SPF 118: The Theology of Feeling Good - Moralistic Therapeutic Deism & Jesus Christ The Righteous

What if I told you there was a worldview that sounded like Christianity. and has slipped into many churches, Christian books, and is definitely all over Instagram, but it’s actually far from the True Gospel. It’s called Moralistic Therapeutic Deism and we are looking at the five beliefs of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, ways they impact Christianity, and the True Good News of Jesus Christ, the Righteous.

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  3. Check out Amazon affiliate links. When I link to the resources I talk about on the podcast, you can click through and SPF receives a small percentage for recommending resources I love!

The Theology of Feeling Good

Christian Smith studied American Teens and wrote the book: Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (Amazon links are affiliate links)

Christian Smith really did a great job peeling back what is going on and exposing the heart of a problem. Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is a man centered approached to Christian beliefs but really leaves the Gospel, the good news, behind. The moralistic is a focus on trying to be a good person, but without Christ and by a standard that is not formed by the Scriptures. Therapeutic meaning that God serves us to build up our self-esteem. God is a God that we can go to help us feel better. And Deism meaning that God is God, but one who is far off and uninvolved - He is not Sovereign, He does not have a plan, He created the world and now it is happening how it happens. With the exception of when I need God to help me feel better. 

Five beliefs that Christian Smith nailed down with Moralistic Therapeutic Deism:

  1. "A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.”

  2. "God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.”

  3. "The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about ones self.”

  4. "God does not need to be particularly involved in one's life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.”

  5. "Good people go to heaven when they die."

Now we can easily recognize some of the dangers that can come with this worldview, mainly - the Gospel is not preached, but I wanted to go over a few more and how we can be faithful to uphold the Truth in our homes, in fellowship, and in the world.

  1. Emphasis on happiness - Christianity’s emphasis is not on happiness. It’s on God and we need to watch out for those messages and for the temptation of the flesh.

  2. A loss of historical Christianity - In Christian Smith’s study they found that relatively few teens made references in their interviews to a variety of historically central religious and theological views.

  3. Language - the language is important and when you look at the language used and promoted among this medley of religious faith, it is severely lacking in the most important terms. Critical terms like Trinity, holiness, sanctification, sin, grace, justification, church, heaven and hell are being replaced by a lunges of happiness.  

  4. Watch out for revisions that create an appearance of desired unity  - MTD appropriates, revises, and abstracts doctrinal elements from a lot of religions but mostly Christianity and Judaism - FOR ITS OWN PURPOSE. And one of the purposes is to create this appearance of unity.

The True Gospel is Found in Jesus Christ

1 John 2

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

This is the Gospel - that we have sinned, that Jesus Christ, the righteous, is our advocate pleading for us before the Father; He is the propitiation for our sins, and now we can walk in the same way in which Christ walked - keeping God’s word.

Advocate - our Helper pleading before the Father; it is Jesus’ delight to save

Jesus - He will save His people from their sin -

Christ - The man of God’s own choosing to obey; shows His authority to plead for us; the successful One - able to plead before God; we may safely lay our troubles where God has laid our help - Spurgeon

The Righteous - Not just describing Jesus’ perfect character but also His plan for His righteousness for me

“He declares Himself my substitute and puts His obedience to my account.” - Spurgeon

“My soul, thou hast a friend well fitted to be thine advocate; He cannot but succeed. Leave thyself entirely in His hands.” Spurgeon

Resources

(Amazon links are affiliate links)

FREE Article by Christian Smith about Moralist Therapeutic Deism: http://outreachnorthamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Smith-Moralistic.pdf

The book referenced:

ESV Study Bible
By ESV Bibles by Crossway


SPF 117: Daughter of the King - Adoption, Privileges & Responsibilities

At some point in your Christian faith, you may have heard the phrase or read it on a card or coffee mug “you are a daughter of the King.” It sounds lovely and special, but what does it really mean? Today we are talking about being daughters of the King, which comes through our adoption as children of God, and some of our privileges and responsibilities that go with it. 

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Enjoying the podcast?

Consider supporting the podcast in one of these ways:

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  3. Check out Amazon affiliate links. When I link to the resources I talk about on the podcast, you can click through and SPF receives a small percentage for recommending resources I love!

Life Hack

Try that dry brine chicken!! Cook it in a dutch oven and make gravy on the stove after baking!

Dry Brine:

Daughters of the King

When you hear the phrase daughter of the King what that phrase or title is referring to is a child of God. Because God  is our Father and He is also King, it makes His children that are female, daughters of Him. This is about our adoption - from going from God’s enemies to His children. 

With adoption we 1. have the glorious reality of our salvation and 2. a new responsibility to now   “walk in a manner worthy of our calling.” Ephesians 4:1 

Our Adoption making us Sons and Daughters of the King

Galatians 4:4-7

Paul tells us in Galatians that at just the right time, God sent His Son so that on our behalf Jesus could fulfill the righteous requirement of the Law in order that we might share with Hime the rights and privileges as children of God.

What did I do to deserve this adoption as a child of the Most High God, that I might share with Christ the rights and privileges a child has with his or her father?  Nothing.  

Jesus did it all.

Chosen - from The Ology by Marty Machowski - “We choose ice-cream that takes good. But when God chose us to be a part of his family, we were yucky spoiled sinners — not one of us was good. God didn’t chose us because he need us or because we had some special quality, God chose us what will were still sinners, just because He decided to love us.”

And When we really want to understand our adoption - our chosenness - we must also understand who we were before Christ!!

  1. Ephesians says we were strangers and aliens

  2. Colossians says we were enemies of God because of our evil behavior

  3. Colossians 3 says this is the way we once walked and lived but are now to put them away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth”

  4. We were dead in our sins, destined for hell, objects of God’s wrath

But thanks be to God through Christ Jesus’s perfect obedience to God the Father, through His death and resurrection, we can go from all these things to being adopted by God to be His children.

Because we have been chosen and adopted by God we can now call God our Father.

Abba Father doubly emphases God as our Father - in two different languages to assure us that God is our loving Father who cares for us. We are no longer God’s enemies and we are no longer at odds with our Creator - we don’t have to run from Him and try and hide our sin - we have peace with Him and He is now our source of forgiveness and mercy that we can run to at anytime. What an honor - what a blessing.

One important distinction to note is that all people are not God’s children. It is true that all people as God’s created beings are born under His authority and His lordship and will one day be judged by Him, but John 1:12-13 teaches us that God’s children are those who have received salvation:

To be adopted by God is to be blessed beyond any other blessing. Something small we can do everyday is acknowledge the blessedness of being children of God.

Privileges of Adoption

With adoption comes many privileges 

  • Our eternity is secure and our condemnation is gone through Christ

  • We are now given a new nature to worship and love God

  • We are given the Holy Spirit as a seal and also as a helper and counselor to live according to what is good and pleasing to God

  • We can now approach the throne of God and receive mercy and help in our time of need

  • We have a home in heaven and the problems and sufferings on earth are called light and momentary in comparison to our future glory

Our Responsibility as Sons and Daughters of the King

Romans 8:12-17

“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh to live according to the flesh.” Romans 8:12

Part of our indebtedness to God is to now be about His business.

Instead, We are debtors to Christ - to him we owe it all. Matthew Henry writes, “Being delivered from so great a death by so great a ransom, we are deeply indebted to our deliverer.” 1 Corinthians 6 reminds us that we were bought with a price, so glorify God with our bodies.

Matthew 6:33 tells us But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

The good news is 1. we have a new nature so our hearts desire to be about God’s work - although the flesh competes but 2. we now are led by the Spirit!

Rachel Jankovic - You Who quote (chapter 18):

“We are quick to see the role of princess as one that has a lot of privilege in it, and is in fact a privileged position. But more than that, it is a position of responsibility. You are a daughter of the King. That means you should be about His business. You are a daughter of the King — therefore you bear your responsibilities in a way that becomes the office you hold. While it is a great honor, being a daughter of the King is more like wearing a shirt that says STAFF boldly across the back. When it comes to Kingdom work, we are the Kingdom workers. Who should be more invested in this work than the children of the King Himself?”


As we grow in in our faith and understanding of God, so our hearts grow for His business. And by His power we can carry out these responsibilities with gladness and without pressure. This is our joy and delight!

RESOURCES

(amazon links are affiliate links)

Great adoption links:

https://www.gotquestions.org/Abba-Father.html

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/adoption-christ-jesus/

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/adoption-into-gods-family/





SPF 116: Pupose-Full & Personality - Idenity Part 2

What is purpose-full living? Is their really meaning in a regular day doing regular things? What about our personalities? Do they define our identity? I’m answering these questions and more on today’s podcast. This is part 2 in a 2 part series. 

Enjoying the Podcast? Want to help?

Consider supporting the podcast in one of these ways:

  1. Give $5 monthly on Patreon to the SPF Podcast and get access to extra resources. Learn more at patreon.com/sheprovesfaithful.com

  2. Try Audible for a month for FREE and get TWO FREE audiobooks that you can keep forever! When you try Audible (even if you do not sign up), the SPF Podcast is directly supported. More info here: https://amzn.to/2CZLh41

  3. Check out Amazon affiliate links. When I link to the resources I talk about on the podcast, you can click through and SPF receives a small percentage for recommending resources I love!

Who am I = Who is my god?

In the book You Who, Rachel points out that when the world is asking the question, “Who am I?” they are really asking the question “who is my god?” Who is the one who has authority in my life and who am I supposed to worship?

At the base of identity talks - we need to know who is our God.

Psalm 100:3

“Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”

Purpose-FULL

Throughout Scripture it is clear that a primary purpose of a Christian is to obey God because it brings glory to God as our creator and Master. And there we have joy!

We can obey because God changes our hearts. Jesus Christ rose form the dead therefore we can live these fruitful faithful lives unto God.

There is glory as Rachel says, “when regular Christians, obey Christ in a regular way, doing regular things, in regular time, with regular skills and abilities. but this thought often comes to mind “this may all be fine but surely there must be more.”

The truth is we can equal regular with MEANINGFUL - with purpose-FULL!

1 Cor 15:58

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Rachel says, “No obedience to the Lord will ever go out into the void to continue useless into eternity.”

Isn’t that a good reminder to be steadfast - that no act of obedience to the Lord is useless or meaningless.

There is purpose in the regular day. We can find contentment with the seeds God gives us to sow for that days work even if it feels so regular.

“The Christian embraces every small opportunity to small obedience. Why is that? Because we serve the God who makes the small things great. Our small things, given to Him, will be great. You can trust Him for that.” Rachel Jankovic

Personality

There are a few red flags when it comes to personality:

First, we need to be cautious when we label something as a weakness or not my personality, but Scripture has commanded us to do this thing or not do this thing.

Second, whatever our personality are they are to be given back to the Lord.

Romans 12:1-3

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Rachel writes that “our personalities are something that God gave us so that we would have something to be on the alter and offer to Him. 

Rachel writes, “We are naturally full of instincts and desires that are contrary to what God wants us doing. That means that those things are something to obey with, not something to obey around.”

Whether we have the gifting or personality or not, we are still called to obey and give it at sacrifice to God. These are kindling on the fire of God’s alter. 

The big takeaway here is that we are not being defined or REFINED by our personality types. Our personality isn’t what is grooming and shaping us to be who were are meant to be. Abiding in Christ is our call and that is shaping us into Christ-likeness.

Resources

(amazon links are affiliate links)

For great sermons and teachings go to ligonier.org or renewingyourmind.org

You Who by Rachel Jankovic






SPF 115: Who am I? Identity Part 1

Who am I and what am I created for? Is my identity created by God or do I create it? Today we are talking about identity and some secular influences that can derail the truth about who we are, plus learn about our call to fruitfulness. This is part 1 in a 2 part series.

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Enjoying the Podcast?

Consider supporting the podcast in one of these ways:

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  2. Try Audible for a month for FREE and get TWO FREE audiobooks that you can keep forever! When you try Audible (even if you do not sign up), the SPF Podcast is directly supported. More info here: https://amzn.to/2CZLh41

  3. Check out Amazon affiliate links. When I link to the resources I talk about on the podcast, you can click through and SPF receives a small percentage for recommending resources I love!

Free Kid’s Bible Reading Plan

This is a free 10 day reading plan you can do with your kids all about what happened after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ!

You can use The Gospel Story Bible by Marti Machowski with the readings if you have it, or would like to purchase it. See the link for the book at the bottom of the page under RESOURCES.

Go here for the free reading plan: sheprovesfaithful.com/blog/resurrection-plan

If you are a patreon member check out patreon.com/sheprovesfaithful for a reading plan with questions for kids and adults.

Life Hack

Roast a chicken and make it delicious with ONE INGREDIENT! SALT!

Over salt your bird for a dry brine and roast it in the oven at 375 until fully cooked.

Read about dry brining from bon appetit here: https://www.bonappetit.com/story/dry-brine-chicken

Identity

Everyone at some point in their lives is searching for their identity - who they are and why they matter. We want to know our purpose and how we fit into life. 

As Christians, I have very good news - our identity is in Christ and can be known every time we pick up the Word of God.

Two Deceptive philosophies:

  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs - we cannot know who we are until all other needs are met

  • Exilstentialism - we create our meaning; existence precedes essence

God has not set you on a course to create yourself. You do not have that pressure to hand craft who you are. What a blessing!  Our value and worth does not depend on what we can make of ourselves. In fact, God is God and the creator of your life. In His grace and mercy He has given us the Bible tell us who we are, and what our purposes are.

Another problem - our rebellious hearts. We rebel against who God says we are and what His purpose is for us.

Romans 6:5-8, 20-23

Our identity is in Christ and in just a few short verse we learn wonders about who we are and what we are called to do.

We are made new - the old self that hated God and loved self - it is crucified with Christ, so that the body of sin might be brought to nothing! 

  • We are no longer slaves to sin - I talked about this in episode 114 - sin is not our king anymore - we are not enslaved to follow sin which leads to death

  • We live with Christ - our life has a new trajectory - freedom to live for God - we are captive to Him

  • We are slaves to God - everyone is a slave to something - we are captive to something - Christians are now slaves to God - that means we are His, a part of His kingdom through adoption as sons and daughters. We have an inheritance of eternal life. You are an eternal being and now your eternity is secure with Christ.

  • We now live fruitful lives - being a slave to God means we are now producing fruit! The fruit of living opposed to God is sin, shame, and death. But the fruit of righteousness is sanctification and eternal life! 

Quote from chapter 8 of You Who by Rachel Jankovic:

  “Jesus Christ died for sinners. Jesus Christ did not come to this world and die so that you might live. That is only the partial truth, the truth that skips all the action. Jesus Christ came to this earth, struggled, suffered, and died the you might die. Let that sink in. It was not His death that gave you life—His death gave you death in Him. But what happened after His death? His victory over death. The resurrection. Jesus Christ died so that you might die, and he lives so that you might live. Your life in Christ is what happens after your death in Him.

Total submission to Christ is to life in Christ. This is because without dying in Him you cannot live in Him. When you submit your life to Him fully, you can live in Him fully. There is no going halfsies with death for Christians. You can’t try to keep living the life that should have died i Christ. You can’t arrange you little ideas about yourself in some compatible way with your idea of Christ. Let Him have it all - what remains after death is ONLY LIFE. You are no longer the author of your own identities, but rather you live in the Author and He lives in you.”

Galations 2:20  I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

We have been crucified with Christ and also resurrected with Him. We now live for Him and to Him and through Him. Because to Him be the glory forever.

Regarding our identity - it’s not a mystery.

God has told us who we are in the Bible and what we are to do about it. As we learn who we are and walk in obedience through God’s grace we will be satisfied, we will be fulfilled, we will be fruitful because we are living lives to God.

If there is one thing we can remember about identity it’s that God created us for His glory. We are designed by Him to worship Him. Don’t chase the wind. 

Resources

(amazon links are affiliate links meaning SPF gets a very small commission for referring you to the website)

Bible by Olive Tree
HarperCollins Christian Publishing




SPF 114: Sin is Not Your King - Dead to Sin & Alive with Christ

Addiction, purpose, freedom, legalism. You won’t find these words directly in Roman’s 6 but out of God’s teaching about being dead to sin and alive with Christ we find some major answers to questions about those topics. Today I’ll address why Sin is not Your King, how we can practically be free from sin, and how God’s grace helps us take action to be tools and weapons for God’s glory.

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Enjoying the Podcast?

Consider supporting the podcast in one of these ways:

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  2. Try Audible for a month for FREE and get TWO FREE audiobooks that you can keep forever! When you try Audible (even if you do not sign up), the SPF Podcast is directly supported. More info here: https://amzn.to/2CZLh41

  3. Check out Amazon affiliate links. When I link to the resources I talk about on the podcast, you can click through and SPF receives a small percentage for recommending resources I love!

Dead to Sin & Alive to God

God has given us His grace through Jesus Christ to not only save us from the consequences of sin but so we are able to take action. Before Christ we were prisoners to sin, or as Romans teaches - slaves to sin. Sin was our Master. But God’s grace frees us to be slaves to righteousness - and to the perfect King Jesus. God’s grace stirs us to action and part of that action is living to God and not to sin.

No. 1 Sin is Not Your King

Romans 6:12 says, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body to make you obey it’s passions.”

How are we able to follow such a command?

Because of the indicatives listed above in Romans 6:1-11. Because of who God has made us to be through Christ, we are able to follow this command of not letting sin reign.

Romans 6:1-5

  • We are dead to sin - so don’t live in it any longer

  • and We were buried with Jesus in death IN ORDER THAT as Christ was raised we too might be raise to LIVE A NEW LIFE

Romans 6:6-11

  • What does Scripture indicate about us: our old self was crucified so that the body RULED by sin might be done away with; so we are not slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been set free

  • we are free from sin. So we can live for ourselves? Live for our dreams? Live for comfort? No, we were save from sin TO live our lives to God. Scripture says Jesus lived to God and in the same We now live to God.

So all those indicatives are the power behind vs 12. Because of the Gospel, because sin used to be our master but now we live to God - this imperative is possible

“Let not sin therefore reign in your total body to make you obey it’s passions.

 Romans 6:12

As Christians we are not to let sin reign in our mortal bodies.

No. 2 How can we practically be from from sin?

Romans 6:13-14

  • The practical truth of overcoming sin is that first - God’s grace frees us and second that we are not to offer our members to sin. That means we do not present ourselves to sin to be used as an instrument of wickedness.

  • God gives us a self of control of our bodies. I there is something that is a gateway to sin for you, don’t go there, physically, emotionally, mentally.

  • Repentance from sin is a turning away from sin TO the Lord because He bought us back from death, because we are now alive!

How can we present our members to God?

Romans 6:17-19

  • we know His standard - His law - that is where abundant life is found, joy and peace and purpose.

  • We pray - we ask God for help in our temptation - it’s in the Lord’s prayer - “and lead us not into temptation.”

  • We repent and turn back to God when we do give into sin.

No. 3 God’s grace propels us to action to be tools and weapons.

We are tools and weapons for unrighteousness or tools and weapons for righteousness.

We fight sin.

We build up others.

We build our convictions from the Word

We build up our homes to be places of worship to God

You have purpose and direction. It’s to fight and to build. It’s through the power of the Gospel equipping you to leave opportunities that lead to death and pursue what leads to life.

It’s a journey, it’s a process - but we need to know the power of the Gospel and how to practically walk in that freedom. Don’t get down on yourself if you’re addicted, if you feel hopeless. Go to the Gospel Truths to know who you are and who is at work in you.

Resources

*amazon links are affiliate links and when you click or purchase through my link I receive a small commission

SPF 113: Prayer in Trial - Five Lessons From Jesus's Prayer in the Garden

Before Jesus went on trial and before he hung on a cross, He fell to His face and prayed in the garden. Today we are going to explore five instructive features of our Savior’s prayer in the midst of His biggest trial to help us when we face trials and how to prove faithful with prayer.

prayerintrial.png

Enjoying the Podcast?

Consider supporting the podcast in one of these ways:

  1. Give $5 monthly on Patreon to the SPF Podcast and get access to extra resources. Learn more at patreon.com/sheprovesfaithful.com

  2. Try Audible for a month for FREE and get TWO FREE audiobooks that you can keep forever! When you try Audible (even if you do not sign up), the SPF Podcast is directly supported. More info here: https://amzn.to/2CZLh41

  3. Check out Amazon affiliate links. When I link to the resources I talk about on the podcast, you can click through and SPF receives a small percentage for recommending resources I love!

Lessons from Jesus’s Prayer in the Garden

Text: Mathew 26:36-46

“Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch[d]with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Five instructive features in our Savior’s prayer during this most incredible trial:

NO. 1 It was a lonely prayer

  • Jesus withdrew even from his three closest disciples to pray.

  • Luke 5:16

  • Psalm 127

NO. 2 It was a humble prayer

  • “Where, then, must by thy place, thou humble servant of the Great Master?” “Dust and ashes should cover thy head.” - Charles Spurgeon

  • hen we go to God in prayer we have the joy knowing our prayers are accepted because of our intercessor, Jesus Christ, but we also go with a humble heart knowing we are coming before the God of all - the great I Am.

  • “Whatever the case (meaning kneeling, sitting, standing, lifting hands), it is good, right, and appropriate to pray to the Lord in these various postures. Paul’s instructions to pray at all times and without ceasing likely including sitting and standing as well as other positions. In any case, the most important posture is not an outward posture of the body but an inward posture of the heart — our hearts are to be broken, contrite, humble, and dependent.” Kevin Struyk

NO. 3 Jesus’s prayer to the Father was a filial prayer

  • He was a son coming to His Father. Because of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection - Christians are adopted as sons and daughter’s of God. We too are able to go before God as our Father.

NO. 4 Jesus’s prayer was a persevering prayer

  • He came to the Father with His request three times - each time asking the Lord for another way. We are to keep praying, keep petitioning the Lord

  • Luke 18, Colossians 4:2

NO. 5 Jesus’s prayer was a prayer of submission

  • He did persevere in His requests, yet resigned to the will of the Father“Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” In our prayers we let it be as God wills because God; determines what is best.

  • “God knows when to give, how to give, what to give and what to withhold.” - Charles Spurgeon

Hebrews 4:14-16

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Charles Spurgeon Morning & Evening

Here is the devotion that inspired this podcast

"And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed."

Matthew 26:39

There are several instructive features in our Saviour's prayer in his hour of trial. It was lonely prayer. He withdrew even from his three favoured disciples. Believer, be much in solitary prayer, especially in times of trial. Family prayer, social prayer, prayer in the Church, will not suffice, these are very precious, but the best beaten spice will smoke in your censer in your private devotions, where no ear hears but God's. 

It was humble prayer. Luke says he knelt, but another evangelist says he "fell on his face." Where, then, must be thy place, thou humble servant of the great Master? What dust and ashes should cover thy head! Humility gives us good foot-hold in prayer. There is no hope of prevalence with God unless we abase ourselves that he may exalt us in due time. 

It was filial prayer. "Abba, Father." You will find it a stronghold in the day of trial to plead your adoption. You have no rights as a subject, you have forfeited them by your treason; but nothing can forfeit a child's right to a father's protection. Be not afraid to say, "My Father, hear my cry." 

Observe that it was persevering prayer. He prayed three times. Cease not until you prevail. Be as the importunate widow, whose continual coming earned what her first supplication could not win. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving. 

Lastly, it was the prayer of resignation. "Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." Yield, and God yields. Let it be as God wills, and God will determine for the best. Be thou content to leave thy prayer in his hands, who knows when to give, and how to give, and what to give, and what to withhold. So pleading, earnestly, importunately, yet with humility and resignation, thou shalt surely prevail.

Resources

At Ligoneir.org you can find Table Talk magazine archives - looks like it’s free to access right now but I know they typically use a subscription to access them https://tabletalkmagazine.com/issue-archive/

Morning and Evening APP - Charles Spurgeon

Amazon links are affiliate links:

Tabletalk
Ligonier Ministries
ESV Study Bible
By ESV Bibles by Crossway



SPF 112: The Wisdom & Ways of God (+ectopic pregnancy)

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” God’s wisdom means that God knows the best way to the highest end, which is His Glory and our good. God’s glory and His wisdom are intimately connected. Today we are talking about the wisdom of God and three things He does through His wisdom, plus ways we can prove faithful when considering the wisdom of God.

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God’s Ways

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

God’s wisdom means that God knows the best way to the highest end, which is His Glory and our good. God’s glory and His wisdom are intimately connected.

Because of God’s wisdom, God is always accomplishing the best way to glorify Himself and bring good to us. That means all things that are happening, God is conforming to the pattern of His will by his wisdom and might.

Job 9:4 says “God is wise in heart and mighty in strength, who has hardened himself against him and succeeded?”

Job 12:13 says, “with God are wisdom an might, he has counsel and understanding.”

God’s wisdom is unfathomable!

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”  For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:33-36

God is wisdom.

Romans 16 tells us that God is the only wise God and it’s to His glory forevermore through Jesus Christ; Colossians 2:3 teaches us that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found in Christ.

"If a person does not know Christ they have not one drop of wisdom at all, they are all just clever fools.” - Dr. Steven Lawson

Those who seem wise without Christ cannot actually be wise for they are forsaking their very soul for condemnation. 

But if we have Christ, we have wisdom; when we fear the Lord we have wisdom. Wisdom is from above and and pure and points us to magnifying the name of God.

Through God’s wisdom:

Number 1: By God’s Wisdom He Created

O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all Psalm 104:24

It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens Jeremiah 10:12

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew Proverbs 3:19–20

God’s creation testifies to His attribute of wisdom - By God’s wisdom - His understanding - He created the world and all that is in it. And not only this - but his wisdom in creation testifies to His glory!!!  

VISIT creation.com

Number 2: By God’s Wisdom there is providence 

And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified. Romans 8:28-30

Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in misery and chains, because they rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High. He humbled their hearts with hard labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the LORD for His loving devotion and His wonders to the sons of men. For He has broken down the gates of bronze and cut through the bars of iron. Psalm 107:10-16

Number 3: By God’s wisdom we have salvation

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

Only God alone could have planned out the way for men to be reconciled to HIm. God knew this plan from the beginning and in His wisdom He planned it and accomplished it.

Mankind has been inventing ways to get to God and continue to do so. It’s always by their own power, always by their own thoughts and ways and it never works.

Only God could think of this plan to deliver His Son over to be our sin so that we might become the righteousness of God. 

1 Corinthians 1:18 says, For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

and in vs 24 “but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

Our salvation is from the wisdom of God.

Three Things To Prove Faithful with Knowing God’s Wisdom

  1. Acknowledge the wisdom of God is above our own and rejoice in it. We are the creation and the Creator has the ultimate wisdom in all things!! By God’s grace when we hear the hard things we can say that God’s ways are above ours and actually take comfort in that.  Which leads to. . .

  2. Rest in God’s wise providence and take joy that He is working all things out to bring Himself glory and our Good which means being more like Christ. When I’m in those season of trials, it’s good to keep thanking God and to keep knowing Him in His Word. And when I want to seize control, to relent. To ask for grace and mercy in my time of need to have a willing heart and mind to follow the Lord where He goes.

  3. Know the wisdom of God in Scripture and teach it to your children. You can incorporate the wisdom of God in normal conversations when you talk about science or nature or history. By His wisdom He made the world, he makes plans, he fulfills plans. He alone is wise.

Resources

*amazon links are affiliate links and give the SPF podcast a small referral fee.

Dr. Steven Lawson Wisdom of God Talk - https://www.ligonier.org/learn/daily-video/2019/02/07/the-wisdom-of-god/

You can purchase the talk for $2 and have it for a lifetime: https://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/attributes-god/the-wisdom-of-god/

Creation Station
Lightcast.com

SPF 111: The Fear of God vs The Fear of Man

Proverbs 29:25 says, The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trust is in the Lord is safe.

What happens when we fear man? Why does fearing the Lord bring freedom and peace into our lives? How do we fear God? Today we are looking at the difference of fearing man verses fearing God and learning the blessedness of allegiance to the Lord of Hosts.

Love the Podcast?

Consider supporting the podcast in one of these ways:

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  3. Check out Amazon affiliate links. When I link to the resources I talk about on the podcast, you can click through and SPF receives a small percentage for recommending resources I love!

Allegiance to God

Allegiance to God leads to a freedom from the fear of man.  When our allegiance is to God, then we can rejoice in the Truth even when the world say stop, or we are wrong, or makes fun of us. 

The Fear of Man

Proverbs 29:25 says,

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trust is in the Lord is safe.

Hebrews 13:6 says

“So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not fear, what can man do to me?

Psalm 118:6 says,

“The Lord is on my side, I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

Mathew 10:28 says

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Galatians 1:10 says

For am I now seeking the approval of man or of God? Or am I trying to please man? I fI were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Scripture teaches us that a fear of man is a snare and burden to us. It leads to an allegiance to the created rather than the Creator.  Our minds and hearts are to be set on the King of Glory who sits enthroned above. He has saved us from the power of sin and death and we are dead to our selves and made a live in Christ now. 

Our allegiance is now to the King who rescued us! We are loyal to the one who saved us.  We were bought at a price too high for us to pay and now we have freedom - freedom from death, freedom from the power of sin, and freedom from the fear of man!

Fear of God

Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools desire wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 8:13

The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil

Ecclesiastes 12:13

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments; for the sis the whole duty of man.

Proverbs 14:27

The fear of the Lord is a foundation of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.

Psalm 111:10

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who practice it have a good understanding.

Proverbs 25:14

The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear Him and He makes know to them His covenant.

Proverbs 19:23

The fear of the Lord leads to life and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.

When we fear the Lord we have:

  • knowledge

  • hate evil

  • know our purpose and duty in life

  • life and turn from death

  • wisdom and good understanding

  • strong confidence and a refuge

  • friendship with God

  • knowledge of His covenant

  • satisfaction and protection 

Jim Elliot wrote "In reading the Scriptures, I find a great moral power. Therein am I made aware of two great forces for good in human experience: the "fear" of God and the "grace" of God. Without the fear of God, I should not stop at doing evil; the fear of God restrains from evil. Without the grace of God, I should have no desire to approach positive goodness. The one is a deterrent from evil; the other an encouragement to good.”

Application

So how can we prove faithful - or show our allegiance to God instead of man?

1. Know the truth and be set free - study the difference between fearing God and fearing man Be equipped with the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God so that when we are confused or tempted we have the truth as a plum line to what is good and right. Check out the show notes for the Scripture from today’s episode. Read through and highlight some words that stick out. Look up the definitions. Memorize one.

2. Repent when we fear man instead of God. Ask God to reveal times you are trusting in man or fearing man instead of Him. And repent. Know the grace of God.

3. Rejoice and give thanks always - it changes our perspective and helps us remember God is God and keeps eternity in the front of our minds and hearts.

SPF 110: What Do We Do When We Don't Like Something in the Bible

What do we do when we get to those Bible passages that we maybe don’t agree with? Maybe we don’t understand them, or maybe we have a hard time embracing them. Today I’m going to talk about how we can prove faithful when it comes to tackling the problems we face with these passages.  

What do we do when we don’t like something in the Bible?

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Consider supporting the podcast in one of these ways:

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  2. Try Audible for a month for FREE and get TWO FREE audiobooks that you can keep forever! When you try Audible (even if you do not sign up), the SPF Podcast is directly supported. More info here: https://amzn.to/2CZLh41

  3. Check out Amazon affiliate links. When I link to the resources I talk about on the podcast, you can click through and SPF receives a small percentage for recommending resources I love!

God’s Word is the Standard of Truth

God’s Word is the standard of truth.

It’s how we know what is good, right, beautiful, MORAL, immoral, evil. 

We cannot use culture to define these things for us.

What is moral in culture right now may be immoral decades later.

So what about the passages that are hard for us. That we don’t like? OR that we don’t agree with?

Do they exist. Yes. For everyone. Because we are still in the flesh even if we are saved. There are still rebellious parts of our hearts.

The Problem: There is a war on God’s Word. 

There are enemies of the word and a battle to uphold human tradition, reasoning, and opinion rather than the authority of God’s Word in the Bible.

Who are these enemies? 

Well, there are some obvious ones - those who do not believe in God and are not saved. You can see leaders of thought and law in our countries that set themselves up against the God. 

So are the saved, the redeemed, the adopted sons and daughters of God. the flesh still wars against the spirit. RC Sproul said that Even conversion doesn’t cure immediately this deeply rooted hatred of God’s Word. 

Every day is a struggle for the believer to accept the whole counsel of God. 

So what do we do?

First know that is is part of sanctification. 

If we are recognizing we don’t agree with the Word or do not want to submit - praise God for His work in our heart to acknowledge this.

  1. We need to grow in our understanding of God’s Word so much more. We scratch the surface, but are we looking to understand. 

    • RC says mare those passages and study them for 10 years and see if your heart changes.

  2. Ask yourself why you’re struggling with a passage?

    • Is it because of culture saying something different than God, personal sin that’s being called out by that passage, are you dealing with a situation where believing God’s truth would make relationships difficult

We will inevitable fight against the word at times in our life because of the flesh at war with the spirit.

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

But this crossroad is an opportunity! When we find ourselves hostile to parts of the Word, it is a mirror to our soul - it is so revealing!

We can prove faithful in times where we come up against passages that are hard for us, by humbling ourselves to the wonderful, wise and holy God who has given us the gift of his word, and studying it when we don’t understand, and evaluating our own reasons of resistance.

While I’m away, here’s what you can do:

  1. Join SPF in the Word sheprovesfaithful.com/bible Get some Bible resources, be encouraged in knowing God’s Word

  2. Try audible for free for a month and get two free books that are yours to keep forever. https://amzn.to/2CZLh41

  3. Find me on IG @sheprovesfaithful - I try and hop on there and show a bit of my life and connect with you!

Resources

Amazon links are affiliate links - I receive a very small commission for my recommendations.

RC Sproul sermon (may expire after a certain time): https://renewingyourmind.org/2019/01/24/this-means-war

Family Worship Bible Guide
By Joel R Beeke Ph.D.



SPF 109: God is Not Silent with the Most Important Questions

Sometimes we are tempted to ask the question “Why doesn’t God _____” When we are searching for answers, there are two things we need to look at - the attitude of our hearts and the truth that God is actually not silent on the most important questions. 

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Interested in supporting the podcast?

Please consider supporting the podcast in one of these ways:

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  3. Check out Amazon affiliate links. When I link to the resources I talk about on the podcast, you can click through and SPF receives a small percentage for recommending resources I love!

Life Hack

Tape a roll of duct tape behind your trash can so the lid can open all the way up!

God is NOT Silent

Number 1: When God is silent version 2.0 

God may feel silent sometimes. We may be asking and asking and wondering and wondering and the answers are not coming. 

We may ask the question why doesn’t God _______?

And when God doesn’t answer how we expect We can go two ways - humbly wait and worship knowing He has given us everything we need in Scripture for faith and practice, or we can get demanding.

The problem with a demanding attitude toward God is that we believe God should bend toward our will, rather than us bend toward His. It is revealing of our own desire to rule over our lives rather than submit to His direction.

Leads to feelings of isolation and that God doesn’t care.

Isolation:

It leads to feelings of isolation because we are drifting from the vine - the source of life and nourishment. Maybe we feel alone or like God has left us because He’s not answering us, and so we try to manufacture answers and direction and it’s lonely and empty.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.

God doesn’t Care:

When we want God to bend to our will and he doesn’t do it, it leads to those feelings that He doesn’t care.

The truth is God does care about us - so much he knows how many hairs are on our head at any given time, so much so that He dwells in us after He regenerates our dead hearts. So much that he forgives all our sin.

Number 2: God is actually not silent when it comes to the most important answers we need

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
— Hebrews 1:1-4

What is God not silent about? OUR REDEMPTION! He is not silent about how His plans and now the execution of His plans to save people from their sin.

God has spoken through His creation Hebrews 1:2,10

1 Kings says:“After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, ‘What are you doing here Elijah?’” (1 Kings 19:12-13).

In today’s passage, Elijah witnesses a great wind, an earthquake, and a fire. These are awesome sights, but God does not answer him in any of these (vv. 11–12a). Instead, God comes in a whisper (vv. 12b–14) as if to say “Elijah my servant, I, the Lord, am with you even if I am not doing the mighty things you think I should.”
Just as he dealt with Elijah, (and others like Esther and Mordecai) God does not have to appear visibly to be present. Even if we do not feel Him, He is with us and working out His plan in unimaginable ways.
— Ligonier

One of my favorite Psalms to read when I feel the demanding heart pop up - when the why’s are banging on the door is Psalm 131

Psalm 131

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;

my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things

too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul,  like a weaned child with its mother;    like a weaned child is my soul within me.O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.

God is at work in great and marvelous ways. We can lean in and trust Him.

Resources

Ligonier Devotion on God’s Silence Presence - https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/gods-silent-presence/

Most listened to podcast of 2018: SPF 096: How to Be Free From Bitterness

Creation.org

Riot and The Dance - Nature Documentary based on God as Creator

Amazon Links are affiliate links.


The Riot and the Dance: Earth
Starring Dr. Gordon Wilson
The Creation Answers Book
By David Catchpoole, Jonathan Sarfati, Carl Wieland