Pastor's Words for Living

Legalism Comes In Many Forms

Most of us would consider legalism to be something we should avoid.  It sounds easy enough, but the truth is legalism is most often rooted in something that appeals to us and that makes avoiding it more difficult than we anticipate.  Legalism travels in many forms and people of all contexts face the temptation to become legalistic in their attitudes and behaviors.  Anthony Bradley at World Magazine has written an interesting article about a new form of legalism impacting many churches today.  It's an important concern that should cause us all to make an objective evaluation of our lives.  Even things we believe to be Biblical and Christ-honoring can drift into unhealthy places.  Take a look at Mr. Bradley's article and prayerfully consider it in the context of your life, as well as the life of the local church.

http://www.worldmag.com/2013/05/the_new_legalism

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What We Ridicule May Be God's Perfect Plan

In our culture, it is common for people to make generalizations that lump people into broad categories.  Assumptions are attached to those categories that often are not accurate or helpful.  Through the years it has been interesting to hear the various sterotypes associated with introverts and extroverts, and to consider how such judgments can be destructive for indivduals and for relationships.  They can lead to a kind of legalism that is personality driven which neglects the sovereignty of God as well as His power through the indwelling Spirit.   I stumbled upon an interesting article titled, Four Lies About Introverts.  It offers us some valuable insights as we consider the many ways God has made us different from each other, as well as the many distinct ways He wants to use each of us.  Take a few moments and read this brief article.  It may prove helpful to you in understanding important people in your life.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/04/25/four-lies-about-introverts/  

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Anticipating the Gospel Project

I am truly excited about the new Bible study curriculum we are going to launch next Sunday.  The Gospel Project has the potential to spark transformation in churches everywhere.  There are a multitude of reasons why I believe it will prove to be a great tool, but there are three that really get me pumped:

(1)    It offers gospel consistency combined with thematic diversity.
(2)    It offers us doctrinal discipline with effective personal application.
(3)    It encourages unity across the church spectrum and fuels godly purpose.

It's only a resource, but it gives us a wonderful opportunity for great faithfulness and fruitfulness.  Let us give it our all and let us begin with fervent prayer.

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Absurdity Is Everywhere

Absurdity continues to escalate all around us.  I read where a political candidate accused his opponent of being unhinged, but that appears to be normative for our world today.  Do you ever get the feeling that society is coming completely unglued, or am I missing something?  It sure looks unglued to me, though I guess it should not surprise us.  Scripture tells us that the world will become progressively worse in every way as time marches onward.  Still, I cannot help but be amazed at some of the things being done and said under the banner of intelligence and societal ascension.  Who would have thought that morality could be so bad for mankind?

Check out this story from the UK Telegraph and prepare to be amazed.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/family/9485796/Puritan-view-of-adultery-turns-Brits-into-caged-animals-says-academic.html

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The Sincere Convert

The sincere convert is not one man at church and another at home.  He is not a saint on his knees and a cheat in his shop.  He will not tithe mint and cummin, and neglect mercy and judgment, and the weightier matters of the law.  He does not pretend piety and neglect morality.  But he turns from all his sins and keeps all God's statutes, though not perfectly, except in desire and endeavor, yet sincerely, not allowing himself in the breach of any.  Now he delights in the Word, and sets himself to prayer, and opens his hand and draws out his soul to the hungry.

                                                                                                        - Joseph Alleine,  Alarm To The Unconverted

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