Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Women's Spring Conference

Just a reminder about the Women's Spring Conference. It sounds like a lovely time of learning from God's Word and fellowship. Please pray about attending and register early if you can!

BCLR Women's Conference
"With the Master is Fullness of Joy" with Susan Heck

April 16-17, 2010

Friday: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.

A continental breakfast and lunch will be served on Saturday.

Susan will teach us from the book of Philippians.

Registration Cost: $10 per person

$25 family rate (3 or more from the same household)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Remedy for Worldliness...

The remedy for worldliness is a complete devotion to God and a complete dejection of self. ~ Susan Heck in With the Master in the School of Tested Faith.

In James 4:6-10, God shows us a clear remedy for worldliness. James has stated very practically how we can make sure we are not living worldly, but in a relationship with God, through Christ.

1) Submit to God
2) Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
3) Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
4) Cleanse your hands, you sinners.
5) Purify your hearts, you double minded.
6) Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
7) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

How will we know if we have truly repented and been sorrowful over our sins? Is there a way to know this...yes there is.

2 Corinthians 7:9-12 "As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter. So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the one who did the wrong, nor for the sake of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your earnestness for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God."

The sorrow of the world produces death, but the sorrow of a sinner over his/her sins produces repentance that leads to salvation. Susan Heck goes on to say this in her chapter on the Remedy for Worldliness that shows how we can know if our sorrow is a godly sorrow leading to repentance:

1) We will be careful to deal with the sins in our life.
2) We will cleanse ourselves by seeking forgiveness of God and others.
3) We will have indignation...which is simply a holy anger that we have allowed sins in our life that offend a Holy God.
4) We will exhibit a fear of God...not a fear of others or consequences.
5) We will have a vehement desire in our hearts to settle the issue and see the relationship restored.
6) Our zeal to remove sin will be evident.
7) We will no longer try to protect ourselves from punishment, no matter what the cost.

Thankfully God takes our sorrow, our mourning, and our tears and turns it all to JOY! Why....so that He may be glorified!

“Have you heard God’s blessing in your inmost being? Are the words “You are my beloved child, in whom I delight” an endless source of joy and strength?

Have you sensed, through the Holy Spirit, God speaking them to you? That blessing – the blessing through the Spirit that is ours through Christ – is what Jacob received, and it is the only remedy against idolatry. Only that blessing makes idols unneccesary.

As with Jacob, we usually discover this only after a life of ‘looking for blessing in all the wrong places.’ It often takes an experience of crippling weakness for us to finally discover it. That is why so many of the most God-blessed people limp as they dance for joy.”

- Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods (New York, NY: Penguin Group, 2009), 164.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mothers of Young Children....Do what You Can.

How does a mom of young children find any time for Bible study and meditation? During the season of life where diaper changing, feedings, and disciplining children are the most time consuming events of the day , how can God and His Word be a big part of your daily life? “Do What You Can” is the answer Don Whitney gives in Simplify Your Spiritual Life: Spiritual Disciplines for the Overwhelmed (pp. 157-158).

She was converted in her late teens. Discipled well from the start, Jean thrived on a spiritual diet strong on disciplines like the reading, studying, and meditating on God’s Word, prayer, fellowship, service, evangelism, worship, silence and solitude, journal-keeping, and Scripture memory. She felt herself making spiritual progress almost daily. All this continued after she married her equally-dedicated husband, Roger.

Then she had three children in diapers. Caring for their most basic needs eliminated almost every moment of the time she used to devote to caring for her soul. Her longings for the things of God reached as high as ever, but her time and energy had new and severe limits.

On at least three occasions I’ve eavesdropped as Jean addressed young moms in similar situations. In effect she’s told them, “At this time in your life, you can’t do what you’re used to doing. You don’t have time for all your heart desires to experience in your spiritual life. Nevertheless, do what you can do, even though it’s precious little. Just don’t deceive yourself by thinking that you can put off a devotional life until you have more time. Because when the years roll around and you finally do have more time, your spiritual habits will be so ingrained that you won’t give more attention to your devotional life at all.”

Then I heard Jean tell her own story. She would keep Bibles open in several rooms–in the kitchen, nursery, bathroom–and look at them when she could. While warming a bottle or changing a diaper, she’d glance over and perhaps read only one verse. But this discipline helped her keep the Word in her heart and the presence of God in her awareness. And as the children’s needs grew less demanding, her disciplines were already in place to receive any additional time she could give them. Even though Jean felt almost spiritually dormant during those years in comparison to her early growth as a Christian, she kept alive the spiritual disciplines through which her soul would blossom in years to come.

Like Jean with three in diapers, you may be in a situation that curtails many of your spiritual activities. You may be looking at many months or even years of such limitations. Do what you can. God does not love us more when we do more, nor less when we do less. He accepts us, not because of what we do for Him, but because of what He’s done for us in Christ.

The Bible says, “He made us accepted in the Beloved [that is, Jesus]” (Ephesians 1:6). And nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). Love God, and within the limitations He has sovereignly placed in your life at this time, do what you can.

From Josh Harris