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Archive for September, 2009

Leadership Journal interviews Matt Chandler – one question that fits well with what we deal with in Fight Clubs:

LJ: What does warring against sin look like?

MC: Sanctification here at The Village begins by answering two questions. What stirs your affections for Jesus Christ? And what robs you of those affections? Many of the things that stifle growth are morally neutral. They’re not bad things. Facebook is not bad. Television and movies are not bad. I enjoy TV, but it doesn’t take long for me to begin to find humorous on TV what the Lord finds heartbreaking.

The same goes for following sports. It’s not wrong, but if I start watching sports, I begin to care too much. I get stupid. If 19-year-old boys are ruining your day because of what they do with a ball, that’s a problem. These things rob my affections for Christ. I want to fill my life with things that stir my affections for him. After a funeral I walked around the cemetery and found a grave of a guy who died when he was my age. I felt my mortality in that moment and it made me love the Lord. It really did. Some types of epic films do that for me, and so does angst-filled music.

We want our people to think beyond simply what’s right and wrong. We want them to fill their lives with things that stir their affections for Jesus Christ and, as best as they can, to walk away from things that rob those affections—even when they’re not immoral.

Read the whole interview here.

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John Owen teaches us what it looks like to delight in God when we gather for worship.

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You should be in a Fight Club – meeting with 1-2 other men or women every week to use the Scriptures to help you fight sin and trust Jesus.

Two ideas to consider as you fight:

  • Every Day – whatever you decide to read, soak it in by reading that portion of the Scripture each day.
  • My Sin – look for patterns of sin and sinfulness in your own life before you use the text to identify those same patterns in other people.

We’re committed to helping you learn to fight. Look for more resources on this blog – if there’s any other questions we can answer about Fight Clubs, leave a comment below or email us at office@c2pca.org.

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“The ‘gospel’ is the good news that through Jesus, the Messiah, the power of God’s kingdom has entered history to renew the whole world. Through the Savior God has established his reign. When we believe and rely on Jesus’ work and record (rather than ours) for our relationship to God, that kingdom power comes upon us and begins to work through us. We witness this radical new way of living by our renewed lives, beautiful community, social justice, and cultural transformation. The good news brings new life. The gospel motivates, guides, and empowers every aspect of our living and worship.”

– Jim Belcher, Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional

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Really nice piece in The Austin Statesman by Jonathan Dodson:

When I hear the word gospel, I hear overtones of creation, of Jesus making all things new. This is especially good news because, if polar bears and the Amazon need to be renewed, I, a broken, very imperfect sinner also need to be renewed. In fact, it is humanity that has wrecked so much of creation. The Gospel holds out hope not just for a broken creation, but for a broken humanity.

Check out the whole thing here.

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This past Sunday, we talked about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, empowering us for life and mission by creating in us a deepening delight in who Jesus is and what he has done, is doing and will do in and through us.

Two books that might help to fan that delight into a flame – both by John Piper and both available for free online:

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So I’m working on what I’m going to say on Sunday and I need to tell you something, but…

Well, what I need to say is the kind of thing I don’t like to say for two reasons:
1. Some of you won’t be at the gathering on Sunday; and
2. I am around churches that hype every week as the BIGGEST AND BEST SUNDAY IN THE HISTORY OF SUNDAYS!!!!!! Truth is, life simply doesn’t work that way. Sometimes today was better than yesterday, sometimes yesterday was better than today – and most of the time there’s not a whole lot of difference in our life from day to day.

So having said all of that, I’m looking at what’s coming together from Acts 1:8 and am stunned by what’s waiting for us on Sunday. In God’s timing and grace, we’re coming eyeball-to-page with Jesus’ promise to give us his Spirit who empowers us for his work in this world.

Without preaching to you here and now, I’ll just say this – I’m asking you to pray on your own and to show up on Sunday at 9:30 to pray that God would do Acts 1:8 in our midst: to melt us with his love and to mobilize us to convince the world around us that there’s a God who loves them deeply.

Biblically and historically, this is the language of revival. And because that word is both misunderstood and abused by students and Christians of a different theological flavor, we ignore and sometimes roll our eyes at talk of God doing such a thing.

But here’s the thing – to ignore or blow off what God has providentially set before us would be foolish – I believe he plans to pour out his Spirit on us in a way that convinces us in a new and powerful way that our God is great and good and glorious and gracious.

So if you have people around you who need to see Jesus, invite them to come with you. I know there are reasons to not invite them – you’re risking your relationship, they’re not interested, etc. – I’m giving you permission to roll the dice. Everything they need is something that only Jesus can provide – so bring them to meet Jesus on Sunday morning.

I love y’all and can’t wait to see what God is up to…

Matt

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