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HT: Mars Hill Church

HT

“O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah
Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!

~ Psalm 39:4-6

With this statement, King David reveals to us that he is just as we were. He is a man who is fearful of death and who wants to know when he will die. As the ticker to the right states, no one can be sure of when they will die. Every breath we have is a gift from God and no one can be sure that the next will come. 150,000 people will die today. 150,000 have already died yesterday, and 150,000 will die tomorrow, then the next day, and the next. Eventually you will be in that number. I was reminded of a child that we lost through miscarriage. He was with us for about 22 weeks until something happened and the wick of his life was snuffed out. It took me a long time to deal with that loss and I’m still not entirely sure that I’m over it now. About a year and a half later my son Caleb was born. For years afterward I’d still go into the room he shared with his sister and check to see if he was still there and breathing. Even now, as he’s 11 and his sister is 14 I still go by their rooms at least once a week just to hear them breathing. Every man, woman, and child, regardless of their station, class, or location, are all subject to the same destiny – every one of us will die.

So, what is King David’s response?

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in you.
Deliver me from all my transgressions.
Do not make me the scorn of the fool!
I am mute; I do not open my mouth,
for it is you who have done it.
Remove your stroke from me;
I am spent by the hostility of your hand.
When you discipline a man
with rebukes for sin,
you consume like a moth what is dear to him;
surely all mankind is a mere breath! Selah

“Hear my prayer, O Lord,
and give ear to my cry;
hold not your peace at my tears!
For I am a sojourner with you,
a guest, like all my fathers.
Look away from me, that I may smile again,
before I depart and am no more!”

~ Psalm 39:7-13

David seeks deliverance from his sins! Why would he do this? He was the greatest king who ever lived. Ask any Jew who was the greatest king they’ve ever had and they’ll quickly tell you that it was King David! Why should he be in fear of the judgment of God? Because God is the just Judge of the whole earth. No one is able to escape God’s judgment. He will not hold those guiltless who takes His name in vain. This includes those who profess to be Christians but continue living in their sins. Pornography? He views that as adultery because He even judges the intention of the heart. Have you been angry with someone without justification? Then God sees you as a murderer at heart. He has promised that all sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sorcerers (those involved in witchcraft and the use of drugs), cowardly (those who have renounced their faith due to fear of their friends or fear of repercussions from family or neighbors), faithless (those who refuse to trust in the promises of Christ), murderers, and those who do detestable things will be cast into the lake of fire and sulfur. No one who sins will escape His judgment.

This is why He sent Jesus. Knowing that no child of Adam could ever meet His standard He sent His own Son, Jesus. Jesus was able to live a life that was free from sin. He never swore at anyone, He never lusted after women, He never was unjustly angry at anyone. He never, ever lied about anything. He fulfilled every one of the commandments – every one of the Laws of God to the letter. He was the only just man to ever walk the earth. Then, just as the passover lamb was slain for the people of Israel in Egypt so that the Angel of Death would “pass over” their houses as he went through killing the firstborn of the Egyptians, Jesus willingly laid His life down for those who hated Him. Beaten, torn, bloodied, His beard had been ripped out of His face, He had been spat upon, mocked, beaten with rods, ridiculed, and dishonored in every possible way. Even through all of that, He still carried His cross as far as His frail earthly body could carry Him. Then He was delivered to the hill of death, iron nails were beaten into his wrists and ankles and He was hoisted up to suffocate to death. It only took 3 hours for Him to die in that state. At His death, the sins of every person who would ever turn to Him for salvation were taken from their accounts and placed onto Him and He died the painful, humiliating, and spiritual death that they deserved, in their place.

How do you receive this gift of grace? Do you have to be a good person? No. You can’t be a “good person”. To do that you’d have to first atone for all of your sins and then exceed the 10 Commandments in every aspect of your life until the day you die. That’s impossible. Do you have to say a “sinner’s prayer”? Sort of, but not like you’re thinking. King David, knowing the promise of the Messiah to come, repented of his sins (he apologized to God and turned his back on them – promising to do everything in his power to abandon those sins for the rest of his life) and trusted in the promised Messiah forgive him of his sins. We don’t have to hope on the promise of the Messiah to come – He has already come and He will come again to take those who have abandoned their sinful lives and who have chosen to follow Him for all eternity. We, like King David, repent of our sins before the Lord and trust in the work that He has already completed. When should you do that? Look at the ticker on the right-hand side of this post. How many people have died while you’ve been reading this post? If you want, you can decide to put it off, but realize that you’re taking your life into your own hands. Today is the day of salvation – who are you to know what tomorrow may bring. My son lived only 22 weeks. A friend of mine in high school – football star and in excellent athletic shape died as a result of a complication from a knee surgery when he was only 16. Did he know when he was going to die? When you finally breathe your last, it will be far too late for you to call out to the Lord for salvation. How are you to know that you won’t be hit by a bus or have a brain aneurism on the way home? Today is the day of salvation – take this seriously as all of eternity is at stake. Escape the wrath of God while you still can.

To whom does the glory of your salvation belong?  Think back to the testimony you give to your friends, co-workers, and family – what is the crux of this conversation?  “When I said the prayer…”, “When I raised my hand…”, “When I gave my heart to Jesus…”, “When I was baptized…”, “When I surrendered my life to His…”, “When I recognized the depth of my sin before the cross of Christ and I repented of my sins before Him…”  To whom does the glory of your salvation belong?  If your salvation story depends on your action before a holy and perfect God, then to whom does the glory and honor for your salvation truly belong?  It’s not when “I” did anything, but when GOD did something.  He is the one to whom all glory and power and honor belongs.  Who are we to ascend to His high and holy mountain?  Is it me who is just and righteous before the Lord?  Is it me who is clean before His judgment?  Is it me who is perfect in His presence?  Are even my thoughts or intentions clean before Him?  NO!  There is none that seeks after God!  Even the “seeker” is evil in every thought and action.  God is righteous in His judgment against them when He damns them to Hell for refusing to bend the knee to the one who died for them on their behalf.  It is the sins that we have committed that condemn us to Hell!  Our refusal to accept His judgment, or our final destination have no bearing on this decision.  Who is it who saves us from the consequence of our sins?  Who is the righteous one?  Who is the one to whom we should all turn for the work that was done on our behalf? 
 
JESUS!  He is the only one who lived a perfect life that neither you nor I could ever live!  He is the one who has right and authority to step boldly into the throne room of God!  He is the one has the right to declare that we are made perfect in HIM!  He is the one who has the power to save!  It is by His Holy Spirit that we are regenerated!  It is by The decision of the Father alone that we are chosen to be saved!  Who are we to decide that God should save us?  Does that which is molded have the right to say to the molder, “Why have you made me like this?”  Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?  God alone is the one who has the right and authority to declare over His own creation that which seems good and right in His eyes.  More than that, it’s not that God is standing at the gate of Heaven, declaring to millions who come thronging to His temple, “Yes, Yes” to some and “No, No” to others.  Everyone is running away from Him as fast as they possibly can.  I was running to Hell as fast as I possibly could!  It was the work of God alone who saw me on my path to damnation who stepped in and chose me out and stopped me in my tracks.  He appealed to my conscience, showed me the depth of my sins before Him, and revealed to me the destination of my own decisions.  It is God who did these things before me and who is utterly responsible for my current condition.  It is the power and might, and foresight of God alone by which I am saved. 
 
To whom does the glory of my salvation belong?  GOD!  He is the one who called me out!  He is the one who did the work in my life to turn me around!  He is the one who secures me firmly in His hands.  What is the alternative?  That I chose to be saved of God?  Then who holds me fast in my salvation?  If it is by my own hand that I am saved, then it is my own hand that secures me!  My weak and frail hand that binds me to the cross of Christ!  What then if I am convinced that my salvation is invalid?  What then if I am moved to release my grip on the salvation that He has provided?  Then there is no help for me and I am damned for all eternity!  Should Christ be recrucified again on my behalf?  Certainly not!  There is but one crucifixion for all – there is one payment for all.  It is therefore the work of God alone that saves us from our sins.  Our salvation is by the hand of God alone!  From our selection by the hand of God to our conversion, to the work of God in keeping us firmly to the cross of Christ until our restoration in glory.  It is all by the hand of God alone. 
 
To whom does the glory, power, and honor for my salvation belong?  To God!  He is the author of my salvation, and one who holds me firmly to Him.  It is Jesus to whom our praise should be directed!  He is the one to whom we will call out “WORTHY!” for eternity to come! 

I love listening to Paul Washer

I’ve not posted anything in a while so I figure I may as well start. Things have been pretty busy for me so it’s been hard to keep up and I’m reading through the end of Joshua (ch. 19 today) and there’s not a lot to inspire me to rant when I’m just reading about land getting divvied up between the tribes of Israel.

I had a good interview today. I really think I’d be a good fit for that job and I look forward to talking to them some more. There was another position that I was hoping to interview for on Saturday but due to a problem with our VOIP in the house the phone never rang and I didn’t get a message until 6 hours later. That totally sucked.

Anyway, I’m still confident that God will take care of our needs and I know that it will all work out. We serve a God who is always just and who is always good and even when we think that things should have been done differently it’s comforting to know that we’re not in control and that He is. Ultimately, it’s my prayer that whatever God has decided to do with my life will bring Him more glory than it was previously and even if that means that I don’t work for a while or if I shift to a different job entirely then so be it. When I gave my life to Christ, I didn’t hold back and allow Him to only have control over my time at church and keep the rest of the week to myself – I belong only to God and in that I am His to control. There’s a great deal of comfort in that.

Ok, so I’m a dirty slacker. That much is a given. I’ve not updated this site in about 6 years and now I’m finally getting around to it. So, I’m working on a couple things. First is a blog page for my wife while she’s homeschooling so she’ll have another outlet other than her Facebook account. I’m working on getting some things in place which is what the “images” icon is to the left. I’m also working a bit on my resume and how to incorporate it into the new site. That means me figuring out how to make a decent theme that looks ok.

Meh – I say “not too shabby” for a guy who has never had any html classes. In other news, I’m not 100% ok with Adobe GoLive but it WAS free and I’ve not found anything else for the mac yet. I used to use Chami’s HTML-Kit but they don’t have a readily available version for the mac and even then its only PPC and not Intel macs. That would mean that I’d have to find a way to get my old mac online (ok, like 5 minutes) and get a new monitor for it. And if I’m doing that then I’m upgrading which means I’m getting at least a 22″ monitor and turning my old PowerMac G5 (2.0GHz schaweet!) into my graphics station. With the “issues” surrounding the imac 20″ and 24″ monitors it would be nice to have a monitor that shows true colors. I can’t explain how annoying it is to spend $1700 on a graphics workstation only to have it show substandard graphics. Bah!

In other news, are you looking for graphic work and stuff? There’s a good chance that we’re going to need some extra income here shortly and I’m going to need to keep some money coming in so we can pay the bills and eat and stuff. I have no idea what to charge for graphic work anyway so you’ll probably get a rockin deal. 🙂 Maybe. I don’t know. All I know is that I hate interviews and I’m not looking forward to that.

Meh – here’s to another 6 years!

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