He’s Walking!

This post first appeared on Precious Adornment in October 2010.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

3 John 1:4

A terrific illustration from Matt Chandler’s message at the 9Marks at Southeastern conference…

Teaching on the importance of creating a grace-filled atmosphere in the church, Matt uses a humorous example to illustrate the Father’s joy over seeing His children walk in obedience.

You can watch the entire sermon HERE.

Related Posts:

Betraying Christ for New Floors

Matt Chandler Wrestles with the Text

Photo: Simona Balint

Dying On Time

“…And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.”

Psalm 139:16

The Scriptures tell us clearly: the future is not ours to claim. Although we as believers often give verbal assent to this truth, in our hearts, most of us actually believe we’re entitled to at least a certain number of tomorrows. Surely having days enough to marry, raise children, and see your children’s children isn’t too much to ask, is it? When less time is granted, it’s difficult not to believe that a person was shortchanged somehow.

In a recent sermon series entitled Transitions, Matt Chandler addressed the topic of death from a biblical perspective, reminding believers that their lifespans are always the exact length that God intended. As a man battling brain cancer in his early thirties, Matt is well-acquainted with the implications of such truths. In the following excerpt he encourages us to rest confidently in the fact that God calls each of us home when our work is done and not one moment sooner…

Photo: Satendra Mhatre
Video: a0adio0

 

The Groaning Cosmos

In this interview with Jeremy Lelek, president of the Association of Biblical Counselors, Matt Chandler shares some thoughts on how the gospel provides hope in a world fractured by sin and why every believer should be prepared for the arrival of suffering. 

Find more information on the 2011 Association of Biblical Counselors Conference–The Groaning Cosmos: Sin, Suffering & the Gospel HERE.

Giving Thanks for the Gift of Life

“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good:
for his mercy endureth for ever.”

Psalm 136:1

As Thanksgiving approaches, we often turn our thoughts to consider and praise the Lord for the countless blessings we’ve been given. While large numbers of believers would rank salvation, family, and health high on the list, I don’t suppose too many reading this will spend all that much time simply praising God for allowing them to see another Thanksgiving. Although we know we’re not promised tomorrow, I would imagine that few of us had any concrete reason last year to seriously question whether we’d live to see another November.

That is, however, the perspective that Pastor Matt Chandler and his family will have as they celebrate what would otherwise be just an average holiday. Thanksgiving will mark the first anniversary of the seizure that signaled the presence of a Grade 3 cancerous tumor growing in Matt’s brain. One year later, it is not only the Chandler family, but also all of us who have spent the last several months praying for Matt, that have great reason to thank the Lord. He has graciously answered our prayers.

Here’s Matt’s update on his latest MRI… 

If you haven’t seen it already, you should check out the interview that NBC News conducted last week with Matt and Lauren Chandler.

You can watch it HERE

Photo: Nossirom

Christ’s Mighty Love for Messed Up Sinners

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8

Are you listening to lies? Lies that say you’ve gone too far, you’ve sinned too much, God’s grace isn’t great enough to cover what you’ve done? If your heart is burdened with the baggage of your sin and Satan’s deception, don’t despair! Confess, repent, and embrace the One who freely offers His amazing grace to only one group of people–totally messed up sinners.

Let this video encourage your heart today. (Make sure you catch Matt Chandler’s teaching at both the beginnning & the end!)

Photo: Sally Dell
Video: bball1989

He’s Walking!

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

3 John 1:4

One more terrific illustration from Matt Chandler’s message at the 9Marks at Southeastern conference…

Teaching on the importance of creating a grace-filled atmosphere in the church, Matt uses a humorous example to illustrate the Father’s joy over seeing His children walk in obedience.

 

You can watch the entire sermon HERE.

Related Posts:

Betraying Christ for New Floors

Matt Chandler Wrestles with the Text

Photo: Simona Balint

Betraying Christ for New Floors

“But if we walk in the light,as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

1 John 1:7

Teaching from 1 John 1 at the recent 9Marks at Southeastern Conference, Matt Chandler explains that God often ordains certain circumstances in our lives to reveal idolatry hidden deep within our hearts.  Once these sins are exposed, he says, “You now have the opportunity to confess, repent, and grow into Jesus Christ, or ignore, dismiss, and begin what I believe is a slow drift away from Jesus Christ.” He then provides a humorous and powerful illustration of such an opportunity in his own life.    

Watch the entire video HERE.

Related Post: Matt Chandler Wrestles with the Text

Photo: Ramon Gonzalez

Matt Chandler Wrestles with the Text

 

Last weekend, my husband and I had the privilege of attending the 9Marks Conference at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest. Mark Dever, Thabiti Anyabwile, David Platt, Danny Akin, and Matt Chandler came together to present messages on various aspects of Biblical theology and the vital role it plays in the church. The teaching was excellent, the campus at Southeastern was amazing, and the tea house just down the street was delightful.  :)

Teaching from Revelation 2 on the Ephesian church’s departure from its first love, Matt Chandler emphasized the importance of remaining passionate about the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the church today. As Matt turned to the book of Acts for a brief overview of the history of the church at Ephesus, he took a moment to highlight a humorous story from chapter 19. I doubt you’ve ever heard the story told quite like this…    

Watch the entire message HERE.

All 9Marks at Southeastern videos are available HERE.

Photo: Nacho Libre

Trusting God, Tackling Anxiety

“I have set the LORD always before me;
   because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.”

Psalm 16:8

Praise the Lord for answered prayer! Yesterday, Matt Chandler, pastor of the Village Church in Texas, provided an update about his battle against brain cancer which contained truly good news. He also shared some excellent thoughts on the issue of anxiety. Hmm…two posts in one day on the topic of trusting God..does somebody out there need this message?  :)

Related Post: Dropping the Weight of Worry

Photo: Cheryl Empey

More Great Music

What’s better than great music? You guessed it–great music that’s free! I want to direct you to two more excellent albums this week, and this time, you can download them both for FREE.

(Speaking of free, don’t forget to enter the Precious Adornment Birthday Giveaway before midnight tonight!)

The Village Church (Matt Chandler’s) in Texas has produced two different albums–one for children and one collection of worship music. I’ve included the website description for each album and the link for the free downloads below. Enjoy!

These songs correspond with the five foundational truths – Jesus Came to Save Sinners, God is Good, God is in Charge of Everything, God Wants to Talk with Us, God Made Everything – taught each weekend in our preschool ministry, The Little Village. The mission and vision of The Little Village is “to partner with parents to build a firm spiritual foundation for their children.” Our hope is that these songs will be an effective tool in engaging your children with the truth of who God is as you endeavor to obey the biblical call to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

The purpose of the CD is to draw you to the feet of God. We pray that as you listen, you would worship in spirit and in truth, with your heart and your mind, making much of God with your affections and your knowledge of the Word. The songs speak of God’s great splendor, the wonderful grace of Jesus, the peace that God brings to one’s life, and they plead with God to overwhelm our lives with His presence and splendor. They proclaim to our King that He indeed is better than all and that we look forward to the day when He returns once again for His people. May His Name be praised!

Download Jesus Came to Save Sinners or Village Worship for free here.

 

Related Post: Lyrics for Little Ears

Illustration: Billy Alexander

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Comforted to Comfort

 “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”

1 Peter 4:19

Yesterday, Matt and Lauren Chandler appeared on James Robison’s TV show, Life Today, to share the story of what God has done in their lives through Matt’s battle with brain cancer. Even though my heart aches for the Chandlers, I can’t help but be amazed at how God’s grace has been manifested in their response to this painful trial. Instead of becoming wrapped up in their own sorrows, they have continued to find ways to minister to others as they share the hope they have found in Jesus Christ. As I watched this interview, 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 came to my mind: 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

Here’s a clip of the interview:

Watch the entire program here: LifeToday Video

Related Posts:

Dropping the Weight of Worry

Grace Sufficient in Suffering

Photo: abcdz2000

Dropping the Weight of Worry

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Matthew 6:34

If the Proverbs 31 woman had a fan club, I’d want to be its president. As you might guess, I’m a big-time admirer of this noble lady. When I grow up, I want to be her, but I find that some aspects of being her seem more challenging to me than others. Take for example, the fact that she rises while it is still night. Um…yeah, let’s just say I’ve got a long way to go before I resemble the Proverbs 31 woman in that particular area of my life. Nightowls, raccoons, and bats are much closer companions to me than are earlybirds like her. Still yet, I know that I could get better at being an early riser if I really wanted to. But there’s another characteristic of the noble woman that seems much closer to an impossibility for me: “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come” (Prov. 31:25).

When it comes to the issue of worry, I worry that I’ll never quite measure up to the stature of the virtuous woman. She laughs when she thinks about the future? Ha! I laugh when I think about being able to laugh at the future! Now, crying about what might happen in the future? That I can do, and I do it quite well, I might add. 

Here’s an example of the type of course my sinful mind usually runs: Back when I was struggling greatly with the issue of infertility, I would regularly and frequently cry as I looked ahead to my babyless future. It wasn’t the thought of making it through that particular day without a child that would break my heart, it was the thought of making it as a 72 year-old with no children that would overwhelm me with grief! Instead of obeying Jesus’ command not to worry about tomorrow, I would burden myself with all of my concerns for today, tomorrow, and every day following for the next 40 years. No wonder I was so overcome with sadness!

How much freer and more joyful I could have been if I had chosen to rely in simple faith upon Jesus’ assurance that our Heavenly Father knows and provides for all of our future needs (Matt. 6:30-32). In her book, Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety, Elyse Fitzpatrick elaborates on how trusting our Father’s character is a key to gaining victory in our battle against worry:     

Why is worry unbelief? Because it has its roots in doubt about God’s character. It questions His Fatherly care and provision. When I worry about what’s going to happen to my life, what I’m really saying is, “God, You can’t handle this. You’re either too weak, uninterested, unloving, or not smart enough to take care of my life. I’ve got to devote all my attention to sorting this situation out on my own.”

…When we worry and fret about our perceived needs, we’re forgetting that we have a Father who knows what we really need even before we ask. Of course, there is usually a great difference between what I think I need and God’s perspective. I must humble myself then, conceding to His wisdom, and believe that He knows what’s best for me and that He will give me everything that’s truly necessary for me. Paul tells us in Romans 8: “If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32).

The Father who gave me the most needful and precious gift of all, His Son, will not fail to provide everything I need.

(pp.113, 115)

Jesus: Living Proof that our Heavenly Father will always give us His very best! As we ask God to replace the fear in our hearts with faith in His perfect love, we can experience the freedom that comes when we finally drop the weight of worry.  

If ever a woman had reason to be overcome with worry, Lauren Chandler would certainly be that woman. Since last November, she has lived daily with the knowledge that her husband is suffering from an aggressive form of brain cancer. In the following video, as Lauren shares how God has steadied her through this storm, we see a vivid picture of the way our Heavenly Father cares for His own. Her testimony was an inspiration to me, and I hope it will be to you as well.

Related Posts:

Comforted to Comfort

Grace Sufficient in Suffering

Photo: Pawel Kryj

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Grace Sufficient in Suffering

“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.”

Matthew 7:25

For the past three days, my husband had the great privilege of attending Together for the Gospel 2010 in Louisville, KY, while I experienced the great privilege of longing to be there.  ;) From all I’ve heard, it sounds as though the conference was a tremendous success–over 7,000 in attendance as the Word of God and, specifically, the Gospel of Jesus Christ were proclaimed faithfully again and again. How exciting to think that those 7,000 attendees are now spreading across the nation to take the passion and knowledge that they gained and pass it on to others in their churches, homes, schools, and workplaces.

Yesterday morning, those at the conference were blessed to hear Pastor Matt Chandler share the story of what God has done in and through his life since last November when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. It is truly amazing to see how Christ’s strength has been manifested during this time of weakness in Matt’s life. I encourage you to sit back for about 22 minutes to soak this message in. You’ll find it was time well spent.

Please continue to remember Matt, his family, and his church in your prayers.

Related posts:

Comforted to Comfort

Dropping the Weight of Worry

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Single-Minded Holiness

“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment…”

1 Timothy 6:6a

I’ve been married for 5 1/2 years now, but I have not yet forgotten what it was like to be a single woman. Both marriage and singleness have their own sets of joys, challenges, and heartaches. Learning to be content with the life that God has given can be tough, and it always helps to have some encouragement channeled your way as you press on toward the goal of Christlikeness. I hope that today’s post will provide some of that encouragement to all my single friends out there.  

First off, let’s have a little laugh or two, shall we?

Since we’re on the topic of single ladies, I thought this song was fitting. I have not yet heard if it’s up for any awards…  :)

Next up, Matt Chandler provides some humor as he teaches on the topics of singleness, contentment, and intentionality.

Finally, a more serious item:

Dr. Russell Moore, a pastor, author, and seminary professor, recently responded to a letter he received from a single woman who needed advice regarding the issues of dating and purity. She is in a relationship with a young man and had a serious question to ask Dr. Moore:

I am wondering what his sexual past looks like, in order to know what I’m getting into. Has he been with other women, sexually? If so, how many and in what way? Has he ever had a problem with pornography? With every week that goes by, I’m more and more in love with him, and I’m afraid to keep getting my hopes up only to have them dashed when we’re right at the point of marriage. 

This is a tough issue with which many single Christian women (and men) have had to wrestle in one way or another. I thought that Dr. Moore provided wise counsel that was well worth passing on to you. Read the entire letter and response here. I loved the fact that in his response, he emphasized the importance of purity and forgiveness. Praise the Lord that through Him we can have both!

Well, single friend, I hope that you have enjoyed today’s post. Now, go out there and show the world that you’re a holy lady!

The Fight to Suffer Well

“We rejoice in our sufferings…”

Romans 5:3a

There are few testimonies so powerful as the one provided by a Christian who has suffered well. Matt Chandler, a 35 year-old pastor, is providing one such testimony. Last November, he and his family entered a trial unlike anything they could have ever expected, and they have not yet emerged from the other side. After suffering a seizure on Thanksgiving Day, Matt underwent testing which revealed the presence of a brain tumor. On December 4th, a craniotomy was performed to remove as much of the Grade 3 malignant tumor as possible. Throughout this trial, Matt has sought to continue shepherding and caring for the 6,000 people under his care at The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas. One way he does this is by providing weekly videos to update them on his condition. In this video recorded on February 26, Matt shares with His people how he is seeking God’s help to overcome his fear as he faces a new round of chemotherapy treatment. 

Please pray for Matt Chandler, his wife Lauren, and their three children. You can read more about their testimony during this difficult time in this AP article by Eric Gorski.  If you know someone who is currently enduring some form of suffering, they may benefit from hearing this story as well.

Last night, I came across this powerful video clip again that first introduced me to Matt Chandler’s teaching last year. This was recorded at the 2009 Desiring God Conference for Pastors.

Update: Watch the March 12th update here.