harder to be freed from than my former ones. I might look better on the outside, but I feel worse on the inside. But forgiveness is more precious to me now than it was 5 years ago. And Jesus is more precious to me now than He was 5 years ago. But I still don’t know how great my sin debt. I still need to grow in my love for Jesus. And I will do this as I continue to grow in my understanding of how great my sin debt still is.

You can get the entire sermon manuscript here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

For My Sisters In Christ

True Woman Manifesto

May God enable you to more deeply cherish and embrace the glorious, high calling of biblical womanhood--married or single--for the glory of Christ. And may He raise up many more like you.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


I just received Lecrae's new album Rebel in the mail yesterday. I already posted the first song with its lyrics a couple of days ago. I've only listened to the first five songs on it and let me just say that if I could post them all I would. But this will be the last one. If you want to hear the rest, my recommendation is for you to purchase a copy of this CD (also available on ITunes). The truth in Lecrae's lyrics is heart-penetrating and passion-inspiring. If for no other reason, the purchase is worth supporting the labors of Lecrae and his fellow laborers in their missionary efforts to bring the uncompromising, crystal-clear message of the gospel into the inner-city hip hop culture through the gifts God has given them. May God use them mightily in bringing reformation. There's no doubt He already is.

Don't Waste Your Life by Lecrae feat. Dwayne Tryumf
Don't wanna waste my life

Verse 1:
I know a lot of people out there scared they gone die
couple of em thinking they'll be livin in the sky
but while Im here livin man I gotta ask why, what am here fo I gotta figure out
waste my life
no I gotta make it count
if Christ is real then what am I gone do about
all of the things in Luke 12:15 down to 21
you really oughta go and check it out
Paul said if Christ aint resurrect then we wasted our lives
well that implies that our life's built around Jesus being alive
everyday I'm living tryin show the world why
Christ is more than everything you'll ever try
better than pretty women and sinning and living to get a minute of any women and men that you admire
aint no lie
We created for Him
outta the dust he made us for Him
Elects us and he saves us for Him
Jesus comes and raises for Him
Magnify the Father why bother with something lesser
he made us so we could bless Him and to the world we confess him
resurrects him
so I know I got life
matter fact better man I know I got Christ
if you don't' see His ways in my days and nights
you can hit my brakes you can stop my lights
man I lost my rights
I lost my life
forget the money cars and toss that ice
the cost is Christ
and they could never offer me anything on the planet that'll cost that price.

Verse 2:
(Dwayne Tryumph)
Armed and dangerous
So the devil jus can't handle us
Christian youth them a stand wid us
Livin' n driven
given a vision
fullfillin the commission he handed us
London to Los Angeles
Da rap evangelist
Ma daddy wouldn't abandon us
"I gotta back pack fulla tracts plus I keep a Johnny Mac"
So are you ready to jam with us
So lets go, gimme the word an lets go
Persecution lets go
Tribulation lets go
Across the nation lets go
Procrastination bes go
Hung on the cross in the cold
Died for da young and the old
Can't say you never know
Heaven knows
How many souls are going to hell or to heaven so we gotta go in and get em

Verse 3:
Yeah do it for Christ if you trying to figure what to do with your life
if you making money hope you doing it right because the money is Gods you better steward it right
stay focused if you aint got no ride
your life aint wrapped up in what you drive
the clothes you wear the job you work
the color your skin naw we Christian first
people living life for a job
make a lil money start living for a car
get em a house a wife kids and a dog
when they retire they living high on the hog
but guess what they didn't ever really live at all
to live is Christ yeah that's Paul I recall
to die is gain so for Christ we give it all
he's the treasure you'll find in the mall
Your money your singleness marriage talent and time
they were loaned to you to show the world that Christ is Divine
that's why it's Christ in my rhymes
That's why it's Christ all the time
my whole world is built around him He's the life in my lines
I refused to waste my life
he's too true ta chase that ice
heres my gifts and time cause I'm constantly trying to be used to praise the Christ
If he's truly raised to life
then this news should change your life
and by his grace you can put your faith in place that rules your days and nights.

He's fast isn't he? You can find the lyrics to all the songs at the Reach Records website.

The Best Illustration Of Election I've Ever Heard

Words fail me. Thank You, Father.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I Wanna Be A Rebel

Rebel Intro by Lecrae (from his latest album)

I'm in rebellion

Verse 1:
Jesus was a rebel, a renegade, outlaw
A sanctified troublemaker but He never sinned, naw
and He lived His life by a different set of Rules
the culture ain't approve
so you know they had they had to bruise em
that's the way they do
man, they swear they so gangsta but everyones the same
everybody do the same stuff
tattoo, piercing
smokin' up and drinking
money and sex plus them extravagant weekends
if that's the high life
I'll puff puff pass that
you leave evaporated like you missing a gas cap
I guess I'm passed that
cause I am in rebellion
I'd rather have a dollar in my pocket than a mill-ion
I'm scared to worship money, and my wants over Elyon
I'll remain a rebel while the rest of them just carry on
this is what I live fo
this the hill I'm buried on
if Jesus is the truth
that means one of us is VERY wrong
think about it

Verse 2:
No glory in me
all glory to the King on the throne (Jesus)
you either love Him or leave Him alone but you cant do both
yeah, you probably heard that once in song
I pray you hear 10 mo fo ya gone
yeah listen up, holmes
The stage is my corner and my crowd is the streets
That's why I rap the bread of life cause they dyin' to eat
I'm a rebel you know the kind that die in the street
Cause you refuse to conform, won't eat the kings meat
look, if Christ rebelled by shunning the cultured
He eatin' with sinners
givin Pharasies ulcers
He never got married, was broke and plus homeless
yeah that's the God I roll wit
ya boy gotta wife and no I neva cheated
I'm prayin for humility whenever I get heated
forget about the drugs
rebel against pornography
this ain't how it oughta be, homie
this is how it's gotta be
A rebel

And here is an interview with Lecrae. It's long but really insightful as Lecrae and Mark Driscoll help me understand what it means to be a rebel missionary who brings Jesus to people without all the "clothing" that makes Him no longer visible. I've been thinking lately that perhaps our problem so often in witnessing (in my church context) is that we "dress Jesus up" instead of just bringing Him as He is. A good indicator of this is my answer to the question of what I think a non-believer's life ought to look like after being saved. Yes, internals changes are usually manifested externally but are the changes that I most foresee and hope for merely external ones? Clothes they wear? The type of people they hang out with? The type of music they listen to? If so, I'm probably "dressing Jesus up." There's a line I can't get out of my head from this interview. As Lecrae describes how he got saved, he talks about the people who reached out to him. As he interacted with these people, he would over and over in his mind think to himself, "They can't possibly be Christians." Why, I ask? I think it's because the people who had formerly shaped his understanding of Christianity had "dressed Jesus up" and the Christians he was now encountering brought Jesus as He is "with no extra clothing." The irony is that unless we get "dressed up" in the "clothing" of those to whom we are bringing the gospel (becoming missionaries), we will be "dressing Jesus up" because they will see how we are "dressed differently than them" instead of seeing Jesus in us for who He is. May the Lord make us people who non-believers encounter and think to themselves, "They can't possibly be Christians" because all they see is people who love Jesus and love them with the pure gospel of grace without works.

HT: Mark Driscoll

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I Believe In The Holy Spirit

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Genesis 1:2

The following is from the message I gave to our church's high school students on Genesis 1:2 this morning.

We could read this verse and practically skip over the second half without thinking of the importance of it. It’s easy for us to treat God as the main thing (In the beginning, God…). It’s easy for us to treat Jesus as the main thing (In the beginning was the Word…). But it’s so easy for us to treat the Holy Spirit as secondary (And the Spirit of God…). His sentence begins in a way that would make us treat Him like an addition to something else that is more important.

But think about the significance of Moses telling us that the Holy Spirit was moving over the earth at this time. Even while the earth was without form, the Holy Spirit was moving over it. Even while the earth was empty, the Holy Spirit was moving over it. Even while the earth was in darkness, the Holy Spirit was moving over it. The Holy Spirit was moving over the creation before God said that anything was good.

What is the significance of this? Well the very next thing that happens after we read about the Spirit moving over the face of the waters is that God says, “Let there be light.” God creates! It is the movement of the Holy Spirit that leads to the creative action of God.

And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Why? Because God was getting ready to do something! We should read that verse with anticipation and excitement. The Spirit’s moving. God is gonna do something! God is gonna do something! God is gonna do something!

God doesn’t create apart from the Holy Spirit. God doesn’t work apart from the Holy Spirit.

To be born again, you must be born through the Holy Spirit’s movement in your life.
Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.
John 3:7, 8

To pray the right way, you must pray in the Holy Spirit.
Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
Ephesians 6:18

Pray in the Holy Spirit;
Jude 20

To understand the Bible, the Holy Spirit must move in your mind and heart.
And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:13, 14

To walk in obedience, we must have the Holy Spirit in us.
And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
Ezekiel 36:27

To kill the sin in our lives, we can only do so by the Holy Spirit’s work in us.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Romans 8:13

To have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control is only possible if the Holy Spirit is living in us.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control: against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22,23

To sing to the Lord from our hearts, we must be filled with the Holy Spirit.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart.
Ephesians 5:18, 19

To trust the promises of God, we must have the Holy Spirit in our hearts.
For all the promises of God find their Yes in [Christ]. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
2 Corinthians 1:22

If you are a believer, hopefully you are doing these things almost every day. But do you acknowledge on a daily basis that you can only do them for one reason: because of the Spirit of God that is living in you? The Spirit of God is hovering over our souls as He was hovering over the waters. What might our lives be like if we were aware of the Holy Spirit’s movement within us on a moment by moment basis?

Charles Spurgeon was a popular preacher in England in the 1800’s. He preached in a huge building that seated thousands of people. Whenever he preached, he would have to walk up a long flight of stairs because the pulpit was high up where everyone in the building could see him. And you know what he did as he walked up the stairs each time before he preached? With each step he took, he would say, “I believe in the Holy Spirit.” Each step. He reminded himself that the Spirit was moving and this caused him to be filled with anticipation week after week that God was going to do something, that God was going to save people each time he got up to preach. And God saved thousands of people through Spurgeon’s ministry.

What should be so encouraging about Genesis 1:2 is that the Spirit is moving at a time when there is nothing but emptiness, darkness, and formlessness. He hasn’t stopped moving in those times. He’s moving and as He moves God is getting ready to say “Let there be light.” So often we find ourselves stuck in points where we wonder where God is. We question whether He is working and if He is doing anything good in the midst of our life experiences. If you are His, then no matter how empty you feel, no matter how dark it is, no matter how formless life seems, the Spirit is moving in you and around you. And that means that God is getting ready to say, “Let there be light.” You should do it throughout everyday but especially when you have a bad day, remind yourself of the Holy Spirit. Say, like Charles Spurgeon did, “I believe in the Holy Spirit” with each step that you take.

You can get the entire sermon manuscript here.

I believe in You Holy Spirit. I love You Holy Spirit.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Rapper Of Sovereign Grace

My crew is still repping the King at San Jose State University: