Practice What Is Preached

Have you really made an impact, an impression? Does your life bear witness to your faith in Christ and show the grateful response to your undeserved salvation? No? We seem to suffer from Gospel-forgetfulness.

It might be that you are a Christian and that your desire is to apply that what you have learned. This desire is usually at its strongest after coming into contact with the Bible, be it in church, small groups or conversation with a fellow Christian; yet you find yourself a week later without a single example of a practice that is implied from what has been preached.

Think about the previous sermon at your church or application discussion during last week’s small group gathering. How much have you applied?

  • Do you approach work as if it is for God, not your employer? (Col 3:23)
  • Do you serve with the gifts which has been entrusted to you? (1 Pet 4:10)
  • Do you busy yourself with charitable deeds? (Matt 25:31-40)
  • Do you give to your church with a willing heart? (2 Cor 9:7)
  • Does your spouse become more like Jesus because of you or in spite of you?  (recipe being Eph 5:21-33)
  • etc

So how does it work? How do I apply what I heard in church, read in the Bible and discussed during my weekly small group? What is the switch that needs to be flicked? And so we turn to Thomas Manton:

“What is the reason there is so much preaching and so little practice? For want of meditation…. Constant thoughts are operative, and musing makes the fire burn. Green wood is not kindled by a flash or spark, but by constant blowing.” —Thomas Manton (1620–1677)

As we constantly ponder the things of God, of Jesus and what has been revealed to us in His word we in effect discipline our minds; we redirect our hearts and find our hands busy with the things we want them to do.

Maak ‘n Punt Daarvan.

Om elke dag ‘n tyd in te ruim om te rus in God is ______ :

“Now then, little man, for a short time fly from your business; hide yourself for a moment from your turbulent thoughts.  Break off now your troublesome cares, and think less of your laborious occupations.  Make a little time for God, and rest for a while in him.  Enter into the chamber of your mind, shut out everything but God and whatever helps you to seek him, and, when you have shut the door, seek him.  Speak now, O my whole heart, speak now to God: ‘I seek thy face; thy face, Lord, do I desire.’”

-Anselm of Canterbury (ca. 1033-1109), Proslogion, chapter one

Soos gesien op God is Deeper Still, No Way This Man Become Shallow, Ray Ortlund

Die Bybel in Twee Weke

So wat is die vinnigste manier om ‘n goeie oorsig van die Bybel te kry? Hier is twee voorstelle:

1. The Sweep of the Bible in Two Weeks     

If a freshman in college or stay-at-home mom or aspiring deacon or friend from work or anyone else asked me how they might get a rough grasp of the macro-storyline of the Bible in a few weeks, I’d send them not to any secondary resource but to the Bible itself for a reading plan that might look something like this. 

Week 1

Sunday – Genesis 1-3 
Monday – Genesis 12-17
Tuesday – Exodus 1-3, 12
Wednesday – Exodus 14, 19-20 
Thursday – Joshua 23-24; Judges 1-2
Friday – 1 Samuel 8, 16; 2 Samuel 7, 11; Psalm 105 
Saturday – Isaiah 7, 9, 11, 35, 52-53, 65

Week 2

Sunday – Jeremiah 30-33; Ezekiel 36-37, Zechariah 9; Malachi 3-4 
Monday – Matt. 1:1; Mark 1:1-15; John 1:1-18; 5:39-46; Luke 24 
Tuesday – Mark 14:1-16:8 
Wednesday – Acts 1-2; 13:13-49 
Thursday – Rom. 1:1-6; 16-17; 3:9-31; 5:12-21; 8:18-23; 1 Cor. 15:1-23 
Friday – Heb. 1:1-4; 10:19-12:2 
Saturday – Revelation 1; 20-22

 – vanaf Strawberry-Rhurbarb Theology, Dane Ortlund)

 

2. God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible, Vaughan Roberts       


– Op Amazon hier.

Identifying Idols

A fast Christianese checkup in the morning might reveal some sins, some shortcomings and failures of the previous day. We are easy to determine and point to the sins over the past 24 hours but what are the small, seemingly irrelevant things we value that slipped past our firewall? Those things that, if given the time (or most probably already has had enough time), have grown into idols.

We could do with some proper introspection and this might be useful – Jared Wilson posted a blog containing a list of diagnostic questions (taken from David Powlison’s Seeing With New Eyes) that we can use to identify our idols:

1. What do I worry about most?

2. What, if I failed or lost it, would cause me to feel that I did not even want to live?

3. What do I use to comfort myself when things go bad or get difficult?

4. What do I do to cope? What are my release valves? What do I do to feel better?

5. What preoccupies me? What do I daydream about?

6. What makes me feel the most self-worth? Of what am I the proudest? For what do I want to be known?

7. What do I lead with in conversations?

8. Early on what do I want to make sure that people know about me?

9. What prayer, unanswered, would make me seriously think about turning away from God?

10. What do I really want and expect out of life? What would really make me happy?

11. What is my hope for the future?

J.I. Packer on Work and Vocation

A Dad Needs ..

Jurgens Nel, from Mark Driscoll:

A dad needs …

… a plan for the holidays to ensure his family is loved and memories are made. Dad, what’s your plan?

… to ensure his family is giving generously during the holidays. Dad, who in need is your family going to adopt, bless, and serve?

… to carve out time for sacred events and experiences to build family traditions that are fun and point to Jesus. Dad, is you calendar ready for December?

… to not let the stress of the holidays, including money, cause him to be grumpy with Mom or the kids. Dad, how’s your joy?

… to make memories and not just give gifts. Dad, what special memories can you make this holiday season?

… to manage the extended family and friends during the holidays. Dad, who or what do you need to say “no” to?

… to schedule a big Christmas date with his daughter(s). Dad, what’s your big plan for the fancy Daddy-daughter date?

… to schedule guy time with his son(s). Dad, what are you and your son(s) going to do that is active, outdoors, and fun?

… to help get the house decorated. Dad, are you really a big help to Mom with getting things ready?

… to ensure there are some holiday smells and sounds. Dad, is Christmas music on the iPod, is the tree up, can you smell cookies and cider?

… to snuggle up and watch fun shows with the kids. Dad, is the DVR set to record old classics and holiday shows?

… to connect with Mom during the holidays. Dad, do you have some fun date nights or getaways planned for you and your wife?

… to help Mom get the kids’ rooms decorated. Dad, do they get lights or a small tree in their room?

… to read about Jesus with and pray over his kids. Dad, how’s your pastoral work going with each of your kids?

… to repent of being lazy, selfish, grumpy, or just dumping the holidays on Mom. Dad, are you a servant like Jesus to your family?

… to help his kids learn to be generous and give. Dad, whom do your kids want to buy presents for outside of your family?

… to check the local guides for what’s going on to make fun holiday plans for the family.

… to not let technology eat away family time during Christmas break. Dad, will you make sure the electronics are turned off so your family can interact, play games, talk, etc.?

… to take the lead in family devotions centered on the birth of Jesus. Dad, have you picked out parts of the Bible to read together over dinner during the holidays?

… to take the family on a drive to see Christmas lights while listening to music and sipping cider. Dad, is it mapped out?

… to study the incarnation of Jesus Christ to help prepare him and his family for the holidays. Dad, do you have some reading lined up?

… a break during the holidays. Dad, it’s not a sin to watch some football, nap, or relax a bit so long as you’ve taken care of your other priorities first.

 

Kersfees Presente

Lê jy in die aande wakker en wonder wat om vir jou geliefdes te koop vir Kersfees? Dit is bietjie vreemd. Ek vind myself nie in daardie spasie nie, maar vir die wat wel wakker lê hieroor – loer deur The Resurgence se afdeling van Recommended Books.