Archive for June, 2015

The danger of trying to “justify ourselves” (Luke 16:15)

“We may justify ourselves by measuring our amount of spiritual activity, by letting people know how much we are doing for God and how much it is costing us to do it. We may do it by refusing to confess our sins, secretly struggling and often failing in our fight with temptation because we are too proud to admit that we are sinners too. We may do it by being proud of our denominations, as if we could be saved simply by our ecclesiastical (church) affiliation. We may do it by pretending to be something on the outside that is nearly the opposite of what we are on the inside.”

-Phil Ryken

Are you a member of a church?

“People don’t become committed church members—and therefore healthy Christians—because they don’t understand that such a commitment is precisely how God intends his people to live out the faith and experience Christian love…a healthy Christian is one who is committed to expressing love toward other Christians (John 13:34-35). And the best place for Christians to love this way is ‘as covenant members’ in the assembly of God’s people called the local church. It is no wonder then that the author of Hebrews instructs us to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,” and then right away says “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25)? ‘Church membership’ and faithful church attendance is associated tightly with stirring each other to love and good deeds. The local church is the place where love is most visibly and compellingly displayed among God’s people. It’s where the ‘body of Christ’ is most plainly represented in the world.”
-Thabiti Anyabwile, What is a Healthy Church Member?

Where is your treasure?

No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money (mammon) (Luke 16:13).
“Jesus is saying here that your attitude towards and your use of wealth, resources, and money, shows who you worship. In this passage, He uses the term “mammon” or wealth. What is that? Money, yes, but the application is much broader than that. It can refer to your stomach, your ease, your sleep, your time, your sports, your pastimes, your worldly honors, your status, your influence, the praise of men, pleasure — and notice that Jesus does not say that we should not serve both God and mammon, but that we cannot serve both God and mammon. The point is, you are always going to love and worship and serve something or someone supremely and there will be no one who can vie with that supreme treasure. And Jesus is saying, “Where’s your treasure? Where is your spiritual vision focused? Who is your master? Who do you care about the most? Who do you love the most? Who do you treasure the most? It must be God,” Jesus says. And He turns to the Pharisees and He says to His disciples, “They say that they love God, but what they really love is money (Luke 16:14). Don’t be like that. Love God more than stuff.”
-Ligon Duncan