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Psalm 37 - Do not fret because of those who are evil

Psalm 37

Of David.

Do not fret because of those who are evil
    or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
    like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
    do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
    but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
    though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land
    and enjoy peace and prosperity.

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 13:50 -- john_hendryx

The 50 Best Christian Books of 2014

Overall, 2014 was a pretty decent year for Christian books. Keep in mind that we are limited in our ability to read the many books published this year which means there were a significant number of books we did not read or have a chance to even glance at, so if your book is not listed here, do not be discouraged. ... These are not necessarily in any particular order.

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 09:34 -- john_hendryx

Don't Make a Savior of Your Morality

To utterly despair of oneself is infinitely more difficult for a man than to invent some kind of good works.generated self-salvation project. Human beings irresistibly gravitate toward a works or karma-based system because it gives man the false hope that his redemption is within his own reach. But a salvation that is all of grace, a gift earned by Someone else, is so utterly offensive to human nature, so humbling to our pride, that only a supernatural work of grace will bring a person to yield to it.

Contrary to popular and cultural concepts of God, the Bible declares that trusting (even partly) in our goodness, merit or works for salvation is one of the the greatest causes of man's damnation. Instead the Bible teaches that God came into the world as a flesh human being to satisfy the righteous requirements of the law and absorb the penalty we deserve for sin on Himself in order to redeem all who, by the grace of God, come to Jesus Christ in faith. And when Jesus died on the cross he actually nailed the ordinances of the law that stood against us to the cross; in the second chapter of Colossians we read that he blotted them out (Colossians 2:14). Yes Jesus actually fulfilled the law and satisfied the penalty of sin from our side. He didn't come to destroy the law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). This means he did for us what we were unable to do for ourselves. We can do nothing to achieve salvation or add to His work (partly or fully).

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 14:09 -- john_hendryx

Everyone Has A Worldview…What’s Yours? (Video / Quiz)

Does God Exist? How Did Everything Begin? Who Am I? Why Am I Here? What Happens After I Die? Cabbages and puppies don’t think about this stuff…but people do. Reflecting on the big questions in life is part of what makes us human. Everyone Has A Worldview…What’s Yours? Take the Quiz at www.impact360.org/worldviewquiz

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 17:12 -- john_hendryx

Cultural Exile

As for our slide into cultural exile, among other reasons, perhaps we should consider that a great deal of it is self-induced. The church's downward spiral in doctrinal (biblical) and moral integrity seems to be one of the main culprits. If we believe in the sovereignty of God then there is certainly good reason He has placed us in the current situation we find ourselves in. So we should consider not looking so much "out there" as the cause of our problems but rather begin to look in the mirror. Our restoration from exile may not come from putting out all the socio-political fires around us but rather come on the condition of our corporate repentance (Lev 26:40-42; Deut 30:1-10; Jer 29:13). Perhaps not a popular sentiment but worth considering. Then again, God shaking up the church may not ultimately be such a bad thing. He has often taken a bad historical situation and made it into a good one. The gospel many times has flourished even in the most unlikely social and political conditions.

Related Essay
What Exile Means

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 18:25 -- john_hendryx

Corporate Excommunication

The excommunication of an individual in your local church should never be done easily or lightly, but sometimes it needs to be done for the love and purity of the church. Done rightly and carefully it exposes false teaching and unrepentant immorality and may have the blessed function of being the means of repentance, reconciliation and the bringing of brothers back into the fold.

This has got me to thinking ...due to the doctrinal chaos, immorality and outright rebellion now obvious in evangelicalism, I have thought about whether excommunication could be done on a corporate scale... that is, the excommunication of a church, group of churches of or a ministry. This would have to be done on a scale sufficient enough for everyone to take notice. And even if such an excommunication is not recognized by those excommunicated, it would have the blessed effect of making clear delineation between truth and error, life and death. I know that creeds and confessions served this purpose in the early church and after the Reformation but it seems, if evangelicalism is to have any future, that something like this needs to take place soon. Again it must be done with the utmost care and much be done with pain and difficulty, but that should not stop us for something so important as this. In this day and age, even among those who are theologically conservative, it would probably take a miracle to even agree among ourselves, but if we submitted ourselves to prayer, that miracle just might take place.

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 13:24 -- john_hendryx

Why I Am a Calvinist By Brandon Lucas (Guest Post)

Introduction

Almost a decade ago I was involved in a titanic spiritual battle between two opposing theological views. I could feel the once rock solid doctrines of free will slipping through my fingers like fine sand. I begged and beseeched the Lord to deliver me from the relentless reasonings and scriptural bombshells ripping the house I had built on the shifting dunes of man-centered doctrines. My pride and self-respect were on the line.

See, for the first decade of my born-again life I embraced a form of Arminianism that many call Semi-Pelagianism. Simply put, I believed that man's free will is the deciding factor in salvation. Calvinism, which is the belief that God is sovereign over all things, including man's salvation, had recently started making sense to me and I was drawn to it. (While at the same time being repulsed by it).

Calvinism was a dirty word in my old church. I considered it to be on equal footing with cultic beliefs.

I used to say such things as:

"Calvinism is a doctrine of demons!"

Or worse yet:

"If God is like how the Calvinists describe him, I would never serve such a cruel, heartless dictator who arbitrarily chooses who will and will not be saved!"

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 17:46 -- john_hendryx

"Intolerant views should be eliminated."

Post: "Intolerant views should be eliminated."

Response: I saw this statement yesterday in the comments of some news about a Christian... and no doubt we all increasingly see these kind of statements frequently posted around the Internet. Infact, these are the kind of statements where I have seen people receive hundreds of "likes" on progressive-leaning news websites like Huffington Post, especially when they are talking about the views of theologically conservative Christians. It really appears that the persons who make such declarations, and their followers, fail to see the sheer irony in these statements. For to "eliminate" a view is somehow to believe that certain views are so unworthy of public discourse that such person(s) should not have the freedom of conscience to hold such views or speak about them publicly to anyone else. Now, if I understand tolerance correctly, all Christians I know of firmly believe in freedom of conscience. That is, they will disagree wholeheartedly with a false view of the world, but they allow for others the freedom of conscience to hold such bad ideas. Faith is a supernatural work of God in the heart and not something that can be coerced by the sword.  But the new kind of so-called "tolerance" appears to embrace an a kind of "enforced tolerance" ethic which is obviously so muddled in self-contradiction that it should not even bear mentioning. But the new believers of such views seem to sit comfortably within their self-contradiction. It does not seem to bother them that their position defies all reason or logic, even when plainly pointed out.

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 16:21 -- john_hendryx

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