• 1 Peter 2-2
  • GuardingTheDeposit.com
  • Philippians 1-9

Archive of ‘Miscellaneous’ category

Post-Easter: What now?

In our evangelical culture of "easy grace", it's important to keep the cross in view after Easter.

 

Easter reminds true Christians of how much Jesus loved us; yes, even through every scornful word and undeserved beating that He received on the way to, and eventually on Golgotha. His sacrifice brings us to our knees in praise and thanksgiving, and we are simply overwhelmed at what the Father has done through His Son, for us, and we are awestruck by the incredible love that the Son has for us. These three days (Easter) are marked by sweet fellowship and the joy of salvation and are unparalleled by any other time of the year.

Then what?

On Easter Monday, as our daily routines and weekly to-do lists creep back into our minds, do the impact and eternal significance of the cross begin to fade from view? Could it be that we only seek the benefits of Jesus’ sacrifice and the resulting blessings, forgetting that we too have a cross to bear? Statements such as, “Let go and let God” or the concept of “easy grace” might tempt us to unfasten the belt of truth, lower the shield of faith, and put down the sword of the Spirit until all that we have left is the helmet of salvation. Do we mistakenly (or intentionally, even) “rebuke Satan” or “plead the blood of Christ” in an effort to live victorious lives, forgetting that joyous and triumphant living is attained through holy living and the knowledge that we belong to Christ? Or do we devote each day to God, powered by the Spirit, to conform our thoughts, wills, and affections to be like the mind of Christ? Do we battle daily to tame our tongues, kill our flesh, knock down our idols, and sever our conformity to the world? Are we willing to drive stakes into our prideful selves, cognizant that our identity is in Christ Jesus?

Let me be clear: Our good deeds do not earn or keep our salvation. Only faith in the redeeming blood of Christ, spilled on the cross, attains salvation – and faith in Him alone! Nor am I attempting to place a burden on anyone – Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Paul tells us to work out our salvation, as we obey God in the process of being like Christ Jesus, knowing that ultimately the work is His to do (Romans 8:29; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 13:20-21). While we will never be completely sinless or completely holy on this side of eternity, we can seek to love and glorify Him every day in our obedience to His Word, His commands.

Our joy is found in following Jesus, and a successful walk with God is to live lives that are consistent with what God has done in us and for us. Paul committed to know nothing but Christ crucified – how glorious would it be to live that way? Indeed!

A joyous, introspective, and blessed Saturday and Resurrection Sunday to you and your loved ones. All praise and glory to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

Hallowed be His name,

Pamela

 

 

 

 

0 comment

Biblical Stewardship and Goal Planning

Goal planning and Biblical Stewardship

 

This is the time when many people set goals for the coming year:  vision boards will flood Pinterest, while worldly and godless motivational quotes such as “Believe you can and you’re halfway there!” will fill Facebook’s newsfeed. However, just what are we envisioning and believing? Treasures that can be stored up in heaven (Matthew 6:20)? Or are we storing up worldly things and setting worldly goals? Goals can be good when not man-centered and not driven by selfish ambition. To ensure that we are setting God-honoring goals that have eternal value, here are some points to remember.

God is the Owner of Everything and He is in Control of Everything

God is the owner of our time, our abilities and our resources – we are merely managing these responsibilities. Since it is no longer we that live, but Christ who lives in us (Galatians 2:20), His desires need to be our desires. So, are we managing what belongs to God for His glory?

Additionally, as believers, we must remember that when things do not go as we planned, that God is still sovereign over our circumstances and our lives.

Verses to meditate upon:

  • The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell within (Psalm 24:1)
  •  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above (James 1:17a)
  • The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps (Proverbs 16:9).

We Exist for God’s Pleasure

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created (Revelation 4:11 KJV).

It is humbling to know that God created us for His pleasure – to be in a relationship with Him, and to worship Him through His son Jesus Christ. How wondrous it is that He involves us in His purposes! As we discern what these purposes are, what He has given us stewardship over, and what His commands are, we must submit to His will, not ours. Our ambitions must be in submission to His purposes and plans.

We’ll do well to know that the ultimate purpose for believers is to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31), and this includes spreading the Gospel.

Verses to meditate on:

  • Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.(Proverbs 16:3)
  • Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will act (Psalm 37:5)
  • Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).

Many think the verses above mean that God will act favorably toward our plans and the desires of our heart if we commit them to Him. Instead, we are to commit our work, plans, and heart to HIS way first, and then God will favorably act. We cannot simply say, “God I’m committing my goal of buying a 4-storey mansion to You. Please establish my plans and grant me this desire of my heart.”

Look forward to future rewards!

It may feel wrong to be motivated to receive rewards; however, Scripture mentions rewards many times. As mentioned earlier, Jesus told us to “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20). What are we storing up? What treasures do our hearts desire?

Verses to meditate on:

  • Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)
  • Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him (James 1:12)
  • Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing (2 Timothy 4:8).

The Prayer of Jesus

Before Jesus’ death, the Son of God prayed a remarkable prayer to God the Father. In this prayer, He said, “I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work that You gave Me to do” (John 17:4). As followers of Jesus, this is a wonderful goal for us, so that by the grace of God we may hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).

Have a blessed 2016 – and to God be the glory!

Hallowed be His name,

Pamela

Resources:

A piece with application regarding self-examination

A New Year’s Motto

Psalm 115:1

 

 

 

 

 

0 comment

A Note of Return and a Give Away!

Hello, friends! First, I’d like to thank you for all your prayers and encouragement. They have lifted me greatly. I have seen physical improvement, however, since this is an ongoing condition and I cannot depend on my hands and arms to work for extended periods of time, articles that would appear in Weekender will be posted on Guarding The Deposit’s facebook page on a daily basis as I come across them. The page is open to the public, so if you’re not on Facebook, you can still access it if you wish.

Enough about me and on to the giveaway which is about the greatest gift of all–Jesus Christ. Jesus Unmasked, written by the humorous Todd Friel, has given me a deeper appreciation of Jesus in the Old Testament. It would also be a great gift for those outside of the Church who struggle to understand who Jesus was and is.

You do not have to do anything to enter (it’s not a works-based giveaway, wink, wink), I will simply draw a name from the subscriber list and contact the winner by email (check your spam folder for pamelacouvrette@gmail.com).

Have a blessed weekend,
Pamela

2 Comments

Women and Apologetics

women and apologetics

 

I love apologetics. It’s not because I have a talent for it – because I don’t. Or because I’m a great debater – because I’m not; I’ll prove it to you – oh wait, no I won’t.

I love apologetics because it emboldens me. As Christians, we have the truth and we are commanded to give a defense for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15). There are many great apologetic resources available and one of them is Mary Jo Sharp’s, Defending The Faith. I am happy to announce that I will draw a name from my email subscriber list to receive a free copy of Defending The Faith*.

 

 

Happy Contending,

Pamela

(this post is not sponsored)

*winner will be contacted by April 20th, 2015.

 

0 comment

Our Heart Attitude and The Gospel

Our Heart Attitude and The Gospel

Answers In Genesis posted some handy acronyms to help us remember the attitude of our hearts while we share the Gospel.

I’m not the best when it comes to remembering acronyms, especially when I create them like this:

acronym

That’s not how you do it, but this is:

The Heart

C—Compassion

Compassion is cultivated as we view each person as a soul who will spend eternity with or without God.

A—Acceptance

Accept the person as an individual who has been created in the image of God.

R—Respect

Respect each person and treat him or her with dignity. The cultivation of good listening skills is critical to the proper communication of the gospel message.

E—Encouragement

Encourage the person along the way as you help answer his or her questions.

The Purpose

C—Connecting

Connect to others in common areas of life by being yourself and being transparent. Let your heart connect to their heart.

A—Assessing

Assess the worldview of your prospect before responding so you can understand his or her questions and know how to properly answer them.

R—Responding

Responding graciously is just as important as having accurate information.

E—Evangelizing

I will be praying for you and those whom you share the Gospel with this Easter season. Friends, do not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9), for we are not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16a).

Happy contending,

Pamela

0 comment

The Importance of Preaching the Resurrection

The Importance of Preaching the Resurrection

 

With Easter approaching, I want to encourage you to share the wonderful hope of eternal life we have because of the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That Jesus rose from the dead has the important following consequences:

1. Our sins are forgiven because of Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross (1 Corinthians 15).

2. We will have eternal life, since only He can remove the sting that is death and the victory that is the grave’s (1 Corinthians 15:54-55).

3. Like Jesus, we will have a resurrected body (1 Corinthians 15:49).

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul explains the consequences of not preaching the resurrection of Christ:

1. Preaching Christ is in vain

2. Faith in Christ would be worthless

3. All the witnesses and preachers of the resurrection would be false witnesses

4. No one would be redeemed from sin

5. All former believers would have perished

6. Christians would be the most pitied of all men

Only the Christian faith possesses a founder who beat death and who promises that His followers will as well. All other religions were founded by men, mere men who all ended up in the grave and stayed there. What a marvelous privilege God has granted us – to proclaim His Son’s victory and our blessed hope!

Happy contending,

Pamela

Further reading:

Can the various resurrection accounts from the four gospels be harmonized?

Christianity, the Resurrection of Christ, and the Mystery Religions

Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ

The Case for Christ’s Resurrection

 

 

0 comment

Pi Day, Einstein, and God

Why we need to know Jesus Christ for salvation

As you’re probably aware, this past Saturday was Pi Day, since its date of 3.14.15 contained the first five digits of pi–the ration of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Interestingly, it was also Albert Einstein’s birthday. These two occurrences caused me to reflect on general revelation and on what Einstein believed.

Regarding the Bible, Einstein said,

 The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. … For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions.”

However, he also said,

“I’m not an atheist. I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We can see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws”.

It appears Mr. Einstein was on the right track. He recognized there must be a Designer behind the design. Romans 1:20 says, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” That is general revelation, and one way that God has chosen to reveal Himself to humanity.

However, this “general” knowledge isn’t enough for salvation. John 3:18 says, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

We need God to reveal His “special revelation” to us, namely His son, Jesus Christ, because it was the Son of Man who came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).

We must remember that even if someone claims to believe in an Intelligent Designer, or Creator, or even God, that we still have to point that person to Jesus Christ, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

Happy contending.

Pamela

heavens-declare-the-glory-of-God

0 comment

Carry On a Heroic Struggle

earnestly contendThe recent Shepherds’ Conference, which focused on Biblical inerrancy produced some thought-provoking points regarding Scripture. Here are some great points John MacArthur made in his keynote address. I trust they will encourage us to contend boldly for the faith this week.

Four Reasons for the Summit on Biblical Inerrancy

  1. Scripture is attacked, and we are called to defend it.
  2. Scripture is authoritative, and we are called to declare it.
  3. Scripture is accurate and we are to demonstrate it.
  4. Scripture is active through the Spirit, and we are called to deploy it.

Jude 3, tells us to earnestly contend for the faith. I like the description MacArthur shared about this: “To earnestly contend is ‘to carry on a heroic struggle’ and it is ‘a word used of a martyr fighting to the death in an arena'”.

He went on to say this:

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every though captive to obey Christ. We smash ideologies, theories, viewpoints, systems. We contend earnestly, passionately for the faith…the objective views that are revealed in scripture that compose the Christian faith.”

And

Scripture has the only reasonable, sensible explanation for creation and why the world is the way it is. English Philosopher Herbert Spencer, [who] died in 1903, was famous for applying scientific discoveries to philosophy. He was awarded accolades and came up with this: “there are five knowable categories in the natural sciences. Time, force, motion, space, and matter. However, Genesis 1 says, “In the beginning” – that’s time, “God” – that’s force, “created” – that’s motion, “heavens” – that’s space, “earth” – that’s matter. You’re only one verse into the bible and that is all laid out. Sorry Herbert.”

John MacArthur continued to point out additional scientific facts in the Bible before man discovered them.

MacArthur concluded, “There’s only one book that can change your nature and your eternal destiny”. What an honor it is to contend for this, my friends.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Pamela

0 comment

Truth Divides

Truth (3)

When it comes to sharing the truth of the Gospel, Christians are often called unloving and intolerant. This is nothing new; Jesus warned us we would be hated for His name’s sake (Matthew 10:22). We should expect to meet confrontation; after all, our message is dividing between lies and truth. I appreciate the following quote from the late evangelical minister and apologist Walter Martin; it is fitting considering the explosion of the seeker-sensitive movement and the evangelical church’s steady slide toward a worldly culture:

The most important thing to recognize at the start is this fact: confrontation is basically biblical (2 Timothy 2:25). The Church in the modern era has forgotten that. We think that if we tell people about Jesus and spell it out in terms of the historic gospel, then we have accomplished what we set out to do. But apologetics is the partner of evangelism. After you tell someone the truth of Jesus Christ, he or she will expect some answers, and rightfully so. The Bible instructs Christians to give to every man an answer, a reason for the hope within us (1 Peter 3:15). In our day, the Church has largely avoided giving answers to the hard questions because it involves confrontation. All too often Peter’s “meekness and fear” cancel out Jude’s “contend earnestly for the faith” or Paul’s correction of those in opposition (1 Peter 3:15; Jude 1:3, 2 Timothy 2:24). Yet each apostolic commission is equally true and authoritative without conflict. The Christian’s duty, then, is to contend for the faith and to correct those in opposition by giving answers for in inward hope, in personal humility and reverence toward God.”1

John MacArthur has said that truth is divisive by nature; to be called divisive because we are sharing the Gospel is a very good thing. You see, one day there’s going to be another kind of division; a final one: The judgment by God that will divide those who are His from those who are not…the division between those who will reside with Him for all eternity from those who will be cast into darkness and eternal torment. So, let’s not be afraid of a little confrontation now–somewhere, someone’s eternal destiny may be at stake.

A blessed week to you,

Pamela

 

Luke 12:51

 

1. Martin, Walter. The Kingdom of the Occult. Nashville: Jill Martin Rische,2008. p.649.

0 comment

1 2 3

%d bloggers like this: