Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Fealty - fidelity to a lord; the obligation or the engagement to be faithful to a lord, usually sworn to by a vassal.
One of the greatest pieces of wise counsel anyone can give to a professing Christian is this: if you have not already made a once-for-all, firm decision that you will be committed to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, do so now.
As a Christian, you are enlisted in the service of the King of kings, and he has commanded your faithfulness to the assembling together of his beloved people.
For a believer, this is not a maybe / maybe not decision that is still up for grabs or dependent upon our feelings or conditioned upon other opportunities on Sunday mornings.
Don't make this decision week by week.
Make it in a firm, decisive, determined, conclusive, once-for-all, strong-minded way, in the name of Jesus. Make it a vow before the Lord. And then keep your vows before the Lord. Psalm 116.14.
There are 1,000 reasons why the Lord—in his glorious wisdom—gave us the church. It's an act of fidelity to our Lord to believe them all.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
From the back of DPC's worship guide this last Sunday...
Pray for America,
239 years old this 4th of July!
"Democracy has not always been associated with freedom. Most thinkers from ancient Greece until the American Revolution viewed democracy as little better than mob rule. The French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville was a student of government and knew these arguments well, and the executions of many of his relatives during the French Revolution gave him a personal understanding of the compatibility of democracy and tyranny. Yet, he went to America in 1831 looking for democracy. He wanted to know why a democratic government was succeeding in the United States when it had failed in so many other places, not least France, which had just gone through another revolution in 1830."
~The Trinity Forum, discussing Alexis de Tocqueville's book, Democracy in America
Quotes from Democracy in America:
“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”
“Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom.”
“everybody feels the evil, but no one has courage or energy enough to seek the cure”
“Society is endangered not by the great profligacy of a few, but by the laxity of morals amongst all.”
“I am unaware of his plans but I shall never stop believing in them because I cannot fathom them and I prefer to mistrust my own intellectual capacities than his justice.”
“As I see it, only God can be all-powerful without danger, because his wisdom and justice are always equal to his power. Thus there is no authority on earth so inherently worthy of respect, or invested with a right so sacred, that I would want to let it act without oversight or rule without impediment.”
“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers – and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce – and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution – and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
I passed a church this week that had these words of ineptness out on its sign:
"Remember, American ends with I CAN."
Displaying this message out in front of a building presumably dedicated to proclaiming the good news of the gospel is so, so, so very misguided.
If the gospel is all about how Christ was slain for us, as the bearer of our sins, because we CAN'T do anything that would save our souls... then this is the ungospel.
If the good news is that one day America (and all the other fallen tribes and nations of this world) will perish and be replaced by the Kingdom of Jesus Christ... then this just ends up putting our focus and energies back on more bad news.
Yes, I love this country for all the right reasons to love this country. But this country cannot be the center of the Christian's love. Jesus Christ and his Kingdom must stand in the center of the Christian's love.
And if that is so, then all of our other loves will be rightly re-ordered and properly strengthened.
The church is not here to save America. It's not here to boost our confidence in America's "can-do-ness."
That is not our mission.
Our mission is to point to Jesus Christ, to proclaim his gospel, to humbly serve this whole world in his name, to live faithfully in the land in which he's placed us, to gain a hearing for the Word of God through the kindness & love & wisdom of our lives, to feed the hungry, to seek the eternal good of the city we call home, to persuade people of the truth of Christ's Eternal Kingdom, to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints, to love our neighbors, to bear witness to God's grace by example and by word, to pray for his Kingdom to come in power.... and to cheerfully pay any price for doing so, if we must.
It's time to put aside our obsession with finding political avenues to "take back the country."
It's time to lay down our lives and give ourselves up for the good of our neighbors, defining that good around the gospel alone.
We're in good company. That's exactly what the first-century church did.