The Worthy Lamb

Cross-posted at Vertical

Revelation 5:9 world

The scene in Revelation takes place in the throne room of God. The great scroll that outlines God’s plans to restore the universe and reign in sin is there. Sadness fills the room as it seems no one is worthy to open the scrolls. Tears stream down John’s face. Is there anyone on heaven or earth worthy?

Then when all hope looks lost, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, the Christ is announced as the worthy conqueror (v 5). The blood stained, seven horned, seven eyed Lamb of God makes his entrance. The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders sing a new song of worship celebrating the Lamb’s redemption (v 9-10). A great angelic choir joins to offer a tribute to the Lamb’s deity (v11-12). Finally, every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea offer join in confessing that the Lamb (Jesus) is the Lord to the glory of God.

Let’s take a closer look at the redemption of the Lamb. Jesus was slain, and by his blood he ransomed a people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. Marinate on that for a while. The people of God come from every single people group!

How does this Biblical truth impact our thinking? Think about issues like racism and ageism. Or attitudes that lead us to separate from sinners like those people. What about missions? Are we motivated to share the gospel with our enemy? Do our churches (our small groups, our bible studies, etc) look like the community shown in verse 9?

Looking ahead, what a great day it will be when all believers are gathered together at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19). All of God’s people, from every tribe and language and people and nation, from all of human history gathered together called through the gospel of grace.

Jesus is Better than Bacon Review of The Greener Grass Conspiracy

The Greener Grass Conspiracy

I recently completed reading Stephen Altrogge‘s The Greener Grass Conspiracy: Finding Contentment on Your Side of the Fence. I know I am supposed to write several long paragraphs and glowing review for this book, but I can’t. I’ve got to cut straight to the point. This book is wonderful! Friend, buy it and read it right now!

This book is written for Christians, but that isn’t to say non-Christians won’t benefit from this book. Everyone needs this book. Why? Because everyone suffers from and is part of the “Greener Grass Conspiracy.” What is that you ask? Trust me you know it well. You need a spouse, your job stinks, you want a new car, etc., and your life will be better when you get it right? Check back with me later. Trust me, there is always something more.

Altrogge writes, The problem is me. I am my own worst enemy. The raging, covetous, discontented desires come from within. They’re not the product of my circumstances, and the desires won’t be satisfied when circumstances change (p. 17).

So what grand solution or transformation is Altrogge promoting with this book? Just one thing: The Gospel of Jesus Christ, his life and death for the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection for our justification. Everything in this book is grounded in the Gospel and the finished work of Christ on behalf of discontented sinners like you and me.

Altrogge writes to a modern audience and draws upon his 1980s youth for many anecdotes. That said, his words are not watered down. He leans heavily upon Scripture. He quotes from the Puritans, Charles Spurgeon, and Randy Alcorn among others.

His creativity shines in the opening paragraphs of Chapter 5—The Kings Madness. In a great scene at Starbucks, Altrogge share’s a coffee with Sol, who, despite his riches, is miserable. The scene ends with:

“It’s vanity,” he said. “All of its vanity.” He then strode out the door toward his cherry-red Porsche with the custom plate that said KNG SLMN.

Reading the book, I couldn’t help but feel like Altrogge was speaking to me. He must have mentioned discontentment with your children (going to sleep, obedience, etc.) half a dozen times. Being convicted of you sin hurts. Yet each time he led me back to the cross to see what Christ has done on my behalf.

Again, I want to encourage you, my readers, to get this book. Learn to be content like Paul in Philippians 4. Learn to rest in the finished work of Christ. Learn to yearn for the life and age to come.

Here is a trailer for Stephen Altrogge’s Greener Grass Conspiracy. RSS Readers may need to click through to see video.

Order your copy of The Greener Grass Conspiracy: Finding Contentment on Your Side of the Fence at:

FTC required disclosure, I received a review copy of this book from Crossway.

More Like Falling In Love

Two weeks ago I wrote the post On Falling in Love with Jesus in response to Jason Gray’s song “More Like Falling In Love” (iTunes link). In the post I questioned whether or not the song lines up with Scripture.

Jason Gray Everything Said is Coming Untrue CD image

Jason Gray was gracious enough to reply to my tweet asking for his input. I have taken the time to read his reply and the series of blog posts he wrote about the song over on the Jesus Freak Hideout blog. After reflecting on Jason’s words I now understand more clearly the lyrics to his song and I certainly appreciate the heart of the believer who penned these words.

Regarding the “Jesus is my boyfriend” criticism, Jason wrote:

I guess I could understand it if they assume that the kind of love I’m talking about in my song is based on emotionalism – warm fuzzy feelings about God, reducing Him to a cosmic boyfriend/girlfriend. Maybe they think the love I’m talking about here is the same kind of thing our culture tries to pass off as “love”: self-centered, hormone induced, emotionally based romantic Hollywood “love” without commitment or backbone.

If I understand him now, Jason is singing about our response to our salvation, to our Savior, and to our husband. As a member of the bride of Christ, a member of the redeemed, our hearts should be joyous. The gospel creates a desire to obey God’s law out of love. I get that. I love that!

I am still troubled by one line…

Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me

I know this is wrong, but what I hear is The changes in me are a direct result of me falling in love with Jesus or said another way I did something to bring about this change. We need to be careful here, the law says Do This, but the gospel proclaims It is Finished. There is nothing for a sinner to do, salvation is a work of God from beginning to the end (Romans 8:28-30). We don’t need to run back to the law after having been freed from its condemnation.

I encourage you to listen to the song (iTunes link) and read Jason’s posts on More Like Falling In Love: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and compare both of us to the Word of God. Let us know what you think.