A TEXT POST

Our sonship in Christ

Came across this article on the desiringgod.org blog and thought that it was particularity relevant/interesting/fun :)

Dum Dums

by Christine Hoover

My bank teller must be a dad.

Every time I go to the bank, he gives my children the exact same colored lollipops. I’ve never asked him to do this, but, without fail, he digs through the lollipop basket until he finds a matching set of Dum Dum lollipops.

He must be a dad because he knows about the fight he is saving me. The one where each of my boys are eyeing the lollipops they don’t have rather than enjoying the one they do. The one where they whine for their favorite color. The one in which they are not satisfied until they have what their sibling has.

As I drive away from the bank’s drive-through window, I inwardly thank this man, and I think about this picture of human jealousy: envious, controlling, domineering, possessive, and self-focused.

God is a Dad, but he is not like my bank teller.

He gives lollipops out to everyone, but he does not give them equally or similarly. He gives them perfectly, however, and until we trust that, we’ll be dissatisfied with what we’ve been given.

As a Father, God knows his kids’ tendency to want what their siblings have. It’s hard not wanting the bright pink lollipop when we’re given the brown one. But unlike our spiteful jealousy, God’s jealousy for us says, “I absolutely know what is best for you and I want you to have it. Because I love you, I will not give you anything less than my best. However, what I give you is going to be different than what I give that person you are comparing yourself to.” He lifts our eyes up to him and away from watching others and reminds us that he has perfectly and strategically given us our gifts, talents, and ministries.

Romans 8:28 reminds us that God is always working things for good on our behalf:

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

“What a power would be unleashed in your life and mind if we really believed that the almighty God, whose counsel cannot be frustrated, is this very minute, busily at work making sure that what happens to us this afternoon and tomorrow at home and at work is only what is best for us!” (Source)

Also here’s the link the the original article. Hope you guys liked it!

-Dustin

A TEXT POST

@ Trina: Matthew 18:18 

So, looked a bit into commentary of the verse and, to me, John Calvin’s commentary made the most sense. John Calvin was French (hence the French in quotation marks when the English translation is unclear:

 18. What things soever you shall bind. He now repeats the same words which he had formerly used, (Matthew 16:19 ,) but in a different sense; for there he intended to maintain their authority in doctrine, but here he appoints discipline, which is an appendage to doctrine. There Christ declared that the preaching of the Gospel would not be without effect, but that the odor of it would either be life-giving or deadly, (2 Corinthians 2:15,16  :) here he affirms that, though wicked men ridicule the judgment of the Church, it will not be ineffectual. We must attend to this distinction, that there our Lord’s discourse relates to the preached word, but here to public censures and discipline. Let the reader go to that passage for the import of the metaphor, binding and loosing. 561561    

The substance of it is this: Whoever, after committing a crime, humbly confesses his fault, and entreats the Church to forgive him, is absolved not only by men, but by God himself; and, on the other hand, whoever treats with ridicule the reproofs and threatenings of the Church, if he is condemned by her, the decision which men have given will be ratified in heaven. If it be objected, that in this way God is made a sort of petty judge, who concurs in the sentence of mortal men, the reply is at hand. For when Christ maintains the authority of his Church, he does not diminish his own power or that of his Father, but, on the contrary, supports the majesty of his word. As in the former case (Matthew 16:19) he did not intend to confirm indiscriminately every kind of doctrine, but only that which had proceeded out of his mouth, so neither does he say in this place that every kind of decision will be approved and ratified, but only that in which he presides, and that too not only by his Spirit, but by his word. Hence it follows, that men do no injury to the authority of God, when they pronounce nothing but what comes from his mouth, and only endeavor faithfully to execute what he has commanded. For, though Christ alone is the Judge of the world, yet he chooses to have ministers to proclaim his word. 562562     “Il vent toutesfois cependant que les ministres soyent ambassadeurs pour porter et publier sa parole;” — “yet he wishes that ministers should be ambassadors to carry and publish his word.” Besides, he wishes that his own decision should be pronounced by the Church; and thus he takes nothing from his own authority by employing the ministry of men, but it is Himself alone that looses and binds.

But here a question arises. Since the Church endures many hypocrites, and likewise absolves (or looses) many whose professions of repentance are hypocritical, does it follow that such persons will be absolved (or loosed) in heaven? I reply, the discourse is addressed to those only who are truly and sincerely reconciled to the Church. For Christ, wishing to administer comfort to trembling consciences, and to relieve them from fear, declares that any who may have offended are freed from guilt in the sight of God, provided that they be reconciled to the Church. For he has appointed this as the pledge of heavenly grace, which has no reference to hypocrites, who pervert the proper use of reconciliation, but awakens in the godly no ordinary confidence, when they hear that their sins are blotted out before God and angels, as soon as they have obtained forgiveness from the Church.

In the other clause, Christ’s meaning is not at all ambiguous; for, since obstinate and haughty men are strongly inclined to despise the decision of the Church on this pretense, that they refuse to be subject to men — as wicked profligates often make bold appeals to the heavenly tribunal 563563     “Comme souventesfois on verra de meschans garnemens sans crainte de Dieu, qui diront tout haut et hardiment qu’ils appellent au jugement celeste;” — “as we shall often see wicked profligates without the fear of God, who will quite loudly and boldly say that they appeal to the heavenly tribunal.”— Christ, in order to subdue this obstinacy by terror, threatens that the condemnation, which is now despised by them, will be ratified in heaven. He encourages his followers, at the same time, to maintain proper severity, and not to yield to the wicked obstinacy of those who reject or shake off discipline. 564564     “Qui reietteront la discipline, et n’y voudront ployer le col;” — “who will reject discipline, and will refuse to bend the neck to it.”

Hence, too, we may see how absurdly the Papists torture this passage to cloak every species of tyranny. That the right of excommunication is granted to the Church is certain, and is acknowledged by every person of sound judgment; but does it follow that any individual, even though not called by the Church, but elected 565565     “Mais estant cree et ordonne;” — “but being created and appointed.” by a mitered and disguised beast, shall at his own caprice throw out the useless squibs of excommunications? 566566     “Et les face peter pour faire peur a qui bon luy semble;” — “and make them crack to frighten whomsoever he pleases.” On the contrary, it is evident that the lawful government of the Church is committed to elders, and not only to the ministers of the word, but to those also who, taken from among the people, have been added to them for the superintendence of morals. And yet, not satisfied with this impudence, they endeavor even to prove from this passage that we must bear all the burdens which they shall impose. I do not mention that the power which has been granted to the Church is basely seized and carried off by those outrageous enemies of the Church; and I only mention that, since Christ speaks only about correcting offenders, those who by their laws ensnare souls are chargeable with not less folly than wickedness in abusing this passage. Of the same stamp is their defense of their auricular confession on this pretense; for if Christ intended that those who by their own fault had been brought even to a public sentence should be reconciled to the Church, he does not therefore lay an obligations 567567     “Il ne s’ensuit pas pourtant qu’il ait impose loy.” on every individual to pour his sins into the ear of the priest. But their fooleries are so ridiculous, that it is unnecessary to spend any longer time in refuting them.

Hope this helps and good luck everyone on Finals!

-Dustin

A VIDEO

Bethany Dillon - Hallelujah

Who can hold the stars
And my weary heart?
Who can see everything?
I’ve fallen so hard
Sometimes I feel so far
But not beyond your reach

I could climb a mountain
Swim the ocean
Or do anything
But it’s when you hold me
That I start unfolding
And all I can say is

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Whatever’s in front of me
Help me to sing hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Whatever’s in front of me
I’ll choose to sing hallelujah

The same sun that
Rises over castles
And welcomes the day

Spills over buildings
Into the streets
Where orphans play

And only you can see the good
In broken things
You took my heart of stone
And you made it home
And set this prisoner free

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Whatever’s in front of me
Help me to sing hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Whatever’s in front of me
I’ll choose to sing hallelujah

A TEXT POST

Reading Matthew

I’ve been having trouble understanding Jesus’ messages in the book of Matthew. Jesus tells us, “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault” (Matthew 18:15). Understood, yes, etc… Then he says:

"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Matthew 18:18

What does it mean to “bind” and “loose”? Which one is negative? It seems to me that Jesus suggests we carry certain binding parts of our earthly lives to heaven…I never thought of eternity in that way.

This is just one example of how I don’t know if I am reading scripture in its truest light. At times, the infallibility of scripture seems to rest on my approach - the heart through which I seek His word.

Would really appreciate any insight on these teeny troubles! :)


*tri

A TEXT POST

If we love people and have the power to help, then we are going to be busy.  Learning to pray doesn’t offer us a less busy life; it offers us a less busy heart.

- Paul Miller, A Praying Life

I want a less busy heart.  I don’t want to let my heart constantly be distracted by my own thoughts.  I want my life to be a meditation, and I know that I need to pray real prayers to be at peace.  Semester grades, medical school, college life… Why does they feel like a tidal wave headed my way?

BTW, happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Dan

A VIDEO

Arms Wide Open – Misty Edwards

“What does love look like?” is the question I’ve been pondering
“What does love look like?”
“What does love look like?” is the question I’ve been asking of You

I once believed that love was romance, just a chance
I even thought that love was for the lucky and the beautiful
I once believed that love was a momentary bliss
But love is more than this
All You ever wanted was my attention
All You ever wanted was love from me
All You ever wanted was my affections, to sit here at Your feet

Then I sat down, a little frustrated and confused
If all of life comes down to love
Then love has to be more than sentiment
More than selfishness and selfish gain

And then I saw Him there, hanging on a tree, looking at me
I saw Him there, hanging on a tree, looking at me
He was looking at me, looking at Him, staring through me
I could not escape those beautiful eyes
And I began to weep and weep

He had arms wide open, a heart exposed
Arms wide open; He was bleeding, bleeding

Love’s definition, love’s definition was looking at me
Looking at Him, hanging on a tree
I began to weep and weep and weep and weep

This is how I know what love is, this is how I know what love is

And as I sat there weeping, crying
Those beautiful eyes, full of desire and love

He said to me, “You shall love Me, You shall love Me
You shall love Me, You shall love Me”

With arms wide open, a heart exposed
With arms wide open, bleeding, sometimes bleeding

If anybody’s looking for love in all the wrong places
If you’ve been searching for love, come to Me, come to Me
Take up your cross, deny yourself
Forget your father’s house and run, run with Me
You were made for abandonment, wholeheartedness
You were made for someone greater, someone bigger, so follow Me
And You’ll come alive when you learn to die

A TEXT POST

Numbers 11:31-35

31Then a wind from the LORD sprang up, and it brought quail from the sea and let them fall beside the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and a day’s journey on the other side, around the camp, and about two cubits above the ground. 32And the people rose all that day and all night and all the next day, and gathered the quail. Those who gathered least gathered ten homers. And they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. 33 While the meat was yet between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD struck down the people with a very great plague. 34Therefore the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had the craving. 35 From Kibroth-hattaavah the people journeyed to Hazeroth, and they remained at Hazeroth.

Despite God’s promises of a land full of milk and honey, the Israelites were consumed with the desire for instant gratification. Forgetting their bondage in Egypt, they demanded meat instead of manna, and God granted them what they wanted through quail. I think this passage perfectly exemplifies the greed of mankind. Excited to see quail, people stayed up all day and night to gather the meat. ESV Study bible shows that in present day language, “ten homers” means they gathered meat in 3 foot piles off the ground, which were spread out “for themselves” all over the camp. This passage strikes home because it shows that the Israelites were not ready for the land of milk and honey. If they were, God would have allowed them to enter more quickly. But it was evident that they would have exploited the milk and honey like they did with the quail, with greed and without gratitude. Their method of asking God for quail was through bitter complaining. Already their hearts were distorted, so why would God allow them to have what they want if they weren’t refined enough to consider his gifts as precious?

Matthew Henry’s Commentary states, “God performed his promise to the people, in giving them flesh. How much more diligent men are in collecting the meat that perishes, than in labouring for meat which endures to everlasting life! We are quick-sighted in the affairs of time; but stupidity blinds us as to the concerns of eternity. To pursue worldly advantages, we need no arguments; but when we are to secure the true riches, then we are all forgetfulness. Those who are under the power of a carnal mind, will have their lusts fulfilled, though it be to the certain damage and ruin of their precious souls. They paid dearly for their feasts. God often grants the desires of sinners in wrath, while he denies the desires of his own people in love. What we unduly desire, if we obtain it, we have reason to fear, will be some way or other a grief and cross to us. And what multitudes there are in all places, who shorten their lives by excess of one kind or other! Let us seek for those pleasures which satisfy, but never surfeit; and which will endure for evermore.”

God is faithful in fulfilling his promises, but we often treat his gifts like crap. I feel so rebuked by this passage because there are so many areas in my life I have no gratitude for, and I long for instant gratification so this life feels more enjoyable. Yet I forget that this “stupidity” blinds me. I don’t remember the last time I thanked God for my apartment, my textbooks, my education, family, friends, the shirt off my back. All these things being blessings that I often don’t treat with care.  And the things I want right now, such as stability of future, he might not be giving to me because I am not yet ready and I will abuse it for my own self-glory.

In this passage, seeing the Israelites use up their day and night to gather meat, I’m humbled because I see how I stay up day and night to do the same thing. I invest time in things of temporary worth instead of what is beautiful and sustaining. I started writing in a prayer journal the past few days, writing out my devos and prayers one by one, and God already granted some of those prayers. It’s rebuking and amazing how God wishes to love and bless me, but I complain that he’s not giving it to me yet. I think it’s true that if you can taste his love, you can understand his love for others.There’s this song that has been blessing me (A Thousand Years by Christina Perri), and on the surface it might sound funky because it’s a secular song and a soundtrack for the new Twilight movie, but understanding that God loved and planned me from such a long time ago and deliberately formed me to be a certain way, makes me see how much he loves other people. I think my eyes have been opened a little more to how purposefully and intricately each person has been made. In my road in learning how to pray for others, it has really changed my outlook.

Anyway, away from the tangent, at first glance at the Israelites, I am amazed at how so greedy they are. I have zero respect for them. I thought about what it means to be respectful and to respect someone, and something that really gets my respect is when you see a person that is able to let go of those carnal desires and deny themselves for what is greater. Being rather impulsive, I think I’m susceptible to instant gratification, so I have automatic respect for those who understand what is beautiful and worthy enough to not be blinded by the present, but look towards the future. And then I thought about it a little more, and I think it’s rare for me to deny my greater desires. As my close ones know, if I’m stuck on something (whether an idea, project, or material good), I need to have it right then. A good example is how I ordered boots online and kept having to return them because I couldn’t wait for a pair that I loved completely.

My dad, knowing this character flaw, told me I should start by drinking water more slowly since I usually chug liquids. I didn’t really understand it then, but I’m beginning to now. Instead of fulfilling that physical desires in an uncontrolled manner, every second of waiting to fulfill that thirst would grow patience.

The Israelites named their camp, “Kibroth-hattaavah”, meaning “graves of craving.” How morbid. but something that encourages me is that despite everything, God still waited and wanted to give them Canaan, the land flowing with milk and honey. Even if they exploited every other gift he gave before, he still saved the best for them. I am amazed to tears at how purely good he is. I abuse so much of what he gives me. but he still promises to love me for thousands and thousands of years more.

<3 Glo (taken from my devo blog)

A VIDEO

And just when you begin to question your worth. Your value. Identity. Why you live this or that way, and why you can’t shake off the dust and do the the things you know you should. I’m reminded that He loved me completely before I was born. Long before my parents or my great-great-great-grandparents were born. For a long, long time. And that’s when I open my eyes and find the courage to stand up and try again. Clean the junks. Clean the room. Clean the heart.

and He says even though I lack so much. That even though I’ve failed so much and there is literally nothing in my hands that I can offer. That He’s loved me for a thousand years. and He will love me at least a thousand more. (and yes, twas inspired by the Twilight soundtrack, but whatever :P)

Heart beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave
How can I love when I’m afraid to fall
Watching you stand alone
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more

Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What’s standing in front of me
Every breath
Every hour has come to this

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more.