Monday, August 31, 2009

Mondays are for Fighting: A Gospel Reader

Repent, Believe and FIGHT!
What do I read and study to learn how to fight? Found a great starter list.

My friend Matt Adair from Christ Community in Watkinsville posted a great set of links to articles and sermons that shape who we are and what we do. Some of the authors are profs I had in grad school, pastors I respect, scholars I study and folks I hadn't heard of until I read their stuff here.

These 24 resources provide a good foundation for personal reading, small group discussion or understanding Crosspoint's mission and my personal vision. Issues we all face. Click here to find the live links.

1. Gospel Coalition Foundation Documents
2. The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration
3. Together for the Gospel Statement (PDF)
4. The Centrality of the Gospel by Tim Keller (PDF)
5. The Biblical Gospel by D.A. Carson (PDF)
6. Gospel-Driven Sanctification by Jerry Bridges (PDF)
7. The Transforming Power of the Gospel – Steve Childers (PDF)
8. The Gospel and the Poor by Tim Keller (PDF)
9. Fight Clubs: Gospel-Centered Discipleship by Jonathan Dodson (PDF)
10. The Gospel Centered Life by Bob Thune (study)
11. Gospel-Centered Ministry by Tim Keller (PDF)
12. How to Preach the Gospel to Yourself by David Fairchild (Sermon MSS)
13. The Gospel: Key to Change by Tim Keller (PDF)
14. God Strengthens Us by the Gospel by John Piper
15. Advancing the Gospel in the 21st Century Part 2 by Tim Keller
16. Gospel-Centered Preaching by Steve Childers (not online)
17. Gospel Christianity (1.0) (2.0) (3.0) by Tim Keller (studies)
18. The Gospel in Its Many Forms by Tim Keller
19. How Does the Gospel Save Believers? (Part 2) (Part 3) by John Piper
20. Gospel-Centered by Joe Thorn
21. Being the Church in Our Culture by Tim Keller (PDF)
22. Preach the Gospel to Yourself by Tim Challies
23. What Do I Mean by a Gospel-Driven Life? (Part 2 | Part 3) by John Fonville
24. The Gospel-Driven Life by Harry Reeder III

Monday, August 17, 2009

Broken Accounting for What I Cannot Earn

I think I'm really good with counting. I consistently save up my goodness in accounts in my head. I add the matching funds from affirmations from others I respect. I gladly throw in the profit I see from my plans. All in hopes that I'm in for a comfy retirement on my own merits.

And God continually messes up my counting!

God gives. He doesn't pay back. God gives me opportunity to trust in Him. He won't let me earn what Jesus Christ has already paid for and grants to me by faith alone. That is the good part of brokenness. Not so good for counting my own righteousness.

So I'm hoping in Jesus' rich, glorious inheritance that is already bought and paid for - and already in me. His accounting is far better than what I can ask or imagine.

Today I'm going to count like God counts (one excerpt below). And see if God doesn't just heal up some of this brokenness.

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which [God] has called you [Broken Pastor], the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints [including you], 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power [that is already in you] is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms... Ephesians 1:18-20

Saturday, August 08, 2009

My Hope-er Broke

Over two cups of coffee this morning I was talking to my friend Chanders about how my heart has been unsettled lately. Trying to talk it out. Trying to preach the gospel to each other. I think my hope-er is broke and I need it repaired.

Some of my restlessness is coming down off the mountain top of a great mission trip to Pearlington MS for Katrina rebuilding. Partly I'm scattered, covered and smothered because I have an important job that requires a lot out of me. Part of the struggle is that this world is very broken.

But mostly I think its from putting my hope in things other than the LORD.

Things I put my (breakable) hope in:
-raising godly children
-preaching good sermons
-getting all the way out of debt
-leading this awesome church to my definition of 'significant in the Kingdom'
-helping people solve their problems
-being friendly and accepted by everyone
-keeping comfortable
-leading my friends to Christ
-having enough time for myself
-developing 'Restore Life' mercy ministry
-one day getting a PhD
-never messing up beyond what I can clean up myself
-not offending anyone so they will a)join our church or b)not leave
-loving my wife and keeping her happy

My Dashboard for Performance

Yeah, I didn't have to think about that list. It's all right there - right on the dashboard of my life. Telling me how well I'm keeping up expectations, how well I'm doing, how significant I am.

All good things. But none of them are the LORD Himself. I need to hope in the LORD alone. Why?

Because HE is worth all my trust (Psalm 131). He is my only deliverer. (Exodus 15) And partly I not business thinking more highly (or lowly) of myself than the LORD thinks!

Good things that I trust in
are just good things (Romans 1:18ff). But an idol is an idol. Putting my hope in even good things will hammer me if I worship and serve them.

Maybe I'm going to trust Him. He's a better God than all those gods. Maybe I will put my hope in Him alone. Yeah, that'd be good, er the best.