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Wednesday, April 26

Archive for the Clarus 14 Category


Apr 22

Clarus ’14 Recap and Resources for Wrestling with Contentment

2014 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Clarus 14

If you are discontent, then you need this post. If you are perfectly content, then you need it too.

The good news of the gospel is that Jesus came to die for our sins of discontent. But he also came with thirst-quenching living water. He came to satisfy us with the bread of heaven—that is, himself. He promises that one day he will satisfy us completely in a whole new creation. Rick Phillips and Thabiti Anyabwile recently joined us to address the theme of contentment in the Christian life at Clarus ’14.

Click here for photos from this year’s conference, here for songs we sang together, and here to download the song “My Father Planned it All.” This is an old text to a new tune recorded live at this year’s conference and a great match for this year’s theme.

Thabiti Anyabwile

“Contentment Consummated: The New Heaven and New Earth” – Revelation 21:1-22:6 (videoaudioblog recap)

“Contentment with Our Possessions” – 1 Timothy 6:3-10 (videoaudioblog recap)

“Contentment through Communion with Christ” – 1 John 2:28-3:3 (videoaudioblog recap)

“Contentment with Christ’s Body, the Church” – 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 (videoaudioblog recap)

Rick Phillips

“Contentment Lost: Sin and Restlessness” – Genesis 3 (videoaudioblog recap)

“Contentment Found: Jesus Saves and Satisfies” – John 4:10-15 (videoaudioblog recap)

“Contentment with Our Weaknesses” – 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (videoaudioblog recap)

“Contentment with Identity” – Psalm 16 (videoaudioblog recap)

Panel Discussion

Thabiti Anyabwile and Rick Phillips (videoaudioblog recap)

Mar 25

Songs from Clarus ’14

2014 | by Drew Hodge | Category: Clarus 14,Music and Singing

Psalm 84:4 says, “Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise!”

We were blessed at Clarus ’14 by the people of God gathered to sing, pray, and hear God’s Word preached to His glory and our good! Below is a list of the songs used at this year’s conference. Included are chord charts with lyrics and mp3’s. May God use these songs to tune your hearts to sing His praise!

Friday Night:

  • “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” (pdfmp3)
  • “And Can It Be” (pdfmp3)
  • “Doxology” (pdfmp3)
  • “Jesus I Come” (pdfmp3)
  • “My Father Planned it All” (pdf,mp3)
  • “Lord, We Come to Hear Your Word” (pdfmp3)
  • “Come and Dine” (pdfmp3)

Saturday Morning: 

  • “Rock of Ages” (pdfmp3)
  • “Come Thou Fount” (pdfmp3)
  • “My Father Planned it All” (pdfmp3)
  • “Grace Greater Than Our Sin” (pdfmp3)
  • “Be Thou My Vision” (pdfmp3)
  • “Take My Life” (pdfmp3)

Saturday Afternoon:

  • “All Creatures of Our God and King” (pdfmp3)
  • “Solid Rock” (pdfmp3)
  • “Psalm 62” (pdfmp3)
  • “Lord, We Come to Hear Your Word” (pdfmp3)
  • “Oh Heart Bereaved and Lonely” (pdfmp3)
  • “How Wise and Good” (pdfmp3)
  • “My Father Planned it All” (pdfmp3)

Sunday Morning: 

  • “Clap Your Hands” (pdfmp3)
  • “Kyrie (Lord Have Mercy)” (pdfmp3)
  • “I Stand Amazed” (pdfmp3)
  • “We Give Thanks” (pdfmp3)
  • “Lord, We Come to Hear Your Word” (pdfmp3)
  • “He Hideth My Soul” (pdfmp3)

Mar 16

Clarus ’14 Photo Roundup, Sunday, March 16

2014 | by Ben Moore | Category: Clarus 14

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Conference Photography by Benjamin Moore Photography. Contact Ben at ben236@me.com.

Mar 16

Session 9 Recap: Anyabwile, “Contentment With Christ’s Body, the Church”

2014 | by Tim Ragsdale | Category: Clarus 14,Gospel

Editor’s Note: Tim Ragsdale is an Elder at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, NM. This post is a summary of Thabiti Anyabwile’s message from Sunday morning at Clarus, March 16, “Contentment With Christ’s Body, the Church,” from 1 Corinthians 12:12-27.

•••••

Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile concluded our Clarus conference with a message from 1 Cor 12:12-27 on contentment with the local church.  He began with a question many of us face: How do we respond to people who say they love Jesus, but choose to pass on the local church?  He came to the realization that until they love the church, they will not see the centrality of the church.  It is a problem of affections; a problem of the heart. Contentment with the church comes from seeing God in the church.

The Church is God’s Work

God arranges the members of the body just as He pleases.  The local church is God’s composition.  It is no accident that you are a Christian and that you have a particular set of gifts.  Do you realize that heaven has touched you?  God has plucked you out of the fire, saved you, sanctified you, filled you with the Spirit and prepared you with his own hands to play a vital role in the local church.  The church is an exquisite thing, and we see the manifold and eternal wisdom of God by observing the church.

God’s Vision for the Church is Glorious

God’s vision for the church is that we be completely united with every member showing equal concern for every other member.  There should be unity in the body despite its diversity (vv 12-14). Like individual works in an author or artist’s larger body of work, we are individual works with great diversity; but we are all his workmanship. Paul is specific in his definition of unity: “That the members may have the same care for one another.” This is what it looks like to break down the barriers that separate us in the body.  We cannot allow our love to be limited some subset of the church.  Pastor Thabiti shared a quote from another writer: “If our fellowship and our love is confined to people like us, that may be little more than self-love spread over a slightly wider area.”

There Are Two Threats to That Vision And Our Contentment in the Local Church

1) Feeling inferior and insignificant, i.e., I don’t matter; I don’t have the gifts of this or that person; I have nothing to contribute.

2) Feeling superior and self-sufficient, i.e., I don’t need anyone else.

The response to both of these threats is threefold:

  • You’re wrong.  Sometimes the most gracious thing we need to hear is a gentle loving correction.
  • Every part is necessary and mutually dependent on other parts.  Counter to culture, in the text we see that the weaker parts are shown greater honor.
  •  If you say you don’t need the body, you’re saying God doesn’t know what he’s doing.  This is pride.

Six Applications

  1. Membership in the Church is a biblical idea and implicit requirement of the Christian life.
  2. Think biblically about leaving a church. Establish in your heart that you will not leave a church unless the gospel is falsified or not preached; or unless there is obvious sinful disorder in the leadership of the church.
  3. Take part in the rounding up of those displaced or discouraged members because every part matters.
  4. Cultivate a love and concern for those who are not like you.
  5. Actively live in a way that makes it clear that need others.
  6. Use your gifts for the good of the whole body.

Mar 16

Session 8 Recap: Phillips, “Contentment With Identity”

2014 | by Peter Arndt | Category: Clarus 14,Gospel

Editor’s Note: Peter Arndt is a Community Group Leader at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, NM. This post is a summary of Rick Phillips’ message from Sunday morning at Clarus, March 16, “Contentment With Identity,” from Psalm 16. 

•••••

In teaching from Psalm 16, Pastor Rick Phillips showed that contentment is a learned attitude. The happiness the world seeks is contingent upon circumstances. Blessedness, on the other hand, is a joy which is not dependent upon the world or circumstances but is rather a gift from God. If satisfaction only comes when times are good, then there is no reason to become a Christian. There is no power in contentment found only in good times. Psalm 16 presents an alternative supernatural power of contentment in all things.

Contentedness In Our Identity

There is a pathway to being content with who we are in Christ that starts with faith that leads to contentment which produces joy. David demonstrated his journey down this path (Psalm 16: 1) as he was being chased and threatened by those who were seeking his life. David responds in prayer by fixing his eyes on God, taking refuge in his protection instead of lamenting the strength of his enemies.  Faith in God prompts him to prayer. We too should pray when afraid and distressed. What a difference for us when we lift our gaze to God, and we meditate on our identity as a child of the King.

As David applies the faith God gives him, his circumstances are unchanged, and yet he is changed. He cheerfully accepts God’s sovereignty in his present trials knowing God’s purposes are good and holy. If we cannot worship God through suffering, there is a mercenary quality to our worship – we want the gifts but not the Giver.

A Principle of the Indirectness of the Christian Life

All humans are seeking joy. Christians find it on an indirect route. If you are seeking to be happy, you never will be. But if you are first seeking God and his praise, you will receive joy as the by-product. God gives us this present joy to anticipate the final joy that we await at the resurrection. Ps. 16:9-10 shows that David’s hope of the resurrection is the guarantee of his joy, and therefore present circumstances are not a barrier of contentment in God.

Jesus’ Example

Our Lord also prayed when he contemplated the cross. As he prayed and submitted he knew God would protect and deliver him through the agony of the cross  and the judgment of our sins (Heb 12:2). The result was a joy and fellowship he will share with the Father through all eternity. We too should know that joy in the fellowship of sufferings we will encounter in this life. Let us not fail to follow the path to contentment and joy or we will miss the fulfillment of our purpose to enjoy and glorify God.

Did Jesus go the cross for my sins, and do I know forgiveness because of the cross? If yes, then I know the love and goodness of God and can trust him in all things. If no, however, then there is no real joy apart from my circumstances. Might we know this true and eternal joy found in the atoning work of Christ!

Mar 15

Clarus ’14 Photo Roundup, Saturday, March 15

2014 | by Ben Moore | Category: Clarus 14

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Conference Photography by Benjamin Moore Photography. Contact Ben at ben236@me.com

Mar 15

Session 7 Recap: Anyabwile, “Contentment Through Communion With Christ”

2014 | by Clint | Category: Clarus 14

Editor’s Note: Clint M. is the Missions Pastor at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, NM. This post is a summary of Thabiti Anyabwile’s message from Saturday evening at Clarus, March 15, “Contentment Through Communion With Christ,” from 1 John 2:28-3:3.

•••••

This evening Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile gave a short devotion from 1 John 2:28-3:3.  He shared from the text three reflections on the contentment we find from our communion with God in Christ.

1) The Basis of Our Communion With God: Our Status as Adopted Children.

First, from 1 John 2:28, we learn that our communion is based on our adoption as children of God.  It would be remarkable enough that God call us his children, but that is what we actually are. As human fathers ought to love and adore their children, God loves and adores us as His.  Our being in God’s family, though a miracle, is no fairy tale; it is not make believe.  It is the reality of our new identity because of rebirth by God’s grace and Spirit.  And therefore, we do not come to God as a servant, but as his children.  Because of our new identity as a child of God, we ought to live this identity, or “abide in him,” staying close to him, trusting Him, relying upon Him, and knowing Him, and all of this in and through Christ.

2) The Result of Abiding in Him: Confidence

Second, John says that we abide in him “so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame” (1John 2:28b).  We abide in Christ through understanding our identity and obeying him as a child of God.  If we do not, we cannot approach God in confidence.  Like a child who has disobeyed their parent, we have shame and fear when we do not abide in Christ.  But when we abide in Him, we have confidence because of His work and promise.  And where fear once was, hope and joy replace it, so that we confidently await the return of Christ.

3) The Fruit of Communion With God: Right Living

Finally, 1 John 2:29 tells us that if God is our father, we ought to have a spiritual family resemblance.  Proof of our rebirth is our increasingly rightous living in obedience to God’s Word.  Though always imperfect, our righteousness is a kind of rebirth certificate in Christ, a faternity test, an affirmation of our new identity.  And in 3:1, John helps us understand that this is not the love of food, or stuff, or animals that we may know, but rather a deep familial love that is to be discovered and marveled at only by the children of God.  This love is none other than the love given to those who deserve wrath instead.  A love that meant the agonizing, fellowship-breaking, wrath-absorbing, body-breaking crucifixion of Christ on our behalf.  And the love that couldn’t leave Him there, but instead raised Him from the dead, defeating death for us, and raising us in Him forever.  This is the kind of love we want and the kind of communion we want.  And this is the kind of love that leads to true contentment in any and all circumstances. We are called to know this love, to enjoy this love, and to be changed by it.

We come to know this love by the means of grace of taking in God’s Word both individually and corporately as a church.  And we are reminded of it regularly through the observing of the Lord’s Supper together.