Monthly Archives: December 2012

John RW Stott on True Knowledge of God

Standard

In his booklet titled “Your Mind Matters”, Stott writes:

“The true knowledge of God will result not in our being puffed up with conceit at how knowledgeable we are, but in our falling on our faces before God in sheer wonder and crying, “0 the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments

and how unscrutable his ways!” Whenever our knowledge becomes dry or leaves us cold, something has gone wrong_ For whenever Christ opens the Scriptures to us and we learn from

him, our heart should be aglow within us. The more we know God the more we should love

him. I believe it was Bishop Handley Moule who said that we should beware equally of an undevotional theology and an untheological devotion.”

 

(“Your Mind Matters” by John RW Stott, pg.57, © 1972 Inter Varsity Press)

John MacArthur on the Resolution of Cross

Standard

What was resolved on the cross? Here’s the answer from John MacArthur:

“Perhaps the greatest theological dilemma of all time was resolved on the cross. It was the question of how a holy God could communicate mercy and grace to sinful people. Sin, as we have seen, demands death. Yet God’s loving-kindness and mercy are never ending. He loves sinners. If he simply accepts us as we are and ignore our sins, His own holiness will be tainted. Christ resolved the question by taking the punishment on Himself. He brought mercy and justice together at the cross—and satisfied the demands of both.”

(God With Us: The Miracles of Christmas copyright 1989 by John F. MacArthur Jr. published by Zondervan Books)

Merry CHRISTmas and Happy New Year to you!!!!

Used Book Finds: How Great Christian Met Christ by James C. Hefley

Standard

A collection of 40 giants in Christendom by a little know author, How Great Christian Me Christ (published by Moody Press in 1973)is one of those book that has this outstanding idea for a book but didn’t have a blockbuster hit on the market. This book which I got from Booksale (and most of the books I put a title “Used Book Finds”) has the “Who-who” personalities in Christianity. Name it this book got it. You don’t believe me? Take a shot! Spurgeon is here. Augustine is here. So is Billy Graham, John Wesley, Hudson Taylor, D. L. Moody, John Newton, Billy Sunday, Harry Ironside, Justin Martyr, George Muller is here. Impressive list isn’t it?! This brief and concise collection on how they got converted in Christianity has the best and not so best in terms of how the author tells it or the conversion is not that earth shaking. Still it’s a good read. You got to give the author the credit for the effort he has done. Anyways, I hope you enjoy this post. If you have something to share about finding great books over second hand bookstores please post a comment.

Dr. Joel R. Beeke on Heaven

Standard

In light of Christ resurrection, Dr. Joel R. Beeke writes about heaven:

Heaven will be a place of perfect worship of God, perfect service to God, perfect reigning with Christ, perfect fellowship with saints, perfect education about God and His truth, and perfect rest. It will be a place of gracious reward for faithfulness on earth and abundant compensation for suffering on earth. Heaven will be a place of perfect holiness—an eternal Holy of Holies and a sin-free land. As Rowland Hill says, “If an unholy man were to get to heaven, he would feel like a hog in a flower garden.” Heaven will be pure and clean. There will be no infirmity there and not one speck of dust. All evil will be walled out; all good walled in.

 

(“How Christ Resurrection Shapes Our Hopes Part 2”, pg. 153, The Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth Magazine, Vol. 18, No. 6)

 

Are you looking forward to heaven? Your comments are welcome.

4 Tearful Reunions Found in the Bible

Standard

The Bible is full of moving drama. Let us look at four emotional reunions recorded in the Scriptures:

  1. Jacob and Esau (Genesis 33: 4) – having a sibling rivalry which began in their mother‘s womb and making it worse when Jacob stole Esau’s birthright and the blessing from his father Isaac. But as they say every story has a happy ending (or a big reunion for that matter) in Genesis 33. Unknown to Jacob this kind of bitter rivalry (and tearful reunion) will also happen to his own sons.
  2. Joseph and his brothers (Genesis 45: 14-15) – Jacob favorite son Joseph was throw in a pit and sold as a slave by his jealous brothers. Eventually by God’s sovereignty, he became ruler of Egypt and saved his family from starvation.
  3. The Prodigal Son parable (Luke 15: 11-32) – Jesus told this unforgettable parable. The story of how God loves us and wants to forgive us. No matter how far you might go from God, his grace is still open for repentant sinners.
  4. God and His elect (Rev. 21:4) – This is the ultimate reunion!  In the new heaven and new earth where God will live with men, He will wipe away their tears, no sorrow, no death, no crying and no remembrance of the former things. We as believers should look forward to that day when we will dwell with God forever.

 

Hope you like this post. Your comments are welcome…

Rescuing the Youth for the Gospel: Delighting Grace Interviews The Rescue Ministries

Standard

Loving others is half of the gospel at work. But how do you serve people as well as the Christian Church half way across the globe for the sake of Christ?

Delighting Grace chats to Dustin Gent of The Rescue Ministries to know more about the condition of the area where they are ministering and how TRM has been touching lives by the power of the gospel among the Filipino people.

Delighting Grace: Poverty is one of the biggest problem in the Philippines. So how do The Rescue Ministries address this problem and how does the gospel fit in?

Dustin Gent: That is our heart beat.  To equip, develop and educate the youth and their families so that we can break these cycles.  As discussed earlier; a hurdle that we encountered early on in the ministry was that when we would rescue a child… that a sibling or relative would simply replace their role and another youth would wind up being exploited or taken advantage of.  So essentially we were doing more damage/harm than good.  BUT, thankfully, we learned from this process.  The way we screen our youth/applicants has changed.  We work hand in hand with the government (DSWD) and other NGOs in order to determine if a youth is a good fit for our program.  I believe that we can remove a child from their environment, provide them an education and still fail them.  If we are not raising up Christian leaders within the community, then the corruptness and moral bankruptcy of the culture will continue.

For TRM it is imperative that we realize the ONLY solution is the salvation and sanctification process that can only be found in Christ.  That we develop disciples.  And the disciples learn how to make disciples until there are generations of disciple-makers.  Without Christ.  Without giving The HOPE to these people, all of our other efforts will be in vain and without purpose or merit.  But, yes, as Christians, if those who were abused and neglected are not shown that they have a greater purpose and meaning… that their life matters… then they will raise and treat their kids the same way. And it simply continues.  One of the other elements that we are introducing soon is a mentorship program.

Delighting Grace: Aside from ministering the youth, is TRM in a way empowering the local church in this kind of outreach?

Our hope is that the local Christian church in the Philippines will rise to the challenge of spending time with youth who are currently in difficult circumstances.  For instance, we recently rescued a child who has 8 other siblings and both parents are mentally ill.  Per the government worker, the parents are unable to provide care for the other 8 siblings and are abusive.  Furthermore, the entire family has no means to get food on a daily basis.  Our vision would be to have a few mentors assigned to this home who would check in on the youth, help with their studies, give them access to supports in community and expose them to a life without abuse and neglect.  I could see the mentoring program changing how social services operates in the Philippines.

Delighting Grace: Please describe for our readers that part of Cebu The Rescue Ministries is currently serving.

Dustin Gent: There are multiple areas in Cebu where we minister and provide outreach to children and their families.  There are several provinces (Mandaue, Lapu Lapu, Conscalcion, Liloan) where we have relationships and contacts with the government and other nonprofits.  Our vision is to rescue youth who are primarily living in the dumpsites from their environment and put them in a safe Christian environment.  In order to break the cycles of abuse and poverty, our commitment is to provide weekly Bible Studies and time of worship so that all of our youth will know who Christ is.  We certainly do not require conversion for our youth to stay at the orphanage.  We simply give them an opportunity to read and learn the Bible for themselves so they can make an educated decision.  We give hope (through Christ) to the hopeless.

I truly believe the cycles of abuse and poverty will never change unless Christ intervenes and becomes the Lord of these people.  The poverty and corruption is too great for man to “fix”.  It is a God – Sized problem and we are 100% relying on Him to change the hearts and lives of these people.  Our other commitment and belief is that unless we provide a specialized training or college education to our youth they may not have the tools necessary to breaking the cycles of abuse and poverty.  Therefore, we provide a college education or livelihood training to all of the youth in our care.

Additionally if they have any family members we teach them livelihood skills so that they can get a productive job.  One of the last things we want to do is rescue children from the trash/street who was generating income for a family and as a result have the family starve or expose another child to abuse in order to replace the child rescued.  It is a difficult process.

Delighting Grace: Why did you choose the Philippines as your mission field?

Dustin Gent: To be honest, I really did not choose the Philippines.  In 1998 when I was called as a full time missionary I asked the agency who was sending me what was the greatest need at the time.  At the top of the list was a church planter in Cebu, Philippines.  I loved to share the gospel and it seemed like the perfect fit. The ironic thing was that I hated rice… it was one of my least favorite foods at the time.  The Philippines certainly taught me how to love rice.
Delighting Grace: Please invite our readers to check out you ministry. What do you currently need?

 

Dustin Gent: If readers would like to become involved they are welcome to go to our website at www.therescueministries.org  there they can meet our kids, learn about upcoming mission trips, read our blog about updates and see what our current needs are.

One of the things that stays at the top of our list is the need for sponsors for our youth.  Whether they give $5 a month or $200 every penny goes directly to the care of the kids.

Another need is that God has laid on our hearts to build a hospital in the Philippines.  We have a Filipino businessman who is paying for the construction of the physical building which is an amazing blessing.  However, access to new or used hospital equipment is a challenge in the Philippines.  I have a shipping container that I can send supplies into the Philippines. Our need is to collect hospital equipment.  From the most expensive items (Xray machines, surgical equipment) to some of the cheapest (thermometer, gauze).  People can call my cell phone at 865-607-7621 to arrange how items can be picked up or given an address on where they can deliver these supplies.

We have hundreds of needs, but the last one that I would specifically list is support in starting a pig farm.  We have been donated land where we can establish a farm.  This farm can hold up to 2,000 pigs.  However to hire staff, set up buildings, irrigation, etc. etc. it will cost us up to $55,000.  The great thing is that this farm will generate a profit of around $2,000 a month.  So in just a few years it will more than pay for itself, plus it will provide jobs to some of the youth’s family, it will provide food for the orphanage and it will provide a sustainable income for the orphanage where we do not have to rely on sponsors as much.

 

We will have developed a way for local Filipinos to provide care for these children themselves rather than the orphanage being funded by others in another Country.  And that is truly the ultimate vision and goal. To develop disciples who make disciples.  And provide an education and job skills to Filipinos who can target the cycles of abuse and poverty so they can provide care for their fellow Countrymen.  It is a God-sized dream and goal…. And we are confident that God loves the Filipino children who we serve and will reveal Himself to these people in a mighty way.

Delighting Grace: Guys get connected with The Rescue Ministries and Dustin to show how God’s love changed us to lovers of others. It is also a great way to minister to our fellow Filipinos in need and to shape them to what God calls them to be. Thanks Dustin!

Dustin Gent: Thank you for the opportunity to share about our ministry.

Applied Christianity! Delighting Grace Interviews Christianity Applied

Standard

Christianity Applied is newbie group in Christian Worldview and Apologetics. But the group promise to deliver practical perspective of Christianity that will engage us to apply what we believe. We got hold of one of its author, Benton Moss, to talk more about CA and what it can offer.

 

Delighting Grace: What is Christianity Applied?

 

Benton Moss: Christianity Applied is an online ministry that seeks to take the Gospel in its most basic form along with strong theology, and then apply it to the real world around us.  We seek to give perspective on everything that goes on about us each day.

 

Delighting Grace: Your ministry’s name is very striking. Do you feel that your ministry has this big task to live by its name in bringing practicality in Christianity?

 

Benton Moss: We not only seek to bring practical application of the Christian Faith, but also to show how it is the best philosophy by which to live for all! To live in the light of His grace is such a wonderful thing!

 

Delighting Grace: Does it mean when you say “applied” equals to being “practical” or “useful” in terms of your goals of the ministry?

Benton Moss: When we say applied, like I said earlier, we mean taking basic theology and the Gospel in its purest form and showing what it looks like when you apply them to your daily life.

 

Delighting Grace: How would you differentiate it from just pragmatism?

Benton Moss: This is an application of the Christian philosophy, even when it’s hard or extremely difficult.  Chesterton wrote that Christianity hasn’t been tried and found wanting, rather it’s been found difficult and left untried.  Pragmatism is simply doing what’s easiest or least resistant in this moment.  Applied Christianity is following Christ against all currents of worldliness at all cost, exactly as Christ did.

 

Delighting Grace: Some may say “Hey I can apply Atheism or Islam in my life and be useful, so what difference does it make if it’s from Christianity?”

Benton Moss:  Well, that’s just it!  I actually wrote a philosophical article on the presuppositions of atheism and showed how atheists don’t live by their own code (“Logical conclusions of an Atheistic worldview”).  So, when you get an atheistic worldview lived to its conclusions, you get a stalin essentially.  As for Islam, I have read a lot of the Qur’an and there are several references to the Injeel (the Gospel in Arabic) and that Muslims follow what has already been written in the Gospels.   Yet, why do they disregard these verses?  So, you see, we begin with the presupposition that the Christian God is the only one and true God, and show how others’ philosophical presuppositions or underpinnings are simply logically inconsistent with either internal logic or inconsistent with how they live their lives!  Thus, we seek to show how practical, applied Christianity lived out daily makes a difference on an individual as well as a collective scale.

C.S. Lewis once wrote that you can tell a person’s philosophy Is wrong when you see that they can’t logically live by it.

 

Delighting Grace: Just checked your video on “What is Apologetics?” and people might wonder how in the world can we apply apologetics in life other than getting in a religious debate?

 

Benton Moss:  Apologetics simply means “a defense”.  Apologetics is a way to verify in many different ways of knowing (historical analysis, scientific evidence, and the list goes on) that there is a God and that He created the heavens and earth to declare his glory.  So, we can use apologetics in two different ways: first to strengthen our convictions, and second to defend our knowledge against false claims of others.  Apologetics is based on the verse 1 Peter 3:15 where we communicate the truth of the Gospel in a loving manner.  Sometimes Christians forget the loving way to do this!  We must humbly defend our positions to show that in Christ all knowledge is held and the Truth is to be found.

Delighting Grace: What do you think is the first step in applying Christianity?

 

Benton Moss:  The First step is simply this:  asking yourself how God’s grace will affect your actions today… we love because He loved us first.  Thus, when we concentrate on God’s mercy and love, what else can we do but let that love spill forth from our hearts to other people around us in numerous ways!  So, the first step is fully grasping the infinite bounds of God’s grace, and the rest will flow forth. It is written that a man’s words (and indeed his actions also) flow from his heart. Once we fully understand the depths of God’s love, it will manifest itself in our lives each and every day in our actions to others and in everything we do!

 

Delighting Grace: What are we to expect from Christianity Applied that is uniquely yours?

 

Benton Moss:  We are a bunch of young theologians who are on fire for God in the midst of the ‘American college life’.  We hope that through our writings, we can show how God’s grace is manifested in our lives in a way that others can take note of and hopefully be inspired by!  We want others to follow our footsteps… because we are seeking to follow in Christ’s, thus they are following His.  So, like I said earlier, we wish to produce a perspective that communicates what God’s grace in someone’s life looks like.

 

Delighting Grace: So guys please check their website: Christianity Applied .Catch them also at Facebook or Twitter. Thank you Christianity Applied for your time. God bless!