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Author Archives: Joel and Deanna Porcher

About Joel and Deanna Porcher

Joel and Deanna Porcher are church planting missionaries to Ghana West Africa.

Introduction to thoughts on 1 John

Imagine for a monument that you are a young person who has taken the potentially life changing step to run for public office in your local community. After formally announcing your candidacy, you are approached by a member of a popular local media outlet soliciting your first formal interview. Being young and inexperienced, you thrill at the opportunity to get your name and views out to the public, and after completing the interview, you eagerly anticipate its publication. Finally, the day comes that the interview is published. You pick up the paper and begin absorbing the article, but to your dismay, you meet an article that is far less flattering toward your views than you anticipated. You cringe in several location, where the author twisted your words, and presented them in a way that misrepresented your views. Every quote was verbatim, however not every quote accurately portrayed what you said in the interview. You quickly learned the hard lesson, that your words can be easily twisted and presented in a way that is quite contrary to your original intention.

As a pastor, it is both my passion and sacred duty to labor to “rightly divide” the word of truth for God’s people. Pastoral labors are not strictly academic; however, living and working in the midst of God’s people provide countless reminders of the devastating consequences of embracing false teaching to whatever degree we meet it. Ideas have consequences, and the degree to which we embrace right ideas will directly manifest itself in the blessings we experience in our daily Christian walk. To the contrary, wrong ides also have varying degrees of negative consequences. It was this passion that drove the Apostle John to pen a series of simple yet practical epistles to his beloved church family at Ephesus. Over last few months in our church here in Cape Coast, we have been studying the first of these epistles. Week after week, my hearts has been stirred by the pastoral love of John for his church family, and his desire to confront wrong thinking. It is my desire to share with you some of the highlights of our time spent in this epistle. Our next post will discuss the primary situation facing the church, and John’s approach to correcting this great problem in the church.

 

 

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Seek First the Kingdom of God

“Selfishness looks first at home, but godliness seeks first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, yet in the long run selfishness is loss, and godliness is great gain. It needs faith to act towards our God with an open hand, but surely he deserves it of us; and all that we can do is a very poor acknowledgment of our amazing indebtedness to his goodness.”
 
Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006).
 

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Thoughts on Church Community

“When you build with natural tools, over time the natural divisions between people will become set in concrete. Use natural tools to reach middle-class whites, and over time your church will be middle-class white. But when you build with supernatural tools, over time those natural divisions begin to soften. An all-white church will, remarkably, slowly perhaps, become less all-white. This has been the story of my own congregation. 
 
While recognizing our tendency toward similarity, we should aspire toward community where similarity isn’t necessary—where no strand of similarity in the congregation explains the whole congregation. That kind of community defies naturalistic explanations.
 
God has great purposes for the community of your church: to safeguard the gospel, to transform lives and communities, to shine as a beacon of hope to the unconverted. Community that does this is demonstrably supernatural. It is not community designed around the gospel plus some other bond of similarity. It is community that reveals the gospel. Yet too often, community in our churches better testifies to our own prowess in niche marketing than to the supernatural at work.”
 
 
Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop, The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015).
 

Thoughts on the Relationship Between Theology and Our Love for God and One Another

“Our love isn’t proportional to our forgiveness; it’s proportional to our understanding of forgiveness. If someone has been forgiven by Christ’s supernatural sacrifice at the cross—and yet that person never explores the depths of his sin and the miracle of the atonement—his love will remain tepid. It is impossible to know too much about God and his love for us in Christ. If someone is into theology and not into loving others, the problem isn’t that he’s spent too much time learning about God; it’s that he never took to heart what he learned. In fact, 1 John warns he may not even be a believer at all. Supernatural community begins with sound theology. It is unapologetic about the sinfulness of sin. It is honest about God’s personal wrath in a personal hell—rather than making hell seem like a logical consequence of his justice that even he’s embarrassed by. It glories in the miracle of the atonement—how at the cross something so horrific could achieve something so beautiful. And in keeping with Christ’s resurrection from the dead, it expects transformed lives as a result.”

Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop, The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015).

 
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Porcher Update January 2016

Missions Update Template

 

Israel Demands a King: 1 Samuel 8:1-9

Sunday Worship 1 Samuel Series

Text: 1 Samuel 8:1-9

Purpose: God moved the writer of 1 Samuel to pen these words as a constant reminder to Israel and to us that rebellion always leads to pain and strained fellowship with God.

Proposition: God wants you to be careful what you demand from Him, because He knows what is best for you.

Interrogative: What truths will motivate us to be very careful about what we demand from God?

Scene 1: God’s will for Israel: Exodus 19:3-6

  • Israel received grace. They were God’s chosen people.
    • Scripture through them
    • Covenants to them
    • Promises for them
    • Law to and for them
    • God’s glory in their midst
    • Redemption through the Messiah.

1 Samuel 8:7

  • Israel’s laws were established by God, and He alone was to be their king. We call this a theocracy.

Scene 2: Israel’s chaotic condition: Judges 17:6

  • Idolatry
  • Immorality
  • Violence
  • Injustice
  • Polygamy
  • Erratic behavior
  • Intermarriage with idolaters
  • Selfishness
  • Famines and oppression from their neighbors

Scene 3: Israel’s selfish demand to God: 1 Samuel 8:1-9

Scene 4: God’s response: 1 Samuel 8:7

  • Their heart is not with me, so give them what they want.
  • I will not fight them, but I will warn them of the seriousness of their decision, and the consequences that will follow.
  • God wanted to warn the people, leaving them and all generations to follow a testimony of the damaging consequences of following your own heart rather than God’s revealed will.

 Scene 5: Their difficult consequences: 1 Samuel 8:10-22

  • He will abuses his authority
  • He will take your things
  • He will use you for his own benefit
  • You will have constant conflict with your neighbors
  • A broken fellowship with God.

Psalm 106:12-15

Practical lessons:

  • God’s ways do not always seem the best, but they are.
  • The world’s way is the common way.
  • God’s ways are for our own good.
  • We are prone to demand things without any idea of the consequences.
  • God’s people are to be distinct from their unconverted neighbors.
  • We are to be governed by God and His laws, not by the will of men who rule selfishly.
  • You can pick you sin, but not your consequence.
  • You always reap to a greater degree than you have sowed.
  • God does not walk in fellowship with those who demand their own way.

Conclusion:

  • Will you take the time to think about your own walk before the Lord?
  • Have you chosen a path that is like these people, one that is common, but will lead to pain and suffering?
  • Are you compromising and looking for something that may in the end hurt you?
  • Be careful what you ask for, because if you ask enough, God may give it to you to your downfall.
 
 

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Spurgeon on Meditation and Scripture

“There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on his Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them…Our bodies are not supported by merely taking food into the mouth, but the process which really supplies the muscle, and the nerve, and the sinew, and the bone, is the process of digestion. It is by digestion that the outward food becomes assimilated with the inner life. Our souls are not nourished merely by listening awhile to this, and then to that, and then to the other part of divine truth. Hearing, reading, marking, and learning, all require inwardly digesting to complete their usefulness, and the inward digesting of the truth lies for the most part in meditating upon it. Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it.”

Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006).

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2015 in Quotes

 

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