Sunday, October 14, 2007

Satan's Sifting...

I am reading a wonderful little book I received at the Desiring God National Conference entitled, "Walk as He Walked." In the second section, the author is discussing how Jesus is going to allow Peter to be "sifted" by Satan, but has prayed that Peter's faith will not fail. He points out how, although Satan means for the sifting to be something that destroys Peter, he will actually be stronger for it. This is because Satan's "sifting" will take away all means of relying on self, thus forcing Peter to rely solely on Christ with no pretenses.

That should be the life of the Christian today. If we are following closely to Jesus, we should expect to be targeted by Satan for sifting, but we should also expect that Jesus will pray for our faith not to fail. We will endure hardships of all kinds, yet those hardships will draw us closer to Christlikeness as they strip away our self-reliance. The end result is a stronger, more Christ-dependent believer who makes a bigger impact for the Kingdom of God.

This entire thought is is stark contrast to the "health, wealth, and prosperity" message being preached at so many "successful" churches today. Below are John Piper's thoughts on these sorts of messages...and he pulls no punches and even loses some of his normal eloquence in the emotion of the moment.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Pilgrim on Responsibility

As I have been quite busy lately, I haven't had enough time to compose enough of my thoughts for a reasonable blog entry. However, I have read through the wonderful writings of some others and thought I'd link one here.

The Peculiar Pilgrim writes a wonderful muse that started with a Pyromaniacs post on a concept Dan Phillips terms as the "responsibility index." I would encourage you to click over and read the Pilgrim's thoughts. If you want to read the post that started it all, you can click on the Pyro link at the beginning of this paragraph or you can click on the link in Pilgrim's post.

HERE'S Pilgrim's post...enjoy and be edified!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Conversion of Dying Man

I've had two recent posts dealing with the sincere request from my heart that all who would read them would take the time to test themselves to see if they are in the faith. The first is an article (HERE) and the second consists of links to some wonderful sermons by Paul Washer on the subject (HERE). While I wouldn't think it would be too hard to read the article, I do understand the initial reluctance to listen to over four hours of sermons. I say "initial reluctance" because once you take the time to listen, you will want to hear them again and again to let God speak to you in all the details (I've listened to all of them three times!)

So, to give you a glimpse of what I'm trying to get across, here is a YouTube video of a portion of one of Washer's sermons in which he describes the conversion of a man who has been given only three weeks to live. It is anything but what we in America have been taught about how to "lead people to Christ." There is no question the man is saved in the end...not because a human being told him he was saved based upon the repetition of a canned prayer, but because the Holy Spirit confirmed it in the man's soul!!!

May we all know a salvation like this...and it can be found if you will just humble yourself, turn from your sins (repent), and throw yourself at the mercy of God at the foot of the Cross of Jesus. Don't stop until God Himself has made it clear you have been saved, for only the Holy Spirit can truly tell a man he's been saved.