I will no longer be posting on this site. I’ve created a new blog, and all who have enjoyed what I’ve written here might like to check out the new one at http://www.madefordominion.com/
The new blog has some features this one does not have. You can opt-in to an email list, and follow through a variety of social media options.
There you’ll also see I have a new book that has just come out, and it’s available at Amazon. The book is called, Get Dominion: You’ve Been Called to Fulfill a Mission.
The focus of the new blog is to help readers find and live out their God-given purpose in light of the larger purpose He has for the world. If you are interested in realizing the purpose God has for you, I think you’ll find this site worth your while: http://www.madefordominion.com/
Thanks for visiting here. . . I hope to see you over there.
Men (and women) are made for dominion. They are made to rule and subdue the earth as God’s representatives. This mandate has not changed since the beginning of creation. A recovery of the dominion mandate would go a long way to remedy the absence of purpose that governs so many people’s lives. Consider the domain that God has given you to rule, and oversee it for His glory.
Just got an email from my mom asking about my thoughts on today’s rapture news. Below is my response.
The man who made today’s prediction, Harold Camping, is a false prophet. He predicted the same thing would happen back in 1994, and it did not. Hard to believe anyone has actually been paying attention to him this go around.
Personally, I do not believe the rapture is a biblical doctrine, but a misunderstanding of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. For more information on this, you might be interested in this article:
The fact that the world remains today as it has for millennia is no threat to the Christian faith. The events of today — or should we say non-events — do, though, help to reveal the faultiness of theologies built around “the rapture.”
Today was another day of failure for escapist theologies. Time to get back to the work of occupying until He comes.
The Bible tells us that we are to be holy as the Lord is holy (1 Pet.1:15,16). But how do we get there? How do we gain a life that conforms to the likeness of Jesus Christ?
For centuries the church has relied on spiritual disciplines like prayer, Bible study, worship, solitude, and fasting to further the sanctification of God’s people.
Following this pattern, the church today needs to recover the spiritual disciplines that are so essential to the Christian life.
Here’s why. . .
The example of the Scriptures
The Bible shows us that the Christian life is marked by certain practices. When you look at the followers of Christ in the Bible, what did they do? They prayed, they spent time in God’s Word, they served, they fasted, etc. . .
And they did these because Jesus Himself did them. Before calling His first disciples, for example, Jesus spent the whole night in prayer (Lk.6:12). The pattern of practicing the spiritual disciplines is well established in the Bible.
The instruction of Scripture
The Bible not only gives us the example of spiritual disciplines as a way of life, it also instructs us that we are to practice them. The Bible is straightforward when it tells us, for example, that those who live righteously and prosper are those who meditate on God’s Word (Ps.1:2).
Why does the Bible tell us such things? So we can be properly formed and developed as human beings to serve God in His kingdom.
To deal with the body
God gave us bodies, and with our bodies we carry out service to Him in the world. But the body is often a source of trouble for people. Many see themselves as imprisoned by their bodies and enslaved to its passions. It’s often thought that the only way to live a spiritual life is to escape from the body.
The spiritual disciplines are God’s means for bringing the body under subjection. By them we are able to bring our bodies into the service of the king rather live in service to our bodies. As Paul made clear, our bodies are to be our slaves, we are not to be enslaved to our bodies (1 Cor.9:24).
Godliness requires spiritual discipline
The Bible tells us that we are to discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness, and it compares spiritual discipline with bodily discipline (1 Tim.4:7,8). Everybody is used to idea of bodily discipline for some purpose (like losing weight), but we easily presume that growth in godliness is automatic.
Could it be the reason why there appears to be so little godliness is that there is little serious application of the spiritual disciplines of the faith?
Whenever we face problems, it’s easier to blame others than take responsibility for them ourselves. And because blaming someone or something other than ourselves is so much easier, this is exactly what people often do.
Blaming our circumstances or someone close to us is appealing because it gives us cover for our failings. But doing so takes away hope for any change for the better.
The tendency to refuse responsibility for problems and shift the blame on others goes all the way back to the garden of Eden. After the first man and woman ate the forbidden fruit, Adam blamed his wife, and Eve blamed the serpent.
Although Adam and Eve portrayed themselves as victims, they were filled with shame and hid themselves from God. If it were not for God’s pursuit of them, they would have remained in this hopeless state of shame. But God confronted them with the truth, and brought them mercy so they could move forward with their lives.
The blame-shifting approach modeled by Adam and Eve is practiced daily as people face their own personal difficulties. It is far more common for people to explain away their wrong behavior than own it themselves.
The result? Multitudes spend their days stuck in hopelessness and shame.
This problem is reinforced in that society discourages personal responsibility and encourages blame-shifting in various ways. It used to be, for example, if someone had a drinking problem he’d be called a drunkard and exhorted to change his ways. Today, someone with a drinking problem is said to have a disease and is urged to get treatment.
This sort of approach is intended to be caring as it tends to soften the blow on the person who is afflicted. But the net effect is that it takes away hope.
From the very beginning of creation God revealed His intention for mankind to develop the whole earth for His glory (Gen.1:26-28). As this has been God’s plan from the start, we should keep it in mind as we make our own plans for a new year.
Making plans for the coming year is a wise thing to do. God Himself makes plans, and by making plans ourselves we show that we bear His likeness.
But we must not merely plan – we must have regard for God in our plans.
Many will make plans during this time of year. Those with wisdom will make them with an awareness of God’s presence and a desire for His glory.
The Proverbs reveal an inescapable interplay between the plans of men and the plans of God. Consider a few examples. . .
“The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord” (Pr.16:1).
“Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established” (Pr.16:3).
“The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs His steps” (Pr.16:9).
What is the gist of these verses?
Helpful discussion on the celebration of Christmas. “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace” (Is.9:7). . .
There was a news report out a few days ago that told about a bank that was being forced by the government to remove all of its Christmas decorations. Generic holiday decorations could stay, but anything having to do with Christmas, Jesus, or the Christian message of the season had to go.
Many would see this kind of action as another example of what’s been called “the war against Christmas.” But actually, attempts to rid the season of any vestiges of the Christ child is just one battle in a much larger war – the war against Jesus Himself.
The war against Jesus has been going on for a very long time. In fact, it precedes His incarnation.
After the fall of mankind, God promised that a seed would be born who would overcome evil and redeem fallen humanity (Gen.3:15). Once that promise was issued, Satan did his best to keep it from being fulfilled.
Cain’s murder of Abel, the corruption of the human race before Noah, Pharaoh’s efforts to kill the male offspring of the Hebrews, and Saul’s attacks on David are just a few examples of Satan-inspired attempts to keep God’s promised seed from coming forth.
But the seed did come forth. In the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman. This is what we celebrate at Christmas.
Yet, even after Christ was born, the war continued as attempts were made to keep Him from reigning and ruling as the royal seed.
When the prophet Isaiah wrote of Him, he described Him as the “Prince of Peace” (Is.9:6). After the announcement of Christ’s birth was made, the heavenly host praised God saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men. . .” (Lk.2:14). Also, the hope of Christ’s kingdom is that the day will come when, “Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war” (Is.2:4).
With the coming of Christ, peace should be a foremost desire for us, and what we strive for in the midst of conflict. The Bible tells us as much as it depends upon us, we are to “be at peace with all men” (Rom.12:18). It also says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God” (Mt.5:9).
In light of the emphasis that the Bible puts on peace, it’s remarkable how many professing Christians are so quick to advocate war. Too often the knee-jerk reaction to some country that goes against our nation’s established policy is to want to “nuke ‘em.” We’d rather send the military than missionaries to bring about change.
Of course, a nation has a right to defend itself. But let’s consider a few facts.
As a nation – at least publicly – we have abandoned God. His Word tells that if we forsake Him, He will forsake us (2 Chr.15:2). A nation forsaken by God is sure to find itself in more trouble, including war.
Good words from one of the finest preachers of the last century. . .
“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? You must take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, you have to preach to yourself, question yourself. . . then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done and what God has pledged Himself to do.”
~ Martyn Lloyd-Jones
What is the biblical basis for talking to yourself? Psalm 42:5. . .
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.