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Bless-ed! 52 Blessings Your Lost Friend Doesn’t Have . . . And What You Can Do About It! (Part 11)

“Count your blessings — Name them one by one . . . “🎶 I sang this song as a young Christian. In thinking about my unsaved friend “Mike,” I’m counting the blessings I have in Christ. My heart goes out to him — for he doesn’t have these blessings because he doesn’t have the Lord.

We’ve looked at ten blessings so far, but there is an eleventh that I must touch on. And I long for my friend to have this blessing. But we must be true to the Bible and state that, when it comes to my lost friends . . .

11. THEY DON’T HAVE A PERMANENT JOY !

JOY is quite different from the kind of temporary happiness our world offers. Happiness, as someone has said, depends on happenings. Joy for the believer is solid and lasting and eternal, for it comes from the everlasting God! Dr. Willard S. Krabill has said that “The mentally and emotionally healthy are those that have learned when to say Yes, when to say No, and when to say Whoopee!”

Jesus promises A COMPLETE JOY in John 15:11 when He says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”  He challenges His followers in John 16 by saying, “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be COMPLETE.” (v. 24). He promises that the disciples’ grief will turn to JOY in John 16:20 and that no one can take away their JOY (v. 22).

Spiritual leaders like C.S. Lewis and John Piper focused much of their ministry on the concept of pursuing JOY in the Lord.

How do I pray for my unsaved friend? First I need to show that JOY in Jesus that my friend does not yet have. Second, I need to pray that he would sense a lack of true, biblical JOY in his life. (to be continued)

 

 

 
 

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The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Adventures)

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2022 in Calvin & Hobbes

 

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Bless-ed! 52 Blessings Your Lost Friend Doesn’t Have . . . And What You Can Do About It! (Part 10)

God’s Word is filled with blessings that belong only to the saved. My friend Mike is lost and, therefore, doesn’t enjoy any of these benefits. Do I? Am I aware of all that I have “in Christ”?

In thinking about the many blessings which our unsaved friends don’t have, we recently looked at the truth that they don’t have a biblical view of the family. It may be that my friend Mike practices some positive principles that the Bible gives without knowing it.

Let’s think about another blessing which our lost friends don’t have and it is this:

10. THEY DON’T HAVE A DEFENDABLE WORLDVIEW !

Not to get too philosophical, but any worldview other than that given by God in His Word is susceptible to attack and eventual overthrow. Wow! What a dogmatic statement! But seriously, if biblical Christianity isn’t true and the Bible isn’t God’s Word, why should we bother following Christ? But there are clear evidences of the Bible’s truthfulness; Christ’s life, death, burial, and resurrection; and the fact that the God of the Bible is real and holy and angry at sin.

The Bible gives many examples of believers defending the truth of the gospel (see Acts 17 as a great illustration of a philosophically-informed Apostle Paul presenting the truth about Jesus). In fact, Jesus followers are commanded to be ready to give reasons for their faith in their Savior (I Pe. 3:15).

How do I pray for my unsaved friend? First of all, I need to understand his present worldview. Then do whatever I can to challenge it in light of the gospel. And, second, I need to pray for God the Holy Spirit to open my friend’s eyes to how he ought to view life and eternity and . . . Jesus. (to be continued)

 

 
 

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The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Man’s Sin)

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2022 in Calvin & Hobbes

 

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Bless-ed! 52 Blessings Your Lost Friend Doesn’t Have . . . And What You Can Do About It! (Part 9)

In these posts we are discussing what my unsaved friend “Mike” doesn’t have because he doesn’t yet have Christ. But I have the Lord (because I’ve believed the gospel) — so what do I have?

We’ve considered a number of blessings which our unsaved friends don’t have. The last we looked at was that they don’t have a healthy perspective on getting old! Let’s look at another blessing which we believers should cherish — and which our unsaved friends don’t yet have. And it is that —

9. THEY DON’T HAVE A BIBLICAL VIEW OF THE FAMILY!

Our culture seems to be doing all that it can to redefine the family, to overturn what God’s Word says about the duties of the father, the mother, and the children. My friend Mike, who at this point doesn’t have the Bible as his final authority, can very easily become deceived by the world’s definitions and perspectives on this most basic unit of human relationships.

In the month of May I get to speak at a family retreat at Camp Elim in Colorado. I’m choosing for my theme “Family Values According to God’s Word.” We’ll look at what the Bible says about marriage, about the husband/wife relationship, about the father’s leadership, the mother’s co-partnership and support role, and the children’s requirements which the Scriptures lay out. I’ll do my homework in properly interpreting the passages I use, but I’m excited to draw our attention to the wealth of truth the Bible provides on this most critical issue.

How do I pray for my unsaved friend? As I think about one of my friends, my prayer is that he would see that God’s way (in marriage and the family) is the best way. And I pray that my marriage and family would be a godly example to him. (to be continued)

 

 
 

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The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Priorities)

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2022 in Calvin & Hobbes

 

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Bless-ed! 52 Blessings Your Lost Friend Doesn’t Have . . . And What You Can Do About It! (Part 8)

My friend “Mike” is helping me become more aware of what I have as a believer and what he doesn’t yet have. I’m certainly not gloating, but he inspires me to take stock of what I have in Christ. And what I long for him to have!

In our previous posts, we’ve seen that (according to Scripture) my unsaved friends  — (1) don’t have an authoritative source for what they believe; (2) don’t have the assurance that their sins are forgiven; (3) don’t have a life-long, satisfying mission in life, (4) don’t have somewhere (beyond this world) to go with their guilt, (5) don’t have a community (being built by Jesus) where they can be trained to do God’s work, (6) don’t have a longing to know God through studying His Word, and (7) don’t have the Spirit of God to help them understand and apply God’s Word.

Let’s think about an eighth benefit of the believer as we recognize a truth about our unbelieving friends. And it is that —

8. THEY DON’T HAVE A HEALTHY PERSPECTIVE ON GETTING OLD!

If this is the only life one gets, then getting older has got to bring some sadness to the one outside of Christ! Sure, there are joys in seeing one’s children grow up, but if in the final analysis one only gets old and dies, that is about as depressing as life can get!

I’ve recently been going through Psalm 16 with my friend Frank and there we read: “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
 surely I have a delightful inheritance.
” That’s what growing older for a believer involves — “boundary lines” in “pleasant places.” And for the Christian there is a “delightful inheritance”!

How do I pray for my unsaved friend? I can pray that he would see his days and months and years as a gift from God and that he would turn to the Lord for salvation! Eternity — not nothingness — awaits. And we can use our time here for honoring Him! (to be continued)

 

 
 

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An Invitation! JOIN US! Seriously!

A group of my friends recently completed going through my book DocTALK! We had some great discussions on the doctrines of the Christian faith. We spent just one hour going over the chapter and talking about whatever issues the chapter raised. And you missed it! That might not be the worst decision you’ve ever made in 2021, but, hey! 2022’s a whole brand spanking new year!

Well . . .  Want to join us in discussing the next book in that series, DocWALK? [You don’t have to have read DocTALK to go through DocWALK with us]. It is subtitled: Putting into Practice What You Say You Believe. Very easy to read chapters. A touch of humor tossed in. We meet via Zoom and we don’t keep attendance or have any quizzes!

Information - Dee Millen Rabbit AccessoriesIf so, I’ll send you a copy for a mere $10.00! Or you can buy it on Amazon. If you order from me, send me a check for $10 (Dr. Larry Dixon, 117 Norse Way, Columbia, SC 29229) or pay me through PayPal (theoprof@bellsouth.net). But you should order quick like a bunny!

Our 1st discussion will be February 6th and we will meet the first Sunday night at 8 pm of each month. If you choose to join us, please let me know, especially if you need a book (theoprof@bellsouth.net).

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2022 in theology

 

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Bless-ed! 52 Blessings Your Lost Friend Doesn’t Have . . . And What You Can Do About It! (Part 7)

My friend “Mike” (not his real name) is unsaved, but he’s helping me become more aware of what I have as a believer and what he doesn’t yet have. This list is not given in any sense of gloating, for I grieve for what my friend doesn’t have.

In our previous posts, we’ve seen that (according to Scripture) my unsaved friends  — (1) don’t have an authoritative source for what they believe; (2) don’t have the assurance that their sins are forgiven; (3) don’t have a life-long, satisfying mission in life, (4) don’t have somewhere (beyond this world) to go with their guilt, (5) don’t have a community (being built by Jesus) where they can be trained to do God’s work, and (6) don’t have a longing to know God through studying His Word!

Let’s consider a seventh benefit of the believer as we recognize a truth about our unbelieving friends. And it is that —

7. THEY DON’T HAVE THE SPIRIT OF GOD TO HELP THEM UNDERSTAND AND APPLY GOD’S WORD!

The Bible is clear about the Trinity — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Third Member of the Godhead is personal and divine and we can have a relationship with Him. I’m working on a book specifically challenging believers to grow in their connection with the Holy Spirit and to do so by recognizing His ministries in their lives. One primary ministry is that of helping us understand and apply the Word of God to our daily lives (see John 16:13; I Corinthians 2:14-15).

The person who has not yet trusted Christ does not have the Spirit of God. He or she may read the Bible, but they are not yet open to the One whose primary tool in teaching us spiritual truth is the Word of God!

How do I pray for my unsaved friend? I can pray that he would trust Christ and be brought by the Spirit of God into God’s family. Then he can begin to understand — and warmly embrace — the truths of God’s Word. (to be continued)

“If you’re not confident in the authority of the Scriptures, you will be a slave to what sounds right.”
Matt Chandler

 

 
 

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The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Maturity)

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2022 in Calvin & Hobbes

 

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