Today's Word for Pastors...
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
Today's Preaching Insight...
On Our Own
Why is it so difficult for you and me to admit that we have a problem?
We men are chronic at what is almost a gender-oriented disability. We get in our car to go somewhere convinced that we can find our way without specific directions. After wandering around futilely in the general vicinity of our destination, our wives suggest that we stop and get directions, only to fuel in us a greater determination that we know precisely what we're doing. We refuse to get help until finally we're forced to admit that we're lost. Why is it?
Our study workbook in Galatians describes Jill calling out, "Honey, you had better call the repairman. Our TV is on the blink again."
"Who needs a repairman!" Ron replies confidently. "I can fix it myself."
Four hours later, "There, that should do it." As Ron plugs it in, there is a loud buzzing noise, smoke rises from the TV, the lights begin to flicker, and then darkness blacks out the room.
"Uh . . . maybe you're right, dear," Ron says sheepishly. "I suppose calling a repairman couldn't hurt."
Whether we're dealing with frustrating but not so crucial issues like these all the way to those debilitating addictions of drugs, alcohol, sex, power, and greed that hold us in their stranglehold, we somehow think that we can solve the problem ourselves. We learn that when it comes to addictions, you and I are helpless to solve them on our own without the help of our "higher power."
This is precisely what the Apostle Paul is addressing in Galatians 3:15-29 as he continues to deal in this doctrinal section of chapters three and four with the theme of Grace and the Law.
The bottom-line thesis is that the Law is there to confront you and me with our need of outside help and then to point us to Jesus Christ as the only one who can give that help.
He is the one who gives the best directions. He is the one who is the true repairman. He is our "higher power" who can do for us what we cannot do in our own effort.
(To read the entire article Exposing Our Needs from John A. Huffman Jr. at Preaching.com, click here)
Basketball players dress simply: shoes, shirts, shorts, and sweatbands. But life is not so simple for football players - and what about ice hockey players? Besides clothes, the athletes in these two sports have to cover themselves with pads and helmets for protection. Regardless of the sport, no athlete can expect to win without the proper equipment.
Paul wrote to Timothy that Scripture was given by God to man that we might be "thoroughly equipped for every good work." How, exactly, does Scripture equip the believer? It teaches us doctrine, it reproves (disciplines) us, it corrects our path, and it instructs us in righteous living. Plus, it gives us our uniform for "offense" (putting on Christ; Romans 13:14) and "defense" (spiritual armor; Ephesians 6:11-18). In addition, we are given our daily practice gear: service, Bible study, fruit of the Spirit, prayer, and obedience. If that sounds like a lot of equipment, consider the stakes: The spiritual life is a winner-take-all contest.
(Turning Point Daily Devotional, 4-20-08)
Preaching magazine is the premier resource for those who proclaim the Word. To begin your own subscription and get a free year of issues, go to http://magazine.preaching.com/subscribe/.