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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Christians In The Military

Do Christian troops have a right to separate shower facilities from homosexuals? Do Christian military members have the right to separate sleeping quarters? Do they have the right to not be sexually harassed on the job by somebody who’s hitting on them? Is it OK to be openly homosexual in the military, but not openly Christian? Chad Groening writes:

A former Navy chaplain has launched a petition drive aimed at defending military chaplains and Christian troops from persecution by proponents of homosexuality.

In December, Lt. Col. Stacy L. Maxey (USAF), who is stationed in Afghanistan, wrote a letter to the editor of Stars and Stripes arguing that the Department of Defense has now become the “Department of Double Standards,” in telling service members who have a problem with the homosexual lifestyle to “learn to deal with it,” while at the same time allowing homosexuals to “parade their lifestyle choices in front of all.”

Maxey went on to write that he has a higher commitment to God than to the Department of Defense — and that if officials there are upset with his comments, they can “learn to deal with it.”

Continue reading. . . .

John Piper On God Centered Preaching

John Piper

John Piper

Quoting John Piper, of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis:

My burden is to plead for the supremacy of God in preaching — that the dominant note of preaching be the freedom of God’s sovereign grace, the unifying theme be the zeal that God has for his own glory, the grand object of preaching be the infinite and inexhaustible being of God, and the pervasive atmosphere of preaching be the holiness of God. Then when preaching takes up the ordinary things of life — family, job, leisure, friendships; or the crises of our day — AIDS, divorce, addictions, depression, abuses, poverty, hunger, and, worst of all, unreached peoples of the world, these matters are not only taken up. They are taken all the way up into God.

 

Advice To Preachers From C. H. Spurgeon

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

How does your minister prepare to preach God’s Word? According to Spurgeon, the attitude toward preparing a sermon makes all the difference:

I notice, also, that, if God will speak to us, there must be a deep seriousness of heart. Let me remind you again of that text: “That trembleth at my word”. . . . In fact, God never comes to us without our trembling. The old Romish legend is that the tree that bore the Savior was the aspen, whose leaves continually quiver. He that bears Christ within him, and feels the weight of the divine glory, must be filled with awe. . . . We are so weak, and these divine inspirations are so weighty, that we are subdued into awe, and there is no room for levity. Brethren, avoid anything like trifling over sermon-making. Someone says, “Well, I take very little time over my sermon.” Make no boast of that; it may be your sin. Listen! If a man had been put apprentice to cabinetmaking, and had worked at it for a lifetime, it may be he would have a great deal of skill and a store of prepared material, so that he could turn out a chair in a short time; but you must not, therefore, think that you could do the same, and that cabinet work is mere child’s play. A certain minister may compose a sermon in a short time, but you must remember that this is the result of the labor of many years. Even he, who, according to common parlance, speaks quite extemporaneously, does not really do so: he delivers what he has in previous years stored up. The mill is full of corn, and, therefore, when you put a sack in the proper place, it is filled with flour in a short time. Do not regard preparation for the pulpit as a trifling thing; and do not rush upon your holy duties without devout fitness for the hallowed service. Make your waiting upon God a necessity of your calling, and at the same time the highest privilege of it. Count it your joy and honor to have an interview with your Master. Get your message fresh from God. Even manna stinks if you keep it beyond its time; therefore, get it fresh from heaven, and then it will have a celestial relish. . . .

This power, which we so greatly need in getting our message, will only come where there is a sympathy with God. Brethren, do you know what it is to be in tender sympathy with God? Perhaps no man among us knows what perfect sympathy with God means; yet we must, at least, be in such accord with God as to feel that he could not do or say anything which we would question. We could not doubt any truth which he could reveal; neither in our heart of hearts would we quarrel with anything which his will could appoint. If anything in us is not in perfect agreement with the Lord, we regard it as evil, and groan to be set free from it. If anything in us contends against God, we contend against it, for we are one with God in intent and desire. (Sermon: “The Preacher’s Power and the Conditions of Obtaining it”)

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