Here is the article I mentioned Sunday about Joel Osteen.
(HT: Between Two Worlds)
Seraph was the guardian of The Oracle in the Matrix. He could pretty much beat up anybody he wanted to in one on one combat. It would be pretty safe to conclude that if someone came along that Seraph couldn’t beat up, you should run too.
The seraphim stood above God’s throne in Isaiah’s vision. They had six wings. They used two to cover their face and two to cover their feet as a position of humility before Yahweh. Seraphim means “burning ones”. So her are these angelic beings, burning ones, but when before God, they assume a position of humility and sing his praise. Angels could beat us up. If burning ones assume a position of humility and praise before the thrice holy God, shouldn’t we?
Addendum: I ran accross this great quote from Tozer and had to share:
Yet we must not compare the being of God with any other as we just now compared the mountain with the child. We must not think of God as highest in an ascending order of beings, starting with the single cell and going on up from the fish to the bird to the animal to man to angel to cherub to God. This would be to grant God eminence, even pre-eminence, but that is not enough; we must grant Him transcendence in the fullest meaning of that word. Forever God stands apart, in light unapproachable. He is as high above an archangel as above a caterpillar, for the gulf that separates the archangel from the caterpillar is but finite, while the gulf between God and the archangel is infinite. The caterpillar and the archangel, though far removed from each other in the scale of created things, are nevertheless one in that they are alike created. They both belong in the category of that-which-is-not-God and are separated from God by infinitude itself. – A.W. Tozer in The Knowledge of the Holy
In Sunday school we were talking about various plans to read through the scripture. Some people opted for the verse a day plan. This must be because they are so spiritual that they see the depths of every verse like few people do. i found varying results for the number of verses in the bible but it ranges from 31,102 to 31,174. Lets just round it off to a nice 31,000. Divide that by 365 days and you get 84.931 years. So it will take you approximately 85 years to read through the scriptures on the verse a day plan.
1) This is not beyond the scope of human life as some suggested this plan would take thousands of years.
2) it is too late for anyone in our class to begin this plan so you better start looking for another.
Might I suggest the “intense plan”. It is said that the bible can be read aloud in 70 hours. So just take three days off from work, fast, get a big tub of water and a straw and read. After three days you will be done for the year; probably not with the bible, but for life. So maybe its not about quantity – one verse isn’t enough, and the whole bible at one sitting might be a bit too much. Maybe we should shoot for quality instead.
You ever get that feeling that something is missing? The strongest you ever get this feeling is when you have one of those dreams where you forgot to wear you clothes to school or work. You apparently make the drive wondering, “What did I forget?”
You pack for a trip. You have double checked everything, but you still feel like something is missing. You are two hours into the trip when it hits you.
The new year seems lacking,
especially in the evenings,
weekday evenings more specifically. What could it be?
In Isaiah 5 GOD is upset that something is missing in HIS vineyard. There is a serious fruit shortage. That something is missing is blatantly obvious, as obvious as a drive to school in your underwear. When we finally snap out of our dream we rationalize its unreality, “there is no way I could walk out the door in my underwear, where would I put my wallet, this can’t be real.” do we fail to rationalize our spiritual state? Are we delusional? Are we running around naked acting as if we had clothes on before a holy GOD?
Who/what sits upon the throne of your heart?
The American puritan Cotton Mather said that “the great design and intention of the office of a Christian preacher [is] to restore the throne and dominion of God to the souls of men.” Why do I preach? More specifically why am I going through Isaiah where the message of repentance away from idols and towards love for God is continually hammered seemingly ad nauseam?
Because God does not sit upon the thrones of our hearts.
I base my diagnosis greatly upon myself. My heart leaps after foolish things. My love, joy, peace, hope are greatly anchored in the things of this world. I need repentance. I do not think that you are unlike me. And the lost world has no other hope that to see the grotesque nature of sin in contrast to the glorious nature of Christ.
Dethrone the false kings. The battle will be fierce. They will not want to step down. They will constantly assail your heart. Allow no substitute to take you thoughts, affections, and actions.
I have decided to elect John Owen for 08. A year and a half ago I decided to study one theologian for 30 minutes a day for a year. In addition I would read many biographies and studies of their theologies. For the past year and a half I have been learning from and about Jonathan Edwards. We have had wonderful conversations. A February sermon and post will be dedicated to his impact upon me.So a new year was upon me. Surgeon and Owen were the contenders. I kept wavering back and forth between the two. Finally after reading Owen’s work on the person of Christ in November I made my decision. It was thoughts like these that decided my vote:
There is no greater discovery of the depravation of our natures by sin and degeneracy of our wills from their original rectitude, than that – whereas we are so prone to the love of other things, and therein do seek for satisfaction unto our souls where it is not to be obtained – it is so hard and difficult to raise our hearts unto the love of God. Were it not for that depravation, he would always appear as the only suitable and satisfactory object of our love.
It was required that there should be an obedience yielded unto God, bringing more glory unto him than dishonor did arise and accrue from the disobedience of man.
Unto them that believe unto the saving of the soul, he is, he always hath been, precious – the sun, the rock, the life, the bread of their souls – every thing that is good, useful, amiable, desirable, here or unto eternity. In, from, and by him, is all their spiritual and eternal life, light, power, growth, consolation, and joy here; with everlasting salvation hereafter. By him alone do they desire, expect, and obtain deliverance from that woeful apostasy from God, which is accompanied with – which containeth in it virtually and meritoriously – whatever is evil, noxious, and destructive unto our nature, and which, without relief, will issue in eternal misery. By him are they brought into the nearest cognation, alliance, and friendship with God, the firmest union unto him, and the most holy communion with him, that our finite natures are capable of, and so conducted unto the eternal enjoyment of him. For in him “shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory;” (Isa. xlv. 25;) for “Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation;” they “shall not be ashamed nor confounded, world without end:” verse 17.
My choice was gladdened when I read a book on his theology and life where I read an excerpt from a letter written to a friend when he knew his death was near.
I am going to him whom my soul hath loved, or rather hath loved me with an everlasting love; which is the whole ground of my consolation. The passage [passing away in death] is very irksome and werrisome through strong pain of various sorts which are issued in and intermitting feaver. All things were provided to carry me to London today attending to the advise of my physician, but we were unable to undertake the journey. I am leaving the ship of the church in a storm, but while the great Pilot is in it the loss of a poore under-rower will be inconsideralbe. Live and pray and hope and waite patiently and doe not dispair; the promise stands invincible that he will never leave thee nor forsake thee.
Finally as I began his discourse on the glory of Christ I read:
It will herein, and in the discharge of this duty, be made evident how slight and inconsiderable all these things are from whence our troubles and distresses do arise. For they all grow on this root of an over-valuation of temporal things. And unless we can arrive unto a fixed judgment that all things here below are transitory and perishing, reaching only unto the outward man, or the body, (perhaps unto the killing of it), – that the best of them have nothing that is truly substantial or abiding in them, – that there are other things, wherein we have an assured interest, that are incomparably better than they, and above them, – it is impossible but that we must spend our lives in fears, sorrows, and distractions. One real view of the glory of Christ, and of our own concernment therein, will give us a full relief in this matter. For what are all the things of this life? What is the good or evil of them in comparison of an interest in this transcendent glory? When we have due apprehensions hereof, – when our minds are possessed with thoughts of it, – when our affections reach out after its enjoyments, – let pain, and sickness, and sorrows, and fears, and dangers, and death, say what they will, we shall have in readiness wherewith to combat with them and overcome them; and that on this consideration, that they are all outward, transitory, and passing away, whereas our minds are fixed on those things which are eternal, and filled with incomprehensible glory.
I predict that Owen will trump Edwards in his impact upon my theology. I am excited to learn from him and look forward to sharing his view of God with you.
How many of you have got all of your Christmas shopping done except for the hardest person…
He is the hardest person to buy for, he has everything.
Food – at least he looks like he is getting enough of that, and mom always make sure he is abundantly filled during the holiday season. Underwear – nobody wants to… nobody should they have to buy underwear for their dad. Clothes – where do you even find clothes that look like that? Do they still make them? Jewelry or a watch – no that would cost too much, dad should spend more money on you than you do on him. You know you were thinking it. It’s the only way to come out ahead during Christmas.* you have to spend less on your parents than they do on you otherwise you lose. A pocket knife – no he is getting too old to use such harmful objects.
What about God?
What could you possibly give to God? He doesn’t simply have everything. He made it. He owns it. He holds it together. All of our sacrifices and gifts are insufficient. It is not God who is lacking, we are. When a family brought a lamb to the temple they came to receive from God, not to get. God provided a means for atonement, and they needed it.
So celebrate Christmas by receiving. Come to Christ and receive the greatest gift of the gospel – Himself. Become so overwhelmed by the treasure that you receive that all else sparkles far less in the radiance of His beauty. Be so satisfied with the treasure of Jesus that you want to give, you want to imitate and be like Jesus so that others may know Him.
So what do we give God? We come pleading nothing but that which He has given us. We come to Him clinging to Jesus. We come to Him with the blood of Christ. Nothing will delight His heart more.
* In my family we all draw gifts now. We are supposed to spend $50 on each person. We make out a list and draw each other’s list. In a few years we will cease this process, all bring $50 bills and exchange them. Give that a few years and we will simply bring a gift we have bought ourselves in the name of our family to display.