Great Expectations

My name is Mark Smith. I'm a guy who loves Jesus, His Word, and His Church. I am filled with Great Expectations for what the future will ultimately bring - Matthew 24:14.

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Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

My favourite verse is Psalm 16:11, my other favourite verse is Acts 20:24, my other favourite verse is Habakkuk 3:17-19, and my other favourite verse is Matthew 24:14.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

C.S. Lewis and Laughter

I read this quote from Josh Harris' blog. It would have fit well with my message a few weeks ago.

Laughter is a divine gift to the human who is humble. A proud man cannot laugh because he must watch his dignity; he cannot give himself over to the rocking and rolling of his belly. But a poor and happy man laughs heartily because he gives no serious attention to his ego....Only the truly humble belong to this kingdom of divine laughter...Humor and humility should keep good company. Self deprecating humor can be a healthy reminder that we are not the center of the universe, that humility is our proper posture before our fellow humans as well as before almighty God..."I suppose," wrote C.S. Lewis, "we should mind humiliation less if we were but humbler."

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Pride vs. Humility

On Tuesday Night we started a Bible Study on Genesis 1-11. Of course we talked about Creation vs. Evolution and how over 700 excellent scientists have signed the Scientific Dissent from Darwinism, etc. In the course of all that, one thing I made sure to bring up was that when talking with others about Creation vs. Evolution - or about anything for that matter - it is important to remain humble. When we think we are right about something (and even more so when we are 100% sure we are right about something) there can be a dangerous tendency to get arrogant about it. I always think about this when it comes to Creation because as a kid I used to watch Kent Hovind talk about Creation Science and as I got older I began to noticed that he was absolutely arrogant about it. He did not seem to have in him the humility of Christ. I think he was correct with lots of his teachings (though Answers in Genesis does point out some areas where his arguments were based on faulty information) but he should have said it differently. When I heard Joe Book lecture on apologetics he said, "You can win an argument and lose the person." I'm sure Kent Hovind won lots of arguments. But I'm also sure he lost the people in the process because of his arrogance.

It is hard to remain humble when you are sure you are correct. But somehow we must remain humble. Both because otherwise people will be turned away, and even more so because God hates pride and we do not want Him to turn away!

One thing I really appreciate about Piper is his ability to be so firm and passionate and yet also be humble at the same time. He has some tips here on how to remain humble, and a couple of the key ones are these:

"I remember that I am by nature a depraved sinner and that, in all my sinning, I have treated God with contempt, preferring other things to his glory. I take stock that I have never done a good deed for which I don’t need to repent. Each one is flawed because perfection is commanded. Therefore I realize that God owes me nothing but pain in this life and the next."

"I ponder that this condition of mine is so desperate that it could only be remedied at the cost of the horrid death of the Son of God, to bear my punishment and provide my righteousness. And I revel in the forgiveness and righteousness that is mine in Christ."

"I meditate on those Scriptures that say, “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,” (1 Peter 5:5-6; see James 4:6-10). And, “He who is least among you all is the one who is great” (Luke 9:48; Mark 9:35; Matthew 20:26)."

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Good Bible Verse

Proverbs 19:11, "Good sense makes one slow to anger,
and it is his glory to overlook an offense."

Lots of people (though not all) know enough not to get angry and loose their temper like they are still a silly little kid. But instead their anger turns into wallowing over the fact that they have been offended.

So many times people get offended (either legitimately or illegitimately) and that offense is the end of the world to them. They get self-defensive, or they quit, or they stop talking, or something else entirely. Instead, we need to know what the Bible says about offense. Yes, people should try not to offend other people. But if you do get offended (intentionally or accidentally) you know what you're supposed to do? Overlook it. It is your glory to overlook the offense. To overlook an offense is a beautiful, Biblical thing.