Mind in Renewal

"Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed through the renewal of your mind" -Romans 12:2

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Archive for the ‘Helpful Posts’ Category

Spectacular Sin?

Posted by Daniel Edwards on March 9, 2009

If you want to read a book that will help you appreciate and delight in the sovereignty of God over everything (and especially if you don’t), including the myriad evil in this world, I suggest you read one of John Piper’s most recent books, Spectacular Sins and their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ. Don’t let the title daunt you. It is not a difficult read. In fact, I had it done in about 4 days. And all the time spent reading it was worth it. Rarely have I seen more clearly the glory of Christ in the worst of circumstances and the purpose of God in the most senseless of activities.
I thank God for this book and I thank John Piper for accepting God’s call to write it. I recommend it to you with no reservations. Please consider taking a weekend to read this book. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
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Posted in Books, Helpful Posts, Recommendations | Leave a Comment »

ANTHEM

Posted by Daniel Edwards on February 10, 2009

Looking forward to Valentine’s Day, as a Christian, I realize that much of what will be celebrated next week will not be in fact be love but lust masquerading as such. It is a sad fact and it is not limited to non-Christians. But, to battle this prevalent sin, John Piper has provided the helpful acronym ANTHEM:

A – AVOID as much as is possible and reasonable the sights and situations that arouse unfitting desire. I say “possible and reasonable” because some exposure to temptation is inevitable. And I say “unfitting desire” because not all desires for sex, food, and family are bad. We know when they are unfitting and unhelpful and on their way to becoming enslaving. We know our weaknesses and what triggers them. “Avoiding” is a Biblical strategy. “Flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness” (2 Timothy 2:22). “Make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14).

N – Say NO to every lustful thought within five seconds. And say it with the authority of Jesus Christ. “In the name of Jesus, NO!” You don’t have much more than five seconds. Give it more unopposed time than that, and it will lodge itself with such force as to be almost immovable. Say it out loud if you dare. Be tough and warlike. As John Owen said, “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” Strike fast and strike hard. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (
James 4:7).

T – TURN the mind forcefully toward Christ as a superior satisfaction. Saying “no” will not suffice. You must move from defense to offense. Fight fire with fire. Attack the promises of sin with the promises of Christ. The Bible calls lusts “deceitful desires” (
Ephesians 4:22). They lie. They promise more than they can deliver. The Bible calls them “passions of your former ignorance” (1 Peter 1:14). Only fools yield. “All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter” (Proverbs 7:22). Deceit is defeated by truth. Ignorance is defeated by knowledge. It must be glorious truth and beautiful knowledge. This is why I wrote Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ. We must stock our minds with the superior promises and pleasures of Jesus. Then we must turn to them immediately after saying, “NO!”

H – HOLD the promise and the pleasure of Christ firmly in your mind until it pushes the other images out. “Fix your eyes on Jesus” (
Hebrews 3:1). Here is where many fail. They give in too soon. They say, “I tried to push it out, and it didn’t work.” I ask, “How long did you try?” How hard did you exert your mind? The mind is a muscle. You can flex it with vehemence. Take the kingdom violently (Matthew 11:12). Be brutal. Hold the promise of Christ before your eyes. Hold it. Hold it! Don’t let it go! Keep holding it! How long? As long as it takes. Fight! For Christ’s sake, fight till you win! If an electric garage door were about to crush your child you would hold it up with all our might and holler for help, and hold it and hold it and hold it and hold it.

E – ENJOY a superior satisfaction. Cultivate the capacities for pleasure in Christ. One reason lust reigns in so many is that Christ has so little appeal. We default to deceit because we have little delight in Christ. Don’t say, “That’s just not me.” What steps have you taken to waken affection for Jesus? Have you fought for joy? Don’t be fatalistic. You were created to treasure Christ with all your heart – more than you treasure sex or sugar. If you have little taste for Jesus, competing pleasures will triumph. Plead with God for the satisfaction you don’t have: “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days” (
Psalm 90:14). Then look, look, look at the most magnificent Person in the universe until you see him the way he is.

M – MOVE into a useful activity away from idleness and other vulnerable behaviors. Lust grows fast in the garden of leisure. Find a good work to do, and do it with all your might. “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord” (
Romans 12:11). “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Abound in work. Get up and do something. Sweep a room. Hammer a nail. Write a letter. Fix a faucet. And do it for Jesus’ sake. You were made to manage and create. Christ died to make you “zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14). Displace deceitful lusts with a passion for good deeds.

Posted in Helpful Posts, Love | Leave a Comment »

The Albert Mohler Program

Posted by Daniel Edwards on January 16, 2009

If you don’t know who Albert Mohler is, you should. Dr. Mohler is one of my many heroes in the faith; an author, preacher and president of Southern Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He is wise and intelligent, a rare combination these days and he graciously shares his insights without condenscension.

His program, “The Albert Mohler Program” is an hour-long radio broadcast, Monday through Friday, from 5 to 6 p.m. that is carried by radio stations across the country. You can also listen online be found on iTunes as a podcast. Each week, he addresses issues ranging from theology to politics to science to you name it. And on every Wednesday, Dr. Mohler opens his show to any kind of question that his listeners will throw at him. He always responds without hesitation and is never above admitting that he may not know something. All in all, Dr. Mohler always has something interesting to say and he excels at his aim, to encourage “intelligent, Christian thinking”.

So, if you haven’t heard Albert Mohler, I would urge you to listen to him.

Posted in Helpful Posts, My Heroes, Radio | Leave a Comment »

A Helpful View of Christmas.

Posted by Daniel Edwards on December 8, 2008

Many Christians still debate over whether Christmas is a good thing or not, considering the commercialism of the holiday and things to that effect. Dr. R.C. Sproul gives a clear and well-reasoned voice to this issue in his post today. Here’s a portion of it:

“Bah! Humbug!” These two words are instantly associated with Charles Dickens’ immortal fictional anti-hero, Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge was the prototype of the Grinch who stole Christmas, the paradigm of all men cynical.

We all recognize that Ebenezer Scrooge was a mean person – stingy, insensitive, selfish, and unkind. What we often miss in our understanding of his character is that he was preeminently profane. “Bah! Humbug!” was his Victorian use of profanity.

Not that any modern editor would feel the need to delete Scrooge’s expletives. His language is not the standard currency of cursing. But it was profane in that Scrooge demeaned what was holy. He trampled on the sanctity of Christmas. He despised the sacred. He was cynical toward the sublime…(read the whole thing)

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