3 Self-Examining Questions Every Christian Should Consider (Part 2)

We can’t go further in our pursuit to please God if there is something wrong in us spiritually. That is why we should have a reality check. In this final part of our lesson we will see the last two questions that are penetrating. It will bring forth who we are in the light of the Bible and lead us to repentance to God. We need to be broken and humbled to be of much use in God’s kingdom. Let’s go back to the Book of Job to see the final two.

2. “what then shall I do when God rises up? When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him?” – Job 31:14

“What if God ask you and what shall you say to him?” is a question about the weight of God’s demand to response to His inquiry. Or will we be able to answer Him. What if God ask you on why did you made those decisions that are not God glorifying? What if God demand you to answer those behaviors that are not Christ like? What will you say? Knowing this are we not to be more careful of what we say and do?

3. “Does not he see my ways and number all my steps?” – Job 31: 4

We as believers should not walk in the “counsel of the wicked” (Psalms 1:1) and consider the Bible as the lamp to guide our steps (Psalms 119:1) because as this verse in the Book of Job indicates that He can see our ways and the steps we take. It is therefore a call to be authentic and leave the sinful and superficial things we do in the name of Christ. We can easily play with the thought that God is omniscient and omnipresent in other things but not on us. Here God’s attributes must make us think and floored us with its truth. We must walk in humble obedience to Him because He knows everything about us. Let us focus on how to be true and let this question shake us and do the right thing.  May our merciful God guide us as we desire to please Him in every ways.

More articles here: https://delightinggrace.wordpress.com

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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 #30

Here are the quotes for the week featuring the book by R. C. Sproul “What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics”. Enjoy and God bless!

“The call referred to in effectual calling is not the outward call of the gospel that can be heard by anyone within range of the preaching. The call referred to here is the inward call, the call that penetrates to and pierces the heart, quickening it to spiritual life. Hearing the gospel enlightens the mind, yet it does not awaken the soul until the Holy Spirit illumines and regenerates it. The move from ear to soul is made by the Holy Spirit. This move is what accomplishes God’s purpose of applying the benefits of Christ’s work to the elect.”

“What the unregenerate person desperately needs in order to come to faith is regeneration. This is the necessary grace. It is the sine qua non of salvation. Unless God changes the disposition of my sinful heart, I will never choose to cooperate with grace or embrace Christ in faith. These are the very things to which the flesh is indisposed. If God merely offers to change my heart, what will that accomplish for me as long as my heart remains opposed to him? If he offers me grace while I am a slave to sin and still in the flesh, what good is the offer? Saving grace does not offer liberation, it liberates. Saving grace does not merely offer regeneration, it regenerates. This is what makes grace so gracious: God unilaterally and monergistically does for us what we cannot do for ourselves.”

“Once we grasp the doctrine of total depravity, we know that no person will incline himself to faith in the atoning work of Christ. If God does not supply the means of appropriating the atonement’s benefits, namely faith, then the potential redemption of all would result in the actual redemption of none.”

“The ultimate aim of God’s plan of redemption was to redeem his elect. To accomplish this end he ordained the means. One was the atonement made by his Son. Another was the Holy Spirit’s application of this atonement to the elect. God provides for his elect all that is necessary for their salvation, including the gift of faith.”

“Faith is not something we conjure up by our own effort, or the result of the willing of the flesh. Faith is a result of the Spirit’s sovereign work of regeneration.”

“God certainly has the power and authority to grant his saving grace to all mankind. Clearly he has not elected to do this. All men are not saved despite the fact that God has the power and right to save them all if that is his good pleasure. It is also clear that all are not lost. God could have chosen not to save anyone. He has the power and authority to execute his righteous justice by saving nobody. In reality he elects to save some, but not all. Those who are saved are beneficiaries of his sovereign grace and mercy. Those who are not saved are not victims of his cruelty or injustice; they are recipients of justice. No one receives punishment at the hands of God that they do not deserve. Some receive grace at his hands that they do not deserve. Because he is pleased to grant mercy to one does not mean that the rest “deserve” the same. If mercy is deserved, it is not really mercy, but justice.”

“By definition grace is not something God is required to have. It is his sovereign prerogative to grant or withhold it. God does not owe grace to anyone. Grace that is owed is not grace. Justice imposes obligation, but grace, in its essence, is voluntary and free.”

5 Confidence Boosters for 2016 (and 4 Ways To Thank God For It) Part 3

The best way to thank a gracious God is through our godly actions that will make a difference in our lives and to others. Here are 4 of them that will not only thank God but cultivate a grateful heart towards Him.

  • Flee from idols and false gods

“To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? An idol! A craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and casts for it silver chains.” Isaiah 40: 18-19

 

Never lower your view on God. We may not worship carved images but we can put an idol aside from God on the altar of our hearts. Knowing that the God of the Bible is the true God flee to the gods of our own devices.  Follow the God of the Bible that gives true and lasting confidence.

  • Incline to His counsel always

“Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord, or what man shows him his counsel? Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge,and showed him the way of understanding?” Isaiah 40: 13-14

 

Remember that human knowledge is limited and changeable. But God’s wisdom stretch from age to age. Seek His counsel that He is willing to give when we come to Him.

(to be concluded next week…)

5 Confidence Boosters for 2016 (and 4 Ways to Thank God For It) Part 1

For this new year, nothing beats some encouragement that will sky rocket our confidence as we look forward to the things this year have in store to us. Thank God there are confidence boosters that will enable to lift us up and walk for Him that will fuel us till December. This God given confidence will also give us an extra mile as we make a difference in our church, family and community. As we read Isaiah 40, we see that in the midst of being unfaithful of Israel, God extends His loving hands to them. When someone gives you something to hold on to, it gives us confidence in our life. God can only provide such confidence and beyond. Now let us list down 5 of them and see how gracious God is to us.
1.) Salvation
“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” Isaiah 40: 1-2
Nothing in this world can give us great confidence that salvation. When God mercifully gives you the faith to believe the gospel, it doesn’t just give us the assurance of heaven but also the promises of God to us. It gives us peace (Romans 5: 1), adoption as sons of God (Ephesians 1:5 ) and many other privileges He provides.
2.) Sanctification
A voice cries:”In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40: 3-5
Holiness is not some walk in the park thing. It takes lots of effort to yield to be godly and not to mention temptations abound. Like an ambassador or emissary visiting a country in Bible times, the paths should be clear and clean. We also as Christians should clear and clean our very lives as we intend to make an impact to others. And we can do that because of how God set us for our santification. He started it (Ephesians 2:100 and He gives abundant grace in everything to enable us to do it (2 Corinthians 6:8). So we wont feel that we walk in this world alone in doing His will but an assurance He is their for us.

Four Stages on How an Unbeliever Comes to Jesus Part 2

Now we come to the last 2 stages of how an unbeliever comes to Jesus. We might find these people are not necessary following the four phases. They might be in the indifference, curious, seeking or belonging stage. But in any case meet them at any phase with the gospel.
Seeking
“Where has your beloved gone, O most beautiful among women? Where has your beloved turned, that we may seek him with you?” Song of Solomon 6: 1

After being curious, they want to see for themselves who this beloved that the Shulammite woman keeps talking about. As a Christian, this is an opportunity to further tell them about Jesus or take them to church. In this point they might accept Christ as Lord and Savior.

 

Belonging to Christ
“Return, return, O Shulammite, return, return, that we may look upon you. Why should you look upon the Shulammite, as upon a dance before two armies?Or dance of Mahanaim” Song of Solomon 6: 13

The daughters of Jerusalem found beauty from the Shulammite woman. Because of what how she spoke and how passionately love her beloved, she won the people’s heart. The word “return” was repeated four times suggesting they want more for her. They want what she got. However, King Solomon intercedes to their demand for his bride. It seems as if King Solomon is saying “Look at me”. The woman became beautiful because of King Solomon. Her beauty is brought up by how much she loves her beloved. At this point they might have accepted the gospel. They could be even gone through baptism. Believers should be aware that as they lead people to Christ, they need to keep on pointing them to our Savior. They might be there for you, for the church, for the music and for the warmness of the believers. Make sure they are there for Christ. Tell them their allegiance in on Christ. To be much useful in the church and to the world, they must be grounded to Jesus. We belong to Christ. Let us not forget that.
God bless us all as we lead others to Christ.

(To be concluded next week…)

The Quotable Round-Up #16

In a recent article, 20 minutes of reading a book everyday makes a big difference in one’s life. If you don’t have the time to read why not include in your quite time. Instead of a devotional book, you can finish it with a book that can meet your spiritual need. A chapter will do. Currently I’m reading “God at Work” by Gene Edward Veith which has been profitable to me. I hope you will try it to and see the impact of it on your life. Lets continue the discussion next week on how to give 20 minutes of your daily time in reading and as promised your weekly dose of quotes:
“Everything, in all its exquisite and intricate details-things that others may consider trivial but are important to us-is governed by the overruling hand of God.”
–Derek W.H. Thomas
“Through highs and lows, better and worse, richer and poorer, sickness and health, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, when Christ becomes your all. A gospel-shaped life fills every space it takes with unconquerable faith and unfailing love.”
–Matt Chandler
“God wants us to offer ourselves to Him, turn from the ways of the world, and be transformed. Then we will have something, better than special revelations and words about the future-we’ll have wisdom.”
–Kevin DeYoung
“God’s Word is living and active. When we read the Bible, we hear from God with a confidence we find in no other book and from no other voice. We ca read the Scriptures knowing that this is what the Holy Spirit says.”
–Kevin DeYoung
“Wisdom is knowing God and doing as He commands. Foolishness, on the other hand, is turning from God and listening to yourself.”
–Kevin DeYoung
“God never assures us of health,success,or ease. But He promise something better: He promise to make us loving,pure,and humble like Christ.In short, God’s will is that you and I get happy and holy in Jesus.”
–Kevin DeYoung
“The most important issues for God are moral purity, theological fidelity, compassion, joy, our witness, faithfulness, hospitality, love, worship, and faith. These are His big concern. The problem is that we tend to focus most of our attention on everything else.”
— Kevin DeYoung

Living the Extraordinary Christian Life Part 5

Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 ESV What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us. There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after.
We are all curious about our future. That’s why we consult fortune tellers, read horoscope and buy good luck charms. We save money and invest for a brighter future. However, there is a much greater thing to look forward to. A life that God has set before us that is more secure.
Life Near to God: Past, Present and Future
Future: Romans 8: 18-19, Eph. 2:7 and 1 Cor. 15: 55-57
Romans 8:18-19 ESV For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
There are things that are in store for us that will eclipse the pain we experience here on earth. Whatever we are going through, persecution or injustice, let this promise of God sooth our wounded soul .
Ephesians 2:7 ESV so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
If we have lived by the sufficiency of God’s grace through hardships, pain and lost considering its enough for us, then there is more in store for us of this grace in the future. If however the overflowing of blessing we achieve in our joyous moments feels like God flooded us and sank us so deep, that verse in Ephesians lets us there is more. The “immeasurable riches of his grace” is waiting for us. That’s how good God is to us.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 ESV “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In our very last breath we are victorious. We may have brought victory for ourselves, our school, family and workplace that we can be proud of. We can fill this world with our trophies of success. But that doesn’t compare to the victory beyond here on earth. We didn’t break a sweat in achieving this but rather Christ gave His blood. In death we will leave all of what we have on earth. But praise God as we go to eternity we are victorious. Truly the future is bright for us Christians.
(To be concluded next week…)

The Quotable Round Up #3

It’s another Tuesday and time for The Quotable Round Up. We serve the best and awesome quotes from your favorite authors. This week lets have some from John MacArthur and J. A. Medders. If in anyway this post encourage you, feel free to share this post on Facebook, Twitter or on any social media accounts. That way Delighting Grace will be encourage too and post more of these quotes.

“The central function of the church on earth is to reach the lost.”
–John MacArthur Jr.

“Prayer focuses on God as the One who supplies. It acknowledges that He is the source of all our physical needs, and it teaches us to live one day at a time in the confidence that He will meet those needs.”
–John MacArthur Jr.

“If you want to have that passion in your prayers, you need to realize that the real benefit of prayer is not the changes God may make in your circumstances but the changes He will make in you and in your perception of them.”
–John MacArthur, Jr.

“The cross is the pulpit sermon of God’s matchless love for you.”
–J. A. Medders

“The gospel stands as God’s bouquet of love for you.”
J.A. Medders

“As the blood of Jesus flowed down the cross, it washed away all of our sin stains. Now we are new people in Jesus.”
–J. A. Medders

“To be devoted to prayer is to earnestly, courageously, and persistently bring everything, especially the needs of others, before God.”
–John F. MacArthur Jr.

Book Review: Transforming Households by Alfonso G. Pablo, Sr.

photo grabbed from CLC Karuhatan Facebook

Met the author on his book launch last September, I remember briefly talking to him. A mild mannered fellow, I falsely assumed that he won’t write a book that goes beyond the usual Christian book. But looks can be deceiving! As I check his second book, “Transforming Household”, Alfonso G. Pablo, Sr is top caliber author and we need such writers with a vision to apply biblical foundation for the Filipino family.

“Transforming Household” is a book that you won’t ignore. Definitive and comprehensive it can outshines its foreign counterparts. This is a living testimony that a book about engaging the family with Jesus in a Pinoy setting is possible. Complete with charts and graphs and a runaway content, every Christian should watch out for this author as he serves more books in the coming year.

Something for the pastor and the church to consider, “Transforming Household” it is a must read. The book might be a bit bulky but its content is meaty. Brimful of wise and practical advice, its passion to bring the Pinoy family to the true biblical pattern can be truly felt in every page.