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Archive for March, 2010

The King Who Reigns Forever

The Bible tells us that Jesus came to rule as the King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Tim.6:15). But there have always been those who would not have Him reign over them.  This was true throughout His time on earth  – and it remains true today.

When Jesus was born, King Herod could not stand the thought of a rival of Christ’s stature. So, he tried to do away with Him by slaughtering all the male babies who were two years old and under.  Christ escaped this destruction because His parents fled with Him to Egypt (Mt.2).

When Jesus came to the close of His ministry on earth, there were also those who wanted to do away with Him.  Because of Jesus’ popularity, the Pharisees, chief priests, scribes, and leading men of the city all were trying to destroy Him (Lk.19:47).  Eventually, they succeeded.

By bringing Him before Pilate on trumped up charges, those who conspired against Him were able to get a hearing.  Pilate found no guilt in Him, and tried to get him released.   But the crowd demanded that a murderer named Barabbas be released instead of Jesus.  When Pilate asked, “Then what shall I do with Jesus?” they all said, “Crucify Him!” (Mt.27:22).  And crucified He was.

But this was not the end of Christ’s Kingship.  It was part of the Father’s divine plan to bring redemption to the human race.

Christ had to die to pay the penalty for sin, but God raised Him from the dead to rule over a new humanity.  As the Bible puts it, “He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet” (Heb.10:13).

Readings for Holy Week

Palm Sunday:

In the morning, Psalms 24, 29
In the evening, Psalms 103
Zechariah 9:9-12 [morning] or Zechariah 12:9-11,13:1,7-9 [evening]
1 Timothy 6:12-16 [morning]
Matthew 21:12-17 [evening]

Monday:
In the morning, Psalms 51:1-18(19-20)
In the evening, Psalms 69:1-23
Jeremiah 12:1-16
Philippians 3:1-14
John 12:9-19

Tuesday:
In the morning, Psalms 6, 12
In the evening, Psalms 94
Jeremiah 15:10-21
Philippians 3:15-21
John 12:20-26

Wednesday:
In the morning, Psalms 55
In the evening, Psalms 74
Jeremiah 17:5-10, 14-17
Philippians 4:1-13
John 12:27-36

Maundy Thursday:
In the evening, Psalms 102
In the evening, Psalms 142, 143
Jeremiah 20:7-11
1 Corinthians 10:14-17, 11:27-32
John 17:1-11(12-26)

Good Friday:
In the morning, Psalms 95, 22
In the evening, Psalms 40:1-14(15-19),54
Genesis 22:1-14
1 Peter 1:10-20
John 13:36-38
In the evening, Psalms 38 [morning] or John 19:38-42 [evening]

Holy Saturday:
In the morning, Psalms 95 [morning] 88
In the evening, Psalms 27
Job 19:21-27a
Hebrews 4:1-16 [morning]
Romans 8:1-11 [evening]

Categories: Church Tags: ,

Serve Faithfully Where You Are

In the gospel of Mark Jesus tells how two of His disciples approached Him to ask for special treatment in His kingdom. Specifically, James and John requested that one would sit on His left and the other on His right in His glory.

Jesus responded by telling them that they really didn’t understand what they were asking for, and that to sit on His right or left was not His to give, but it was for those for whom it was prepared.

Upon hearing this, the other disciples were indignant with James and John, and Jesus used the occasion to talk about true greatness.

The rulers of this world, He explained, seek to lord it over others. But those who wish to be great in His kingdom live to serve. They see themselves as slaves to all.

The discussion concluded with Jesus pointing to Himself, stating that even He “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mk.10:45).

The message Jesus gives here is just right for our covetous, discontent age.

The world assumes that real greatness belongs to those who have power and authority over others. But Jesus turns this assumption upside down, as He teaches that the real great ones are those who serve faithfully in the place that God has put them.

This has application for everyone alive.

Everyone of us is in a particular place with its own set of circumstances. Some of us are in positions that have visibility and influence, while most of us are in positions of relative obscurity. But no matter what position we are in, God’s call upon our lives is the same.

Be faithful where He has you. Be obedient to Him where you are.
Read more…

Health Care, Abortion, and Statism

March 21, 2010 1 comment


Ever wonder why the proponents of national health care are hell-bent on including abortion coverage? It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

1. Easy access to abortion promotes a hypersexual society.

2. A hypersexual society is easily enslaved.

3. A sexually enslaved society easily gives up its liberty to statist elites.

Do you want to be a slave of statist elites?

The whole push for national health care is not about better health for the population, but greater power for the state, and the drive for abortion coverage proves the point.

For more on this issue, read Sexual Anarchy and Statism.

The Rage Against God

March 18, 2010 2 comments

This should be interesting. . . For a preview of Peter Hitchens book and comments about his relationship with his famous atheist brother, Christopher Hitchens, see also the article at LewRockwell.com.

Categories: Culture Tags: ,

Remembering St. Patrick

For most folks St. Patrick’s Day brings to mind little more than shamrocks, beer, and dancing leprechauns. But it would do us well to remember the man behind all the green.

St. Patrick was born in Britain at the end of the fourth century, during the last days of the Roman Empire. At the age of sixteen invading pirates took Patrick captive and sold him into slavery in Ireland. After six years of servitude, Patrick was able to escape and returned to his homeland.

Though back home, the suffering of Patrick’s captivity had made its mark, leading him from the nominal Christianity of his upbringing to a deep and profound faith. In his own words he tells us how he was “struck to the heart” and came to the conviction that it was his duty to return to the land of his hated captivity and convert the Irish to Christ.

Upon returning to Ireland, Patrick felt inadequate for the task because his prior enslavement had cut short his education. But before long, his upright character and earnest approach gave him favor with the people.

As the Celtic people turned to Christ, Ireland became a place of refuge from the barbarians that were sweeping across the crumbling empire. Through the relative calm of this place, the best of history was preserved until a brighter day, and the Irish people provided a bridge that would lead to a new beginning centuries later.

St. Patrick lived in a time of rapid change and instability. The people of his day had many fears, and they were becoming more and more fragmented from one another. But through his life of faith, hope, and charity, Patrick led many to Christ, bringing about a transformation of their lives and the promise of a better tomorrow.

There are lessons for us to learn from St. Patrick and his times. As our own age faces its fears and fragmentation, we are reminded that hope and stability are found in Jesus Christ alone. We are also reminded that this hope is carried forth by people of courage, faith, and humility. People like St. Patrick.

Categories: Culture Tags:

Monetary sins


Some sins can be made to appear perfectly acceptable.  Adultery, for example, is regularly justified on the grounds that those involved have needs to be met and they love one another. Yet, the eventual result of such reasoning and covenant breaking is always hardship and misery.

Monetary sins work much the same way.

The Bible has quite a bit to say about how money is to be handled.  But these instructions are violated all the time under the guise that it’s necessary, and must be done for the good of the people.  Yet, as with adultery, the short-term satisfaction that monetary sins provide eventually gives way to bitter sorrow.

Our nation is currently stuck in a morass of monetary sins.  Committing them as we do may appear to keep the system going, but as with all sin there is eventually a day of reckoning.

Here are the three most obvious monetary sins of which we must repent.

Out of control debt.  While the Bible nowhere condemns all debt as immoral, it never presents it in a positive light.  Growing debt is a sign of a disobedient people.  Once prosperous people who become accustomed to live by borrowing go from being the head to the tail (Dt.28:44). They become the lender’s slave (Pr.22:7).

The immorality of out of control debt becomes clear when the next generation is considered. Massive deficit spending mortgages our children’s future.  It makes them pay tomorrow to maintain our lifestyle today. Read more…

C.S. Lewis on rituals

Contemporary Christians frequently believe that avoiding rituals in worship — like kneeling to confess one’s sins or reciting a creed to profess one’s faith — is a sign of simple faith and humility.

C.S. Lewis brings another perspective. . .

The modern habit of doing ceremonial things unceremoniously is no proof of humility; rather it proves the worshiper’s inability to forget himself in the rite, and his readiness to spoil for everyone else the proper place of ritual.

For more on this subject, see In Defense of Rituals.

Categories: Church Tags: , , ,

The Fate of All Towers of Babel

From The Chalcedon Foundation . . .

“At Babel, men resumed the task in process before the Flood. At Sodom and Gomorrah, Assyrian, Babylon, Rome, and in the modern states, men continue that task. The results are still the same, God’s destroying judgment on man’s Babylonian heart and works. The things which are, God subjects to His shaking, His destroying judgments, so that only those things which cannot be shaken may remain (Heb. 12:18-29).

Man’s attempt to unify man in his sin and revolt against God, and to take owner ownership and control over all possessions from their true owner, God, is smashed. All possessions are a trust from the Lord; the status of civil government is that of a minister (Rom. 13:4), i.e., a deacon or a steward, under God, and the same is true of all men.

This being the case, our work too is a stewardship and a trusteeship and is to be governed accordingly. When God created Adam, and set him in the Garden of Eden, He first commanded Adam to till or work the Garden, and to keep or guard it (Gen. 2:15). Only after that commandment to work is Adam told what he is permitted to eat (Gen. 2:16-17). Before the permission to eat of the fruits and produce came the necessity of being committed to work for the upkeep of the Garden. There were boundaries placed on Adam’s area, i.e., the limits of the Garden, on his diet, and on his activities or work, because the earth and Adam were alike God’s creation and hence totally subject to His law-word.

In Babel, this order was reversed. The city, its tower, and both work and possessions therein were the property of Babel. Stewardship and responsibility were to the state, and work also. In the modern state, we are totally circumscribed by man’s law, not God’s. The boundaries of our life and work, as well as the uses of our money, are regulated by the state. This is the nature of every Tower of Babel, past and present. The future of all Babels is described by the angel of Revelation 14:8, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

The church at its worst has never equalled the modern state in its tyranny. It is a mark of the self-willed blindness of our time that men profess to fear a return to Christian rule rather than the statist tyranny which prevails.”

~ R. J. Rushdoony, Systematic Theology, p. 1035f

Survive and move into the future



Toward the end of World War II the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed and sunk, sending its crew into the salty, sun-baked, and shark-infested waters of the Japan Sea.  While the men knew that their best hope for survival was to stick together in the water, there were those who swam off on their own, virtually assuring death by shark attack.

When asked to explain the difference in behavior between those who hung tight and survived and those who swam off and were devoured, one sailor responded, “Those guys who swam away, they didn’t have no future.”

The importance of believing that God has a future for you can’t be overestimated.  It’s been shown over and over again through history.  One characteristic of prisoners who survived the Nazi death camps, for example, is that they believed there was going to be life for them beyond the barbed wire.

The same can be said of those who survive today.  When people lose any vision for the future, they also lose the stamina, creativity, and will to survive.  Some are driven to madness.  But those who believe that there is something waiting for them beyond the present trial – no matter how difficult it is –  find that they have the resolve, energy, and clear thinking required to bring them into the future.

The principle that your view of the future has a major bearing on your ability to handle the problems of the present is rooted in the Bible.

When Judah was brought into exile for 70 years in Babylon, the prospects for the future looked grim, to say the least.  In this environment it was extremely difficult for the people of God to maintain their faith and preserve their religious practices.  It all seemed so futile.

But God had not given up on them, so He sent them a message.  Through the prophet Jeremiah He declared, “I know the plans that I have for you. . . plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope” (Jer.29:11).

This was just the message the captives needed to remain faithful and look to the Lord to bring about better days ahead.

This is the same message people need today.

How many in these times look at their lives and wonder how they are going to survive?  They need a future.

Where does that future come from?  It comes from the One who holds the future in His hands.  Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, and He has a future and a hope for all who live their lives trusting Him.

As we turn to Him in faith, we have peace.  We also grow in perseverance, character, and hope because His love has been poured out within our hearts (Rom.5:1-8).

We are able to not only survive, but move into the future He has for us.