4 Ways to Serve God with a Thankful Heart

wmzimcpPsalms 116 gives us more than reasons why God is good. It also shows us how, knowing God is good, to pay it forward. The last part of the psalm presents ways to serve God (and eventually others) with a thankful heart. Here are four of them that David did and we should follow these examples.

Acknowledge God’s mercy in our salvation (v. 13) – This is the first step in serving God thankfully. Like the cup people raised in special occasions, we uphold gratitude towards God by remembering His saving grace toward us undeserving sinners. Think about how God planned your salvation way back before the foundations of the world.  Then look at the extend God had done to His Son Jesus for you to be saved. Acknowledging God’s salvation to you might be enough to cultivate a heart brimful of thanksgiving and moving you to serve. Keep that tucked in your heart every time you serve Him.

Consider our commitment and plans for God (vs. 14 & 18)- What are your commitments to God? Do you set plans, ambitions or goals for God? Paying vows is like that. Not only will it challenge your faith to step to the next level but it will make your maturity grow. As vows committed in the Bible takes matured people to think of it and accomplish it, so will you if you seek to consider it. Of course you do pray, worship, read the Bible and share the gospel, having plans for God is intentionally setting aside something that will glorify Him. We look at our lives we plan and set goals for that vacation, that car or our children’s future. Can we do that to God too?

Have a continuous dependence to God (vs. 13 & 17) – If you look closely at the two verses, you can see that phrase “and call upon the name of the Lord” was mentioned twice. This is not just a prayer of supplication but it shows David’s continuous dependence with God.   Do you continue to ask God to help you? You should because He is glorified in our constant asking. The more we ask the more we grow in dependence to God. And that’s already service to God! Will you consistently seek Him in your journey to this life?

Put your involvement with God in public (vs. 18 & 19) – God had shown you the ultimate “public display of affection” through Christ hanging in the cross. Now it’s our turn to show another ultimate PDA. It’s living the life God intended for you to reflect His glory.   It starts by going to church. Show how you want to serve Him by listening, praising, praying and worshiping Him, with fellow believers in the church. As you root yourself in the presence of the believers and God, eventually your “publicness” with God will eventually flow to your family, work and other parts of your life.  As Matthew 5: 14- 16 puts it:

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Service to God starts with the right disposition of the heart. Having that kind of heart will help us navigate in the different phases of our ministry. A thankful heart matters to God as you serve Him and others.

The Quotable Round-Up #98

uq7p3leHeads up guys! Time for some 7 awesome quotes from a Christian book. This time we shall enjoy quotes from “Always Ready” by Greg Bahnsen. If you were blessed by this book, please consider getting it on Amazon or at your nearest bookstore! Grace and Peace!

“The culpable agnosticism of the world’s intellectuals must not be reproduced in Christians as alleged neutrality; this outlook, this approach to truth, this intellectual method evidences a darkened understanding and hardened heart. It refuses to bow to the Lordship of Jesus Christ over every area of life, including scholarship and the world of thought.”

“The facts must be presented without wavering: reasoning which is not built upon the presupposed word of Christ is geared toward intellectual foolishness and spiritual death. The correction and reproof of Scripture cannot be watered down.”

“To turn away from intellectual dependence upon the light of God, the truth about and from God, is to turn away from knowledge to the darkness of ignorance. Thus if a Christian wishes to begin his scholarly endeavors from a position of neutrality he would, in actuality, be willing to begin his thinking in the dark.”

“Those who wish to gain dignity in the eyes of the world’s intellectuals by wearing the badge of “neutrality” only do so at the expense of refusing to be set apart by God’s truth. In the intellectual realm they are absorbed into the world so that no one could tell the difference between their thinking and assumptions and apostate thinking and assumptions. The line between believer and unbeliever is obscured.”

“All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are to be found in Christ; thus if one were to try and arrive at the truth apart from commitment to the epistemic authority of Jesus Christ he would be robbed through vain philosophy and deluded by crafty deceit (see Col. 2:3-8).”

“One must be presuppositionally committed to Christ in the world of thought (rather than neutral) and firmly tied down to the faith which he has been taught, or else the persuasive argumentation of secular thought will delude him. Hence the Christian is obligated to presuppose the word of Christ in every area of knowledge; the alternative is delusion.”
“To make God’s word your presupposition, your standard, your instructor and guide, however, calls for renouncing intellectual self-sufficiency—the attitude that you are autonomous, able to attain unto genuine knowledge independent of God’s direction and standards.”

 

The Freebie Round-Up #12

bpwe5qaHowdy! Time for some freebies that will complete your week. Delighting Grace insures your maximum satisfaction by bring free stuff that you can use to help your personal growth and the ministry that you are apart of. Praying that these resources will point you to Christ goodness and to prepare you to serve others.

FREE “How to Study The Bible Boot Camp” from Credo Courses – This perfectly crafted for small groups and Sunday school lessons contains 4 lessons with 45 minutes each. Enjoy the free digital video download.

FREE “The Wiersbe Bible Study from David C. Cook – Titled Daniel: Determined to Go God’s Direction, challenge us to have a laser sharp focus on God and not to compromise to what the world demands.

*In case you missed these : 5 Christian Podcast You Should Be Listening Right Now, 7 Awesome Ways to Learn Church History Online for Free, 7 Short But Excellent Christian Books I Have Read, 5 Important Things to Do Before Starting to Read A Book, 3 Essential Reasons to Re-Read Your Favorite Book. 

FREE 6 e-books from Tony Carter’s East Point Church – If you love Anthony Carter’s book Blood Work, you’ll definitely want to check other stuff provided free by East Point Church.

FREE e-pamphlets from Crete Protestant Reformed Church14 pamphlets to be exact, covering various topics from a Reformed perspective.

FREE 10 Myths About God video lessons by e-mail from Credo Courses – Another freebie from Credo Courses, these lessons that list the 10 myths about God, are delivered everyday by e-mail.

*In case you missed these: Collecting the Past: Delighting Grace Interviews Caleb of Log College Press,  Accessible Apologetics: Delighting Grace Interviews Jason L. Petersen, Squad Goals: Delighting Grace Interviews Theron St. John, Tested by Time: Delighting Grace Interviews Dr. Isabelo Magalit.

FREE Resources Library Access from Reformed Mama – Access tons of resources on catechisms and teaching materials for kids just by signing up to Reformed Mama’s mailing list.

And finally one non-Reformed freebie:

FREE “The Last Words of the Martyrs” by Jeff King – An excerpt to an upcoming book this free e-booklet presents gripping stories of  Christian martyrs as they pay the ultimate price following Christ .

 

 

  

The Quotable Round-Up #96

npjl5idHeads up guys! time for some 7 awesome quotes from a Christian book. This time we shall enjoy quotes from “Rebels Rescued: A Student’s  If you were blessed by this book, please consider getting it on Amazon or at your nearest bookstore! Grace and Peace!

“Without God’s grace performing a divine heart transplant, everything in us seeks to rebel against God.” — Brian Cosby, Rebels Rescued: A Students Guide to Reformed Theology

“The consequence of sin, therefore, is death. But what about the little sins? Do those deserve death too? This is important. All sin—as the Bible teaches—is rebellion against God.” — Brian Cosby, Rebels Rescued: A Students Guide to Reformed Theology

“Reformed theology teaches from Scripture that, before God created the heavens and the earth, he has chosen—or “predestined”—his people to be saved for eternity.” — Brian Cosby, Rebels Rescued: A Students Guide to Reformed Theology

“One of the common objections to predestination is: “If God has already elected those who will be saved, then why evangelize?” It’s a good question and there are at least two primary reasons. First, we share the gospel because Jesus commands us to (Matthew 28:19). Second, we share the gospel because it is the means by which God saves his elect—through the hearing of the preached word (Romans 10:17).” — Brian Cosby, Rebels Rescued: A Students Guide to Reformed Theology

 “Apart from God’s grace in giving us new hearts to love him, we remain chained and imprisoned by sin and unbelief. There is no freedom apart from God’s work of grace and it’s grace precisely because his salvation is something we don’t deserve.” — Brian Cosby, Rebels Rescued: A Students Guide to Reformed Theology

“As a physically dead person cannot do anything that is physically productive, a spiritually dead person cannot do anything that is spiritually good. Being spiritually dead means that we are unable to respond to anything good. The issue is not freedom to do something, but ability.” — Brian Cosby, Rebels Rescued: A Students Guide to Reformed Theology

“Our hearts deceive us into thinking that the things of this world will bring great joy, only to be duped. Enjoying the pleasures of this world offer small joy—and oftentimes fake joy—compared to the enjoyment and satisfaction found in God.” — Brian Cosby, Rebels Rescued: A Students Guide to Reformed Theology

The Quotable Round-Up #90

f11jjqtHeads up guys! time for some 7 awesome quotes from a Christian book. This time we shall enjoy quotes from the book “Faker” by Nick McDonald. If you find these nuggets of wisdom superb, please get the book at your favorite bookstore or log in to Amazon. God bless and Peace!

“At the cross we see these two stunning realities about God: He is the holy King and Judge of our world. His overwhelming purity demands death for sin. He dethrones us.”

“…God, in his goodness, gave up a relationship more precious than anything you and I can imagine. It was a relationship better than the best marriage. Better than the most googley-eyed date. Better than the best BFFs ever. It was a perfect, intimate relationship that existed forever, between a perfect Son and a perfect Father.”

“Through the propitiation of Jesus’ blood, we, like the tax collector, can be declared good. Jesus Christ defeated the death we deserve by dying in our place, and then by rising from the dead three days later. The victory is won. The battle is over. When we place our faith in him, we are united to his death and resurrection forever—because he died, we can live.”

“So to say “God is love” is true, but incomplete. Love isn’t god—God is, among other things, love. He isn’t a god who loves like we do. His love is “other”: it’s better than our niceness. It own from his volcanic, beautiful purity.”

“Whenever I’m tempted to think that my failures are devastating, or think I made myself successful, I can look to this truth: God, the King and Judge, is truly in control. Not me. He gives, and takes away. Whenever I’m tempted to fret about pleasing people, I can remember: “These people don’t have ultimate power. God does. He controls my life, not them.”

“See, the God of the Bible is a God I wouldn’t have made up. He’s a God who’s over me, not a god who’s under my thumb. He’s a God who confronts me about my claim to the throne of my life.”

“The Bible says the problem with self-righteousness is this: the instant we say: “I’ll be good/right/worthy of love according to me,” is the instant we say: “I am the king and judge over my own life.”

 

Accessible Apologetics: Delighting Grace Interviews Jason Petersen

sjvengxI have read tons of apologetic books. From age of the earth to atheism, KJV onlyism to Roman Catholicism and now from evidential to presuppositional apologetics, I have read materials that covers basically those topics. But nothing has helped me look at apologetics in a more dissected view to see how it really works. I have been bogged by a jungle of terms and jargons that I didn’t see apologetics in a more understandable way. After picking up the book, Apologetics Made Simple, it dawned to me that I can view and understand  apologetics  in 5 important components.  Recently Delighting Grace connected to Jason Petersen, author of Apologetics Made Simple, and we talked about Christian handling apologetics, the presuppositional approach and his book  Apologetics Made Simple.

Delighting Grace: What are the reasons why Christians distance themselves when we talk about apologetics?

Jason Petersen: By the Holy Spirit, we know that faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). I think those who distance themselves mean well, and that they believe that the defense of the Christian faith is incompatible with faith itself. If we look at situations in the Bible that involve the defense of the faith such as Acts 17 and what the Bible says concerning defending the faith in 1 Peter 3:15, we see that the Bible does call us to defend our faith, but we are to do so in faith. We ought to exhibit the character of Yeshua when we defend the faith.

Delighting Grace: How about lack of civility? Can it hinder apologetics? What do you do when you face this kind of situation?

Jason Petersen: We do not have the power to frustrate God’s will, but we are accountable for how we behave. When someone is rude to us, we should not reciprocate. If someone will not listen when we proclaim the truth to them, we are to walk away (Proverbs 14:7, Matthew 10:14).

 

Delighting Grace: When the word apologetics comes up, we quickly picture it as Christians talking to unbelievers. But how about in church settings when we have talk it to our brethren? Is there a difference in approach?

Jason Petersen: We ought to treat everyone with the same love and respect of Yeshua. With another believer, you both should already agree that the Bible is the foundation for thought. After all, there is no need to convince someone who already believes the Bible is the Word of God that the Bible is the Word of God. The only difference would be the starting point of the person we are talking to.

Delighting Grace: Any personal story that you can share with us that you have applied apologetics?

Jason Petersen: There are many, but an example of the most common type of stories I have involve dealing with unbelievers that seem to think that Science reigns supreme over all. I recently had a discussion with an atheist named Kyle Rutherford, who says he is a scientist (I can’t remember in what field), and I explained to him all of the philosophical problems that involve claiming that the empirical method can allow us to know which propositions are true and which are not. He did not offer any response to my arguments and instead attempted to ridicule me. I departed from him because the Bible teaches us to leave the presence of a fool (Proverbs 14:7).

Delighting Grace: As I have point out previously, your e-mail address reveals you’re a presuppositional apologist. So for the readers can you tell us what’s it all about and how it differs from evidential apologetics?

Jason Petersen: Although I am a presuppositional apologist, I do believe that evidential apologetics does have its place and I have seen it bear fruit. God can use any form of apologetic for his glory so I am not dogmatic concerning how we do apologetics. I will, however, say that I think it is important that we approach our apologetic with a systematic mindset. If we are going to defend the truth of the Bible, we better darn sure be able to show how we know that it is true. This is why I am a presuppositionalist, and in particular, a Clarkian presuppositionalist.

It is hard to define evidential apologetics because there are various approaches and degrees of approaches. Some evidential apologists believe that we can show that the Bible is true apart from using the Bible. While I do think we can point to many things outside of the Bible that are consistent with the truth of the Bible, I do reject the notion that the truth of the Bible can be demonstrated apart from special revelation. It is one thing to point to things that are consistent with the truth of the Bible, but it is another to demonstrate it.

As a Clarkian presuppositionalist, I start with an axiom, “The Bible is the Word of God.” From there, I can, using the verses in the Bible, show that the Bible is true because it is inspired by God and God does not lie (2 Timothy 3:16, Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2). This may seem strange to some, and perhaps some may be so inclined to reject such a notion as circular reasoning. I would argue that because my axiom is not demonstrable, the line of reasoning is linear, not circular. As a Clarkian presuppositionalist, I believe the only way to know that the Bible is true is if the Holy Spirit dwells within you (Romans 8:16). I also believe that the use of evidence is permissible, but what it can accomplish, as it would be with trying to prove any other position with evidence, is limited. This is a topic that I plan to hash out more in my upcoming book, ‘Clarkian Apologetics.’

Delighting Grace: How do you respond to people who say apologetics is impractical to help someone’s Christian walk?

Jason Petersen: Seeing how Yeshua, the Prophets, and the Apostles all defended the faith, I would probably sarcastically remark that none of them must have gotten the memo.

Delighting Grace: Your book, Apologetics Made Simple is absolutely great. Can you tell us about that book?

Jason Petersen: Thank you. I am glad that you enjoyed it. Ever since I started doing Apologetics, when I would dialogue with unbelievers, I could tell that something was not quite right with the discussion. It seemed like the arguments against the faith of the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob were all rooted in semantics and linguistic gymnastics. Over time, I was able to more precisely point out where the faults were. In 2017, I decided to publish a book that would point out five critical keys to dealing with the tricks that those who oppose the faith that was given to us by God in the days of old that would make any apologetic method unstoppable. The five keys are as follows: dogmatism, systemization, language (and propositional truth), accuracy, and faith. This book is short and only takes about an hour to an hour and a half to read. I wanted the keys shared to be easily digested even by laypeople. Both laypeople and seminary professors have said great things about this book.

Delighting Grace: Can you tell us the process of writing that book?

Jason Petersen: I did an outline of the five keys that I wanted to share, and then I expounded on those keys in every chapter. The way I write is pretty simple. Some will make a thorough outline while others will just write and “let it flow.” I do a combination of both. I do a basic outline, I let it flow, and then I read over it and determine if any changes need to be made or if I need to add to or subtract from what I’ve written. That is the approach that I took with this book.

Delighting Grace: Will you be writing books like that soon? I mean its short enough to understand the subject of apologetics and won’t eat up your time.

Jason Petersen: Apologetics Made Simple, will likely be the shortest book on apologetics that I will ever write. The books on apologetics that I will write in the future will be significantly more detailed. I won’t rule out another book that is as short as this one, but it is unlikely that I will make another Apologetics book that is like Apologetics Made Simple.

Delighting Grace: So Jason please invite our readers to get a copy of your book Apologetics Made Simple and also check out other stuff from you.

Jason Petersen: I would encourage anyone who is interested in apologetics to buy my book, Apologetics Made Simple. I am also an entrepreneur that has been blessed with financial success by God. I wrote another book called, Building Wealth Made Simple, that gives an outline on my philosophy of personal finance and investing. My author website is jasonlpetersen.com.

 

The Quotable Round-Up #86

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Howdy! It’s a great day to sit down, chill and sip your favorite drink! And while at it, add some awesomeness in your day by reading our latest collection of quotes.  This time we are featuring fresh quotes from the book “Good News: The Gospel of Jesus Christ” by John F. MacArthur Jr. And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“The message of the gospel is the message of reconciliation. The alienated sinner can be reconciled to God. That’s what we pray for, it’s what we teach, and it’s why we live. Some even die for it. It is the unparalleled message of reconciliation with God through the work of Christ. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation.”

“The only reason God has kept us in the world is for the work of evangelism. Yes, we’re saved to worship, but God tolerates our imperfect worship on this side of eternity for the sake of adding to His kingdom. We’re also saved to be sanctified, but God tolerates our inadequate, incomplete sanctification to keep us here to evangelize. He endures all our consistent errors and failures because He has work for us here that we cannot accomplish in heaven.”

“The notion that God is a loving and compassionate Savior contradicts the core doctrines of the world’s religions. If you study the history of religion, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a savior god among them. When men and demons design gods, that’s simply not how they design them. Demonic religious systems don’t concoct deities anything like the God of the Bible. Instead, they generally range from indifferent to severely hostile.”

“We need to understand that reconciliation does not start with the sinner, or some cosmic cry that God responds to. We don’t have to ask God to accept the sinner—we don’t have to coax Him into it through pressure or praise. He is not reluctant to save. Reconciliation begins with God—it’s woven into His glorious nature.”

“We don’t sit in judgment of God’s judgment. The question is not, why did God send bears out of the woods to destroy a group of boys who yelled “bald head” at a prophet (2 Kings 2:23–24)? The question is not, why did the ground open up and swallow people whole for violating Old Testament law (Num. 16)? The question is not, why did God displace and destroy the idolatrous Canaanites? The question is not, why did God destroy the globe and preserve only Noah and his family? Those questions are easy to answer: the wages of sin—no matter how great or small the sin might seem to us—is always death (Rom. 6:23).”

“True reconciliation requires God’s forgiveness. The only way reconciliation can occur is if the offended party is willing to forgive and remove the barrier sin creates. The sinner cannot reconcile himself to God. Only the Lord can effect reconciliation by choosing not to count our trespasses against us.”

“We ought to cling to the vital doctrine of God’s sovereignty. But don’t ever let your view of sovereignty overwhelm or obscure the fact that sinners have a responsibility to respond to God—and we have a responsibility to beg them to do so. God accomplishes His reconciling work through—not in spite of—the obedience of faith from those He calls to be reconciled.”

 

The Quotable Round-Up #85

tpn6bjcHowdy! It’s a great day to sit down, chill and sip your favorite drink! And while at it, add some awesomeness in your day by reading our latest collection of quotes.  This time we are featuring fresh quotes from the book “Good News: The Gospel of Jesus Christ” by John F. MacArthur Jr. And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“Ultimately, the gospel is not for the proud, the arrogant, or those who believe they can get to God by themselves. God intentionally chose a foolish message to humble us and to guarantee that no one would boast in his or her own intelligence. He chose the cross to stifle any inclination in us to think we got to Him on our own. All the glory goes to God.”

“The world must hear the message of Jesus Christ, and we have the precious privilege of serving as His ambassadors and heralds. May we never be so content with our theology—never so satisfied with our salvation and sovereign grace—that we forget that our great God has not only saved us but has also called us to be the means by which He will save others.”

“Make no mistake: the rise of postmodern Christianity and the supposed wideness in God’s mercy isn’t a harmless, potentially helpful theological perspective. It’s a direct assault on the gospel work of the church and an affront to the integrity of countless believers who suffered and died throughout its history.”

“If you can’t even muster the temerity to speak the name of Christ in public, what confidence can you have that He is faithfully interceding on your behalf? If you’re ashamed of the gospel, it’s a strong indication that you have yet to believe it. True, saving faith must not be hidden away. It ought to be the most public thing about you.”

“True believers cannot lose their salvation, but they can forfeit their joy and usefulness. They can sow confusion, doubt and discouragement into their own lives. And they can cripple their spiritual growth by imbibing the lies of false teachers and charlatans. While God alone secures and protects our eternity with Him, He has called us to be on the lookout for one another (Acts 20:29–31).”

“When we look at the life of Jesus Christ, we’re not surprised to see manifestly that He is God. If God became man, we would expect His human life to be sinless. His was. If God, the holy true God, became man, we would expect Him to live in perfect righteousness. He did. If God became man, we would expect His words to be the greatest words ever spoken. They were. If God became man, we would expect Him to exert a profound, unequaled power over humanity. He did. If God became man, we would expect supernatural demonstrations. There were many. If God became man, we would expect Him to manifest the love of God. He did.”

“Jesus never sat down and said, “You know, we’ve got so much common ground; let’s find a connection and have a conversation about the truths we can mutually affirm.” He wasn’t interested in identifying common ground or accommodating ignorance. Only the truth—the full truth— could set an Israelite or anyone else free from the slavery of sin.”

Squad Goals: Delighting Grace Interviews Theron St. John

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The millenial crowd is the in thing right now. If you know words like “lit”, “bae”, “tbh” or “jk” your the crowd I’m talking to. But beyond the slang , there is something that every generation will eventually face.  Whether you’re a millenial, Generation X or a Baby Boomer, like any other human being, it will come to a point that you’ll ask serious questions of your existence. “Who am I?”, “Why do I exist?”, and “What happens when I die?” are something to ponder out. And it do have a connection to the things we pursue. We connected to Theron St. John to find out what Millenials do when confronted with these “Why” questions on life.

Delighting Grace: What do you think is the one mistake most millennials do in finding purpose?

Theron St. John: I am not sure I would say this is the one mistake, but a major mistake millennials make in their pursuit is they believe purpose is something they create. In other words, we live in a postmodern day and age where we are told there is no absolute truth. With no absolute truth, there is no ultimate purpose. Truth is relative, and purpose is left up to the individual to create. However, the reality is truth is absolute and it is found in God’s Word. It is in God’s Word we discover the ultimate purpose of life, glorifying God! To state it succinctly, then, millennials make a mistake when they believe they create their own purpose for life rather than understanding they can discover it and find it as it has been revealed by the Creator!

Delighting Grace: What do millennials think about when they hear the word “purpose”?

Theron St. John: When millennials hear the word “purpose”, the question, “Why do I exist?” comes to mind. One encouraging aspect I see from my fellow millennials is the desire to know “why”. They don’t want to go through life living out a meaningless existence. They know there is something bigger than themselves to live for. I think that is, in part, why millennials are viewed more as activists on issues than maybe other and older generations. That said, millennials miss the point on answering why they exist if they believe they are in the driver’s seat, so to speak. Humanity must look to the One who has created life to discover the purpose of life, because there is something more to life than what millennials are living.

Delighting Grace: Some Christians do pray to find purpose which is a great thing. But sometimes they just rely in praying more than pursuing something. So how much praying and pursuing must a Christian do in finding purpose?

Theron St. John: This question reminds me of the oft-asked question, “What is God’s will for my life?” You are right to say praying for purpose and understanding of God’s will is a great thing. Most certainly, we should be praying regularly for God to give us wisdom in this. I am reminded of 1 Thessalonians 5:17, which reads, “pray without ceasing”. Following that verse is 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. We see the revealed will of God is found in the Word of God. When it comes to particulars and specific issues in everyday life, we glean wisdom from God’s Word. Without giving a quantity of time, I’ll say this: In our pursuits, our prayer needs to be coupled with the study and application of God’s Word.

Delighting Grace: As a single and a youth pastor, how should a millennial prepare to pursue marriage? How do you prepare yourself in marriage?

Theron St. John: Much could be said on preparing for and pursuing marriage, but if I may paint with broad strokes, I (and any Christian millennial) would be wise to pursue and prepare for marriage by developing and deepening a relationship with God and with His church. Of course, a relationship with God through Jesus Christ must be central and first. What this looks like in practical terms is depending on God in prayer to empower you by the Holy Spirit to make purity a priority in your life and to be wise in romantic relationships. As well, knowing God through His Word will show you where you need to grow in Christlike character and it will shape the qualities you ought to be looking for in a potential spouse (for more of this subject, please click here).

A second relationship a Christian millennial like myself should develop and deepen is with the local church. One of the worst things millennials can do when preparing and pursuing marriage is to neglect the wise counsel of brothers and sisters in Christ. Christians do not live autonomous lives but accountable lives. The place for such accountability is the local church. I know from experience the blessing of wise counsel given to me from faithful friends in the local church. I was delivered from some heartache and poor choices because I heard and heeded the wise counsel of those in my local church.

Delighting Grace: There had been floods of books in the 2000 and until now that attaches the word “purpose”. So how do “Something More” stand out among these “purpose” books.

Theron St. John: Something More stands out because of the book’s aim and audience. The aim of the book is to provide a basic framework for understanding our pursuit, identifying the problems, and pointing to the solution. The book is meant to serve as an evangelistic tool, equipping Christian millennials to take their non-Christian friends through the material. Because the book’s ideal audience involves reaching non-Christians, the book does not explicitly address the matter from a biblical worldview until the end of chapter 3 into chapter 4. In the typical Christian book on this topic, the worldview is stated upfront. My reasoning for the distinct structure is due to my target audience. I wanted to lay down some common denominators in our pursuit before showing how the Word of God exposes our problem and offers the solution. I believe the brevity of the book makes it useful as an evangelistic tool. (You can check selected quotes from the book by clicking here.)

Delighting Grace: I read Something More which is short and a great read. Can you tell us the process of producing that book?

Theron St. John: Since Something More is a self-published book the process was a little more flexible than it may have been otherwise. The idea for the book really started 2 ½ years prior. As I interact with those in my generation, I saw a need to produce a concise resource that would share the gospel in an engaging way. For about a year, I took down notes here and there when ideas on the book would come to mind. From there, the challenge was to write the books in a concise manner. Once I did complete that phase, I had friends who serve in student and campus ministry read the book and offer suggestions. After taking their suggestions, I had a couple of other people give feedback, and they edited the book’s grammar and structure. Case in point, the process of producing a book takes commitment and, if it is be done well, is a community project.

Delighting Grace: Thank you for this opportunity Theron. Please do invite our readers to get a copy of “Something More”. Also invite them to check your blog and social media accounts. 

 Theron St. John: You’re welcome. I am grateful for the opportunity to share and for your graciousness in interviewing me. Below is how you can find more of my writings and connect with ‘Entrusted By God’:

Link to Something More book

Link to Blog: http://www.entrustedbygod.org

Link to FB: www.facebook.com/entrustedbygod

Link to Twitter: www.twitter.com/entrustedbygod

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Delighting Grace: Any parting advice to a millennial who is down and can’t find purpose in his or her life?

Theron St. John: My counsel to them would be to examine where they have sought purpose in the past. From there, I would encourage them to recognize the symptoms of their problem but also look for the diagnosis of the problem. Only when the symptoms (fruit problem) lead us to a diagnosis (root problem) can we offer the proper solution. These three elements are covered in chapters 2–5 of Something More. First and foremost, they are revealed in God’s Word. So, if I had to condense the answer in a tweet-size sentence, I would say: If you are down and can’t find purpose, don’t look within yourself but look in God’s Word and look up at the cross of Jesus Christ.

(Theron St. John and the author of this blog also contributes articles on Top Christian Books (TCB Media). Check them out and all other stuff at www.topchristianbooks.online)

 

The Quotable Round-Up #83

tpn6bjcHello guys! I hope you’re having a great day as you dive in this brand new collection of quotes! This time we are featuring fresh quotes from the late Jerry Bridges book titled “Who Am I?” . And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“The good news of the gospel is that Jesus took our place on God’s death row and actually died in our place to satisfy the justice of God so that God might fully pardon us without violating his justice.”
— Jerry Bridges

“On our good days we think God must surely be pleased with us and is smiling at us. We forget, as we saw earlier, that all our righteous deeds are like polluted garments in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6). On our bad days we tend to think we have lost the favor of God because of our sin. We forget that he no longer counts our sin against us because Jesus has already born that sin in his body on the cross.”

“(This) faith is like the two sides of a coin. On one side is “renunciation.” On the other side is “reliance.” In order to trust in Christ we must first of all renounce any trust in our own perceived righteousness. Then we must rely completely on the finished work of Christ in both his life and death. That’s how we are justified.”

“In the plan and purpose of God the Father, he caused Jesus to become sin for us—again, with Jesus’ cooperation, despite the unimaginable anguish and torment involved. God took all of our collective sin down through the ages, all of it, and laid it upon Christ. Every sin that we commit in thought, word, deed, and motive was heaped upon him. He was made to be sin.”

“By his perfectly obedient life over thirty-three years, Christ earned the blessings of God. By his death on the cross he experienced the curse for disobedience. As our representative, all that he did in both his life and death accrues to our benefit.”

“Everything good in me or around me, whether spiritual or material, is a gift from God. More importantly, as one who has trusted in Christ as my Savior, I know that he has taken on himself the accountability for all my sins and has fully paid the penalty for my every act of disobedience.”

“When we begin to answer the question, “Who am I?”, we need to start with the most basic truth about us: we are created beings. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). While being made in God’s image puts us on an entirely different plane from any of the animals, we are still creatures. This makes us both dependent upon God and accountable to God.”