Friday, September 5, 2008


Who is the most ungodly person you know? Historically, we might be able to point to people who did terrible things like Hitler or Stalin. In our social circles we might know that one person who just despises God and always finds a way to make him the tail end of every joke. Maybe it was the biology teacher that ridiculed every Christian in the class. Maybe it was a Turkish leader who murdered one of your friends serving as missionary.

Maybe as you keep thinking about it, your own name starts to move higher and higher on the list. You say the right things and when people are watching you often do the right things. After doing a few good things in a row, you might even start to think pretty highly of yourself. But there are always those moments, where that sliver of truth nags the deepest recesses of your soul. Nobody else does, but you know the depths of your own sin and ungodliness. You hide it well, but the truth still haunts you.

For you, for me, we should rejoice. Who is our God?
"him who justifies the ungodly"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Look Back to Move Forward

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and
live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed."

Simultaneously we are sinners (guilty!) and justified (declared not guilty!). The verse quoted above is so intruging to me. It seems like we can break the verse into three parts:

1. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree
2. that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.
3. By his wounds you have been healed.

The perplexing and yet delightful draw to this passage is that the first and third parts present a unified message that appears at odds with the middle portion.

On the one hand, we have been given the sacrificial lamb on whom the sins of the world have been placed, allowing us to stand before a holy God who declares us not-guilty forever. Having been purchased by the beautiful blood of Jesus, we stand blameless. Out sins have been blotted out.

And yet, on the other hand, we have an exhortation to die to sin and live to righteousness. We are blameless, but told to stop doing blame-worthy acts! We are declared not-guilty, but exhorted to stop breaking the law! We are healed, but taught to stop the sickness.

The truth is, the battle is over; the war has been won. Satan and death and sin and hell have been conquered once and for all. In one swift blow, Jesus has put an end to all our adversaries. There really is only one question left: are we going to live in a way that reflects this or are we going to continue with life-as-usual, as if this great victory had not been secured?

What must we do?

We must continually look backward, seeing Christ's death for us, in order that we might move forward living our life for Him. And this we will do, by God's grace and through the transforming work of the Spirit.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Blogging Begins

Having encouraged my students to resolve to grow spiritually, mentally and physically this school year, I have made some of my own resolutions. Some will fall into place without too much effort on my part, but others will be challenging and push me to the brink of quitting. By God's grace, though, by this time next year I will have made substantial upticks in multiple facets of my life.

One of the ways that has always been helpful to me, and I would guess that other bloggers would agree, is by putting my thoughts and desires into print. And so it is, Ministry Minded is launched.

My Aim: To stimulate myself and potentially others to grow in our love and devotion to God and in so doing grow in our love and service to our fellow brothers and sisters.

My Beliefs: Christian > Protestant > Evangelical > Reformed.

My Background: A graduate from Biola University with a Biblical Studies degree now serving as Director of Youth Ministries for The Cove in Santa Rosa, California.

Finally, as my students and I think about our resolutions, we cannot forget Paul's strong exhortation to Timothy, Michael Garner, and everyone else:
Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some
value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present
life and also for the life to come.