"Being unable to cure death, wretchedness, and ignorance, men [and women] have decided, in order to be happy, not to think about such things." ~ Blaise Pascal, Pensees (133).
"Our lives are empty. We cannot face the vacuum. So we fill our lives up with junk, with trash, with refuse.... we divert ourselves from our real needs.... We invent little problems and hold them close, fixating on them to block us from seeing the bigger problems." ~ Thomas V. Moore, Making Sense of it All: Pascal and the Meaning of Life, pp. 32-33.
"The only good thing for men therefore is to be diverted from thinking of what they are, either by some occupation which takes their minds off it, or by some novel and agreeable passion which keeps them busy, like gambling, hunting, some absorbing show, in short by what is called diversion" ~ Blaise Pascal, Pensees (136).
| Spiritual Life |
"Man's sensitivity to the little things and insensitivity to the greatest are the signs of a strange disorder." ~ Blaise Pascal
A picture of the Oasis at En Gedi
Are you complacent?
This is my own assessment regarding complacency which may be used personally as a believer and collectively as a church assembly. This assessment is based upon my exposition of Revelation 3:14-22, the church at Laodicea. The format is Microsoft Word.
Are you humble?
This is a list of indicators to assist you as you and I seek to be people of Christian humility.
61 indicators whether you are a commited follower of Jesus Christ
This presention is based upon an Exposition of Mark 8:34. It offers 61 indicators to help determine if you and I are striving to be committed disciples of Jesus Christ. This presentation came out of class discussion among Indonesian seminary students, both Chinese and Javanese, in our exposition of the Gospel of Mark in June 2006. It is in their honor that I offer this presentation. It is in Microsoft Word.
Are You Self-Righteous?
This may be helpful as we continually deal with the spiritual problem of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is having a holier-than-thou predisposition whereby one demonstrates either by their words or actions moral superiority or an exaggerated show of holiness.
The Seven-Step Descent of Dishonesty
This chart on dishonesty is adapted from What We Can't Not Know by J. Budziszewski (Dallas: Spence Publishing, 2003), 195-97. It is in PDF format.
10 Principles on how to forget your past
This is an outline of principles for those who believe or feel that they are incapable of serving the Lord Jesus Christ because of past regrets/mistakes or those who are "neutralized" in serving the Lord because of their past accomplishments or attainments. Regardless, the apostle Paul who committed both terrible mistakes and incredible achievements, considered them to be a "loss", "rubbish," and "unworthy" compared to Jesus Christ. These applicational principles are part of my exposition of Philippians 3:13. It is in PDF format.
Are we too comfortable in our ignorance?
This is a study on biblical and theological ignorance which includes an assessment to determine if theological ignorance has led one to spiritual apathy. It is in PDF format.
Reflections from Haggai
Reflections gleaned from my study of Haggai. It is in Microsoft Word. A biblical chart on Haggai is available under "Biblical Studies" folder.
4 Stages Within a Marriage
Adapted from Sustaining Love by David Augsburger, this powerpoint presentation is used my premarital counseling. It is in PDF format.
This is adapted from a personal letter recently written to a childhood friend who went on a "walk to Emmaus." It is in PDF format.
Offering our Utmost in Worship
This is a list of applications developed from my exposition of Revelation 4:9-11, "The Worthiness of God." It is in PDF format.
How to Discover God's Will
Adapted from the teachings of Dr. Charles Stanley, Dr.Norman Geisler, and Dr. Ravi Zacharias, I've created this chart that has helped me consider how one discover's God's will, what is a calling, and what is the starting point for determining my calling?
Is God's Grace Informing My Christian Experience?
How is God's grace informing and guiding my thoughts, activities, experience, and sphere of influence as a believer in Jesus Christ? Am I living out what God has given me? Surely, if I am a recipient of God's grace, my disposition or character needs to be one that embodies this new sphere or new rule of life. I've included a list of 60 indicators whether redemption is informing my daily living. It is in PDF format.
The Decalogue of an Illiterate Church
When churches and parents do not give utmost attention to thoroughly understanding & teaching the Bible, they are in fact, teaching their members and children, a powerful set of beliefs with terrible consequences. This chart is in PDF.
How to be well-pleasing to God as a way of life.
This handout begins with an exegetical summary of 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 with an emphasis upon verse 9 (see handout above in right column for eleven facts regarding the Judgment Seat of Christ). We then proceed to consider how we can actually make it our aim as believers in Jesus Christ to be well-pleasing to God. We then conclude by critically reflecting upon fifty-five indicators whether or not we are actually being well-pleasing to God. It is in PDF.
Is Slavery All That Bad?
This study initially derived from James 1:1 considers what it means to be a "slave of the Lord Jesus Christ" and how this characteristic may be applicable to the life of the believer. It is in PDF.
The Great Apostasy
This is a summary of spiritual life reflections gleaned from this important warning the apostle Paul gives Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:1-5 regarding "latter times" when "some will depart from the faith..." It is in PDF format.
This is a chart summarizing 8 steps of spiritual degeneration, what it do about it, & exhortations to do something about it. It is in PDF.
How to Recover from the Malnourishment of Success
This article is about the relationship between failure, success, and qualitative malnourishment. We not only consider six "landmines" that generate failure to achieve success, but also seven ways to recover from the malnourishment of success. It is in PDF.
The Command to Forgive
What do you do when you discover the love of your life had an affair? The following letter is my pastoral advice on this issue (PDF).
Open the Eyes of my Heart
This assessment is based upon my study of and reflection upon Luke 11:33-36 with particular attention on Jesus' Parable of the Lighted Lamp. This outline answers, in part, why people can look at the same evidence and yet arrive to different conclusions. So, if you are interested in becoming a better lover of truth, then follow the directions of this study. It is in PDF.
We Become What We Behold: The Search for Significance & Value in an Image-Driven Age:
In this digital age our young people are surrounded by imagery. But sadly, much of the imagery does not correspond to how things actually are. Thus, in an effort to embrace an identity that is provocative and popular, but consumer-centered and imaginary, many people strive to become what is impossible in order to find fulfillment, meaning, and purpose. But because these efforts are in vain, the emptiness within them remains. So, we will explore what this means and how Jesus Christ can meet our deepest needs for significance and value.
12 Steps to Help You Fulfill God's Calling in Your Life
This handout not only offers 12 steps to help one fulfill God's calling in one's life, but also addresses four critical areas, namely, divine design, divine enablement, personal integrity, and inculcation of virtue,which will need to flourish and harmonize with one another while avoiding certain diversions, distractions, problems, & vices in moment-by-moment living. In sum, the greater the harmony between these areas, all of which should flow from out of one's identity in Jesus Christ, the more likely one will know and experience a very fulfilled life as a Christian.
An Exposition of Psalm 26
Will God's Scrutiny Reveal Your Mutiny? This exposition of Psalm 26 was presented to a fellowship gathering in Tanglewood in March of 2006. It's application focuses primarily on mortification of sin.
Oh God, Where Art Thou?
This message explores the presence of God, seeking to answer the existential question... "Where are you, God?" Don't pursue the dramatic; look for the extraordinary in the ordinary. But anticipate the dramatic as the Bible proclaims it to be. But don't merely anticipate the dramatic, allow the dramatic to live through you.
Pressing On Toward the Goal: Phil 3:12-16
This is an exposition on what Paul means to "press on" in Philippians 3:12, 14. This sermon compliments the exposition of Philippians 3:13, titled, "How to Forget Your Past." The sermon concludes with fourteen applicational principles on how to better "pressing on toward the goal of the upward call of Jesus Christ." It is in PDF format.
Earnestly Contend for the Christian Faith as a Slave of Jesus Christ
This is the first of a five-part expositional series on the Epistle of Jude. The theme of this series is, "Earnestly Contend for the Christian Faith as a Slave of Jesus Christ." This first message offers a bird's eye view of the argument, flow, and major themes of this short but powerful epistle. It is in PDF. However, this lesson is incomplete without downloading the chart on Jude which is located in PDF under "Biblical Studies."
What does it mean to be a slave of Jesus Christ?
This message, "What does it mean to be a slave of Jesus Christ?" is part 2 of a 5-part expositional series on the Epistle of Jude. It examines verses 1-2 then raises the issue whether we can honestly say we, like Jude, are "slaves of Jesus Christ." The bottom line is, "Who are you serving?" It is in PDF.
How to Earnestly Contend for the Christian Faith?
This is the third-part of a five-part expositional series on the Epistle of Jude. This lesson is concerned with verses 3-4. After an examination of verses 3-4 we consider what it looks like to actually "earnestly contend for the Christian faith", how we might examine theological truth claims, & eight downward results if we fail to earnestly contend for the Christian faith. It is in PDF. A handout of applications has been made for this lesson (see below). Moreover, a chart has been made to show the eight downward results if we fail to earnestly contend for the Christian faith (see below).
Failure to Earnestly Contend for the Christian Faith
Reflecting upon Jude 3-4, what are the results if we fail to earnestly contend for the Christian faith? What are the intellectual and moral implications if we do not examine every theological claim that is being made in our Christian homes, churches (members and leaders), and biblical, theological institutions? Consider these 8 downward results drawn from my observations of evangelical churches, denominations, and movements that have become "liberal" or those that have pursued "relevance" at the expense of faithfulness to God's revelation. This handout is in PDF.
What Do God's Surroundings Say About Him?
An exposition of Revelation 4:4-11. It is in PDF format. This study focuses on the identity of the 24 elders, the seven spirits of God, and the four living creatures. While their identities are difficult to determine what we do know about them is that they continuously worship God (they know their purpose); their activity of worship is God-centered (they know what really counts); they are in God's presence (they know where to be); the content of their worship is most biblical (they know what to offer Him); they know who their God is and what to offer Him (they know what belongs to Him).
The Holiness of God
An exposition of Revelation 4:8. It is in PDF format. I conclude this exposition with 6 applications that may assist us in conforming to His holiness as commanded in 1 Peter 1:15-16: (1) Cultivate the desire to be a holy man or woman of God; (2) In your daily decision-making or moment-by-moment decisons you make, seek to think as God thinks and will as God wills; (3) Be resolved never to do anything which you would be afraid to do if it were the last hour of your life; (4) Develop an intimacy with God with utmost reverence in mind; (5) Never tolerate activities that are not in keeping with our holy, loving God; (6) Remember that authentic holiness points people to Jesus Christ.
The Worthiness of God
An exposition of Revelation 4:9-11 with 9 applications to assist us in offering our utmost worship to the God of the Bible. It is in PDF format.
The Worthiness of Christ
An Exposition of Revelation 5:1-5: How to Display Jesus' Worth in Your Daily Life. It is in PDF format.
The Savior-Sovereign in Revelation 5:6-14
An exposition of Revelation 5:6-14. It is in PDF. This sermon considers the mortification of sin as we seek to offer God our utmost affections in worship in our daily lives.
A Command For the Heart (part 1).
This is an exposition of Mark 12:28-34 regarding the Greatest Commandment of Scripture... "To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself." This exposition is part 1 of a five part series on the topic. After an exposition of this commandment from the Gospel of Mark we explore what it means to love God with your whole heart. Part 2 explores what it means to love God with your soul ("A Command for the Soul!") Part 3 explores what it means to love God with your strength ("A Command for the Body!"). Part 4 examines what it means to love God with your mind ("A Command for the Mind!"). Lastly, part 5 examines what it means to love your neighbor as yourself. It is in PDF.
A Command for the Soul (part 2)!
This is part 2 of a 5 part series on what it means to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. In this particular study we examine what it means to love God with all your soul. It is in PDF.
A Command for the Body (part 3)!
This is part 3 of a 5 part series on what it means to "love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind." This particular study focuses on what it means to love God with all your strength ("bodily powers"). It is in PDF.
A Command for the Mind (part 4)!
This is part 4 of a 5-part series on what it means to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. This fourth installment focuses on what it means to love the Lord your God will all your mind. We explore what this means and how to better love God with our minds. It is in PDF.
Loving God with Deep-Seated Affections
What are indicators that a believer is actually loving God with deep-seated affections? This is a supplement to my expositional series on Mark 12:30. It is in PDF.
Loving God with my Soul
This presentation considers indicators of loving God from out of the believer's soul. It is in PDF.
Premarital Counseling Assessment
This is a 120 questions premarital counseling assessment I put together in order to motivate couples to critically and biblically reflect upon problematic and troubling issues Christian couples face in their marriages. I also use it to gauge where these couples are, seeking to specifically create a tailored plan to best meet their needs. It is in Microsoft Word.
Are You A Lover of Truth?
This is # 29 of the devotional series titled, "Vital Supplement for Spiritual Vitality. I was inspired to write this devotional in the midst of reading Peter Kreef's awesome book, A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interviews with An Absolutist (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1999), 23-25. It is in PDF.
How does one count it all joy?
# 30 of the spiritual supplement for spiritual vitality series. This devotional considers the question how a believer can count it all joy when he or she falls into various trials. In other words, what does it look like in our daily experience to "count it all joy when you fall into various trials..."[James 1:2]? It is in PDF.
How to Experience God's Peace
This devotional about experiencing God's peace based upon John 14:27 was broadcasted on KHCB Radio (February 2012). It is in PDF. This is number 31 of my Vital Supplements for Spiritual Vitality series.
Indicators of Experiencing God's Peace
How do I know If I am experiencing God's peace? Consider this study from John 14:27. It is in PDF. This study compliments "How do I experience God's peace" number 31 of my Vital Supplement for Spiritual Vitality series.
Are you a product of indoctrination?
This supplement of spiritual vitality considers whether one is a product of indoctrination or a lover of truth. It is # 32 of this Sunday supplement series. It is in PDF.
Serve God on His Terms
Not merely eyesight, but vision; Not merely vision, but total commitment; Not merely total commitment, but possession of a grievous disposition; Not merely possession of a grievous disposition, but a calling to a life well-lived. This is # 33 of the devotional series, "Sunday Supplements for Spiritual Vitality." It is in PDF.
The Perils of Pleasure
This part 1 of my series on "The Problem of Pleasure." This is also # 35 of my Sunday supplement series. In this study I draw seven principles about pleasure from Solomon's advice to his son about adultery in Proverbs 5. I'm personally indebted to Blaise Pascal, G.K. Chesterton, and especially Ravi Zacharias for helping me think about the problem of pleasure. It is in PDF.
The Vanity of Pleasures
This is part 2 of my series on "The Problem of Pleasure." It is based upon Ecclesiastes 2:1-11. This is also # 36 of my Sunday Supplements. It is in PDF.
The Purposes of Pleasure
This is Part 4 of my series on the "Problem of Pleasure. it is # 38 to my Spiritual Supplement series. It is in PDF.
The Pursuit of Pleasure
This it part 5 to my series on "The Problem of Pleasure." It is # 39 to my Spiritual Supplement series. It will soon be uploaded.
Why Should God Remove Your Afflictions?
This supplement for spiritual vitality (number 40) is drawn from my exposition of 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, asking, "Why Should God Remove Your Afflictions?" This devotional was broadcasted on KHCB Radio (February 2012).
My Affliction and God's Answer
This supplement for spiritual vitality is drawn from my exposition of 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, focusing on verses 9-10. This is part 2 of a 2 part lesson of the first installment of a new series titled, "Popular Promises, Uncommonly Understood." Here I examine Jesus' reply to the apostle Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." It is in PDF. # 41 in my series.
How to deal with Despondency
This study considers one of our favorite promises of Scripture: Isaiah 40:31. This devotional was broadcasted on KHCB Radio (February 2012). This is number 44 of my Vital Supplement for Spiritual Vitality series. It is in PDF.
Do you serve God on His terms? If not, why?
This devotional, accepting God's authority over your life, is # 46 of my series, "Spiritual Supplement for Spiritual Vitality." It is in PDF. Special thanks to Justin Racca for inspiring me to reflect upon His authority over my life.
How to Receive Relief from Weariness
This devotional, based upon Matthew 11:28-30, was broadcasted on KHCB Radio (February 2012). This is number 47 of my Vital Supplement for Spiritual Vitality series.
Why Cannot I Have Fulfillment?
KHCB RADIO 105.7 MORNING MONDAY DEVOTIONAL AT 10:00AM. This is devotional # 1. This brief article considers various reasons why some people are not experiencing fulfillment and what the remedy is for finding lasting fulfillment. It is in PDF.
The Vanity of Pleasures (part 4b):
This is the second half of my fourth devotional on KHCB radio. Based upon Ecclesiastes, I contrast earthly pleasures from spiritual pleasures.
A Glimpse into Glory: Revelation 4:9-11 (part 4):
This is the last part to a four part devotional series for the month of December 2012 on KHCB Radio. This handout is actually offers more than what I could present on radio (time restraints) because it also includes some applications drawn from Revelation 5.