Tuesday, September 13, 2011

To This You Were Called

Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
1 Peter 3:9

Confession and Petition

Holy Lord, I have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find Thy mind in Thy Word, of neglect to seek Thee in my daily life. My transgressions and short-comings present me with a list of accusations, but I bless Thee that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ. Go on to subdue my corruptions, and grant me grace to live above them. Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring my spirit into subjection, but do Thou rule over me in liberty and power.

Monday, September 12, 2011

All Things for Good

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5 

Be Constant in Prayer

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:12

Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep

First, there are no guarantees. Life is funny that way.

Second, I don't think you should be stressed out about keeping your husband out of sin. On the other hand, you would be his helpmeet to help him walk with God and not be a hindrance. This does not mean checking on him all the time, it means making his home a place where he wants to go and be.

Third, this can only come about by your walking with God. It is not burdensome (1 Jn. 5:3), it is a joy to be who God made you to be. Your being a lovely woman of God will help your husband to also walk with God. When you read 1 Peter 3 and see what a women is supposed to do with a husband who is not walking with God, the word is essentially, “stop trying to change him and just walk with God.”

Fourth, your husband's sin is his sin. It is not related to you in the sense that if you are pregnant and not as endearing as that twenty-year-old at the market, it is not because of your appearance that he strays, it is because of his mind and heart. If a man sins in a lustful way, it is not because his wife is ugly; it is because he is not satisfied with what God has given him. It is his sin, not her "shortcomings."

Fifth, just because a man enjoys looking at a beautiful woman does not mean that he is lusting after her. He may simply be enjoying God's creation. This does happen. There is much more going on than simply lust, want of ownership and desire to have sex. Sometimes, a guy can enjoy a beautiful woman in the same way he enjoys a beautiful sunset. God made them both and they are beautiful.

Finally, you may need to face the fact that you may not always be a physically beautiful woman. You may, I'm not saying that you won't. It’s just that the way the world works is that things, over time, sag. When a woman has children, their bodies do change. Sometimes they can't get that girlish figure back no matter what they do. The solution is to read your Bible and realize that physical beauty is not all that there is to real beauty. As the saying goes, beauty is only skin deep. But godliness is real beauty and is what you should be striving after. It is that kind of beauty that will be most attractive in the long term, especially to a godly man.

In making your home a joy for your husband to come home to, you should be concerned with the fruit of the Spirit, not the upholstery and the hangings. These things matter, but I would much rather come home to a cluttered home that is full of warmth and hugs than a home that is spic and span clean, but has no joy (those are not the only options). It is the same with you. It is good that you are beautiful, don't stop working on that, but if that isn't accompanied by a deep abiding godliness, things will fall all apart when you begin to show your age.

Just Stop It

The way the Bible views sin and the way the world views addictions is very different.  Repeated sin is just that repeated sin. It may be a habit, but it doesn't absolutely cause a person to do what he does. A habit is just a decision we make quicker. Pornography is no different. It scratches an itch for men and women. It fills a void in their lives. It gives something they aren't getting anywhere else. It is all false, idolatrous, sinful, shortsighted, and temporary, but it is not an addiction in the sense that the world thinks of addiction.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Break Up Without Being Devastated

Might I make an observation? It is virtually impossible to learn to be a good wife or Christian by participating in the dating world. That system prepares people for divorce not marriage. The only thing you really learn by dating is how to break up without being totally devastated. And this in turn makes marriage very difficult because you are learning to not give yourself totally. You can’t afford to give yourself in a dating situation if you might break up in a week, a month, or even a year. And this inability to give yourself will keep you from being real enough to actually get married. It taints every relationship, even your relationship with Christ. You have to always be on guard, to guard your heart from the chance of the pain of rejection, or even the pain of needing to do the rejecting.

The Right Lens

Hi George,

Your letter seems to be a little bit inward and self oriented. It is true that we need to examine ourselves, but we need to do it only after we’ve been examining the gracious, loving, and joyous God we serve. It is only then that we get an accurate picture of ourselves. His lens is very different from ours. He sees us through Christ and that is reality, not what we see when we look at ourselves without the right lenses on.

If we get things turned around, we become bound up, tied in a know, and joyless. We only see the terrible state we are in and only hope that God can do something with this useless piece of pot. But when we are able to take our eyes off of ourselves long enough to look into his glorious face and feel his pleasure, then when we look back at ourselves we more able to see Christ in us. Sure, we’re worthless, but we’re in Christ and he’s not worthless. That makes all the difference.

I hope this helps.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Fervent in Spirit

...not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;...
Romans 12:11

One of the Liveliest Places On Earth

Now this has direct implications for preaching and teaching. Those who are ministers of the Word must never consent to handle that Word in a truncated or wooden fashion. This conservative and safe fashion in preaching is neither conservative nor safe. A preacher must never behave as though he were an engineer trying to write a phone book. God speaks the eternal Word of God, our Lord Jesus. He created the universe through Him. The universe is God speaking, and this is how the universe declares His glory—the heavens and earth speak through being spoken. The pulpit should be one of the liveliest places on earth, because in it, words are imitating the Word. This should never be done for the sake of mere entertainment; it is to be done in obedience.
Douglas Wilson, The High Church Puritan

'In' Small But Important

Dear Mike,

I would also like to ask you what you think about remarrying the same man.

By the way, the man who believes that everybody will be saved in Christ often quotes the following passages: 1 Cor. 15:22, 1Tm 4:10, Col:1:20, Ef.1:10.


Hi Betty,

Deut. 24:1-4 says that a woman may not remarry her husband after he has married someone in between her first marriage and what would be the second with the same man. This probably had economic basis, but the fact remains that the Bible says that someone may remarry the same person, but only if there hasn't been a marriage in between the first and second marriage.

Friday, September 02, 2011

An Emotional Conclusion

Dear Mike,

Thank you for your answer very much! It was good to read it and it helped
me a lot.

Well, it is difficult for me to understand their beliefs - they believe that there
is hell but it is not a place of eternal torment. After some time everybody who
is there will be released and saved.


Hi again Betty,

Yes, that isn't Christian. It could be that they are simply immature and don't know what is going on. They need to hear the Gospel and believe in it. But I wouldn't let them join the church until they think through that simple but very important doctrine.

Universalism Does Not Save

Dear Mike,

I would like to ask you who can become a member of a church.

A married couple (baptized) with two children went to a church for three years. Then they finally decided to become members of this church. Yet, the church said they could not join them because of their religious beliefs (universalism) and they did not like the man's testimony - the man could not say that there had been one particular moment in his life when he was born again.

Betty from Boston

Hi Betty,

I would not have a problem with someone wanting to join the church if they could not pinpoint when they were saved. Many people can't name the day. It similar to knowing when the sun came up. You don't need to know when it came up to know that it came up. So someone who could not identify the exact moment of their salvation would not be a problem for me.

I would want to do a lot of questioning about that universalism thing, however. If by "universalism" they mean that they believe that God will save all mankind in Christ and they mean that they are standing on the promises of God in 1 Jn. 4:14 and other similar passages, I wouldn't have trouble with them joining.

O God, My God

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
Psalm 43:3-4

No One Owns Anything

Under communism, as Marx envisioned it, everyone labors together for the common good and everyone owns everything. The problem, of course, is that when everyone owns everything, no one owns anything.
R. C. Sproul, The Consequences of Ideas p. 142.

They Only Smell Skunk

One of the ways to check our motives in following God is to ask ourselves, what am I getting out of it? The Bible assumes that people are going to want to be blessed, just look at the beatitudes. "If you want to be first," Jesus said (Mk. 9:35). "If you want to be great," Jesus said (Mt. 5:19). The assumption is that people desire things for themselves and they want to be someone great.

If the answer to the question is I want to be great, because I want to be great. Or I want to be great because I'm the center of the universe, then you're going to have trouble with God. He wants to be first, biggest, and best. He is God and won't share that glory with another.

Thursday, September 01, 2011


When darkness reigned and dimmed the sky,
The stars knew not their seats on high.
The Sun had yet to spill her grace
On Earth’s broad span, the shadowed-place.
Then one light flashed and filled the gap,
And Darkness fled to dens unmap’d.
The Fauns and Satyrs found their way
From holes deep hid’, and hailed the day.
The winged-ones came from winds-retreat,
They sang delight at Dark’s defeat.
The gods ascended to great Mount Ida;
And sphinxes dwelt in south Al Minya.
The Kings arose and reigned with might;
The people passed the period of Night.
Mankind grew strong, and cared for life;
When Time decreed, they captured Strife
And did not let him loose again,
Till man-kind lost what might have been.
By Rachel Lawyer
An assignment to write a poem in the style of Beowulf