Friday, February 24, 2012

Proverbs 9 – Wisdom and Folly

Hello Project Ezra!  This week we will be reading from Proverbs chapter 9.  In this chapter wisdom and folly are contrasted and personified.  Both are seen as calling out to people as they go by, trying to entice them to listen, but with vastly different results.  This chapter is one of several which remind us that the fear or the knowledge of God are the beginning of wisdom, and indeed there is nothing more wise than to trust in God, and nothing more foolish than to deny His existence.  But more than that, we need to know God in truth, to know who He is, not just to believe in a nameless, faceless deity who created us and then sat back to see what would happen.  God is specific about who He is, what He has done, what He demands of us, and how we can be made right with Him.  It is that wisdom that we want to use this passage to call people to.

Another valuable point to consider, and I think a vital one in defending the faith, is that fact that the foundation of belief in God is necessary to make sense of the world we live in, and even for our thought process.  The fear of God is, indeed, the beginning of wisdom, and is necessary for rational thought and argumentation.  Many arguments made against the Christian world view use Christian principles to support them, thought those making the arguments are often not aware of this.  For instance, a common argument I hear, and you likely have heard, against the God of the Bible is the fact that a God who allows evil and suffering would be immoral, thus the good God of the Bible does not exist.  Of course, the argument doesn’t work theologically, but on a more foundational level, the idea of morality is irrational without a moral law giver, which is what is being denied.  If there is no absolute standard of right and wrong, the concept of morality disappears, and appeals to morality becomes nothing but personal preference.

The link below is to some videos from Jason Lisle of Answers in Genesis, dealing with what he calls Nuclear Strength Apologetics, and more commonly called Presuppositional Apologetics, and deals with the Christian world view as the true basis for rational thought and discussion.  It is very good material, and should help equip you not only to deal with these type of questions when they come up, but to spot the assumptions in conflicting world views that those who hold them are generally not even aware of.  You can also take a look at, which takes a very unique approach in presenting some of the same truths.

Finally, we are approaching the third anniversary of Mission Good Friday, the event that grew into what is now Project Ezra.  On Good Friday and Easter weekend we will be reading Matthew 26-28, and I pray that you will join us and encourage others to do the same.  Invite a friend or two to come with you, either to read, to hand out gospel tracts, or just to pray, and see what God does in their life.  I’ll be posting more details about the event soon.

All for His glory,



This passage speaks of two voices which call to all of us

The voice of wisdom and the voice of knowledge

Wisdom says “Leave your simple ways and live”

Folly’s words sound pleasant, but only lead to death

Both are calling you.  Who are you listening to?

God’s word says the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom

It is wise to know who God is, and what He is like

It is also wise to understand who man truly is

God is a God of love, but also a holy and just God

Don’t make the mistake of only acknowledging part of His character

God is holy, which means He is perfect and pure, and man is not (Ps 99:9, Rev 4:8)

Man sinful, and born in sin (Psalm 51:3-5)

Intentions of man’s heart evil from youth (Gen 8:21)

None righteous, no not one (Rom 3:10-12)

Because God is just and perfect, all sin will be punished with perfect justice

See yourself in the light of God’s law, and you will recognize your sin

Purpose of the law is to bring the knowledge of sin (Gal 3:24, Rom 3:20)

Your conscience also tells you when you do wrong.  The law written on your heart (Rom 2:15)


Folly is loud and seductive

Leads to destruction

The pleasures of sin are fleeting (Heb 11:25)

God will judge wickedness (Ecc 3:17, 12:14)

Storing up wrath for the day of wrath (Rom 2:5-8)

Be afraid of the one who can destroy soul and body in hell (Mt. 10:28)

Punishment of eternal fire (Jude 7)

But Jesus took that wrath upon Himself on the cross, became a curse for us (Gal 3:13)

The cross is the perfect demonstration of God’s mercy and justice, His wrath and His love

God hated sin so much He punished it completely

God loved his children so much He sent them a substitute (Eph 2:4)

That is why Jesus is the only way.  Only He paid our fine

Only mediator between God and men (1 Tim 2:5)

Only name under heaven by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12)

Only He paid the price, and only He could have paid the price

Even smallest sin infinitely sinful against an infinitely holy God

Only God in human flesh, more valuable than all creation combined, could pay for infinite sin

Sin forgiven through repentance and faith (Acts 20:21)

Unless you repent, you will perish (Luke 13:3)

Repentance is a change of mind and heart, change of direction

Turn from sin, and turn to Jesus Christ

Will become a new creature, born again

Not a Christian cliché, but a supernatural act of God

So today, cry out to God and ask Him to save you

Nothing more important than your soul, your standing before God

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul? (Mt 16:26)

Will be dead much longer than you will be alive, so deal with it now

Repent and trust in Christ while God has graciously given you time


Friday, February 17, 2012

Psalm 90 – Teach Us to Number Our Days

Hello Project Ezra!  I pray you are having a great week, and that you are planning to join us for this week’s reading, particularly if you haven’t done so for a while.  I know how easy it is to get busy with our daily life’s issues, and to get distracted from our time with God and our duty and privilege of sharing the gospel.  I struggle with it constantly.  But don’t give in to complacency.  It’s so easy to find a reason to stay home, and stay comfortable.  It’s so easy to leave that gospel tract in your pocket, thinking “I’ll give them one another time.”  But we are not promised another time, and neither are they.  So if God is convicting you on this (and I bet He is), pray that God will put you in one of those uncomfortable witnessing situation, and allow Him to stretch you a bit.  You won’t regret it.

This week we will be reading Psalm 90, which has several fantastic lead-ins to the gospel.  Our outline will be focusing in on its mentions of the eternal nature of God, and the finite nature of man.  As with many other portions of scripture, we are reminded here that we will not go on forever, and need to consider our lives in view of eternity.  Thinking about the next life can be very uncomfortable for someone who is not trusting in God and His promises in Christ, so many people just try to push it out of their minds and live for the moment.  But as the word says, God has put eternity in our hearts (ecc 3:11), so it’s a reality no one can truly escape.  Like the human conscience, we can use that reality, through the working of the Holy Spirit, to grab people’s attention so they will listen to the gospel.  Let’s pray that many people are drawn in by the preaching of this truth, and as a consequence, stop to hear the gospel this weekend.

All for His glory,



From everlasting to everlasting He is God

For a thousand years in His sight are but as yesterday

Yet mankind fades and withers like grass

We are the created, and He is the creator

We must understand that relationship

God is eternal and unchanging

But our life is short, and none of us is promised tomorrow


Every one of us has an awareness of our own mortality

If you love your life, you should be concerned about what comes next

It is appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment (Hebrews 9:27)

The Bible says it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10)

All of us will stand before Him one day, and will be judged

If you are wise, look at yourself by God’s law while you still have time

Look at yourself in the mirror, probably see a good person

Look in the mirror of God’s law, see yourself in truth

May say “God knows my heart, I’ll be fine of judgment day”

He does know your heart, and that’s not a good thing

You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence

God know every secret sin, every private thought


God is holy.  Perfect, pure, separate from all evil and sin

God hates sin

God is just, and must punish sin (Psalm 7:11)

All our days pass away under His wrath

Though we may live 70 or 80 years, they are soon gone

Who considers the power of His anger, and His wrath according to the fear of Him?

Two choices

Suffer God’s wrath for eternity in hell (Rev 14:10-11, 20:11-15)

Have the sufferings of Christ pay for your sins

God satisfied the legal demands of the law, nailing them to the cross (Col 2:13)

God demonstrated His love in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)

He bore our sins, by His wounds we are healed (1 Peter 2:24)

The best news, the greatest gift ever

Completely free.  Cannot be earned.

Good works cannot get you into heaven (Eph 2:8-10)

In fact, depending on good works will keep you out of heaven

Trust in Christ alone and His works, not on yourself

When you are born again, God changes your heart, so you desire to serve and obey Him

Changes you into the likeness of His Son (Romans 8:29)

So, how do you receive this gift?

Repentance and faith

Unless you repent, you will perish (Luke 13:1-5)

Christ’s message, repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15)

Trust in Christ alone, and His payment for sin

Could be only reason you are still alive is God’s patience

Waiting for you to repent and trust Him (2 Peter 3:9)

He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that they turn and live (Eze 18:23)

So turn to Christ today, and live!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Selections from Job (40:6-24, 41:1-11, 42:1-6)

Hello Project Ezra!  I pray that you are having a wonderful day in the Lord, and are excited to go out and share His gospel.  I am continually amazed, as I spend more time in God’s word and realize more fully the depths that I have been saved from, that I would have the privilege of writing this blog.  God is so good, and has been so gracious to me.  And, whether or not I have ever talked to you, each one of you who read this is truly a blessing  and an encouragement to me.  I pray that each post will be a blessing to you as well.

This week we are reading a selection of verses from the last few chapters of the book of Job.  This is the section where God speaks to Job, and challenges him to consider who he truly is, and who God truly is.  We have looked at a portion of the beginning of this section before, but this time we will be looking at the end of the section instead.  God starts this section challenging Job to compare himself to the Lord’s own glory, majesty, and power, and then reminds him of the greatness of His creation, and particularly of two of the greatest animals He created.  I will be pulling some verses from other books as well, and extending this to discuss not only the animals God created, but the forces of nature that are also under His control.  No matter how much mankind strives to understand, quantify, and control this universe, an honest look at the vastness of His creation shows us how small, weak, and dependent we really are.  By God’s grace, I am praying that is the message those who hear our preaching will understand as well.

On a side note, I wanted to address the issues of correction and accountability.  I recently had someone post some comments on the theology of one of my Facebook posts, and it made me think.  For those of you who do not know me personally (which is most of you), I am not a pastor or a trained theologian.  I have taken a few seminary courses, have been a believer for 20+ years, and strive to study the Bible carefully and present it accurately.  But, I am a fallible human being, just like everyone reading this, and I want to do all I can to faithful to God’s word.  I know I make mistakes, so if you see believe you see one in one of these posts, please send me a private note so I can consider it and, if appropriate, make any necessary changes.  I want to make sure that I am accountable for my use of God’s word, particularly in a forum like this where many people have access to it.  I cannot promise I will come to the same conclusions you do, but I can promise that I will consider all constructive criticism carefully.  

Thanks for being a part of Project Ezra.  Please post any testimonies to the blog or the Facebook page, so others can be encouraged.

All for His glory,


JOB 40:6-24

JOB 41:1-11

JOB 42:1-6

The power of God’s creation

The great animals God created

The power of the natural world

The weakness of human kind

If we are so easily at the mercy of God’s creation, how much more are we at His mercy?

Behold, the Lord has one who is mighty and strong;
like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest,
like a storm of mighty, overflowing waters,
he casts down to the earth with his hand.  (Isaiah 28:2 ESV)

If the universe around us is so far beyond our comprehension, how much more the God who made it?

We all know God exists.

God’s existence is evident to all.  Just need to look.  We choose to ignore it

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.  (Romans 1:18-23 ESV)

Ecc 3:11 – God put eternity into men’s hearts

If God asked you what He asked Job, what would you say?

Will you ever put me in the wrong?

Condemn me that you may be in the right?

Do you have an arm like God?  Can you thunder with a voice like His?

Can you pour out your anger, abase the proud?

Majesty, dignity, glory and splendor – They are God’s

God is a power we must contend with, and we all know it

Bad news, because there is another power we must contend with

The power of sin and death

We know our sin by looking at ourselves in light of God’s law

Romans 3:20 -    For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin

Romans 2 says the law is written on our hearts.

We know when we break God’s law

We know that lying is wrong, and yet we all have lied

We know that stealing is wrong, but all of us have stolen, even if only small things

We all have looked with lust at those not our husband or wife

We all have used God’s name lightly, thus blasphemed His name

None of us has ever truly put God first.  Put ourselves first instead.  Idolotry

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV)

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8 ESV)

All subject to sin, and because of sin we are all deserving of God’s justice

Justice means judgment, and a perfect judge means perfect justice

Perfect Justice means eternity in hell.

We cannot survive God’s justice

But we can escape through God’s mercy

God’s perfect justice satisfied through Christ’s perfect sacrifice

Justice satisfied so we can go free

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.  (1 Peter 2:24 ESV)

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood (Revelation 1:5 ESV)

We were ransomed with the precious blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19)

This is the gospel, the good news of Christ’s sacrifice

The gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16)

Repent of your sins and believe the gospel today!

Job did not understand what God was doing

He was humbled when he came to see God’s greatness

Submitted to God’s will, and to God’s control of his fate.

We must do the same

First, you must repent

Not just feeling sorry for sin.  Not just trying to do better.

Forsaking, turning from sin, turning to Christ

Trust in Christ alone to save you

God will transform you, change who you are

Become a new creature, be born again

Born again not a cliché, but a reality.  A supernatural change by God

Come to God in humility, repent of your sins, and put your trust in Christ

Only God who can save

Only name under heaven by which we must be saved

So call upon His name today, and be saved!

Friday, February 3, 2012

2 Peter 2 - Blind Faith

Hello Project Ezra!  This week we will be reading 2 Peter 2.  It’s a great chapter, and a very strong condemnation against those who choose their own sensual desires over the truth of God’s word.  As I was reading, I noticed that a number of times it talks of those who are led astray, follow their instincts like animals, and blaspheme in their ignorance.  And I thought of how frequently Christians are accused of blind faith.  In reality, as this passage states and as I’m sure many of you have seen, it is often the non-believer who is blinded to the truth by their own sin and their desire to continue in that sin.  They choose to follow personal beliefs and thoughts shaped by their own desires, with no foundation to them at all.  And sadly, in today’s world of post-modernism this is completely acceptable.

But thankfully we also know that it is the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation! (Rom 1:16)  The best, most logical arguments in the world can not convert somebody, although God certainly uses good arguments in the conversion process for many people.  Logic is unlikely to pull them out of a belief when it had nothing to do with bringing them into that belief in the first place.  But the truth of the gospel is powerful, and it is through that truth that the Holy Spirit will work.  So this week we want to point out this truth to people, and encourage them to re-examine themselves and their motives for belief.  Let’s pray that by God’s grace He uses that self-examination to draw people to Him.

All for His glory,



Would like to talk about blind faith

Many accuse Christians of blind faith

This passage points to blind faith of non-believers

Examine yourself to see if you are living on blind faith

Many of those outside true Christianity actually have blind faith

Blind to truth because of love of sin

Blind faith in God’s love over His wrath

Blind faith in God’s mercy over His justice

Blind faith in a contradictory God who will punish those you don’t like, but let you go

Blind faith in a Bible you never read, and Biblical truths that don’t exist

Blind faith that the God some professing Christians describe is different than your god, the “real” god

Would argue that not only are you wrong, you know you are wrong

Choosing to suppress the truth, or follow those who suppress the truth.

2 Peter 2 talks about those who suppress the truth

False prophets, who secretly bring destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them

Many will follow these prophets’ sensuality, and the way of truth will be blasphemed

That is responsible for much claimed hypocrisy in the church.

Not really hypocrisy, since not true Christians.

Those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. 

Bold and willful, they do not tremble as the blaspheme

Like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant

Reveling in their deceptions

Eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin

Hearts trained in greed.

Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray

Entice unsteady souls

Speaking loud boasts of folly, entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error.

In their greed they will exploit you with false words, make merchandise of you.

Those who promote sin publically

They don’t care about you, your good, or your freedom. 

Just want your money, and to use your bad behavior to justify their own.

We know our bad behavior, our sin

Law of God written on our hearts (Rom 2:15)

Law was given to show us what sin is (Rom 7:7)

Look at the law as you would in a mirror

See your true reflection in light of God’s holiness


Sinful behavior in not without cost

God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell

In chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment.

Did not spare the ancient world, but Noah, a herald of righteousness and seven others

Turned Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes, making them an example of what will happen to the ungodly.

Rescued righteous Lot, who was greatly distressed be the sensual conduct of the wicked.

Knows how to keep the unrighteous under punishment

They promise them freedom when they themselves are slaves of corruption

By ignoring God an reveling in sin, you are not truly free

But there is good news!  The word gospel means good news.

You can be set free from your slavery to sin and made to be slaves of righteousness (Rom 6:18)

True escape through Jesus Christ

Through Jesus Christ you are set free from the law of sin and death (Rom 8:2)

Set free through Christ’s work on the cross.

Legal demands of the law have been satisfied (Col 2:14)

Isaiah 53:5-6 -    But he was pierced for our transgressions;
                                 he was crushed for our iniquities;
                                upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
                                and with his wounds we are healed.
                                All we like sheep have gone astray;
                                we have turned—every one—to his own way;
                                and the LORD has laid on him
                                the iniquity of us all.

God able to save people, able to hold others in judgment.

So today, turn from your sin and trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you

Whoever comes to Him he will never cast out (Jn 6:37)

He is mighty to save!

Only Christ is true God and true man (John 1)

Only Christ lived a perfect life, and became the perfect sacrifice.

Only Christ lives forever as our high priest before the Father (Heb 7:23-25)

So only through Him, and His blood, can we be made right with God

The only name under heaven by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

So come to Christ, and to this great salvation, today!