A Good Book for Pre-Marital Counseling

I am often asked what kinds of books I might recommend for couples who are planning to get married. Here is one, “Married for God,” by Christopher Asah. This book is really excellent. You can get it here

Here is a citation I really liked,

“For we are not made to gaze into the eyes of another human being and find in him or her all we need. And if we think we were, we are bound to be disappointed. If my dear wife ever thought I could be everything to her, then she certainly knows better now!…” 

“The moment I make my “relationship” the goal of my life, I doom myself to disappointment.” Surprisingly, the key to a good marriage is not to pursue a good marriage, but to pursue the honor of God. We need to replace this selfish model of marriage with one in which we work side by side in God’s “garden” (that is God’s world), rather than gaze forever into each others eyes.” 1

1. Married for God, by Christopher Ash, P42

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Reforming the Family – D6

Check out the new web site over at D6. Our friend Carlton McLeod has posted resources for the kind of thinking that works for the reforming your family. It is essentially a quick study tract. There aren’t any solicitations of any kind and you don’t have to login anywhere.  It is meant to cast a vision quickly, and give those interested an easy way to start and begin to learn more.  We believe revival will begin in hearts and homes.

Carlton says, “We believe reforming the home is essential to turning the tide of generational losses and recapturing God’s plan for multigenerational faithfulness.

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Fear of God Devotional: The Grace that Saves is Grace that Transforms Your Life



What is saving grace?

Jeff Pollard explains in this video that the grace that saves you is also the grace that instructs and transforms your life. If you have received God’s grace, you have His Spirit. If indeed God has invaded your soul, the Spirit begins to shine the Word of God in your mind and heart. You begin to understand that Scripture teaches you that there are certain things that Scripture teaches as good and others as wicked. There is a new desire in your heart and soul to walk with Christ.

But, American Christianity has missed the fact that God saves us, justifies us, and that justification is never separated from sanctification. The notion of grace that doesn’t in some way kindle a desire to put away what is wicked and to walk in righteousness is not saving grace. It is not possible to simply proclaim that you “believe,” but then live your life however you want.

Titus 2:11-14 (NKJV) – ” For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Expositional Preaching Forces Prostration in the Preacher and the Hearer



How does expositional preaching help us to better worship God?

Craig Houston explains in this video that there is something about preaching expositionally that forces the preacher to go to Scripture and be faithful to the text. It forces a pastor to prostrate himself before a Holy Scripture – that’s what worship is. True worship involves making what God has declared to be preeminent, preeminent.

The congregation of a church ought to come with a worshipful heart. They should say, as the people did in Nehemiah in chapter 8, “bring the book!” They ought to yearn for what Scripture says.

Ultimately, a proper understanding of biblical preaching involves a preacher and a people that come and prostrate themselves before Scripture. God is glorified and honored. He is pleased when Scripture is revered and preached.

Matthew 4:4 (NKJV) – But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

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Is Genesis History?



Is Genesis History?  Is evolution more reasonable than creationism? This film will answer the question beyond the shadow of a doubt. It’s a fantastic film. Everyone needs to see it. The first ten minutes are worth the price of the film.

See more at their website: isgenesishistory.com

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Fear of God Devotional: The Family Worshiping Together



How does a father teach his family about the worship of God?

Joel Beeke explains in this video that it is vitally important to teach your children about the worship of God. If you honor and glorify God, you worship Him. Fathers ought to teach their children the importance of worshipping God as a family, at gatherings of the church, and privately.

Fathers ought to set an example for their children by prioritizing the study of God’s Word and prayer. The trajectory of a family often follows the father. As a father, do you faithfully read Scripture and pray with your family? Do you teach your children about how to prepare for, listen to, and respond to the sermon? Work or household tasks ought never to supersede the weighty responsibility fathers have to bring up their children in the “training and admonition of the Lord.”

Ephesians 6:4 (NKJV) – “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Why Are Churches Weak?



What leads to weak churches in America?

Kevin Swanson explains in this video that the American church is weak. This stems from the fact that many churches fail to preach the law of God and that there is a lack of true faith. True faith would manifest itself by the mortification of sin in the lives of believers, repentance, and a reformation of life. Sadly, there is little evidence of reformation and repentance in many American churches.

When the law of God is ignored, repentance is hardly noticeable amongst American churches. If there is no acknowledgment of the law of God, there is no need for repentance and a confession of sin. Instead, all too often, we see such a focus on the grace of God that the law of God and God’s wrath towards sin is rarely discussed. Accordingly, the church is weakened because the grace of God is not manifest in the lives of churchgoers and there is a lack of individuals repenting and mortifying sin.

Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) – “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Preparation for Preaching



What questions should a pastor ask as he prepares to give a sermon?

Marcus Serven explains in this video that as he prepares a sermon, he starts asking himself questions the day before. He asks: “Do I have something in the sermon for 6-year-olds?” “How about for mothers?” “How about the young people?” “How about for the discouraged person?”

The primary question he asks himself is: “Where in the sermon am I proclaiming Christ and the Gospel?” He explains that integrating the Gospel in each sermon is one challenge of expositional preaching. When expositing a text, pastors often forget to address the Gospel and discuss application points. A pastor’s primary goal is to help people to trust in the work of Christ. Accordingly, a sermon should always point people to the Gospel and to Christ.

Romans 1:16 (NKJV) – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”

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Fear of God Devotional: What False Conversion Can Look Like in a Rock and Roller



What can a false conversion look like?

Jeff Pollard explains in this video that when he was in 5th grade, he “walked the aisle,” was baptized, and sang in the youth choir. He was convinced he was a Christian because he was doing the things that everyone told him Christians do. Yet, he didn’t truly know God. There was no hunger for the Word of God and for the things of God.

Mercifully, God opened his heart when he was 30. His eyes were indeed opened. There was a clear sense of sin. He understood he was a sinner. For the first time, Scripture spoke to him. He realized that God was sovereign and that He ruled.

He explains how people can be involved in religious activity, but they don’t know God and they have not been converted. They have never been brought to a genuine sense of repentance. When you truly believe on Christ, you can worship. You go from understanding that you are lost, to worshipping and serving Him.

Colossians 2:8 (NKJV) – “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

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Fear of God Devotional: How is Baptism a Part of Worship



Is baptism a part of worship?

Craig Houston explains in this video that baptism does involve the worship of God. In fact, baptism is worship on many different levels.

First, worship involves obedience. Baptism is also about obedience to the command of making disciples and baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Obedience in baptism stems from a heart of worship, a heart that desires to obey and honor the commands of God.

Second, it is also worshipful in that it is Trinitarian. In the Great Commission, we are called to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We see this played out in the baptism of Jesus Christ. The Father was glorified, the Son was obedient to fulfill all righteousness, and the Holy Spirit descending upon Christ like a dove and blessing the baptism of Christ. It is a powerful picture of worship.

Matthew 28:19 (NKJV) – “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

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Let Us Love One Another



In this passage John explains what love is, the source of it and how to express it. In the previous verse, (John 4:6), He urges the church to “test the spirits.” Now He gives an infallible test of true Christianity: genuine love. He has just made it clear that it is loving to test the spirits, being intolerant toward those who depart from scripture, not genuinely confessing Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh. Now John turns to love in the church itself. This is the third time John has returned to this subject.

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Fear of God Devotional: What Should Holiness Look Like in Your Life?



What does holiness look like in the everyday life of a father or husband?

Joel Beeke explains in this video that a father demonstrates holiness when he prays with his wife, prays with his children, prays in family worship, and prays spontaneously, such that his children and his wife feel that he is constantly in prayer. He suggests that our first response to the joys and sorrows of life should be to go to God in prayer. In essence, holiness is steeped in prayer and humility.

Secondly, a husband and father also portrays holiness when he has the utmost respect for the Word of God and fears God in that he fears God more than he does man. He asks, “What would God want us to do?” instead of seeking the advice of his friends. As a father and husband, do you find that your life is bathed in prayer and that you fear and revere the Word of God more than you do the opinions of others?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV) – “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Why People Do Not Worship



What is a primary reason that people do not worship God?

Kevin Swanson answers that question by explaining that many people do not know God or of God. This is because He has not been preached and His Word has not been laid out. He has not been preached about and described by preachers. Instead, the focus has been elsewhere – on the music, the small groups, or the fellowship.

Yet, it doesn’t matter how much we sing or pray if we do not know God. Pastors need to preach about God. It is only when He is preached that we can truly understand and worship God.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NKJV) – “Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the Lord.”

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Expository Preachers and Expository Fathers

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The Duties Of Parents: Part 1 – J.C. Ryle

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