Praying Thankfully: A Thanksgiving Meditation
If ever you find yourself at a loss for words, there is something you can do. Turn to the Lord's Prayer.
Martin Luther employed the Lord’s Prayer encouraging disciples to use each clause as a hook on which to hang thoughts of their own. From each clause of the Prayer, he recommended making “a garland of four twisted strands” by, (1) identifying the truth(s) taught, (2) expressing thankfulness for all the good gifts suggested, (3) confessing... Continue Reading
Man will do anything he can to suppress, hold down, and withhold God’s truth.
For those of us in Christ as we look at the sorry state of the vast multitudes of humanity who are lost in their rebellion against the knowledge of God, we should realize what a blessing it is that our God had mercy on us and drew us to Himself, justifying us by grace through... Continue Reading
Knowing the Truth
For Paul, loss of knowledge is a matter not of forgetting a collection of facts but of having minds that twist what we learn.
Disobeying God is our responsibility. We degenerate, we cease to think straight, we speculate, and our hearts are clouded in ignorance, and man created in the image of God creates images of his own—of animals and even of himself. By not honoring God or thanking Him, man becomes futile in his actions and darkened in... Continue Reading
Shepherding the Shepherds: How Ruling Elders Can Care for Their Teaching Elders
Ruling Elder, your shepherd needs shepherding. He needs you to hold his arms up.
Because our teaching elder brothers are part of the flock, worthy of double honor, and under a heavier ministry burden as full-time teachers/preachers, ruling elders need to be doing the good work of caring for these men. And because teaching elders occupy a unique place in the flock, their care should also be unique. ... Continue Reading
Communicable Attributes: Grace: Its Scope and Effectiveness
Calvinism and Arminianism both teach that there is a universal and particular application of God’s grace. They differ on the details.
Only Calvinism actually affirms what Scripture teaches about God’s grace in both its universal and particular applications. Regarding its particular application, God actually applies a grace that actually saves from sin. Paul wrote to the Christians at Ephesus (2:8-10): “For by grace you have been saved; and this is not from you, it is the... Continue Reading
Who Is Representing You—Adam or Jesus?
With Christ as your representative, you are clothed in the righteousness of your elder brother.
Imputation is not about a cold calculus of salvation where God moves numbers around in his divine ledger to ensure that he gets his pound of flesh in the punishment of the wicked—far from it. The Son of God entered the far country, suffered the penalty of the law on our behalf, and clothed us... Continue Reading
For Worse or Better: Moving Beyond Broken Dreams in Marriage
Marriage often turns on how we deal with delayed or denied dreams.
The more contentment expands within the soul, the less our unrequited dreams suppress our confidence in God’s sovereignty. We trust God’s goodness is intentional, not accidental. We adapt our desires to the unfolding of God’s will. We respond to our spouses in ways that say, “Yes, this is hard and unexpected. But God is faithful,... Continue Reading
Conflict Grabs Attention, But We Need to Bring Grace Instead
Even before the Mandalorian popularized the phrase “This is the way”, I was ready to tell you that your way was wrong.
If we’re not careful, social media can turn our natural desire for attention and approval into an environment where we seek those by being controversial, making extreme statements, stirring up anger, or the “playing to our base” at an individual level. I ran into those same pitfalls previously when I blogged, and in hindsight, regret... Continue Reading
The Denial of Truth in the Bostock Decision and the Destruction of Freedom – Part 3
In place of traditional, fixed institutions of marriage and the family, the operative law of today’s society is really a materialist perspective on humanity.
Christians understand that we have a duty of faithfulness to the truth, regardless of the perversions of law. It may mean exclusion from much of society, loss of jobs, friends and family, religious institutions, freedom to speak the truth, fines and even for some incarceration. But we know that our trials will finally redound to... Continue Reading
If God Did It, It Must Be Good. Right?
God's sovereignty offers comfort only if we know something of his character.
If we are laying our heads on any pillow in these days, it is the pillow of God’s character, and especially God’s goodness. We keep saying it: “God is good.” We may be saying it with sorrow and bewilderment and something less than full faith. We might be saying it as a question: “God is... Continue Reading