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Archive for February, 2010

No Sin, No Savior!

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Can you present the Gospel without mentioning the bad news that we all have a sin problem that is going to kill us and send us to a real place in eternity called hell?

Sin is a vital ingredient of the Gospel like apples are a vital ingredient to apple pie!

We have a sin problem yet no one talks about sin. People will talk about their psychological label with pride, “I’m an alcoholic” as though it’s a badge of honor. It has now become an honor to people when it used to be (and biblically still is) a sin issue.

The world changes sin and makes it into a sickness so that it’s ok and acceptable. But not God. Not His Word. God calls sin “sin.” God knows we need a Savior greater than all of our sins.

Share the Gospel today and share the reality of sin with someone.

-Mark (acknowledging my sin and desperate need for the Savior, my Lord Jesus Christ)

Avatar – a Biblical perspective

February 26, 2010 1 comment

A widely popular movie right now is called “Avatar.” However, it reported causes depression in people AFTER they watch the movie. Why?

One reason is that the movie, Avatar, presents a utopian planet to live on. It’s a perfect place and moviegoers long to live in that type of place when they see that movie. So, they are depressed about this world when they leave and see the fallenness of this real world we live in. They see death, pain, suffering, decay, and hurt which is a MUCH DIFFERENT world than Avatar’s perfect place!

Our real world is far from perfect.

It was perfect at one time (Gen. 1-2) but what happened?

MANKIND sinned and one of the consequences given by the righteous, just God is that the world we live in today is corrupted, totally polluted by our sin and that of our forefather, Adam. (Don’t get mad at him because had you or I been there, we would have sinned, too!)

Now, in our world, we want all types of “escapes” that are commonly called “addictions.” We want to forget our pain in this world and seek pleasure. That’s why the Gospel, which answers all addictions, and gives up the PROPER escape (Jesus) is essential.

Let me urge you: USE this movie to launch the Gospel. Tell others about the real answer for sin and the eternal hope provided in heaven.

Avatar’s perfect place pales in comparison with heaven as we can only imagine what it will be like and it will be much better than we can even hope for!

-Mark (looking up at Him and heaven rather than at this sinful place that is not my home!)

What’s it mean to “glorify God”?

February 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Basically, one aspect of what it means to “glorify God” is to do what He says to do.

When we obey Him, then we best reflect His glory to others.

Jesus Christ is our Head and we are His body. We are the body of Christ and are to act like His hands and feet.

We are ambassadors of Christ. We are to represent Him as a loving, merciful God who is also just and upright in everything in that God will by no means clears the guilty.

Who is God? What is His divine character like? Jesus gave us a picture of Him while He walked the earth that can be read in the Gospels.

Also, Exodus 34:6-8 gives us a picture of the character of God: “The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” 8 And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped.”

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ex 34:6-8). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

-Mark (thankful to serve our God of justice Who has a compassionate heart for the poor and poor in spirit)

Even Madonna wants to help people…

February 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Many organizations and most ministries have the primary goal of wanting to help people.

At TIL, helping hurting souls is our SECONDARY goal.

That’s right. It is second to our PRIMARY goal of “glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Not every organization or ministry can say that. It’s why we do what we do, though we fall short of our goal often. We keep trying to achieve that goal.

I was glad to see Madonna and other celebrities wanting to help in Haiti. That was a great goal they had – help hurting people. We share that goal with Madonna and others. But where we are different (and many churches and ministries) from them is that we ALSO want to GLORIFY GOD FIRST and FOREMOST.

-Mark (thankful for the vehicle that is TIL that allows me to glorify my Lord and Savior EVERY day!)

Wow! Read this article on the DSM changes!

February 22, 2010 Leave a comment

The DSM, or the “bible” of psychology, is changing. There is a lot of discussion of what disorders to put in that manual now for its release in the next few years.

Please take five minutes and read this article on the internet:

http://www.al.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/national-35/1265824403106180.xml&storylist=health

If you read this blog often, you will better understand part of what our message at TIL is!

This article gives us insight into the BIG money behind all of this and the fact that they call it the “bible” is important to note, too!

-Mark (thankful that the truth comes to light daily for those whose eyes are opened by the Holy Spirit)

Tonight: Meet “Hope for Japan” Missionaries! 6:30 p.m.

February 22, 2010 Leave a comment

We’ll be hosting a pizza, salad, and drinks “meet and greet” party for anyone who RSVP’s to shirley@histruthinlove.org – we’d love to have you meet this family that is serving the Lord in Japan NOW and are in town only for a short time.

I know it’s last minute, but I hope you’ll come to fellowship with us tonight! I’d like to visit with many of you again. Some of you know our plans for TIL are to plant a church with a biblical counseling component in Japan in the next 5 years!

Philadelphia Baptist Church in Cahaba Heights is our 6:30 p.m. location for Monday, February 22. The PBC address is  3001 Pump House Rd., Birmingham, AL 35243 and the website is http://www.pbchurch.org/ for directions.

Hope you can attend to hear the “Hope for Japan” team share the Lord’s vision for their ministry to a spiritually dark nation!

-Mark (glad we could get a slice of time out of our missionary friends’ busy schedule)

Sticking Our Cultural Heads in the Sand

February 20, 2010 Leave a comment

What does our culture deny the reality of – on a daily basis?

How about this answer: sin and our sinful natures that are replaced by the power of Christ Who alone transforms the human will (Rom. 12:1-2).

Just watch the news. People see death, crime, and suffering all around the world yet do not come to the realization that it is OUR fault and began in Gen. 3.

Why do we have to lock our homes and keep our possessions safe? Not because there are bad people (vs. good people) but because APART from Christ, we are all BAD people and think primarily of ourselves. May sound harsh but it’s the reality of the world we live in and why everyone longs for an escape from this fallen world.

The movie Avatar presents a utopian planet to live on and after people see that movie, they are depressed about this world while longing to live in that perfect world. Why? Because our world is far from perfect. It was at one time (Gen. 1) but MAN sinned and one of the consequences by a righteous, just God is the world we live in today.

Don’t stick your head in the sand. Explain to people the nature of man. Then, show them in Scripture the true nature of our forgiving, just, loving, and righteous Father in heaven! That’s the Gospel!

-Mark (that’s why I love biblical counseling – it points people to Christ)