TD Fri. – Small Group Study – “Loving Unhypocritically”

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Hey TD!

This Friday, we will be in our small groups discussing love and hypocrisy.  As usual, each small group will be planning their own evening, so make sure you’re in contact with your small group leader for time and location.

Please prepare for this Friday’s discussion by working through the small group study Judy prepared below.  You’ll also find the Table of Contents for the message that you’ll need to bolster your understanding of the study.

“Loving Unhypocritically” Rom. 12:9 (sg study)

“Loving Unhypocritically” Rom. 12:9 (mp3) – Judy

“Loving Unhypocritically” Rom. 12:9 (mp3) – Judy Table of Contents

“Renew” theme  review and introduction (Arthur) – 0:00

Paul’s purpose and context in writing Romans – 23:15

The outline of the letter of Romans – 27:35

Let’s talk about love  (four loves, CS Lewis) – 31:50

The what and how of exercising spiritual gifts with love – 40:00

Stewarding what you’ve been given – 43:15

Hypocrisy and why God hates it – 50:50

Abhor what is evil – 54:50

Cling to what is good (“Blowing the Fluff Away” poem) – 1:02:40

 

 

 

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TD Fri. – Guess Who’s Speaking ???

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Sandra and Judy on MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority), heading to the hotel from the Atlanta airport.

Hey TD!

I am excited to invite you to TD this Friday as Judy makes her TD teaching debut! Judy is a talented communicator and pursuer of Truth that Sandra and I have had the privilege of counseling and mentoring since her freshman year in high school (in TD, Speakers, discipleship groups, as a TD intern, etc.).

In fact, as a high school junior, Judy made the effort and raised the funds to join my family in Atlanta to participate in Ravi Zacharias International Ministry’s week-long Summer Institute, a 32+ hour intensive apologetics training forum geared towards adults.

Judy is a hungry girl (for both spiritual and physical food, might I add!) and does what it takes to try to keep growing in Christ. Judy will be continuing our year’s theme from Romans 12, Renew: Transforming Our Life In Christ, teaching on verse 9:

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.”

Please meditate on this verse this week and continue to memorize Romans 12.  By the end of this month, you should have memorized verses 1-9:

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 

so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, [f]according to the proportion of his faith;

if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 

or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.

See you on Friday! – Arthur

 

TD Fri – Friday’s Small Group Study Kit!

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Hey TD!

This Friday, we will be in our small groups discussing God’s design for our spiritual gifts.  As usual, each small group will be planning their own evening, so make sure you’re in contact with your small group leader for time and location.

Please prepare for this Friday’s discussion by working through the small group study below.  You’ll also find the Table of Contents for each of the messages that you’ll need to bolster your understanding of the study.

“Using Our Christ-mas Gifts,” Rom. 12:6-8 (sg study)

“Using Our Christ-mas Gifts,” Pt. 1 Rom. 12:6-8 (mp3) – Arthur

“Using Our Christ-mas Gifts,” Pt. 2 Rom. 12:6-8 (mp3) – Arthur

“Using Our Christ-mas Gifts,” Pt. 1 Rom. 12:6-8 (mp3) Table of Contents

Why pray on our knees – 0:00

1st part of Francis Chan’s CMC ’17 message – being in “the cage”  – 7:15

Arthur’s history at MBCLA, TD, and “the cage” – 19:15

Arthur’s vision for TD’ers, Chinese Christians, and having a “seat at the table” – 27:25

A history of Harvard and the university – 36:00

What “keeping His Word” really means – 38:25

Our personal Christ-mas and our different gifts – physical and spiritual – 47:30

How God made us & the part we play in His story – 58:00

Many gifts, one core – what is our core understanding of life? 3 core convictions – 1:02:25

The amazing gospel that can bring you salvation – 1:13:15

Pt. 2 (mp3) Table of Contents

Why pray with open hands – 0:00

Our being comes before our doing – 5:10

Understanding how we got spiritually born again – 5:55

Who gets spiritual gifts? – Rom. 12:6-8 – 10:10

Why grace is necessary to use gifts – 12:10

Differing gifts, God’s leading – 19:10

1st TD Meeting of 2018! – “Using Our Christ-mas Gifts”

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Happy New Year, TD!

How was your Christmas and New Year? Did you get Christmas gifts that you are excited about and can’t wait to use?

This Friday, we’ll be continuing our 2017-2018 theme, “Renew: Transforming Our Lives in Christ,” will begin taking a look at our Christ-mas gifts, and will begin figuring out how to use them well.

Start off the new year right by getting into God’s Word with us and by doing what He says well! Look forward to seeing you there!

TD SG – “Self-Perception & Communal Flourishing” SG Study/mp3

To be memorized by end of December – Rom. 12:1-5

 1Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

      3For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Hey TD,

We’ll be in our small groups this Friday to discuss Romans 12:3-5. Daniel’s teaching on that passage – “Self-Perception and Communal Flourishing” – was quite enlightening and useful in its approach.  Please download the small group study below and listen to the parts of the lecture that need refreshing before our small group time on Friday:

“Self-Perception and Communal Flourishing” (mp3) – Daniel

“Self-Perception and Communal Flourishing” (sg study)

“Self-Perception and Communal Flourishing” (mp3) Table of Contents

Intro (cherishing what you have) – 0:00
There is a difference between studying Scripture and obeying Scripture – 7:30
3 Hermeneutics of our day – 14:30
The place of the book of Romans in the meta-narrative – 24:45
The genre of the book of Romans – 27:20
The Roman church’s situation – 33:00
Paul’s laying out of the Gospel to the church in Rome – 35:50
Verse by verse explication of Romans 12:3-5 – 37:50
Diversity of function, unity of intention and attitude 54:00

TD Fri. – Guess Who’s Speaking???

Daniel with Ravi

Daniel Zacharias with Ravi Zacharias

No, it’s not Ravi 😦

But we are excited to invite you to come to TD this Friday to hear his namesake! Did you know that Daniel’s middle name is Zacharias, named after Ravi?

Come as we welcome Daniel to come teach for the first time at a Friday TD meeting, as he teaches from Rom. 12:3-5, with a message titled, “Self-Perception and Communal Flourishing.”

Daniel is a gifted thinker, communicator, and serious Christ-follower who will take the baton and lead us as we continue our year’s theme, Renew: Transforming Our Life in Christ.

To get a taste of Daniel’s speaking, here’s the powerful message he gave at this year’s TD Banquet.  It’s one of the best messages I’ve heard this year:

“The Fact and the Fool’s Gold”

In preparation for our time on Friday, please think upon Rom. 12:3-5.  We should have verses 1-5 memorized by the end of this month.  Here it is:

1Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 

2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 

3For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 

4For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 

5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 

See you Friday!

How to Train Your Dragons

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Hey TD!

Here’s a good article that Rebecca sent me last month that is quite pertinent to our lives and to our discussion in TD this month on dying to self and living for God.  Slay your dragons, friends.

How to Train Your Dragons

KILLING PET SINS BEFORE THEY KILL YOU

by Greg Morse

“Excuse me, can you repeat what you just said?”

I was certain I heard him wrong.

“ . . . ”

“So you’re saying that if we are struggling consistently with sexual sin, we should wean ourselves off of it by sinning in moderation? If we do said sin six times a week, you’re telling us to limit it to five per week for a time, then to four, three, two, until zero?”

The leader of a highly recommended program for male Christian purity reiterated the sentiment as everyone around me nodded at the sage’s words. After all, we just heard Jimmy’s video testimony about how he went from sinning several times a day to only sinning, well, several times a month. The strategy must work.

The friend who brought me braced himself.

“With all due respect, you can’t be serious. Do you know what sin is?

As he continued to talk, it was evident that he did not.

To him, making provision for the flesh several times a week was, in the end, beneficial to our holiness. To him, a couple of slices of forbidden fruit wasn’t really that bad. To him, sin was manageable, tamable, controllable. To him, cutting off one’s members seemed like an overreaction — just gently wean yourself off of the sin.

To him, sin was not:

  • The glory of God not honored.
  • The holiness of God not reverenced.
  • The greatness of God not admired.
  • The power of God not praised.
  • The truth of God not sought.
  • The wisdom of God not esteemed.
  • The beauty of God not treasured.
  • The goodness of God not savored.
  • The faithfulness of God not trusted.
  • The promises of God not believed.
  • The commandments of God not obeyed.
  • The justice of God not respected.
  • The wrath of God not feared.
  • The grace of God not cherished.
  • The presence of God not prized.
  • The person of God not loved.

Nor was it,

The dare of God’s justice, the rape of his mercy, the jeer of his patience, the slight of his power, and the contempt of his love. (John Bunyan)

To him, sin was like breaking the speed limit — nothing personal.

It was not an injury to our greatest Lover, a betrayal of our truest Friend, a dishonoring of our heavenly Father, an act of war against our mighty King, the creature spitting towards his Almighty Creator.

One of these was enough to curse the entire world. But allowing for several per week was apparently fine. Sin was a pet that we should eventually get rid of, but in the meantime, you could scratch its belly and teach it to play dead.

Sin Is Not a Pet

Sin is not a pet to be walked several times a week. It is a lion, a wolf, a bear. It bites and hunts at will. It attacks as a piranha. It is a restless evil lit ablaze by the fires of hell. Sin cannot be trained, bridled, or domesticated. Cannot be rescued, rehabilitated, or redeemed. Sin will never wear a collar, stick to its kennel, or cease clawing at your throat.

Sin marks us as targets for the great artillery of God’s wrath (Colossians 3:5–6). Sin makes us worthy of death (Romans 1:32). Sin will be found out and hated (Psalm 36:1–2). We never make peace with it, never make provision for it, never mark it in our calendars. Sin must be destroyed by the Spirit if we want to live (Romans 8:13).

Safer to have a pet male tiger than a pet sin.

The Lizard Upon the Shoulder

But many have tried. C.S. Lewis depicts this philosophy pictured above in The Great Divorce. In the book, a Ghost who has been kept out of heaven tries to keep his pet sin, a red lizard. In the scene, the Ghost constantly scolds the pet upon his shoulder. An angel asks the Ghost if he would like the lizard silenced.

“Of course I would,” said the Ghost.

“Then I will kill him,” said the Angel, taking a step forward.

“Oh — ah — look out! You’re burning me. Keep away,” said the Ghost retreating.

“Don’t you want him killed?”

“You didn’t say anything about killing him at first. I hardly meant to bother you with anything so drastic as that.”

“It’s the only way,” said the Angel, whose burning hands were now very close to the Lizard. “Shall I kill it?”

“ . . . ”

“Well, there’s time to discuss that later.”

“There is no time. May I kill it.”

“Please, I never meant to be such a nuisance. Please — really — don’t bother. Look! It’s gone to sleep of its own accord. I’m sure it’ll be all right now. Thanks ever so much.”

“May I kill it?”

“Honestly, I don’t think there’s the slightest necessity for that. I’m sure I shall be able to keep it in order now. I think the gradual process would be far better than killing it.”

The gradual process is of no use at all.

More excuses are given, but now we overhear the lizard whispering in his ear,

“Be careful,” it said. “He can do what he says. He can kill me. One fatal word from you and he will! Then you’ll be without me for ever and ever. It’s not natural. How could you live? You’d be only a sort of ghost, not a real man as you are now. He doesn’t understand. He’s only a cold, bloodless abstract thing. It may be natural for him, but it isn’t for us. Yes, yes. I know there are no real pleasures now, only dreams. But aren’t they better than nothing? And I’ll be so good. I admit I’ve sometimes gone too far in the past, but I promise I won’t do it again. I’ll give you nothing but really nice dreams — all sweet and fresh and almost innocent. You might say, quite innocent . . . ”

It is easy to fall into patterns of training our sin rather than killing it.

If your biggest reason to fight sin is that you don’t want to confess it again to an accountability group, you’re training your sin. If you only pray about the sin after you’ve “done it again,” you’re training your sin. If you do not seek Christ’s presence, if you do not commune with him in prayer and his word, if you do not invite believers into your life to stick daggers into your sin, you are training your sin to play dead without killing it.

Go and Sin No More

If you have a pet sin, you must renounce it at once. Your salvation depends on it.

Only those who have a string of sin’s carcasses behind them will enter into heaven. Only those who “work out [their] own salvation with fear and trembling” knowing that God is working in them “to will and to work for his good pleasure” will be saved (Philippians 2:12–13).

But what about being saved by faith alone? You’re not. You’re justifiedthrough faith alone. Final salvation comes through justification andsanctification — both initiated and sustained by God’s grace.

There is a holiness that, if you do not have it, will keep you from seeing the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). “But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

Do not be deceived. If you sow to the flesh, you will reap ruin (Galatians 6:8). The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Many will say on that day that they knew him, but he will cast them out into darkness because they were “workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21–23). Warnings are active for the Christian, and the Spirit uses them to keep us fearing God and turning from sin.

The Christian doesn’t train his dragons. We do not plan on sinning five times per week, then four, then three, until infrequent times of rebellion. After he pardons the sinner, Jesus does not say go and sin less; he says, go and sin no more. Be killing your pets, or your pets will end up killing you.