A Simple Prayer for Living in the World but Not of It

Lord, let me touch the things around me, but not cling to them. Let me hold things necessary for physical life, but not own them. Let me have You as the only end and the end to every thought and endeavor.

Lord let my joy be divine, coming from You, and be experienced in communion with You. Lord may my life be Your tool, my will be Your will, my desires have You as the always end.

Oh my Lord, You are my master, object of praise and devotion, and You are my friend; You have never turned Your face from me, though I from You, and You have protected me from myself more times than I can count.

Thank You, in my words, from my heart, and may You see it in my life.

Some Thoughts Regarding Election and Man’s Choice

At times, I post actual interactions that I have with Calvinists in order to allow others to consider both sides of an issue. This is what I have done in this article. The following is a response that I interacted with regarding my article, “Why Some Non-Calvinists Identify as Calvinist” that appeared on SBC Today.

I begin by giving a summary of his questions or concerns, which are supposed to tip the scale toward God choosing to save some unconditionally (UE). This is followed by my restating each of his statements individually and briefly interacting with each one in the rest of the article. I hope you find this helpful. Continue reading →

A Husband Who Embraces Death

May I be the husband of the Scripture. I know all too well that these are tritely impious words if I shun death. For I shall never love as Christ loved me, nurture as Christ has nurtured me, protect as Christ has protected me, or bless and edify as Christ has edified me unless I die to self. But oh my Lord Jesus, dying is so dreadfully painful and difficult because my flesh is so brutally enthralled with the sensate stimuli of this world.

For my flesh passionately desires to be served, recognized, encouraged, extolled, catered to, agreed with, and know the future is secure, and therefore opposes with a hellish ferocity even the very mention of death. Although I surrender to die to self and make no place for the deeds of the flesh (Galatians 5:19), it is a daily and at times moment-by-moment battle, for the flesh vigorously and rigorously wills to live, and so my flesh and spirit are in constant war (Galatians 5:17).

With bemoaning so deep in my being that I dare not, yea even cannot utter it, I have often been startled as one stormed in the still of night with the truth, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38).

May I be meek, not weak and not relish in ingratitude.

 For I must not merely be willing to die, I must choose death, pursue death, and will to being devoured by death so that Christ may live through me so that “I may know the power of the resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings” (Philippians 4:10).

Think About It: Avoiding Christian Ugliness

Arrogant spirituality misrepresents Christian conviction.

Arrogance by any one of God’s created beings is ugly, but arrogance toward others by Christians is ghoulish indeed since Christians are the recipients of “Amazing Grace.” Christians are given grace to live and communicate our strong convictions graciously.

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you” Colossians 3:12–13.

Think About IT: The Future Is God’s and Not Ours

The future belongs to God, and we are not God. How quick we are to guarantee the future.

People frequently speak about the future with certainty, but God rarely discloses our personal future. When we speak about the future with phrases like “I will never” or “This will never” or other such phrases of future certainty, we are pridefully blind to the actual uncertainty of our future and our limited ability to change it. Speaking with certainty about the future seeks to elevate us to godhood and eliminate the walk of faith, neither of which is possible. Continue reading →

Pastors Dare Not Become Enablers of Spiritual Milkoholics

I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able (1 Corinthians 3:2)

Note the past tense verb, gave milk, referring to times in the past when Paul taught the Corinthians milk because they were not ready for meat and that was okay; but the poignant criticism is indeed, even now, you are not yet able. Even now, still, at this point they were not able, when in reality they should have been much more mature and able to think as spiritual men, feeding on the meat of the Word. Continue reading →

Decoding Calvinism: Does Unconditional Election Include a Forced Change, a Freely Chosen Change, or Both?

There are many examples of confusing language regarding man’s free exercise of faith in Calvinism. Lewis Sperry Chafer responds to Arminians’ rejection of the term “sovereign grace” and their charge that such coerces or annuls the human will by saying, “No step can be taken in the accomplishment of His sovereign purpose which will even tend to coerce the human volition. He does awaken the mind of man to spiritual sanity and brings before him the desirability of salvation through Christ. If by His power, God creates new visions of the reality of sin and of the blessedness of Christ as Savior and under this enlightenment men choose to be saved, their wills are not coerced nor are they deprived of the action of any part of their own beings. It is the unreasoned objection of Arminians that the human will is annulled by sovereign election.”[1] Continue reading →

Knowing God Deeply

True spiritual wisdom is to believe what God says above our human learning, wisdom, and thus pursue His wisdom so that we may truly be wise. The first thought that should come to our minds when someone brings something up about a topic is, what does the Bible say? We may not know, but we must not let a lack of specific knowledge cause us to fall back on human wisdom and thus foolishness. Moreover, we should be devoted to know the deep things God has revealed to us as well as the easily accessible truths of Scripture, lest we implicitly impugn God with having revealed a significant amount of extraneous information.

“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians 3:10).