Eat the Book

I consider myself a foodie. I enjoy food. I love trying new foods. I take several pictures of food. I like eating food with my friends. I love discussing my favorite foods and favorite places to dine. I think I enjoy food so much because I grew up in a home with a mother who was a chef. She tried out new recipes on my family. My mom is the mad scientist coming from her lab with something new to eat. My wife and I are always looking for new restaurants to try out, that is one of our favorite dates. For me eating is an experience.

The Lord spoke to Ezekiel to eat the scroll. But not only was Ezekiel to eat the scroll, he was to fill his belly with it. Ezekiel didn’t just fill his belly with the scroll, but he also tasted it (Ezekiel 3:1-3). The scroll tasted of honey. Ezekiel enjoyed what he ate. John ate the scroll as well, even though it tasted like honey it was bitter to his stomach (Revelation 10:10). Not everything that tastes good will make you feel good.

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Top Five Books of 2013

I want to take a look back at a few of the books that I read in 2013. Some of these books may or may not have come out in 2013, its just that I read them in 2013. I have set a goal to increase the amount of books that I read this New Year, for I didn’t get to read quite as much as I have in years past.

However, here are my top five books for 2013 and the runner-ups.

Justification

1. The Pastor’s Justification by Jared C. Wilson- The book of the year for me was The Pastor’s Justification. I devoured this book in about two to three days. Jared Wilson is one of my favorite bloggers and writers. Much like Paul David Tripp’s Dangerous Calling this book cuts to the heart of the pastor. No punches are held back on the inner life of the pastor. I believe all pastors should read this book in 2014.  Continue Reading…

The Discipline of Resolve

The Discipline of Resolve

The New Year presents a clean slate in which we can write the narrative of an improved spiritual life. Resolutions and goals are the stuff Januarys are made of. At the beginning of each year we set lofty goals to improve our spiritual well being. Like our physical health, we intend to shed a few unwanted carnal pounds that may have hindered our spiritual progress last year. So we set sail into the new adventure of trying to attain such lofty spiritual resolutions.

Face it you just can’t help yourself. You tell yourself that are going to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Next, you write down that you will pray more. And since you didn’t fast nearly enough last year you will set the goal of increasing your fasting. “This will be the year,” you tell yourself. Then February and March come traipsing into your life intruding on all of your well-intentioned resolutions and goals. The months following January are the unwanted houseguests that never seem to leave. What once looked so hopeful is now an afterthought. All of the energy and enthusiasm have since moved out and real life and his ruthless friends have moved in.

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Cain Went Out (Genesis 4:16)

Genesis 16:4 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

The very first murder in history is recorded in Genesis chapter four. The taking of a life is a tragedy, but it is even more tragic that it was between brothers. Cain was the first born of Adam and Eve and Abel was the youngest of the two. The choices of Adam and Eve found their consequences in Cain and Abel. Adam and Eve disobeyed the Word of God(Gen. 3) and in just a few short years their choices produced the first murderer. Cain slew his brother over Abel’s offering being accepted and his own offering being rejected. God didn’t respect Cain’s offering due to the fact that his offering came from cursed ground (Gen. 4:3). Abel’s sacrifice was accepted because he brought it from his own flock (Gen. 4:4).

Choosing to Leave

After God had given Cain the consequences of killing his brother, Cain left the presence of God (Gen. 4:8-16). Cain went out and he never came back. Cain had no use for the things of God. Cain had no regard for the offerings God required and had no regard for God’s presence. How tragic! How many today have little care for the commands of God and His presence? I’ve personally seen people grow up in the presence of God in a redeemed home only to leave it and never come back. Their choices and decisions are the root of their leaving. God had not done something wrong to Cain. It was Cain who chose not to bring the correct offering. And it was Cain’s jealousy that drove him to kill his own brother. Cain could in no way blame God for his choices. But the most disastrous decision Cain made was to leave the very presence which could have forgiven him, healed him and redeemed him. Instead Cain went out from the presence of God. It is in God’s presence that we find joy and pleasures forevermore (Ps. 16:11) and that is what Cain chose to leave. The only place you will find true joy is in the presence of the LORD.

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Blessed are the Meek (Matthew 5:5)

Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Introduction

If you are to say an individual is meek others would consider that person weak or even spineless. Being meek has a certain negative connotation in our modern culture. But being meek has little to do with being weak. Meekness is not the same as weakness. 

Jesus continues the Beatitudes with, “Blessed are the meek.” The poor in spirit realize their lowliness. The mournful are broken over their sin. The first two proclamations take into consideration the need of a Savior. To be poor in spirit is recognizing our spiritual poverty apart from God. The mournful are in need of God to save them from their unrighteousness and for God to impart His righteousness.

The Proud

Israel was looking for a Messiah that was strong and powerful. Their idea of the King of Israel was full of images of Him coming to overthrow the Roman government and set up the Kingdom. They overlooked Isaiah’s prophecy of a suffering servant (Isa. 53). One of the main reasons Israel rejected Jesus Christ was because He was willing to be a servant and not their ideal King sitting upon an earthly throne.

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