Archive for the ‘ Sacrifice ’ Category

VerseD: Ephesians 5:1-2

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:1‭-‬2, ESV

We tend to get too focused on what others do to us or do not do for us.

Instead, we should be more concerned with how we can serve others.

Sacrificially.

VerseD: Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me
Galatians 2:20, ESV

We need to give up our rights to anything just as He gave up His rights as God to give us life.

Stop demanding and expecting Him and others to do what we think we deserve. Start giving all of you to love others for His glory.

… The Work Will Go On with @UnspokenMusic

Do not bury wisdom. Instead, find some at Proverbial Thought!

Tertullian famously said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”

This is certainly evidenced in the Bible:

Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

And Saul approved of his execution.

And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.

Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.
Acts 8:54-8:4, ESV

That is what one of my new favorite bands sings about in this song.

Unspoken has a lot of great songs on their debut album (personally, I like all of them). This song, Bury the Workmen, had me shouting out “Yeah! Preach it!” as I was driving down the road.

Enjoy.


Unspoken – Bury the Workmen

Steven was a deacon in Jerusalem
They dragged him out those city gates to try and quiet him
When Steven preached those Pharisees started throwing stones
Before he died he raised his eyes and saw Jesus on the throne

He said, You can bury the workmen but the work will go on
And you can silence the voices but you can’t stop the song
When the Spirit’s moving, His will will be done
You can bury the workmen but the work will go on

James was sent to Heaven at the edge of Herod’s sword
And Peter he was crucified like his beloved Lord
The Roman Coliseum, the lions and the fires
The gates of hell did not prevail, they fanned those flames higher

Cause you can bury the workmen but the work will go on
And you can silence the voices but you can’t stop the song
When the Spirit’s moving, His will will be done
And you can bury the workmen but the work will go on

And then they lowered Jesus, they laid Him in a grave
They thought that it was over, that His name would fade away
But Jesus wasn’t listening, no, He rose to life again
Cause God is not persuaded by the arrogance of men

So you can bury the workmen but the work will go on
And you can silence the voices but you can’t stop the song
When the Spirit’s moving, His will will be done
And you can bury the workmen but the work will go on

And you can bury the workmen but the work will go on
And you can silence the voices but you can’t stop the song
When the Spirit’s moving, His will will be done
And you can bury the workmen but the work will go on
Yeah you can bury the workmen but the work will go on

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 01/18/2015

Choose wisdom, and find some at Proverbial Thought!

Perhaps you have heard it said that love is more than an emotion. You may have even heard that love is a decision that is made, and action to be made.

Perhaps you have even heard this:

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13, ESV

By this we know love, that [Jesus] laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
1 John 3:16

These are the basis for this poem.

Deeper Love

A love of emotions
will never compare
to the Love of the Father
that goes much deeper.
Love on another level,
like the Love of our God,
goes beyond explanation.
It is a deeper Love.
Love is an action,
it is also a choice,
an opportunity
to share Jesus Christ.

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things …

As the book of Proverbs is finally “all commentaried out”, go catch some of the final wise words this week at Proverbial Thought!

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.
Psalm 119:37, ESV

I made a covenant with my eyes . . .
Job 31:1, NIV

A couple of weeks ago, I announced through Facebook that my wife and I were cancelling our Netflix and Hulu accounts.

This decision had very little to do with what we watch. We try to be rather discerning in what we watch because we do not want to let too many immoral and/or blasphemous things in our minds if we can help it.

Rather, the decision came after a comment made by one of seminary professors.

While working through the book of Acts, we were discussing whether Christianity was a threat to the Roman Empire. My reply was “Technically. I mean, look at when Paul got upset with the girl with the Serpent spirit and cast it out of her in the name of Jesus. The people who were making money off of her fortune-telling were suddenly out of a means of income.”

The conversation then focused on how Christianity messed with the economy of the Empire. This is because makers of idols, workers in pagan temples, and even tour guides around cities with temples would lose business throwing off the entire economy of entire cities if not the entire Empire.

Then the professor made this comment: “Imagine if Christians still gave up all of their idolatrous and ungodly pursuits. How many Christians pay for pornography in our society?

My initial thought was “I’m glad that is not us!” (Caitlin and me)

Then some conviction set in.

How much have Netflix and Hulu used their profit to produce shows or movies that glorify sex and nudity?

How much have Netflix and Hulu used their profit to produce shows or movies that mock or blaspheme Christians and God?

At first I tried to justify having these accounts:

How many Christian-based things do they show?

It is not like I watch those things!

Netflix especially comes in handy working in a school, for both my wife and me!

I found myself getting angry that I should have to give up something.

Why was I angry and finding such a need to justify my actions if I was doing nothing wrong?

More than anything, I needed to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

So, instead, I turned to my classmate and said “I am not very happy with the professor right now.” We then laughed about my silliness.

Most people I talked with about it went through the same justifications. A couple of them even said I was being too legalistic.

To combat that, a) I am not saying everyone needs to cancel Netflix and Hulu. This is a personal conviction. I certainly will argue for others to let go, because how much do we really need Netflix, Hulu, and television in general? This is especially true when we consider how useless most television is, how ungodly most television is, and how much God and Christians are blasphemed and mocked. b) We still occasionally watch TV. We enjoy being entertained as much as anyone, and not everything on TV is bad for us. c) We will still go to some movies (Speaking of which, The Lego Movie is rather fantastic in a purely entertaining vain!), for through this we might still be able to show Hollywood what kind of content we prefer while supporting some local businesses (or at least our friends who work at local businesses.

More importantly, though, is that we want to not only obey God in our lives but push others toward Christ by refusing to be a part in causing others to stumble:

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where

“‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’

Everyone will be salted with fire.

“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”
Mark 9:42-50, NIV

We both felt that our continued subscription to these businesses supported content that could cause others to stumble or even be led astray. We would rather not have these forms of entertainment and be closer to Christ than have to have our conscience troubled if what we are doing is moral and godly. Christ and other people are more important than our temporary enjoyment.

How many things in our lives do we devote too much of our time and money to instead of focusing on loving God and people?

In our culture of instant gratification, pleasure, and stuff, how often do we unplug, sacrifice, and get quiet?

In Memory – A Memorial Day Re-posting

Wisdom is found in reading the thoughts from Proverbial Thought!

I am posting this a little earlier in the week than usual, because I wanted people to start seeing it on Memorial Day.

I originally wrote this for Veterans Day 2012. I liked it enough that I felt it could be shared again.

May we remember those who have sacrificed everything for the sakes of freedom and life.

Remembrance of Veterans

This past weekend saw celebrations in many nations for those who have served in the military. Whether it is called Veterans’ Day, Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day, this is a time to recall those heroes who have served, fought, and even died in the service of country and/or freedom.

This is good. We should remember those who have gone before and fought for freedom.

But, dear Christian, there are more who are at least as deserving if not more deserving of remembrance.

Hebrews 11 reminds us of some heroes:

  • Abel
  • Enoch
  • Noah
  • Abraham
  • Isaac
  • Jacob
  • Joseph
  • Moses
  • Gideon
  • Barak
  • Samson
  • Jephthah
  • David
  • Samuel
  • the Prophets

These were people who stood firm for God and laid the framework for the coming Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.

Yet, there are more!

The New Testament has a list of heroes:

  • John, the Baptizer
  • Simon Peter
  • Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother
  • James, son of Zebedee
  • John, James’ brother
  • Philip
  • Bartholomew
  • Thomas
  • Matthew
  • James
  • Thaddeus
  • Simon the zealot
  • Matthias
  • Mary
  • Paul
  • Stephen
  • Barnabas
  • Mark
  • Luke
  • Philip
  • Procorus
  • Nicanor
  • Timon
  • Parmenas
  • Nicolas
  • Lydia
  • Priscilla
  • Aquilas
  • Phoebe
  • And many, many more!

Notice there are even women listed! If we dug through the Old Testament we would find more women, such as Ruth, Esther, and Deborah, to name but a few.

We need to also remember history since the end of the First Century, those who have carried the Church forward:

  • Augustine
  • Eusebius
  • Tertullian
  • Jerome
  • Origen
  • Pelagius
  • Francis of Assisi
  • Martin Luther
  • John Calvin
  • Loyola
  • Joan of Arc
  • John Wesley
  • C.S. Lewis
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Mother Teresa
Just to name a very few.
We need to remember these names and so many others for the work they have done to push the Gospel further into the world, deeper into our hearts, and on into the future until the return of our Lord.
Church history is important. We need to know about the ancient past, the past 2000 years, and recent leaders. We need to know why so many things are important.
Too much of recent Church history was resolved in the first few hundred years of Church history, but we have turned our backs on these giants of the faith.
Many recent Church problems have arisen largely due to an ignorance of what has come before.
Some of the time our ignorance of what has been discussed leads to problems.
Some of the time our ignorance of what has been done and why leads to problems.
Most of the time our ignorance of each other leads to problems.
Every time our ignorance of God leads to problems.
We get so focused on our differences that we lose focus of what has come before and who God is.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Hebrews 12:1-8