Sermon Recap

I got to preach Friday night and Sunday morning last week.  Like I did last week, I thought I would recap my messages through my blog.

Friday night:

We looked at Isaiah 6.  This is an amazing passage.  In verses 1-5 we see our Awesome God in all His Holiness and all of His Glory!  For Isaiah, and for us, this is an intimidating proposition.  We don’t talk much about having fear of God in our church culture today, but it is very healthy to have a fear and reverence for the Lord.  I believe we can never really understand the Grace of God if we do not have a proper perspective of the Glory and Holiness of God.

Because God is Holy, He cannot tolerate or look on my sin, or anyone else’s sin for that matter.  But because God is Gracious, through Christ, He can forgive my sin.  The prophet Isaiah experiences this in chapter 6, verses 6 and 7.  The passage says that my guilt is taken away and my sin is atoned for.  Think about this for just a few minutes.  How often do I carry my guilt or sin around?  I don’t need to do this.  Why not?  Simply said, Holy God punished His Son instead of me.  All I can do is respond with gratitude to my Jesus.

This is why Isaiah tells God in Isaiah 6 He will go wherever God calls Him.  Isaiah had a pretty challenging call from God.  I believe His motivation to fulfill His call was this:  He saw God in His Holiness, and He experienced God’s forgiveness.  This is what motivates us to follow Him.  This takes us to the Sunday morning sermon.

Sunday morning:

We looked at 2 Kings 22, and we talked about how brokenness motivates us to worship Him with our whole heart.  To worship Him with our whole heart, we must tear down the idols in our lives.  I blogged on this back in March so I will try not to be redundant.  In this passage Josiah is broken before God and then fulfills God’s call on his life.

Do we see the parallels in Isaiah 6 and 2 Kings 22?  Both see God for who He really is.  I believe both are broken in His presence.  Both then fulfill God’s call on their lives.

This is how I want to live.  I want to experience God for who He is and let Him break my heart for Him and Him alone.  When He does this in me, I am empowered to fulfill His call on my life.  May we all fulfill His call on our lives!!!!

Pray for me this Sunday morning as I preach at Grace Covenant one more time.  By the way, if you want to hear those sermons I preached at Grace Covenant the last two weeks, click on the link:

Grace Covenant Sermons

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Emotional Health

As I mentioned in my last blog, I had the opportunity to preach this past Sunday at Grace Covenant Church in Arlington.  It went really well.  I sensed God’s Spirit moving.  I get the chance to preach there this Sunday, as well as 7/28.

I feel compelled by the Lord to take that same message I delivered as a sermon and put it in blog form.  On Sunday we looked at what it really means to live an emotionally healthy life.  The bottom line is that emotional health and spiritual health go together.  They cannot be separated.

One of the reasons we can choose to attach ourselves to sin is because we believe that the sin will help us escape from the pain we are carrying in our hearts.  As I have shared before, I help men and students with internet pornography addiction.  I don’t help them with this simply for the sake of purity, but I do this so these men and students can learn how to run to God instead of porn.  God desires for us to bond and attach to Him.  He may not take our pain away, but He will be with us in it.

We run to Him because He loves us, and we experience His presence when we run to Him.  Only Him, His presence, can cause my heart to experience any type of emotional or spiritual healing.

We must run to Jesus to let Him comfort our pain.  Jesus does not want us to medicate that pain.  He wants to love on us and comfort and care for us while we are hurting.

We must also run to Him to experience the forgiveness of God, and only through Him can we give this forgiveness away to those who have wronged us.  It is not possible to give God’s forgiveness away if we have not experienced it.  We cannot impart what we do not possess.  I believe God wants me to see the weight of my sin, but I also believe He wants me to see the incredible forgiveness that is available for my sin through the cross.

The test to know if we are really experiencing God’s forgiveness is if we can give it away.  How do I give it away?  I think that 1 Peter 3:8-9 tells us to do that through blessing the one who has wronged us.

Let’s let God love on and comfort our heart when we are hurting, and let’s allow Him to overwhelm us with His forgiveness when we sin.  Let’s let Him empower us to give it away to those who have wronged us (DO THIS BY GIVING AWAY BLESSING!)

Why?  God will be honored, and we will live free!  That is way better than carrying around hurt or bitterness or running to porn or some other vice.  Let’s run to Him!

Scattershooting

Today’s blog could seem somewhat random, but it is really not.  There are just many different things on my mind so here goes:

Media Fast Update:

I am currently almost 3 weeks into my current media fast.  I really cannot believe the subconscious impact that media has on my heart and my mind.  My wife and kids have commented that it is like I am a completely different person.  That is crazy to me.  When I think about it though, it really shouldn’t be.  Most media is not driven from a Christian perspective.  By simply choosing to go without media and feast more on God through His Word and prayer, my heart and mind are transformed.  Guess what?  When God transforms me, I am a completely different person.  Please pray for me.  I am considering eliminating most media altogether because of what I have experienced the last 3 weeks.  I know that seems extreme, but that is what I feel led to consider by the Lord.  Pray God would give me wisdom to make this decision.

Online Videos that are must see:

To be totally honest my media fast is almost a complete media fast.  With the nature of what I do, I do research online, and I also have ministry friends who email me videos to check out.  That is the only media I have observed during my fast.  The following are some that are must see.

  • Josh McDowell is aggressively attacking internet pornography.  His site has sparked some controversy, but I think we need to see it to face the truth of what is going on in our culture.  Click on link below for his site:

Josh McDowell Site

  • This next one could certainly cause some controversy.  A young woman by the name of Jessica Rey has come out speaking against the bikini, and I find it fascinating what research shows happens to the male brain while viewing women in a bikini.  Her video is about 10 minutes.  Click on the link below for her thoughts:

Jessica Rey on Invention of Bikini

  • Finally, this last one is a fascinating piece on how internet porn impacts the brain.  This is put out by a group called The Gospel Coalition, and they are a Christian group.  However, please keep in mind two of the videos on the link I am sending you to are only secular in nature.  They are simply explaining what internet porn has done and can do to the brain.  There are a couple of things on there that I wish were not, but I felt like the information was so valuable that it needed to be shared.  There are 7 things to read through and 2 videos (first one is about 3 minutes and 2nd one is about 18 minutes).  Click on link below for The Gospel Coalition link:

Gospel Coalition (Internet Porn and the Brain)

Concluding Thoughts:

Thanks for praying for me during my media fast, and thanks for checking out these links.  Pray God would help us tear down this detestable idol of internet porn!

On another note, if you live in the D/FW area. I will be preaching at Grace Covenant Church in Arlington the next 3 Sundays (July 14, 21 and 28).  I will be hitting on internet pornography on some level all three Sundays.  If you are able to come and support me, then come on.  If not, please pray God’s Spirit would move in a mighty way!  Click on link below for Google Map to Grace Covenant Church:

Grace Covenant Map