Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Where to find Joy

Many people chase after joy their whole lives, few find it. The ones who do find it, find it in Jesus. Many people think they've found joy but what they've found is not joy but a false happiness. You find false happiness in material objects, the happiness lasts a little while but then it vanishes, leaving you empty again. The only place to find true joy is in Jesus, in any other place it is false. False happiness looks like joy until you get it, then you realize it is false. Sometimes people refer to the wrong kind of joy as the American dream. The American dream is a myth, no one has ever found true joy in living the American dream. They think they've found it because our culture has persuaded them into thinking that material objects will make them happy, but they never do. This does not mean they we cannot enjoy the many gifts that God gives us, such as family, friends ,a beautiful day, etc. We do find joy in these gifts, but should these gifts and benefits go away, our ultimate joy should still be in the giver, Jesus.

Where are you finding your joy today?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Chapter four, What Jesus Demands from the World, by John Piper

We are helpless and our attempts to save ourselves are feeble, so who do we look to for salvation? John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that whosoever believe in him will not perish but have eternal life. This is the answer, Jesus is the one we look to, he demands us to believe in him so that we may have eternal life. We are in a very dangerous situation, but most people don't see this, they are blinded. Naturally they don't see the need to believe in him because they don't see the need to be saved. When we sin we are in complete rebellion against God, he is angered by this, and his wrath would be thrust upon us, but Jesus took all our sins upon himself. He bore God's wrath that was rightfully against us. Jesus demands that we believe in him because we cannot do anything to help him save us.

Believing in Jesus not only means believing that he can save us, it means that we must understand that he rose again. Believing in the physical things that he did are just as important as believing that he can save us. Also we must trust him, for it is not believing about him only that matters, it is also trusting in him.

Besides giving us eternal life he also gives us living water to drink so that we may never be thirsty again. But it is not a physical thirst that shall be quenched, it is water that will quench the soul. Jesus is this water and we must trust him that he will save us.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Where is your faith?

Psalm 119:90- Your faithfulness endures to all generations, you have established the earth and it stands fast. This means that Gods faithfulness lasts beyond us. But it doesn't mean that God has faith in us, we are sinful, so why would He need to have faith in us? It means that he is never going to let us go, that he is going to hold us forever and stay by us to the end. (Luke 8:24-28) The disciples went and woke him, saying ''Master, Master, we're going to drown! He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; they subsided, and all was calm. ''Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another ''Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water and they obey him. When Jesus asked where their faith was, was he discerning that they had misplaced faith? Was it that all their faith was in external circumstances, such as, the seaworthiness of their vessel? If their faith was in Jesus they would have nothing to be afraid of, right? When I start to worry or feel anxious, you can bet it is because I have been placing my faith in the wrong things. When I turn my eyes back to my savior, I can rest in my circumstances because He is in control. Whatever happens, good or bad, is ultimately for my good and his glory. I can have faith in the one who is faithful.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Praise him for everything!

God is not a genie in a lamp that we can use for our purposes, he is a divine God who should be treated with all respect. I tend to pray only when I'm in trouble or when I want something and I ask myself do I thank God enough for what he has given me, or am I so distracted with what I need or want. God doesn't just want us to come to him with our needs he also wants our praise. But don't give him praise just for something you wanted, praise him for everything!

Do you have any praises to bring to God?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Chapter three, What Jesus Demands from the World, by John Piper

Jesus' third demand is that we come to him. When a person is born again he /she starts to view Jesus as the center of there lives , instead of other pleasures that the world offers. But a lot of people view Christianity as just another religion with a lot of rules to bear as a burden. No, Jesus didn't come to bestow a heavier burden on us , he came to lift the burden of sin off of us. Jesus doesn't give us burdens that will crush us he gives us tasks that we can handle, so that we may gain strength in our faith. Once a person experiences the change within Jesus gives us greater and greater tasks as we grow in our faith and we don't have to bear the burden of sin because he has lifted it by giving his life for us and in return we must be willing to lose our life for him. He demands us to come to him so that he may lift our burdens and replace them with a lighter load. But the lighter load that is given to us is not a physically light load, I mean, he doesn't give us health, wealth and no persecution, although sometimes he gives us these as blessings. Jesus said that the way to eternal life is hard and narrow and that you will go through tribulation. Christians want enjoy him but this world is a hard place to do that.

Jesus said that he longs for the day when he could gather his children like a hen gathers her brood but they were not willing. He weeps for those who do not come and grieves for those who do not accept his offer of eternal life.His offer is for all , yet some do not come. Piper states ''in other words people do not want to come. some call this the choice of free will Jesus would probably say it is the choice of a will enslaved to sin.'' If we are spiritually dead how do we come? John 6:44 '' no one can come to me unless the father who sent me draws him."

What are some ways you are enjoying Jesus in your life?
Do you ever struggle in enjoying the world, so that it is hard to enjoy Jesus?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Did Jesus 'do Hard things?'

''I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me''(phil 4:13). This is an encouraging verse, it's telling us that nothing is impossible for our creator no matter how hard. If we follow Jesus' example we will notice that he did 'hard things' in fact he did the hardest thing of all, he paid for our sins. If Jesus can ''do hard things'' and if we gain our strength through him, then 'doing hard things' should be a cinch. But sometimes they're not, sometimes we fail because Satan, the world and our own sin nature convinces us that it's too hard, even for God. They don't come out and say ''it's too hard for God'' they say it quietly, so that we are easily persuaded to think like them. But don't lose heart, because we can do all things through him who saved us.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Chapter two, What Jesus Demands from the World

Repentance has two signs of actual existence in one's heart, the first is a change of mind. A change of mind does not mean that one has an awesome new behavior although a new behavior is a result of true repentance, a change of mind means that a person is in complete awareness of his or her sin. Jesus said that he came to save the sinners not the righteous, everyone is a sinner so what he meant by 'righteous' are those who are to proud to admit they are sinners. God saves all who humble themselves and and admit they are in need of a savior because of their sin. That is what a change of mind is. The second sign is fruit bearing(good works)this a result as well as a sign, it also follows a change of mind. For if one has humbled oneself and admits they are a sinner then they will begin to strive to to sin less and to bear more and more fruit. Sin is not only harmful to oneself and others , it is an assault against God and when one truly repents it grieves them when they sin, and each time we repent God welcomes us back with open arms. Repentance is not a once in a life time thing, it is continual. We must constantly repent of our sin, for if we only have to repent once then we would be free to sin and then eventually there would no fruit in our lives at all. Repentance is essential to obtain eternal life, but this command to repent is also an offer given to us by a gracious God and it includes everyone, this command and offer comes to us so that we may proclaim it and to continue to proclaim it to all the earth.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Chapter one "What Jesus Demands from the World"

I'm going to be doing a series of posts on John Piper's book"What Jesus Demands from the World".
One of the things that Jesus demands from the world is that everyone should be born again. John 3:3- Jesus answered him, ''Truly, truly I say to you unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.'' Being born again means that you have been born of the flesh and of the spirit. Men and women that have not been spiritually born have no desire for Jesus because they are spiritually dead .If you asked them,"Do you want to go to heaven?", of course they would say yes, who wouldn't want to live in a big house and have lots of food. If you asked them, "Do you want to spend eternity with Jesus?", they probably wouldn't want to. Why? To them Jesus is a boring person with a lot of rules, always telling them things they don't want to hear. Spiritually dead people are not interested in spiritual activities such as praying and meditating on his word.
You might be wondering why I say spiritually dead people, that worship false gods, pray and meditate are not spiritually alive. They're worshiping and praying to false gods but the only spiritual "life" is found in Jesus. If only people knew that Jesus came to set the captives free, that he came to take them out of bondage and that he came to give us life...abundant life!
Jesus came for those who are weak and wounded....aren't we all. Anyone who recognizes his need for a savior and calls out to Jesus can be born again. Jesus calls us to repent from our sin which means to turn away from sin and turn to a gracious, loving savior.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

There is a God

"Wow! That is so cool how God has created everything to such perfection so that all that there is can exist. It's so easy to see that there is a God, that all you have to do is walk outside and look at the trees and the sky and ask yourself "could all this just happen?" Rom.1:19-20 says 'for what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them for his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature , have been clearly perceived , ever since the creation of the world , in the things that have been made . So they are without excuse'. The way God has created a tree's metabolism to absorb sunlight and the roots to feed on water and the leaves to make air for us to breath is truly amazing. Even a thousand humans wouldn't be able to do this in a hundred billion years. So why do people think that nothing could create everything in billions of years? Well because they are so desperate to break away from God's law and live according to their own laws.

Another amazing thing about the planet earth is this; if the earth was a little smaller its weakened gravity could not hold water or air, and the thinner atmosphere wouldn't provide enough protection against all the meteorites that hit the earth's atmosphere every day, thinner air would make temperatures drop and all of life would die. If earth were twice it's size it's gravity would be too strong and almost everything would be crushed under it's own weight. Also, if the warmth the gulf stream(the great current in the north Atlantic)were not there, Britain would have severe winters in which many people would die. One mistake by 'nothing' would have spelled death for everything, if life had ever even made it to existence.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

brothers and sisters

I love my brothers and sisters, and to our society that's weird, because in a normal American family kids think younger siblings are annoying and older siblings are bossy. So I'm reading this great book 'Making brothers and sisters best friends' by Sarah, Stephen,and Grace Mally, it's really helping me to view my siblings as friends that I can establish great relations with. If you see them as the last person you'd want to hang out with you have the wrong perspective. Your brothers and/or sisters should be the people you're pursuing friendship with the most, after all they are the ones you're going to know the rest of your life anyway. As adults relationships with our siblings will be a lot easier if we work on being our brothers and/or sisters best friend. Besides you may have to deal with all their faults, but they have to deal with yours too.

Fight for truth

Is there an absolute truth? This is something that is widely debated in our country. Our public school system would like us to believe that there is not, they want us to believe that everything is relevant, that truth is just whatever you want it to be. They don't want us imposing our beliefs on them, yet they impose their beliefs that there is no absolute truth on us. Their excuse is that absolute truth is offensive to people, when there are more people hurt by this belief than helped. One hundred years ago an idea like this would be unheard of, because of course there is an absolute truth. If there is no truth people can do whatever they want(including murder,theft and any other crime). There is no higher law to tell them not to. People without law to govern them create more harm and chaos than the "so-called "offenses of absolute truth. This belief is destroying our country. 'Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the life'(John 14:6), That's why we need to stand up and fight for truth.