Tag Archives: Lord

Birth 1

Birth 1

The angelic race fought a mighty fight
To glimpse the things I see-
A sovereign grace bought for a price
Has set this captive free.
“Captive” means I was a slave to sin,
The most enslaved was me,
But I’m now a slave to Jesus Christ
(Now and for eternity).

The angels must still wonder though
“What is that human really worth?”
For the price God chose to give
Just to let this sinner live
Was the most precious Life on all the earth,
His death became my birth.

Advertisements

Monday Poem- “Origin or sin”

Origin or sin

“Let there be something”
Said no one to nothing
But no sound was found-
There were no words to be heard,
Or ears to hear
Or speaking lips
Or a medium which
Sound could exist.
Nothing.
No thing.
Not a thing,
But then it exploded.
A likely story
That although boring
Helps us sleep at night.

Matter splattered,
Protons, atoms,
Suddenly happened
And arranged themselves in order.
Primal chaos reigned
And then became
More complex
But I confess
That it’s insane for me
To just believe
A theory as fact-
The big bang of the gaps
Doesn’t tell me crap.

Monday Poem- “Communist Paint Sniffers”

Communist paint sniffers

Through my black mirror
The doll-faced little zombies
Sang words of adoration
In drugged, monotone grunts and groans of death.
The pasty brittle faces giving hazy little praises
To the God who permitted debt,
Sickness and pestilence.
But their little is big through my black mirror.
They have no home, no gifts, or hope that I can see
As they stand and sing and smile and freeze.
They have no black mirror, no food or drink
Or clothes, family or time to think.
These tiny little zombies smile
As they pray to a God who seems to take a while!
But He gave them what they have (this Lord of hosts),
Not much but they have more than most.
I look into my black mirror and don’t like these kids I see,
Should I help them be set up? Could God actually use me?
But I need to be distracted
And my mirror has apps for that,
so I click away
I guess I’m the zombie now.

Monday Poem – “Alive to dead to having life”

Alive to dead to having life

I shivered
Then quivered
Then ummmed and ahhhed,
I couldn’t find a way to start,
I didn’t have the words to say
But like a child asked something anyway-
“How do I remember this moment?
Lord, how do I own it?
Good sir, I want to know it-
How do I make life a friend, not an opponent?”

He replied
“My little child-
Death to pride,
Death to lies,
And death to self!
This moment’s ripples will be felt
Through all the generations-
Beyond all imagination
But you have to die first (death to self).
This moment’s offspring will be plentiful
But first you have to die.
You see,
A child must die to silly things
And rise to the changes happening,
Then a bachelor dies on his wedding night,
To become a husband to his wife.
Then as a husband put himself away
And serve his queen both night and day.
Each and every sacrifice
Is a rite of passage ordained by Christ.
And that is how to love your life
To give up your ‘needs’, your ‘wants’ and ‘rights’”

I wanted to cry,
My Lord said I had to die?
I wanted to argue, crow and fight
But of course I could see my Lord was right
And besides, He had died the first death for me
When His naked Son lay on that tree.
He has obliterated my debt,
He has died that first death.
He has taken me into Him, now I am blessed!
He has laid my arguments to rest.
And may they rest in pieces on the floor,
May this moment last forever more.
From boy to man to child,
From alive to dead to having life.
From the lowest lows to highest heights.
From dying to self to living for Christ.

What’s so “good” about Good Friday? (a repost)

(NOTE: I wanted to post something for Good Friday, but I have been very busy this week preparing a sermon for Easter Sunday and written nothing new for today. However, I thought I would repost something I wrote a few years ago as it is relevant for today. Have a blessed and safe Easter… nick)

What’s so “good” about Good Friday? (a repost)

Traditionally Good Friday celebrates and publicly remembers something most Christians remind themselves of everyday- the day on which Jesus Christ the Son of God was crucified.

We are reminded in 1 Corinthians 11 to remember and “…proclaim the Lords death until he comes…” not just one day a year. However, Easter is kind of special because it’s a more public acknowledgement of the importance of Christ’s death and a widely accepted celebration of the gospel. Although there’s no Biblical reason to mark a certain day of the year and celebrate it as “Easter”, it’s a good chance to talk about these things with all sorts of people.

God didn’t just create the world, but in love died for sinners. Perhaps the miracle of salvation is more amazing than the miracle of creation. Salvation is the redeeming, recreating and renewing of wicked humans through sovereign grace. God did this through punishing His Son through crucifixion (a horrific punishment), exacting justice through the worlds only perfect man Jesus Christ. The cross is the most important chapter of Gods saving work. It is the event that split history, the centre point of everything for the Christian because it is at the cross that God punished Christ for our sin. It is where Christ saved me.

Every human alive today has sinned. Most people are aware of it, though not everyone acknowledges it. To sin is to do something with our minds, hearts, mouths or actions that go against God’s moral law and holy character. We are all guilty before God because of our sin and deserve to be judged and punished for it. Because of His goodness God will not allow evil things to go unpunished. Eternal punishment is the only just punishment for breaking an eternal law and sinning against an eternal God. You and I deserve to be punished forever. We deserve the wrath of God. That is why we need to be saved and what we need to be saved from.

As the only entity who is one hundred percent man and one hundred percent God, Jesus Christ is uniquely positioned as the only way that you and I can be saved from the Gods wrath. Buddha can’t do it, happy thoughts can’t do it, ignoring it can’t do it and neither can trying really hard to do nice things to make up for the bad things. Our sin is against an eternal God and our punishment is eternal. We have two options- as unholy people we can pay for our sins eternally or as an eternal, holy person Christ can pay for our sin once. The cross is salvation because God chose to save people by setting His wrath against Jesus Christ.

This is why today Easter Friday is referred to as “Good” Friday.

What was done to Jesus by humans was evil not good. What he suffered was horrific. The fact that somebody who was perfectly innocent needed to be punished is sad. But the impacts and implications of Christ’s death are very good- because of Jesus dying on the cross anyone who puts their faith in Him and follows Him by turning away from sin can appropriate the gift of His forgiveness. If today is to be set aside to publicly celebrate the cross then it is indeed Good Friday. “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit…” (1 Peter 3:18).

Monday Poem: Old Friend 18 (Where dreams come from)

Old Friend 18 (Where dreams come from)

He has locked himself away
And let another out to play,
He hides behind religious truth
But doesn’t put his mind to use.
His heart has longings, hopes and dreams
But he is not allowed to cause a scene,
For fear of what the others think
Has caused his burning love to sink
And without an ember in the fire
He puts away his real desires
To not upset the apple cart
He resigns to life without a heart.

“Life’s cruel pull is with the crowd,
Its populace is really loud,
But
the Spirit whispers another way
So listen to what He has to say
For
He is calling out to you.”

If I could put my friend into a dream
And design it just for him,
I’d include a dainty princess
And a moat he’d have to swim.
He would have to fight with dragons
(Never easy fights to win),
To kill the dragons he’d need to give his life
And to put away his sin.

If I could place this man into a dream
I’d still leave a bit of fear,
For its fears that make adventures grand
When a hero volunteers,
And when he has risked himself to protect her
Fear shows the princess how sincere
Is the love that this man has given her
And that she is precious, prized and dear.

Yes this person needs a dream like that-
A dream worth fighting for…
But the dream needs more than a mission
To be a cause he can’t ignore
And the man needs more than a vision
Or a dream he can explore,
He needs a life that is worth giving up
For a Prize he can adore!

What this world needs most are men with passion,
I wish I could give them some of mine
But dreams like this are only possible
With a touch of the Divine.

Review: Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem

I’ve got a lot of reference books on the bookshelf near my computer desk. Some I haven’t opened for years but keep around just in case, others I can’t go a week without opening. Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem is one of the ones I refer to all the time. I have given this book away so many times now I have forgotten how many, for me it is just one of those books. It is my favourite reference book and probably the only reference books I could read cover to cover on an ongoing basis if I had the time.

I first came upon Wayne Grudem by accident because I accidently purchased his book Systematic Theology instead of another book I was looking for with the same title. As a relatively new Christian at the time I was impressed with the understandable style that that book explained Christian doctrines. Wayne Grudem has a core belief that doctrine should be biblical, practical and understandable. He always writes and teaches in a way that embodies this belief. As a busy young person with little time I was delighted when I found out that Systematic Theology had been abridged.

Bible Doctrine is a more condense version of Systematic Theology, making it more accessible which is good for people too busy to wade through the textbook style. Despite its condenseness it maintains its depth and thoroughness. It sets out to introduce and cover essential teachings of the Christian faith for people to study once they have decided to become a Christian. Grudem’s style of writing is a nice balance between clear understandable language and complete coverage of the important stuff. He does not compromise depth for clarity but finds a way to manage both.

When I was in youth ministry I would often use this book to “check” my doctrine as I prepared bible studies or messages. I would use the application questions and review questions and adapt for use in the group studies I ran, and I memorised the memory passages at the end of each chapter. I honestly believe I could give this book to my pastor or to high school students and they could both benefit from it.

It is clear that Grudem ascribes to a reformed position of theological issues, although he is not shy to challenge things like infant baptism. Although he does offer various perspectives on issues that have caused divide within Christendom, he is willing to state with authority his own conclusions on the matter. He is able to do this because he teaches from the Bible, using it as his primary source, a radical and refreshing decision for a modern Bible teacher to make.
I love this book. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone but especially to Christians looking for clear communication of core doctrines in a practical but reverent way. As I have mentioned I have given it away countless times, and the price makes it easy to do that. I would suggest getting this book and reading it cover to cover as a study guide and using it as a reference after that. Having correct doctrine is important and Wayne Grudem gives you a passion to study and learn more about the Bible.

Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem – The unabridged version (1264 pages). A serious reference book for teachers and preachers, and laypeople who want to go deep deep deep.

Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem- Abridged version of Systematic Theology (528 pages). A great reference book for teachers and preachers, and laypeople of all ages and backgrounds. Great for giving away to serious people who are passionate about learning more about doctrine. Very recommended and probably one of my favourite books.

Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know by Wayne and Elliot Grudem- very concise, backpocket version abridged from Bible Doctrine (160 little pages). Great for giving away to anyone, and anyone should be able to read it in one sitting or as twenty short daily devotions. I have given away lots of these.

PS – While I am talking about Wayne Grudem, and plugging him really, I might as well mention he has a free teaching podcast where he teaches through the Systematic Theology book. You can find that on iTunes HERE.