Posts belonging to Category Christian Living



Christian Home Fixer Upper Messages

Here are the links to all the messages and outlines for the Christian Home Fixer Upper series. I pray God will use these messages to help you better understand God’s purpose and design for Christian home and family.

Christian Home Fixer Upper Series
(Click here for a PDF of all the sermon outlines for the series.)

HGTV-showchip-fixer-upper

A Mother’s Nurture and Care – 1 Thessalonians 2:6-9 (Mother’s Day)
Biblical Foundations of Marriage – Genesis 2:18-25
Biblical Roles in Marriage – Ephesians 5:22-33
Single-Minded for Christ – Matthew 6:31-34
What’s a Kid to Do? – Ephesians 6:1-3
A Father’s Motivation – 1 Thessalonians 2:10-12 (Father’s Day)
Spiritual Mismatch – 2 Corinthians 6:14-16; 1 Corinthians 7:12-16; 1 Peter 3:1-2
Open Hearts, Open Homes – Romans 12:9-13
 

New Leaf or New Life?

“Christianity isn’t about turning over a new leaf; rather it’s about receiving and living a new life through Jesus Christ.”

(adapted from Ed Stetzer)      

Happy New Year all!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Live, Love and Give 2012

Live, Love and Give

Our church is sponsoring a great program to help those in need this Thanksgiving season. For just a $20 donation, Live, Love and Give will provide $40 worth of food items (including rice, pasta, canned goods, etc.) to someone in need.

If you would like to participate, click here to visit the website and make an online donation: Live, Love and Give

Live, Love and Give to Feed the Hungry

Live, Love and Give

Our church is sponsoring a great program to help those in need this Thanksgiving season. For just a $20 donation, Live, Love and Give will provide $40 worth of food items (including rice, pasta, canned goods, etc.) to someone in need.

If you would like to participate, click here to visit the website and make an online donation: Live, Love and Give

Do I have a Christian responsibility to vote?

It is an election week in the United States, so I thought this was a good time to reflect on the Christian responsibility of voting in a democracy. The following is an excerpt from the message, “A Christian in the Voting Booth,” originally preached November 2, 2008, the Sunday before the 2008 Presidential elections.

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“Do I have a Christian responsibility to vote?” Some people feel that Christians should have no part in the civil process, that we belong to another kingdom and that we should not get involved in the affairs of this world. Others believe Christians should be heavily involved in politics and culture and that we have a cultural mandate to rule this world according to God’s principles. Others come out somewhere in the middle. Let’s look at some Biblical principles that might help us answer this question.

    A. You are responsible to exert a godly influence. (Matthew 5:13-16, 6:9-10)

First of all, you are responsible to exert a godly influence in this world. If you are a parent, you are responsible to raise your children in the Lord. If you are a boss, you are responsible to run your company according to Christian standards. If you are in government, you are accountable to God for the decisions you make on behalf of other people. Whatever you’re sphere of influence, you have a responsibility to use that influence for God and for good.

Jesus said, “You are the light of the world and the salt of the earth.” (Matthew 5:13-16) Light points the way, and salt preserves. We should live in such a way that we point others to God and preserve godliness in a culture that is contaminated by sin. We should seek for God’s will to be done in our homes and in our cities and in our nation. As Jesus instructed us to pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10) So, first of all, you are responsible to exert a godly influence.

    B. You are responsible to pray for your leaders. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

Secondly, you are responsible to pray for your leaders. We read in 1 Timothy 2: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2) The Bible urges you to pray for your leaders and to be thankful for them. We are to pray for those in authority that they will make good decisions so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives, and that we may freely worship God and share the gospel with others.

    C. As a voter you share the responsibility of government. (Romans 13:1-5)

So, you are responsible to exert a godly influence, you are responsible to pray for your leaders, and then thirdly, as a voter you also share the responsibility of government. Those who share in government are accountable to God for how they lead. Romans 13 tells us that all governing authorities are established by God and under God’s authority.

“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God … Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.” (Romans 13:1-5)

Of course in those days there was no such thing as voting. People lived in monarchies and empires. Your role in government as a Christian was basically to pray for and submit to the ruling authorities. But when you live in a democracy or a republic like we do, things are different. As President Lincoln described our government in the Gettysburg Address in 1863, we are a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” (The Gettysburg Address; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; November 19, 1863) And so as a voter you share in the responsibilities of government.

The word “vote” comes from the Latin “votum,” meaning “will or choice.” Instead of just praying for your leaders to make good and wise choices on your behalf, you are part of the decision-making process, and so you are responsible to make good and wise choices on behalf of your nation. And we do that through voting. As theologian Dr. John Frame writes:

“…in some cultures (like the ancient Roman, in which the New Testament was written) there is not much that Christians can do, other than pray, to influence political structures and policies. But when they can influence them, they should. In modern democracies, all citizens are ‘lesser magistrates’ by virtue of the ballot box. Christians have an obligation to vote according to God’s standards. And, as they are gifted and called, they should influence others to vote in the same way.” (John Frame; The Doctrine of the Christian Life, p. 617)

Now that does not mean you should just vote willy-nilly or fill in the blanks on a ballot like a multiple choice quiz where you don’t know the answers. You have a responsibility to vote responsibly. The uninformed voter probably should not vote, at least in those areas where he or she is uninformed. But as Christians we have a responsibility to be informed on the issues and the candidates, and then to vote accordingly. As a voter you share the responsibility of government and thus share accountability to God for what takes place in our nation.
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Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Unemployment Prompts Large Increase in Living Together

Regular readers at this blog know that I get a steady stream of comments on my Living Together Before Marriage Series. Many of the comments come from people who agree in principle that living together before marriage is not right, but who then offer reasons why they feel it is okay for them. Now add a bad economy and unemployment to the list. From The Christian Post:

The number of unmarried couples living together rose 13 percent from the previous year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

This year, there are 7.5 million opposite-sex unmarried couples living together – up from 6.7 million in 2009, reported the bureau on Thursday. The year before had witnessed a two percent drop after a five percent rise in co-habiting couples between 2007 and 2008.

Demographers say a poor job market is likely a factor in the rise of co-habiting couples in 2010.

According to 2010 data, unmarried couples who recently began living together usually have one partner unemployed. Only 49 percent of cohabiting couples this year are ones where both partners are employed. This figure is down from 59 percent in 2008 and 52 percent in 2009.

As I try to share with people in the comments section, if you will trust God and put Christ first in your situation, I believe God will always open up another option for you. If you or your boyfriend/girlfriend are unemployed: check with family, check with friends, check with your local church, and see what living arrangements you can find. But please don’t make the mistake of moving in together before marriage. You can read more about why in the articles below.

Living Together Before Marriage Series:
    ● Statistics on Living Together Before Marriage
    ● Scriptures on Living Together Before Marriage
    ● Living Together Without Sex
    ● What If We Already Lived Together Before Marriage?

Drew Brees: Coming Back Stronger

Saturday, December 31, 2005
San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos

Eight seconds was all it took to change my life forever. Eight seconds at the end of the second quarter, in the middle of a meaningless game. (Drew Brees, Coming Back Stronger)

Drew Brees is the starting quarterback for the New Orleans Saints and a Christian with a strong testimony. Drew’s new book, Coming Back Stronger, was just released today. Drew shares his life story — from his parents’ divorce when he was a child, to his coming to Christ in high school, to his devastating shoulder injury with the San Diego Chargers in 2005, to his amazing comeback and the Saints’ Super Bowl win over the Indianopolis Colts in 2010.

Set against the backdrop of New Orleans, the book tells two stories: the story of Drew’s comeback from his injury and the continuing comeback of New Orleans from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Drew has an amazing story to share, and through it all he points to the Lord who uses adversity in our lives to help us not only come back, but come back stronger.

339436: Coming Back Stronger: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity
Coming Back Stronger
Drew Brees, Mark B…

Buy from
Christianbook

Today I Have God

Dallas Willard, commenting on the request, “Give us today our daily bread,” from the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13):

The emphasis is on provision today of what we need for today … So we do not ask him to provide today what we will need for tomorrow. To have it in hand today does not guarantee that we will have it tomorrow when we need it. Today I have God, and he has the provisions. Tomorrow it will be the same. So I simply ask today for what I need for today or ask now for what I need now.

This is how children do it, of course. A mother who discovers that her child is saving up oatmeal, pieces of toast, or strips of bacon for fear of not having food tomorrow has cause to be alarmed. The world being what it is, we can all too easily imagine situations in which the child’s action would be reasonable. But in any normal situation parents will be astonished and pained that the child does not trust them to provide for it day by day …

Now, to make it clear about the teaching and the prayer, it is quite all right, as earlier noted, to have things now that we intend to use tomorrow and to work or even pray in a sensible way for them. What hinders or shuts down kingdom living is not the having of such provisions, but rather the trusting in them for future security. We have no real security for the future in them, but only in the God who is present with us each day. (Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy, p. 261, Kindle location 4991)

I am in between jobs right now, and so I found this a very encouraging word. Today I have God, and that is enough.

Do What You Don’t Want to Do

“Spiritual discipline means simply this: Do what you don’t want to do, and you will become what you want to be.”

    – Patrick Morley (Seven Seasons of the Man in the Mirror, p. 234)

Sexual Detox Series (Challies)

sexual_detox_freedom

Tim Challies has put together a helpful series on breaking away from pornography before marriage especially directed towards young men. Here are the links to the articles in the series.

Thanks, Tim, for a helpful and timely series. (Update: The complete series is now available for free download in E-book form. Click here to learn more.)

Related post: Taming the Internet in the Home

Christian America and Christendom America

Pastor Mark Driscoll responds to the Newsweek article on Christianity declining in America by distinguishing between Christian America and Christendom America. (And he does it on the Fox News website?!)

Christian America is comprised of those people who have had a truly transforming experience with Jesus Christ and are living new lives as practicing Christians. Experts such as sociologist Bradford Wilcox at the University of Virginia have well documented the fact that those who practice Christian faith by reading their Bibles regularly, attending church, praying, and so forth are far less likely to engage in acts such as adultery, divorce, substance abuse, and the like.

Christendom America is comprised of those people who have not had a truly transforming experience with Jesus Christ and are living lives virtually indistinguishable from those who are non-Christians. The confusion is that it was common in Christendom for people who did not practice Christianity to profess Christianity. This was often done for social reasons, such as living in a culture that expected church affiliation, being born into a religious tradition and assuming it was simply part of one’s identity (like a cultural or racial connection), or personally, socially, and vocationally benefitting from being connected, even loosely, to a church or denomination. Researchers such as George Barna have documented the fact that, as Jesus himself said, not everyone who says he or she is a Christian is in fact one.

Subsequently, the Newsweek report simply confirms the fact that, just as Christendom has died in Europe and the major American cities, it is now dying in the suburban and rural areas of America as well. With the social benefits of professing to be a Christian no longer in place and the social stigma of not professing to be a Christian now lifted, those who were part of Christendom America are simply no longer pretending to be part of Christian America.

Since those who professed faith but did not practice faith were confusing to account for, this is actually a good thing. Now, it is more likely that if someone is a Christian or non-Christian, he or she will state so plainly. Therefore, the number of Christians has likely not diminished as much as has been reported, but rather we are seeing an increasingly accurate accounting of actual Christian America.

Jon Meacham wrote the original Newsweek article on The End of Christian America. He defines his terms a little differently, and you can read his follow-up on the difference between Christian America and Christianity here.

HT: Between Two Worlds

Around the Web – 5/12/2009

  • Reach Out. Jonathan Dodson shares eight simple ways you can spend more time with non-Christian friends.
  • Lost and Narnia. I have never seen the TV show Lost, but apparently it contains some interesting (and intentional) parallels to the works of C. S. Lewis and the Narnia Chronicles.
  • Kideo Video Player. Kideo Player is a kid-safe YouTube video viewer with an emphasis on fun and educational videos. Just hit the spacebar to advance to the next video.