Monday, July 29, 2013

King of Righteousness and then also King of Peace

Yesterday, I preached on Hebrews 7:1-2, and as I was studying, ran across a wonderful sermon by Charles Spurgeon (are there any other kinds of Spurgeon sermons?).  Here is a snippet - 

"All over the world, and everywhere, this is God’s way of dealing with men. Do not imagine that God will ever lay aside his righteousness for the sake of saving a sinner — that he will ever deal with men unrighteously in order that they may escape the penalty due to their transgression. He has never done so, and he never will. Glorious in holiness is he for ever and ever. That blazing throne must consume iniquity, transgression cannot stand before it; there can be no exception to this rule. The Judge of all the earth must do right. Whatever things may change, the law of God cannot alter, and the character of God cannot deteriorate. High as the great mountains, deep as the abyss, eternal as his being, is the righteousness of the Most High. Peace can never come to men from the Lord God Almighty except by righteousness. The two can never be separated without the most fearful consequences. Peace without righteousness is like the smooth surface of the stream ere it takes its awful Niagara plunge. If there is to be peace between God and man, God must still be a righteous God, and by some means or other the transgression of man must be justly put away, for God cannot wink at it, or permit it to go unpunished. Salvation must first of all provide for righteousness, or peace will never lodge within its chambers. The Lord of heaven is first King of righteousness, and then King of peace, so that Melchisedec was such a king as God is."

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Well-Differentiated Leader

"If the leader did not have to be in direct contact with every member in order to influence them, then it should follow that if a leader could learn to be a well-differentiated presence, by the very nature of his or her being he or she could promote differentiation and support creative imagination throughout the system." - Friedman, Failure of Nerve, p18.

Leaders lead by who they are and not just by their message.  "Stonewall" Jackson got his name not by what he said, but by an incident in battle that displayed who he was.  His followers rallied.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

He Is Able

(From the end of my sermon of the same title)
The Scripture reference is Ephesians 3:20-21 –
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
Application – How should this change my Monday?
No One Is Beyond the Power of God – Do you doubt that God can save that loved one who has steadfastly resisted your prayers and witness? Remember your own salvation; remember it in light of the story of Ephesians 1-3.
No Struggle is Beyond the Power of God – Do you doubt that God is able to make good out of your struggle, your affliction, your circumstance? Can’t imagine it? God’s Word says otherwise (Paul says otherwise while sitting in prison). Every time you come to the Table you are to see that of course He can – and will.
No Era is Beyond the Power of God – The nations will flow to the mountain of God. There are no “footnote” eras where God was not at work – where nothing happened. Often, the dark days of volume 2 in a trilogy are the necessary setup for the great eucatastrophe. Always pray this prayer watchfully.

Friday, July 5, 2013

If Imaginatively Stuck

"It certainly has not been my experience in working with imaginatively stuck marriages, families, corporations, or other institutions that an increase in information will necessarily enable a system to get unstuck.  And the risk-averse are rarely emboldened by data" - Edwin H. Friedman, A Failure of Nerve, p31.

Discipleship is not primarily a work of data-transfer.  It is primarily the work reviving godly imagination.