Saturday, April 25, 2009

New Blog!

Hello! I just thought I would inform you that I have created a more personal blog just about my life! This way you can see what various things are going on with me rather than just my random Biblical thoughts. :) Thanks!


The Main Thing......

Some of you may have read my post about friends a couple days ago. If you haven’t I would encourage you to before reading this post simply because it is a sequel to that one in some ways.

Fact: No human being is omniscient

Fact: God is omniscient

Fact: We can’t see what will come in the future for us

Fact: God can

At times in life I think we can all agree that life just seems to hate us. Nothing goes right, everything falls apart, bad things happen. I seemed to have a day like that this week and I tried my hardest to keep myself in one piece. I prayed, read the Bible, mostly tried to stay sane. Yet, in the end I came through. It was that day that I “lost” one of my friends. But that you have already read about. The point of this post is to say that all things happen for the good. And truly, all things do happen for the good. I can say that even though I can’t really talk to that friend and such, I’ve reconnected with another one. This other friend, we used to be amazingly close. Then some various things happen and it tore us apart. But has strengthen that relationship in a mighty way this week. This brings a whole new meaning to, “You give and You take away...” God may have taken something away from me, but, who knows? Maybe if He hadn’t that other friendship would have stayed at the dull state that it was.

We have to look at life in the light of God’s eyes. We mustn’t stand by and pout, moan, groan and whine about how life is treating us so cruelly. This is sin. If you say this, you are saying that God doesn’t know what He’s doing. I have been saying that God doesn’t know what He’s doing in my life. There’s always a bigger picture.

If any of you have been to an art museum I think you would probably say that the thing that impressed you most was that in person the pictures are so much bigger! You see them online, in a book, wherever. But, as you walk into that gallery, you stammer back, your eyes go wide, the pictures are so much bigger. God created that gallery people, God created those pictures. All we can see is the little sample picture in the textbook. I can’t rely on the sample picture; I must rely on the real thing.

My most favorite Sermon by Pastor John Piper is called, “The Main Thing”. His theme for the sermon is about a song that one of his daughters was blasting in her room. It was a Christian song that at first made no sense to him. The chorus line went something like this, “The main thing, is to keep the main thing, the main thing.” Sounds a little absurd at first yes, but, what does that really mean? It’s really a profound statement if you think about it long enough.

The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing. What is the main thing? Is it our pretty little utopian lives? Is it our computers or books, is it friends and family? No. The main thing is God. The main thing is trusting in His everlasting love and grace. The main thing is knowing with a full heart that God loves me, that God knows what He’s doing and He’s not going to let me down. Once I’ve lost the main thing, I’ve lost it all. If this is the main thing, then, I’ve got make sure that this idea stays with me. I have got to keep the main thing, the main thing. My goal in life should be keeping the main thing, the main thing.

Life is so short, why do we spend our days idly complaining about our shirt being wrinkled, our coffee being too cold, our house too hot. What’s the point of life? It’s to glorify our heavenly Father. It says in
Psalm 39 – "O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah. Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather! "And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you. Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of the fool!

When life is so short, we must keep the main thing, the main thing......

Friday, April 24, 2009

She sits......

She sits, curled up as tight as she can in her overstuffed chair in the corner of her room. The room is dark. The only glimmer of hope is the shaft of moonlight pinpointing through her window as it caresses the carpeted floor. Her arms are wrapped around her body as if she were cold. A tear drops onto her sleeve. She ignores it starring out her window to the stars above. As she looks to her left there’s a bookcase, textbooks, closet, and bed. Her bed is untouched her closet door ajar. To her right she sees her bedroom door, and desk. Her desk chair neatly pushed against the desk and her laptop closed with the power light flashing every few seconds. Her door is closed and no light shows itself underneath.

She moves her left arm to her eyes using her sleeve to wipes the tears away. As she sits in complete silence all that goes through her head is, “Why?” Life seems perfect to her, she has all she wants, life should be perfect...

Her alarm clock comes into view as she reads the numbers, “3:28” she sighs, throws her head back on her chair and tries to fall asleep. As her eyes close she looks at her window once more and sees something coming towards her. She cries out in her mind, “No! Go away!” then bursts into tears. Through the window black figures enter her room surrounding her. They move as ghosts with ease and an evil nature. She screams inside, “God! Save me!” The creatures laugh and scoff, playing with her mind and emotions in such a way that she begins to tremble. Evil thoughts enter her head, their games are working. Her soul says, “Don’t do it... Don’t do it...” Her body says, “Come on... you’ll be fine, go ahead, listen to them, they know what their saying...”

She begins to crumble underneath the pressure, her emotions explode inside, and she starts to fall. As she begins to move her eyes stare once more pleadingly to her door. There’s a light. In a flash her room fills with light, the darkness retreats, the evil creatures scream as they flee, “No! Not Him! Run, run!” The evil is gone, her eyes become bright, she sees her Father. “Lord, thank you, thank you.” She blinks once and finds that the room is dark, and her Bible lay next to her. She sees a marker and opens to it.

Psalm 23. She whispers the words as they meet with her eyes, The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever...

She looks out her window once more, tears of happiness flowing from her once scared eyes. She closes her Bible and begins to pray. “Thank you Lord, thank you for saving me...” With utter peace and tranquility her eyes close once more, and peaceful sleep overtakes her entire being...

Thursday, April 23, 2009


There are those times in life when everything seems to go your way. Life is perfect... However, that time seems to staying clear of me. Have you ever felt that you had a friend who you knew you would still be friends with in 30 years? But then, in some way or other you lost that friend within the space of one day? If you have you probably know that “pain” that I am going through right now. The thing that tends to keep me going is that I know that friend isn’t gone forever. We will see each other again, and even though we won’t be able to talk till then or in the future, I still have that friend. It seems to me that when you get pulled apart from someone, it’s then that you actually get closer.

The thing that I must ask God in moments like this is, “God, what are you teaching me here?” I’ve learned something, I’ve learned something very important. What I have learned is this: I need to make sure that everything I say to each friend I have is God-honoring, comforting, encouraging, and kind. I cannot waste those precious moments with those amazing friends for, I never know if they will be the last. I have often wondered, have I truly touched the friends that I have. Have I been used by God to help them out? Or, have I wasted those moments with them? After loosing that friend of mine I found out that I had touched that person’s life. In a very positive, and Godly way. God has used me in a marvelous to. The thing I think we all must do is ask ourselves, “Are the things we show, and do to people affecting them positively, or negatively?” If you aren’t being the best friend you can to somebody, see what you can do, ask God what He wants of you. He’ll show you the way.

Psa 26:1 Of David. Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.
Psa 26:2 Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind.
Psa 26:3 For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.
Psa 26:4 I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites.
Psa 26:5 I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked.
Psa 26:6 I wash my hands in innocence and go around your altar, O LORD,
Psa 26:7 proclaiming thanksgiving aloud, and telling all your wondrous deeds.
Psa 26:8 O LORD, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells.
Psa 26:9 Do not sweep my soul away with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men,
Psa 26:10 in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes.
Psa 26:11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me.
Psa 26:12 My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the LORD.
Let this be our prayer, allow God to use you in glorious ways to further His Kingdom. We must trust in our God to use us in mighty ways, and know that no matter what happens, it’s all for a purpose. God knows what He’s doing, when it seems unfair, we must trust....

-your brother in Christ

Monday, April 13, 2009

Attributes of God Part Two......

Here we go now with part two about God’s awesome attributes! The topic this time? Omnipotence. I must say that this attributes seems to be the hardest to comprehend. I suppose after studying the Omniscience of God that that last sentence doesn’t make much sense. But it is how I feel. You may feel the same after reading what I’ve studied.

This is the little intro I use for my apologetics speech on this topic-
If you would, please think back to your childhood, what was the most powerful thing in the world at that time, or what super hero did you think was the greatest person ever. Now, compare him or her or it, to God, do they compare?

First of course we must define our terms! (Go debate!)Definition- omnipotence
Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary - Almighty; possessing unlimited power; all powerful. The being that can create worlds must be omnipotent.

Pretty amazing right? Mind boggling. Possessing unlimited power. Wow! I love the final sentence though, “The being that can create worlds must be omnipotent.” There is only one being that can create worlds, or, planets. That being is God. God is the only omnipotent being.

Wayne Grudem says in Systematic Theology - God’s omnipotence means that God is able to do all his holy will.
This quote can be a little confusing, (as most of Mr. Grudem’s words are, in a good way of course) but after a little searching let’s see if it’s really that complicated. I believe what he is saying is this, God is omniscient right? God’s also omnipotent. Therefore, since God has these attributes, plus others, God can do anything within His own will that He wants to. The struggle that seems to come up on this topic is that we say God is omnipotent, yet, He can’t sin right? He can do things against His will I don’t think I’ll be going into this much for it is really a complicated subject. But, if comments allow I can do so. You may have your ideas about it too, if so I would love to hear them! Back on track...

Jeremiah 32:17, “Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.”

“Nothing is too hard for you.”? What? Nothing at all? Wouldn’t that be nice? Just try to image if nothing was too hard. Memorizing music, lifting huge boulders, building houses. You could do anything! But, isn’t that the reason why we’re not omnipotent? What if we could do anything? We’d all be in SERIOUS trouble. Everyone would be doing everything they wanted to, this would interfere with other people, and then everyone would want to take out everyone else and would all be able to do it right? Doesn’t work out to hot does it?

Ephesians 3:21, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us”
God can do anything not only that we say, but that we simply think! This is where silent prayer can come into play. My mom can walk up to me and say, “Justin, empty the dishwasher.” So, I hear her say, I have the ability to do it, and so I do it. But, if I happened to be like God (which I’m not at all!) But just say I was for a second. Then, mom could come up to me, look at me and I could look at her and know that in her head she was saying, “Just, empty the dishwasher.” And I could do it. Actually, now I think of it if I was omnipotent, I could think and the dishwasher would open, and the dishes would hop out of it and put themselves on the shelves. Wow, that would be cool. But once again, this shows how badly humans would use that ability. We’d all be lazy. Only God can properly use the “power” of omnipotence.

Why is omnipotence important?
Without some power over us we would be without a controller of the universe and our lives.
Again from Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology - “It is appropriate to realize that he has made us in such a way that we show in our lives some faint reflection of them [God’s attributes]. God has made us as creatures with a will. We exercise choice and make real decisions regarding the events of our lives.

Our God has no limits to his power.
Matthew 3:9, “And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father,' for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.”

Pretty amazing I think. “God is able from these stones to raise up children...” Wow. We need a limit in our lives. If everyone were to be “superheroes” than all the world would be is one big battle. There would be no need for any jobs or work. No one would need anyone else as friends or someone a help to them.
Job 13:27 “You put my feet in the stocks and watch all my paths; you set a limit for the soles of my feet.”

Just for us, God has allowed us to be controlled by His holy will. Yet another thing I can thank Him for every single day.

Charles Wesley once wrote a hymn and named it, “Omnipotent Lord, My Savior and King”
Here are just a few of the words,
“Omnipotent Lord, my Savior and King, Thy succor afford, Thy righteousness bring; Thy promises bind Thee compassion to have, Now, let me find Thee almighty to save.
Rejoicing in hope, and patient in grief, To Thee I look up for certain relief; I fear no denial, no danger I fear, Nor start from the trial, while Jesus is near. On Jesus, my power, till then I rely, All evil before His presence shall fly; When I have my Savior, my sin shall depart And Jesus for ever shall reign in my heart.”

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Thanks for reading.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Attributes of God Part One......

As some of you may know I am in the NCFCA Speech and Debate club. I am very happy that I’ll be doing debate next year too. I am in the speech event known as Biblical Apologetics, or, Impromptu Apologetics. In this category I take 100 questions about God and must write a 6 minute speech on that topic. From the Virgin Birth to the Fall of Man. I would like to take the next few posts to discuss the attributes of God. Meaning, who is God? What can He do? I’ll take the outline to some of the speeches I have written as a jump start to our discussion. I would love to see us talking about the ideas I bring up, and discussing God further in depth! So.... with all that said let’s dive into the Omniscience of God...

Have you ever wished that you knew everything? Or that you could be able to see into the future and know what is coming? When I was younger I used to play that I was the “all knowing hero”, and could see into the future and find out when I would be attacked by the enemy. However, there is only one being like this. That being, is God. Nothing is hidden from the eyes of the Lord; God is omniscient, all knowing.

The first logical question of course would be this. What does “omniscience” mean?
Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines this word as follows- “The quality of knowing all things at once; universal knowledge; knowledge unbounded or infinite. Omniscience is an attribute peculiar to God.”

In Wayne Grudem’s book Systematic Theology he defines omniscience as, “God fully knows himself and all things actual and possible in one simple and eternal act.”
What does this mean? Look at the first statement. What do you think is the most complex being you have ever heard about. That actually exists that is. I would certainly say God. God is so incredibly complex that I can’t wrap my mind around even the beginning of God’s divine nature. Well, Mr. Grudem says, “God fully knows Himself...” Wow, really? God knows Himself completely? I don’t even know myself completely, and God is millions of times bigger than I’ll ever be! Isn’t that amazing? God fully knows the greatest being in the universe. Himself. He goes on to say, “...and all things actual and possible in one simple and eternal act.” As best as I can see it this means that God not only knows Himself completely, BUT, He knows everything completely! He knows ever, “Actual and possible...” All I can say is wow.

One of my most favorite quotes is by J.I. Packer. He said this in his book Concise Theology, “He (God) knows everything about everything and everybody all the time. Also, He knows the future no less than the past and the present, and possible events that never happen no less than the actual events that do.
A little confused? I was to the first time I read it. Just read it again, maybe twice more before you read on.

Now that that’s done let’s look at this quote from the beginning. “He knows everything about everything and everybody all the time.” That’s enough for my brain to handle. :-) What does this mean? It simply means that God knows everything. It’s really rather self-explanatory. God knows everything, all there is to know, about everything! Not only this though, He knows everything, about “everybody”, meaning, every person on the earth. And, He knows it all, 24/7! I don’t know about you but that’s really hard for me to comprehend. Just try to begin to imagine what it would be like if you knew everything there was to know. About music, science, the Bible, imagine knowing how to speak every language in the world, or, be able to play every instrument, or run every plane and rocket. It’s really quite unimaginable.

Continuing on, “Also, He knows the future no less than the past and the present,...” Let’s stop there. This means that God knows what’s going to happen tomorrow, like, every second, not like, “Oh... I know I’m gonna have friends over tomorrow.” But, like, He knows that say, I’ll wake up at 7:01 with a sore throat. And Jimmy will wake up in England at 6:59 with a snake in his boot. That kind of thing. Only, for the entire population of the world. That’s just hard for me to comprehend. So, He knows the future just as well as He does the past. I mean, I can’t even remember everything I did yesterday! Or the day before! But God? Man, He knows it all, every single little detail. He knows that I’m sitting here, writing this at 9:20 just as well as I do. So, I know the present. But the past and future are still mist.

Finally, “...and the possible events that never happen no less than the actual events that do.” This is my absolute most favorite part of the quote! I like words, I like tricky sentences, I’m just that type of guy. But this sentence is so amazing. I believe it means this- God knows anything that could have happened. So like... some of my friends can’t come to my birthday party tomorrow, that is something that COULD have happened. God knows all that “could haves” in life, just as well as He knows all the “actuals”. That’s the second half of the sentence, “ less than the ACTUAL events that do. Just sit for a moment and think about that if you will. We’ve already discovered that God knows everything and everything and everybody all the time. But not only that He knows everything that might have happened, just as clearly as everything that has happened! That’s awesome, that’s truly awesome.

Now for the most important question, why is omniscience important, and what does it have to do with us?
Well, simply put, if God were not omniscient, we could not live. We need someone to guide us, God sees our every move and has predetermined everything that will happen in our lives. If we didn’t have someone to guide us, we’d be in serious trouble.

Proverbs 15:3, “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.”

Jeremiah 16:17, “For my eyes are on all their ways. They are not hidden from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes.”
In essence the Lord watches everything that has happened, is happening, or will happen, he controls our every move and allows us to receive His blessings and trials.

What does this have to do with us?
J.I. Packer says this, “God’s knowledge is linked with His sovereignty: He knows each thing, both in itself and in relation to all other things, because He created it, sustains it, and now makes it function every moment according to His plan for it. To the Christian believer, knowledge of God’s omniscience brings the assurance that he has not been forgotten, but is being cared for according to God’s promise.”

Does that make sense? What Packer is saying here is that yes, God created the world, and yes, God knows everything. But not only that, since God is omniscient, we, (us Christians that is) can know for certain that God knows all that’s happened. We don’t have to sit in a dark room, and worry away the days, because there is someone who is controlling it all.

I’d like to end with these thoughts from Ephesians 1:11-14
“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”

Please tell me what you think, and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

God's Grace......

Because of how many comments were made on my last post, I have made this next one more like an outline. A starting point for a little discussion I suppose you could say. And I do hope that some discussion with begin. If you see any flaws in what I have said, or, if you want to add anything, please, go ahead and do so!

What is grace?

According to the Twentieth Century Dictionary, “Grace is the free unmerited love and favor of God.” and “a dispensation, privilege, or pardon granted not in right but by favor.”
Our salvation from sin and our hope of eternal life is due, and only due, to the wonderful saving grace of God.

Dr. Jerry Bridges in his book, “The Discipline of Grace”, says that: “Grace is God’s unmerited favor to those who deserve only His wrath.”
From this we see that grace is a gift—an extraordinarily special gift that comes in the form of a pardon, privilege, or dispensation—a gift given to an offending and guilty party. But what does it have to do with you and me?

Why do we need God’s grace? There are three reasons why. And they all have to do with “sin”.

The universality of sin-
Psalm 14:3 “They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.”
Ecclesiastes 7:20 “Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.”
See? It clearly states that sin is universal. There is no one that does good! For me that’s a really scary thought. I know, that I could never do good, if it weren’t for God, and His saving grace.

Seriousness of sin-
Hebrews 10:27 “But a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.”

Habakkuk 1:13 “Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness with favor.”
Obviously sin is not something to be trifled with. It is serious. For, with sin we can die and live in eternal fire.
Man’s inability to deal with sin.

Proverbs 20:9 “Who can say, ‘I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin’?”
Here, once again, it is clearly stated in a question. Who can say these things? The answer, of course, is insinuated, the answer is, “No one.”

We are all in desperate need of God’s forgiveness and grace. But what can we do? The answer is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has already purchased the forgiveness of our sins. In an action of “unmerited favor towards those who deserve God’s wrath” (which is the definition of grace) Christ laid down His life for us: As Romans 6:23 tells us: “The wages of sin is death.”
And so, as Isaiah 53:5 states so beautifully and powerfully, “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” And all we must do is to accept the sacrifice Jesus made for us—and we will be saved.
Ephesians 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

God’s grace is the only reason I can be writing this right now, to you, as a brother in Christ. In fact our every thought, our every word, and our every breath, can be attributed to nothing else but the unmerited love and favor of an all-powerful God.
We deserved God’s wrath because of our sins. Yet, in His mercy, He sent His Son to die for us. God extended His unmerited favor to you. God extended His unmerited favor to me. We have only to reach out and take it. By God’s grace I have done so. And—as one who has experienced the real freedom and joy that comes with excepting God’s gift of grace my encouragement to you is: “don’t wait.”