Monday, November 18, 2013

Praise and Thanksgiving - Valley of Vision Prayers

O my God,Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects,my heart admires, adores, loves Thee,for my little vessel is as full as it can be,and I would pour out all that fullness before Thee in ceaseless flow.
When I think upon and converse with Thee     ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,     ten thousand sources of pleasure are unseal,     ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,     crowding into every moment of happiness.
I bless thee for the soul thou hast created,     for adorning it, sanctifying it, though it is fixed in barren soil;     for the body thou hast given me,     for preserving its strength and vigour,     for providing sense to enjoy delights,     for the ease and freedom of my limbs,     for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;     for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,     for a full table and overflowing cup,     for appetite, taste, sweetness,     for social joys of relatives and friends,     for ability to serve others,     for a heart that feels sorrow and necessities,     for a mind to care for my fellow-men,     for opportunities of spreading happiness around,     for loved ones in the joys of heaven,     for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.
I love thee above the powers of language to express,     for what thou are to thy creatures.
Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Grace of the Cross - Valley of Vision Prayers

O My Savior,
I thank Thee from the depths of my being for Thy wondrous grace and love in bearing my sin in Thine own body on the tree. May Thy cross be to me as the tree that sweetens my bitter Marahs, as the rod that blossoms with life and beauty, as the brazen serpent that calls forth the look of faith. By Thy cross crucify my every sin, use it to increase my intimacy with thyself, make it a ground of all my comfort, the liveliness of all my duties, the sum of all Thy gospel promises, the comfort of all my afflictions, the vigor of my love, thankfulness, graces, the very essence of my religion, and by it give me that rest without rest, the rest of ceaseless praise.
Oh My Lord and Savior,
Thou hast also appointed a cross for me to take up and carry, a cross before Thou givest me a crown. Thou hast appointed it to be my portion, but self-love hates it, carnal reason is unreconciled to it, without the grace of patience I cannot bear it, walk with it, profit by it. Oh blessed cross, what mercies dost thou bring with thee. Thou art only esteemed hateful by my rebel will, heavy because I shirk thy load. Teach me, gracious Lord and Savior, that with my cross Thou sends promised grace so that I may bear it patiently, that my cross is Thy yoke which is easy, and Thy burden which is light.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Christ the Word - Valley of Vision Prayers

My Father,
In a world of created changeable things, Christ and his Word alone remain unshaken.
O to forsake all creatures, to rest as a stone on him the foundation, to abide in him, be borne up by him!
For all my mercies come through Christ, who has designed, purchased, promised, effected them.
How sweet it is to be near him, the Lamb, filed with holy affections!
When I sin against thee I cross thy will, love, life, and have no comforter, no creature, to go to.
My sin is not so much this or that particular evil, but my continual separation, disunion, distance from thee, and having a loose spirit towards thee.
But thou hast given me a present, Jesus thy Son, as Mediator between thyself and my soul, as middle-man who in a pit holds both him below and him above, for only he can span the chasm breached by sin, and satisfy divine justice.
May I always lay hold upon this Mediator, as a realized object of faith, and alone worthy by his love to bridge the gulf.
Let me know that he is dear to me by his Word; I am one with him by the Word on his part, and by faith on mine;
If I oppose the Word I oppose my Lord when he is most near;
If I receive the Word I recieve my Lord wherein he is nigh.
O thou who hast the herats of all men in thine hand, form my heart according to the Word, according to the image of thy Son,
So shall Christ the Word, and his Word be my strength and comfort.”

Monday, October 28, 2013

Resting on God - Valley of Vision Prayers

O God, most high, most glorious, the thought of Thine infinite serenity cheers me, for I am toiling and moiling, troubled and distressed, but Thou art for ever at perfect peace. Thy designs cause thee no fear or care of unfulfilment, they stand fast as the eternal hills. Thy power knows no bond, Thy goodness no stint. Thou bringest order out of confusion, and my defeats are Thy victories: The Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
I come to Thee as a sinner with cares and sorrows, to leave every concern entirely to Thee, every sin calling for Christ's precious blood; revive deep spirituality in my heart; let me live near to the great Shepherd, hear His voice, know its tones, follow its calls. Keep me from deception by causing me to abide in the truth, from harm by helping me to walk in the power of the Spirit. Give me intenser faith in the eternal verities, burning into me by experience the things I know; Let me never be ashamed of the truth of the gospel, that I may bear its reproach, vindicate it, see Jesus as its essence, know in it the power of the Spirit.
Lord, help me, for I am often lukewarm and chill; unbelief mars my confidence, sin makes me forget Thee. Let the weeds that grow in my soul be cut at their roots; grant me to know that I truly live only when I live to Thee, that all else is trifling. Thy presence alone can make me holy, devout, strong and happy. Abide in me, gracious God.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Mystery of Marriage

Self-Knowledge - Valley of Vision Prayers

Searcher of hearts, It is a good day to me when thou givest me a glimpse of myself;                 Sin is my greatest evil, but thou art my greatest good;                                                               I have cause to loathe myself, and not to seek self-honour,                                                    for no one desires to commend his own dunghill.                                                                 My country, family, church fare worse because of my sins,                                                      for sinners bring judgment in thinking sins are small, or that God is not angry with them.         Let me not take other good men as my example, and think I am good because I am like them, For all good men are not so good as thou desirest, are not always consistent,                         do not always follow holiness, do not feel eternal good in sore affliction.                              Show me how to know when a thing is evil which I think is right and good,                            how to know when what is lawful comes from an evil principle,                                              such as desire for reputation or wealth by usury.                                                                  Give me grace to recall my needs, my lack of knowing thy will in Scripture,                                of wisdom to guide others, of daily repentance, want of which keeps thee at bay,                      of the spirit of prayer, having words without love, of zeal for thy glory,                                    seeking my own ends, of joy in thee and thy will, of love to others.                                     And let me not lay my pipe too short of the fountain, never touching the eternal spring,              never drawing down water from above.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Gospel of The Tax Collector

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to preach at New Life Baptist Church. The passage I preached from was Luke 18:9-14 and the title of the message was "The Gospel of the Tax Collector". It was wonderful getting to worship with the brothers and sisters at New Life and it was great being able to exalt Christ through the preaching of the gospel of grace. I have attached the audio below. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

John Newton on Perseverance

I am preaching this Sunday on Perseverance. Here is a quote by John Newton that I found comforting and encouraging during my preparation.
 "I will put My fear in their hearts—so they will never turn away from Me." Jeremiah 32:40 Jesus, to whom I have been led to commit myself, has engaged to save me, absolutely, and from first to last. He has promised not only that He will not depart from me—but that He will put, keep, and maintain His fear in my heart—so that I shall never finally depart from Him! And if He does not do this for me—I have no security against my turning apostate! For I am so weak, inconsistent, and sinful; I am so encompassed with deadly snares from the world; and I am so liable to such assaults from the subtlety, vigilance, and power of Satan—that, unless I am "kept by the power of God," I am sure I cannot endure to the end! I do believe that the Lord will keep me while I walk humbly and obediently before Him; but, were this all—it would be cold comfort! For I am prone to wander—and need a Shepherd whose watchful eye, compassionate heart, and boundless mercy—will pity, pardon, and restore my backslidings! For, though by His goodness and not my own—I have hitherto been preserved in the path of holiness; yet I feel those evils within me, which would shortly break loose and bear me down to destruction, were He not ever present with me to control them. Those who comfortably hope to see His face in glory—but depend upon their own watchfulness and endeavors to preserve themselves from falling—must be much wiser, better, and stronger than I am! Or at least they cannot have so deep and painful a sense of their own weakness and vileness, as daily experience forces upon me. I desire to be found in the use of the Lord's appointed means for the renewal of my spiritual strength—but I dare not undertake to watch a single hour, nor do I find ability to think a good thought, nor a power in myself of resisting any temptation! My strength is perfect weakness—and all I have is sin. In short, I must sit down in despair—if I did not believe that He who has begun a good work in me, will carry it out to completion.

-John Newton

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Prosperity Teachers and Old Testament Texts pt. 4

In this video, we are discussing Isaiah 53 and prosperity teachers use of this text to justify guaranteed divine healing. This passage is perhaps prosperity teachers greatest proof text for promoting the notion that God wants you to be totally healthy and live a long suffering free life. While this sounds good and appealing, is this what the Scriptures really mean when they say "by His stripes you were healed"? Check out this video and post your thoughts, ideas, agreements, disagreements, and comments.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Prosperity Teachers and Old Testament Texts pt.3

(Pardon the funny face in the video...yes, I did it on purpose lol...its called passion) In this video, I want to see how prosperity teachers use the book of Job to justify their teachings. Many times, instead of facing the text for what it says, prosperity teachers go to great lengths to convince their listeners that Job's sufferings were unique and were not ultimately from God, while at the same time, they will easily affirm God's great blessing on Job's life. I look at quotes from Kenneth Copeland and Joseph Prince in this video to see how their teaching compares to scripture. Below are the links to the articles and sermon which I quoted from: Acting in Fear: A Look at Job's Life - Kenneth Copeland Satan Cannot Come Before God - Joseph Prince Why Good People Suffer - Answers from Job's Story - Joseph Prince Religion Doesn't Help You, Faith Does - Kenneth Copeland

Monday, June 3, 2013

Prosperity Teachers and the Old Testament pt. 2

 In this video, I am continuing to answer the question "How do prosperity teachers use Old Testament texts to justify their teachings?" Deuteronomy 28 is a popular passage that many prosperity teachers use to show that obedience to God's Word merits financial and material prosperity. On the contrary, prosperity teachers believe that the curse spoken about in Deuteronomy is the curse of the law and is essentially poverty and that this curse comes through disobedience to God's word. What does the Bible say about this passage and how we should properly interpret it? Let me know your thoughts, comments, agreements, and disagreements.