This is our journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matthew 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.

Category: grace (Page 2 of 2)

David’s Digest: Walmart-Jireh

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines the word “provider” in the following way:

PROVI’DER, n. One who provides, furnishes or supplies; one that procures what is wanted.

I’d like to ask a few questions:

Who or what is the provider of our water? If we pay to get our water piped into our house, the company that does that is our provider.

Who or what is the provider of our food? If we go to a grocery store, the grocery store is (along with every part of the chain involved in getting it there).

Who or what is the provider of our clothing? If you get it from a retail store, the store and the manufacturers are.

I could go on; but if we’re paying someone or some entity for us to have the necessities of life, then by the definition above, they are our provider.

If we’ve placed a middle man between us and God’s direct provisions, then in reality we no longer look to God for His providence — we look to the middle man. Don’t believe that? In a town, if our water stopped flowing from the faucet in our house, what would we do? We’d call the water company — our water provider. If we would starve without the nearest grocery store having food to buy, then it is our provider.

To whom we look for your life provisions, they are our provider.

Gen 22:13-14 – “13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh [the Lord will see/provide]: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.” (see John Gill’s commentary on vs. 14)

God provided the ram for the sacrifice, and we are to look to Him alone as our provider.

Spiritual Provisions

God providing temporily is really a “type” of His spiritual provisions (we eat bread — He is the bread of life (John 6:35); we drink water — He gives the water of life (John 4:14); etc.) In the same way God provided the ram above (also as a type), He provided a Sacrifice, a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, for His people; and we are to look to Him alone for salvation.

Further, God is the only source for all other spiritual provisions, such as spiritual graces, as the heart of man is desperately wicked; and everyone is dead in their sins until God, by His own sovereign will, graces and mercies, breathes new life into them. Did we conjure up our own free-will faith to believe in God, and that’s why He saved us? Then we were the provider of our faith (and thus our salvation?!) Do we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, have “power thoughts” for courage and strength, and declare we’re going to be meek and humble and not let the things of life get us down? Then we are the provider of our Christian graces.

The Bible says otherwise, and prevents any man from boasting of providing his own faith and spiritual graces.

And so, in the end, who is our provider?

— David

Things Turned Rightside Up

Although this will be much a condensed version, we’ll start where things really began to turn for us in our lives. It was August, 2002. Sue and I had been in a serious relationship for nearly a year. We held the typical doctrines that most “Christian” churches hold now, and we attended a church that strived to be “relevant” for today. Generally our doctrines were based on the idea that people needed to be convinced by attraction that they need Jesus. Much of our efforts at the church we attended were based upon that premise: being “sensitive” to “seekers”, being enticing (with modern music, dress, etc.) to people to convince them Jesus loved them, etc. Sue was involved with the “worship team” (which is really just the music team, because worship is much more than just music); and I was involved with a new and ungrounded-Christian class that supposedly set those folks on the proper beginning path. Again, both of these “ministries” were founded upon the originally mentioned premise: working to convince people they needed Jesus, that essentially Christians generally aren’t offensive, and that Jesus loves them exactly as they are.

The Lord, by His graces and mercies, began to show us the Bible spoke of things differently, and He began to show us some things about the basic tenets and doctrines of Christianity that were different than the doctrines we held at the time. The Lord led us to articles that pointed out some things the Bible says that we hadn’t really been taught before: that people are actually evil by nature and from birth; that there is a group of people called the elect, chosen by God to be His people according to His will only; that Christ only died for (paid for the sins of ) people He actually saved (ie. those that go to heaven); that our wills are actually moved by His Spirit toward Him, and without Him doing that, we would still just naturally be and continue to be His enemy; and other doctrines.

Wow! What? We had heard some on election before, but not much, and not these other things, and not these things in churches we had attended all of our lives. Needless to say, it became personally difficult. Were these things actually true?

After study and these things spinning in our heads for several weeks, by God’s graces and as revealed in the Bible, we began to understand these things to be true. Given that, our entire Christian belief systems were flipped around: instead of turned upside down, I like to say they were turned rightside up. From there the Lord granted that we might continue to grow in these understandings, and He has graciously continued to teach from His written word.

There is so much more behind this in the details, but I’ll try to summarize: we hold to the orthodox Christian tenets of what are commonly called the doctrines of grace; that God is sovereign over everything, including salvation. Many people call this “Calvinism”, but I believe many do this so they can categorize it (pigeon-hole it) and then much more easily marginalize it. However, these teachings are indeed in the Bible.

If you’ve never heard of these ideas before, or you have but still don’t believe they are in the Bible, here is a document of scriptures which we prayerfully hope you will prayerfully consider: Election, Atonement, and Other Interesting Verse Sets.

So, this is basically where it started for us. We have since studied many, many things, including several interesting items which have been noted at our previous Web page By God’s Sovereign Grace and Mercy. Although not brief, this page of ours encapsulates much of what we believe the Lord has graciously and mercifully taught us over the last several years, doctrinally and regarding our view of the world.

Beyond the doctrine, it is that element, our worldview, that we believe He has graciously continued to reform, causing us to decide to live our lives quite differently than what is common today. I will hopefully and Lord willing get into that in one or more of the next posts.

— David

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