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david-plattJust recently, my church went through David Platt’s Bible study entitled “Counter Culture”. It is an excellent study that shows how Christians should be countering our culture when faced with things like poverty, same-sex marriage, racism, immigration, abortion, pornography, and orphans.

A description of the book is as follows:

Everywhere we turn, battle lines are being drawn – traditional marriage vs. gay marriage, pro-life vs. pro-choice, personal freedom vs. governmental protection. Seemingly overnight, culture has shifted to the point where right and wrong are no longer measured by universal truth but by popular opinion. And as difficult conversations about homosexuality, abortion and religious freedom continue to inject themselves into our workplace, our churches,, our schools and our homes, Christians everywhere are asking the same question: How are we suppose to respond to all this?

David Platt (current president of the International Mission Board & former pastor at The Church at Brook Hills) tackles these subjects head-on and takes us to God’s Word for the answers. Each subject is looked at through the lens of what God says in His Word vs. what the world is saying.

Each chapter is excellent and brings out some great points but I want to focus on several quotes from the last chapter entitled “The Most Urgent Need: The Gospel & The Unreached”.

David opens the book with asking three questions that each of us must answer for ourselves.

  1. Are we going to choose comfort for the cross?
  2. Are we going to settle for maintenance or sacrifice for mission?
  3. Will our lives be marked by indecisive minds or undivided hearts?

Platt is urging the church and Christians to answer these questions. He makes the following statement:

Are we going to follow Jesus? Not, are we going to bow our heads, say a prayer, read the Bible, go to church, and give a tithe while we get on with the rest of our lives? But, are we going to follow Jesus with all our lives, no matter where He leads us to go, how countercultural the task is, or what the cost may be for us, our families, and our churches?

He goes on to talk about choosing comfort over the cross:

When we observe our churches today, do they look like groups of people who gather with one another as they give their lives to spread the gospel among unreached people, impoverished communities, abandoned orphans, lonely widows, dying babies, sex slaves, and suffering brother and sisters around the world? Sadly, I don’t believe that’s the picture we portray. Instead, we spend the majority of our time sitting as spectators in services that cater to our comforts. Even in our giving to the church, we spend the majority of our money on places for us to meet, professionals to do the ministry, and programs designed around us and our kids.

I can’t help but wonder what might happen if we put aside our personal preferences, let go or our extra biblical (and in some cases unbiblical) traditions, lay down our cultural comforts, and organize ourselves solely and sacrificially around God’s Word and gospel mission.

David Platt then talks about are we settling for maintenance or are we willing to sacrifice for the mission:

Over the course of the book, we have considered massive physical needs in the world. Yet as we contemplate these needs, if we are not careful, we run the risk of ignoring people’s most pressing need. That need is not for water, food, family, freedom, safety, or equality. As urgent as all of these things are for men, women, and children around the world, they are surpassed in urgency by a much greater need. That need – the most urgent need – is for the gospel.

The central message of the church in the world, then, is proclaiming the gospel to the world.

Jesus Christ gave us marching orders, and they are clear. Proclaim the gospel – the good news of God’s great love for us in Christ – to every people group on the planet.

Platt concludes the chapter by explaining that too many people are marked by indecisive minds. He pleads with each of us to have undivided hearts toward the work of spending the gospel to the ends of the earth.

Following Jesus doesn’t just entail sacrificial abandonment of our lives: it requires supreme affection from our hearts.

What must be consistent for all of us, however, is that we pray, give and go as He leads, and as we do, that we proclaim the gospel with conviction, compassion, and courage.

My favorite quote from this chapter and one that I hope and pray that I live out is the following:

For if the gospel is true, and if our God is worthy of the praise of all people, then we must spend our lives and mobilize our churches for the spread of Christ’s love to unreached people groups all around the world. Jesus has not given us a commission to consider; He has given us a command to obey.

Points To Ponder

The Gospel According To Cats & Dogs

From the Gospel Coalition

The gospel according to cats offers no grace. The gospels according to dogs expects no obedience. Take your pick: a Christianity without mercy or a Christianity without repentance. Neither are truly Christian.

Read more…

Red Heifers, Dirty Laundry, & Ceremonial Uncleanness

By Drew Tankersley

The great American novelist, Nathaniel Hawthorne, most known for His work, The Scarlet Letter, as his wife was away on a journey once wrote,

“The washing of dishes does seem to me the most absurd and unsatisfactory business that I ever undertook. If, when once washed, they would remain clean for ever and ever (which they ought in all reason to do, considering how much trouble it is), there would be less occasion to grumble; but no sooner is it done, than it requires to be done again. On the whole, I have come to the resolution not to use more than one dish at each meal.”

Read more…

COMMENTARY: What Every Christian Should Consider in a National Election

By Dr. Mac Brunson (Christian Examiner)

“As a nation, we stand at a crossroads. This election requires every citizen to be alert, informed, and prepared to vote. We have not seen an election this important in more than 100 years – perhaps not since the election of Abraham Lincoln.”

Read more…

3 Ways Spurgeon Conquered His Secret Sin

By Christian George

For the past century, Charles Spurgeon’s strengths have often overshadowed his weaknesses. His biographers are largely to blame, painting the preacher as a superhero incapable of vice or vulnerability.

Yet warts reveal as much as dimples do.

Spurgeon had both. He experienced seasons of success, but he also harbored hidden faults — secret sins that sought to undermine his ministry.

Read more…


I would love to hear your comments about these Points To Ponders. Or even let me know of an article that you have found interesting.

 

Points To Ponder

 

Every Christian’s 2nd Most Important Book – Christianity.com

For Christians, the Bible is the most precious and important book we possess. In its pages are the divinely inspired words that guide us to know and love our God.

After the Bible, there are a few books that every believer should probably read, reread, and apply. On this short list would be works like Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Pilgrim’s Progress,Augustine’s Confessions, Mere Christianity, Knowing God, and Operation World. But even these great works fall behind what I consider the second most important book for every Christian.


Wounds and Warriors – Crosswalk.com

Like soldiers returning from battle, all of us bring injuries, memories and enemies back to our relationships that can sabotage our lives. We are walking wounded with battle scars, broken hearts, and snake-bitten minds. Unfortunately, these wounds are not badges of honor either. When the right buttons are pushed, a cascade of emotions, conflicts and behaviors are ejected onto our relationships, homes and our work.


Cutting The Cord – Relevant Children’s Ministry

A recent report from iKids Weekly says the U.S. population of “cord-cutters” grew by 44% between 2010 and 2013.

There are over 7.6 million households using high-speed internet for streaming or downloading videos today instead of watching traditional cable or satellite television, up from 5.1 million homes in 2010.


My Wife Has Tattoos: Marriage, New Birth, and the Gospel – Unspoken

Today is the day of my wedding. And I am not marrying the girl of my dreams.

If you would have told me when I was a teenager that my wife would have seven tattoos, a history in drugs, alcohol, and attending heavy metal concerts, I would have laughed at you, given you one of my courtship books, and told you to take a hike. My plans were much different, much more nuanced with careful planning, much more clean-cut, and much more, well, about me.


Church Take Heed! Matthew Vines’s Unbiblical Case for Same-Sex Relationships – Answers In Genesis

On April 22, 2014, a new attack on the reliability and perspicuity of Scripture was released. God and the Gay Christian is a book that seeks to teach readers that the Bible condones living a monogamous homosexual lifestyle. The author, Matthew Vines, is an openly homosexual man and a professing Christian, whose video on homosexual behavior went viral and gave Vines a platform from which to declare his views.1 Being an openly practicing homosexual and claiming to be a Christian often means the person has an agenda to attempt to make the Words of Scripture fit with his worldview. This is the case with Matthew Vines. His attitude toward Scripture is like that of Christians who believe in evolution and millions of years, and thus reinterpret the clear words of Genesis to fit their already held beliefs. It is compromise right down the line. We do pray the church realizes this!

Children-Desiring-GodThe following video was posted a few days ago on the Children Desiring God blog and I just had to share. It is awesome! It is entitled “The Gospel Song – An Animation”.

(Words by Drew Jones, Music by Bob Kauflin, copyright 2002, Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)/Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP), sovereigngracemusic.org, with an excerpt from John Piper’s The Gospel in 6 Minutes, copyright 2013 Desiring God Foundation. Used by permission.)