Month: December 2015

Challenge on the Table

There is was.  The CHALLENGE.  It was on the table.  In the middle of the table.  Thomas might have put it there.  It looked like something he’d write:

There are the votaries of fashion, who, in this way, have at length become the victims of fashionable excess—in whom the very multitude of their enjoyments, has at last extinguished their power of enjoyment—who, with the gratifications of art and nature at command, now look upon all that is around them with an eye of tastelessness—who, plied with the delights of sense and of splendour even to weariness, and incapable of higher delights, have come to the end of all their perfection, and like Solomon of old, found it to be vanity and vexation.

Of course it might not be Thomas …had Thomas ever used the word “votary” before?  The CHALLENGE had many “v” words in it (e.g. “vanity” & “vexation” & “victims”), but what did this prove?  …And what about the BONUS CHALLENGE? – – – >

Love may be regarded in two different conditions. The first is, when its object is at a distance, and then it becomes love in a state of desire.The second is, when its object is in possession, and then it becomes love in a state of indulgence.

The love of the world cannot be expunged by a mere demonstration of the world’s worthlessness. But may it not be supplanted by the love of that which is more worthy than itself?



Holy Smokes!!!
As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

Can you believe that you profess to believe in this!?

take note of that person” …sounds like “being judgemental”! …(e.g. think about that guy in the church who claims to be a follower of Jesus, but he’s really a lazy parasite, and you say to him, “I’ve taken note of your lack of diligence/obedience“).

have nothing to do with him” …sounds really “unloving” and “intolerant”!

*the AIM is to SHAME him! …doesn’t sound like “grace” …it sounds like you’re treating this guy as an enemy.  But you’re not.  You’re treating him like a REAL brother!

Have you ever had to actually implement what Paul is talking about here?  If so, how’d it go????



I have actually had it done to me. I can think of 2 examples that relate.
When I was a kid I stole from Kroger a little bottle of sweet breath. This dollar treat caused me much pain. When my mom saw me she disciplined me she sent me to my room for a time then she came to me explained to me what I had done wrong. She then drove me to the store and made me go inside and pay for the item as well as apologize. It was shameful but it also taught me a thing or two about right, wrong, and consequences.
The second was when I was in college I was way down the wrong path. Drugs, drinking, partying. I remember my long time Christian brothers not wanting to hang out with me and not inviting me simple places. They would warn me of the consequences of my actions and out of love would rebuke me. After some time the Holy Spirit working through them brought me out of my sin pattern. I was accepted back with ease because my Christian brothers were living out 2 Thessalonians.


If we know much about the character of God isn’t this how he works? Other times in Pauls writings he describes his affection for the people he is writing to. Galatians 4:16-20
Isn’t this our response to our children or as a coach the same here? I have seen Travis do this with some of his Urban Eagles family. Sitting a player to teach them that their actions have consequences. Or when a brother has stepped out of the family exposing his sin not shamefully but disciplining them so that that relationship can be restored.
This is one of the same principles applied to church discipline. It is also one seen in scripture thinking about John 15:2.
I think the important thing to note about this is not regarding them as enemies but warning them as brothers.
Remembering that once we were all enemies however we have a Savior Jesus Christ who bought us back from the slave market of sin so that we can be a part of His family, can eat as His table, and spend eternity with our creator. When we approach a situation with a brother with this attitude I think it changes everything. Thinking specifically about Luke 7:47, Ephesians 4:32, and 2 Corinthians 5:18-19.
I could probably go on on this topic but I think we as sinful people need brothers who will do this to us and for us. Brothers who are not scared to call us out on our crap and will relentlessly pursue us, rebuke us, and love us. Relationships like Nathan to David, Paul to the many churches, and most importantly Jesus to me.

Sent from my iPhone
April 2013…

God:  Est. Heb. 12:2 as the theme verse for ECPC.

Tyler:  Why?

God:  You’ll see (layer upon layer, truth after truth, goodness wrapped within goodness, the sundry beauties…).

December 2015…

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

Sanctification includes scorning the shame, which requires feeling the shameful gravity of our criminal/treasonous/adulterous/wicked/wretched/sinful hearts.

As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

*I have had professing “Christians” tell me that this approach is void grace, but it is the manifestation – it is the real life/actual work – of THE LOVE OF GOD (not an abstract, relativistic “love” – but a specific & particular and ZEALOUS love).

And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. (2 Thessalonians 3:4-5)

e.g. a Church Discipline Commission – – – > the brother MUST do the things that we command! …and the only reality that will actually give rise to this supernatural receptivity to discipline and obedience is God’s intervening work of directing a sinner’s heart to THE LOVE OF GOD! (i.e. not mustering up the will power to love God more …but diving deeper into God’s devastating love for us [see Gal. 2:20]).

Alex… your stories are helpful and clarifying, and your citation of John 15:2 resonates.



Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains (John 9:41).

Lionel says to ‘Bertie’, “You gotta come everyday.” (the king is a busy man, t’would be easy to point out that this isn’t sensible or convenient).

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. (1 Timothy 1:15)

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:15-24)

As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. (Titus 3:10-11)

And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:14-23)

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18:15-20)

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. (2 John 1:10-11)

But worthless men are all like thorns that are thrown away, for they cannot be taken with the hand; but the man who touches them arms himself with iron and the shaft of a spear, and they are utterly consumed with fire.” (2 Samuel 23:6-7)


Can you handle it?  [sturdy, humble]

Do you have a heart?  [compassionate, empathy]

Do you know how-to address it/them?  [thoughtful, shrewd, experienced]

Do you have hope?  [perseverance, dependence]

…if there’s Help, there’s hope.


hear, story, listen, story


*the longer – and more intently – you listen, the more necessary it will become for you to believe in the Holy Spirit.


“I hope you fail better.”

“…the goal of my whole life has been to NOT make a mistake.”

December 5th 2015

12/4/15 – CHRONIC UNREPTENTANCE (i.e. NOT hating your sin) (e.g. porn & drug addicts, spouse abusers, etc.).  See Matthew chapter 3.

12/4/15 [11:05 p.m.] – How is your wife stopping you from running toward Jesus?  …The chief end of your life (the goal of your existence) is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

12/3/15 – Who will be the community of face-to-face question askers for you?  Principles & Primacy of SURRENDER.  SUBMISSION.  See Ephesians chapter 5.  Principles of Brood of Viper Repulsion = Repentance.  Principles of Anti-Presumption.  Principles of Radical Self-Reflection & Self-Examination.  See Matthew chapter 3.

12/3/15 – Remind him of the Absolute & Authoritative Revelation.  Remind him that he cannot put his marriage ahead of Jesus.

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” [Luke 14:26]

“This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none.” [1 Corinthians 7:29]

12/3/15 – illu:  15-year-old Tyler & the regularly appointed family dinner situation.  …Family is NOT friends; Family is NOT sportsteam; etc.

12/3/15 –

  • The principles talked about in Colossians 3 can certainly, and should certainly, be applied to many different communities and relationships… But where are these principles to be most emphatically applied?… Where is this letter being sent, who is it addressed to?

12/3/15 – Which community does Christ put the emphasis on?  See Matthew chapter 12 verse 50, and Luke chapter 14 verse 26.