Archive for June, 2013

As a person who works with teenagers I am always on the lookout for helpful resources in dealing with issues that they face. Today, I came across this article via Tim Challies entitled “Christians Are Not Called to Have Amazing Sex.”

I encourage all single people to not engage in sexual activity until they are married. Last year, I taught a series on sex and dating that focused on the Biblical definitions of relationships. Recently  I have made it my goal  to teach abstinence from a gospel-perspective rather than a “Try Harder” approach. This article reminded me that we also should not teach abstinence with the approach that saving sex for marriage will fill you with unspeakable joy for the rest of your life. Because it won’t happen. Nothing will satisfy your deepest desires except God alone. That is how He created us.

Loving God for the gifts that he gives more than God himself is idolatry. As this article states: We don’t obey because obedience is currency that brings us our desire tenfold down the road. We obey because Jesus told us to.

 

Single or married, in all ways let us be careful to not elevate sex to an idol.

It’s a sad question to ask, “What do we do with this old church building that no one wants?”

There was a recent article on Pop City Media’s website called Cool Rehabs of Abandoned Pittsburgh Churches highlighting all of the interesting uses for church buildings. They are being turned into residences, concert venues, community centers, or restaurants. While I appreciate old buildings being put to good use I am also troubled that so many churches have shut their doors making this trend possible.

It is time to join God’s work of redemption among the people of Pittsburgh. I believe God has called me to Pittsburgh to plant a new gospel-centered church in the city. While the old buildings are being rehabbed for other uses, I believe God is calling  his people to be renewed by the Holy Spirit to glorify God.

Every Day in the Word

Posted: June 10, 2013 in Uncategorized
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It’s important to spend time every day reading God’s Word. It doesn’t matter how you

Bible

organize your life to do it, just that you make it a priority in your life. I’ve read through the Bible every year over the last few years and have been very blessed by God’s Word. In the past I have read the Bible straight through and chronologically. This year, I decided to read part of the Old Testament, part of the New Testament, a Psalm and a Proverb every day. I use the ESV Bible reading plan through an RSS Reader.

What’s interesting is how often these four different parts of the Bible agree and seem to work together so well. Generally the reading is from four different genres during very different time periods written by four different authors. However, it’s clear that the Bible is all inspired by God and has a consistent theme throughout. A case in point is the reading from today. The Old Testament part was 1 Kings 7, Solomon builds his palace and then Solomon built the temple of the Lord. I’ll be honest, it was getting a little long and I thought “why is this included in the Bible?” Don’t get me wrong, this sounds like an amazing house and an amazing temple for the presence of God to dwell. But, seriously, how would a person preach from this text? Is there anything of value here? And then I read the New Testament reading from Acts 7, Steven’s speech to the Jewish religious leaders in which he recounted the history of God dealing with his people. And in verse 47 this jumped out at me: “But it was Solomon who built a house for him. Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says,

“‘Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,
or what is the place of my rest?”

Israel, and her leaders, were trying to confine God to a temple. It was a magnificent place. But God was no longer going to confine his presence to a building. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1:14)! This is so amazing that many people cannot grasp it. I am thankful for Jesus and now through belief in Him we have the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).

Psalm 128:1 Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!

“The very cente…

Posted: June 8, 2013 in Uncategorized
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“The very center and core of the whole Bible is the doctrine of the grace of God.”

J. Gresham Machen

I thought that a book written by a famous English preacher who lived over 100 years ago would be drudgery. Other books that I have tried to read by old, dead, smart people seem to be illogical or unnecessary repetitive. This book was not like that at all. It was surprisingly easy-to-read, refreshing, and practical. I was also surprised that some of the issues that Spurgeon addressed were appropriate for our day as well. This could have been written last year rather than last century. This book was challenging not because it was hard to read, but because it was convicting. I pray that God would make me a soul-winner.

Here are a few of my highlights from the book:

To introduce unconverted persons to the church, is to weaken and degrade it; and therefore an apparent gain may be a real loss. (1)

“Our main business, brethren, is to win souls.”

-Believe what you are preaching and emphatically believe that God will save souls!

There is a something that must be said if you are to be the means of saving that man in the corner; woe unto you if you are not ready to say it, woe unto you if you are afraid to say it, woe unto you if you are ashamed to say it, woe unto you if you do not dare to say it lest somebody up in the gallery should say that you were too earnest, too enthusiastic, too zealous! (p. 26)

“How earnest we ought to be when we remember that in our work we have to deal with souls that are immortal, with sin that is eternal in its effects, with pardon that is infinite, and with terrors and joys that are to last for ever and ever!” (p. 29)

“You must feel it yourself, and speak as a man who feels it; not as if you feel it, but because you feel it, otherwise you will not make it felt by others.” (p. 39)

-I advise you to fight unbelief with belief, falsehood with the truth, and never to cut and pare down the gospel to try to make it fit in with the follies and fancies of men.

*The Bible says you will have tares and wheat together. Instead of trying to figure out who is who, water the wheat. It will make the wheat stronger.

*If we do not pray to God for a blessing, if the foundation of the pulpit be not laid in private prayer, our open ministry will not be a success.

-Brethren, we must tell men that there is pressing need of a Saviour, and show them that we ourselves perceive their need and feel for them, or else we are not likely to turn them to the Saviour.

“Cry and sigh until you have snatched some brand from the burning, and have brought at least one sinner to Jesus Christ, that so you also may have saved a soul from death, and covered a multitude of sins.”

Spurgeon, Charles H. (2010-03-19). The Soul-Winner : or How to Lead Sinners to the Saviour. Kindle Edition.