Going Soft Against Wrath

Ray Ortlund: A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. What is the wise response to an angry person who says something cruel, false or demanding? Proverbs 15:1 helps us in those awkward moments at home, at work, in our churches. The key is “a soft answer.” So, you’re standing there, stunned by those words that have just exploded in your face. In that instant of decision, as your mind is forming a response, “a soft answer” is the category you need. What is that? Maybe, for Sure The word “soft” means tender, delicate, gentle, even weak. We don’t like being weak, especially when we find ourselves in the crosshairs of anger. We would rather justify ourselves. It is hard to be wronged. It is doubly hard to be wronged and not fight back but respond softly. Of course, if the angry person is a heretic, bent on wrecking your church, he or she must be confronted

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Does Proverbs teach “the Health, Wealth, and Prosperity Gospel?”

By David Murray: Does Proverbs teach “the Health, Wealth, and Prosperity Gospel?” It certainly contains multiple promises of health, wealth, and prosperity to those who live wisely. However, there’s an eternity of difference between the Prosperity Gospeland Gospel Prosperity. Let me give you five statements that will help clarify that difference. 1. God has provided external Wisdom, in principle and Person form, to correct our sin-caused ignorance, error, and folly. God made us with knowledge, rightness, and practical life-skills. However, as a punishment for Adam’s sin, God cursed Adam and his descendants with ignorance, error, and folly. As no amount of research, experimentation, or reasoning will make us spiritually wise again, God has revealed His otherwise inaccessible and unattainable Wisdom to us. In the Old Testament, God reveals that wisdom largely in principle form (e.g. the Moral Law, the Proverbs). However, Proverbs also personifies Wisdom, giving a hint of a future revelation of Wisdom in human form, a revelation we now know is Jesus Christ

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Worship, Planning, and Spontaneity

Bob Kauflin has a helpful post today discussing the importance of planning and spontaneity in leading corporate worship. Here’s part of his post: In my experience, people tend to value one or the other. Either we trust completely in our plan and wouldn’t think of veering from it, or we minimize preparation and think God is only active when something spontaneous happens. When it comes to leading corporate worship, both planning AND spontaneity are important values. To consider this further, please see below a conversation with Jeff Purswell, C.J. Mahaney and Bob Kauflin from the recent Sovereign Grace WorshipGod ‘09 conference: (HT: The Gospel Coalition blog)

Counting the Cost of Sexual Immorality

From John Bloom at Desiring God: It’s very important that we count the cost of sexual immorality before temptation hits. That’s the time for clear thinking. Temptation clouds our judgment. That’s why we pray “keep us from temptation.” Avoiding the fog by steering around it is much better than trying to navigate through it. Years ago, as a way to keep his head clear, Randy Alcorn created a list of the ways he would bring destruction into his life and others’ lives were he to give in to sexual immorality. A few months ago he posted it on his blog. It’s worth reading and adapting and reviewing regularly. Most battles are won in the planning and preparation stages. The same is true for the fight for purity.