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Archive for November, 2010

Give Thanks for God’s Gracious Providence

November 19th, 2010 2 comments

As we take time each year to pause as a nation and to give thanks to our God for His many blessings, it is fitting to reflect on the glory and goodness of God expressed in His providential care over our lives. The doctrine of providence is a neglected one in our day. It’s easy to see why. In our increasingly secularized American culture, where God is minimized from sight and marginalized from significance, the truth of His sovereign authority is much maligned.

However, those who acknowledge and worship Him as the all-powerful Creator understand that He is now actively involved in that which He has created. Providence refers to the fact that our sovereign, all-powerful King is even now governing and directing all of history to fulfill His purposes. This means that the day will come when we will fully see and understand all the times the unseen hand of our heavenly Father saved us from evil and protected us from harm’s way. Why did He do these things? Because He loves us and He has called us for a unique plan and purpose (See 2 Timothy 1:9). It’s His plan working through us and he preserves us until that plan is accomplished.

In my next blog entry, we’ll talk about some of the amazing examples of God’s providence in the forming of our great nation. In the meantime, take a moment right now to praise the Lord for His providential care in your life. Thanks Him for his mercies, both the know and the unknown. And let’s live lives worthy of our great calling!

Vital Faith

November 11th, 2010 No comments

If you are a real Christian, as opposed to a pretender, the Bible says your life will be marked by one overarching aim: you want to be “well pleasing” to the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:9). In other words, you don’t live for your own selfish agenda. You want to know Christ and then make Him known to others. You want to please him in all things.

But how do we do that? What’s the key ingredient to all our “God-pleasing” activity? In a word: FAITH.

The writer of Hebrews tells us that “without faith, it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God” (11:6). That’s a pretty strong statement, isn’t it? So faith is essential for a life that pleases God.

What actually is FAITH? What does it look like? How do I know when I have it and when I don’t? Is my life pleasing to God?

Come Sunday and find out! And bring a friend who needs a vital encounter with Jesus Christ!

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It’s Time to Get Defensive

November 9th, 2010 No comments

I just returned from an awesome men’s event hosted by Pastor Rick and my Band of Brothers at Word and Worship Church. Wow! It was incredible! There’s nothing like being around a group of men who love Jesus and who are committed to linking arms to bring about revival and reformation in our nation and the world!

Perhaps all of the testosterone and war imagery has created a heightened awareness of the importance of our national defense. After watching various movie clips from cinematic greats such as Saving Private Ryan, Braveheart, Pearl Harbor, and Gladiator, one cannot miss the message: we need strong men and a strong military if we expect to enjoy our freedom and liberty.

This is why I am greatly concerned, and you should be too. The Preamble of our Constitution establishes the reasons for which our federal government exists. This is important for us to know because “we the people” are responsible for holding our elected officials accountable. It reads:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Some would argue that the primary function of our federal government is national defense. This is why we should all be gravely concerned. While our government has no problem spending trillions of dollars on things they have absolutely zero constitutional authority, our defense spending is at nearly historic lows. According to a recent report from the Heritage Foundation, “During World War II we spent 38% of gross domestic product (GDP) on defense; during the Korean War it was 14%; Vietnam 10%, and the Cold War 7%. Yet since 2001, defense spending has averaged roughly 4% of GDP.”

The impact on our military readiness is beginning to take its toll. The report reveals, “Air Force tactical aircraft are, on average, over 20 years old; bombers nearly 30; and tankers about 45 years old.” And with our military personnel in the midst of two wars, the Obama administration is looking to slash the budget even more.

To put our government’s misdirected spending priorities into perspective, “Mandatory spending on entitlements and interest on the debt currently accounts for over 50% of the federal budget, while defense spending accounts for less than one-fifth.”

Reagan reminded Americans that “Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.” It’s our job to remind the current administration. It’s time to get defensive!

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