Tag Archives: chris anderson

A Word on Politics and the 2012 Elections

The following is a glimpse into what’s been going through my head recently:

On Election Day and Freedom: As you all know, today is a very important day in America’s history. Election Day! A day of decisions, a day of responsibility, a day of freedom. Freedom–one little word–one very vital concept.  So many around the world have no say in their nation’s leaders. But we do! And it’s not something to be taken lightly. We recently celebrated the 100th birthday of a sister in Christ at our church. One hundred years ago, women didn’t have the right to vote! Can you imagine all the things she’s lived through?! It makes me very thankful to be alive in the age and nation that I am.

On the Electoral College: Tonight, we have some friends coming over for a soup night. We’ll turn on the television and watch the results unfold. They’ll keep track for you, or you can download this interactive map from Elizabeth Perry’s Flickr account (permission given on her site to print for personal use) and keep track yourself. You could even have everyone color in their predictions and see who’s closest at the end of the night, if you wanted. But then, you do need a prize for the winner.

There’s another interactive map on CNN that helps you see what happens depending on which way the swing states go.

Not quite sure how the electoral college works? I found this description of the electoral college and this description of the electoral map at “Congress for Kids” that seems to be fairly helpful (though not updated since 2008). Each page has a link for a “Show What You Know” quiz at the bottom. And here’s one more video from History that gives some more info.

On Changing the Day of the Election: Did you hear that they wanted to change Election Day because of Hurricane Sandy? Well, as Mike Opelca of The Blaze quotes The WSJ’s Naftali Bendavid, “It would take an act of Congress!” Congress is not currently in session. And history sides with keeping the National Election on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. If war and terrorists threats won’t shake Congress to change the election date, I have my doubts that a storm will.

On Voting Third Party: Everyone is given the right to vote for whomever they wish, regardless of whether or not the candidate is in one of the major two parties. I personally believe you should vote for whichever candidate aligns best with your core values. There are several sites that can help reveal that, and it’s okay if it ends up being someone other than a candidate from the Republican or Democratic Party. One site that I particularly like is VoteSmart.org. Vote for each of the major issues, and rank how important it is to you, and it will give you a percentage of how aligned you are with each of those on the ballot. If everyone voted their conscience instead of party lines, we might see some very different outcomes.

On Politics and Social Media: I hope you did vote. I truly do. But I’m not so sure everyone wants to know every time one of their acquaintances did so. And now there are ads for various politicians, links to find your precinct, and so on, built right into your social media site. Kevin Cirilli of Politico said today, “People are tweeting nearly 3,000 tweets per minute that they have voted, with the most Tweets coming from Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan, Twitter said this afternoon. And as of 2 p.m. EST, Twitter averaged 13,000 Election Day-related tweets per minute….” And it looks like they’re running behind the scenes polls if you mentioned who you were voting for too!

On Complaining: One thing that bothered me today was that I saw several posts or tweets either 1) complaining that they had to wait in a long line to vote, or 2) rejoicing that no one was at the polls in their precinct. While I understand that long lines in cold weather is uncomfortable and inconvenient, people DIED to give you the right to vote. Please don’t blatantly disrespect their legacy with your complaints. And if you fall into the second category, please understand that if the polls are empty, people are also indirectly dishonoring our veterans by showing a spirit of complacency and/or apathy. Also, if you don’t vote, please don’t complain about the outcome. I found the following cartoon appropriately relevant:

On Christians and Politics: Chris Anderson recently posted a one-page PDF to his Church Works Media site, entitled “Gospel Meditations for Voters.” I encourage you to read it…before your polls close. (ahem!) And, yes, God is still in complete control, regardless of whether or not your candidate won (or even made it past the primaries).  So, pray for His will and wisdom as you go out and participate in being a part of the answer to that prayer.

In Conclusion: Some are calling this election the most important one in over 80 years! There are so many moving parts and important fiscal and international policies in play this time around. Do you really want to not take part in a momentous occasion?

Special Services at Heritage Bible with Chris Anderson: I Am The Samaritan Woman, Pt. IV

Part Four: Christ Turns Worshipers Into Missionaries –           John 4:27-42

Song Service: By Faith; There Is A Fountain; The Gospel Song; Hallelujah! What A Savior!; O Church, Arise!

A sinner was satisfied and saved, and now she shares: “Come, see.”

I. A Lesson from a Jar – In v. 28, the woman is so excited to tell her friends and acquaintances of Jesus that she leaves her water jar at the well and runs back to the village. The Gospel is life changing! She was satisfied to overflowing with the spiritual water of Jesus that she forgot her physical thirst in light of telling others. This living water not only quenches the immediate spiritual thirst, but it wells up like a spring and is uncontainable (v.14). Despite her lack of theological understanding, she was unafraid to share what she knew! Sometimes the methodology clouds the spontaneity and joy of Jesus. Hers was not forced or coerced, but genuine delight. In one sense, she was a satisfied customer; and satisfied customers love to share their good experiences with others.

II. A Lesson from a Lunch – The disciples came back from their lunch and were unimpressed by Jesus’ conversation with the woman. They seemed urgent that Jesus needed to eat. Jesus’ response was, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.” The disciples wondered if someone had given him a lunch already. They didn’t get what He was really saying. “My food is to do the will of Him that sent me & to do His work.” The disciples were concerned/obsessed with the physical and clueless/oblivious to the spiritual, potentially because of a historical prejudice. Christ, on the other hand, was so obsessed with the spiritual that he wasn’t even hungry at the time. Good food is a delight, as long as it does not become our god, our ruling appetite (See Phil. 3:19). It was Christ’s delight and great joy to see sinners come to salvation. David Hosaflook refers to this type of missionary as a “passion-ary,” one who finds fulfillment in talking about Jesus.

III. A Lesson from a Farm – Christ says, “Look!” You don’t need to wait for harvest time; it IS harvest time! (v.35) We will rejoice and delight together, both among laborers here and saints in heaven. One sows, another reaps. We don’t just observe the work; we participate – every Christian is sent into the field. Basically, he’s saying, “Guys, put down your stupid lunch boxes and look up! Look around you! A whole town of people are rushing towards us, ready to hear and learn and receive the Gospel!” There is an overwhelming need and a hopefulness (e.g., Dispatches from the Front DVDs). There will be a harvest! A former farmer and missionary to Cameroon, Tom Needham says that there is always a harvest. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s hard; sometimes you’re discouraged because of bad weather or broken equipment; sometimes you want to quit early; sometimes the harvest is great and sometimes it’s small; but there IS a harvest EVERY year. If we participate, there is great joy! (v. 36)

IV. A Lesson from a Village – The Jews, Jesus’ own people, chased him away; yet the Samaritans welcomed him to teach them. Many more believed (v.41). “This is indeed the Savior OF THE WORLD,” not just the Jews or the Samaritans, but the whole world. Good things happen when you speak of Jesus. You don’t have to know a lot. He’ll do it!! The Gospel is universal in its appeal and effect. God is still mighty to save!

Conclusion: Christ is Worthy! Revelation 5:6-14 talks about the imagery of a slain Lamb with seven horns and seven eyes, seven representing perfection (or all), the horns representing power and the eyes wisdom; He is all powerful and all wise. Worthy is the Lamb! And every creature in heaven and earth and under the earth and in the sea declared his “blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever! …And the elders fell down and worshipped.”

We are Samaritan women — Samaritan women reaching Samaritan women for the glory of God. And one day we will all bow down and worship in heaven the Worthy One, who is Jesus.

Special Services at Heritage Bible with Chris Anderson: I Am The Samaritan Woman, Part III

Part Three: Christ Turns Sinners into Worshipers – John 4:19-26

Song Service: I Will Glory in My Redeemer; What Wondrous Love Is This; Amazing Grace; How Deep the Father’s Love For Us; All, Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.

Jesus talks about living water, sinful history, desperate need, then…worship?! Wow. That was random. Worship? How does that fit? Here’s how:

I. Worship must be according to Scripture, not tradition. (See Malachi 1:11) Judaism started out right in worship and people messed it up with hypocrisy and pride.

II. Jesus is the perfect sacrifice. John 1:14, “The Word became flesh (human) and dwelt (tabernacled) among us.”John 14:6, “No one comes through the Father but through Me [Jesus].” Sacrifice was not the pictures we see on Sunday School flannel graph boards with a lamb and a little trickle of blood coming from it’s neck. It was a bloody mess: priests would splash the altar with buckets of blood, and at Passover, over a quarter of a million sacrifices were being made!

III. Jesus replaces the Jewish Temple. “The hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.” Something else is on the horizon…Jesus! John 2:19-22 – The new temple is Jesus’ body. The temple was where God was approached by sinners and where God’s wrath was appeased. David grieved over being exiled because he couldn’t freely go to the temple.

In Genesis 3, the original fall of man occurred. Rebelling sinners don’t seek God; they run from Him. Adam and Eve hid themselves. God sought them out and He’s been seeking sinners ever since. The Garden of Eden was a sanctuary of communion with God (the original holy of holies). Sin broke the fellowship between God and man and cherubim with swords were placed at the entrance of the garden representing the broken communion. Exodus 26 describes the tabernacle. It was the new sanctuary of communion with God. In Matthew 27, at Christ’s crucifixion, Christ replaced the temple. The curtain was torn in two, as Jesus’ body was torn for sin (v.51). The greatest benefit we have is access to the throne of God – the holy of holies. (See I Peter 3:18; Hebrews 10:3-25, esp. v. 12 & 22; Romans 5:2)

William Cowper wrote, “Jesus, where’re Thy people meet, There they behold Thy mercy seat; Where’er they seek Thee Thou art found, And every place is hallowed ground.”

Conclusion: John 4:23, “The Father is seeking such people to worship him.” This is the great plot of history. He is purposefully, intentionally seeking sinners. Where does He find people to worship Him? Are they willing and ready? No. They’re rebels. We’re rebels. Strays. He doesn’t find them. He makes them. He makes them out of Samaritan women – sinners like you and me – thru the salvation in Jesus alone. Amen and Amen!

Looking forward to the fourth and final message in the series tomorrow night at 7PM – Christ Turns Worshipers Into Missionaries!

Special Services at Heritage Bible with Chris Anderson: I Am The Samaritan Woman, Part I and II

Each year our church, Heritage Bible Church, does a special services week around this time of year (times and directions on the website). This year’s guest speaker is pastor, author and songwriter, Chris Anderson. There are two sermons left, and already, it’s been amazing! The series is “I am the Samaritan Woman” from John 4.

Part One: Christ Seeks Sinners –  John 4:1-9

Song Service: O For a Thousand Tongues; We Will Glorify; Be Still My Soul/It Is Well with My Soul medley; His Robes for Mine (by Chris Anderson); God of Grace; I Will Glory in My Redeemer.

I. Divine Appointment/Pursuit – Jesus and the disciples were going from Judea to Galilee. Most Jews would go around the region of Samaria, rather than go through it (Samaria was considered a social and religious mix breed and looked down upon by the Jews of the day). Jesus, however, says he “had to pass through Samaria.” He didn’t have a time constraint to get to Galilee by a certain time (he took several days in Samaria to teach the people). He could’ve gone around the area, as was the status quo. But instead, he says he “had to pass through Samaria.” He takes the initiative. The Samaritans were unclaimed, unwanted, hated. Then there was this woman – she was the not just a Samaritan, she was the hated of the hated, the worst of the worst, in the standard of the day. And Jesus – deity – took upon himself flesh – became human – understood what it meant to be weary, thirsty, and sweaty – acquainted himself with every feeling we have – in order to be our Savior. (see Luke 19:10)

II. Relentless Love, v.7-9 – Jesus is never too weary to pursue one who is lost; never too tired to do good to a soul; never too proud to talk with a socially despised and rejected person. John 4 is a microcosm of what God is doing in the world, which started in the Garden of Eden.

Application: Kindness is disarming. Be attentive. Intentionally invest in people. Jesus crossed social, intellectual, moral, physical, gender, religious, ethnic/political (and at other times medical) boundaries to save a sinner and make her a trophy of His grace. We are called to do the same. So stop texting. Look up and into eyes. Engage people for Christ. Care about people. Pray. Tell them about Jesus – the “omni-gracious” God.

Conclusion: There is no one too holy to need the gospel (John 3: Nicodemus, the Pharisee); there is no one too lowly to receive the gospel (John 4: The Samaritan Woman). I am the Pharisee; and I am the Samaritan Woman. We are all a mess; and Jesus is a great Savior!

Part Two: Christ Satisfies Sinners – John 4:10-18

Song Service: Come, Thou Fount; O, To See the Dawn (The Power of the Cross); Speak, O Lord; In Christ Alone.

True Thirst results in dehydration, agony, and eventually death. A culture of grace means that everyone is more aware of his own sins than others’ sins, and everyone is more aware of God’s grace than of his own sin.

John 2:23-25 – God knows every one of us. John 3: He knew Nicodemus. John 4: He knew the Samaritan woman. v.10 – “If you knew…”: if only you knew who Christ was and what you were missing! There’s a free gift available: living water!

John 4:15 – The Samaritan woman is interested in this gift. She wants it. G.Campbell Morgan says her wanting it is “a sigh – a sob of discontented, disappointed thirst.” She didn’t fully understand her need yet. She’s evasive. Jesus points out her sin with gracious severity! The One bringing up the sin was the One who dies for those sins. He shows her her guilt so He can show her His grace.

She’s not just guilty; she’s needy. She needs forgiveness AND fulfillment. Christ exposes her history (5 divorces), her sin (currently living with man who’s not her husband), and her dissatisfaction (she’d been used and discarded multiple times). She’s thirsty. Spiritual thirst needs spiritual water. And His spiritual water (salvation) is cleansing AND thirst-quenching! Christ can meet the need immediately – now – and eternally. But salvation is not just for death! Don’t miss the present, enduring, eternal joy and satisfaction of Jesus. (see John 7:37-39)

Application: Why live your life thirsty and go into eternity thirsty? What are you waiting for? Jesus satisfies you now! There is more pleasure in Jesus than anything. Compare Psalm 103:5 with Ecclesiastes.

Conclusion: St. Augustine wrote, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” And John Piper said, “I know of no other way to triumph over sin long-term than to gain a distaste for it, because of a superior satisfaction in God.” (See Isaiah 55; Jeremiah 2:13)

Lessons from Sunday’s Song Services

As I prepare for tomorrow’s services, I think back over last week’s lessons. Before we even got to the preaching this past Sunday, I felt like my spirit had already been ministered to, and the quotes and songs have stuck with me through this week.

The front page of the Order of Worship had this quote from Robert Mounce: “No matter how devastating the sin of the first [man, Adam], the redemptive work of the second [man, Christ] reverses the consequences of that sin and restores people to the favor of God. Only by grasping the seriousness of the first is one able to appreciate the remarkable magnanimity of the second.”

Here’s a reflection from the songs that we sang as a congregation:

Stuart Townend: “How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure, That He would give His Only Son to make a wretch His treasure.”

Melody Green: “There is a Redeemer, Jesus, God’s own Son.”

Chris Anderson: “…to His cross, as grace prevailed, God pinned my wretched sin,” and “Oh love divine, O matchless grace – that God should die for men! With joyful grief I lift my praise, abhorring all my sin, adoring only Him.”

Walter and Ethelwyn Taylor: “Calvary covers it all – my past, with its sin and stain. My guilt and despair, Jesus took on Him there, and Calvary covers it all.”

Anna B. Warner: “Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so; Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong.”

Drew Jones: “Holy God, in love, became perfect man to bear my blame. On the cross He took my sin. By His death I live again.”

Keith Getty & Stuart Townend: “In Christ alone, my hope is found, …on the cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied; For every sin on Him was laid–here in the death of Christ I live. …Then bursting forth in glorious day, up from the grave He rose again! And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me. …From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.”

Stephanie Horne: “Child of weakness, watch and pray, find in Me thine all in all.”

“His Robes for Mine” by Chris Anderson and Greg Habegger

This is a beautiful new hymn with words written by Pastor Chris Anderson and music written by Greg Habegger. We’ve been singing it at our church for a couple years now, and it’s still one of my favorite songs with which to worship God. Download a free copy of the song sheet here: His Robes For Mine Song Sheet.

Listen to a beautiful rendition of the hymn sung by The Huron Sisters here: His Robes For Mine.

Lyrics:

“His robes for mine: O wonderful exchange!
Clothed in my sin, Christ suffered ‘neath God’s rage.
Draped in His righteousness, I’m justified.
In Christ I live, for in my place He died.

Chorus:

“I cling to Christ, and marvel at the cost:
Jesus forsaken, God estranged from God.
Bought by such love, my life is not my own.
My praise-my all-shall be for Christ alone.

“His robes for mine: what cause have I for dread?
God’s daunting Law Christ mastered in my stead.
Faultless I stand with righteous works not mine,
Saved by my Lord’s vicarious death and life.

“His robes for mine: God’s justice is appeased.
Jesus is crushed, and thus the Father’s pleased.
Christ drank God’s wrath on sin, then cried “‘Tis done!”
Sin’s wage is paid; propitiation won.

“His robes for mine: such anguish none can know.
Christ, God’s beloved, condemned as though His foe.
He, as though I, accursed and left alone;
I, as though He, embraced and welcomed home!”

To order choral sheets for this and other great songs, go to Church Works Media.

May you cling to Christ and never stop marveling at our awesome Savior!