Archive for July, 2012

  1. Adoption is an Art of Free Kindness

    Posted on July 31st, 2012 by David Burnette

    Tatry mountains: Tatry mountains, high mountains, slopes, peaks, clearing in the mountains, clearing skies, clouds, bench, bench in the mountains

    J.I. Packer on the glorious truth of the Christian’s adoption:

    “Adoption, by its very nature, is an art of free kindness to the person adopted. If you become a father by adopting a son or daughter, you do so because you choose to, not because you are bound to. Similarly, God adopts because he chooses to. He had no duty to do so. He need not have done anything about our sins except punish us as we deserved. But he loved us; so he redeemed us, forgave us, took us as his sons and daughters and gave himself to us as our Father.”

    J.I. Packer, Knowing God, 215.

  2. Unreached…

    Posted on July 30th, 2012 by David Burnette

    Brahman people photo

    Brahman of India

     

    Brahmin is a Hindu Indian caste. The English word brahmin is an anglicised form of the Sanskrit word Brahmana. Brahman refers to the ‘Supreme Self’ in Hinduism, or the first of the gods. Brahmins are located throughout India but mainly in the Northern states such as Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.

    In 1931 (the last Indian census to record caste), Brahmins accounted for 4.32% of the total Indian population. Due to the diversity in religious and cultural traditions and practices, and the Vedic schools which they belong to, Brahmins are further divided into various sub-castes.

    Brahmins can be identified by the three Hindu paths of Devotion, Knowledge, and Yoga, which they espouse in order for a person to achieve ‘god realization’, the ultimate aim of the Hindu religion. All Brahmin teachings and writings relate to one of these paths. One is free to choose the path depending upon a person’s inclination.

    Brahmins are Vedic priests and they have three compulsory occupations – studying the Vedas, worshiping deities, and charitable giving. Brahmins are also enjoined to offering prayers three times a day as prescribed in the Vedas. Even as Brahmins perform these vedic rituals, only a subset of Brahmins are involved in priestly duties including teaching and preaching. They have also excelled as educators, law makers, scholars, doctors, warriors, writers, poets, land owners and politicians. Many famous Indians are Brahmins. Over time, as Brahmins became a powerful and influential group in India, many discriminated against lower castes. However, in modern India some Brahmins claim reverse discrimination.

    Brahman of India map

    Primary Religion: Hinduism

    % Christian: 0.01%

    Primary Language: Hindi

    Persecution Rank: 32

    Population: 56,565,000

    Prayer Points

    • Brahmins are a key community in India who uphold Hinduism. Please pray that the light of the gospel breaks through the Satanic veil that blinds this community.
    • Pray that the true God will reveal Himself to this community and use Brahmins to preach and teach about Jesus Christ.

    This information was gathered from Joshua Project.  For more go to Operation World.

  3. Well Said…

    Posted on July 27th, 2012 by David Burnette

    1. Interview with R.C. Sproul: Tim Challies sits down for the Part 2 of an interview with R.C. Sproul. Read Sproul’s answers to questions like, “Have you ever written anything that made you stop and reflect whether or not you were living out what you were writing?

    2. Delighting in Christ by Running Hard after Holiness: The folks at DG continue putting out teasers for Kevin DeYoung’s new book on holiness coming out at the end of August.

    3. Heaven: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: You may or may not be in to “chick flicks,” but David Schrock reminds us that beauty of Christ ought to be at the center of our affections.

  4. RefNet: 24-Hour Christian Internet Radio

    Posted on July 26th, 2012 by David Burnette

    A wealth of good resources is being made more accessible by Ligonier Ministries, and it’s FREE. Chris Larson announces the following about RefNet, a 24-hour Christian internet radio featuring some great Bible preaching and teaching:

    While Christian terrestrial radio continues to be an effective outreach in the United States, we’re pushing to leverage the growth of internet-enabled mobile phones and tablets around the world. RefNet is freely available on your internet connected iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch; on your computer through the RefNet website; or on many other mobile browsers through RefNet’s lite mobile version.

    You’ll hear Renewing Your Mind with Dr. R.C. Sproul, plus hundreds of teaching series, messages from our teaching fellows, and more than twenty-five years of conference messages. Ligonier has a digital library of many thousands of hours of solid Bible teaching and preaching, but up until this point we have been limited in ways to provide useful access to it. RefNet enables us to serve you better with unique daily teaching and preaching.

    RefNet is pleased to also feature the ministries of other broadcast partners who echo the same great historic truths that have been well-framed by the creedal consensus coming out of the Reformation. RefNet includes broadcasts from Alistair Begg at Truth For Life, John MacArthur at Grace to You, John Piper at Desiring God, Albert Mohler with The Briefing and Thinking in Public, and many others. And you’ll hear daily news briefs from World Magazine and SRN News to help you stay current with that day’s headlines.

    In the evening, families can enjoy biblically-based audio drama produced by Lamplighter Theater. We then move throughout the night into a blend of Bible reading, brought to you by our friends at Crossway Books, and pleasant music suitable to background listening.

    Get Started

     

    (HT: Justin Taylor)

  5. Radical Living: Healthy and Unhealthy Perspectives

    Posted on July 26th, 2012 by David Burnette

    Pastor David talks about some healthy and unhealthy ways to think about what it means to live radically.

  6. Oh My Sweet Savior!

    Posted on July 25th, 2012 by David Burnette

    Not every devotional time turns out this sweet, but would that more did. David Brainerd’s diary from April 27:

    “I retired pretty early for secret devotions; and in prayer God was pleased to pour such ineffable comforts into my soul that I could do nothing for some time but say over and over, “O my sweet Saviour! O my sweet Saviour! Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth, that I desire beside Thee.” If I had had a thousand lives my soul would gladly have laid them all down at once to have been with Christ. My soul never enjoyed so much of heaven before. It was the most refined and most spiritual season of communion with God I ever yet felt. I never felt so great a degree of resignation in my life.”

    The Life and Diary of David Brainerd, edited by Jonathan Edwards, 83.

     

  7. Gospel Threads – Part 3 of 6

    Posted on July 25th, 2012 by Cory Varden

    Last week in this series we covered the first gospel thread, namely, the character of God.  This week we will be looking at thread number two, the sinfulness of man.  In short, all of us are created by God, but we have been corrupted by sin.

    Not only can this thread be difficult to think about, but it is also very unpopular talk about with others. It’s obviously not the most effective evangelistic strategy to go up to your coworker tomorrow morning and get in his or her face and say, “You need to be saved.” That doesn’t work very well. At that moment the only thing they want to be saved from is you.

    None of us likes to dwell on our own sinfulness. Everyone tries to cover it up. Bringing true conviction for sin is an impossible task in evangelism, humanly speaking. This is why proclamation of the gospel requires the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. Only the Spirit can effectively confront us in our pride and in our sinfulness.

    In our day many have tried to circumvent these unpopular truths by offering the gospel without confronting man’s sinfulness. The gospel has become something you can add to your life to make it better, like working out or eating healthy food. However, the biblical gospel confronts us at the core of who we are and offers a radical change to our sin-corrupted hearts.

    The problem is not that we have done some bad things or made some bad decisions. The problem is that the we are utterly sinful at the core of who we are and dead without God. People might think, “Well that sounds kind of extreme.” But it’s exactly what we see in Genesis 3. God said, “One sin and you will surely die.” As a result of that first sin, death became a reality for all men (both spiritually and physically), so that all men are born in rebellion against God.

    That may sound like an extreme punishment from God, but we’ve got to realize it’s not simply the gravity of the particular sin that’s the issue. It’s the gravity of the One who is sinned against. Think about it: Every individual sin involves looking in the face of the Holy God, the Creator of the universe, and saying to Him, “Your law is not good and you do not have authority over my life. I defy your authority and I know what is best regardless of what an infinite offense it might be to you.”

    In essence, we say those things every time we sin.  And the reality is that we have committed thousands upon thousands of sins. We have rebelled against God (Rom. 1:21-23), we’re fallen short of His glory (Rom. 3:23), and the result of our sin is death (Rom. 6:23). We need to be honest with people about these realities if we want to faithfully proclaim the gospel to unbelievers.

    We live in a culture that pretends to be self-sufficient, where people act as if they can do everything on their own.  As followers of Christ, we need to be a people who constantly point to our dependence on God. We must live and talk like we need God for every breath we breathe, for every word we say, and for every decision we make. If we do this, one thing is guaranteed: we will look radically different from our culture.

    So, yes, it’s true that the gospel tells us that we are radically, dreadfully, totally, and universally sinful. At the same time, we are created by God in His image. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” according to Psalm 139, Let’s not forget either of these truths as we weave the gospel threads into our lives. Let’s live out these truths and, by the grace of God, help others to embrace them too.

     

    Feel free to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.  If you would like to listen to the entire “Threads” sermon series you can find it here.

  8. Early Bird Deadline for “Act the Miracle”

    Posted on July 24th, 2012 by David Burnette

    In case you missed it, the “early bird” deadline for Desiring God’s National Conference is fast approaching. See below for more details.

    Permalink

     

    A few National Conference reminders:

    • The early bird registration rate ends Friday, July 27 at 11:59 PM (CDT) — then the price jumps $25. Register online or call us at 1.888.346.4700.
    • Speakers: Kevin DeYoung, Elyse Fitzpatrick, R W Glenn, Sally Lloyd-Jones, David Mathis, Carolyn McCulley, Jarvis Williams, Russell Moore, John Piper, Ed Welch.
    • Special guest Fernando Ortega will lead us in an evening of worship on Friday after the main session, as well as teach a seminar on corporate worship.
    • Translation services offered: American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), Spanish and Russian.

    We look forward to seeing you September 28-30 in Minneapolis!

  9. The Greatness and Majesty of God

    Posted on July 24th, 2012 by Jonathan Lenning

    Tatry mountains: Tatry mountains, high mountains, slopes, peaks, clearing in the mountains, clearing skies, clouds, bench, bench in the mountains

    J.I. Packer on the majesty and greatness of God:

    “The Christian’s instincts of trust and worship are stimulated very powerfully by knowledge of the greatness of God.

    But this is knowledge which Christians today largely lack:  and that is one reason why our faith is so feeble and our worship so flabby.  We are modern people, and modern people, though they cherish great thoughts of themselves, have as a rule small thoughts of God.  When the person in the church, let alone the person in the street, uses the word God, the thought is rarely of divine majesty.”

    “Today, vast stress is laid on the thought that God is personal, but this truth is so stated as to leave the impression that God is a person of the same sort as we are – weak, inadequate, ineffective, a little pathetic.  But this is not the God of the Bible!  Our personal life is a finite thing:  it is limited in every direction, in space, in time, in knowledge, in power.  But God is not so limited.  He is eternal, infinite and almighty.  He has us in his hands; we never have him in ours.  Like us, he is personal, but unlike us, he is great.  In all its constant stress on the reality of God’s personal concern for his people, and on the gentleness, tenderness, sympathy, patience and yearning compassion that he shows toward them, the Bible never lets us lose sight of his majesty and his unlimited dominion over all his creatures.”

    J.I. Packer, Knowing God, 83.

  10. Unreached

    Posted on July 23rd, 2012 by David Burnette

    Bhoi, Hindu

    Bhoi, Hindu of India

    The Bhoi community is mainly a landowning one, though a few are landless. A Brahman priest officiates at marriages. These priests work in temples and are therefore accorded a high status in society. Every house has an altar to Manasamata. In addition, there are images of Khandoba and a few other gods and goddesses. Every family has a number of deities.

    Bhoi, Hindu of India map

    Primary Religion: Hinduism

    % Christian Adherents: 0.00%

    Primary Language: Hindi

    Status:   Few, if any, known Evangelicals

    Persecution Rank: 32

    Prayer Points:

    • As nominal Christians who don’t truly follow Christ’s teachings may be an impediment to the Bhoi, pray they will be able to see that there is a difference between disciples of Christ and those who are Christian only in name.
    • Workers are needed. Jesus said to pray for workers, for the harvest is ripe.
    • Though there may be no followers of Jesus among the Hindu Bhoi community at present, pray for God to raise up passionate disciples of Christ who keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
    • Pray that the Bhoi community will be able to care adequately for their families. Pray that they will make schooling a priority for their children so the children will be equipped to live in modern times.

    This information was gathered from Joshua Project.  For more go to Operation World.