Posted by: Chris Avery | November 24, 2012

Bible Reading: Day 1

Today, I am starting up Professor Horner’s Bible Reading System.

I read this article yesterday.

Here is a link to the facebook page.

At this point, I’m thinking I’ll try to share a few verses or possibly a partial verse that stands out in each chapter.

November 23, 2012

Matthew 1:21

She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Genesis 1:31

God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.

Romans 1:16

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

1 Thessalonians 1:5

for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction

Job 1:21

He said,

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Psalm 1:3

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Joshua 1:6,9

Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Isaiah 1:18

“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool.

Acts 1:14

These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

Posted by: Chris Avery | October 4, 2012

God’s Purpose for Marriage

 

“God has given you or will give you a wife who will be strong in all the areas where she must be strong so that you are not tempted beyond what you can bear… God will give you a wife with specifically orchestrated weaknesses that will be weaknesses sometimes in the very area where you most want her to be strong… Why? Conformity to the image of Christ. To be like Jesus.”

“How can you learn unconditional love through your marriage if you’re married to a woman who meets all your conditions? How can you learn mercy and pity if you’re married to a person who never fails? How can you learn to be a man of grace if you’re married to a wife who never falters?”

Posted by: Chris Avery | September 17, 2012

Chris’ Classics: Unequaled Greatness of the Son of God

This is a short clip from Art Azurdia talking about the temple, sacrifices, and their ultimate fulfillment in Jesus Christ. It is finished. There is cleansing once for all time for those who put their trust in Him.

You are not the center of the universe. God is.

Posted by: Chris Avery | September 13, 2012

Chris’ Classics: Ten Shekels And A Shirt by Paris Reidhead

This is the first post from Chris’ Classics. I didn’t post this first because it is my absolute favorite. It just happens to be the one that has been brought up again recently. As I had it on CD in my car, I listened to it over the last two days.

There are many sermons, youtube clips, and blogs that I have enjoyed. Then there are some that I have listened to on several occasions. This is where I will post some of those that I have enjoyed on more than one occasion. Both, that others can see them, and that I will have a convenient place to find them in the future.

Sidenote: I have not researched it myself, but from the things I’ve heard cited from his actual works…I do not hold the same regard for Charles Finney as Paris Reidhead. He seems to be someone that was a good speaker and was good at manipulating emotions. There is some fiery preaching from him, therefore I know there are people who quote him. Overall, it sounds like he was off in his theology.

Posted by: Chris Avery | September 13, 2012

Does God Take Sin Seriously?

Perhaps a look at Matthew 5:27-30 will give us a picture of what God thinks about sin.

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

First of all, we see the commandment given to Moses not to commit adultery. Many reading this would be innocent of this sin. Jesus didn’t stop there. He went to the very thoughts that we have. When Jesus sees that we have deep desires for someone where we feel we have to have them, Jesus sees that as adultery as well. As far as I know that makes the vast majority of us guilty, if not all.

God is so pure and so holy that He cannot tolerate sin. He’s not just concerned about the outside appearance, but the purity of the heart. If we start thinking, “I better start doing better,” we’ve missed the point. The law leaves us all guilty. It was never meant to save us. It was only meant to make our sinful condition apparent so that we would cry out to God for mercy. We should seek to be made right with God on His terms. There is only one way that God has provided for us to be reconciled to Him. It is through trusting in the work of Jesus Christ in which He received the wrath of God on our behalf on the cross. God has chosen for faith to be the method in which we are saved. We have to believe that Christ’s death was a sufficient sacrifice for our sins. We must also repent, which means to agree with God that we have sinned against Him and to turn the other way. We once lived our own selfish lives sinning against God, and now turn a full 180 to follow Him and leave our selfish lives behind.

It gets even more extreme. God tells us to tear out our eyes and cut off our hands if they cause us to sin. If God has worked on our hearts, we may realize that we sin all the time with our eyes and hands. Does God really expect us to start mutilating our bodies. He says it is better to lose parts of our body than for the whole body to go to hell. I don’t disagree with Him. I would rather go to heaven missing half my body that to spend an eternity in hell without Him. I believe He is using a hyperbole here. It doesn’t lessen the severity of how He deals with sin.

Like earlier in the passage, I would say that our sin in primarily an issue of our hearts. If we were to lose our eyes, we could still lust in our mind. If we would cut off our hands, we would still find ways to sin with our thoughts and intentions. I believe that Jesus is showing the exceeding sinfulness of sin. I believe that we should strive to keep our hearts pure. We should be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect.

God does indeed deal very seriously with sin. If we are in Christ, then He has dealt with our sin by the death and crucifixion of His Son. For those of us who are in Christ, we should strive to please God in everything we do. I do want to give comfort though. Even as regenerated children of God, we will fall short of His glory. We should not let the guilt consume us. Should we feel terrible, absolutely. We then need to confess it to God and forsake it. Then, we must believe in His promise that we will be united with Him for all eternity and that our sins are forgiven as far as the east is from the west and though our sins were as scarlet, they are now as white as snow.

Posted by: Chris Avery | August 28, 2012

Half Full or Half Empty

Half Full or half empty. Optimist or pessimist. How about a different perspective on the cup? One for which I can take no credit as I’ve heard it a couple times before, most recently in A Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent.

As someone who has violated God’s commands, disobeyed Him in countless ways, and sought to overthrow His throne to make my will supreme, I deserve His wrath. Not a slap on the wrist, but the full unbridled wrath of God. Several times throughout the Bible God’s wrath is described as a cup. It is of this cup that Jesus asked, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” When Jesus took my punishment on the cross, He drank the cup of God’s wrath. He drank every last drop. He then proclaimed, “It is finished.” With that, He paid for every sin that is on my account. As someone who has repented and trusted in Jesus’ work on my behalf, I no longer have to worry about the wrath of God. How amazing this is! Praise be to God! The cup is EMPTY!

This isn’t the end of the story though. What if God were to take that empty cup and fill it with blessings. Perhaps even just one drop in the bottom of the cup would be unbelievable. Having gone from the full wrath of God to an empty cup would be more than enough to cause me to praise Him for the rest of my life. God did not just give me an empty cup, nor did He put a little blessing in the bottom. He has filled up the cup with His blessings and it is overflowing.

He has blessed me with every spiritual blessing in the heavens.

He withholds no good gift from me.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above.

This is reason to praise God.

I pray that I will always remember and be thankful for what I’ve been given through the mercy and grace of God. May it lead to praise and a desire for His name to be great among the nations.

Posted by: Chris Avery | August 18, 2012

Stewardship Quotes

God has entrusted us with possessions, time, talents, gifts. He didn’t give them to us primarily for our own good, but for His glory and the good of others. We have to remember that we are stewards of what God has entrusted us with, and we don’t truly own anything.

“He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot

You must transfer the ownership of all that you are and all that you have to all that He is… Your life is no longer your life, it is now His life. Your time is no longer your time, it is now His time. Your possessions are no longer your possessions, they are now His possessions. Your future is no longer your future, it is now His future. Your treasure is no longer your treasure, it is now His treasure. And you have transferred all that you are and all that you have to all that He is. – Steve Lawson

“If God would grant us the vision, the word sacrifice would disappear from our lips and thoughts; we would hate the things that seem now so dear to us; our lives would suddenly be too short, we would despise time-robbing distractions and charge the enemy with all our energies in the name of Christ.” – Nate Saint

“We are often hindered from giving up our treasures to the Lord out of fear for their safety. But we need to have no such fears. Our Lord came not to destroy but to save. Everything is safe which is committed to Him, and nothing is really safe which is not so committed.” – A.W. Tozer

“All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired, although not in the hour or in the measure, or the very thing which they ask. Yet they will obtain something greater and more glorious than they had dared to ask.” – Martin Luther

I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all;
but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.

Martin Luther

Thou that has given so much to me,
Give one thing more–a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if thy blessings had spare days;
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
Thy praise. – George Herbert

The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams. But God is the ocean. Therefore it becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven, as it becomes us to make the seeking of our highest end and proper good, the whole work of our lives; to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for, or set our hearts on, anything else, but that which is our proper end, and true happiness? -Jonathan Edwards

“If your heart takes more pleasure in reading novels, or watching TV, or going to the movies, or talking to friends, rather than just sitting alone with God and embracing Him, sharing His cares and His burdens, weeping and rejoicing with Him, then how are you going to handle forever and ever in His presence…? You’d be bored to tears in heaven, if you’re not ecstatic about God now!” ~ Keith Green

“God’s ownership of everything also changes the kind of question we ask in giving. Rather than, ‘How much of my money should I give to God?’ We learn to ask, ‘How much of God’s money should I keep for myself?’ The difference between these two questions is of monumental proportions.” Richard Foster

“We are merely stewards of God’s property while we are on earth. He can choose to entrust us with as much or as little as He desires, but in no case will we ever take ownership.” Larry Burkett

“Each of us is entrusted with a particular set of created gifts and good things we have been given in this life. Each of us is responsible for how these gifts are used; we will someday have to give our own account. The stewardship ideal urges each Christian disciple to acknowledge what he or she has received by being ready to return these gifts to God through Jesus Christ. Return is expressed in willingness to use one’s time, talent and treasure to advance the Kingdom of God.” Patrick H. McNamara

“He who has God and everything has no more than he who has God alone.” C.S. Lewis

Lord, help me to glorify you;
I am poor, help me to glorify you by contentment;
I am sick, help me to give you honor by patience;
I have talents, help me to extol you by spending them for you;
I have time, Lord, help me to redeem it, that I may serve you;

I have a heart to feel, Lord,
let that heart feel no love but yours,
and glow with no flame but affection for you;

I have a head to think,
Lord, help me to think of you and for you;

You have put me in this world for something, Lord,
show me what that is,
and help me to work out my life-purpose:

I cannot do much, but as the widow put in her two mites,
which were all her living,
so, Lord, I cast my time and eternity too into your treasury;

I am all yours;
take me, and enable me to glorify you now,
in all that I say, in all that I do, and with all that I have.

-Charles Spurgeon

Posted by: Chris Avery | August 23, 2011

How Do You Determine Truth?

How do you determine truth?

I aim this question specifically at Christians. As a Christian, it seems that what God says in His word would be the authority for what they believe. I would also make the assumption that the word of God is infallible and sufficient. I have found that many people don’t find this to be the case. Or even if they would agree with what I just said, the reality is that they will first go to philosophy or their own thoughts rather than seeking the truth within the word of God.

My example includes 3 responses and is over the doctrine of election or how people are saved and who does the saving. Already, as I say election: (that God chose before the foundation of the world whom would be saved apart from any merit in them) many people have already prepared their arguments in their mind and/or will ignore anything I say after this point.

Person #1. I have my ideas of how God works and will not seek to find out what scripture says on the matter.

This person when met with the definition given above of God’s sovereign election will instantly ask, “What about our free will?” and, “Doesn’t that make us all just robots.” This person has already made up their mind. This person was sent many of the scriptures that support election from scripture. It’s not just 1 or 2 verses, but verses found throughout the Bible, not just some verse that has been twisted to mean what I want them to mean. Several weeks later, this person has admitted that they never bothered to look at the e-mail. Now, I will readily admit that I don’t know what is in peoples’ hearts, but a few of my assumptions are 1. I’ve made up my mind and I don’t care what scripture says. 2. I don’t have the time to bother with finding out what God says. In this case, I’m leaning towards possibility number 2. This is a very busy person. At this point, I might give them the benefit of the doubt that they are as busy as they say. On the other hand, I find with many people that time is still a matter of priorities. I’m guessing this person has some time in their life where they are doing something idle or meaningless. I am guilty of this myself. Throughout scripture we are exhorted to seek out truth and wisdom, but it seems sometimes we just don’t have time to read our Bibles. To all of us I would say, God had bought you with His blood, you are now His slave or bondservant, and you are under His authority and are to do His will and not your own.

Colossians 3:1-2 1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

Person #2. Might be similar to number 1. When confronted with Bible truth will attempt to explain away the verses.

This person will ask for the definition of every word in these texts. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, after seeing dozens of verses on a matter is it possible that when God says “chosen, elect, predestined, according to His will, according to His purpose” that maybe those words actually mean what you would assume they mean.

Person #3 I disagree with what you have said, but I don’t want to be in error. I want to know what God’s word says on the matter. Please help me to understand what the Bible says.

This person has a teachable heart. This person is willing to listen to what scripture has to say. When given the Biblical evidence regarding the matter, they are still hesitant to believe it. I can sympathize with this. If you have believed/been taught a certain way your whole life, it can be difficult to just jump ship. This person is willing to listen and will do their best to find out what God had to say. They are not fully convinced, but they are seeking to know the truth and just need more time to examine this information.

In closing, I exhort you to  renew your mind by reading the scriptures.

Romans 12:1-2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Posted by: Chris Avery | May 14, 2010

The Loneliness of the Christian

The Loneliness of the Christian

by A. W. Tozer

The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share his inner experiences he is forced to walk alone.

The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way.

The man [or woman] who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens.

He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.

It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else.”

Posted by: Chris Avery | April 30, 2010

Russell Moore – Veggie Tales and the Gospel

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