Beatitudes for Men

God has used the beatitudes taught by Jesus in Matthew 5:3-10 to encourage believers in all generations to live kingdom lives.  How are Christians to live their lives in a culture that rejects Christ and the reality of His kingdom?  The beatitudes give a picture of how these people live and what they live for.

I thought I’d list out a few beatitudes for men to remind us of how we are to live in a culture that desperately needs to see men living for Jesus.

*Blessed is the man who doesn’t have to delete his online history for he is able to look at his wife with integrity and live his life in purity.

*Blessed is the man who doesn’t exasperate his children for his children will praise him.

*Blessed is the man who serves his family for he models Christ.

*Blessed is the man who doesn’t take himself too seriously for he can laugh at himself with others.

*Blessed is the man who protects his family from all enemies for he understands his leadership role.

*Blessed is the man who continues to date his wife for he doesn’t take her or his marriage for granted.

*Blessed is the man who hugs, kisses, tickles, wrestles and otherwise shows affection towards his children for he fills their hearts with love.

*Blessed is the man who prays over his marriage and family for he knows only God can watch over them everywhere.

*Blessed is the man who takes his kids to church and really worships the Lord for he teaches them that church attendance is a joy and not drudgery.

*Blessed is the man who lives out his love for Jesus every day for he teaches his family that Christianity is more than a Sunday event.

*Blessed is the man who reads, memorizes, and meditates on Scripture for his mouth will speak from the overflow of his heart.

*Blessed is the man who puts his family before his career for he understands what’s really important.

*Blessed is the man who says “I love you” to his family in both words and actions for his family will draw strength from this.

*Blessed is the man who pursues Christ over all others for he teaches his family the worth of living their lives for the great Treasure of life.


Some Glorious Truths from 2 Corinthians 5:17

This past Sunday I preached from 2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2.  This passage includes a wonderful promise…

2 Corinthians 5:17 (HCSB) 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, ⌊he is⌋ a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.

There are several truths here that need to be unpacked…

1. if anyone is in Christ The only hope we have of being a new creation comes from being in Christ. To be in Christ means we’ve identified with Him in His life, death, and resurrection.  Being in Christ doesn’t mean we will live sinless lives (that comes later!), but that we are counted righteous as God the Father imputes the righteousness of Jesus to us (2 Corinthians 5:21).  In Christ, we have the Holy Spirit living within us to give us both the promise that our salvation is secure and the power to live out our lives to the glory of Christ.

But there’s a warning in this phrase as well.  Salvation is only available in Christ.  It’s not available in good works, regular church attendance, or being better than so-called “bad people.”  There’s only one Name given under heaven by which we’re saved.  Even the most famous verse in the Bible tells us that only the ones believing in Christ will be saved…

John 3:16 (HCSB) 16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

So the only hope anyone has of being a new creation is to run to Jesus.

2. he is a new creation Being in Christ isn’t turning over a new leaf or making a New Year’s resolution to be a better person. Being in Christ means we die to ourselves, our wants, our dreams, our desires, and our sin so that we might be new creations in Christ.  And while there’s immediate, life-long changes that come as new creations, we also are walking testimonies to the coming new creation that will be consummated when Christ returns and we receive resurrection bodies and He gives us new heavens and a new earth.

The salvation of sinners which turns them into saints is the loud announcement that Jesus is making all things new.

3. old things have passed away Because we are in Christ and are new creations, we are no longer slaves to our past. Our identities have changed.  We’re no longer Mike the prideful one or Sue the abused one or Sam the addict or Mary the gossiper.  We are sons and daughters of God through Christ.  We’ve been given a new name, a new hope, a new life!  We lay aside the sins which so easily entangled us and take up our cross and follow Jesus.

4. new things have come We have a new Master who is our Lord and Savior, Jesus. We have the fruit of the Spirit at work within us (Galatians 5:22-23).  We have the God the Father as our Father and no longer our righteous Judge.  And more things are coming…a new body, a new home, a new earth!

These brief statements barely begin to mine the wonderful depths of the riches of our salvation!  May we rejoice more and more that our names are written in the Book of Life to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ!


The Power & Privilege of Proclaiming the Gospel…The Notes

Here are the notes from yesterday’s sermon.  You can listen to the sermon here.

THE POWER & PRIVILEGE OF PROCLAIMING THE GOSPEL

2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2

1. As we proclaim the gospel, everything changes.

*It changes how we look at people (sinners in need of a Savior)

*It changes how we look at Christ (not a myth, legend, good teacher, etc.)

*It changes us (Philippians 3:3ff)

*It changes what we do (ministry of reconciliation)

2. We have the great privilege of proclaiming this powerful gospel.

*There’s content to the gospel that we proclaim

*The role we play is as an ambassador

1) An ambassador represents his King/government

2) An ambassador shares the King’s message

3) An ambassador learns the language & culture of the people to whom he’s sent

3. The message we have must be proclaimed with urgency.

 It’s only good news if it gets there in time—Carl F. H. Henry


The Power & Privilege of Proclaiming the Gospel

Today’s sermon comes from 2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2…

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 (HCSB)
16 From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know ⌊Him in this way⌋. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, ⌊he is⌋ a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 18 Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” 21 He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2 Corinthians 6:1-2 (HCSB) 1 Working together with Him, we also appeal to you, “Don’t receive God’s grace in vain.” 2 For He says: I heard you in an acceptable time, and I helped you in the day of salvation. Look, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation.


Saturday Stuff

Lots of good stuff in today’s Saturday Stuff…

*DC/Warner Bros. has now offered up its slate of movies (with titles) through 2020.  Check it out!

*And while Batman and Superman solo movies aren’t listed in the DC/Warner Bros. announcement, word is not to be worried!

*While Iron Man 4 may not happen, it seems that Iron Man will be a major addition to Captain America 3.

*There’s Marvel movie news as Channing Tatum talks about his upcoming Gambit movie.

*Thankfully, Joaquin Phoenix will not play Dr. Strange.  Here are some other possible actors who could fill those shoes.


6-String Salvo, October 17, 2014

bigstock-Guitar-950679With all the hubbub about the mayor of Houston and her desire to subpoena pastors for the sermons, I thought today’s salvo would focus on some of the responses to this issue…

*Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, has two responses here and here.

*Here’s a response from Aaron Earls.

*Here’s a response from Jason Allen, President of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

*And here’s a response from Doug Wilson.

And here are a few more non-Houston items…

1. Mark Altrogge shares 5 benefits of having a challenging teen.

2. From Tim Challies there are 7 things your church needs from you.

3. There may be some seismic shifts going on with the Roman Catholic Church concerning its positions on gay marriage and on divorce.

And here’s the Shadowboxers with Molly Shake Me


The Church Will Not Be Silent

You may have seen, read, or heard about what’s going on in Houston concerning the mayor and her desire to put restraints on what is preached from the pulpits of churches.  Isn’t it interesting that some of the very people who scream the loudest for separation of church and state are the very ones who continue to meddle in the affairs of the church?

I’m grateful for pastors and churches throughout the centuries who have loudly, boldly, and unashamedly proclaimed, “Thus says the Lord!”  The time seems to be coming for churches in America to stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before and do the same.

Some may ask, why can’t governments control churches?  What’s wrong with that?

Here are several reasons why governments can’t control churches…

  1. Pastors and churches owe their primary allegiance to our Lord Jesus Christ. At conversion, Christians become citizens of the kingdom of God. We are new creatures in Christ who have been bought with a price.  While we still live in real-time in a real world, our primary allegiances have changed so that we first and foremost follow our Lord.  If the governments requires disobedience to our Lord and His Word, we will disobey government before we disobey Jesus.
  1. The church is the bride of Christ and will enjoy eternal relationship with our Lord. Governments will one day end, but the church will be with the Lord forever. While government is an ordained institution in this world, it is not the “husband” of the church.  The church obeys her Husband, our Lord Jesus Christ.
  1. The Word we proclaim is our ultimate authority while governments & their laws change. God’s Word is always true and requires our obedience in every area it speaks, including if that means speaking against governments and culture. Laws and the affairs of man are in constant flux while the Word of God stands forever.  Therefore when the unchanging Word is in conflict with the ever-changing laws of man, the Word will be obeyed.
  1. While governments can restrain evil, the gospel proclaimed through the church changes hearts. Governments are a gift from the Lord as a tool He uses to restrain evil in our culture. However, only the gospel believed and received can change the heart.  Therefore, the priority of the gospel-proclaiming church trumps the government and its laws.
  1. The gospel proclaimed through the church transforms culture. History has proven that the gospel proclaimed faithfully by the church can transform culture in ways that government never can. In those societies where the church is hindered in its proclamation, we see culture take steps away from democracy and from protection of human life and human rights.  When the church is actively flourishing in gospel-powered living and proclamation, culture is transformed, freedom is encouraged, and human life and human rights are valued.  The Creator, through His church, speaks words of life to the culture.

Having lived in Houston in the past, I’m grateful to know that hundreds of churches will look to the Lord and to His Word and say with Peter and John,

Acts 4:19-20 (HCSB) 19  But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it’s right in the sight of God ⌊for us⌋ to listen to you rather than to God, you decide; 20  for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”


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