Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Sin of Knowledge...

I was given a book sometime back entitled, "Our Oneness with Christ - A Study in Living by Grace Through Faith" written by David Kuykendall.  Allow me to share some direct quotes concerning our sin addiction.

"The New Testament uses three terms to describe our sin problem:  'sin,' 'old man' and 'flesh.'  The Old Testament, in the second and third chapters of Genesis, uses yet a fourth term, 'the knowledge of good and evil.'" (p29)

"These verses (Genesis 3) show conclusively that it was 'the knowledge of good and evil' with which Adam infected himself--and us. Notice especially the reason Adam and Eve were sent from the garden.  They were now as God, 'to know good and evil' (Genesis 3:22)." (p30)

"Just as surely as we have two eyes and ten fingers because we are in the race of Adam, we have an attitude of omniscience for the same reason.  Take heed!  Our know-it-all attitude is not content to function quietly and only for the individual in whom it abides.  It roams far and wide.  It knows no limitations.  It moves in all directions, whether horizontal or vertical.  It passes judgment on and makes decisions for anybody and everybody--even the Lord God.  For example, more than one serious problem of fellowship has developed in one of the Lord's churches because one or more members insisted that their point of view was the correct one.  Most everyone who has been involved in the Lord's work for only a few years has experienced the grief and strife among the people of the Lord that the know-it-all attitude has created." (p32)

"What, then, is our flesh? Our flesh is our know-it-all attitude, which is the deepest form of self-confidence.  When we live 'in the flesh,' we trust ourselves." (p33)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Grace River Core Values

These are the seven core values that Tina and I identified at the Church Planter's Retreat we attended back some time ago.  I've been wanting to do a series of blog posts discussing them and I think that I'm ready to get started on that.  I'll just list them today without comment and then take each one apart over the next several weeks and discuss them at length.

 I'll remind you first of our vision at Grace River:  ". . . a safe place where anyone can come as they are and find hope and healing for their hurts, habits, and hangups."

Grace River Core Values:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Things That Irritate Me: #1

My youngest son plays centerfield for the Windsor Wizards "C" Team.  We arrived at the Berthoud High School field this afternoon only to be charged $5 each for the priviledge of watching our Freshman team play baseball.  That's Me ($5), Tina ($5), and Jaren ($4 student rate) for a grand total of $14.  The irony is that we are currently selling Rockies tickets for $5 a pop.  Hmmm....Colorado Rockies for $5....High School "C" Team for $5.  That irritates me!

Monday, April 12, 2010

How to Laugh with God

The laughter of God is mentioned four times in the scriptures: Psalm 2:4; Psalm 37:13; Psalm 59:8; and Proverbs 1:26. In each instance, the laughter of God is prompted by the foolishness of man. In other words, God is greatly amused by our attempts to live our lives independently of his care and counsel. It's as if he asks while suppressing the overwhelming urge to laugh, "so how's that independence working out for you?" I'm not one to enjoy being laughed at and so Psalm 2 prompted me to ask the question, "How can I laugh WITH God?" I believe that the answer is included in the Psalm.

The first three verses describe the rage of the nations--the plotting conspiracy of the world's peoples to break free from the governance of God. It's futile, of course which is what prompts the laughter of God. "He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them" (Psalm 2:4). Literally, God makes fun of those who attempt to live without him--He ridicules them. "Them" is "me" every time that I choose "my way" over "God's way". So how do we "laugh with God"? I believe that Psalm 2 lists seven ways to laugh with God. It has everything to do with joining God in His work rather than fighting the purposes of God. Rather than insisting on our independence we need to rest under His Lordship.

Psalm 2 is a "messianic psalm"--being both descriptive and prophetic of Christ. As joint-heirs with Christ who will share in His inheritance it seems reasonable to make the personal application of verses 8-12. With that in mind, here is how to laugh with God:

#1--"Ask of me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession" (Psalm 2:8). I think God laughs with us when we pray for faith-expanding, miracle-requiring movements of God. We should ask for the nations. We should pray to possess the ends of the earth. This parallels the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20.

#2--"Now therefore, O kings, show discernment" (Psalm 2:10). If kings need wisdom--then we need wisdom. According to James, we should ask for wisdom that God loves to give generously.

#3--"Take warning, O judges of the earth" (Psalm 2:10). The really smart people (judges) need instruction. If that's the case--then I really need instruction. The real trick then is the obedience needed to do what I know to do (Romans 7). I laugh with God when I do what He declares to be best.

#4--"Worship the Lord with reverence" (Psalm 2:11). Literally: "serve the Lord with fear".

#5--"And rejoice with trembling" (Psalm 2:11). Be so excited and filled with joy that you tremble. I had a dog once who would tremble every time that we went to the park. He LOVED the park.

#6--"Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled" (Psalm 2:12). Literally, we are to "kiss" the Son. We are to draw intimately close to Him.

#7--"How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!" (Psalm 2:12). The next time you are in trouble, be talked about, or are just plain stuck--run to Jesus!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Something to Say...

Allow me to direct you to a blog that I read today that makes a lot of sense...

Let me know what you think...

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Trust in the Lord and do good...

"Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart's desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence as clear as the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act" (Psalm 37:3-7).
To trust in the Lord is to boldly and confidently take security in the care of God. Trust is the absence of fear. The feeling of trust and safety allows us to "do good"--to bear good fruit like a good tree planted in good soil. The good things that we might do are the good things that God is already doing. We simply join Him in His good work. We live the Lord's Prayer where it says, "Thy kingdom come...Thy will be done...on earth...even as it is done in Heaven". We do good by doing the good that God is doing already in the Heavenly Kingdom. Trust God...and do the good kinds of things that God is doing!

And then look at the promises:
  • "You will live safely in the land and prosper".
  • "He will give you your heart's desires".
  • "He will help you".
  • "He will make your innocence as clear as the dawn".
  • "The justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun".

 So, who or what are you trusting today? Why not let it be God?

 "All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter at Grace River...

Grace River celebrated our first Easter together with 143 worshippers and several decisions for Christ!  We'll be four months old next Tuesday!  The atmosphere was filled with excitement and expectation as we worshipped our risen Lord!  We had quite a few first-time guests and lots of family.  This was our highest attendance so far.  There were lots of people who made today successful--too many to mention.  I'll post some pictures soon.