Monday, November 22, 2010

From Mecca to Calvary

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Thabiti Anyabwile describes his journey from Mecca to Calvary, how he went from submitting to Allah to following the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He mentions "the long version" of his testimony, and you'll be able to listen to that audio file by clicking here.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Faith-focused & Cross-centered

We are creatures of habit, and our habits reflect our true selves because we all build our daily lives around our priorities and passions. We make time for what we truly value, building habits and routines around the things that really matter to us. As believers we should lead lives that are faith-focused and cross-centered. A faith-focused, cross-centered life is made of faith-focused, cross-centered days. How do you apply your faith in every area of life? The answer is to preach the Gospel – the unshakable faith foundation – to yourself. Here is what matters most: You’re forgiven! You have hope! Your hope is based on Jesus’ sacrifice. Let today – and every day – be governed by this one defining truth. Here are five practical ways to do that.

1. Memorize the Gospel – Store up God’s Word in your heart (Psalm 119:11). Then, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can pull them out and be strengthened by their truth. Not good at memorization? That’s no problem. Don’t give up. Work at it. God isn’t keeping score. It may take you longer than someone else, but it’s worth the effort. (2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 2:20-21; Romans 3:23-26; 5:6-11; 8:31-34; Isaiah 53:3-6)

2. Pray the Gospel – The Gospel should be at the center of our prayer life. We may boldly approach God only because we are accepted in God’s beloved Son, through His work on the cross. Thank God for forgiveness of sins. Be thankful that because of the cross you’re reconciled to God, and have been given the Holy Spirit to dwell in you, lead you, guide you, and empower you to follow after Christ.

3. Sing the Gospel – It doesn’t matter how well or how poorly you sing, a Christian’s heart should be overflowing every day with the song of Calvary. Not all worship songs are created equal. Many are more centered on ourselves than on Christ. Sing songs that focus more on what Jesus has already done than on what we need or want God to do. Here is an example of what I mean. It's the hymn Cross of Jesus by Keith and Kristyn Getty:

Cross of Jesus cross of sorrow
Where our sinfulness was laid
Perfect love on you was broken
As the way to God was paved

Cross of love - the scar of heaven
Cross of love - that heals my soul
Let me not forget such mercy
Let me give the life I owe

O what language shall I borrow
As I praise You faithful friend
How for us You bore our suffering
In Your love which has no end

Died that I might be forgiven
By a power not my own
With His glory set before me
Cross of Jesus lead me home

Make the Gospel the sound track of your day.

4. Review the Gospel – Always remember how the Gospel has changed you. Be reminded of how marvelous God’s salvation is. Remember and be encouraged that God is faithful! (Philippians 1:6)

5. Study the Gospel – To grow in your passion for Jesus has done, increase your understanding of what He has done. The Gospel is life-changing, world-altering truth. You’ll never exhaust its depths. Read the Bible with your eyes peeled for the Gospel. Camp out in the Gospels, Colossians, Romans, and Galatians. Read books like The Discipline of Grace and The Gospel for Real Life by Jerry Bridges and What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. A faith-full life is made of faith-filled days. Keep drawing near one day at a time by memorizing, praying, singing, reviewing, and studying the Gospel.

I've read all the above in the book The Cross-Centered Life. I'd encourage you to read that book as well. The contents of this post have been particularly helpful to me.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cling to the Cross!

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"Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling." Praise God for the truth that for our sake God made Christ to be sin, who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. Consider the awesome truth of the Gospel through the words of Keith Getty's hymn The Power of the Cross:

Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

This, the pow'r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath—
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face,
Bearing the awesome weight of sin.
Ev'ry bitter thought,
Ev'ry evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

Now the daylight flees;
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life;
"Finished!" the vict'ry cry.

Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death;
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

This, the pow'r of the cross:
Son of God—slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.
Come to Jesus and cling to the cross.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day 2010

Here is a politics quiz that I first saw at the always interesting, informative, and intelligent blog Doses of Reality. I was a little surprised by my results, as you see below. Personally, I'd describe myself as an economic moderate and a social conservative. This gives us insight into polling data. The wording of questions and the choice of answers to which we are limited do not always provide an absolutely accurate description of someone's beliefs and/or views. Basically, this quiz got it right. I am best described as a Republican, but it isn't completely on the mark. Keep that in mind next time you hear polling data results, or a preacher (like myself) quotes the Barna research group, etc.

Now use 5 - 10 minutes and take the quiz. It's fun, and I'm interested in how you scored. Oh, and much more important than reading this blog or taking this trivial quiz, be sure to vote!

You are a

Social Moderate
(41% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(70% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test