Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Don't Waste Your Life-Risk-Piper

Therefore risk is woven into the fabric of our finite lives.  We cannot avoid risk even if we want to.  

Ignorance and uncertainty about tomorrow is our native air

 All of our plans for tomorrow's activities can be shattered by a thousand unknowns whether we stay at home under the covers or ride the freeways.  One of my aims is to explode the myth of safety and to somehow deliver you from

 the enchantment of security.  

Because it's a mirage.  
It doesn't exist.  
Every direction you turn there are unknowns and things beyond your control.
~John Piper

Esther risked her life...

"Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day.  I and my young women will also fast as you do.  Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish." ~Esther 4:15-16

...and she saved a nation.

Joab risked Israel's forces trusting that the Lord would do what was best...

"Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him." ~2 Samuel 10:12

...and he won a battle.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego risked their lives...

"O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.  If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.  But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.  ~Daniel 3:16-18

...and showed Nebuchadnezzar the power of God.

Mary risked her reputation and even her life...

""I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her." Luke 1:38

...and was used by God to bring into the world our Savior.

Ezekiel risked his reputation and his life...

He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn.Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them.  And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. ~Ezekiel 2:3-7

...and was used by God to be a messenger to God's people.

Abraham risked.  Ruth risked.  Joshua risked.  Gideon risked. Rahab risked.  Paul risked.  The disciples risked. 

Did these people know the outcomes of their risks?


Did these people always end up on the other side of the risk unharmed?


Were they right to risk?

Yes.  For if they had not taken those risks....those risks which were taken through "sanctified wisdom", as John Piper says, they would have been incapable of bringing glory to God.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16

Our sole purpose is to bring glory to God.

We bring glory to God, then not by avoiding risks, but trusting God in those risks. 

As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." ~Romans 8:36-29

Piper warns that risks must not be taken out of selfishness or self-reliance. 

"Without Christ, we are all legalists or lechers at heart--wanting to do our own thing, or wanting to do God's thing in our way to prove our own ability.  Since we are wired this way, we need protection.  God has given us another way to pursue risk.  Do it "by the strength that God supplies--in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 4:11).  And the way God supplies his strength is through faith in his promises.  Every loss we risk in order to make much of Christ, God promises to restore a thousandfold with his all-satisfying fellowship."

"It is not the impulse of heroism, or the lust for adventure, or the courage of self-reliance, or the need to earn God's favor.  

It is simple trust in Christ--that in him God will do everything necessary so that we can enjoy making much of him forever.  

Every good poised to bless us, and every evil arrayed against us, will in the end help us boast only in the cross, magnify Christ, and glorify our Creator.  Faith in these promises frees us to risk and to find in our own experience that 

it is better to lose our life than to waste it."

~John Piper

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Let us thank God heartily as often as we pray that we have His Spirit in us to teach us to pray. Thanksgiving will draw our hearts out to God and keep us engaged with Him; it will take our attention from ourselves and give the Spirit room in our hearts. ~Andrew Murray

Friday, October 5, 2012

Strong in Spirit and Steadfast in Character


Deuteronomy 5:16 - Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Currently, I am using Beth Moore's study guide to work through the book of Esther.  

One of the verses that stood out to me tonight was Esther 2:20

Now Esther had not revealed her family and her people, just as Mordecai had charged her, for Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him.

This verse stood out to me for a couple of reasons.

Esther was Queen 

Esther was fully grown 

Mordecai had essentially been Esther's father

Esther did not have to continue obeying the commands of Mordecai

But, she did.  

Esther continued on obeying the man who God had made her spiritual head.  Respecting his wishes.  Later on in Esther we will see how her obedience to the man who had essentially been her father would allow her to be used by God in an unbelievable way.

Following someone else's instructions is never easy.  After all, we are all self-centered human beings who tend to believe, "Its my way or the highway".  Nevertheless, Esther persevered and demonstrated a strength in spirit and a steadfastness in character.

I love the following quotes from Beth Moore.

Oh, the favor that can come our way in a workplace or elsewhere through our simple willingness to follow instructions.  Impatient and self-promoting people don't win favor this way; those who respect authority who aren't insulted by instruction, who practice the art of truly listening, and who follow through by doing what they're asked win it.
Only a person strong in character and steadfast in spirit can follow someone else's instructions for long.

With a godly spirit of humility, strength, and dignity, Esther, Queen of Persia, continued to respect her "father".  What an example.

Personally, this is a powerful testimony to me of the need to respect the wishes of those God has placed over me as my leaders.  I am blessed enough to have parents who are both my earthly and spiritual "heads".  Though it is not always easy to respect the wishes of my parents or seek their advice on different issues, God makes it clear that respecting those He has put over us, whether it be husbands, fathers, mothers, bosses, or any other type of authority is vital.

Romans 13:1-2

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.  Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
Colossians 3:12
Put on therefore, as God's elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering....

As Christians, we ought to ask for a heart of lowliness, meekness, and humility, that we would have the strength and steadfastness to learn from and respect, and obey those whom He has placed over us, as leaders and protectors.  

We ought to be grateful for Jesus...the ultimate example of one who demonstrated unbelievable obedience to His Father....obedience that would lead to an excruciating and terrible death on the cross...that, through the resurrection, He could overcome death and save us from our selfish, sinful, rebellious ways.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Eric Ludy - The Gospel

Who am I? I am His CHILD! Who am I? I am HIS PRECIOUS AND REDEEMED CHILD! My Jesus took my punishment so that I may live in the light of His GRACE, rather than the pit of guilt and despair. Truly these truths are life-changing. How can it not be? Once I was a rebel, now I am HIS chosen! Use me Jesus! I am yours!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Outstreched Hands

Take from me, O Lord, that self-pity which love of myself so readily produces, and from the frustration of not succeeding in the world as I would naturally desire, for these have no regard for your glory.

Rather, create in me a sorrow that is conformable to your own. Let my pains rather express the happy condition of my conversion and salvation. Let me no longer wish for health or life, but to spend it and end it for you, with you, and in you. I pray neither for health nor sickness, life nor death. Rather I pray that you will dispose of my health, my sickness, my life, and my death as for your glory, for my salvation, for the usefulness to your church and your saints, among whom I hope to e numbered.

You alone know what is expedient for me. You are the Sovereign Master. Do whatever pleases you. Give me or take away from me. Conform my will to yours, and grant that with humble and perfect submission, and in holy confidence, I may dispose myself utterly to you. May I receive the orders of your everlasting, provident care. May I equally adore whatever proceeds from you. ~Blaise Pascal

"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength. Yes, in the way of Your judgments, O Lord, we have waited for you; the desire of our soul is for Your name and for the remembrance of You. With my soul I have desired You in the night, yes by my spirit within me I will seek You early; for when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." ~Isaiah 26:3-9