GOD HAS MADE HIMSELF KNOWN

God has made himself known to us in 4 major ways: Creation, our Conscience, the Bible, and Jesus. I am going to talk a little bit about each of these.

God has made himself known to us through CREATION: For example, think of a flower, it starts as a tiny seed and grows into a beautiful flower.  I think a flower is like a painting.  When I think of a painting I think it must have a painter.  When I see creation it makes me think of the Creator.

God has made himself known to us through our CONSCIENCE: For instance, if you were alone on an island all of your life, you would still know that it is wrong to kill, steal, lie, and so forth, even if no one has told you.  I think this is evidence that God has given us great minds that can tell right from wrong.  And the laws written on the hearts of mankind must have a Law Giver.

God has made himself known to us through the BIBLE: God has given us his word to teach us and guide us through life.  It is encouraging to know that God is personal and wants to reveal Himself in specific ways to us.

God has made himself known to us through JESUS: God became a man (fully God & fully man) so we could be freed from our bondage to sin!  What could be better than that!! We can also look at his life to see how we should live for the glory of God.

(This is a summary of chapter 1)

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Another Life To Reflect On

I just finished another biography.  It was about the life John Calvin (1509-1564).  Several things impacted me as a read his story.

  • Calvin was a great example of a disciplined life.  At times when he was extremely sick, his friends would suggest that he should quit working for a time and rest.  His reply was, “What?  Do you want the Lord to find me idle when He comes!?”
  • Calvin was also a man who had little concern for riches or wealth.  Once a church leader, Cardinal Sadoleto, visited Calvin’s home and was greatly surprised by his small, simple house and that he did not have a servant to answer the door.

There are many other beautiful qualities that God produced in Calvin’s life but these two stood out to me as a young follower of Christ.  I want to be diligent and not get caught up in earthly possession for God’s glory and my joy.

A LIFE TO REFLECT ON

I have recently read a biography on the life of Augustine of Hippo.  It is amazing how the gospel changed him.  Here are a couple things that stuck in my mind:

  • Augustine began to hate the things that God  hates. For example, God hates gossip and Augustine hated gossip.  He dislikedbio it so much the he wrote these words on his table: Whoever thinks that he can nibble on the life of absent friends must know that he is unworthy of this table.
  • Augustine became a priest against his will, but he loved God’s church and did his job well.
  • Augustine loved God’s word. When he was sick and about to die he had some of his friends copy three of the Psalms and place them where he could see them.

There are many things about Augustine’s life that I found encouraging.  Even though biographies are not my favorite thing to read, I have found they can be interesting and helpful.

A MOTHER’S DAY CONFESSION

gavinmomI am very thankful for my mom.  This Mother’s Day I realized that I do not TELL her that often enough.  She is constantly doing things for me that many times go without my notice or that I just take for granted.  From cooking to cleaning, to teaching me and showing me how to be a responsible person, she is constantly serving me.

I want to express my gratitude to my mom more.  She is a blessing to me and I want her to know that.

Real Men Sing

gavin 1st song leading1Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Lately my family has been talking about the significance of singing.  My dad read us a blog by Tim Challies (challies.com).  Mr. Challies made two comments about Colossians 3:16 that we have been focusing on.

  • We sing from the Gospel, for one another, to the Lord.
  • When I sing, I am teaching and admonishing you; when you sing, you are teaching and admonishing me.

 

Real Men Pray

My dad and I were talking about different types of prayers in the Bible.  Here is an acronym (A.C.T.S) that has been helpful for me:baptism prayer sept19

  • A – stands for adoration or praise.  Give praise to God even though we can’t fully express how great God really is.
  • C – stands for confession.  Confess your sins to God and remember that Jesus has paid the penalty for those sins on the cross.
  • T – stands for thanksgiving.  Give thanks to God for big and small things in your life.
  • S – stands for supplication. Pray for other people like friends, family, neighbors and so forth.

 

Good Buds on Mission

IMG_1521I recently went hiking with some good buddies of mine.  We hiked to the top of Ensign Peak where we could look over the entire Salt Lake valley.  From that point we could see the homes of over a million people.  Studies show that less than 3% of the people in northern Utah believe the biblical Gospel.

I am really thankful for good friends to be on mission with!!!

Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 28:17)

Here are a few other encouraging verses on friendship – Proverbs 17:17; 18:24; 27:6.

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Men Protect

IMG_0330God’s Word tells men to love and protect women and children (Psalm 10:17-18; 68:5; 82:3; Isaiah 1:17; Matthew 22:37-39; James 1:27).  In our family catechism we ask and answer the following questions:

  • If someone is being treated wickedly, especially a woman or a child, what is a man’s responsibility?  To lay down his life for them.
  • What are the 3 primary responsibilities God has given a man in his home?  Pastor, Provider, and Protector

How do I seek to apply this truth to my life in real ways for God’s glory?  One major way I can obey Jesus in this area is to love and respect my younger sisters.

Today it seems like the cultural expectation is for BOYS/brothers (I use the word “boy” because I think that if a male pretends to hate his sister(s), he isn’t really a young “man”) to dislike, even hate, their sisters.  This is obviously not the way of Jesus.

As a follower of Christ, I am called to value my sisters and protect them from harm.  I should view them as God views them.

Are you a boy or a man?  Will you be a godly brother or a worldly brother?

 

LIFEGUARD

My friend has a notebook that says, “Lifeguard, mine walks on water!” It reminds me that Jesus is my lifeguard. He, as the God-man, jumped into this fallen world where I was drowning in my sin and rescued me from the consequences of my rebellion through his death and resurrection.

The Bible says that we are dead in our sins until we put our faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2). My dad says that before we trust in Jesus we are in really bad shape. He said, “It is not like we are drowning in the pool, God throws us a lifeline and we reach out to grab it to be rescued. Instead, it is like we are dead, laying on the bottom of the pool, God dives down, lifts us out of the water, and breaths new life into our lifeless bodies so we can believe in him.”

Jesus is truly a miracle working lifeguard. He is the only Savior who can bring dead men and women back to life…and then give them eternal life.

Is Jesus your LIFEGUARD?

John 3:1-21
Mt 14:22-33
John 5:23

NIGHT WATCHES

The past couple of months my church family has been studying 1 & 2 Thessalonians. During this time I have found it helpful to listen to a chapter each night before I go to sleep. I use the BIBLE IS APP but BIBLE GATEWAY is another helpful website.

When I remember you on my bed, I meditate on you in the NIGHT WATCHES. (Psalm 63:6)

And in His law he meditates both day AND NIGHT. (Psalm 1:2)

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart…and when you LIE DOWN. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)