3 Self-Examining Questions Every Christian Should Consider (Part 1)

Self-examination is uncomfortable. In our sinful nature we don’t want to see ourselves for who we are. We often want to dwell in this illusion that we are fine and nothing is wrong in our spiritual life. Truth really hurts. But examining ourselves is a necessity if we want to check who we really are and where we are going.

Let us now go to the Book of Job to see these questions. The Book of Job is not just about the patience, sufferings and faith of Job. Rather the main story is about God and His sovereignty. The crisis Satan brought to Job crush everything in him yet he remains steadfast for God. In the midst of his conversations with his friends, you can see that it’s theological in nature. Some do have the right understanding on God and some misrepresents Him. But there are penetrating questions we should consider that are scattered in the Book of Job. We collected three of them. Here’s the first one and next week we will see the rest.

  1. “Will it be well with you when he searches you out? Or can you deceive him, as one deceives a man?”—Job 13:9

 

This question shows the weight of how God searches us. I ask if it’s well or bearable for us if God checks us out.  Our unfaithfulness, our secret sins and our deception might come in mind and we don’t want it to be found out by God. But the reality is He already knows it! We can’t deny what we already have done. This will drive us to be humble and come to Him with a sorrowful heart. Will we start cleaning our mess knowing how heavy this question is? I hope and pray we will.

 

To be concluded next week. More articles here: https://delightinggrace.wordpress.com

The Quotable Round-Up #36

For this week we are featuring quotes from Gloria Furman’s latest book titled “Missional Motherhood”. Hope you’ll like it and please pick up a copy.

“The Bible is about Jesus Christ and what he did for us in order to restore us to a right relationship with God.”—Gloria Furman, Missional Motherhood

“Whether we see it or not, we creatures are ever on the receiving end of God’s emanating goodness. As children of God, we have been given the privilege of grace that no one could merit.” —Gloria Furman, Missional Motherhood

“Let us humble ourselves in awe-full, expectant, happy submission to this holy God. God created everything as an overflow of his fullness.”—Gloria Furman, Missional Motherhood

“The mercy God showed the man and the woman was for a purpose—that he might accomplish his plan through the offspring of the woman.” —Gloria Furman, Missional Motherhood

“Our past is all grace. Our future is all grace. And whatever circumstances you find yourself in today—its all grace.” —Gloria Furman, Missional Motherhood

“God’s power is made evident in our human weakness so that he is the one who gets the glory. It is his story.” —Gloria Furman, Missional Motherhood

“Our ability to provide for the people who are in our care does not come from our ability at all, as though we are anything. But our supply—energy, time, resources (coffee!)—comes from the Lord.”—Gloria Furman, Missional Motherhood

“For God’s people to truly love and obey him, they needed more than rules. They needed new hearts—hearts with his good law written right on them. God had to transform his people from the inside out.”—Gloria Furman, Missional Motherhood

 

Precious Gems Found in the Book of Ezra

Digging from list of names and letters from different kings, we found amazing verses that still penetrates the heart. Reading Ezra, we step into the time where God’s people are rebuilding the temple, wall and altar of Jerusalem.  Rebuilding is not just for the fortified city but also in the spiritual sense. Here are some great verses in the Book of Ezra that are treasure worthy:

“And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.” — Ezra 9:6 KJV

“Whatever is decreed by the God of heaven, let it be done in full for the house of the God of heaven, lest his wrath be against the realm of the king and his sons.” — Ezra 7:23 ESV

“For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.” –Ezra 8:22 KJV

“For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord , and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”–Ezra 7:10 KJV

“For we are slaves. Yet our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to grant us some reviving to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us protection in Judea and Jerusalem.”– Ezra 9:9 ESV

“And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord , “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.” And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord , because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.”– Ezra 3:11 ESV

The Quotable Round-Up #35

Jolly good day guys! Its this time of the week that we  collect some of the best quotes. The book we are now featuring is from Frank Turek’s “Stealing from God”. Enjoy!

“True for you but not for me” may be the mantra of our day, but that’s not the way the universe really works. If it’s really true, it’s true for everyone.”

“In the same way, our improved understanding of natural laws can never disprove the Being who set up and sustains those laws. To say that a scientist can disprove the existence of God is like saying a mechanic can disprove the existence of Henry Ford. It doesn’t follow. The existence of secondary operational causes does not negate the need for a primary origin cause.”

“But there are very different atheist and theist theories on origin questions. They are more controversial because they cannot be settled by repeatable experiments in a lab. You can’t go in a lab and observe the creation of the universe again, or witness the origin of the first life or new life-forms. While scientists can observe how a cell operates, they can’t observe how the first cell originated. No scientist was there to witness it.”

“Some atheists seem to think that anything unexplained defeats belief in God, as if an infinite God can’t exist if finite creatures don’t understand everything. But there is a big difference between a mystery and a contradiction. Christianity has partial mysteries. Atheism has complete contradictions. Christianity predicts that evil will occur and explains why God allows it in general, but not in every particular case. We don’t have enough information to trace the particulars . . . yet. But good reason provides all the information we need to see that the very existence of evil is a contradiction for atheism. If evil is real, then atheism is false.”

“We can’t see the ultimate outcomes of events because the human story isn’t over yet—not here or in the afterlife where perfect justice will ultimately be done. And even if God were to tell us those outcomes and His reasons for allowing each evil, we wouldn’t be able to comprehend them all. That’s because every event sets off a ripple effect that impacts countless other events and people. How many lives will be changed in the future by the trillions of good and bad events happening just this hour? No human mind can know or grasp it all. And even if we could, knowing the reasons for a painful event might alter our behavior and prevent the good outcome that would have otherwise occurred.”

“Hitler’s words and actions couldn’t be more different than the words and actions of Christ. As Ravi Zacharias has observed, the Crusades and the Inquisition were the illogical outworking of Christianity. They went against everything Christ taught. And you don’t judge a religion or philosophy by its abuse, but by its truths. People can and will abuse true and good things. But that says more about us than it does about God or religion.”

“C. S. Lewis was once an atheist who thought evil disproved God. But he later realized he was stealing from God (grounds of a rational and logical argument) in order to argue against Him. He wrote, “[As an atheist] my argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”

“Now, an atheist might say, “In our country, we have a constitution that the majority approved. We have no need to appeal to God.” True, you don’t have to appeal to God to write laws, but you do have to appeal to God if you want to ground them in anything other than human opinion. Otherwise, your “rights” are mere preferences that can be voted out of existence at the ballot box or at the whim of an activist judge or dictator.”

“Even if there were infinite time and opportunities for nature to mutate DNA into the information necessary for new life, that still wouldn’t be enough to create a new life-form. That’s because DNA alone doesn’t dictate the formation of body plans.”

The Quotable Round-Up #34

Howdy partners! Here’s your weekly dose of quotes featuring the book “God’s Word, Our Story” published by Crossway. Enjoy and God bless!

“When we hear God’s Word read and taught, it does much more than reveal our sin; it reveals our Savior. God’s good word to his people is that our sin will not get the final word in our lives. His grace and mercy will get the final word.” – Nancy Guthrie, God’s Word, Our Story

“Because of grace, when we hear and understand God’s Word, we are not left to simmer in a pool of regret and shame. Sorrow over sin must give way to joy.” – Nancy Guthrie, God’s Word, Our Story

“Knowing that it is the Lord’s joy to extend grace to sinners gives us strength to live for him and love him rather than run from him.” – Nancy Guthrie, God’s Word, Our Story

“Week after week, as we gather as God’s people, and the Word of God is read and we’re given the sense of it so that we understand it, we rightly feel the weight of our failure to be all that God has intended for us to be. But he does not send us away in sorrow. Instead, we are invited to his table, where we feast on his broken body and his shed blood, so that we leave with great rejoicing. We find that partaking in the Lord’s feast fills us with the Lord’s joy.” – Nancy Guthrie, God’s Word, Our Story

“Have you discovered that saying yes to God’s commands actually brings you greater joy than whatever it is that tempts you to ignore or defy what God has commanded?” – Nancy Guthrie, God’s Word, Our Story

“All who were once unclean and have now been made clean by the blood of an all-sufficient sacrifice will, on that day, be made holy to live in God’s presence in the ultimate Most Holy Place called the new heaven and new earth.” – Nancy Guthrie, God’s Word, Our Story

“Why would we settle for the happiness the world offers when we are being invited into the joy of the Lord? Why would we ever search for the happiness our hearts long for anywhere other than in “the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10)?” – Nancy Guthrie, God’s Word, Our Story

Book Review: Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman

Missional and motherhood might the last two words you’ll put together. Missional is a task of engaging the world with the gospel either in Zimbabwe or your next door neighbor. Motherhood in the other hand might give you pictures of a homebound mother feeding her children. However in Gloria Furman’s latest book, “Missional Motherhood” these two words convey the plan of God to His elect, how Christ work uphold this nurturing and the important role of “mothering” to the church and the world.

Part 1 of the book is the story of God’s grand plan for us. It’s a re-telling of the Old Testament stories which God despite of what sin has done to us, He is there as a nurturer. Even if the image bearers rebels over and over, God’s redemptive plan is unhindered. It’s a long read that might make want to skip because you already know some of it. Then again for those who are not familiar with the story (it’s either a new believer or a non Christian) this is a thrilling read. Imagine reading the OT in one sitting and understanding the big picture.

Gloria gave the last part of the book the solution to what seems to us a foiled plan of God for us. She showed how Christ intercedes to us as we become “nurturer”.  We see here Christ as a creator, redeemer, prophet and more. It’s a well executed writing from Gloria Furman as she connects Christ roles to motherhood. It’s not a copy and paste thing then poof a book on missional. She knows what she’s writing.

Gloria Furman wrote not just another missional book but THE missional book about motherhood. She’s not jumping on the bandwagon but she sets something that everyone should give a second look. “Missional Motherhood” can set a bandwagon in itself because of its biblical and theological rich content that is engaging and accessible to everyone. Yes I said the word: EVERYONE. This book is not just written for “mothering” women but “mothering” men also. Men should not read this to understand women who are “mothering”but how men can be “mothering” too. Great book worth grabbing at Amazon or you local bookstore.

My verdict 4.5 out of 5

Review copy of the book was provided by the author.

My Goodreads review of the book: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1653777109

More book reviews here: https://delightinggrace.wordpress.com

The Quotable Round-Up #33

Hello guys! Here’s your weekly dose of quotes featuring the book “God’s Word, Our Story” published by Crossway. Enjoy and God bless!

“The highest joy for the people of God was and is to be at home in God’s city. And that is God’s joy as well.” – Nancy Guthrie, God’s Word, Our Story

“God has always been and always will be about the work of bringing people from every tribe, tongue, and nation to himself.” – Nancy Guthrie, God’s Word, Our Story

“We can face disappointment and disaster, and ultimately we can face death strengthened in the knowledge that our lives cannot be ruined, they cannot be snuffed out. Our names will not be, cannot be, blotted out from God’s book.” – Nancy Guthrie, God’s Word, Our Story

“God speaks to us, revealing to us who he is and what he has done, helping us understand who we are in relationship to him, through his written Word.” – Nancy Guthrie, God’s Word, Our Story

“Oh, that God might raise up men and women in our day who are hungry for the book—hungrier for the book than we are for an inspirational or entertaining experience, hungrier for the book than we are for Pinterest-worthy aesthetics, hungrier for the book than for good advice to solve what we see as our most significant problems; hungry to hear God’s voice break through the busyness of raising children, the ding of  another email message arriving, the draw of popular bloggers; willing to let God set the agenda of the conversation; open to what he says even if it doesn’t sit well; invested in growing in a right understanding; convinced that what he says is the truest truth, the most solid foundation, the most nourishing food; and certain that his promises are our surest expectation and that obeying his commands will generate our deepest joys.” – Nancy Guthrie, God’s Word, Our Story

“The deeper your understanding of God’s Word goes, the more his Word becomes interwoven into the fabric of your life and the more you experience his strength.” – Nancy Guthrie, God’s Word, Our Story

“Just as the man who built his house upon the rock by working the Word into his life was strengthened so that when the storm came, his house did not fall (Matt. 7:25), you will be strengthened to face the inevitable storms of life as you hear, understand, and live in light of God’s Word.” – Nancy Guthrie, God’s Word, Our Story

Millenial Motherhood: Delighting Grace Interviews Gloria Furman

As the millenial or the connected generation slowly marches into marrying age, study shows that they have their own sets of views on having a family. So do want to consider having a full time focus on the family and some has the ideal number of kids which are distinct from previous generation. Being connected in mobile phones and Facebook has also some effects of what they value most. But as believers, no matter what is the trending paradigm, we need God as the center of our lives and reach people with the gospel.  Delighting Grace asked Gloria Furman, author of the new book ” Missional Motherhood” what she thinks of this unique generation and how to engage them with the message of the gospel:

Delighting Grace: What do you think are the challenges of millenials stepping in marriage and motherhood?

Gloria Furman: I think regardless where we live- from the Philippines to the US to the Emirates- the challenges of the millenial women stepping into marriage and motherhood will be to believe God’s timeless Word over the ever-changing culture. 

Delighting Grace: Does these challenges to grab hold on the Word of God differ from the other generations that came before them? I could say that other generations don’t have mobile or internet so it might have a different setting.

Gloria Furman: The challenge of believing God’s Word is a old as the garden of Eden. God created man and woman to be His image bearers and managers over His creations, so He gave them words to live by. They needed God’s word, and God’s story to guide their lives. But the Enemy schemed a way to make the story about him. Satan tricked the man and woman to bear his decrepit image, spread his kingdom of hell, and live by his poisonous words instead. This millenial generation will face they very same challenge of submitting to God’s Word and resisting temptation to try and stand in judgment over God and His Word.  

Delighting Grace: Wow that indeed is a challenge. One of the marks of being a millenial is being connected. How does this affect the lives of millenial mothers?

Gloria Furman: Millenials enjoy the privilege of being connected to one another virtually via the internet. The downside though, is the illusion that this virtual connection is indeed true. Living out the Scriptural “one another” commands is something we can try to do online, but is best done in personal relationships in our local church. Millenial mothers are affected by their desire and real need to be connected, but have to find creative ways to facilitate genuine connections with sisters in the body of Christ.  

Delighting Grace: Well said, Gloria How do we reach out these millenial mothers who are in need of the gospel?

Gloria Furman: We share Christ and his cross with joyful boldness. The situation of millenial moms may look complicated and foreign when you read the news from other places in the world, or meet someone on the streets in your neighborhood, but across the globe their deepest need is the same as everyone else’s. They need to be reconciled to God through the death and resurrection of Jesus. There is no salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Share Christ confidently and with joyful boldness, knowing that Jesus is going to call His sheep and they will hear His voice. 

Delighting Grace: Yes we need that joyful boldness to preach Christ crucified. You came from the western culture and now ministering an different culture. Are there shifts or adjustments with this?

Gloria Furman: Absolutely. I’ve had to adjust in many ways and am thankful for everything I’ve learned from my Eastern brothers and sisters in Christ. One small way I have adjusted is to learn new words in order to communicate better with people. My vocabulary in English expanded, and certainly my vocabulary in other languages is growing. My Tagalog-speaking sister at Redeemer (church) have taught me to chat with their countrymen and as if they know the “magandang balita” (good news, the gospel). And tell them that “mahal ka ni Hesus” (Jesus loves you). 

Delighting Grace: Haha. Nice. Your learning some Tagalog words. So you have a latest book “Missional Motherhood”. Please tell us the process of writing it?

Gloria Furman: This book was written in the span of about three hours for forty days. This work beautifully to me, as a young woman named Katyln came to live with our family and help me care for my kids and physically disabled during the busy month. She took the kids to the playground and to lunch for a few hours a day so I can write this book and turn it in before we left  for an even busier summer. 

Delighting Grace: Please invite our readers to check you out in your social media and your new book “Missional Motherhood”

Gloria Furman: Yes please! I’m on Twitter: @gloriafurman, and you can find “Missional Motherhood” book over Amazon and The Book Depository. If you’d like to download the intro and the first chapter free, you can find the link on the Crossway page for the book: http://www.crossway.org/books/missional-motherhood-tpb/

Delighting Grace: Thank you Gloria for the sharing your time for this interview. So folks get her book “Missional Motherhood”. Gloria did an amazing job for this book. If you don’t believe me then try the freebie Gloria shared. Warning be ready to get biblically soaked with the excerpts. Please check back this blog for my review of the book. Till next time guys! God bless!

 

Book Review: “Rooted” by J. A. Medders and Brandon D. Smith

The title “Rooted” gives me the impression that this is just a “one cool word” books that are already out in the market. What got me excited is the subtitle “Theology for Growing Christians”.  So this short book is about theology. Actually they call this a “primer” that deals with the basics doctrine of Christianity. So this book doesn’t cover all the doctrines that we believers affirm.

As I read “Rooted” I can assure you that Smith and Medders really delivers and does connect the message to the readers. They know what they are saying and they can convey it in the manner that show the book is enough to be a primer and meaty enough to have great content. Medders provided an easy to digest and accessible explanations similar to his previous book “Gospel Formed” (which you should check it out too). They dropped the ivory tower jargons with millennial-friendly words which can reach believers (and unbelievers as well) whether new or seasoned.

Chapter 1 discusses the Trinity and how Godhead relates to each other. Chapter 2 zooms in the reliability of Scriptures. But I really enjoyed chapters 3 and 4 which tackle about the gospel and eschatology.

“Rooted” is the go to book to learn, unlearn and relearn about some of the basic doctrines that Christians believe. If you’re just starting or already ahead in your Christian journey and you want some map, pick this book up.

My verdict: 4.5 out of 5.

The authors of “Rooted” provided me a review copy of the book.

More book reviews here: https://delightinggrace.wordpress.com

The Quotable Round-Up #31

Hello guys! Here’s your weekly dose of quotes featuring the book “God’s Word, Our Story” published by Crossway. Enjoy and God bless!

“Here is the great starting point for all of us  when we are dealing with the living God—a reverential, humble,  glad recognition that we are dependent, God is independent; we  are contingent, God is absolute; we are defined, God is the definer;  we are held in being by his will, he is absolute being.” — John Piper, God’s Word, Our Story

“Jesus sealed the new  covenant by his blood. The day of failure will soon be over. Till  then, we are sealed by the Spirit and are fighting sin by his power.” –John Piper, God’s Word, Our Story

“God does not exist for the sake of our enjoying biblical stories; biblical stories exist for the sake of our enjoying God.”- John Piper, God’s Word, Our Story

“Unfortunately, many of us are barely literate when it comes to  the flow of redemptive history. We go to our Bibles for something  to help us deal with our circumstances rather than to see how  God is dealing with the world. But the Bible is not about us; it’s  about God and his plan to redeem his fallen, miserable world, and  restore it to the glory he first sang into being at creation.” — Kathy Keller, God’s Word, Our Story

“Our prayer life  should be shaped and grounded in Scripture as often as possible,  as we respond to scriptural promises and statements about God.” — Kathy Keller, God’s Word, Our Story

“Immersion in God’s Word teaches us to pray the same way  immersion in language teaches a baby how to speak the language  of her parents.”- Kathy Keller, God’s Word, Our Story

“God’s people do not need to be powerful culturally or in power  politically to be obedient to him and accomplish his purposes in  the world. All they need to do to glorify him and join the great  sweep of redemptive history is to be faithful to the One who has  called them by his own name.”–Kathy Keller, God’s Word, Our Story

“When you become a Christian, your conviction of sin and your  experience of grace go all the way to the bottom—all the way  to that uttermost foundation. Christ goes there, and no matter  what happens, that foundation doesn’t change.”–Tim Keller, God’s Word, Our Story