Moral reforms are excellent in themselves, but they are dangerous if we rest in them. Let even a corpse be washed, but let no man dream that the most careful washing will restore it to life. “ Ye must be born again”—Spurgeon

in Theology & Grace

How to Teach Calvinism

Some Good Advice From John Piper

For those who are interested in sharing the teachings of Calvinism with others, John Piper has some good advice.

in Family & Children

Children Are Like Olive Plants

Cultivation is a Lifelong Process

It is very common among Christians to recognize children as a blessing; but there is another image of children that describes them as olive trees. I found this imagery described in the following quote.

“There is also great fruitfulness that comes with children. One Scripture that imparts a vision for parenting is Psalm 128:3. Children are called olive plants. Someday olive plants become olive trees, and olive trees were a sign of prosperity in the life of ancient Israel. Olive oil, olive wood, and the fruit of an olive tree were precious commodities. Olive oil, for example, was used for eating, illumination, and anointing. Historian Will Durant, in The Story of Civilization, says an olive plant “takes sixteen years to come to fruit, forty years to reach perfection.” Though the wait was long, no one doubted that the productivity that came out of future olive plants was worth the time and the effort spent in cultivating those plants. Children are olive plants. It may take years until we see the fruit, and even longer until they mature and reach maximum fruitfulness. Yet the time and effort spent cultivating our own olive plants is well worth it. Not to mention that the inheritance is for many generations to come (Ps. 78:5,6).”1

In the struggles of daily life, it’s easy to focus on the details of daily living and loose sight of the long-term vision and goals for our children. The days are evil (Eph 5:16) and soon turn into years of idleness if we are not careful to work diligently (Deut 6:7) to teach our children so that they grow up like a fruitful and productive olive tree for the glory of God.

in Theology & Salvation

A Collection of Predestination Passages

New Testament Passages and Red-Letter Passages

People commonly talk about destiny in popular culture. On shows like American idol the contestants commonly talk about belonging on the stage, as if it was written in the stars. There’s a fascination with fortune tellers and horoscopes in order to discover our destiny. In a more common way, when we run into people in the most unlikely of places we have a heightened sense of a God who is able to orchestrate such things to happen.

The Scripture talks about destiny; the theological term used to describe this is predestination. God has predestined that people will follow a particular path of redemption. This is knowledge that is uniquely in the mind of God. We cannot open a fortune cookie and see that we are on that path; but for all that are on that path there comes a particular time that you are aware that you are on that path. There comes a time when the Jesus on the pages of the Bible is no longer simply a good teacher. For those who God has predestined, there comes a time when Jesus becomes your personal Lord and Saviour; a time when you are born not of the flesh, but of the Spirit.

It is very powerful to look at a collection of Scripture on a particular subject in order to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for what the Bible teaches about a particular subject. I’ve gathered here a collection of passages that speak about predestination. The Bible is full of God’s sovereign work of predestination; there are Scripture passages from the Old Testament and the New Testament. The collection here shows passages from the New Testament, some of them are interpreting events in the Old Testament. There are also passages of Jesus words that he spoke and taught during his earthly ministry.

in Family & Parenting

Jonathan Edwards & Family Time

A Great Man Who Should Me Imitated In The Home

Jonathan Edwards was one of those great men of God who not only labored intensely for the care of people’s souls, but also had a home life that was exemplary.

“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. ” (Heb 13:7)

Jonathan Edwards is certainly a man who’s faith we should imitate. I’ve included here, a section from memoirs of Jonathan Edwards that talks about his home life. Download the PDF in the endnotes section at the bottom of the article.

in Christian Living & Spiritual Disciplines

Guilt and Conviction Works for Good

A Means by which God Inclines Our Hearts to Him

When other people make you feel guilty about something you lack and some area of improvement; consider that they may have done you a favor. As we identify an area of our life as embarrassing, as we look at the ugliness of the shadows of our characters, our hearts become acutely aware of those areas we dislike and we are moved with desire to do something–make a change in our lives. This is one of the means by which God uses to sanctify us.

If you get mad, or desire to put distance between you and every person that upsets you, consider that you may be resisting the sanctifying work of God and that part of your path for growth includes coming to grips with the means that God uses to bring you close to Him.

in Christian Living & Evangelism

How Can Jesus Save You From Alligators?

A Creative Contextualization of the Gospel with Humor

The History Channel has a show called “Ax Men”, showing the lives of men who are logging in different areas of the country. In Florida’s Swanee river, there’s millions of dollars worth of cypress and pine that sunk to the bottom of the river 85 years ago when it was on the way to the mill. Swamp logging involves what amounts to treasure hunting for these logs in swampland that is infested with poisonous snakes and alligators.

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