Archives For Thanksgiving

One Shining Moment

Tim Brister —  April 5, 2011 — 3 Comments

There have been some great moments over the past six years of blogging here at P&P.  The Ask Anything 9th inning rally comes to my mind.  So does the Puritan Reading Challenge.   Then again there is P2R Memory Moleskine.  And now there is one more to add, thanks to so many of you who worked the social networks of Facebook and Twitter to get the word out.

Last night, it was declared that I was the winner of the 2011 SBC Voices Blog Madness.  It was a lot of fun, and I was really encouraged to see friends and family root my little blog on.  In order to even make it to the final round, I needed a substantial comeback in the 2nd round to edge out Dr. Russell Moore much to the chagrin of some folks.  But alas, the madness is over, and I realize what a great community of folks I have to connect with online.

This little win marks six years to the month that I started blogging.  2,100 posts later, P&P is still chugging along, and it seems like now that so much of that has become biographical.  Thanks for joining me in the journey and encouraging you in the gospel. It has always been my desire to make much of Jesus here.

For all of us, the best seat is the back seat.
For all of us, the best ground is the background.

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Tim Brister —  November 25, 2010 — 3 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving folks! Here’s a couple of fun videos of flash mobs breaking out in the Hallelujah Chorus in malls this year.  Now here’s an encouraging trend I would like to see go viral in the real world!

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Justified Thanksgiving

Tim Brister —  November 24, 2010 — 1 Comment

* This is part three of three in a series based on a Thanksgiving sermon I preached this past Sunday based on Luke 18:9-14.  In this section, I argue that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the source of all acceptable thanksgiving.  Or, in other words, we should thank God for justification by faith!  For prior posts, see Part 1 and Part 2 (and this practical thought).

So what kind of thanksgiving is justified?  This is what I want to drive home to your hearts and minds this morning, so let’s take one final look into the text for the answer to this question.

Justified Thanksgiving

The setting for this parable (Luke 18:9-14) was that two men went to the Temple to pray. One went home justified, and the person who did was NOT the person you would expect.  Jesus turns things upside down, showing that the least qualified when it comes to self-righteousness is the most qualified to receive salvation because he knew there was nothing he could hope in except the mercy and grace of God.

The two men in this parable are placed side-by-side to show the stark contrast between religion based on performance and salvation based on grace. You see, not only do sinners need to repent of their sin, this parable shows that moral people also need to repent of their own righteousness.  This contrast is highlighted in three places: (1) locating the problem, (2) locating the source of righteousness, and (3) locating the primary concern.

(a) What did these two men see as the problem? Where was it located?  For the Pharisee, the problem existed outside himself.  He saw the sinful lives of others as the problem—extortioners, unjust, and adulterers.  But for the tax collector, the problem existed inside himself.  He could not stop beating his breast, knowing that the location of the problem was inside his sinful heart.

The problem with most people today is that they are far more prone to look at the sins and shortcomings of others than they do of their own.  Pharisees are always harder on others than they are on themselves.  But when it comes to their own sin, rebellion, and wickedness, they can’t stand to look honestly, closely, and thoroughly.  They can’t stand to have themselves exposed.  This is why the Bible refers to sinners apart from salvation in Jesus being in “the domain of darkness” (Col. 1:13).  The “god of this world,” Paul says is actively working in the minds of unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel (2 Cor. 4:4).  And as long as you think the problem is outside of yourself, the devil has you enchanted by his lies when you should be haunted by your present darkness.

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* This is part two of three of a series from a Thanksgiving sermon I preached Sunday from Luke 18:9-14.  This part focuses on the quest for justification (and its relationship to thanksgiving). To read part one, go here.

The most important word in this passage (Luke 18:9-14) is found in verse 14.  It is the word “justified.”  If you don’t get what it means to be justified and how one can be justified, then you will not understand the good news of Jesus.  That’s precisely the problem with this man’s thanksgiving.  He thought he was the good news, and his good deeds were supposed to be evidence of that.  But the fact is that his attempts of righteousness were not commendable to God.  They were damnworthy because they could never justify him in the sight of God.

And yet this is precisely the problem with the majority of people today. Martin Luther was right when he said that “religion” is the basic default of the human heart.  Perhaps this is where you are.  No, you may not see yourself as good of a person as this man in his radical devotion, but you are striving for that in hopes that God would one day accept you.  What makes the gospel such an offense to sinners today is that any contribution on your behalf to make you right with God is rejected by God himself.  Not even your best attempts will considered as evidence in your favor of being justified in His sight.

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Unacceptable Thanksgiving

Tim Brister —  November 22, 2010 — 2 Comments

* This is part one of three of sermon notes I preached Sunday about Thanksgiving from Luke 18:9-14. This passage speaks powerfully to what I called “justified thanksgiving.”

This week is a special time in the calendar year.  We call it Thanksgiving—a time where family and friends come together to share meals, discuss their lives, and enjoy one another’s company. It is one of those times when we are encouraged to hit the pause button in what normally feels like a fast-paced lifestyle, like a train picking up steam month by month and beginning to lose control.  So we pull back the reigns, so to speak, and call ourselves to pause, reflect, remember, and give thanks.

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