Voir Dire (Speak the Truth)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Freedom In Venzeuela

In June, I had the wonderful privilege of leading 20 high school students on a mission trip to Venezuela. For most of these students this would be the first time they stepped out in faith to glorify God through the spreading of His glorious gospel, in a different culture than their own. I am happy to report that the trip was life changing for all of the students and ultimately God was glorified as he worked through us to accomplish His will.

I am always so encouraged, as mission trips provide a wonderful opportunity to see that we serve a mighty God who has people in every nation that he desires to bring home. Seeing that first hand produces a humble, God exalting attitude, where the privilege of being used drives you to your knees in worship. It was so cool to see the students get it and how passionate they were to continue the work here in the states. I am confident God will continue to produce fruit from the time we shared in Venezuela.

With each mission trip I have the pleasure of serving on, there is always one encounter that God blesses me with that gives me a fresh reminder of the power of His Gospel. Mercifully, he was faithful and allowed me to knock on the door of a woman named Johanna. After sharing the gospel with her, I asked her if she had heard this message before. Like many we met throughout the week, she had heard it before and claimed to be a Christian. Knowing Venezuela is plagued with a works based theology, I probed a little bit and asked where she thought she would spend eternity. Almost without hesitation she knew she was not going to heaven. As I am sure you would have done, I asked, “why not.” Her answer was just what I expected; she began to list all the things she fell short on, namely yelling at her kids. So, I began to unpack the heart of the Gospel to her, and explain that we are all sinners and that none of us deserve to go to heaven, but because God punished Christ instead of me, I can be assured that I would spend eternity with him, despite falling short. Johanna’s heart had been prepared and as God opened up her eyes to his gracious cross; her eyes welled up with tears. For the first time Johanna experienced the freedom that is only found in the cross; it was as if this was the news she was waiting for. The burden of her sins rolled away along with the tears that ran down her face. Oh what a Savior!!!!

It is encounters such as these that reminded me afresh of how often we take the gospel for granted and just how freeing it is. Unfortunately, there are so many just like Johanna who are burdened by the weight of sin because they are trying to please God with their works. May this spur us on to be faithful to the heart of the gospel so that people see the cross and there find their freedom.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


That is the answer I would give to those asking, where have you been? Well, that is what I have been doing at least part of the time! The other reason I have not blogged if I was honest, is simply the busyness of life. However, one of the things I enjoy most is listening, I am sure growing up my parents would have begged to differ!!! But now as an adult I am enjoying learning from and at the feet of brilliant minds. God has truly gifted the reformed evangelical community with men who humbly expound on the word of God and apply it to the world in which we live.

The conversations that are taking place are both enlightening and encouraging and therefore I often get caught up and forget I too have something to add. Well, enough with the excuses, the fact is there is a lot to listen to, so I encourage you to be a fly on the wall. I hope to assist you in the process by providing links to the discussions.

be encouraged!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Let's get together...

For the Gospel that is!!

I do plan on returning to the post I started regarding questions, but I would be remiss if I did not mention anything about the conference I had the wonderful privilege of attending last week. Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, Al Mohler and C.J. Mahaney, joined by friends John Piper, R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur and close to 3000 Pastors and Church leaders convened in Louisville for the Together for the Gospel conference. To put words to and event like this would hardly do it justice. I felt truly privileged to sit under the preaching of the 7 men (if you have not heard of these men I encourage you to seek them out) mentioned above as well as sit amongst Pastors who desire to proclaim the glory of God through the preaching of his gospel. My heart was renewed afresh as the clear exposition of scripture was proclaimed with conviction and passion. Friends, if you are not hearing the word of God clearly and accurately preached on a regular basis, I would encourage you to seek it out and feast upon the Glory of God.

One of the many things from the conference that stuck with me was CJ Mahaney when introducing John Piper quoted Jonathan Edwards writhing about what makes a good preacher, Simply put Edwards said, “a good preacher when he is finished, leaves God with you!” WOW!!! That means that good preaching can be measured by the preachers ability to magnify the worth and glory of God. It means that you should have a greater sense of the majesty of God when you leave and your life’s circumstances and self-absorbing issues should pale in comparison to the awesomeness of God.

We all need to hear this as pastors and as men and women who sit under these Shepard’s. If you are a Pastor, hear this; leave God with your congregations. Not funny stories or principles for their daily life but the all-satisfying God who is jealous for his name. And brothers and sisters let us seek to hear God, him glorified, and be satisfied with nothing less than, leaving with God!!!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Any Questions?

For some time now I have been thinking a lot about questions. If you have ever been in a small group or even part of a bible study, you may have experienced what I am about to describe. A scripture or passage of scripture is read and those within the group are encouraged to discuss their thoughts on what was just read. On most occasions, individuals are quick to state what the passage means to them or go on to tell about what they have heard said about that passage; rarely is the first utterance a question. Has it ever dawned on you that nobody ever asks questions during these times; at least questions that have substance and cause you to think. I have not figured out why this is but would like to think I have come up with some reasonable assumptions:



and Pride

I can list several reasons but if you play each one of those reasons out you end up at the same root cause, PRIDE! We are a people who think we know it all and if we don’t know it we sure don’t want other people to know. It is disheartening, because in my opinion questions are a clear indicator that learning is really taking place. Questions also tell us a lot about a person’s thought process and where their values rest. As we read about Jesus interacting with humanity through out the Gospels, you can’t help but be fascinated by the questions that Jesus’ poses and the ones that are asked of him. It gives us insight into our selfish sinful nature and magnifies the holiness and authority of Christ.

In my next post I hope to explore a couple of these encounters.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Voir What??

That's probably what your thinking regarding the name of this blog. For those of you who are in the Law profession or if you've recently served on jury duty, it is more than likely a term with which you are very familar. Voir Dire, a french term that simply means to "speak the truth" is the name of the jury selection process in our court of law. I could not think of a better name to call this blog; for two reasons:

Reason 1: I like the fact that it is a legal term. Our salvation as christians rest soley on the basis that we are declared rightheous in a court of Law. This isn't just any court where we are judged by our peers, no, in this court God is the judge and we stand before him guilty of offending Him and more than deserving of His wrath. In spite of this, God declares us righteous not because we apologized or made ourselves good before Him, but we are justified (another legal term) because God sees Christ, who bore our sin and appeased the wrath of His Father. What an awesome reminder of the grace of God!!

Reason 2: When people speak of truth it is often preceded by "in search of." In a world where relativism is rampant, truth has been boiled down to, as long as the truth you seek is true for you, then it is okay for me. Well that's where I believe Voir Dire opposes the popular view of today. Let me be clear, this blog will not be my journey as I seek truth; I will seek to do exactly what the title declares, "Speak the Truth." I can do this with confidence because I didn't find truth, but truth found me!! In John 14:6 Jesus proclaims that He is the truth, and my prayer is that this blog would always begin and end there.

I look forward to speaking the truth and having you join in!