A Flood of Dissipation

Analogies, Thoughts, Walking in the New Nature
Our last post included a quote from I Peter chapter 4.  I include it again here, extending it to verses 1 through 5.  "Therefore, since Christ has suffered death in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered death in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.  For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousals, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.  And in all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same flood of dissipation, and…
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“Holiness Befits Thy House”

Family, Thoughts
“Holiness befits Thy house, O Lord, forevermore” (Psalm 93:5).  God’s dwelling place is adorned or decorated with holiness.  It has the aura of holiness.  It has the look and feel of holiness.  It has the taste and smell of holiness.  It is literally filled up with holiness.  Holiness befits God’s house.  Does holiness adorn your house? God has placed us here as a family to be salt and light.  If we “bubble wrap” ourselves and our kids, we are making a mistake.  Jesus was called “friend of sinners”.  He didn't get that title by withdrawing in isolation.  At the same time, I think it is safe to say that Christ was not influenced by the sin He encountered.  While there is danger in being legalistic, of imposing our gray area views on…
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Facing Adversity

Thoughts
The blessing of adversity is not an oxymoron.  The goal of these posts on prosperity and adversity is not to depress us.  The promise of adversity is not for us to adopt an Eeyore-like attitude of "woe is me," looking for the negative in every event and relationship.  It is also not about bringing on adversity needlessly by being obnoxious, offensive, etc.  Adversity will have no trouble finding us when we follow the path God has laid out for us. The goal is to develop joy in the face of adversity.  It sounds difficult, and it is without the supernatural resources we have in Christ Jesus.  Being joined with Christ in His death is our power and following the example of His joy is our strength.  "Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author…
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Prosperity and Adversity – One More Thought

Thoughts
"This, I command you, that you love one another.  If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.'  If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.  But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me" (Jn 15:17-21). One last thought on prosperity and adversity.  At a fundamental level, prosperity…
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Prosperity and Adversity

Thoughts
When I took my first full-time job out of college, we moved to Dallas, Texas, the prosperity teaching capital of the world.  This health and wealth gospel was foreign to me and to the auto workers and farmers and bus drivers I had grown up around in Northern Indiana.  I was interested in getting in on this deal; you know, with the more money and all. Soon, two situations had me running for the exit.  First, as I began to receive literature from these prosperity teachers, I noticed a curious pattern.  Based on the testimonials, it seemed God's financial blessing only worked for those on a variable income.  For some reason miraculous increases in wealth came to realtors, salespeople, business owners, and, of course, the prosperity teachers themselves.  No testimonials…
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Fanning the Flames

Thoughts
In the Old Testament, the experience of God's presence was largely geographic.  He appeared in the Holy Land, the Holy City, and the Holy of Holies in the Holy Temple.  On more than one occasion, God's presence was indicated by fire.  For example, God spoke to Moses from the burning bush.  "[Moses] looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed...When the Lord saw that Moses turned to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, 'Moses, Moses!' and he said, 'Here I am.'  Then God said, 'Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.' " (Ex 3:2,4,5). After Moses led the children of Israel…
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It is About You

Thoughts
The most succinct summary of the gospel message starts with, "For God so loved the world, that..." (Jn 3:16).  God's immeasurable love for the world drove Him to complete the verse with "...He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."  God is clearly the subject of this verse.  God loved.  God gave.  But notice the object of the opening phrase: "the world."  Yes, you and I are the direct objects, to use a grammar term, of God's incredible love. In our consumerist culture and selfish society, we feel a responsibility to drive home the point, "It's not about us, not about you, not about me."  But putting theology and good grammar together, it is about us.  It is about us.  This…
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Authority and Friendship

Family, Thoughts
Grace based parenting is about finding the balance between love and control, celebration and responsibility, relationship and instruction, truth and grace.  It is about developing a well-rounded relationship with your children as both their authority figure and their friend.  It strikes a balance between well-meaning, but old covenant, advice that emphasizes your authority role at the expense of any friendship expectation and the experience of parents who error in the other direction.  These parents, desiring a friendship relationship with their children, have abdicated their authority and, not wanting to rock the boat, have lowered the standards at home driven by the desire to fit in better with the world. God has given us a beautiful picture of an authority and friend relationship in none other than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Jesus…
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New Identity Parenting

Family, Thoughts
When we have been captured by the message of our supernatural identity in Christ, it will have a dramatic effect on our parenting.  What we bring to the parenting equation in our natural man is a volatile mixture of sin (a self focus), nurture (possible negative influences in how we were raised), and nature (our personalities, natural bent, etc).  These influences generally steer us toward extremes of legalism or license in our parenting.  Extremes of discipline or permissiveness.  When the gospel of Jesus Christ comes into our lives, rather than adding something good to our volatile combination, Christ redeems the mixture and creates something brand new. What this something new looks like in your family is called grace.  It is grace based living.  It is grace based parenting.  Parenting with…
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