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Here are some excellent fighter verses for the battle with anxiety from Justin Taylor.
I am thankful for the Words of God which cast light upon the darkness of our fears. Our God is great and it is a sin to not trust Him. But how gracious He is to keep reminding us again and again, out of Fatherly love, that He is our rock and refuge.
1. God is near me to help me.
Philippians 4:5-6: “The Lord is at hand; [therefore] do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
2. God cares for me.
1 Peter 5:7: “. . . casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
3. My Father in heaven knows all my needs and will supply all my needs.
Matthew 6:31-33: “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
4. God values me more than birds and grass, which he richly provides for and adorns; how much more will he provide for all my needs!
Matthew 6:26-30: “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”
5. The worst someone can do to me is to kill me and take things from me!
Matthew 6:25: “Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” [I.e., you still have eternal life even if you have no food; you will still have a resurrection body even if you are physically deprived.]
Luke 12:4: “Do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.”
Romans 8:31-32, 35, 38-39: “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? . . . Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? . . . For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
6. Anxiety is pointless.
Matthew 6:27: “Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” [Answer: no one.]
7. Anxiety is worldly.
Matthew 6:31-32: “Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things. . . .”
James 4:4: “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
8. Tomorrow has enough to worry about and doesn’t need my help.
Matthew 6:34: “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Lamentations 3:23: “[God’s mercies] are new every morning.”
HT: Justin Taylor
One of the most helpful books I have read on Justification and Regeneration was Charles Leiter’s book called Justification and Regeneration. It is simple and concise, yet it is substantial in its presentation of these two doctrines. Leiter cames from a pastoral standpoint where he has grasped the depths of these doctrines and gives them to the sheep in ways they can comprehend and appreciate. Also, his section on regeneration was very helpful when I read it. I had never given much thought to what regeneration entailed for me as a believer until I read this book. I would gladly past along this book to new and mature believers as a source of growing in their knowledge of these two doctrines.
And now the book can be downloaded and distributed for free. Challies has a link to the book if you want to download it.
Justin Taylor lays out the steps, given by Ed Welch, in fighting the fear of man,
“Fear of man is such a part of our human fabric that we should check for pulse if someone denies it.”
—Ed Welch, When People Are Big and God Is Small.
In order to fear God not man, here are the steps Welch sets forth in his book:
Step 1: Recognize that the fear of man is a major theme both in the Bible and in your own life.
Step 2: Identify where your fear of man has been intensified by people in your past.
Step 3: Identify where your fear of man has been intensified by the assumptions of the world.
Step 4: Understand and grow in the fear of the Lord. The person who fears God will fear nothing else.
Step 5: Examine where your desires have been too big. When we fear people, people are big, our desires are even bigger, and God is small.
Step 6: Rejoice that God has covered your shame, protected you from danger, and accepted you. He has filled you with love.
Step 7: Need other people less, love other people more. Out of obedience to Christ, and as a response to his love toward you, pursue others in love.
You can read chapter 1 of the book online for free.
This is a very convicting listed given by Derek Brown. Its main aim is students at a theological school (bible or seminary). Yet, I don’t believe that it is wrong to say that there isn’t something in here for everyone. Give each point a read and see if it can’t apply to you in some way.
- 1. Cultivate pride by writing only to impress your professors instead of writing to better understand and more clearly communicate truth.
- 2. Perfect the fine art of corner-cutting by not really researching for a paper but instead writing your uneducated and unsubstantiated opinions and filling them in with strategically placed footnotes.
- 3. Mistake the amount of education you receive with the actual knowledge you obtain. Keep telling yourself, “I’ll really start learning this stuff when I do my Th.M or my Ph.D.”
- 4. Nurture an attitude of superiority, competition, and condescension toward fellow seminary students. Secretly speak ill of them with friends and with your spouse.
- 5. Regularly question the wisdom and competency of your professors. Find ways to disrespect your professors by questioning them publicly in class and by trying to make them look foolish.
- 6. Neglect personal worship, Bible reading and prayer.
- 7. Don’t evangelize your neighbors.
- 8. Practice misquoting and misrepresenting positions and ideas you don’t agree with. Be lazy and don’t attempt to understand opposing views; instead, nurse your prejudices and exalt your opinions by superficial reading and listening.
- 9. Give your opinion as often as possible – especially in class. Ask questions that show off your knowledge instead of questions that demonstrate a genuine inquiry.
- 10. Speak of heretical movements, teachers, and doctrine with an air of disdain and levity.
- 11. Find better things to do than serve in your local church.
- 12. Fill your life with questionable movies, television, internet, and music.
- 13. Set aside fellowship and accountability with fellow brothers in Christ.
- 14. Let your study of divine things become dull, boring, lifeless, and mundane.
- 15. Chip away at your integrity by signing your school’s covenant and then breaking it under the delusion that, “Those rules are legalistic anyway.”
- 16. Don’t read to learn; read only to refute what you believe is wrong.
- 17. Convince yourself that you already know all this stuff.
- 18. Just study. Don’t exercise, spend time with your family, or work.
- 19. Save major papers for the last possible moment so that you can ensure that you don’t really learn anything by writing them.
- 20. Don’t waste your time forming friendships with your professors and those older and wiser than you.
- 21. Make the mistake of thinking that your education guarantees your success in ministry.
- 22. Don’t study devotionally. You’ll never make it as a big time scholar if you do that. Scholars need to be cool, detached, and unbiased – certainly not Jesus freaks.
- 23. Day dream about future opportunities to the point that you get nothing out of your current opportunity to learn God’s Word.
- 24. Do other things while in class instead of listening – like homework, scheduling, letter-writing, and email.
- 25. Spend more time blogging than studying.
- 26. Avoid chapel and other opportunities for corporate worship.
- 27. Argue angrily with those who don’t see things your way. Whatever you do, don’t read and meditate on II Timothy 2:24-26 and James 3:13-18 as you prepare for ministry.
- 28. Set your hopes on an easy, cushy pastorate for when you graduate. Determine now not to obey God when he calls you to serve in a difficult church.
- 29. Look forward to the day when you won’t have to concern yourself with all this theology and when you will be able to just “preach Jesus.”
- 30. Forget that your primary responsibility is care for your family through provision, shepherding, and leadership.
- 31. Master Calvin, Owen, and Edwards, but not the Law, Prophets, and Apostles.
- 32. Gain knowledge in order to merely teach others. Don’t expend the effort it takes to deal with your own heart.
- 33. Pick apart your pastor’s sermons every week. Only point out his mistakes and his poor theological reasoning so you don’t have to be convicted by anything he says.
- 34. Protect yourself from real fellowship by only talking about theology and never about your personal spiritual issues, sin, and struggles.
- 35. Comfort yourself with the delusion that you will start seriously dealing with sin as soon as you become a pastor; right now it’s not really that big a deal.
- 36. Don’t serve the poor, visit the sick, or care for widows and orphans – save that stuff for the uneducated, non-seminary trained, lay Christians.
- 37. Keep telling yourself that you want to preach, but don’t ever seek opportunities to preach, especially at local rescue missions and nursing homes. Wait until your church candidacy to preach your first sermon.
- 38. Let envy keep you from profiting from sermons preached by fellow students.
- 39. Resent behind-the-scenes, unrecognized service. Only serve in areas where you are sure you will receive praise and accolades.
- 40. Appear spiritual and knowledgeable at all costs. Don’t let others see your imperfections and ignorance, even if it means you have to lie.
- 41. Love books and theology and ministry more than the Lord Jesus Christ.
- 42. Let your passion for the gospel be replaced by passion for complex doctrinal speculation.
- 43. Become angry, resentful and devastated when you receive something less than an A.
- 44. Let your excitement for ministry increase or decrease in direct proportion to the accolades or criticisms you receive from your professors.
- 45. Don’t really try to learn the languages – let Bible Works do all the work for you.
- When I am anxious about some risky new venture or meeting, I battle unbelief with the promise: “Fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am your God; I will help you, I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
- When I am anxious about my ministry being useless and empty, I fight unbelief with the promise, “So shall my word that goes forth from my mouth; it will not come back to me empty but accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
- When I am anxious about being too weak to do my work, I battle unbelief with the promise of Christ, “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9), and “As your days so shall your strength be” (Deuteronomy 33:25).
- When I am anxious about decisions I have to make about the future, I battle unbelief with the promise, “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8).
- When I am anxious about facing opponents, I battle unbelief with the promise, “If God is for us who can be against us!” (Romans 8:31).
- When I am anxious about being sick, I battle unbelief with the promise that “tribulation works patience, and patience approvedness, and approvedness hope, and hope does not make us ashamed” (Romans 5:3–5).
- When I am anxious about getting old, I battle unbelief with the promise, “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save” (Isaiah 46:4).
- When I am anxious about dying, I battle unbelief with the promise that “none of us lives to himself and none of us dies to himself; if we live we live to the Lord and if we die we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose again: that he might be Lord both of the dead and the living” (Romans 14:9–11).
- When I am anxious that I may make shipwreck of faith and fall away from God, I battle unbelief with the promise, “He who began a good work in you will complete it unto the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:6). “He who calls you is faithful. He will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23). “He is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
HT: Justin Taylor
Justin Taylor gives a very helpful and simple diagram of the Trinity which he made to help explain the doctrine to his daughter. I found it to be very helpful way of seeing the truth of the trinity. Justin writes,
Now that you know that I’m a non-expert on teaching at this level, here’s at least the essence of what I went on to try to convey, in illustrated form:
One simple way to get at the difference between person and substance/essence/nature is to say that the Trinity is “three who’s” and “one what.”
To help my daughter try to think through the difference between a “who” and a “what,” we thought about some examples:
|Who are you?||Jasper||Michael||Justin|
|What are you?||Dog||Archangel||Human Being|
Applied to God, it looks like this:
|Who are you?||Father||Son||Holy Spirit|
|What are you?||God||God||God|