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Carryout Pizza Insurance?

Posted by on Jan 13, 2018 in Life | 0 comments

Carryout Pizza Insurance?

Our society has become over reliant on insurance products.  It seems that we now require insurance for any possible negative situation — no matter how minor or trivial.  Now Dominos has put out a TV commercial touting its carryout pizza insurance.  When a tree crashes down on his car on the driveway, a man immediately panics, worried about his Domino’s pizza in the backseat. Luckily, he opens the box to find his pizza unscathed. However, after walking away from the incident, he slips on the icy sidewalk and his pizza flies into the air, landing in the snow. Fortunately, Domino’s says its Carryout Insurance promises a replacement if a customer’s pizza is ruined after they leave the store.  Doesn’t this just strike you as ridiculous?  It’s like providing insurance for the ice cream cone your 3 year old could drop on the ground.  What is the point?

Dead End Job

Posted by on Jan 11, 2018 in Sports | 0 comments

Dead End Job

I am sure you noticed during the national championship football game on Monday night that Head Coach Kirby Smart of Georgia had a special assistant dedicated to restraining him by the belt so that he wouldn’t charge the field and get penalized.  Talk about a difficult job to describe on your resume!  It wasn’t even an effective strategy since Smart received a sideline warning for his lack of control.  I doubt whether there is much of a path for upward mobility for such a specialized responsibility.  It must be awkward around the dinner table when your daughters ask how your day went at work.  I mean what would be the highlights you could describe?  You would think Coach Smart would be embarrassed to be the only Division 1 Head Coach that requires such babysitting.  Not a good look!

Faith and Authority — Matt. 8:5-10

Posted by on Jan 10, 2018 in Christian | 0 comments

Faith and Authority — Matt. 8:5-10

Jesus commended the centurion in this Matt. 8 account for his “great faith.”  I find it interesting, in the context of the debate over “Lordship Salvation”, that the faith of this military leader is directly connected to a high view of the sovereign authority of Jesus Christ.  “For I also am a man under authority” reasoned the centurion as he explained his faith commitment to Jesus Christ.  There was no need for Jesus to inconvenience Himself and show up in person to heal his servant.  All that was necessary was for Jesus to be willing to heal and to utter the declaration of healing.  This centurion understood what it means to recognize Jesus as Sovereign God.

3 Goals for 2018 — Philippians 1:12

Posted by on Jan 7, 2018 in Christian | 0 comments

3 Goals for 2018 — Philippians 1:12

What is your main goal for 2018?  As the New Year dawns, most people are talking about their goals and resolutions.  This is also the time of year that our church usually picks a key verse to focus on for the year.

There are a lot of worthy goals we could pursue.  For many people, including myself, certainly a healthier lifestyle is always important.  For believers there are always commitments regarding Bible reading and prayer that we consider at the beginning of the new year.  These are all worthy goals.  But I want to focus this morning for a brief time on one particular passage that gives insight into the goal orientation of the Apostle Paul.

He is in prison in Rome under the guard of Roman soldiers and writing to a group of believers in Philippi to thank them for their financial support and to encourage their fellowship in the gospel.  He knows that they could be unsettled due to a number of factors:

  • The persecution that has led to his imprisonment
  • The attacks against his apostleship and ministry from many quarters
  • The selfish ambition of those preaching the true gospel message but from bad motives – wanting to advance their ministry role and status over that of the Apostle Paul

But listen to what the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 1:12-18.

GOD USES OUR CHALLENGING CIRCUMSTANCES TO ADVANCE HIS GOSPEL = THE PROCLAMATION OF CHRIST

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Marveling at the Incarnation of the Word of God – John 1:14-18

Posted by on Dec 26, 2017 in Christian | 0 comments

Marveling at the Incarnation of the Word of God – John 1:14-18

Haddon Robinson: Christians are divided in their views of Christmas. Some want to give up on it and hand it over to the stores. Others want to salvage it and use it to say something important about the birth of Jesus to a weary secular world. I, for one, would like to take my place with the second group.

Years ago an old pioneer journeyed westward across the Great Plains of North America until he came to an abrupt halt at the edge of the Grand Canyon. He gawked at the sight before him—a vast chasm 1 mile deep, 18 miles across, and stretching out of sight. He gasped, “Something must have happened here!”

At the Christmas season, anyone who stops to look and listen must ask what the hustle and bustle is all about. A thoughtful man or woman, seeing the lights, the decorations, the festivities, and the religious services might also conclude, “Something must have happened here!”

Of course, something did happen. We need to tell the world about it. God has visited our planet. His Son Jesus Christ came to reveal God and to die for our sins (John 1:1-14). It’s the best news ever! The Lord came and lived among us that we might live forever with Him.

That’s why we can rejoice at Christmas.

One day has left its mark in time

For all mankind to see;

It is the day when Christ was born—

This morning we want to marvel at the Incarnation of the Word of God

AMAZINGLY THE WORD BECAME FLESH TO FULLY REVEAL GOD

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Final Exam — The Tester Will Provide — Genesis 22

Posted by on Dec 10, 2017 in Christian | Comments Off on Final Exam — The Tester Will Provide — Genesis 22

Final Exam — The Tester Will Provide — Genesis 22

Growing up in school there was always a big distinction between surprise pop quizzes and the all-important Final Exam.  You never knew going into a class whether this was the day for a Pop Quiz.  But you always had time for prepare for the Final Exam that would make up such a heavy percent of your overall grade.  Here in Abraham’s school of faith, we find the Lord combining the two experiences as He pops a Surprise Final Exam that interrupts the peaceful tranquility of life in Beersheba by the well and the tamarisk tree that we saw in the last chapter.

Growth in faith involves testing.  This was true for Abraham and it is true in our spiritual journey.  This particular test gets at the heart of the degree of Abraham’s commitment to His God.  How committed is he?

David Thompson: 8 Tests so far in the narrative — So far passed 5 tests and failed 3:

1) Family Test – Will you leave your family and go to a new land — passed

2) Famine Test – should he stay in the land and wait on the Lord and trust him or take matters in his own hands — failed

3) Fellowship Test with Lot – do I let Lot have first choice and trust God – passed

4) Fight Test – Lot taken along with possessions; could he trust the Lord to recover Lot – passed

5) Fortune Test – King of Sodom wants to contribute large sums of money to him – or do I trust that God will supply my needs — passed

6) Fatherhood Exam – told he would have a son; would he patiently wait on the Lord to fulfill His Word or take things into his own hands and produce a son from your handmaid Hagar– flunked

7) Fear Exam – went down into Gerar – do I lie about Sarah or say she is my wife and risk perhaps losing her – failed

8) Farewell Test – had to be willing to let Hagar and Ishmael depart and let the Lord take care of them – Passed

— Now we come to the all important Final Exam

Jesus was always posing similar tests to His disciples.  Listen to some of them:

Matt. 10:37-39; 16:24-27; 19:27-30

YOUR DEGREE OF SPIRITUAL COMMITMENT WILL DETERMINE YOUR DEGREE OF DIVINE BLESSING – 

BUT . . .

THE SAME GOD WHO TESTS OUR COMMITMENT, ENABLES OUR OBEDIENCE BY FAITH AND BLESSES US ABUNDANTLY

But not ultimately about us … about the Lord who will Provide

COMMITMENT TESTED AND REWARDED

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Beersheba — The Well and the Tree — Genesis 21:22-34

Posted by on Dec 7, 2017 in Christian | Comments Off on Beersheba — The Well and the Tree — Genesis 21:22-34

Beersheba — The Well and the Tree — Genesis 21:22-34

This short little paragraph speaks to the beauty of expositional preaching.  As a preacher who makes it his practice to systematically work through an entire book of Scripture, I found that my thought patterns in approaching today’s text track exactly along the same lines of those of a fellow expositor Brian Borgman.  I listened to his sermon and marveled at how our minds go down the same path.  My first decision is how big of a chunk to tackle in a given message.  So last week it made sense to contrast the Promised Seed Isaac with the Seed of the Flesh = Ishamel.  It is also obvious that Chap. 22 with the offering up of Isaac stands by itself.  So what do we make of this little section (21:22-34) in the middle?  Most expositors would just skip over it … but I can’t do that.  God has it here for a specific purpose.

1)  Land Promise — Remember Gen. 12:1-3 and the initial promise which consisted of a seed promise and a land promise.

Bruce Waltke: This second conflict with Abimelech creates a bracket around the Isaac birth narrative. Whereas the first conflict, Scene5 ( Genesis 20:1-18), concerned jeopardy of the seed, the second conflict, Scene7 ( Genesis 21:22-34), concerns jeopardy of the land (i.e, well rights).

2)  Participation in Blessing Via Abraham — You can also draw some interesting contrasts between the way in which Ishmael rejected co-existence with Abraham and Isaac by mocking Isaac – thereby alienating himself from the promised seed (even though God continued to show kindness in the form of common grace to Ishmael and his descendants); while Abimelech chose the opposite course of seeking a way to embrace the blessing of Abraham and come to a treaty of peaceful co-existence.  Here you have a Gentile king in a pagan land experiencing God’s grace via his association with Abraham.

3)  New Covenant Symbolism — From Paul’s commentary in Gal. 4 we know that the casting out of Hagar and Ishmael represents the transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant.  So it is not surprising that in this section we learn valuable lessons about the covenant motif.

So what lesson are we to draw from this section?

THE EVERLASTING GOD GUARANTEES THE POSSESSION OF THE PROMISED LAND USING THE COVENANT MOTIF

[motif = theme, dominant feature]

God sovereignly directing the whole event that happens here between Abraham and Abimelech

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Child of Promise . . . Child of Flesh — Genesis 21:1-21

Posted by on Nov 26, 2017 in Christian | Comments Off on Child of Promise . . . Child of Flesh — Genesis 21:1-21

Child of Promise . . . Child of Flesh — Genesis 21:1-21

For those that find the doctrine of the sovereignty of God distasteful or offensive (due to their understanding of free will or what they think is fair), this passage will be unsettling.  To say that God determines the destiny of the elect is quite a theological mountain to climb.  But to add to that conviction, the understanding that God also determines the destiny of the non-elect is more than many Christians are willing to swallow.  Yet, as we have taught before, “a God who does not control everything, cannot control anything.”  It is an all-or-nothing proposition.

We have already witnessed God’s sovereign choice in these early chapters of the first book of the bible:

  • Remember God being pleased with the sacrifice of Abel but not of Cain – then we have the designation of the descendants of both Seth, the favored line, and Cain
  • Remember the choosing of Noah and his family as the only ones to enter the ark; Then we have the descendants that flow from the 3 sons of Noah with the line of Shem being singled out

Parunak: Genesis is a history of successive election, as God repeatedly distinguishes between the chosen line and those not chosen.

  • 11:27, God chooses Terah from the other descendants of Noah.

  • 12:1, God chooses Abraham from the family of Terah. Abraham’s nephew Lot comes along, and it seems as though he might become the heir of the childless patriarch.

  • 13:11, Lot departs, leaving Abraham.

Now in our story for today, we see the favor shown to Isaac over Ishmael.

Yet we also see that God controls the destiny of both individuals, despite their contrasts – which the Apostle Paul developed in his commentary in Gal. 4 as a description of an allegory describing two very different people groups.

GOD DETERMINES THE DESTINY OF BOTH THE ELECT AND THE NON-ELECT

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The Treadmill of Besetting Sin — Genesis 20

Posted by on Nov 19, 2017 in Christian | Comments Off on The Treadmill of Besetting Sin — Genesis 20

The Treadmill of Besetting Sin — Genesis 20

We have been tracking Abraham in his journey of faith.  We have seen him rise to great heights – such as when he manifested such a magnanimous spirit in Chap. 12 to give his nephew Lot the choice of where to live; or when the Lord used him in Chap. 14 to deliver Lot and the residents of Sodom from the confederacy of invading kings; or when he interceded on behalf of Lot and his family despite the wickedness around them in Sodom and Gomorrah.  But we have also seen surprising lapses in his dependence on God – such as when he passed off Sarah as his sister back in Chap. 12 as a means of self-preservation.  Here again we see that same sin revisited.  It is as if Abraham is on some type of treadmill of besetting sins – repeating the same unwise behavior over and over so that he fails to make any progress.

Yet we are struck by the mercy and power of God who intervenes to still protect Sarah and Abraham and accomplish the fulfillment of His covenant promise.  What an embarrassment it must have been for Abraham to have been rebuked by this pagan king who was filled with moral shock and indignation at the outrageous behavior of his guest that had endangered the royal family.  How could Abraham have so blatantly repeated the same moral blunder?  Yet that is true for all of us.  We each have particular sins that might not seem so threatening to others, but seem to enslave us in a grip that we have trouble breaking.  Abraham was a giant when it came to trusting God.  But in certain types of pressure situations he still resorted to his own human scheming and patterns of deception to try to help God out and preserve his life.   This in spite of God’s clear promises of what he would accomplish in the lives of Abraham and Sarah; this in spite of God’s demonstrated faithfulness over and over in proving His greatness (there is nothing too difficult for God) and His goodness (Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?).

GOD OVERRULES EVEN OUR BESETTING SINS TO ACCOMPLISH HIS KINGDOM PURPOSES

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Legacy of a Loser — Genesis 19:30-38

Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 in Christian | Comments Off on Legacy of a Loser — Genesis 19:30-38

Legacy of a Loser — Genesis 19:30-38

Today’s sordid text paints the last chapter in the life of worldly Lot and his dysfunctional family.  This is how Lot ended up.  This is the legacy of a loser.  All of the small compromises he made with worldliness have compounded and ended up in this ultimate end game of degradation and shame.  We know from the NT that Lot was actually a believer – in a covenantal relationship through faith in a God who had provided him with every opportunity to enjoy God’s blessings.  But time after time Lot made sinful choices that led to tragic consequences.

This text has been avoided by many well-known commentators because of its lurid content:

the old set of Calvin’s commentaries translated by the old Calvin Translation Society last century, when they get to Genesis 19, verse 31 they stop translating. They say now this passage just shouldn’t be in Calvin’s commentaries, just shouldn’t be read. They don’t even give you the Latin text. They leave it out and they move on to Genesis 20. H.C. Leupold in his commentary on Genesis (after making his few observations) says, “This is a text that should never be preached.”

What a warning to believers today.  Are we truly seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness or are we pursuing a life of pleasure and possessions and worldly praise and worldly lusts?  Look at how Jesus described the type of culture that will exist in the last days right before His final revelation and return to Judge the world – Luke 17:20-37.

Who claims Lot was a righteous man?

  • Peter
  • Abraham

More than just in a forensic sense of justification

Parunak: This section is here for two reasons.

1. Though the chiasm has finished, this section still recalls Noah, whose final days were marred with intoxication and sexual impropriety. Like that section, it sounds the warning that when God brings judgment and delivers a remnant, sin still lives in the flesh of that remnant, and arises again to repeat the cycle of rebellion.

2. One important function of Genesis is to show how the nation Israel originated in the context of its neighbors. Two important neighbors are Moab and Ammon, and this story describes their origin and relation to Abraham.

A LIFE OF WORLDLINESS WON’T END WELL

How did it end for Lot?

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