I just found this guy on youtube not too long ago. His sermons have really opened my eyes to a lot of truth of the scriptures. Here are a few clips of them.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
I know that I keep posting Matt Chandler videos, but I am just blown away by the man's passion for what he is talking about. He is speaking from the Bible belt to people who all love Jesus, have all been baptized, all go to church three times a week and know the old hymns and all that. They play the part really well. But then he throws the gospel at them. This video pointed a lot of things out in churches that I have been in and schools that I have been in. The gospel is assumed. The character of Christ is assumed. Those are bad things to assume. I don't want to ever take the knowledge of those things for granted. I want to learn them over and over and over and over again. Anyway, here is Matt Chandler talking about the de-churched.
Francis Chan hits it right on the head in this sermon. I can't wait to listen to the series now. Nothing is greater than knowing God. I can attest to that. I lose sight of it sometimes, but now I know that He is greater than anything that this world has to offer.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Well I finished Isaiah. Actually I finished it on the plane on the way home from Easter Island. I got a lot of great time in the Word while we were there. It helps when you don't have to be anywhere until 10 am. But it was a good time and I loved not having to spread Isaiah out over two weeks.
That said, Isaiah was very difficult to understand. I feel like I got the overall message of it, and I got the simple obvious truths that just jumped out every once in awhile. But the midway stuff was difficult. I didn't always get why the nations were being judged or who was doing the talking or who was being talked about. That may be just not focusing enough or it may be that it is just a confusing book and I need to spend some more time studying it. But now I will focus on the overall biblical story that Isaiah plays a large part in and the little awesome things that I noticed.
In general terms, Isaiah describes a fallen, depraved world and the coming of the needed Redeemer. Those are very general terms. A lot of Isaiah is him giving oracles from God about the judgment of Israel and the Nations. Then in chapter 49, and especially 53, a Redeemer that will save them from their definite destruction is introduced. We know this Redeemer to be Jesus. The description given in Isaiah 52:13-53:12 is absolutely amazing. What an awesome savior Christ is! There is also a lot of talk about Zion, the new heavens and the new earth.
Now for the small things that speak amazingly large volumes about the character of our God. The biggest thing in here is the glory of God. It is EVERYWHERE! Every part about judgment, redemption, sin and anything and everything else is followed with God's glory being the foundation. It is literally everywhere. My Bible is covered in orchid colored pencil. God's purpose is to make His greatness known. I have seen that over and over and over again. I have a few places that this is obvious.
-We were created for His glory (43:6-7)
-Our transgressions are blotted out for His Name's sake (43:25)
-He formed His chosen people so they would declare His praise (43:21)
-He defers His anger for the sake of His praise (48:9)
-He refined Israel in the furnace of Babylonian affliction for His own sake (48:10-11)
ALL of it is for His glory!
Now some notes on God's control. This is not going to go away. Unless I see a verse that says, "I'm going to change the way I have acted in all of history up until this point," this is the way it is.
-The first way that God shows His control in Isaiah comes in 14:24,27. "The Lord of hosts has sworn: 'As I have planned, so it shall be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand...' For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?" If God plans to do something, it is done. Plain and simple.
-Another way is that He controls the nations like He is playing Risk (9:11; 10:5,13,15; 13:17). He uses them to exact His judgment on other nations and to show His glory in His wrath on them. -This next one is something to think about for awhile. It's not easy to swallow, but it's in their so I am going to say it. It's Isaiah 44:18, "They know not, nor do they discern, for He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand." This is God doing this. Very weird and very counter-everything I have ever been told.
-In 45 verse 7 I read this, "I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity. I am the Lord, who does all these things." I remember having learned somewhere along the road that God has nothing to do with bad things. That was all outside of Him. That is not true. God created the good and the bad. He created the light and the darkness. Sin was not an accident. Trouble didn't jump on to the scene in the garden and freak God out. He created these things. He purposed them. He is in control. I need not worry.
-Chapter 53 shows that God was in control during Christ's death as well. "It was the will of the Lord to crush Him."(53:10) "Out of the anguish of His soul He shall see light and be satisfied." (53:11) This is amazing. Christ was satisfied in His death. Even though His soul was in anguish, He was satisfied. Oh I love this stuff!
-63:17 is heavy, like 44:18 was. "Oh Lord, why do you make us wander from your ways and harden our heart, so that we fear you not?" This is big. The people are openly acknowledging that God is the one making them wander and God is the one hardening their hearts. Again, I don't know how all of this works, but I know that it works. It is in here plain as day.
-One similar to those two is 6:10. This is the Lord telling Isaiah what to say, "Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed." God is saying that he is making it so they cannot understand these things, because if they did, they would turn and be healed. What? He is making sure that they don't turn from their ways and become healed? I don't know God's ways. I can't. But I do trust Him.
Now there is a very interesting passage in here about our state as humans. It is Isaiah 64:6, "We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment." The literal translation of that "polluted garment" is something along the lines of dirty menstrual rags. Our righteous deeds! He says the things we do that are good are like bloody menstrual rags to Him. That is how lost and depraved we are. This is sick. That is what we look like to God when we are at our best. All of us. Notice that at the beginning. We have ALL become like one who is unclean. This is every single one of us.
I realize that this again is a lot. So read it. Don't just take what I say and go, "Okay that sounds good" or "I don't agree with that. What an idiot." Read it. Know the truth backwards and forwards. This is God's Word to us. If you do want to read some of Isaiah and just want a piece of it. Let me suggest chapter 59. It is awesome and it is what I am talking about tomorrow in chapel. I hope this is encouraging and challenging to you.
P.S. I just kind of realized that there is a whole lot in here. It seems all jumbled and is not very organized. Take it in strides. I am trying to do that. The Bible is hitting me with a lot of it at once but I am trying to take it slowly so that I don't get overwhelmed. Please pray for me in that and pray for that as you read through God's Word.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
I'm off to Easter Island in about two hours. I'll be gone for four days and probably won't have internet access. I can't wait to have some time in Isaiah while I am there. Six hour plane rides help move reading along nicely.
While I am gone please dwell on this video. I keep harping on the importance of scripture and I just want to remind you all why. It's the Word of God. It is the only thing we have that we know is absolutely true. For me to not read God's Word is for me to say, "I know you have written this for me God, but I don't really care what you have to say." Not reading this Word, leads to things that you do not want. It leads to you basing your beliefs off of feelings instead of facts. When you are left to nothing but your emotions, you start thinking, "Yeah that sounds good. I bet God is like that." Then those things quickly become what you believe and what you base your life around. That is not Christianity. That is Idolatry. You are worshiping something that you've made up in your mind and not the One, True God of Scripture. So read your Bibles. Read the truth of the Gospel of Christ. It is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16). So watch this video. Get a reminder of how awesome and important God's Word is. It is not optional as a Christian.
Also, here is Francis Chan's message at Passion 2010. This is the
message that God used to bring me to His Word. My friend Mark Baur
and I had a long talk after this message and both decided that we were
not giving God's Word the attention and time it deserved. How great
that realization has been! My life has been changed by this Word.