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Love in Christ decays not, nor can be tempted so to do by anything that happens, or that shall happen hereafter, in the object so beloved. But as this love at first acts by, and from itself, so it continueth to do until all things that are imperfections, are completely and everlastingly subdued.

The reason is, because Christ loves to make us comely, not because we are so (Eze 16:9-14).

-John Bunyan ,The Saints’ Knowledge of Christ’s Love

Suppose you are in a car race and your enemy, who doesn’t want you to finish the race, throws mud on your windshield. The fact that you temporarily lose sight of your goal and start to swerve, does not mean that you are going to quit the race. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you are on the wrong race track. Otherwise the enemy wouldn’t bother you at all. What it means is that you should turn on your windshield wipers and use your windshield washer.

When anxiety strikes and blurs our vision of God’s glory and the greatness of the future that he plans for us, this does not mean that we are faithless, or that we will not make it to heaven. It means our faith is being attacked. At first blow, our belief in God’s promises may sputter and swerve. But whether we stay on track and make it to the finish line depends on whether, by grace, we set in motion a process of resistance—whether we  fight back against the unbelief of anxiety. Will we turn on the windshield
wipers and will we use our windshield washer?

. . . The windshield wipers are the promises of God that clear away the mud of unbelief, and the windshield washer fluid is the help of the Holy Spirit. The battle to be freed from sin, as we have seen, is “by the Spirit and by faith in the truth” (2 Thess 2:13). The work of the Spirit and the Word of the truth. These are the great faith builders.

Without the softening work of the Holy Spirit, the wipers of the Word just scrape over the blinding clumps of unbelief. Both are necessary—the Spirit and the Word. We read the promises of God and we pray for the help of his Spirit. And as the windshield clears so that we can see the welfare that God plans for us (Jer 29:11), our faith grows stronger and the swerving anxiety smooths out.

-John Piper, Future Grace (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1995), pp. 55, 56

HT: Justin Taylor

It does not matter how long you have been in the Christian life, you are dependent upon Him for every step. Without Him we can do nothing. We can only conquer our doubts by looking steadily at Him and by not looking at them. The way to answer them is to look at Him. The more you know Him and His glory the more ridiculous they will become. So keep steadily looking at Him…

It is ‘the fight of faith’, you are walking on turbulent waves and the only way to keep walking is to keep looking at Him.

-D. Martyn Llyod-Jones, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure, 158-159

This is one of the neat things about rap as a genre of music, one can pack a lot of words into one song. This is Trip Lee putting a paraphrase of the book of Philippians to music.

To Live is Christ (Philippians)

Verse 1:
Brethren listen to this exposition
Paul wrote the Philippians some lessons for living (1:1)
Written to them but its real good text for Christians
So read it closely, I hope we can catch the vision
Chapter 1 he tells them he’s blessed to get them
Co-laboring with him to serve the best who’s risen (1:5, 7)
And that’s he’s confident the Lord will perfect in Christians
What He started and hearts will be corrected in them (1:6)
Listen, he was in prison now maybe never getting out
But all he could think about was the gospel getting out (1:12-14)
Some was even preaching Christ from selfish motives
Coming at Paul but dawg he shrugged his shoulders (1:15-18)
His focus was Christ the Messiah man (1:19)
And for Him “to live is Christ and to die was gain” (1:20,21)
Yeah, he was hard pressed, but to remain in the flesh
Was more necessary so they faith would progress (1:22-24)
He wanted them to strive together for the gospel
In one spirit, one mind, listen to the apostle (1:27)
Maintain the same love, uplift your brothers
Don’t just look out for yourself, but for the interests of others (2:2-4)

Hook:
Our life is nothing, but Christ is all (1:21)
So conduct yourselves worthy of His righteous call (1:27)
(Repeat 4X)

Verse 2:
Chapter 2: Let’s examine five through eleven
The blessed lamb who resided in the Heavens (2:6)
Said forget the wealth and emptied Himself
Came as a man and died for the brethren (2:7,8)
Ultimate obedience, he died on the cross and (2:8)
Through His humility Christ was exalted (2:9)
Glory to the Father (2:11), now we should have
That same attitude Christ Jesus had (2:5)
And on to verse twelve work out your salvation (2:12)
The Father works in us in this process of saving (2:13)
Avoid dispute and prove yourself blameless
Children of God in a perverse generation (2:14,15)
Cling to the bible, humility is vital
We see it in lives of Paul and his disciples (2:17-30)
Serving him like father (2:22), some fellow soldiers (2:25)
Let us rejoice, unite, and rep Jehovah

Hook

Verse 3:
Chapter 3: rejoice in the Lord we serve (3:1)
And forget about the flesh we nothing more than dirt (3:3)
Man if anyone could brag bout they status it was Paul
But to him it was trash it and he counted it as lost
For the sake of the Christ, ’cause He gave us life (3:4-7)
Not through anything we did but through faith in Christ (3:9)
We righteous in the eyes of the Lord’s that’s blessing
Conformed to His death and His resurrection (3:9-10)
Brethren, I don’t claim to have attained perfection’s
What he said but was reaching to what lies ahead (3:12-13)
And encouraged the Philippians to model what he said (3:15)
And not to walk in the flesh cause that walk is dead (3:17-19)
But we citizens of Heaven who eagerly wait for
The one that we rest in Jesus our Savior (3:20)
That’s who the Lord is and He will surely
Transform our bodies in future glory (3:21)

Hook

Verse 4:
Chapter 4: he closes encouraging with words
In unity and harmony for those within the church (4:1-3)
Rejoice in the Lord, bro our hopes in Him first (4:4)
Let our thanks and our problems be known to Him first (4:6)
Embrace the peace of God, you can bet on that (4:7)
And whatever is good let your mind dwell on that (4:8)
Then he thanked them again, for they gifts and concern (4:10)
But no matter what to be content he had learned (4:11-12)
Plus he was sure that he could do all things
Through Him who gave strength and can do all things (4:13)
And he told them they did well sharing through all pain (4:14)
And made sure they knew he sure he wasn’t trying to get more change (4:15-18)
God will supply all they needs he hoped they might see this
According to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (4:19)
The truth of Philippians I hope it hit you
And may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you (4:23)
I hope you like what you heard with me rapping these verses
But don’t get it twisted, we just scratching the surface
There’s more to be learned than this rap is saying
So read it, live it, learn it like the back of your hand

Hook

My job has nothing to do with relieving the pain of orphans in Haiti or anywhere else. My job consists of standing at a register and scanning bar-codes. There is nothing world changing about it. There is no social injustices being over turned by what I do. And on top of that the primary reason I am doing it is to make money.

Is this wrong? From what I gather from some growing up in this social action driven generation this may seem to be a waste of life. How could I be so individualistic by doing a job that has no influence on the betterment of society? How could I waste my life working to earn money?

It is very true that this world is not all that there is. “This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:29-31). The end of this world is a present reality that should have shaping influence of the decision we make. Everything from the desire to marry to buying groceries is to be done in the frame work of this world passing away. “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). All we could possibly gather to ourselves and/or lose in this world has no comparisons to what we will have in the coming age. It is very true, “Only one life will soon be past; only what is done for Christ will last.”

So does that mean I am living in a temporal and selfish mindset when I spend 8 hours a day scanning bar-codes to make money?

If that is all the bible had to say then we would have to say yes. However, God commands some things that seem very temporal and selfish.”and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12). “For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living” (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12). What!? They are not to sell all they have and move to present day Uzbekistan to spread the gospel? Has Paul shifted to a temporal mindset? Doesn’t he know no social injustices will be over turned by these people just “earning their own living”?

Here is the balance that Scripture gives us to these things. We are not to waste this life in the lest bit. Yet, God does not count the lowliest job as a waste. On one side we are protected from the America dream which says that the goal of life is to accumulate wealth. And on the other there is the glory of jobs where we do not selfishly burden others to care for us.

The bible does not call a life that is working a boring, unexciting job a wasted life. Instead, it says it is a life where we are not having to have others provide for us. And then with the extra funds I do make I can give it away. For with the funds I earn from the unexciting job of scanning bar-codes I can give to a couple who is going over seas to translate the bible for those who do not have it. In both assignments, the translator and the bar-code scanner, God is equally glorified.

Biblical wisdom is the simple that probes and comprehends the complex, not the simplistic that ignores the complex. 

Sure, Bible-sounding concepts can be made as simplistic and reductionistic as the worst pop psychology. And non-biblical concepts can quickly turn into labyrinths of complexity…

Christ, on the other hand, is simple, yet he speaks into every nuance. He imparts to us a simple gaze and clear thinking, letting us ponder every variation and ambiguity without losing our bearings. He teaches us how to be properly agnostic and self-critical, and yet to be valiant for truth. He forms in us an unwavering redemptive agenda and an indestructible hope, letting us enter any life, no matter how confused, sordid, anguished, violent, addicted, or terrified. He teaches us how to feel properly weak and overwhelmed, and yet to walk confidently. 

-David Powlison, Speaking Truth in Love: Counsel in Community, 158-159

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.

-1 John 4:18-19

“But the duty of love cannot be extorted and forced by fear, but it must be won, and sweetly allured  by an apprehension of God’s love and goodness towards us, as that eminent, loving and beloved disciple  testifies…

Observe here that we cannot be beforehand with God in loving Him, before we apprehend His love to us.  And consult your own experience, if you have any true love to God, whether it were not wrought in you  by a sense of God’s love first towards you? All the goodness and excellency of God cannot render Him an amiable object to us, except we apprehend Him an agreeable good to us.

The greater God’s excellency and perfection is, the greater evil He is to us, if He hates and curses us. And therefore the principle of self-preservation, deeply rooted in our natures, hinders us from loving that which we  apprehend as our destruction. If a man is an enemy to us, we can love him for the sake of our loving reconciled God, because His love will make man’s hatred to work for our good, but if God Himself is our enemy, for whose sake can we love Him? Who is there that can free us from the evil of His enmity and turn it to our advantage, until He is pleased to reconcile Himself to us?”

-Walter Marshall, The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, p. 15-16

Happy 4th of July! Hope you have a wonderful time during time day of celebration.

Below is a section from the series John Adams where congress makes the vote to separate from Briton. Even though the events in the video happened on July 2nd it was the official declaration of independence from Briton. Try to feel the weight of that day. Here were representatives of colonies making the vote of independence. They knew that they were setting a course of the nation that would plunge them into war and where there would be no ability to turn back. Yet, they took the step forward which began the country we now live in.

______________________

And what better way to celebrate the birth of out nation than shooting off fireworks. I don’t know about you but growing up in the south meant that we have access to all kinds of fireworks and were free to use them how we so desired. This song is a celebration (or paradoy) of that freedom.

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