God is merciful! This is a wonderful, uplifting, thrilling, and encouraging revelation. It is especially wonderful because it is our only hope of being saved. I think Charles H. Spurgeon was entirely right when he suggested that at this point in His teaching the heaviness that must have been on Jesus as He spoke of God’s judgment on the cities of Galilee lifted a bit and his brow must have cleared. For having spoken of judgment, Jesus turned to the subject of election – to God’s amazing, electing grace – and His words were a prayer, the tone of which is thanksgiving. As Spurgeon says, “with thanksgiving” is the only right way to think about election. Continue reading ““Amazing Grace””
As I look back at 2019 and past, I am reminded of the faithfulness and blessing of our Heavenly Father. There are victories and there are defeats; gains and losses; empty places and overflowing banks. Personally, I find myself with an ever-increasing gratitude of blessing for every aspect of my life and the ministry to which God has called me. Apart from God’s perfect plan and presence I am inspired, motivated, and encouraged by my Church family, and you. What a privilege to undershepherd (pastor) a people that is so in love with God and so committed to loving others well. A people that love the Word of God, love to study God’s Word, and are desirous of applying and obeying the Scriptures in their day to day lives. A Covenanting group of folks who are committed to “one-anothering” each other every day and reaching our community with the love of God. A congregation that is as generous as they are supportive. Continue reading ““A Holy Spirit Inspired Thanksgiving””
No one likes to think about judgment, and we are relieved that Jesus moves on from this point to talk about the electing grace of God and to issue a Gospel invitation. Nevertheless, it is important to think about judgment sometimes, and this passage is one of the most helpful passages in the New Testament for understanding it. These verses teach us five uncomfortable lessons. Continue reading ““Five Truths about Judgment””
Socrates lived in the fifth century, was a contemporary of Plato and is credited as the founder of Western philosophy. Sentenced to death by the Athenian Democracy for his non conformity, Socrates worked hard to stimulate thinking – promoting thinking among individuals, thus his well known habit of asking his students many questions to encourage, even antagonize them to think and to re-think their views on virtually everything so they came in their own minds to a solid understanding of whatever the discipline or subject may be.
Jesus said that in spite of John’s greatness, “the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11.11). How can that be? How can the least gifted, least significant, least prominent, least outspoken of today’s believers be greater than this greatest of Old Testament figures, and therefore greater also than all the others? For this reason: because they can point to Jesus and witness to His work more clearly than even John could. Continue reading ““Establishing Your Greatness””
Reformation Wall is located in Geneva Switzerland. In addition to the four 16’ high reformers pictured, William Farel, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, and John Knox, six other smaller statues exist including American Governor and Baptist Pastor, Roger Williams. The Wall was built to commemorate Calvin’s 400th birthday on the grounds of the University of Geneva. Engraved on either side of the four figures in Latin, are the words, “Out of Darkness Light” – motto of the Reformation. Continue reading ““Out of Darkness, Light””