Love is when you give someone the very best thing that you can give them for their very best good, and ask what would God give to me if he loved me infinitely. So let this hit you. You got the right answer, but let this hit you. The best gift God can give to a person is himself. This is something we can never say of ourselves. I learned this from C.
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When you love something and a gift is given to you and you delight in that gift, that delight is not complete until it is expressed in some kind of praise. Let me read you the quote where I learned this from Lewis:. The most obvious fact about praise, whether of God or anything, strangely escaped me. I thought of it in terms of complement or approval, or the giving of honor. I had never noticed that all enjoyment, all enjoyment, spontaneously overflows in praise, unless shyness or the fear of boring others in deliberately brought in to check it.
The world rings with praise; lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game, praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians and scholars.
My whole more general difficulty about the praise of God depended on my absurdly denying to us as regards to the supremely valuable; what we delight to do, what indeed we cannot help doing about everything else we value. Tell me, has there ever been an experience where you felt tremendous joy?
Everybody has that capacity down there hidden away to praise and delight.
I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment. It is its appointed consummation.
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It is not out of compliment or duty that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are. The delight is incomplete until it is expressed. The Twins have won two World Series in the last so many years and my church is four blocks from the Dome. You can hear the Dome at those moments at my church. Now suppose you handed out little slips of paper as people walked in on the seventh game and said — at the big top it said — enjoy yourself.
And then it said, but for circumstances beyond our control no sounds will be allowed out of your mouths. No cheering, no booing, no hollering, but enjoy yourself fully. It is not true. God in his utter self-centeredness says to us again and again, praise me, praise me, praise me, praise me, and this bothered Lewis when he read the psalms. Not realizing that if God gives us himself to enjoy and his love is full enough to bring that joy to consummation, he cannot be indifferent to whether it reaches consummation in praise.
And therefore his command, praise me, praise me among the nations, praise me among the peoples, gather the peoples to praise me is love. God is the one being in the universe for whom self-exaltation is the highest virtue and the most loving act. If he did not exalt himself in my life and require my exalting of him, he would not love me. Now, I love you and you want to keep your feet warm, so thank me. Well, he could say the words, which is what a lot of worship is, thank you for the socks, God.
Thank you for the socks. Thank you for the socks — just read it out of a book. O, God, thank you for the socks. Okay, back to the torching strategy. So I come back now to where we started and try to wrap things up here and relate them to missions again. He has a passion that beauty and glory be upheld in the world. This is his righteousness. His unswerving allegiance to doing right by his glory is his righteousness. Now I came to Bethlehem in And in I began to sound these notes, and I was not a world Christian in any real rigorous or serious sense.
And I began to preach. In during a missions conference God did something to him and he did something to me.
The Supremacy of God in World Evangelism | Desiring God
And a world Christian was born that night in an hour of weeping. I was in a sermon series called Desiring God , which became the book in And I was at sermon number nine, and for the first time in the history of my being at Bethlehem, the missions committee asked me to preach one of the missions messages, a dangerous thing to do for a pastor. And I began to see the connections more clearly than ever. And God has been very gracious. Many of these will be doing the job far more effectively and cheaply than Western missionaries due simply to the fact that they have fewer cultural barriers to cross, understand the geography, politics and economics of their area better, and their ministries cost less.
A national missionary or Christian worker will accomplish more with a greater return on the mission investment. A national Christian worker knows the culture and local language and therefore requires little or no cultural adjustment. The attrition or drop out rate due to the many cross-cultural challenges are minimized. A national Christian worker usually lives the same lifestyle as the people to which he or she ministers. In most situations this is generally a lifestyle of poverty compared to what Western missionaries require. A national missionary is able to engage in evangelistic and church planting activities in countries which do not grant missionary visas to Western missionaries.
A national Christian worker is often willing to minister in the midst of great danger and suffer great personal sacrifice to reach his own culture and people. A national Christian worker does not need a prolonged furlough like the Western missionary. Over the years we have learned that a successful partnership depends upon many factors but the foundation is established upon mutual trust and the ability of each partner to fulfill its part of the agreement. There are seven characteristics that Charis Partners International prayerfully evaluates before we enter into a partnership agreement.
We do not want to be one-dimensional, but multi-dimensional. We are NOT the green church, the blue state church, the red letter church, the emergent church, the social justice church or the progressive church a new palatable term for theological-liberal. Categorizing Statements Chapel on the Vine stands firmly in the center of orthodox Christian teaching. On the spectrum of Christian churches: The short form explanation of an evangelical is three-fold: A belief in "solo scriptura" --the Scripture alone--Martin Luther held firm to this.
In this proclamation is the stance that Scripture trumps any other document or man-made proclamation, rendering them inferior as it has to do with the church, salvation, spiritual issues, etc. A belief in a "personal faith and relationship" with Jesus Christ. A conviction that Christians must share or evangelize this message to the world. We are neither deists nor cessationists; nor are we traditional charismatics or Pentecostals. We are categorized as "empowered evangelicals". A new term might be coined as, "expectationalists". We desire for God to move; but don't control Him and tell Him what to do.
So we are sensitive and do not allow people to yell at God demanding Him, by their commanding tone, for Him to show up. He is God and will blow His Spirit pneuma when and where He desires. We simply ask and implore Him to come. We find ourselves wanting, asking, desiring and expecting. We have been challenged to pray for; hope for and to some healthy extent, expect His move. Our Statement of Faith We confess our affirmation of the Apostle's, Nicene, and Chalcedonian Creeds, which we believe to reflect Christian orthodoxy and the clear teaching of Holy Scripture.
In addition, as a member of Chapel on the Vine, we make the following confession of faith our own: I believe in one living and true God, the Creator and Lord of the heavens and the earth. In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, of one substance, equal in power and eternity: I believe that Jesus Christ is truly God and truly man, yet one Messiah, the only mediator between God and man. There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.
He lived a sinless life in perfect obedience to the Father, and was crucified for my sins. He suffered, died, and was buried, and He rose bodily from the dead on the third day.
Should I Ever Take an Action I Don’t ‘Have Peace’ About?
As the God-man, Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for His people. At His first coming, Jesus inaugurated the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God. I believe in the Holy Spirit, who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify and empower for ministry every believer in Jesus Christ.
He is an abiding Helper, Teacher and Guide. I believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and in the exercise of all the Biblical gifts of the Spirit. I believe that I, along with all men and women, am a sinner by nature and choice and was under condemnation. I am now accounted righteous before God only by the merit of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, through faith in Him alone, and not by my own works or deserving. I believe that I have been born again by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit.
This same Holy Spirit now lives in me, producing faith, holiness, love and power.