Yesterday morning’s sermon encouraged us to be humble. I came across this helpful tool entitled The 50 Fruits of Pride, put out by Sovereign Grace Ministries that has been helpful in helping me see the nature of my pride.
Today, for our Marriage Monday segment, I wanted to put up some questions for self-examination from Paul David Tripp’s excellent work on communication entitled War of Words. At the end of chapter 1, he gives the following questions which should help you see you aren’t a perfect communicator and will place you at the mercy of the Gospel:
Below are some of the fruits of godly talk (see Gal. 5:22-23). Evaluate yourself…
1) Does your talk with others lead to Biblical problem solving?
2) Does your talk have a “stand together” or a “me against him/her/them” posture?
3) Do your words encourage others to be open and honest about their thoughts and feelings?
4) Are you approachable and teachable or defensive and self-protective when talking with others?
5) Is your communication healthy in the principal relationships in your life?
• extended family
• sibling relationships
• body of Christ
6) Does your talk encourage faith and personal spiritual growth in those around you?
7) Do you talk with others to develop relationships with them, or do you only talk to solve problems during times of trouble?
8) Do you speak humble and honest words of confession when you sin and words of sincere forgiveness when others sin against you?
9) Do your words reflect a willingness to serve others or a demand that they serve you?
10) As you face struggles of talk, do you do so with a recognition of the gospel—God’s forgiveness, His enabling grace, and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit?
Communicate to the glory of God by finding mercy in the Gospel.
I’ve really been challenged by the current series by the women over at GirlTalk. If you are unfamiliar with this website, Carolyn Mahaney (wife of C.J.) and her daughters regularly blog and discuss issues related to living the Christian life and issues of womanhood. Presently, they are on day 6 of an interview called FoodTalk, dicussing how one can glorify God in the intake of food.
This interview is with David Kotter and Dr. Jeffrey Trimark. These two men are the authors of Eat and Be Content, which is due to be published by Crossway in 2008. Be challenged to exercise self-control by reading these convicting posts.
Since I’m studying Lloyd-Jones every Wednesday night, I thought for today’s audio of the week, I would recommend the incredible website – The Martyn Lloyd-Jones Recordings Trust. This website lets you listen to the Doctor every week with an audio that they still update. There are CD’s and tapes to purchase as well as MP3’s. It might be worth your time to browse around and enjoy.
I have owned this from ITunes for a while, but the latest song from Billy & Cindy Foote (who brought great songs to the church like You are My King, Sing to the King, You Are God Alone) have brought us a great single on ITunes entitled, “If I Say I Love You.”
Here are the lyrics:
Father, forever faithful
in keeping your covenant of love
You have never forsaken Your people
or betrayed our trust
You are faithful and true
and just to say I love You is not enough
Jesus, there is no other so lovely
You satisfy my soul
You are constantly keeping Your promise
I will never be alone
By Your goodness and grace
May I live in a way that really shows
If I say I love You
I will do what You say
I will obey You and surrender all
If I say I’m Your friend
I will keep Your commands
I will obey You and surrender all
Take my life, let it be
Set apart, pure and holy
This song simply restates in musical form the sentiments of our Lord when He said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) We dumb this down in today’s worship circles and think that our passionate singing to the glory of God is enough to demonstrate our love for Him. Jesus has other thoughts though. We demonstrate our love for Him in a life of obedience. Check out this song and be challenged to walk the walk of a disciple.
Colin Adams has a great post on Lloyd-Jones and what he sought to do in a sermon — specifically to give sermons that attack. In my Wed PM class, we are reading Lloyd-Jones on the Sermon on the Mount. We have had some discussion in this class about the language that Lloyd-Jones employs in making his points. I think these comments from the doctor himself will help us understand what he is about (since the Sermons on the Sermon on the Mount are a collection of his preaching). Colin writes:
In Preaching and Preachers (p 73) Jones reminds us that true preaching has an ‘element of attack in it.’ Therefore it is utterly unlike an ‘essay.’ The quote below reminds me that preaching a sermon isn’t the same as giving a lecture. We are looking to capture the throne of men’s hearts for Christ!
Then, Colin gives the following quote…
“He proceeds to write an easy, and then enters a pulpit and either reads or recites this essay which he has so prepared. But I suggest that that is not preaching at all; that really has very little, if anything, to do with preaching.
This is so, very largely, because there is no element of attack in it. If there is an element of attack in an essay it is correspondingly a bad essay. The essential character of an essage is that it should play with the ideas, and on the whole handle them lightly. An essay should have charm and elegance. It is a form of literature which should make interesting, entertaining and enjoyable reading; but it is not preaching.”
Hopefully this helps us see the bloodearnest way in which Lloyd-Jones exercised his ministry and should encourage all of us in ministry to be bold and confident in our work.
This coming Friday night, October 12, we will begin a series at HomeWord which will be looking at our communication. I thought some words from Paul David Tripp would be helpful in whetting your appetite for this study…
“No matter where you live, no matter what you do every day, there is one thing that you do all day long. You talk. From the first, “Is it time to get up already?” to the final “Good-night, I gotta get some sleep,” you talk. In the bedroom, bathroom, hallway, and kitchen, in the car, the store, the factory, and the boardroom, you talk. To your spouse, children, friends, family, neighbors, and fellow-workers, you talk. It is what humans do, almost without interruption and often without a thought about how important it is to human life. The ability to communicate is one of the things that separates us from the rest of creation. We are people and we talk. We need to recognize how “wordy” our lives actually are.” (Taken from War of Words by Paul David Tripp, Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 2000, p.3)
Communication is a huge and vital part of our interaction with one another in relationships. Whether it is marriage or interaction in the workplace, effective communication is key. Join us this Friday, from 7-9 at the church to be refined in this area. I plan to post audio and application questions here next Monday.
I really enjoyed this article by Isaac Hydoski entitled “Where Have All the Men Gone?” Here are some places to begin our process, men, to become the men God has called us to be…
1. Establish a clear conviction of what it means to be a man from God’s Word. This requires effort and diligence in our study, prayer, and purposeful application. This is important because biblical masculinity undefined will inevitably become biblical masculinity unpracticed.
2. We must create and maintain an example worth following. We need to fight our sin, be doers of the Word We can serve our churches, our sisters, wives, children by being compelling examples of godliness (Philippians 3:17, Hebrews 13:7).
3. We must cultivate a holy ambition in our lives for the work of the gospel and kingdom work. We need to lead with zeal (Romans 12:8), to have a passion and unending enthusiasm to know Christ and the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:7-12). This ambition should drive us to work hard and be courageous in the work of the Lord (1Corinthians 15:58) in the uniquely masculine ways God has called us to.
Step into the joy of being a Godly Man!