Real Living

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”   ― John Bunyan … [Read more...]

God is the only desirable good…

“God is the only desirable good, nothing without him is worthy of our hearts. Right thoughts of God are able to ravish the heart; how much more happy is the man that has interest in God. God alone is able by himself to put the soul into a more blessed, comfortable, and happy condition than can the whole world; yea, and more than if all the created happiness of all the angels of heaven did dwell in one man’s bosom. God is the upholder of all creatures, and whatever they have that is a suitable good to their kind, it is from God; by God all things have their subsistence, and all the good that they enjoy. I cannot tell what to say; I am drowned! The life, the glory, the blessedness, the soul-satisfying goodness that is in God is beyond all expression.” – John Bunyan, Christ—A Complete Saviour, vol. 1 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2006), 218. … [Read more...]

Bible Reading Plans for 2018

For the Love of God Bible Reading Plan - D. A. Carson (through the Bible) Mcheyne reading plan (PDF)mcheyne-reading-plan.1.pdf 8 ESV Reading Plans https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-to-change-your-mind1/   https://www.navigators.org/resource/bible-reading-plans/   https://bibleplan.org/plans/bible-in-a-year/ Bible Reading Plans from Bible Study Tools   Bible Reading Plans from Ligonier Ministry https://www.challies.com/resources/the-2018-christian-reading-challenge/     … [Read more...]

Faith Alone

Faith Alone How does one truly diagnose someone’s spiritual condition?  One of the biggest problems in the church today is that so-called believers combine faith plus works or good deeds as the basis for God accepting them.  Last week, I talked with a lady who said that she knew she was saved and going to heaven, but was trusting in her own goodness. She told me that since she believed in Jesus and was nice and had not hurt people, God would accept her into heaven.  This faith + works problem is an epidemic in the church.  There are many churchgoers, who have a faith, but it is really a faith in themselves with a belief in God and/or Jesus attached to it.  That faith doesn’t save.  Only faith alone saves. How can we clear up this Gospel confusion that sends so many to hell?  First, God reveals that good works are always the product (fruit) of saving faith, but not ever a cause of God’s forgiveness or acceptance (James 2:17).  Pastor James is saying to us that we cannot trust Jesus … [Read more...]

The Picture of God

Pictures of so important to many of us.  Do you remember ever looking a pictures of your mom or dad in order to enjoy remembering what they were like?  Most of us have a photo of a loved one, because it somehow captures who that person is. The popular saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words" coveys that we communicate with pictures sometimes more effectively that with words.  We even think in pictures.  Let me ask another question: “where would you find a picture of God that would capture the essence of God?”  What would you expect to see? A Victorian painting of a blond hair blue eyed Jesus?  An old guy, who looks a bit like your granddad, sitting on a throne?  A great white light? I believe that you would see as you approach the frame of God’s picture the image of a barbarous execution of a man (Luke 23:13-55) – A picture of Jesus is the perfect picture of God (Col. 1:15).  Even the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message says, “All Scripture [OT & NT] is a testimony to Christ, … [Read more...]

Happy New Year!!

Our Family prays that you will know and experience God's gracious will during 2017. … [Read more...]

Bible Reading for 2017

Over the years I have come to believe that reading the Bible through regularly (usually every year) is the best discipline for spiritual growth, despite the difficult challenges that can cause you to quit reading or apply Christ's word to your life.   There are so many ways to read the Bible, that it is sometimes difficult to choose just one way, because we want to do it all now.  Nevertheless, you need choose a way to read the Bible regularly and devotionally.  First you must choose your method. For example, you can choose between the following: A Bible-in-a-Year reading plan An  Old and New Testament simultaneous yearly reading plan (or another kind of segmented plan) A Chronical, Literary, Historical, Kingdom, or Thematic Reading of the Bible in a year. A Specialty reading plans that take you through different parts of the Bible on different days, weeks, or months. A Blended Reading Plan. Reading the Bible in some way over 2 or 3 years.   I would also … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving: Contentment over Covetousness

We come to a time of year where we emphasize “thanksgiving,” but we still may be inappreciative for what we already have.  As consumers, we can become inappreciative and ungrateful to God.  We become covetous instead of thankful, and we lose our contentment. Man is covetous (ungrateful) by nature.  Jesus said, “20“…What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, … coveting, ….” (Mark 7:20–22).  Paul also says that a “debased mind is filled with … covetousness…” (Romans 1:28–29).  The dictionary defines it as “excessive or wrongly desirous of wealth or possessions; greedy.” It is lust. When we cannot be content with where we are in life and what we have as compared to others (in a state of covetousness), then we will be ungrateful.  We will stop thanking people for their efforts, time, and generosity.  We become dissatisfied or discontent with people and God (including his grace) – the opposite of … [Read more...]

As A Debtor, Pay The Gospel Forward

Growing up, my family celebrated Thanksgiving many years at the annual A&M vs. Texas football game, as we met in either College Station or Austin for the game.  I always appreciated that my family cared enough to get together to celebrate thanksgiving before the game.  As I look back on this holiday through the lens of the “pay it forward” concept found in scripture, I see my Thanksgiving Holiday celebrations to be not as other centered as they could have been.  However, what should “Pay It Forward” mean to a believer?  I know what it means to “pay it (a debt) back”, but what does it mean to “pay a debt forward?” One thing we need to remember is that we cannot pay back (or forward) any debt we owe to God for that would nullify grace.  God’s grace can never be repaid.  If we attempt to repay it, we would be rejecting God’s grace.  Even when we minister to others, we do so by grace and become more in debt to God - needing more grace.  In 1 Corinthians 15:10, Paul says, “But by the … [Read more...]

Making Bible Application

The application should always relate to what God has done, will do, wants done, or instructs people to do. Preaching is not just a process of encouraging people to be nice to one another and live a happy life. The Bible is all about how God works with and through people to accomplish his purposes on earth. God is still at work with his people and still wants them to follow his instructions. He desires a relationship of love and commitment so that his plans will be fulfilled in their lives. The application of a passage should encourage people not to live like the ungodly or non-religious people in our world, but to accept the theological message that God has revealed in his word. The transformation that people need to embrace requires a humble and contrite heart (Ps. 51:17; Isa. 66:2) that is willing to live by the theological principles revealed in Scripture. Although these principles are deeply theological, the application of them should be framed in a practical way that makes common … [Read more...]