Wednesday, January 22, 2014
1. There are zombies out there
2. Their number will continue to rise
3. The ignorant populace goes about their lives
4. We eventually all succumb, becoming the walking dead.
The concept is pretty frightening. That is why it has become such a popular theme in horror films and literature. But such an idea is pretty far fetched, right?
Well, it actually isn't. There is also a strain of biblical thought whereby all men are walking dead in a manner of speaking. Consider Paul's words in chapter two of his letter to the Ephesian church:
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
Paul is essentially saying that the saints of Ephesus were actually dead and walking around, following the course of the world (vss 1 &2). That in their sinful passions, they were actually living dead people (vs 3).
Elsewhere, Paul says that in 1 Corinthians 15:
21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
Paul says that all are born dead, because the prophecy of God in the garden was fulfilled. Namely, that when Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would die. He did not die physically, but he died spiritually. And not only that, all who are descendants of Adam (all men) are born spiritually dead.
So, at the fall, there was effectively a spiritual ZA. Now, the world is covered with people who were born spiritual zombies. They are walking around in the body, but they are spiritually dead inside.
Thanks be to God that by the gospel of Jesus Christ the dead walking can become the alive walking! And if that has happened to you, then as you proclaim the gospel to others, you speak words that can bring the dead to life, thus pushing back the effects of the spiritual ZA at the fall of man.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
1. the New England Patriots would lose
2. the Denver Broncos would lose
3. Both the Patriots and the Broncos would lose.
The reason for those wishes was because I did not want to endure another "Marital Discord Weekend," or MDW. You see, I am a Broncos fan and my wife is a Patriots fan. So, although we are united in virtually every aspect of our lives together, this is an arena where our affections are directed in very different directions.
These weekends have always been particularly hard on me for two reasons. First, because in my formative years, I built a strong allegiance to the Broncos and living vicariously through my team, I died many times in crushing Super Bowl defeats in the late eighties. Second, the Broncos have too often been on the short end of the stick in these weekends.
MDW's are pretty rough on me. They expose sin and idols in my heart in ways that other circumstances seldom do.
- There is idolatrous identification with a (piddly) sports team that dwarfs my identification with Christ
- There is too much pride in my heart when my team wins, and too much shame when they lose, because I fear what people will think of me.
- There is the sin of jealousy that resents the number of championships that the Patriots have one in the last 14 years since I got married. The Patriots have won 3 of 5. The Broncos have won 0 of 0.
- There is the sin of selective memory, because if you go back 16 years, the Broncos are 2 of 2 in Super Bowls.
When I am in the midst of a MDW, my sin is exposed, and it rises to the surface unlike anything else. The big question for me is: "Is MDW crucible or a cupel?"
You see, both a crucible and a cupel are ceramic dishes that can withstand the high heat of a furnace. But a cupel is a porous ceramic cup that will absorb the impurities in the material in the furnace, making the the material more pure.
If MDW is a cupel, then I am better for having gone through the weekend. If it is a crucible, then I have a lot of pain, and I am just as bad afterwards as before.
I wanted to avoid MDW, because it is painful for my heart. I don't like having to confront my sin, and have be ashamed. But, if MDW can be a cupel in my life to make me more pure and sanctified, then bring it on!!
I pray that this MDW will be a cupel. I pray that I will fight to see my sin when it is exposed, and I further pray that I will confess my sin that I see. Finally, I pray that by the grace of God I will repent of my sin, and that I will not return to it ever again.
Monday, January 13, 2014
- seeing if your child has a fever
- finding pets in the dark at night
- tracking wildlife like dear in a dark forest
- discovering potential assailant in dark parking lots at night.
- detecting heat loss in your home
Scary, I know.
How can a woman protect herself from such peril?
Ladies, protect yourself from lounge lizards. Buy yourself a FLIR One, today!
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Now, that certainly does not mean that the light from these various light sources are emanating his essence. The light of life is not coming to me from these various light sources. The first chapter of John's gospel says that John the Baptist came into the world to testify about the light, but he was not the light.
9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
So, the light of life brings true enlightenment to the soul with respect to one's sinful condition and the life found in the gospel. But since Jesus is not physically in this world, what is our light source that illumines the souls of men?
The Word of God that became flesh was the image given of Christ earlier in the first chapter of John's gospel, and therefore, I believe that the holy scriptures are the objective light source that is available to all who have the Bible. Therefore, it is to the benefit of all who possess the Bible to read the Word by faith to receive the light of life. 
And although I know that I should read the Bible every day (and in deed I do read the Bible every day), I find that my life is being crowded by the reading of so many other books – good books – even theological books. So, what is the relationship between these good theological books that are commanding so much of my time and the Word of Life and Light.
I believe that there is light in the books that are written by faithful men about the Christ of the Bible. It is not emitted light, in other words, it is not light generated by the author or the words of these books. Rather, what light that does come from these sources is reflected light.
It is the difference between the light from the sun and the light from the moon. The light from the moon is borrowed light, not its own light. The sun illuminates the surface of the moon and the moon reflects a fraction of that light to the earth. Therefore, the glorious beauty of the moon is put on display by the sun, and as such the moon should point us to the majesty of the sun.
And although the light has the same source, it is not as though the two objects have the same effect. When the sun is present in the sky, it drowns all others, while the moon, though dominant in the night sky, is transient in the magnitude of its light through its phases and there are other competing lights that can be seen quite easily.
More than that, the light of the sun feeds all life on the earth. Its light enables the nourishment of every plant. The moon, though reflecting the same light to the earth does not provide nearly enough light to support the life of those plants.
These days, I feel like the planet Jupiter. I am reading so many books, that I have seven moons in orbit,  and although I am feeling the light of the sun on a daily basis, the responsibilities of reading so many other books is sometimes eclipsing the profit and benefit that I could gain in reading the Bible and soaking in the light of Christ through prayer and meditation.
It is not as though the reading of these various books is necessarily filling my head with bad thoughts, but it is nearly impossible to to follow the line of thinking of each author, and take the time to trace the reflected rays back to their glorious source and meditate on the richness of the source. More than that to let those meditations mind voice in personal communication with God in prayer.
Instead, I feel that in keeping up on my reading on so many fronts I am like a plant that is carried inside after a half an hour in the sun. I am then brought back outside to try and survive on the reflected light of the moon. I am not saying that I should not read books other than the Bible. But I think that I should not read so many at one time if they are going to displace personal communion with God, Himself…
The Preacher in Ecclesiastes was right:
12 But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.
 John 8: 12
 If the Word of God is read without faith, it will give little light or life and thus there will be little fruit born in the person's life. Many are those who have read the Bible and the words had little or no effect.
 I am presently reading: Triumph over Temptation, Peacemaker, One Body-One Spirit, Money Possessions and Eternity, Pleasures of God, Spiritual Depression, William Tyndale Biography, …and the Bible and Valley of Vision.
Thursday, December 7, 2006
Biblical Life and Death Decisions
19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,
20 by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
If most people were asked to rate how hazardous their life is, they would probably feel that they live in a fairly safe environment. To be sure, we often take steps to put ourselves well out of harms way. For instance, you probably try to pick the safest neighborhood to raise your family. More than likely you do not participate in dangerous pastimes like base-jumping or cliff diving. Unless a military soldier or civil servant, you probably chose a career that doesn’t put you directly in harms’ way on a daily basis.
But the fact is that regardless of your career, or recreational activities, you are faced with several life and death decisions on a daily basis. And it might surprise you to realize that the reality of these life and death decisions is revealed in the Word of God.
Throughout the Bible life and death are set in juxtaposition to one another, and although the contrast is a common one in the Bible many people are completely unaware of the dangerous situations that they find themselves in every day. Thus in their ignorance, many people are constantly walking into deadly situations completely oblivious to the fact that they flirting with disaster, and are even killing themselves.
So, how does the Bible speak of these life and death situations?
Well, in Deuteronomy 31, God explicitly speaks of the fact that he sets before them a life and death decision. To hold to Him and to adhere to the stipulations set forth in the covenant would be life to them, and to break the covenant would be deadly to them and to their descendants. We will look more closely at this passage of scripture, but I mention it briefly to illustrate the how explicit the scriptures can be about such life and death decisions.
In many cases, we are faced with the prospect of choosing life or choosing death with regard to choices that we make every day. There are also many passages that refer to how a Christian must in fact die in order to obtain life, or said a different way: a Christian chooses life by choosing death.
Here is a list of such passages:
· Creation: Tree of life planted along side a tree that would bring death if eaten from.
· Moses put before Israel “life and death” when he charged them with keeping the commandments of the law
· How OT animal sacrifices foreshadowed Christ’s redemptive work that brings life
· Proverbs: life from the Lady Wisdom & the way of the harlot brings death
· Our life from Christ’s death
Unless a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone, but if it die, it bears much fruit
The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep (that they might live)
· “He who would lose his life in this world, will gain it in the next”
Baptised into Christ’s death, raised in the likeness of His resurrection
· The law brought death, but the Spirit brings life (Rom 7 & 8)
· Forfeiting Life through “Living” (1Tim 5: 5-6)
· Serial Killer
Holy life through killing sin
Putting to death the deeds of the flesh.
· Serial Suicide:
· Evangelism: A Matter of Life and Death
The goal of this study is to gain a better understanding of the various ways that life and death decisions are placed before us every day. Then having recognized the dividing marks for these life & death decisions, I desire to learn how to consistently make to choice for life rather than death.