Monday, October 29, 2012

Doctrine of Election Quote

"The doctrines of original sin, election, effectual calling, final perseverance, and all those great truths which are called Calvinism—though Calvin was not the author of them, but simply an able writer and preacher upon the subject—are, I believe, the essential doctrines of the Gospel that is in Jesus Christ. Now, I do not ask you whether you believe all this—it is possible you may not; but I believe you will before you enter heaven. I am persuaded, that as God may have washed your hearts, he will wash your brains before you enter heaven."

~ Charles H. Spurgeon

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Men Want Respect

Respect Survey {20 Christian guys talk about respect}

As we have discussed in the prior posts in this series respect is vitally important in our relationships with men.  When we show respect we not only honor Christ and show love to our brothers but it’s also very beneficial for ourselves as well.
But what is it that men really want?  What does respect look like to them?
I ask 20+ Christian men from many different walks of life, with ages ranging from 18-60+, what respect looks like to them.
Read on if you want to have the unique opportunity to hear from over 20 men as they share their thoughts on respect with you!
1.}  Though men and women need both love and respect, do you feel that respect or love makes you feel more valued?

To view the answers and additional questions click here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Missions - Robert Morrison Project

For more information on the this outreach, click here.
The year 1807 was a major milestone in the history of the church. On September 4, 1807, the Rev. Robert Morrison set foot on Chinese soil and became the first Protestant missionary to China. Serving under the London Missionary Society, Morrison labored tirelessly for 27 years to acquire the Chinese language, proclaim the faith, and translate the Scriptures for the first time. The early years were filled with untold hardship and toil. Yet from that humble beginning, by God’s grace, over the past 200 years, the church in China has grown from zero to millions today.
On the 200th anniversary of Robert Morrison’s entry into China another major milestone in Chinese church history is occurring. Over the last eight to ten years it has become possible to legally publish some genres of Christian literature. The door for publishing in China is not completely open. However, more and more literature is slowly becoming legally available.
Needless to say, this is a remarkable turn of events. Starting from just a handful of titles eight years ago, today approximately 600 Christian titles are in legal circulation. For many titles, sales figures are still quite low and have minimal impact within the Chinese church. Some believers have almost no Christian literature beyond a Bible. In many ways, it is fair to say that Christian publishing in China is still a blank slate with almost nothing written on it.
The good news is that reformed publishers can play a vital role in addressing this publishing vacuum. Reformed publishers have a unique set of circumstances that strongly favor the wide dissemination of their literature. The most significant circumstance is that the genres of literature that the Chinese government is allowing to be published are the same genres that reformed publishers have been focusing on for the past 50 years. In recent years the government censors have been allowing biographies, old literature by major historical figures (Calvin, Luther, etc.), and anything dealing with marriage and the family to be published. Providentially, over the last several decades reformed publishers in the West have been focusing on this same kind of literature.
The chief objective of the Robert Morrison Project is to begin to lay the foundation for the long-term, legal presence of quality reformed literature in China and beyond. On an annual or semi-annual basis the Board of Directors of the Project will select a number of titles that reflect the Puritan and Reformed tradition (as defined by confessions such as the 1689 London Baptist Confession and the Westminster Confession of Faith). Grants will then be given to various Christian publishing companies in China/Asia to legally publish these titles. The Project has no aspirations of establishing a company of its own but rather seeks to partner with existing ones to facilitate the publication of reformed literature. Our long-term goal is the establishment of financially independent, self-governing reformed publishing companies in Asia and will focus on regions where literature needs are greatest.
Will you consider partnering with us on this project by making a financial donation? Publishing these titles will begin to fill the publishing vacuum in China and help satisfy the church’s hunger for God-glorifying literature.
Soli Deo Gloria,

The Robert Morrison Project

Thursday, October 18, 2012

For Whom Did Christ Die?~John Owen

1. either all the sins of all men,
2. or all the sins of some men,
3. or some sins of all men.

If the last, some sins of all men, then have all men some sins to answer for, and so shall no man be saved; for if God entered into judgment with us, though it were with all mankind for one sin, no flesh should be justified in his sight: “If the LORD should mark iniquities, who should stand?” Ps. cxxx. 2. We might all go to cast all that we have “to the moles and to the bats, to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty,” Isa. ii. 20, 21.

If the Second, that is it which we affirm, that Christ in their stead and room Suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the world.

If the first, why then, are not all freed from the punishment of all their sins?

You will say, “Because of their unbelief; they will not believe.”

But this unbelief, is it a sin, or not?

If not, why should they be punished for it? If it be, then Christ underwent the punishment due to it, or not.

If so, then why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which he died from partaking of the fruit of his death?

If he did not, then did he not die for all their sins. Let them choose which part they will.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Numbers 21-24

I have continued to read through the Bible...using a different system this year, 52 Weeks.  I am currently on week 38...I may be off a day or two, but by HIS grace continue to be diligent.

Some observations:

Numbers 21: People murmuring (again! - how oft do I do that against the Lord?) and He sent fiery serpents to bite and many died.

The people asked for the serpents to be removed...God chose not to remove the 'trial' instead having Moses to make a serpent of bronze (which later became a snare for the people - 2Ki_18:4  He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.) which the people were to look upon if they were bitten.

I enjoyed this reminder of how God does not remove the trials and tribulations of this world from our lives; rather HE gives us someone (Christ Jesus) to look upon to sustain, guide, protect and provide for us.

Joh_16:33  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. 

Act_14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. 

1Th_3:4  For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. 

Numbers 22: Balaam - heard from God, told the first messengers to depart, but not why.  Curious as to if he was not supposed to say what God said, only to the King Balak or if he was in disobedience.

Makes me ponder upon what I I saying what the Lord wants me to say?  Even more, am I thinking what the Lord wants me to think upon.  He tells me to meditate upon His Word.

Numbers 24: Balak echos Satan: "I thought to promote thee unto great honor; but lo, the Lord hath kept thee back from honour."

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 

Where in my life am I allowing doubts or false allegations against the character of God to take hold, possibly rooting themselves and uprooting joy in my Lord?

Following my own thoughts and/or inclinations due to fearing His hand and goodness towards me?

O' Lord, let not us, Your people, be deceived or defrauded, either by outside or internal deceptions.  Cause us to faithfully apply Your Word to all our situations and circumstances knowing that You who have begun a good work in us will bring it to completion.  That You withhold no good thing from those who follow You.

May Your Bride arise from our lethargy and preoccupation with the world and its trinkets and be focused upon You and Your great commission.  Strengthen us O' Father for the days ahead and cause us to walk in holiness, radiating You and Your glory.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What About Tithing?

A Guide To New Covenant Giving
The following is taken from Chapter 6:

Let’s not “beat around the bush.” Nowhere in the New Covenant do you find the command to give 10 percent of your earnings to the Church. Nowhere in Paul’s theology of giving will you find him teaching his converts to tithe. Tithing is not a New Covenant principle. It’s just that simple.

Tithing contradicts Paul’s instruction that every person should give “according as he purposes in his heart.” That simple fact should be sufficient to settle the issue. But, to put a fine point on it, many modern pastor/teachers who advocate tithing fail to grasp the logical consequences of their own teaching. For instance, most tithing advocates include Malachi’s warning to “inspire” their congregants -

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. (Mal 3:8-9)

I do not remember ever hearing a tithing message that did not include that passage. It is constantly plucked from its context and utilized to create fear in those who hold back their ten percent – “Give it or God will get you!” But conversely, the Apostle Paul never taught Gentile churches to tithe – not once, not anywhere. Now, if it is true that believers are required to pay that ten percent or
suffer the consequences of God’s curse, Paul not only failed to teach giving correctly, he brought a curse on the whole New Testament Church. That’s the logical consequence of modern tithing teaching. Spooky, eh?

Now, I must tell you that I have presented that argument to a few tithing advocates. Their responses ranged from indifferent was incredulous. The most common retort was that Paul did not have to teach tithing because it was already established in the early Church. The logic went like this: The Gospel was first preached in Jerusalem to Jewish converts, who would have already been paying tithes and that practice naturally spread throughout the world as part of the Christian life. So, Paul never taught it because it was unnecessary to instruct people to do what they were already doing. His instruction that every person give according to their hearts had to do strictly with offerings, which are “above and beyond” the tithes to which they were already accustomed.

The only flaw with that theory is its utter lack of either historic or Scriptural proof. And, it stretches credulity. It is hard to believe that, of all the traditions of Judaism, the one that caught on universally was tithing. But, more to the point, how did the necessity and doctrine of tithing spread to the far coasts of Gentile Christianity if the apostles did not carry it with them and teach it? And, if they taught it, where is the evidence?

No, the Biblical facts deny that theory. As far as we know, neither Paul, Timothy, Titus, Peter, John Mark, Barnabas, Luke, nor any other early propagator of the Gospel taught the Gentiles to pay tithes. And, there is a reason - a very good reason. The Church is under the New Covenant and tithing was part of the Old.

So, why is such obvious evidence ignored in favor of faulty teaching? What we must realize is that the Church is not what it once was. Our English word church comes from the Celtic chirche, or kirke. Versions of that word appear in all Latin-based languages. The word kirke is derived from the Greek word kyriake, which means “Lord’s” or from kyriakos, which means “belonging to the Lord.” So, the Church belongs to the kurios, the Lord.

Meanwhile, the Greek word translated church or assembly is ekklesia, which means “out-called-ones.” So, by definition the Church is not a building or a structure, it is a people – the ones called out of the world to God.

But, these days the word  church refers to a self-perpetuating corporate organization, with large edifices, enormous overhead, and huge budgets that need to be maintained. And the best bet to cover their astronomical expenses is mandatory giving. Most large church structures are built and funded by tithes – and the threat of God’s curse.

I spent several years in a church in Los Angeles that taught tithing as adamantly and constantly as any I have encountered. I know the arguments in favor of tithing. And, I know the legalism that must engulf a church in order for systematic tithing to take hold and continue unabated. But, I also know the freedom that comes from recognizing God’s plan of giving from a true motive for
His glory.

So, with that bit of introduction, let’s begin with some history and then we will refute the arguments. It’s enlightening to read what the Bible actually says on the subject. I guarantee – and, that’s an absolute, rock-solid guarantee – that you have never heard the whole story about tithing from any church that insists on receiving your ten percent.

But, you need to know.

Click here to read the booklet.

Monday, October 8, 2012


Courtesy of Puritan Heart
Blog Owner’s Note: King James I was called the Wisest Fool in Christendom because he knew the Bible inside out, having been taught by some of the best of the Scots Covenanters.  Yet, he was one of the wickedest kings to rule England, his head knowledge only served for him to have a worse eternal punishment, because the hottest place in heaven the Bible teaches is for those whose great sin was one of spiritual wickedness. i.e. hypocrisy.
1. A man may have great knowledge in the letter of the Scripture, and yet not understand the necessary and saving doctrines in it. The doctrine of regeneration was laid down in the whole Old Testament, though not in that term. Let us take heed how we read the Scriptures; not to trouble our heads with needless and curious questions, but with the main mysteries of religion. What could all Nicodemus his knowledge profit him, if it had been ten thousand times more, without the knowledge of this doctrine, and the experience of it!
2. Nothing is more an enemy to the saving knowledge of gospel mysteries than a priding ourselves in head knowledge. Nicodemus his coming by night was not only from fear, but pride, that he might not be thought ignorant by the people. Humble men have the soundest knowledge: ‘The meek will he teach his way,’ Ps. xxv. 9.
3. How low was the interest of God in the world at that time! How had ignorance and error thrust the knowledge of God out of other parts of the world, when it languished so much in the church! How simple must the poor people be when the students in Scripture were no wiser! It is a thing to be bewailed amongst us, that wrangling knowledge has almost thrust out spiritual. And when Christians meet, their discourses are more about unnecessary disputes than these saving mysteries of Christianity, which might produce elevations of heart to heaven.
—The Works of Stephen Charnock

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Do You Intimidate Your Husband?

Courtesy of Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Leslie Basham: As a newer bride, Kim Wagner longed to know that her husband loved her.
Kim Wagner: I remember in our early years of marriage riding in the car for trips and sitting there thinking, why doesn’t he hold my hand? He is so unaffectionate. He is so cold. He is so to himself. If he loved me, wouldn’t he want to reach out and hold my hand?
Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, September 12.
When you go to church and everyone looks perfect on the outside, you don’t know how many painful stories hide behind the church smiles.
LeRoy and Kim Wagner were working hard serving in the church where LeRoy was pastor, yet their marriage was barely surviving. Yesterday Kim told us about the conviction God brought for the way she criticized her husband. We’ll pick up the story as Kim describes meeting Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
Kim: So within that year with my heart changing and attempting to change my treatment of him, I became very frustrated though because it seemed like he was going even further into his cave. I thought, "Nothing’s changing. Nothing’s improving."
You and I had a conversation, and I’m thankful that we had time that we spent together. You asked me some very tough questions. Our conversation, Nancy, to me it so validates the truth of Titus 2. Although you’re not that much older than me, although you’ve never been married, the role of women that are further along spiritually, in the spiritual growth process, in sanctification is to come alongside younger women, young women that need to have truth poured into their lives.
We had a conversation one day where you asked me some very difficult questions and gave me truth. I remember the first question you asked me.
LeRoy Wagner: When I heard, excuse me, when I heard this question that you asked her, the first question, I thought, "Wow! God is on His throne. He really knows what’s going on in our lives. I don’t know this woman, but she is in tune with the Spirit."
Nancy: And the question was . . .
Kim: You looked at me, and not in a condemning way but in a gracious way, you said, “I think you may intimidate your husband.” That was the statement. And then you said, “Do you think you might intimidate your husband?”
I said, “How can I intimidate my husband? I can’t imagine that. Well, no, he wouldn’t be intimidated by me.” The more I thought about that, the Holy Spirit began to confirm that. I didn’t realize that with my vocal, opinionated statements, it was intimidating to him.
LeRoy: Emotional outbursts that I had no answer for and could not deal with in any way.
Kim: For him, he saw it as standing in opposition to him. He had such respect for me that at times he even thought, "Well, maybe she does know better than I do." He would many times say to me, “You’d do a better job at being the pastor of this church than I do.”
LeRoy: And not that those that know me would have seen me as a weakling because I dealt with very, very difficult challenges. I could endure, outside of the home, confrontations, conflict. Even though I did not like to deal with that, I could.
As a pastor you have to deal with all kinds of things in people’s lives that are just in chaos. You have to stand on truth that sometimes is very difficult. You have to take stands. You have to go to meetings where people are going to disagree with you. You have to lead in a way that you know there’s going to be opposition. There’s going to be criticism.
So I’ve always been able to do that, but it’s quite different when the one you love, when the one you’re joined as one with, when she has expressed that she has no confidence in you; that she would do it another way; that that was not the way it should have been done. So then it became, although I was a person that could do that and had done that, it became more and more paralyzing for me to do what I needed to do in this public part of my life when the private part of my life with the marriage was not as God intended for it to be.
Nancy: I think that’s such an important point you just made, LeRoy, because we look at the culture and see men so struggling. Not all men, of course, but a lot of men really struggling with confidence issues, with stepping up to the plate, with taking leadership, with making good and wise decisions. You wonder how many of them really could have or would have but because of what’s going on in the home, in the marriage, have felt beat down, brow beaten, intimidated, incapacitated, emasculated, whatever all the words are. And then tey go outside the home with their tail between their legs.
LeRoy: I think there are two reactions to that, which is so affecting our Christian homes. We’re talking about Christian homes and how the feminist influence that started in the culture has crept into our homes and even Bible-believing homes. I think men react in one of two ways, both of them equally destructive. That is either to recede, like I did, into a shell. I think depending probably on their personality. Or then to lord and dominate and say, “I will not take this,” and for the home to become just a battle ground of anger and resentment. It’s just destructive because if the woman is strong, she’s going to rise up even stronger and then the man is going to . . .
Nancy: . . . or the woman’s going to cower.
LeRoy: Or she’s going to cower and then you have just equally a devastating situation where there’s not the union, the harmony, the fellowship that the Lord intends for us to have. Without God’s grace and without standing with tenacity, with unwavering commitment on the Word of God, there is no hope for a godly home. We cannot do it in our own strength. We cannot do it in our flesh.
Even though we’re in church, some of us three, four, five times a week, even though we’re in ministry, even though we believe the Word, even though we believe the right things, we want to do the right things, we still must have the work of the Holy Spirit and the truth of God continually cleansing us, continually directing us, encouraging us, comforting us. We must have that.
Nancy: Kim, once you started realizing the intimidation factor here, did you talk about that with LeRoy pretty quickly?
Kim: I did. He wasn’t real open about it.
LeRoy: I wasn’t communicative because I was so careful to say anything because if it caused any reaction on her part, then I didn’t feel like I could counter it, match it, converse with her, match her emotion, match her intensity. So I tried to be so careful and measured in anything that I would say, to anything I would respond to.
Nancy: So at that point you really weren’t able to express your heart.
LeRoy: I did not feel the freedom to express my heart.
Kim: He didn’t feel safe yet with me. He was not safe. I was asking questions that were too painful for him. He could not go there yet.
LeRoy: God had to, in His timing, bring me to a place that then I could begin to be a part of this healing, redemptive work that began with your booklet and your conversation with her. So we were both on the journey, but it was at different paces and the Lord was using different means to bring us to where He wanted us to be.
Kim: He came back from being away for a week alone where God dealt with his heart and revealed to him this stronghold of fear toward me and that he needed to be open and honest with me about it. He just humbly and openly communicated that to me. But, Nancy, I don’t think he ever would have if he didn’t feel like he had a safe place.
It took time of me preparing that safe place of doing the hard things, of beginning to flesh out the truths of Scriptures that we had taught on, like Philippians 2, walking in the humility of Christ. Colossians 3, demonstrating true love, grace, humility. Those type of things that we should treat just fellow believers with, but I hadn’t treated my husband with, but to prepare a safe place for him to be able to come and be honest with me.
Nancy: So you said . . .
LeRoy: Well, I just poured out my heart and expressed to her what God dealt with me about. In each of us God alone knows how we’re made, what our experiences are, what are our thoughts, what are our inner most emotions and feelings and our experiences. So He knows exactly where He needs to deal with us, pinpoint grace.
I came to realize, and I was afraid to admit it as a man, that fear had gripped my soul. Fear had paralyzed me. I was afraid of my wife. I was afraid of making decisions. I was afraid of failure. I was afraid of every meeting of every opportunity to interact with anyone. I had literally become a very fearful person, and I’m not weak. I’m quiet by nature, and I am introverted by nature, but I’m not, by nature, fearful person.
The Lord took me back to where all through my life that had really been an issue with me. Our marriage, by the grace of God, He didn’t want it to destroy Kim. He didn’t want it to destroy me. He wanted to bring out the things that had always been a part of our life that He knew, in His goodness and in His omniscience and knowing all about us, that it would have to take to be a godly marriage, committed to sticking together. He knew what we were going to do, but He put us in that so He could work on the very issues that would keep us from growing to the degree that He wanted us to grow, to serve in the way, to be the people that God desired for us to be.
He used the crucible of marriage and the fires of difficulty and of heartache and of pain to go to the very heart of the issues in our lives that we had long before we knew one another, that maybe we were not conscious that we had. But really He took us to those very dark and painful places in order to redeem us, in order to rescue us, in order to free us . . .
Kim: . . . to conform us to the image of Christ.
LeRoy: To conform us to the image of Christ. I’m so grateful that He did it. I’m so grateful for the truth of God, for God using you, for the Holy Spirit never letting go of us, never releasing us to ourselves and to our own destructive attitudes and actions but continuing to work in our lives.
Kim: The thing that God brought to light in his life was that stronghold of fear. In my life, He was bringing to light selfishness, self-pity, unrealistic expectations and demands, the desire to control. All of those things are part of our fleshly nature, but when we live the crucified life, those things can be crucified and conformed to the image of Christ.
LeRoy: When you think about it, those two very negative things that God dealt with in our lives are probably at the basis of the Fall and the interaction in a lot of cases, maybe even most cases, of husbands and wives. "Her desire will be to rule over you" (Gen. 3:16). Here Adam was, he was with her, and he did not take leadership, and he did not fulfill the obligation that God said, "You are to keep My Word. You’re not to partake of this. This is off limits." So he did not stand up and take leadership with Eve in saying, "This is what God instructed us to do. We’re not to do this."
So he was passive. He was quiet. It is also a recipe for disaster not only in the marriage, but also in ministry. It will ultimately prevent us from doing that with all of our heart and with a clear conscience because it will just wreak havoc in our soul.
Kim: LeRoy struggled with a crisis of faith because he said, “I see my wife in the Word every day. I see her seeking God. I see her praying." And in those early years, he didn’t see any transformation in my life. What my passion and desire to communicate to women now is we have a transformed marriage. We have seen the power of God step into a marriage. A natural man would think this marriage would end in divorce or suicide. But God stepped in, and He has transformed our marriage.
Those of you that are in this room, this is a little illustration, but you’re witnessing actually evidence of that in that I remember in our early years of marriage riding in the car for trips and sitting there thinking, "Why doesn’t he hold my hand? He is so unaffectionate. He is so cold. He is so to himself. If he loved me, wouldn’t he want to reach out and hold my hand?"
You have watched him repeatedly in this studio reach over and grab my hand. He is so affectionate to me. He shares his every thought and heart with me. He communicates freely and openly with me, and I did not experience that for years.
Nancy: And the very thing you were wanting to experience, you were driving him away.
Kim: Driving him away from that. The man that I wanted him to be, when I tried to pressure him into that mold, when I tried to manipulate him to be that way and control circumstances, control him, it pushed him further and further away. It created a man I did not recognize.
But when I took my hands off of that and I really went to God and I laid out before God the man I wanted, made that request of God, but at the same time began to allow God to change me, change my treatment of him, my reaction to him, and God transformed him into a man that today our marriage is far greater than anything I could have ever imagined or dreamed of.
LeRoy: We tell couples all the time, and it’s a real joy to be able to talk with couples about these things and point them to the Scripture and point them to the grace of God that is sufficient and be able to speak from experience that God is able. God is powerful. God is aware of what’s going on in your lives and in your marriage.
We tell them all the time that we are absolutely, we say it with great smiles and joy on our faces, that we are enjoying the best time of our marriage, the greatest joy. And we know that the Lord has more growth and joy in the journey.
It is a testimony to the truthfulness of God’s Word, to the power of the living God, the resurrected Christ, and it is a testimony to the work of the Holy Spirit in working through people like yourself, Nancy. God is at work in people’s lives.
I shudder to think that people are now where Kim and I were. I don’t want anybody to be in that place. I would just want everyone to know that I don’t know all the dark places of where everyone is or has been, but I know that we were in a very dark place, and I was in a very hopeless place. I know that God doesn’t love me any more than He loves anyone else. No matter where anyone is, no matter what they’re going through, no matter how hopeless, no matter how dark a place that it may be, our God is no respecter of persons;  He is able to redeem and to rescue and to transform marriages and to transform lives.
I just desire for every marriage that is not at the place (it may not be at the place where we were) where the Lord desires for it to be, where it brings glory to God, where people are drawn to Christ through that marriage, through that husband and wife relationship because the aroma of Christ is so pungent and people can just see the Lord at work in their lives, I want everyone to experience that.
Nancy: So the first step to head in that direction—because there is somebody listening right now who is where you all were. You’ve given them hope. What’s the first step they can take?
LeRoy: Someone that’s listening right now and hearing this broadcast, I would just encourage you to lift up your eyes to the Lord from where your help will come. He is faithful. All that He has promised, all that He has said He will do, He will do it. But you need to cry out to Him. I think that’s the first step because it shows our humility, our neediness. It shows that we are looking to Him alone for help that only He can give and He will hear the cry of the broken heart. He will not refuse a broken and a contrite spirit.
So if God in His goodness and grace has allowed you to be broken, it is not so you’ll remain broken, but it is so that you will cry out to Him and He will answer. It will probably involve repentanceIt will involve humility and transparency before your wife or before your husband and before your children, and maybe before others who know you.
The real test of a Christian marriage is not what people see in church at 11:00 on Sunday morning or that you’re trying to raise good kids. That’s not the test of what a real godly marriage is. The real test is, what is your spiritual life like when no one sees you as a couple but just the Lord.
Nancy: That’s Pastor LeRoy Wagner. We’ve been hearing how God spoke to his heart and revealed some serious changes that he needed to make as a husband. But as we’ve heard this week, this work of God’s grace in LeRoy’s life didn’t begin until God had first done a work of grace in Kim’s life.
And as we’ve just heard, Kim had to be patient with this process. In fact, she waited for two years. During that time she was determined to create a safe place that would encourage LeRoy to open up, to show leadership, and to respond to God’s conviction.
I wonder if God’s been speaking to your own heart as you’ve been listening to this story. In fact, let me ask you a few questions to make this a little bit more personal. 
  • Is your home a safe place or is your home a battleground, a place where your husband feels criticized and critiqued?
  • Have you created a climate in your marriage where your husband feels free to share his vulnerability? Or might he be afraid that if he really opens up, if he gets honest, if he starts to deal with his issues, you’re going to reject him or try to fix him?
  • In the way I talk to and about men, do I show their God-created worth and value?
  • Do I make it easy for men to fulfill their God-given calling to lead in the home, the church, and the society?
By the way, I’ve discovered that when we’re too quick to take the reins ourselves, it really discourages the men from being the leaders that we often say we wish they would be.
  • Do I respond to men in ways that communicate appropriate respect and affirmation of their manhood?
Now, of course, we’re not talking here about flattery but about genuine appreciation and admiration and respect.
I think as we ponder these question, all of us have room for growth. I’m so glad Kim Wagner has written a new book that addresses these issues. It’s called Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Salvation Quote - Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon
Nothing so much concerns any one of you as salvation. Your health by all means. Let the physician be fetched if you be sick; care well for diet and exercise, and all sanitary laws. Look wisely to your constitution and its peculiarities; but what matters it, after all, to have possessed a healthy body, if you have a perishing soul? Wealth, yes, if you must have it, though you shall find it an empty thing if you set your heart upon it. Prosperity in this world, earn it if you can do so fairly, but “what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” A golden coffin will be a poor compensation for a damned soul. To be cast away from God’s presence, can that misery be assuaged by mountains of treasure? Can the bitterness of the second death be sweetened by the thought that the wretch was once a millionaire, and that his wealth could affect the polities of nations?
No, there is nothing in health or wealth comparable to salvation. Nor can honor and reputation bear a comparison therewith. Truly they are but baubles, and yet for all that they have a strange fascination for the soul of men. Oh, sirs, if every harpstring in the world should resound your glories, and every trumpet should proclaim your fame, what would it matter if a louder voice should say, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”? Salvation! salvation! SALVATION! Nothing on earth can match it, for the merchandise of it is better than silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. The possession of the whole universe would be no equivalent to a lost soul for the awful damage it has sustained and must sustain for ever. Pile up the worlds, and let them fill the balance: ay, bring as many worlds as there are stars, and heap up the scale on the one side; then in this other scale place a single soul endowed with immortality, and it outweighs the whole. Salvation! nothing can be likened unto it. May we feel its unutterable value, and therefore seek it till we possess it in its fullness!
—Charles Spurgeon – Sermon “Your Own Salvation” Continue reading HERE