“The most important day of your marriage is not the first day, but the last day.”
Driscoll says these must be our priorities as Pastors:
Mark Driscoll lays it out powerfully and clearly to Pastors in Ministry on the important priority of placing marriage and family above ministry. If you are in vocational ministry and married, you need to watch this.
Here are my notes from this past Sunday based on Genesis 42-44 and the story of Joseph and his brothers.
When you and I sin against someone (whether that is a spouse, a friend, a co-worker, a stranger or ultimately God) we often default into prideful self-protection. This pride becomes an obstacle of repentance as it leads us to defensiveness (“It's your fault”), blaming (“I'm the victim”) and covering up (“Just move on”). Our self protection may work for us initially, but as most of us have experienced in life, self protection absolutely crushes relationships (Both with God and others).
But here is where God's mercy is at work! God uses our difficult circumstances, our desperate moments of life, to humble us and lead us to a place of true repentance. Our humbled repentance of sin brings healing and reconciliation between us and God and between us and others. This is truly God at work! This is the story of Joseph and his brothers. Use the following Digging Deeper this week to allow God to lead you in your own journey of forgiveness through the repentance of sin.
Monday: Read the entire background of Joseph’s Brother’s Journey of Forgiveness by reading Genesis 42, 43 and 44 in one sitting (all 106 verses!).
Afterwards, take some time and examine your own heart. Is there any area of your life where pride is serving as an obstacle towards repentance of sin?
Tuesday: Read the famous story of the “Prodigal Son” from Luke 15:11-32.
The prodigal’s desperate circumstances served as a catalyst for his repentance of sin. Reflect on your past and present circumstances. How has God used or is using desperate circumstances of your life to lead you towards repentance of sin?
Wednesday: Read Psalm 51.
Do you ever struggle with how and what to pray when you feel Godly sorrow for your sin? Let David’s prayer of repentance in Psalm 51 be your prayer today.
Thursday: Read 2 Corinthians 7:8-10.
The Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Church in Corinth (1 Corinthians) led them towards Godly sorrow and repentance of sin. Paul compares Godly sorrow vs. worldly sorrow. What do you see as the difference between the two types of sorrow?
Friday: Make this prayer based on 1 John 1:8-9 your prayer today.
“God forgive me for allowing my pride to become an obstacle to repentance of my sin.
I have deceived only myself to think that my sin was someone’s else’s fault and not a big deal to you and to those that I have hurt. God, thank you for working in my life to humble me and cause me to see my sin for what it is, a rebellion against you and a cause of strife with others. In this moment, I confess my sins to you Lord Jesus. Thank you for your promise that You forgive and cleanse me from my sin and make me right with You through your shed blood on the cross and resurrection over sin and death. As I feel the freedom and joy of being forgiven by you Lord Jesus, Give me the courage to humbly ask for forgiveness to those that I have hurt through the consequences of my sin. Thank you that you are truly a God at work in my life. In Jesus name, Amen.
Saturday: Read Genesis 45 today.
In preparation for this coming Sunday morning at Calvary Church, read through Genesis 45 and see the forgiveness and reconciliation that comes to Joseph and his brothers!
Here is my basic outline for the sermon:
I. Our Difficult Circumstances Can Lead to Repentance of Sin
Genesis 42:2: “Behold, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down there are buy some for us from that place, so that we may live and not die.”
II. Our Pride Can Be A Obstacle To Repentance of Sin
Genesis 42:22: “Rueben answered them, saying, “Did I not tell you, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would no listen? Now comes the reckoning for his blood.”
III. Our Humbled Repentance of Sin Leads to Forgiveness
Genesis 44:16: “So Judah said, ‘What can we say to my lord? What can we speak? And how can we justify ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants; behold we are my lord’s slaves, both we and the one in whose possession the cup has been found.”
One of the key cross reference verses I will point to in the message will be 1 John 1:8-9 which says,
"“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
“God forgive me for allowing my pride to become an obstacle to repentance of my sin.
I have deceived only myself to think that my sin was someone’s else’s fault and not a big deal to you
and to those that I have hurt.
God, thank you for working in my life to humble me and cause me to see my sin for what it is,
a rebellion against you and a cause of strife with others.
In this moment, I confess my sins to you Lord Jesus.
Thank you for your promise that You forgive and cleanse me from my sin and make me right with You through your shed blood on the cross and resurrection over sin and death.
As I feel the freedom and joy of being forgiven by you Lord Jesus, Give me the courage to humbly ask for forgiveness to those that I have hurt through the consequences of my sin. Thank you that you are truly a God at work in my life.
In Jesus name, Amen.”
A fellow Orange County resident recently spotted a image of Jesus in a old rocking chair he had owned for the past 10 years. Gives new meaning to the term, "rocking for Jesus" (sorry couldn't resist).
Check the blog out here.
I especially enjoyed this article on reading the Gospel of John (thanks Eric Wakeling)
What do you do at Calvary?
I wear 2 unique hats at Calvary Church. I am the Pastor of Young Adults, a weekly ministry to people in their 20's and early 30's and I am the also the Pastor of Local Outreach, overseeing the homegrown ministries and non-profit partnerships that reach out to our Orange County neighborhoods with the love of Jesus Christ.
How did you come to Calvary and how long have you been here?
I came to Calvary Church as a volunteer in the High School Ministry in the summer of 1998. I began serving part-time on staff at the Church in January of 1999 as a high school intern (making $400/month with a rent of $350/month!). In June of 2001, I became the full-time High School Pastor and transitioned to my current role in June of 2008.
What is your educational background and training?
I attended Biola University (La Mirada, Ca), majoring in baseball (and communication/public relations) and minoring in Biblical Studies, graduating in 1998. After a five year lay off, I enrolled at Talbot Seminary and graduated in 2008 with a Master's degree in Biblical and Theological Studies.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Santa Cruz, California and lived there for the first 18 years of my life before moving down to Southern California to attend College. I have lived in Orange County for the past 12 years.
Tell us about your family...
I am married to beautiful Marie (since 2002) and we have been blessed with 2 children, Lily (born in 2005) and Samuel (born in 2007). My in-laws Paul and Joanne Mittmann attend Calvary as well. We also have 3 goldfish and a neighborhood cat named Gilbert who drinks our sprinkler water.
Describe how you popped the Question:
I asked Marie to marry me on December 14th, 2001. We started off with bagels and a book reading at Craig Park in Brea. Then I surprised her by driving to John Wayne Airport and getting on a plane to Northern California. It was just after 9/11 and I was so stressed security would confiscate the engagement ring hidden in my backpack, but it made it through without Marie or security noticing! Then a limo picked us up at the airport in Northern California and drove us to my childhood home in Scotts Valley, Ca. We then went on a treasure hunt through Santa Cruz and woundup on a bench overlooking the Monterey Bay where I got down on one knee and asked Marie to marry me. We then went to my parents house for dinner and flew home that evening to celebrate with her side of the family in Orange County, all in one day. It was a great day!
What is your favorite memory at Calvary Church?
My time as the High School Pastor at Calvary is a time that was so special to me. The camps, the Wednesday nights, the missions trips. I loved being a Pastor to high school students. I still think it is the best, most exciting ministry at Calvary Church! I have also loved the baptisms I have gotten to be part of. It is such a joy to celebrate what Jesus has done in changing people’s lives.
Who have been the spiritual influences in your life?
My Parents, Larry and Susan Doan, My wife Marie, my brothers and sisters, my in-laws Paul and Joanne Mittmann, Jeff Biddle (fellow Pastor at Calvary), Dan Kimball (Pastor at Vintage Faith Church and my High School Pastor), Chip Ingram (Santa Cruz Bible Church), Henry Holloman and Victor Rhee (Professors at Talbot Seminary) and my mentors from afar, John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, Allistar Begg and Francis Chan.
Favorite place you’ve been in the world and where do you want to go next?
My favorite places in the world are Pebble Beach, California, Oakland Alameda County Coliseum (Go A’s), my parent's house in Aptos, California and the Hotel Bel-Air near UCLA. Marie and I want to go to Germany someday to visit her Dad's childhood home.
When I can't be found at Calvary, I can be found...
At home playing with my kids or working in the yard, or perhaps at Starbucks sipping on a grande coffee or maybe even out at Balboa Island at the Beach on Garnet Ave with the family or sitting in our backyard listening to sermon podcasts on my iPod or at a Lens Crafters continuing in my quest to find the exact same pair of glasses as Eric Wakeling.
I once tried out for the Fox Sports show, "Sports Geniuses" because I am such a sports dork.
What do you count as the greatest invention of the last 100 years?
Tie between The Snuggy and Fantasy Football.
On what reality show would you most want to be a contestant?
Ice Road Truckers
Chuck Swindoll is a legend in Orange County as he pastored EV Free Fullerton in Fullerton, Ca for over 3 decades (1971-1994). He went onto be President of Dallas Seminary in Texas and now Pastors Stonebridge Community Church in Frisco, Texas at the age of 76. Christianity Today and Preaching Today named him one of the 50 most influential preachers in the last 50 years in 1996.
I have always admired Chuck's style of preaching and commitment to God's word and personal integrity. Interestingly enough one of Swindoll's greatest influences on me came through one of his mistakes. One night as I was driving on the 405 Fwy in Los Angeles after returning from visiting my then girlfriend, (now wife Marie!) at her work in Santa Monica, I was listening to Swindoll preach on the radio. As he preached, he accidentally had a slip of the tongue and pronounced a word wrong (I can't remember the word but it was funny).
The audience chuckled and Chuck stopped his sermon and asked them what they were laughing about. Someone in the crowd responded and Chuck let out a huge belly laugh and laughed at himself as he realized his mispronounced mistake.
This moment really impacted me as I listened to a preacher who was not afraid to laugh at himself or his mistake in front of a large crowd. At that time in my life as a young youth pastor, I demanded perfection from myself when preaching and I was wound really tightly, beating myself up for days when a sermon didn't go well or the audience didn't respond how I had hoped.
Swindoll's simple act of laughing at himself in the pulpit really taught me to not take myself to seriously when preaching and to relax and simply allow God to use me and my imperfections.
I recently came across a quote from Swindoll that reminded me of this lesson I learned from him from years ago...
(quote taken from C. Micheal Patton's blog)
Tim writes "You know the oft-told story, I am sure. G.K. Chesterton, along with other prominent authors of his day, was asked by The Times to answer this question: “What’s Wrong with the World?” His answer was beautiful in its simplicity and brilliant in its profundity."
G. K. Chesterton
This reminds me of the great quote of the apostle Paul from 1 Timothy, Chapter 1:
(1 Timothy 1:15-16)