Questions to Expose Idols

“The human heart is a factory of idols…Everyone of us is, from his mother’s womb, expert in inventing idols.”  John Calvin

This is an extremely true quote.  All of us struggle with idolatry.  Some of our idols are bad things, like lust and greed, while other idols are good things like family and friends.  I hope this week all of us at UFC take time to examine the idols in our own lives.  I also am praying that this coming Sunday, Lord willing, we will find encouragement from God’s word to begin to smash our idols.

Here are thirteen questions adapted from David Clarkson’s (1621-1686) sermon Soul Idolatry Excludes Men out of Heaven to help us expose our idols.

1) What do you esteem? That which we most highly value, we make our God.

2) What are you most mindful of?

3) What is the chief aim of your life?

4) What are you most resolved for?

5) What do you love the most?

6) What do you trust in?

7) What do you most fear?

8 ) What do you make your hope?

9) What do you most desire?

10) What do you delight in and rejoice over?

11) What are you most zealous/passionate for?

12) What are you most grateful for?

13) What do you spend your time and energy on?

I pray we will be honest in our answers and prayerful in repentance. Soli Deo Gloria

Happy October 31st!

As October 31st approaches, many of us turn our attentions to Halloween.  Just so you know, this post has nothing to do with the the merits of celebrating or abstaining from Halloween.  Rather, it’s purpose is to remind us of an even greater reason to commemorate this day. “What’s that?” you ask:  Reformation Day!

On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther, the reformer, posted his 95 Theses on the church door at Wittenburg.  Thus setting off a providential chain of events that historians refer to as the Reformation.

Theologians have categorized the biblical truths reclaimed during this time as “The Five Solas”.  Michael Horton’s article is a great introduction to understanding just what was at stake and why we would do well to remember October 31.

SDG.

Do You Love Jesus?

“Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me,'”  (Jn. 8:42)  At least one evidence of our belonging to God is that Jesus is the object of our love.

So…Do you love Jesus?  I do not ask if you love the idea of Jesus, nor the teachings or religion of Jesus, nor even the promise of unending heaven and escape from eternal punishment that Jesus offers.  But do you love HIM?

Have You Been Born Again?

“You must be born again,” was Jesus’ explanation to Nicodemus on who can see the kingdom of God.  In this day of decisional Christianity, with the emphases often being on self-will, self-improvement, and turning over a new leaf, the doctrine of regeneration is neglected, deemphasized, or all-together ignored.  The following post says it better than I ever could, so read (the post), examine (yourself), and worship (“the God who calls into existence the things that do not exist”, Romans 4:17).

A Post-Labor Day Post: The Doctrine of Vocation

Here is an excellent article on the much neglected (and to our detriment) doctrine of vocation.  If that means nothing to you, then I encourage you to read it all the more.

God Is The Gospel

“God is the Gospel” is both a title of a book by John Piper and the essence of the Gospel of Jesus, Paul, and the whole of Scripture.  The good news of the Gospel is…God!  Jesus died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven…To what end?  For what purpose?  Just so we can have a guilt-free conscience and keep on living how we’ve always lived?  No!  Jesus died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven…so that God could justly give us Himself!.  If you belong to the Lord, your greatest hope is not to live forever in heaven with streets of gold, a mansion, no more sinning.  Your greatest hope is that you get…God, forever!  “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”  Jn 17:3

A BondServant of Christ

During yesterday’s sermon, Mat cast light on the idea of a bondservant, which was a common term used by Paul in his New Testament writings to describe our relationship to Christ Jesus our Lord.  I found my soul welling up with affections for our Lord as Mat preached yesterday.

For those of you who may have missed it, a bondservant in the ancient Near East was one who had willingly subjected himself to servanthood after being set free from his “required” term of service.  At this point, a bondservant would be marked with the piercing of an awl through his ear to delineate him as a “bondservant” not just a regular-old servant.

The beauty in all this is that, for those who are truly the Lord”s, servanthood to Christ is not one marked primarily by duty but  by delight.  George Whitefield, the great evangelist of the 18th century, said that he knew he had truly been converted when religion ceased to be a duty and became his delight.  Whitefield understood the difference between being a regular-old servant and a bondservant, and that makes all the difference. Just as was the case with the bondservant, when we serve our Master with glad-hearted obedience instead of duty-driven obedience, we glorify the goodness of our Master all the more.