Influences: Blissful Contentment – Psalm 17:15

myboy by © Amber Louthan

A sight for sore eyes.

No words have rang truer except for the Son of Man.

The One God who cross the infinite just to save me.

Now my eyes bleared at the first site of him.

The loveliness of his face.

I look into His eyes and my soul is complete. My heart is joy-filled. My mind now knows fully.

I am content.

I am satisfied.

God is perfect in his work in me.

Now, I will stay this way forever.

Forever, I will stay with Him.

Psalm 17:15
 As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
  when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.

Influences: Where Theology and Expectation Meet

Romans 15:17-21 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.”

Lets play the ‘What if’ game.

What if his word sent out will not return void? (Isaiah 55:11)

What if the gospel is the power of God in salvation for those who believe? (Romans 1:16)

My theology and doctrine says that word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, God can bring the Gentiles to obedience to God.

My theology is real quick to proclaim that word, deed, signs, and wonders, all by the power of the Holy Spirit, brings about salvation. (Notice that the work of the Holy Spirit must happen before we can obey God.)

Now what are my expectations?

I challenge you just like my friend Alan Smith challenged me.

1. Either your expectations must be raised up to match your theology.

-or-

2. You will have to lower your theology in order to have it synced with your expectations.

Call it pride. Call it stubbornness. Call it what you will but I have no desire to ever lower my theology in order to match anything that I could offer.

I have chosen the former.

Influences: I Know Nothing But Him


I know one thing, that I know nothing.

– Socrates

If I have set the direction of my theology based on the thread of Hebrews 6:1-3, 1 Corinthians 3:21-23, and 1 Corinthians 2:12-13, then I would have to say this would be the basis for all of my reading, studying, writing, lecturing, preaching, and teaching:

1 Corinthians 2:2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Am I going to slip up and give my feeble opinion when I should be pointing to Christ?

Am I going to run off at the mouth instead of trying to best describe the glories of Christ?

Am I going to present dog poop from the world instead of the vast riches of Christ?

Yep. I can guarantee that is going to happen.

Still, I have nothing to give to God. He alone has made my mind the way it is. He has constructed my personality for his glory (that is still weird to me). He has physically put me together in such a way that my voice booms.

And all that He has done results in me giving glory back to Him.

That brings Him joy. That brings me joy.

I am not qualify for whatever tasks that he has set out for me. But He called me and He will see it to the end.

I know nothing. However God made me and whatever He gave me is what I do have. I have God. That is way more than I can possibly dream.

Influences: The Thread of Logic

I believe, trust, understand, love, and think by this principle: my entire grasp, knowledge, relationship, salvation, and love to God, for God, by God, from God, and through God is according to these three Scriptures:

Hebrews 6:1-3 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits.

1 Corinthians 3:21-23 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

1 Corinthians 2:12-13 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

Here is the thread of logic I see here:

  1. Knowing God is by the will of God (Hebrews 6:3)
  2. All truth comes from God and since we belong to Christ, all truth is ours (1 Corinthians 3:21-23)
  3. For us to understand anything given to us by God, including and especially the free gift of salvation, it is by the power of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:12-13)

This thought is neatly summed up by the theologian John Calvin:

“finitum non capax infinitum”

In other words, “The finite mind cannot comprehend the infinite.”

In his Introduction to his Systematic Theology, Louis Berkhof compared and contrasted the two realms of knowledge: Science and Theology. Science comes about because we can, in certain ways, control the subject of which we want to know more about. We can dig deep into the subject. We can prod it. We can expose it. We can cut it in two. What Berkhof contends is that what is true for Science is not true for God and hence, why we have true and proper Theology. In Theology, it is actually the Subject that controls, reveals, and enlightens how much we know about the Subject.

Could you imagine an ant determining how much or how little we know about the ant? That is a preposterous thought. But that is precisely how God reveals Himself to us: by His will through His Son by the almighty power of the Holy Spirit.  The root question now for our hearts and minds is whether we dismiss any theology and war against that very notion or do we humbly approach the throne of grace.

You might be thinking, “If this is true, how can we know God at all?

Can we know God at all or are you wanting to know all of God? The latter is not possible. Think about your spouse, your best friend, or your kids. You feel as you know them well but can you say you know all of your spouse or your best friend? God reveal Himself to us, in as we might not know all of Him, we can take full confidence that we can truly know Him because we are His people saved by Him, for Him, from Him, to Him and through Him forever and ever.

In 1 Corinthians 8:1, Paul gives a small warning about this sort of knowledge—the knowledge of God and knowing God in order to love and care for one another. It is by this wonderful knowledge of God that can easily puff up our chests and create the wrongful desire that all people would come to you as the foremost expert on all things God as though you are some sort of priest and mediator between them and God. We can never be that because we have One Great High Priest and the Perfect Mediator in His Son, Jesus Christ.

But in order to rightfully guard against that sort of deceit and pride, we do not bring about that protection by increasing our ignorance of God. For God has said:

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
     because you have rejected knowledge,
     I reject you from being a priest to me.
And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
     I also will forget your children.
Hosea 4:6

Whatever can we do?

Always know that God passionately desires you to know him truly and deeply—more true than you closest best friend a more deeply than the richest diamond mines of all the earth. In that, His heart’s desire, is that you would come to truly know His beautiful love for you and the untold riches of His grace so that your desire and love for Him would swell your heart and satisfy your soul.

I say all of this not because it has been perfected in my life. When God shown himself to me, I was grateful and in love. When He started to pour knowledge of Him in me, I became haughty and arrogant. Can we say that was from God? I would think not except the fact that I know one other part of His will for me: my sanctification. That is, He that began the good work in me will bring to completion on the faithful day I get to hold my lovely Savior’s face in my hands and get to kiss him ten thousand kisses.

That day has not arrived yet. But it will. Until then, I can do nothing else but trust in Him, love Him, and love others the best way that I can. So help me God.