Quote of the Day ~ God is Not God if God is not Sovereign by R. C. Sproul

“Everything that happens must at least happen by his permission. If he permits something, then he must decide to allow it. If he decides to allow something, then in a sense he is foreordaining it. Who, among Christians, would argue that God could not stop something in this world from happening? If God so desires, he has the power to stop the whole world. To say that God foreordains all that comes to pass is simply to say that God is sovereign over his entire creation. If something could come to pass apart from his sovereign permission, then that which came to pass would frustrate his sovereignty. If God refused to permit something to happen and it happened anyway, then whatever caused it to happen would have more authority and power than God himself. If there is any part of creation outside of Gods sovereignty, then God is simply not sovereign. If God is not sovereign, then God is not God.”
R. C. Sproul, Chosen by God

Quote of the Day ~ R.C. Sproul on Foolishness

“As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”
― R.C. Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

Friday Fruit Audit ~ Do you Love the World

starbucksWe live in a world where we sit in a Starbucks sipping a $4 latte and complain about how we lost a stock investment or that our kid’s tuition for private school is too high or that the price of gas is over $4 a gallon. But did you know that over half the population of the world lives on less than $2 a day? We are rich beyond what we could even understand rich to mean.

I sat in a bible study last year and listened to an Orange County housewife pour her heart out to the group that she was desperate for prayer because her family was in her words, “one paycheck away from being homeless.” I honestly did not know what to say. Really!? Did she even understand what that word meant? God forbid she cut back on her cable bill or cancel her smart phone internet service. But hey, let’s decide we are going to be homeless because we won’t be able to afford the $8,000 a month in household expenses. I wanted to vomit. But then realized this is how most people live. It is how I live. They don’t understand how anyone else lives on $100 a day let alone $2. How could they? All they know is this life they live. People want what they are used to.

Well, guess what? God has another idea for us. Take a look around. Take a look at your checking account. What do you spend your money on? If you gave me 10 minutes in your home and a quick peek at your checkbook for last month I bet I could tell you what is most important to you and your family. Please don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to judge you. I am only asking that you judge yourself.

I woke up one day and realized that I was obsessed. Obsessed with the things of this world. I had to have that bright orange Hermes Dogon wallet. I had to have that uber-cute triple set of Cartier tri-toned bangle bracelets. I had to have the most expensive Tod’s shoes. My car needed to be a luxury model. My hair had to be perfect all the time with the perfect highlights. Horror was the day that I stepped out of my house without makeup. I was indeed obsessed. My obsession was not really in the things themselves. Those are not the sin. It was how they made me feel. I felt better than everyone else when I wore my Hermes H belt. I felt better than others when they did not even know what the really high affluent brands were that I had on because I was “in the know” and they were not.

I was disgusting! I bought into the lure and the lie of this world. It blinded me to what was really important. Jesus. Jesus, only Jesus. How often have you heard a wealthy person say “Money is not the root of all evil, it’s the LOVE of money that is.” Money is a necessary tool and that is all it is. I am not saying you cannot be a Christian if you have a ton of cash. However, the Bible does have something to say about it.

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” – Mark 10:25

Let’s take a moment to dissect this verse a bit. Part of the issue with how we read the Bible today is that we do not place it in historical context. If we read that verse as we understand it today, that would mean it would be IMPOSSIBLE for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. Some claim that is not what Jesus meant at all. I have heard that there was a really small gate in Jerusalem that was extremely hard for camels to get through. Here is what Wikipedia says about it.

The “eye of the needle” has been claimed to be a gate in Jerusalem, which opened after the main gate was closed at night. A camel could only pass through this smaller gate if it was stooped and had its baggage removed. This story has been put forth since at least the 15th century, and possibly as far back as the 9th century. However, there is no evidence for the existence of such a gate. (emphasis added.)

Variations on this story include that of ancient inns having small entrances to thwart thieves, or a story of an old mountain pass known as the “eye of the needle”, so narrow that merchants would have to dismount from their camels and were thus more vulnerable to waiting brigands. There is no historical evidence for any of these, either. This also ignores the explanation given: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

I have looked all over the internet to find any proof at all that there is or was a gate in Jerusalem that was hard for a camel to pass through. There is none. The point to what Jesus was saying is that it IS impossible and if you keep reading you will see how it can be made possible for a wealthy person to get to Heaven.

And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:26-27

Did you catch that? They were exceedingly astonished. I was in another bible study the other night and brought up this point to another group of wealthy OC churchgoers. I thought I was going to get pitch-forked right out of my seat. One woman in front of me actually hit my leg in outrage while three others literally whipped around in their seats in horror and in disagreement. Take it up with God people. It is not my opinion. The Word of God is clear. Wealth makes us self-reliant, not God-reliant. Wealth gives us the ability to be distracted. With God ALL things are possible and I do know some extremely affluent people who are full fledged converts to Christ who follow him boldly. Oddly those people are few and they do massive and mighty works for God. They do not tithe to God. They tithe to themselves. They give 10% of what they make to themselves and give 90% back to God through church giving, church planting, and spreading the gospel throughout the world.

Can you take a really good look at your life? Can you find out if you love your life and the things in it just a bit more than God? Can you be honest with yourself? Your eternal salvation depends on it.

Below are some great Bible verses to help you digest this all a little bit more. My prayer is that you would test yourself to see if you are truly a Christian. It is a request from Paul in his second letter to the church in Corinth. “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” – 2 Corinthians 13:5

This is not for you to stumble my dear reader and wonder if you are saved every day. Jesus wants us to have assurance of our salvation and that assurance is possible. The point is to have that assurance through seeing that you are bearing good fruit. Check the other areas to audit yourself in the areas of fruit. It is a blessed thing to have confidence in your sanctification and salvation in The Lord!

Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible. (Eph. 6:24)

Maranatha! (Come, Lord Jesus!)

~ Jen O’Sullivan
www.HolyJustLove.com

 

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world- the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions-is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. – 1 John 2:15-17

If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. – John 15:19

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. – Matthew 6:24

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. – 1 Timothy 6:10

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5

but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. – Mark 4:19

DBR Thought of the Day ~ The Hard Truths of God’s Word

I was in a bible/book study the other night at my son’s school and brought up a biblical point that is very clear in the Bible but also very controversial. I thought I was going to get pitch-forked right out of my seat. One woman in front of me actually hit my leg in outrage while three others literally whipped around in their seats in horror and in disagreement. Take it up with God people.
It is not my opinion. The Word of God is clear. It is wild how people who profess to be “Christians” actually want no part in Bible truths that don’t jive with their life. If you want to get the full story of what happened, the story will post today at 11:11am PST.
It is under the Fruits Audit section to the right on the main page called “Do You Love the World

For they are a rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lord; who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions, – Isaiah 30:9-10

Maranatha! (Come, Lord Jesus!)

~ Jen O’Sullivan
www.HolyJustLove.com

Quote of the Day ~ Dr. Mike Fabarez on Our Words

Nothing may be more difficult in the Christian life than avoiding sin in the things that we say. (James 3:8)
Dr. Mike Fabarez

Tuesday Teaching ~ Heaven is way better than Disneyland!

Disneyland and Mickey Mouse“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

I have a 5 year old who thinks he knows everything. His experience in life is so limited yet he is so stubborn, as 5 year olds tend to be, that he often misses out on something glorious. He missed out on the thrill of the beach all summer because he begged and pleaded that every day we just go to the pool. “It is way better” he said. We finally got him to the beach and now he loves it so much he wants to go all the time. It would be like telling a kid who’s never been, “We are going to Disneyland tomorrow!” only for it to fall flat when he screams that he wants to stay home and play video games. I think of the angels up in heaven and how they must pity us 1000 times more than we pity the ignorance of our own children at times. Take a moment and try something that may seem a bit silly. Find a Christian friend, or if you are by yourself, go stand in front of a mirror. Jump up and down and shout, “Yay! Yay! Yay!, I get to go to Heaven soon!” You may laugh at first just from the mere silliness of it. But then really think about it. It will bring great joy to your heart!

Thursday Theology ~ Dr. Mike Fabarez on Discernment

DiscernmentWith the dumbing down of Christianity and the rise of bumper-sticker theology, perhaps now more than ever Christians need wisdom, insight, and discernment. Thankfully there is much of it to be found in Luke 5 and 6. Sandwiched between the calling of the first disciples (Luke 5:1-11) and their commissioning as apostles (Luke 6:12-16), we encounter several concise episodes in the life of Christ that clearly provide the kind of godly discernment every Christian needs. Don’t miss this important eight-part series as Pastor Mike walks us through this instructive section of the Gospel of Luke. – Compass Bible Church

Title Passage Date
Curiosity & Real Conversions (Part 1) Luke 5:1-11 June 23, 2013
Wants & Genuine Needs (Part 2) Luke 5:12-16 June 30, 2013
Urgency & True Importance (Part 3) Luke 5:17-26 July 14, 2013
Reputations & Vital Responsibilities (Part 4) Luke 5:27-32 July 21, 2013
Sorrow & Profound Celebrations (Part 5) Luke 5:33-35 July 28, 2013

Quote of the Day ~ Lee Strobel on Becoming a Christian

In short, I didn’t become a Christian because God promised I would have an even happier life than I had as an atheist. He never promised any such thing. Indeed, following him would inevitably bring divine demotions in the eyes of the world. Rather, I became a Christian because the evidence was so compelling that Jesus really is the one-and-only Son of God who proved his divinity by rising from the dead. That meant following him was the most rational and logical step I could possibly take.  -Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus

Case for Christ by Lee Strobel

Quote of the Day ~ David Platt on Self

“We are settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves when the central message of Christianity is actually about abandoning ourselves.”
― David Platt, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

Quote of the Day ~ C.S. Lewis on Forgiveness

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
C.S. Lewis