Thursday, September 25, 2008


As I mentioned in my previous post, I was going to challenge our core guys tonight to do some more prep for our study next week and hopefully see them want to dive more into the text.

But God's funny and we changed plans.

Tonight we had 3 new guys come to the study effectively doubling the size of the guys not on staff or living in 908 Tener Hall! So in light of that God doubled the number of guys coming we decided to hold off and challenge them next week so that all of the new guys don't get hit with a challenge on their first night.

Please be praying for these new guys that they too would thirst to know Jesus!

Stepping it up!

Tonight you can be praying for the Bible study my roommate Justin and I have on our floor. We've now got a core group of guys that have been consistently attending and we want to encourage them to go even deeper into the text.

It's not a big challenge, just that they would read the text before coming to the study next week and each write one question about the text that they want to discuss as a group. But our prayer is that these guys would just thirst for the Word and to know Jesus through it.

So please be praying for these men that that would thirst and that they would know that they need a great Physician! (That's the passage we're doing tonight!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Law and Obedience

Mark Altrogge has a really great short reflection today on the blessings and curses found in Deuteronomy 27 and 28. (Check it out here.) I would really recommend reading it and it caused me to think about how my own knowledge of God doesn't drive me to obedience everyday, but that the grace of Christ instead is teaching me everyday to obey for His glory and my joy.

It also reminded me of this poem by John Bunyan;

Run, John, run, the law commands
But gives us neither feet nor hands,
Far better news the gospel brings:
It bids us fly and gives us wings.

(HT: Mark Fodale and John Piper)

Friday, September 19, 2008

God's Purpose in Physical Healing

On Wednesday night we had just an amazing Evangelistic Bible study. We were taking a gander at Mark 2:1-12 and in it there's just the crazy story of Jesus who heals that paralytic guy who was lowered through the roof (or "ruff" for those of you from the Midwest). You've probably, like me, heard it many times since way back in Sunday School. Normally I just left it there as just a great story about Jesus' ability to heal sickness and faith. But Wednesday I realized that there is just so much more to this story than that!

After telling how these 4 dudes come and lower the paralytic man through the roof, Mark relates how Jesus looked up, saw their faith and then in vs. 5, said "My son, your sins are forgiven." (ESV) Sins are forgiven, what's with that? These guys came for healing not forgiveness of sins. But then as soon as Jesus says this the nearby Pharisees start to question him, IN THEIR MINDS, and think about how this power to forgive sins only belongs to God.

And here's the amazing part, Jesus turns addresses their thought questions, and then says "'But that you may know that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins'-he said to the paralytic-'I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.'" (Mk. 2:10-11, ESV)

Jesus heals the man to show as literally walking proof to the world that he has power and authority (see also vs 8-9) to forgive sins, demonstrating his deity!

And so how does this relate to today? Well assuming that God is still in control of the universe, that means that he's also the one, while not physically present in Jesus, giving healing and controlling healing processes in every sick and sore person on the planet. That includes every single patient a doctor may ever see. But from a doctor's standpoint, if he realizes that it's God, not his skills and medicine per se, that ultimately gives healing, every single doctor has a wide open door to be an evangelist to point to healing and disease and showcase God's glory and sovereignty!

So my question is, do we actively look around and see sickness and healing as ways that God is demonstrating his power and authority to not only heal and fix, but also to forgive? Do we make the tie between control over the physical to control over the spiritual too?

Pretty deep thoughts, but that's totally awesome that while I'm not Jesus being to use healing to show my divinity, I could still later in my career use healing to point to God's provision, control and character!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Internship Reflection #4: The God Who Provides

One of the biggest impacts of the internship on myself over the summer was how I saw God shape my view of Him. But before going more into that, first some background on myself:

I'm a chronic worrier. In my life anything can become something for me to fret and mull over continually. Usually, however, I'm not aware of anything big going on in my life, and this probably doesn't come across in my everyday speech or actions. However, when something remains on my back-burner simmering long enough, I'll all of a sudden realize that something in my life is boiling over and the world begins to end.

So now back to what went on during the internship. The situation that had been simmering for months was a lack of progress on my medical school application. I had been taking care of business with the application (MCAT taken: check; MCAT scores: pending; Science Prof letters of evaluation: check; online application: started), but I had been just unable to get a single non-science professor to write a letter of recommendation for me. And it wasn't that I wasn't making calls or emails; I was just wasn't even getting any responses to anything to even ask a non-science professor to write a letter!

As the summer began to wear on I began to realize that if I didn't have a letter of recommendation in, a whole domino effect would happen to slow up the other parts of the application. I then realized that it would literally be a miracle for me to have an application together in time for October.

That realization then hit me like a flood along with other worries about Medical school in general and I literally worried myself sick over this. In the middle of that period then, the Lord began to show me that in my worrying the thing that was lacking, was any thought to how God was in control of my life and how He's the provider for all of my needs. Key in that was seeing how he always keeps his promises as I was seeing in Hebrews 6.

Not that things changed in the twinkling of an eye, but I was able to realize that in the end God really was the one in control, and that He always in every case has our best interest in mind, even if we don't think it's for our best interest.

While the application process is still ongoing, friends I want to urge you to praise our God! For in spite of all of the unanswered voice mails, emails, etc. to faculty members, the Lord in His sovereignty placed not one, but two of my favorite non-science faculty into my life at bizarre places (the street by Panera and Hershey park of all places!). And both were happy to write letters for me.

So what's the point of me telling you about this? Is this just going to be a cool story about God fulfilling my need, like a get out of jail free card? I pray not, because friends in all of this God was using the adversity to show that as the Proverbs say "The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory belongs to the Lord." (Pr. 20:31, ESV) and our God truly is our Father who in Christ loved us, adopted us, and is giving us every good thing, for His glory and our joy in seeing Him glorified! (Romans 8 is just too long to quote here :) but I'd point you to that too! )

Praise God for He is a loving Father who has adopted us in Christ, and in the end provides for every single need to His glory!

Praying to Know Christ

Last night my good friend Joel, gave a whopper of a talk on the prayers of Paul in the book of Ephesians. (I would encourage you to listen to it as well!)

But one thought that I took away from it is: How are our prayers shaped around knowing the love of Christ no matter what the situation and that others would know Him and His love in Christ as well?

Do we see God as a magical Santa in the sky to grant all of our wishes, or is He so much more than that? Is He our Father who knows us, cares about us, allows us to communicate with Him and calls us to know His love through Christ more intimately?

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Totally Wrong Team

Sitting in a meeting last night, I was reflecting on the wonder of God's choice. As I looked around I saw broken and weak individuals who I love dearly as my brothers and sisters, but we were in the wrong situation.

We were in a meeting praying to our Lord and strategically looking forward to how we can be more effective in our work for the Lord to reach University Park. However, the more I studied my brothers and sisters and myself, I realized that we are most certainly not the A-Team. We're all weak, we all struggle with emotions, weariness, faithlessness, and yet this is the team that God has called together.

And more so there I was sitting there too and having no clue why God would call me to help lead these leaders. What in the world was God thinking!??!

But then my dear brother reminded us that: "But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; god chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chosewhat is low and espised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, SO THAT (emphasis added) no human being might boast in the presence of God." (1 Cor. 27-30, ESV)

Brothers and sisters, we are not God's A-team. We are weak, emotional, frail, but God chose us because that's what we are. And so we can strive boldly for our Lord trusting him for the results, because that's where the results come from in the first place!