Author Archives: Wisecarver
I have to admit that Duck Dynasty is one of my favorite shows. The television is rarely on in the Wisecarver household, but if it is, it’s on on Wednesday nights for this show. One thing that struck me early on was that it was something that I could watch with my wife and kids. I know right. Hard to believe. I ran across this article earlier and hope that you can get a better idea of what I mean by Faith, Family, and Ducks (watch Jase Richardson’s interview).
This book contains: the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation,
the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers.
Its doctrine is holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its
decisions are immutable.
It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the
soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter.
Here heaven is opened, and the gates of hell disclosed.
Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end.
It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.
Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully.
It is a mine of wealth, health to the soul, and a river of pleasure.
It is given to you here in this life, will be opened at the Judgment, and is
It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and
condemn all who trifle with its contents.
It’s no secret that many politians utilize the TelePrompter when speaking to the public.What’s helpful in using these devices is their ability to be discrete and project the speech for the speaker to follow; assisting them to stay on message and look professional while doing it. That message then is sent out and repeated by most news networks and political parties and so on and so on.
Living in this present world, even Christians can get wrapped up in the political firestorm and find themselves repeating the same argumentation. I myself follow politics pretty close and at times find my blood pressure rising as I see leaders of the world and our own country acting irresponsibly and at times “evil.”
What should be the Christian attitude and focus while living in this world and in these heated political seasons? I find in Paul’s 1st letter to the Thessalonian church a finger on my pulse and helpful to recalibrate my priorities. Here we can see three Christian Kingdom Priorities:
1: Christian Kingdom Priority: Paul rejoices in their loving endurance “while” living in this world.
Those living in Thessolinica lived in a pagan environment much worse than ours! The official religion of that time was the worship of the state and the head of that state, Caezear! Paul commends that they are living in this present world and focused upon not changing their present form of government but patiently serving each other so as to serve Christ. Paul writes:
We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:2, 3 ESV)
They are being obedient and through the indwelling Holy Spirit, controlled by a future hope that is yet to come. They are repeating and living other than worldly message from God’s pulpit, the scriptures.
2: Christian Kingdom Prioroity: See the Apostle Paul, not Rand Paul.
Now in full disclosure here, I like some of Rand Paul’s ideas and find that those positions would be a healthy direction for our country. My focus and time spent though will not be in being known as an Ambassador for the Libertarian cause, rather I want to be known as an Ambassador for Christ. That’s exactly what the Thessalonian church did. Read the Apostle Paul’s excitement in their missional attitude:
“You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became
imitators of us and of The Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.” (1 Thessalonians 1:5b-8 ESV)
They saw Paul, they heard Paul, they imitated Paul (ie Christ). We likewise should see and be on board with Christ’s priorities; making disciples of His, not better American citizens or converts to a more Conservative party.
3: Christian Kingdom Priority: Jesus is returning. Wait for and on Him not in the next President.
It was said that Martin Luther would walk over to His window in the morning, draw back the shades and state “Perhaps The Lord will return today.” The Thessalonian church had the veil pulled back in conversion and now where awaiting the King of Heaven. The cadence of their steps could be heard marching to verse four of “How Great Thou Art.” Jesus is coming and it won’t matter who is in the White House. We should be almost uncomfortable in our idleness as we come to understand that Christ is now peering through the keyhole; gazing at our world. See the spiritual résumé of the converted souls of Christ in Thessolinica:
“For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thessalonians 1:9, 10 ESV)
Because God doesn’t change, this is still His agenda for the church corporately and each member individually. We can spend many waking hours with our perverberal whiteboards, drawing out our perfect scenarios for the next leader of this great country, hoping that we might bring back our version of a better Amercia. But should that be our primary focus? Should that be what we are known for? Sould we read off the TelePrompTer of this world? I would dare to say no. Let us be Chrisitans whose priorities are lined up with their King, Jesus.
“The sovereignty of God is often questioned because man does not understand what God is doing. Because He does not act as we think He should, we conclude He cannot act as we think He would.” Jerry Bridges
The message needs a mouth and legs to carry it. What do I mean by that? Simply that, for the gospel to go forward, it needs you to carry and communicate it. I think sometimes in our evangelism endevors we hope that people around us, observing our life, will ask as one friend of mine said, “about the subsitutaionary atonment work of Christ in his life and death.” That just doesn’t happen. God uses people to communicate through words and actions. The gospel is not my life. It’s a message of the completed work of Christ and his subsequent return as Judge and king.
To help his congregants focus on the priority of evangelism in their everyday life, John Piper provides a short list of thoughtful convictions each of us should consider:
Conviction #1—God’s Goal in Creation and Redemption Is a Missionary Goal Because Our God Is a Missionary God
God created man and woman to fill the earth as his image-bearers (Genesis 1:26–i kn28). He created us for his glory (Isaiah 43:7)—not to gain more glory for himself but to invite people from every tribe and tongue and nation into the enjoyment of his glory.
Conviction #2—God Is Passionately Committed to His Fame. God’s Ultimate Goal Is That His Name Be Known and Praised by All the Peoples of the Earth.
In Romans 9:17, Paul says that God’s goal in redeeming Israel is “that [his] name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” In Isaiah 66:19, God promised that he would send messengers “to the coastlands afar off that have not heard my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations.”
Conviction #3—Worship Is the Fuel and the Goal of Missions.
Back in the mid-80s God drove home to many of us that a God-centered theology must be a missionary theology. If you say that you love the glory of God, the test of your authenticity is whether you love the spread of that glory among all the peoples of the world.
Conviction #4—God’s Passion to Be Known and Praised by All the Peoples of the Earth Is Not Selfish, But Loving.
God is the one being in the universe for whom self-exaltation is the ultimately loving act. And the reason is easy to see. The one and only Reality in the universe that can fully and eternally satisfy the human heart is the glory of God—the beauty of all that God is for us in Jesus. Therefore, God would not be loving unless he upholds and displays and magnifies that glory for our everlasting enjoyment.
Conviction #5—God’s Purpose to Be Praised Among All the Nations Cannot Fail. It Is an Absolutely Certain Promise. It Is Going to Happen.
When Jesus gave the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19, he gave it a massive foundation of certainty. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore . . . ”
Conviction #6—Only in God Will Our Souls Be At Rest.
The one trans-cultural reality that unites every person of every culture is that God has set eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:12). Every person has been created in the image of God and has the stamp of God on his innermost being. In our alienation from God there is a void that the nations try to fill in a multitude of God-less ways, but always come up empty. Only God can satisfy the soul with the depth and endurance of joy that we crave for. Thus the loving pursuit of missions is the glory of God in the eternal joy of the redeemed.
Conviction #7—Domestic Ministries Are the Goal of Frontier Missions.
This conviction addresses the tension that develops in a mission-driven church between those who have a passion for ministering here to our own desperately needy culture, and the radical advocates of taking the gospel where they don’t even have access to the Source of any ministry at all.
Conviction #8—The Missionary Task Is Focused on Peoples, Not Just Individual People, and Is Therefore Finishable.
Many of us used to have the vague notion that missions was simply winning to Christ as many individuals as possible in other places. But now we have come to see that the unique task of missions, as opposed to evangelism, is to plant the church among people groups where it doesn’t exist.
Conviction #9—The Need of the Hour Is for Thousands of New Paul-Type Missionaries, A Fact Which Is Sometimes Obscured by the Quantity of Timothy-Type Missionaries.
Timothy left Lystra, his hometown (Acts 16:1), and became a church worker (a Timothy-type missionary) in a foreign place, Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3), which had its own elders (Acts 20:17) and outreach (Acts 19:10). This is the model of a Timothy-type missionary: going far away to do Christian work where the church is fairly well established. It has biblical precedent and it is a good thing to do, if God calls you.
Conviction #10—It Is the Joyful Duty and the Awesome Privilege of Every Local Church to Send Out Missionaries “In a Manner Worthy of God” (3 John 6).
But before we can send them, we must grow them or identify the ones who have been “grown” elsewhere but whom God is calling us to send. According to 3 John 7–8 there is a biblical mandate that we ought to support missionaries—a certain kind of missionary—one who has gone out “for the sake of the name.” “For they went out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support such men, that we may be fellow workers with the truth.”
Conviction #11—We Are Called to a Wartime Lifestyle for the Sake of Going and Sending.
To send in a manner worthy of God and to go for the sake of the name, we must constantly fight the deception that we are living in peace time where we think that the luxury of self indulgence is the only power that can break the boredom. O may God open our eyes to what is at stake in the war raging between heaven and hell.
Conviction #12—Prayer Is a Wartime Walkie-Talkie Not a Domestic Intercom.
In wartime prayer takes on a different significance. It becomes a wartime walkie-talkie and no longer a domestic intercom. Jesus said to his disciples, “You did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, in order that whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he may give to you” (John 15:16).
Conviction #13—Our Aim Is Not to Persuade Everyone to Become a Missionary, But to Help Everyone Become a World Christian.
As we said earlier, there are only three kinds of people: goers, senders, and the disobedient. It’s not God’s will for everyone to be a “goer.” Only some are called to go out for the sake of the name to a foreign culture (e.g., Mark 5:18–19).
Conviction #14—God Is Most Glorified in Us When We Are Most Satisfied in Him; And Our Satisfaction in Him Is Greatest When It Expands to Embrace Others—Even When This Involves Suffering.
It is amazing how those who have suffered most in the missionary cause speak in the most lavish terms of the blessing and the joy of it all.
(The full article can be found on their site here )