Unstoppable Questions: #1

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If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

God is 100% for you today. He isn’t 99% for you and 1% against you. He is 100% totally for you. He is 100% committed to your good and your spiritual success.

If the almighty God is for you, can anything be against you? I mean, seriously, think about it. The one who created the universe is on your team and has put his power on your side.

Is there anything that can stand before the force of God on your side? Is there any sin that won’t be overcome, any trial that will defeat you? Is there any broken relationship or source of heartache that God can’t use for your good? No! Even my own sins and failures can’t stop God from making me more like Christ.

What is standing against you today? Do you believe that God is 100% for you?

What Will Your Words Do Today?

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)

Today, our words have the potential to do one of two incredible things.

Our words can corrupt others. Like an infectious disease, our grumbling, or slandering, or gossiping, or cursing, have the real potential to corrupt others within the body of Christ. My words can lead others to think less of God and less of others.

Or, our words can be a channel through which people experience the grace of God. If we speak words of encouragement and exhortation that build others up, people really will experience the grace of God. They will encounter God through our words.

Today I want my words to be a channel of grace, don’t you?

Questions:

  • What does corrupting talk look like? When you hear corrupting talk, how does it affect you?
  • When have you found yourself most encouraged by the words of someone else?

Election Fuels Evangelism

And the Lord said to Paul l one night in a vision,  “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent,  for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. (AC 18.9-11)

Election and evangelism work together.  God had chosen many in Corinth – he called them “my people” – though they were not yet saved.  Because they were elect, God told Paul not to fear but keep proclaiming the gospel.  Far from producing apathy, God’s sovereignty fueled Paul’s evangelism.

God has people all around us that he sees as saved.  Let’s go on speaking and not be silent.

Locked In A Body of Death

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But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness… (Romans 8:10)

Each of us is locked into a body of death. Because of sin in the world, our bodies are slowly disintegrating and marching toward death. For the past two months I’ve been battling a cold on and off. This sickness has given me a very faint awareness that I’m in a body of death.

Some of you wake up every morning to intense, searing suffering. You know that your body is dead. The pain that sets your joints on fire makes you aware of that.

But we won’t be trapped in a body of death forever.

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11)

The Spirit of God that cause Christ to explode out of the grave now dwells in us. Death couldn’t keep Christ, and it won’t keep us. Soon – very soon – our dying bodies will be transformed and given true life. Suffering will be gone. Pain erased. A new, glorious, resurrection body will be ours. Christ will set us free from the body of death.

Are you experiencing suffering right now? How does Romans 8:11 encourage you?

Patient With The Ignorant

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After Peter healed a lame beggar in Solomon’s portico, he preached to the astounded crowds the miracle gathered. His message must have pierced their hearts, for over and over he emphasized their responsibility for Christ’s death. YOU deliver him to Pilate. YOU denied the Holy and Righteous One. YOU requested Pilate release a murderer instead of Christ. YOU killed the Author of life. The crowd must have been shattered at the realization of their guilt before God.

But then, holding out hope to them, he said, “And now brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance” (Acts 3.17).  This didn’t mean they were any less guilty, but pointed to the mercy and long-suffering nature of God. They killed his son, yet God focused on their ignorance.

Peter’s words echo the Christ’s from the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Though murdering an innocent man they didn’t realize the depth of their sin in crucifying God’s Son, and based on their ignorance Jesus pleaded for mercy.

Paul too experienced God’s mercy toward his ignorance: “though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent…I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief” (1 TI 1.13).

I’m so grateful the Lord is so merciful and patient with us in our IGNORANCE!

He was patient with me for years as I lived in rebellion against him. I didn’t consciously say, “I’m going to rebel against God,” or, “I hate God and willfully reject him.” But I did reject him, repeatedly. I did many things I knew were wrong, and many I didn’t know were wrong. But Jesus was merciful to me in my ignorance.

Even as a Christian I still sin in ignorance and fail to do all the good I should. What mercy God shows me.

I must be patient and forbearing with others. Maybe they didn’t mean that comment to be offensive. Maybe they’re just having an off day. Maybe they’re under a lot of pressure and didn’t mean to snap at me. Maybe they misunderstood me.

If God overlooks my sins of ignorance, should I not overlook the sins others commit in ignorance?

Can You Help With My New Book?

The time has come to give you the details of my upcoming book, so that you in turn can help me with the book.

In October, 2009 I signed a contract with Crossway Books to write a book tentatively titled The Greener Grass Conspiracy: Finding Contentment On Your Side of the Fence. The book, as I hope is obvious from the title, is about learning to be truly content in Christ in all circumstances. The book will probably be published in the Spring of 2011.

It’s not the memoir of a man who has the contentment thing figured out. It’s written by a discontent man learning what it means to find contentment in Christ.

I am currently finishing up the rough draft of my manuscript and I need your help. Would you mind answering one question? It will help me as I think through the various applications of the book. You can answer anonymously if you wish.

The question is: What currently makes you unhappy or has made you unhappy in the past?

Thanks for your help. I’d also appreciate it if you would share this on Twitter and Facebook so others could answer as well. Thanks!