Thursday, October 14, 2010

Prepare Now for the Battle to Come

Has the church shown its readiness for economic hard times?

That was the question being considered by Jorge Claudio in this post on Ed Stetzer's blog.

Below are my comment and prayer regarding that post:


Great observation!

I think I heard this from John Piper first. The church should ALWAYS be living with a "wartime" mentality. Not spending as fast as we get (or faster for that matter) but store for the long battles.

May we (especially myself) see the lifestyles we are forced to live in the lean times and strive to find a lifestyle that will sustain us and, by God's grace, others through every battle (short or long) for the sake of Jesus' name.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts.

In Christ,
Matt Taylor

What do you think the church (as a whole and/or as individuals) needs to do to be prepared for the battles to come?

Friday, April 30, 2010

Farming the Fruit of the Spirit

Since the fall, farming has taken the sweat from the brow of man. We may not all be farmers now but we all know the effort we put in to bring food to the table. The fruits of our labor take great effort to get. But what about the fruit of the Spirit? Does that take effort to get?

I contend that it does. Paul told the Philippians and us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. It is going to take effort to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. But thanks be to God that he is right there to help us! Paul continues by saying that it is God who is working in us.

Let's fight to display the fruits of the Spirit. We can praise God now for the desire within us and later when he brings forth fruit for the glory of his name.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Focused Fighting - Bible Reading

In my last post I spoke about fighting distraction and how this is for God's glory. It pierced my heart. Focus is such an important part of the good fight. There is so much that is vying for out attention. So where do we start?

We start with Bible reading. Focused Bible reading will start our minds on the path of spiritual thinking. It can reveal distractions in our hearts and need in the battle for joy. It will give us a place of refuge through out the day. It will keep us focused in the quiet and calm in the chaos.

Focus today on God's word written for your instruction and joy.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Faithful Focus

If you are like me you get distracted. SQUIRREL!! With sound bites and flashing lights everywhere there is plenty to be distracted by. Is this just an inconvenience or is there something deeper?

As I meditated on my own tendencies to drifting I thought about my calling. God calling me from death to life. That life has a focus. It has a drive. Anything that takes my eyes off that focus is antithetical to that focus. What is that focus? To bring glory to my Father who is in heaven!

The task at hand is where my Father desires me to give him that glory. So, if I am drifting off, even to good thoughts, I am taking away from the task at hand. Thus I am not putting all my effort into my focus.

Here is where I'm tempted to make excuses. But I refuse! May God work in my weakness to bring himself glory by showing himself strong through me. Do ALL to the glory of God. Not at the same time but each task in its time.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Holy and Acceptable? Who is?

This great question came into my mind as I meditated on the thoughts in this post. My heart was then provoked to make this comment:

There is a great balance in the life of the Christian. Jesus paid it all and all to him I owe. Yet sometimes we fall into believing that offering our bodies as living sacrifices will at some point pay God back. In this we imply that the holiness and acceptability of this sacrifice is within us.

May we be alert to all notions that rob Jesus of his glory. Our holiness is an alien holiness which comes from the only sacrifice that is holy in and of itself, Jesus.

Our end is to bring glory to God not to ourselves.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Can See!

Until we know the darkness of blindness we will never know the joy of the blind man who receives his sight! The wonder of what he is seeing will always be foreign to we who have taken for granted the gift of sight. Yet there are many out there who don't even know that they are blind. This is the plight of the sinner. Always he will have blindness he is unaware of. Even for those who receive the grace of sight in this age it is a dim sight. Not until we stand before the face of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will we finally know what it is like to say, "I can see!"

If you want sight from Jesus you need to look in the mirror. Check out this mirror.

Close Your Eyes and Imagine

Imagine all is well. The economy is good. The government fulfills only its purpose. Neighbors laugh together at rotating neighborhood picnics. What's missing? Is there anything better? Wait where is Jesus? If you are like me, it is easy to get caught in a vision of "peace and tranquility." If we settle for this we are falling for yet another of Satan's lies. Jared Wilson does a great job in this post of articulating this common American problem.

Let's remember. It's all about Jesus not "peace and tranquility."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Shame On You?

Do you experience shame when you sin? Before anyone else points it out?

I was struck today by the contrast between Adam and Eve's reaction to their sin and Cain's reaction to his sin. Adam and Eve feared God but Cain did not. Sin had an effect on the hearts of Adam and Eve: hiding. Sin had an effect on the heart of Cain: bold rebellion.

Who do you look more like when you find your guilt before God? We need to keep our hearts tender to the offensiveness of sin. This happens by a fight to get closer and closer to God. In the presence of God is fullness of joy. Cain "went away from the presence of God."

If you don't know what to do if you sin click here.

Discussion Question: Did anyone have a righteous reaction to sin?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Ever-Present Good Shepherd

Jesus is always there. There to celebrate your greatest victory or weep over your greatest defeat. He is the Good Shepherd and he will never leave you. Sometimes you may have to seek him. Once you find him never take you eyes off. Be comforted and encouraged as I was by this prayer by Scotty Smith.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fighter Verse Friday: Matthew 5:31-32

Matthew 5:31-32

31 It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 5:31-32

This is my first attempt at controversy. This verse does not give a reason to get a divorce. It gives an exception to when the person it not making their spouse commit adultery.

This verse also does not give an instance in which remarriage is acceptable. It seems to be clear that the person who marries a divorced person is committing adultery.

Marriage is until death. Period. Singles, this does not mean you should be afraid to get married. It means you need to seek first the kingdom of God. Then a spouse will be added to you.

Marrieds, fear God, seek wisdom, love your spouse. (If you have an extreme circumstance I would love to pray for you. If you have a hypothetical I will gladly engage with love.)

Divorced people, seek God, find fellowship with a group of your gender, don't remarry. (Unless you are released by death.) I think divorced people are very under ministered. Start you own group. (Not for dating purposes!)

Whatever group you fit in God has grace to help your faithfulness. He also has rewards that will make you forget this momentary affliction. This life is a fight. Fight for godliness! And people will see you good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

What a World. What a World.

Sometimes I hear the question, "Why would anyone want to bring kids into this world?" As I meditate on that question I see a glaring assumption: This is all there is. If that assumption were true, it would be crazy to bring kids into this world. But rejoice! It is not true! The Lord Jesus Christ is risen! There is so much more! There is a God who sent his Son to die for you and me, his enemies! There is hope because of the resurrection for change! (Pray for President Obama.) God is in control working ALL things for the good those who love him!

If we hear this question again let's rejoice and proclaim the hope of the resurrection.

If you don't know the hope of the resurrection click here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What is Your Stomach Growling For?

This is the question that hits me when I think of the following verse:

Matthew 5:6
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

When you here about growling stomachs what it the first thing that comes to mind? Hunger? What are you hungry for? Righteousness? If we are looking to be truly satisfied this is what we need to be hungering.

Righteousness is reflecting Jesus. The more our hearts are like his the more we will feel like he feels. Hope will grow. Peace will grow. Joy will grow.

I think I am starting to feel the hunger. Jesus, mold my heart to be more like yours!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Don't Hold Your Breath

I am slowly reading "Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life" by Don Whitney. It is full of great quotes. This one from D.L. Moody struck me:
A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough for the next six months, or take sufficient air into his lungs at one time to sustain life for a week. We must draw upon God's boundless store of grace from day to day as we need it.

I find in my heart a mix up of priorities. It seems that I struggle to miss a meal yet I can totally forget to read my Bible. Thus the necessity for me reading this book.

If we are to renew our minds we need to overcome the great deceitfulness of our hearts. It is a part of the battle. If we are to become skilled in using the sword of the Spirit we first need to learn how to put our armor on. So take up and read! The battle is on!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Lord is Risen Indeed! Now What?

Luke gives a great answer. Witness!

Luke 24:44-49
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

First we need to have Jesus "open [our] minds to understand the Scriptures." Which obviously takes Bible reading and prayer. Then we need to proclaim the message Jesus allows us to understand. The central message need to be "repentance and the forgiveness of sins." The Gospel needs to be proclaimed. First to our own hearts and then to the hearts of others.

Rejoice! The Lord is risen indeed! It is truly finished! Proclaim the message that those who repent can have the forgiveness of sins because the sacrifice of the risen Christ!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fighter Verse Friday: Matthew 5:29-30

Matthew 5:29-30
29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Matthew 5:29-30

What causes you to sin? Jesus says to cut it off or tear it out and throw it away! But what really causes you to sin? Is it you eye? Is it your hand? No and no! It is your heart. So cut it out and throw it away. This is better than going to hell. Yes I know you can't. You will die. But that's the weird part you are dead already. So what are we to do? Repent and believe the Gospel! On this Good Friday let's remember that Jesus has made it just for God to make us alive in him. And Sunday's coming!

If you are unaware of what Jesus did start here. Then leave a comment.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Parenting: Prayer, Purpose, Persistence, Patience

These 4 things are HUGE in parenting. Without prayer you might as well quit. Without purpose you will only cause confusion. If you want to lead you children to Jesus you have to be focused. You need to be persistent in pursuing this goal. Praying for God's grace as you go. You will need it. The hardest part of parenting is patience. Why can't I just say a quick prayer and know for sure that my children will spend eternity with Jesus?

May God help us to be parents full of grace, wisdom, and patience!

If you don't know why you should desire to lead your kids to Jesus click here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What I Believe: 2. There is a Savior!

And what a wonderful Savior he is! He is Jesus. He is the Christ, Messiah, chosen of God. He is the one for whom the universe exists and he holds it together. He is and was and always will be. He left his throne in the joy of heaven to live a perfect life, to die a perfectly bloody death, and to give the perfect evidence for all to be absolutely sure. He did all this for his enemies. For those who would try to take his glory for themselves. For me, a sinner, condemned, unclean. Hallelujah! What a Savior!

If you do not know Jesus like this go here. Rejoice in your Savior in the comments!

What I Believe: 1. I'm in Need

My "What I Believe" series will inform readers of what I believe and help me to develop my theology. I will try to do things in order of importance. I also want things to be simple but not simplistic. May we grow in God's grace together.

I believe the most important thing to know is that I am in need. This is displayed in the most important fact: I am a sinner in need of a Savior. As I look at my heart I know there is something wrong. As I look at the world I know there is something more. As I look at the 10 Commandments I see my sin and my guilt before God. The truth is I have broken the 10 Commandments (yes, all of them) and I deserve to be punished. I am in great need. What can I do? The facts show I am guilty. My only hope is a Savior.

We all have this need. If you have questions the first place to go it here. Then leave a comment.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Grace for More Grace

I just started reading Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Don Whitney. I have read it before but I felt the need again for it. It is a book all Christians need. It got me thinking about discipline. How should I look at discipline? What is discipline? Discipline is God's grace working in me to put me in situations where grace is given. Shorter, it is grace for more grace. God is working on my heart to want to put myself in situations where God will give me more grace. I praise God for his grace that brings me to his abundant grace more and more as he increases my appetite for it!

If you have never experienced grace through Jesus click here.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fighter Verse Friday: Matthew 5:27-28

Matthew 5:27-28
27 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Matthew 5:27-28

Marriage is a sacred union. It is not even to be defiled in thought. Jesus love for his bride is perfectly holy. His seals his promises with his blood.

Men your devotion to your wife(future wife if not bound) is more important than your life. Your eyes are hers. Your thoughts are hers. Honor your wife even to the momentary thought.

If this seems unrealistic read this.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Who Fights Your Battles?

I am in Joshua in my Bible reading and I am watching God do mighty things for the sons of Israel. Who fights your battles? Who do you look to to do mighty things of you? I find myself looking to my own strength far too often. Jesus won the war with his sacrifice on the cross. Why am I looking anywhere else for the victory of every battle until I receive my prize? May I look to Jesus for every victory!

Is he fighting your battles? If not, start here.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord! Always?

As is my habit, I will get right to the point. The answer is, "Yes!" God's name is always worthy of blessing. God is always good to those who love him. So what is my problem? The littlest things are taken from me (my time, my plan, etc.) and I lose my joy in the sovereign goodness of God toward me. Can you relate? Maybe next time "my" ideals are taken away I need to remember who gave them in the first place and remember that it is grace upon the grace he has shown my through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

God is good all the time! Unbelief of this fact is what makes the commandment to rejoice burdensome.

If this is hard to swallow please click here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Blog of the Week

I'm busy today. This my second series. Today.

The Blog of the Week series is to show honor to vessels being used by God to bless me. I know you will receive great blessings from these blogs as well.

The first blog to be on my Blog of the Week series in Heavenward by Scotty Smith. Scotty's blog posts are prayers based on Scripture passages. The way he deals with issues and struggles while drawing us into the throne room of grace is a great gift. You will be blessed by this blog as you humble yourself at Jesus' feet reading these prayers.

Fighter Verse Friday: Matthew 5:25-26

This is going to be my first attempt at a series. I go to Bethlehem Baptist Church and our Bible memory verses are called Fighter Verses. These will be the most frequent thoughts I have had on these verses as I memorized them. (I use the ESV for memorization.)

Matthew 5:25-26
25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

Matthew 5:25-26

What a Gospel warning! Who is your greatest accuser? Satan. Who is the greatest judge? Jesus. In light of the Gospel the terms are, Jesus paid it ALL! Eternity is how long it will take for me to pay for my wretchedness but Jesus came and paid my debt. May we rejoice in the glorious hope of the Gospel and live lives that would shine the light of King Jesus to a world that will have to pay unless they repent and believe that Jesus paid for them.

If you have a debt that will take eternity to pay please go here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

You'll Never Eat the Same Way Again

Yes that is right! If you read this post you will never approach eating the same way again. I have been receiving blessing though Heavenward for a couple days now. I pray that I will be bless by it for a long time more.

Now it is time for dinner. I will be eating it with view toward the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Leaders, You're Not the Destination

This post is a fantastic word picture. It is humbling. Too many times I find myself leading my family in my way, the way that ends with me. That is not what I am called to. I am call to prepare my family for Jesus. They are to grow more and more in love with him. Not me.

Anyone else feel the same way? May we seek Jesus' help to prepare for him his bride.

Ever Needy Yet Ever Provided For

Inspired by this post. I left the following comment:

I've been meditating on my need in general, the Gospel being my greatest need of all. I am amazed by my own foolishness and rejoice that God has given me his word to increase in wisdom. May I treasure his word, which contains his Gospel, more and more. And less and less may I need the stern rebuke of, "Get behind me, Satan!" to regain the joy of my salvation.

May we never forget our need for Jesus' word, Gospel, most importantly Jesus himself.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Mini Guide With Mega Applications

I have been praying for wisdom and where does God answer from? Proverbs! Who'd a thunk it? ;)

This post gives a mini guide with mega applications. It contains "five things that comprise a wise, godly life." You will be exceedingly bless by it. It will become a priority in you prayer time.

Praise Jesus who answers prayers!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Free Will

No there is no need for quotes around that title. Below is a comment I left on this excellent summary of the TULIP acronym.

Regarding the freedom of the will no one choose that goes against their hearts desires. Thanks be to God that he has graciously changed my desires! We are all free. I praise God that I am now free indeed! The joys of sovereign grace are inexpressible!

Yes, I believe in free will. And I praise God for giving me a new heart to change that will to be conformed to his. Rejoice in the sovereign grace of God.

If God has not given you a new heart click here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

ALWAYS Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide?

I was meditating about the conscience this morning. Can we ALWAYS let our conscience be our guide? By the grace of God I am Reformed and came to a quick answer of "NO!" While the conscience is common grace that leaves us all without excuse it is not enough to increase our holiness. We need the miracle of regeneration, evidenced by repentance and faith, to begin the renewal of the conscience. Then we need on going guidance by the Holy Spirit through the Bible. Rejoice in the grace upon grace that God has provided by his Holy Spirit to bring us to ever increasing joy by the renewing of our minds!

I googled Jiminy Cricket during my meditation and stumbled upon a similar post that was more detailed and scholarly. Click Here.

If you have never experienced the miracle of regeneration please go here!

FIGHT the good fight!

I have begun working out again recently. I have not seen much results yet. I know I will if I strive for it. This got me meditating on 1 Timothy 6:12. The Christian life is a fight. A fight that will end in joyful rest. And a fight which has a goal that has been accomplished already by Jesus. Yet I fight now to experience more and more of what I will experience when I see Jesus face to face. Do you have a desire to fight? To fight to mortify sin?

If you do not desire to fight against sin or you aren't sure that you will experience joyful rest with Jesus, please click this or comment below.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lesser Punishment Equals Lesser Love

A while back 2 Jehovah's Witnesses came to my door. During our conversation they tried to tell me that the punishment of hell is not eternal. Sadly I was not able to get this point across to them. If you say that the punishment of hell is less than eternal then you are saying that the love of Jesus displayed on the cross is less than it actually was. The regenerate will spend eternity learning that the love of Christ is greater than even eternity will allow us to understand. And the unregenerate will spend eternity wishing they had believed that Jesus loved them.

Please repent and believe the Gospel! Go here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Way of the Righteous

I couldn't figure out which option I thought was right from this post.

This is how I would put it:
1. My goal, prize and treasure is Jesus.
2. That end being sealed by the Holy Spirit and evidenced by my faith in the finished work of Jesus, I strive to increase my joy by forsaking the ways of the wicked and living the ways of the righteous.
3. I long for the day when all my ways are righteous and I see Jesus face to face.

How would you put it? Is this actually one of the options or a different option?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

"Family First?"

The comment below was provoked by this post.

It would seem that Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 are the most specific teachings on the ministry of mothers. From them it seems that priority in the ministry of mothers is given to the home and as she grows in wisdom it extends to other mothers.

So in my family my wife supports my provision for the family by tending to the needs in the home. As she grows in wisdom she will her ministry will extend to other mothers.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here and there.

Truth by Trial

Most of us have hear the phrase "tried and true." Yet I have never heard the title of this post. This is shocking to me because as I meditate on it I see the grace in it. Our trials reveal the truth. They reveal the truth about the desires of our hearts. With this revelation we are able to grow closer to God (by grace) where there is fullness of joy.

So next time we meet a trial, great or small, lets obey the commandment to "count it all joy."

Monday, March 8, 2010

"Well, it just didn't work out between us"

This is what I commented on this post:

"Well, it just didn't work out between us"

What kind of comment is this? It is a red flag to the fact that we don't understand what marriage is about. Marriage is about Jesus! Marriage is one of the greatest pictures of the Gospel. I rejoice that Jesus will never say, "Well, it just didn't work out between us."

Thanks for the post.

In Christ,

What would you comment?

My First Mention

Big thanks to @stabatt for mentioning my blog on his blog:

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Reclaiming Definitions

In the battle of ideas definitions are important. We need to fight for them!

Reclaiming Definitions: Without the Holy Spirit we are demonic not spiritual!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Greatest Fact

Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is. I asked myself what the most important thing to know is.

The most important thing to know is that you are a sinner and you need a Savior. Jesus is the only Savior.

Apart from Jesus himself, I want nothing more than for all to see the joy that is found in Jesus. So all need to know their guilt and Jesus' payment.

Responding to Light

Sometimes light hurts and we turn away. Whenever light is shined on darkness in our hearts we need to keep in mind the following:

If you get defensive you need to beware. Are you defending your sin?

If your sin is brought to your attention it is grace. Repent and rejoice!

If you are committing an abomination Jesus is your only hope.

If you not a Christian:
Comment: "You are committing an abomination." Response: "Thank you! What must I do to be saved?" (Please click here)

Most in Need

I am the first person that needs to read my comments. All preachers of righteousness need to acknowledge their need to fight for righteousness in their own hearts if they are to have any power to change others.

All my thoughts begin with the implication that I am the most wicked person I know.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Men do we fight for the freedom of our hearts as William Wallace fought for the freedom of Scotland? We are in a battle men. A battle to free our hearts from the chains of sin. Jesus has given us the power. The Spirit has given us our defenses and our weapon. Let's go and fight for our chains to be cast away, our joy to be increased and the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be exalted in the hearts of all men. FREEDOM!!!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

To Be in Hell

Heard a great sermon on Spiritual Parenting. The subject was hell and warning is loving.

To be in Hell is to be in a place of torment beyond you scariest nightmares. If you do not repent and trust Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins you will experience hell. You experience the longing for blessings that you don't even acknowledge as blessings in this age. You will experience pain beyond the imaginations of the most sadistic psychopath (can't wait for the comments on that statement).

Hell. No more blessings. Not even a drop of water.

Meditate on these things and repent and believe the Gospel. There is joy unimaginable for all who do.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.