Saturday, February 28, 2009

Making Bad People Good or Dead People Live?

From Ravi Zacharias (as heard on Wretched Radio):

"Man is not just unethical, he is lost and dead... The biggest difference between Jesus Christ and ethical and moral teachers who have been deified by man is that these moralists came to make bad people good. Jesus came to make dead people live."

Let us be careful never to merely seek to make bad people good through legislation or any other means. We must always strive to share the good news of the gospel which changes people’s hearts through new life in Christ.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Praying for "Moral Rebirth" in America?

One Christian organization is calling on believers to gather at city halls across the nation to pray for a “moral rebirth” in America. I do not find anywhere in Scripture where we are called to pray for “moral rebirth”. Indeed, there can never be a “moral rebirth” apart from the spiritual rebirth of individuals through the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is this for which we must pray and work as we seek to reach both political leaders and regular citizens with good news of the gospel.

Bible Study: "Loving Our Enemies in the Capitol"

From this week's capitol Bible study, "Loving Our Enemies in the Capitol":

"It may be easy at times to make enemies in politics and in the capitol. In the heat of campaigns, debates, and political maneuvering things can be said and actions can be taken which strain personal relationships. In light of this we come to what are perhaps some of Jesus’ most challenging words, "love your enemies". In our last study we saw that Jesus gave us a negative command on how His followers will respond if insulted, cheated, or done wrong. We are not to retaliate. In this last illustration we are studying today He sets the bar for true righteousness even higher. He teaches that His true followers will respond positively to their enemies who mistreat them by loving them, caring for them, and praying for them. Let’s look more closely at Jesus’ command to love our enemies."

Matthew 5:43-48

Read the complete study.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bible Study: "What Rights Do I Have in the Capitol?"

From our capitol Bible study on Thursday, February 19:

We come to consider what may be some of the best known quotes from The Sermon on the Mount. “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”, “Turn the other cheek”, and “Go the extra mile” are phrases that often find their way into our every day language. However, they are probably also some of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted words from scripture.

Read our complete study "What Rights Do I Have in the Capitol?".

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pray for the Family and Friends of Senator William Sharpe

Long time state senator William Sharpe passed away on Sunday. Please keep his family and friends in prayer.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bible Study: The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth

From our first Bible study of the 2009 legislative session:

The truth may seem hard to find at times in the world of politics. In a 2006 Harris poll, politicians were pretty far down the list of trusted professions. Only 35% of people said politicians were people they would generally trust to tell the truth. I would also be quick to point out the number of pastors and Christian leaders who have been caught publicly in situations where they have been less than truthful. In politics and other realms the term “spin” is used to describe the “creative presentation” of facts usually involving disingenuous tactics (i.e. lying). A lack of veracity is not confined to the world of politics.

We all struggle with it each and every day. John MacArthur described our situation this way: “The truth is scarce, and everyone is suspect: business people, salesmen, clerks, lawyers, doctors, advertisers, teachers, reporters, writers, politicians, and even preachers, with a few exceptions. In fact, the whole of our society is a network of fabrication. We shade the truth, we cheat, we exaggerate, we tax-dodge, we fail to keep our promises, we flatter for gain, we betray confidence, we make excuses, we tell half-truths, white lies, etcetera.”

It is in this context we come to our next section in our study of The Sermon on the Mount and we find Jesus has some strong words regarding the importance of telling the truth.

You can read the complete study here.

The 2009 Legislative Session Began This Week

The 2009 regular legislative session began this week. This is an important time for us as we have the opportunity to minister to our leaders during this time they spend at the capitol.

We will be providing three Bible studies for the legislators, elected officials, lobbyists, and staff who serve in the capitol community. Please pray for our studies in the weeks to come:

  • Tuesdays at 12:00 noon: lobbyist & staff study

  • Thursdays at 8:00 a.m: legislator & elected official study

  • Thursdays at 6:30 p.m: Dinner and Bible study for legislators & elected officials
Pray for our leaders to make it priority to study the Word in spite of their busy schedules.

Pray that we will have opportunities to share the gospel individually with our leaders.

Pray for our leaders as they spend this time away from their families.

Getting the Gospel Right

From Matt Chandler's message at the Desiring God Pastor's Conference:

"The gospel matters. Getting the gospel right matters. If you get the gospel wrong, and you don’t distinguish the difference between what morality is and what the gospel is, then what you’ve done at best is restrained the hearts of people, but you will not see their hearts transformed.

"If you don’t get the gospel right then what ends up happening is that men and women become conformed to a pattern of religion but they are not transformed by the Holy Spirit of God.

"Without the gospel you inoculate people against Jesus Christ. You give them just enough of Him to never know Him. The gospel matters."

You can listen to or download the message here.