Friday, October 20, 2006

My heart is singing at the top of its lungs!

David Crowder's new album ("A Collision") is a feast in sound and lyric. I was brought to my knees as I thought about my mortality this morning thanks to his song "Come Awake." Not really sure why. I guess I've been thinking about my father in law who was recently diagnosed with stage 3 lymphoma; the hard fact that 10 out of 10 humans die has hit home. Crowder reminded me of the good news that while death is unavoidable, resurrection irreversible! The songs on this cd were literally birthed in the midst of the tagic death of his dear friend and pastor. So he speaks with grief trumped by hope. This morning my heart has sung at the top of its lungs--"O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING? but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor 15:55,57).

"Come Awake"

Are we left here on our own
Can you feel when your last breath is gone
Night is weighing heavy now
Be quiet and wait
For a voice that will say

Come awake from sleep arise
You were dead become alive
Wake up wake up
Open your eyes
Climb from your grave
Into the light

Bring us back to life
You are not the only one
Who feels like the only one
Night soon will be lifted friend
Just be quiet
And wait for a voice that will say

Rise rise to life to life
Shine Light will shine
Love will rise
Light will shine
Shine shine shine
He's shining on us now

By David Crowder, Jason Solley, & Mike Hogan
2005 songs (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)sixsteps Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing) Inot Music

Thursday, October 12, 2006

What's your favorite sermon? Here's mine.

If you had to choose one sermon out of all of the sermons preached throughout Christian history, what would you choose? No matter what, you're going to be biased and subjective. That's fine. You gotta start somewhere. For me it's Jonathan Edward's The Excellency of Christ. Whenever someone rags on my old homeboy and makes a caricature of him based on their half-hearted reading of Sinners In the Hands of an Angry God, I direct them to this delighful feast of a sermon. Here you will find a man mesmirized by Jesus Christ. The first time I read it was the first time I (began) to understand what it means to "taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8) and to "believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory" (1 Peter 1:8). The Excellency of Christ continues to feed my soul and I hope it will yours. Spend some time reflecing on the "admirable conjunction of diverse excellencies in Jesus Christ."

There do meet in Jesus Christ infinite highness and infinite condescension. Christ, as he is God, is infinitely great and high above all.

There meet in Jesus Christ, infinite justice and infinite grace.

In the person of Christ do meet together infinite glory and lowest humility.

In the person of Christ do meet together infinite majesty and transcendent meekness.

There meet in the person of Christ the deepest reverence towards God and equality
with God.

There are conjoined in the person of Christ infinite worthiness of good, and the greatest patience under sufferings of evil.

In the person of Christ are conjoined an exceeding spirit of obedience, with supreme dominion over heaven and earth.

In the person of Christ are conjoined absolute sovereignty and perfect resignation.

In Christ do meet together self-sufficiency, and an entire trust and reliance on God, which is another conjunction peculiar to the person of Christ.

Then was Christ in the greatest degree of his humiliation, and yet by that, above all other things, his divine glory appears.

He never in any act gave so great a manifestation of love to God, and yet never so manifested his love to those that were enemies to God, as in that act.

Let the consideration of this wonderful meeting of diverse excellencies in Christ induce you to accept of him, and close with him as your Savior.

What are you afraid of, that you dare not venture your soul upon Christ?

What is there that you can desire should be in a Savior, that is not in Christ?

How much Christ appears as the Lamb of God in his invitations to you to come to him and trust in him.

If you do come to Christ, he will appear as a Lion, in his glorious power and dominion, to defend you.

Let what has been said be improved to induce you to love the Lord Jesus Christ, and choose him for your friend and portion.

Christ will give himself to you, with all those various excellencies that meet in him, to your full and everlasting enjoyment.

By your being united to Christ, you will have a more glorious union with and enjoyment of God the Father, than otherwise could be.

Christ never so eminently appeared for divine justice, and yet never suffered so much from divine justice, as when he offered up himself a sacrifice for our sins.

Christ’s holiness never so illustriously shone forth as it did in his last sufferings, and yet he never was to such a degree treated as guilty.

He never was so dealt with, as unworthy, as in his last sufferings, and yet it is chiefly on account of them that he is accounted worthy.

Christ in his last sufferings suffered most extremely from those towards whom he was then manifesting his greatest act of love.

It was in Christ’s last sufferings, above all, that he was delivered up to the power of his enemies, and yet by these, above all, he obtained victory over his enemies.

Helpful Links:
Official Edwards Page
Monergism: One-stop Shopping for sermons and works by and about Edwards

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Shut your open mind...

Yeah that's right, we all need to SHUT OUR OPEN MINDS...on something solid. There is a great temptation and danger in our postmodern context to so overvalue the journey towards God and truth that all we ever do is have a conversation. Absolute truth exists, we may never have exhaustive knowledge of that truth, but we can and must have certain knowledge: that God exists, that forgiveness of sing come only through Jesus Christ, that the Bible is God's authoritative revelation of Himself to us.

I found this quote by G.K. Chesterton both winsome and convincing:

"The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid." (Autobiography. Collected Works Vol. 16, p. 212)