Psalms, Peterson, and Bono.

Praying is not being nice before God. It’s about being honest with God. And honesty is not always nice.

Have you got a spare 20 minutes? It worth investing that time to watch this video about Eugene Peterson and Bono getting to know each other, and discuss the psalms.

https://fullerstudio.fuller.edu/bono-eugene-peterson-psalms

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In my fathers house are many mansions.

Over the years I have heard a number of sermons about Jesus saying in his fathers house are many mansions and he goes to prepare a room for us there John 14:2. Sadly though, everyone of those sermons has touched on our lust for more, our lust for greed, our lust for riches and extravagant belongings and possessions – and in doing so, has missed the point of what Jesus is actually saying.

Dr. Wave Nunnally has written an excellent article about archaeological findings which brings a clearer picture of what Jesus was actually saying, and what he wasn’t saying.

It was home! It represented the close-knit, supportive, loving, extended families that ate, worked, played, and worshiped together. In this respect, it served as the ideal picture of heaven that Jesus sought to convey–an ongoing (eternal) “Walton’s Mountain” or your-favorite-family-reunion-ever kind of feel. It recalled the times when mom, dad, all the grandparents, brothers and sisters, all their husbands and wives and children, uncles, aunts, and cousins were all together and everything was right in the world.

 

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Are your prayers big enough?

I am fascinated and awed by the prayer life of the Apostle Paul. One prayer that has grabbed my attention recently is his prayer in Ephesians that they would be filled with the fullness of God.

To our finite and limited imagination of thinking its illogical that we, mere human beings, could be filled with God’s fullness. And yet Paul tells the Ephesians that God is able to do immeasurably more than we think, or imagine he can do. What does being filled with God’s fullness mean? It probably means more than we are able to think it means. What does a church congregation look like, that is filled with the fullness of God?

Being filled with God’s fullness must be possible. If the Apostle Paul thought it was possible, and if he prayed for it to be so; then its not just a rhetorical request. Will you join me in prayer: That I. That you. That we. That our church congregations – will be filled with the fullness of God.

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I have a friend who asked me the following question. I know his story of heart ache and pain. And so his question comes out of his personal experience of being abused by a female perpetrator. My comment to him is underneath.

 Craig bennett i understand you are man of the cloth. Could you write an article on “evil women from bible”? And maybe another even more important on “unpardonable sins”?

Great question. I can write an article about bad women from the Bible. The Bible doesn’t hold back on the evilness of all humanity. It acknowledges it all.

The good news is that there are no unpardonable sins. Well nearly none. The only one is when a person refuses to accept Jesus and their own need for forgiveness.

While its true that some sins appear to be greater and more evil than others – and some peeps more evil then others – all of us have fallen short of God’s standards in thought, word, or deed.

More importantly the biblical response I see is if God grants mercy to all sinners, and helps all who are victims of sin, and that there is no social class, gender, or nationality distinction in our standing with God .. society should reflect this also, and help all victims and perps and not ignore any.

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Christian Conscience.

I once worked in a service station. A truck driver came in and bought some porn and a windscreen wiper blade. He started to whack the magazine with the wiper blade saying “I cannot wait to beat the girls in here.”

When he walked out, I put a sign on the magazine rack…Porn not for sale this shift, due to night managers Christian beliefs. Do not ask as refusal may offend!”

It did offend, and one time one guy asked two coppers who came in for coffee to force me to sell it.

Did I do the right thing or not? My conscience tells me I did. The boss told me he couldn’t sack me over it..but nor could he allow me to not sell it as it made him a lot of money. (He also said he was a Christian, but you have your christian life, home life and business life. ) I said that is easily fixed…I left.

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Lets Journey Together. Mutual edification.

I am convinced that our goal as Christians should be that fellowship is mutually edifying. That ministry is communal and not hierarchical. Paul writes to the church saying

Romans 1:11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

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Why do we call Jesus Lord.

John MacArthur is at it again. He has written another article on the Lordship of Jesus Christ, with us being his slaves and he our owner.

A friend asked me to have a read of his article and what I think of it. This is what I said.

I think he is addressing cheap grace. That we call Jesus Lord, but don’t live it out. For instance a very large hotel owner, where a State Baptist convention was held at his hotel; was given a gospel presentation and asked to receive Jesus.

He said, when you guys come to this convention every year, the porn rental on our tv system nearly doubles each time then what is accessed normally. You dare to preach to me; but don’t live it out yourself. OUCH!!

BUT, I prefer the language Scripture uses in Romans, Ephesians and elsewhere about us being adopted. The language where Jesus calls us friends, and when he says, who is my family, those who do my will are my brothers and sisters.

He doesn’t actually say what it means to follow Jesus. To some Jesus told to drop what they were doing and follow him…others like the man he freed from the demons, he told…you go back to your home and family, and tell them what the lord has done for you.

Personally I think the way we are called to follow Jesus is summed up in this passage.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

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