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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 – 06/21/14

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

  • Bitter Pills: 4 Unpleasantries that Make for Healthy Churches
  • I’m not saying all good churches leave a constant bitter taste lingering on your palette. But if you find these attitudes to be too bitter to swallow, perhaps its time to consider whether you’re looking for a biblical, healthy church that please Jesus, or if you are looking for a social club focused on keeping its clientele comfortable.

  • What Is Hell?
  • There is no biblical concept more grim or terror-invoking than the idea of hell. It is so unpopular with us that few would give credence to it at all except that it comes to us from the teaching of Christ Himself.

  • The Deep Joy of Self-Denial
  • And therefore, we silence those false claims that the old person inside us would otherwise promote. We renounce them, and we set our eyes on heaven, even through the things of this earth, for behold, “[our] reward is great in heaven.”

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2014 in Links

 

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Morning Coffee – 06/13/14

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

  • Upon This Rock
  • To paraphrase Jesus’ words, the Lord told Peter, “I say to you that you are a small stone, and upon this bedrock I will build My church.” It was a play on words that made a significant spiritual point.

  • A Passion for Preaching: An Interview with Steven J. Lawson
  • As the pulpit goes, so goes the church. The deeper the preacher takes his flock into the Word of God, the higher they will rise in worship. The stronger they are in the Scripture, the stronger they will be in the pursuit of holiness.

  • When Sin Looks Delicious
  • Do you ever have those days where you just want to sin? Sin looks delicious while righteousness looks distasteful. Sin looks satisfying and holiness looks frustrating. You wake up in the morning with a desire to do what you know you should not desire to do.—What do you do on a day like that?

  • How to Overcome Sin
  • Yes, we are given the Holy Spirit who conforms us into the image of Christ. But our old nature, our built-in-at-conception sinful nature still lives within us. So what do we do with these sins? How can we overcome our sin?

  • The Difficulties Of Being Honest About Our Sin
  • Despite the somewhat recent host of preachers and teachers suggesting that the gospel frees us to be responsibly transparent about our sin, I still wonder how free some people have actually become.

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2014 in Links

 

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Morning Coffee – 06/04/14

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

  • Who Will Go?
  • Millions have never heard the Name of Jesus. Hundreds of millions have seen a missionary only once in their lives, and know nothing of our King. Shall we let them perish?

  • Joseph: His Role in a Bigger Story
  • Three times, Joseph emphasized that God’s hand was behind it all. Joseph was not excusing his brothers’ sin—he was emphasizing the fact that the Lord uses even the wicked choices of sinful people to accomplish His sovereign purposes.

  • A Practical Help for Bible Study
  • If I don’t like something I read in Scripture, perhaps I simply don’t understand it. If so, studying it again may help. If, in fact, I do understand the passage and still don’t like it, this is not an indication there is something wrong with the Bible. It’s an indication that something is wrong with me, something that needs to change.

  • Was Jesus a Party Animal?
  • Conservatives need to be challenged by Jesus’ willingness to socialize with “sinners.” Indeed, they were powerfully drawn to him. Liberals, on the other hand, need to be cautioned against depicting Jesus as an easy going, always-affirming dude’s dude who loved to blast religion and hang out at frat parties.

  • Read, Reflect, Write (Repeat)
  • In this two-minute video, Moore talks not only about getting over “writer’s block,” but about the reading and reflection he finds essential to writing well.

Free eBook Bonus:

  • Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow
  • Just as Olympic athletes work hard to achieve their best performances, our diligence in attending to these aspects of the Christian life will help determine our effectiveness in serving our Lord.

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2014 in Links

 

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