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Category Archives: Links

Morning Coffee – 09/17/14

Here are the stories I put in my coffee this morning.

  • What Does Repentance Look Like?
  • The Bible tells us explicitly and shows us implicitly that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. David knows this to be true. As broken as he is, he knows God and how God relates to penitent people. He understands that God never hates or despises a broken and contrite heart. This is what God desires from us.

  • God’s Sufficient Spirit
  • Only the Holy Spirit can work fundamental changes in the human heart. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is the necessary agent in all effective biblical counseling. The counselor, armed with biblical truth, can offer objective guidance and steps for change. But unless the Holy Spirit is working in the heart of the counselee, any apparent change will be illusory, superficial, or temporary, and the same problems or worse ones will soon appear.

  • Give the Blessing of Rebuke
  • If we really believe that we all are sinners, and that unchecked sin leads to pain and misery and eternal destruction, love will constrain us to give the gift of loving reproof.

  • What’s All this ‘Gospel-Centered’ Talk About?
  • Every generation must rediscover the gospel for itself. “Gospel-centered” happens to be the label attached to this generation’s recovery of grace. When we tire of the label, get a new one. But keep the reality.

  • Built On a Single Behavior
  • God does not measure by a single behavior, but by complete and utter conformity to his perfect law. This truth will either drive you to despair or drive you to Christ, the One who lived a completely righteous life and offers his righteousness to those who have none of their own.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Links

 

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Morning Coffee – 08/09/14

Here are the stories I put in my coffee this morning.

  • In Christ Our Suffering Is Not in Vain
  • Jesus suffered for us. Yet we are called to participate in His suffering. Though He was uniquely the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, there is still an application of this vocation for us. We are given both the duty and the privilege to participate in the suffering of Christ.

  • Not to Be a Suffenus
  • John Owen used the term “Suffenus” to describe young theologians who think they know it all. Suffenus was a poet, a tad incompetent, but in no way lacking confidence in his own abilities. Those (overly) pleased with their intellectual powers were, says Owen, called “Suffenuses.” These types are blind to their own faults but bitterly attack the faults of others.

  • The Ultimate Contradiction
  • The abuse of knowledge will always nullify its benefits. While God has no problem with us increasing in knowledge, he does have a problem when we make knowledge our god. And when we make it our god, we find that our great wisdom deceives us.

  • What Makes Us Hungry? – Matthew 5:6
  • As citizens of God’s Kingdom, we come to desire what He desires. It is not enough for us to admit what we lack; we want it! We see God’s righteousness, in His Word, in His son, and we praise Him for it. What we once avoided we now see as beautiful and we yearn for it.

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2014 in Links

 

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Morning Coffee – 08/01/14

Here are the stories I put in my coffee this morning.

  • You’re Using it Wrong: Matthew 7:1
  • The blanket statement that Jesus said, “Don’t judge,” is a distortion of God’s Word. The truth is, as believers, not only are we commanded to judge in Scripture, but as Christians, we are identified as judges!

  • Christ the Image of God
  • Our Lord Jesus Christ is the perfect embodiment of the very image of God. He is the supreme revelation of the Father—the very radiance of the Father’s glory and the exact representation of His essence.

  • What Does it Mean to Fear God?
  • The focus here is on a sense of awe and respect for the majesty of God. That’s often lacking in contemporary evangelical Christianity. We get very flippant and cavalier with God, as if we had a casual relationship with the Father.

  • Preaching Job
  • In the congregation I serve there is cancer, abandonment, the wreckage of childhood abuse, wayward children, Lupus, economic devastation, the death of loved ones, and much more. Preaching to suffering people about this man Job and the God who was sovereign over his calamity is a tricky thing.

  • God’s Purpose and Pleasure in Your Sanctification
  • Paul’s point is that true spiritual growth is not one-sided. No amount of man-made effort can produce righteousness, nor does the Lord sanctify His people by osmosis. Only when the two work in concert is sanctification possible.

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2014 in Links

 

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Morning Coffee – 07/26/14

Here are the stories I put in my coffee this morning.

  • Danger: Ministry Idolatry
  • Ministry idolatry is not just a threat to those who are in fulltime Christian ministry — though the danger there is especially acute. Whether evangelism or disciplemaking or meeting others’ needs through acts of service, Christian ministry is such a wonderful and worthwhile pursuit that when idolatry creeps in, it can scarcely be recognizable.

  • Soli Deo Gloria: To God Alone Be the Glory
  • Soli Deo gloria is the motto that grew out of the Protestant Reformation and was used on every composition by Johann Sebastian Bach. He affixed the initials SDG at the bottom of each manuscript to communicate the idea that it is God and God alone who is to receive the glory for the wonders of His work of creation and of redemption.

  • “If We Build It They Will Come” No Longer Works
  • There was a time, they suggested, when their churches were full. One could expect those in the neighborhood to either walk to church or make a short drive to arrive. All you needed was a building in the community and people came. Now, more people walk by the church than attend.

  • J.I. Packer on Living to the End “Flat Out”
  • No mature Christian of any age is exempt from the twin tasks of learning and leading, just because they do not inhabit the world of wage and salary earning any longer, and for aging Christians to think of themselves in this way, as if they have no more to do now than have fun, is worldliness in a strikingly intense and, be it said, strikingly foolish form.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2014 in Links

 

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Morning Coffee – 07/12/14

Here are the stories I put in my coffee this morning.

  • 200 Words: Why We Believe in the Trinity
  • Although the term Trinity does not occur in Scripture, the concept is inherently biblical. The Trinitarian nature of God was revealed implicitly in the Old Testament and explicitly in the New Testament.

  • The Foundation of Christian Joy
  • That is the master plan of God’s redemptive providence. He brings good out of evil. He brings glory out of suffering. He brings joy out of affliction. This is one of the most difficult truths of sacred Scripture for us to believe.

  • Blindness and Heaven
  • When it comes to Heaven, my deepest longing is not for sight. It is rather for moral and spiritual wholeness. I long for a time when what I say and sing in praise of God is never contradicted by my intentionally or unintentionally unkind words to others.

  • In Praise of the Quiet Time
  • While affirming the whole of life as worship, and also proclaiming the primacy of corporate worship, we sometimes neglect to press ourselves and others to daily private worship.

  • Is My Suffering Meaningless?
  • I understand it sounds cruel to say that God willed my infant son’s death. But believing that my son died against God’s will is far worse. That would mean that God is not in control, evil can ultimately win, and my future is uncertain. Moreover, it would mean that my son’s death was random. Meaningless. Without purpose.

Bonus:

  • Why Soccer is Contrary to Biblical Ethics
  • The average world cup player runs 9 miles a game, and ends up exactly where he started. The average world cup player also never even scores, so that running didn’t do him a lot of good.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2014 in Links

 

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Morning Coffee – 07/03/14

Here are the stories I put in my coffee this morning.

  • 5 Questions and the 5 Solas
  • These five solas still live on to this very day. They define what the gospel is for evangelicals worldwide, and also provide a helpful summary—a cheat sheet even—of what marks the true gospel from a religion of works. But historically, these five solas make the most sense when viewed from the perspective of answering the question: what do Protestants believe?

  • It Wasn’t My Fault!
  • It’s a cunning dance—a sly two-step that prevents having to take public responsibility for widely promoting and defending questionable leaders. It’s pleading ignorance in order to mask negligence. In today’s celebrity-homage ministry culture, very few are willing to admit ignoring or excusing early warnings and glaring signs of weakness.

  • The Apparent Paradox of Sanctification
  • How do you overcome sin and live the Christian life? Is defeating sin something God does in you, or do you defeat it by obeying the commands of Scripture? In other words, is the Christian life an exercise in passive trust or active obedience? Is it all God’s doing, all the believer’s doing, or a combination of both?

  • The Second-Most Important Book for Every Christian
  • Christians are not isolated pilgrims on a journey to heaven. Rather, we are all members of his body (1 Cor. 12:27), children in his family (1 John 3:1-2), and sheep of his flock (John 16:10). These descriptions show that God intends Christians to be part of a tight-knit community.

  • Get a Basic Overview of the Bible
  • Virtually every Christian at some point has resolved to read the entire Bible. If we believe the Bible is the Word of God, it’s natural not to want to miss a word of it. If God delivered a letter to your mailbox, I am sure you would read it. But the Bible is a pretty big letter, and its sheer bulk is somewhat daunting, even to the person with the best of intentions.

Free eBook Bonus:

  • Jesus the Evangelist — Free eBook
  • Until the end of July, Reformation Trust is giving away the ebook edition of Richard Phillips’ Jesus the Evangelist: Learning to Share the Gospel from the Book of John.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2014 in Links

 

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Morning Coffee – 06/26/14

Here are the stories I put in my coffee this morning.

  • Lawless Christians?
  • What is the difference between the sins of believers and unbelievers? When a believer sins, is it the same as when an unbeliever sins?

  • Naming the New Calvinism
  • To identify the current Reformation-oriented crowd as “neo-Calvinist” is to confuse a venerable movement that focuses on God’s sovereignty over creation with a current movement that focuses on God’s sovereignty in salvation.

  • What Does It Mean to Be An “Unprofitable Servant”?
  • When Jesus said that we are unprofitable servants, He did not mean that our service is of no value. Jesus frequently called His disciples to be productive. Rather, He meant that we gain no “bonus points” or merit from our service.

  • Sustainable Preaching
  • An expository message translates a text from the original, analyzes its structure, and draws on literary and cultural contexts to discover and communicate what the text meant both to the author and also the first audience and then what it means to believers through the years, including our day.

  • True Love – 1 John 4:7-13
  • We love them enough to share the hope of Christ. And they might reject us or our message. But we don’t do it for acceptance. We do it because we love them.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2014 in Links

 

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