Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Goodness of the Lord

In my daily reading of Scripture, some verses popped out to me. After I was encouraged by them, I thought others might be encouraged as well.

1 Peter 2:2-3 “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (ESV)

The Lord is good! In every circumstance we face, He is good! He is always good! We have tasted of His goodness. As we long to taste more of His goodness, and as we act on that longing by feeding upon the pure spiritual milk of Scripture, we will indeed taste more of His goodness, for the Scriptures teach of His abounding salvation, salvation into which we are growing up.

1 Peter 2:25 “For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (ESV)

We experience the Lord’s goodness as we live under the shepherding care of the Lord, as our soul is under the oversight of the Lord. We strayed because we thought goodness was found outside His authority. But everything outside the shepherding care of the Lord turns out to be vain, empty. True goodness is only found in Christ as we live under His grace and Lordship.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Living on the Foundation of Grace

Here are nine practical suggestions for cultivating a life built on the foundation of the grace of Christ:
  1. Start your day by thanking God for Christ's sacrifice and your salvation
  2. Set aside a regular time each day for the Word and prayer
  3. Spend this time alone with the Lord
  4. Start by asking the Lord to show you your sins, and confessing them
  5. Read Scripture for the purpose of finding one verse or idea to apply to your life
  6. Look for truths not just to obey, but also to trust in and praise God for
  7. Write out a prayer of meditation and response
  8. Every time you are convicted of sin, thank God for this evidence of His grace
  9. Every time you face a trial, thank God for this evidence of His grace

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Riddle of the Old Testament

In Exodus 34:6-7, the Lord reveals Himself to Moses, saying, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty...” (ESV).

Here is the great riddle of the Old Testament. The Lord forgives sin; yet He by no means clears the guilty. How can this be? The answer is seen in the cross of Christ. Christ took our sin and guilt upon Himself, and suffered there for our sins. In this way God has forgiven us who believe in Christ. We are no longer guilty, for Christ took our guilt and suffered its penalty! The Lord says He is “abounding” in steadfast love and faithfulness. Because Christ died for us and
has been raised for us, God is abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness to you who believe! Satan doesn’t want the Christian to see this or believe this. He wants us to look at the trials we are going through and conclude that God doesn't love us. We must fight against Satan’s lies every day! We must fight to treasure God’s abounding love toward us. Nothing can separate us from it!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Love Doesn't Seek to Please People

1 John 3:16 says, "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us" (ESV). 1 John 4:10 says, "In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (ESV). When Christ laid down His life a propitiation for our sins, people opposed Him. The most direct opposition to the cross came from the apostle Peter, to whom Jesus rightfully responded, "Get behind me, Satan!" Peter was among the three disciples who were closest to Jesus, and even he opposed Christ in going to the cross. Jesus' own hometowan opposed His Messianic ministry, trying to stone Him. The religious leaders opposed His Messianic ministry and also tried to stone Him. Satan tempted Jesus to avoid the cross. What was it that kept Jesus on course to do what no one on earth wanted Him to do? Among other things, it was love for the world, and an even deeper love for His people. Love moved Jesus to do for people what they didn't want Him to do for them. And we are instructed, "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." This is to be with the same sort of love we have received--a love that doesn't seek to please people but seeks their true good, unto the glory of God.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dave Harvey on marriage and parenting

I would like to recommend some sermons by Pastor Dave Harvey on marriage and parenting.

I believe Dave Harvey really addresses the fundamental problems in our marriages head-on. If we apply what he is saying, we would really grow in Christ. The first one on marriage is foundational for the others and is titled, "When Sinners Say 'I Do': Sin." Pastor Harvey applies to marriage 1 Tim 1:12-17, where Paul calls himself "the chief of sinners." The second one is titled, "When Sinners Say 'I Do': Mercy." Here Luke 6:27-36, in which Jesus commands us to be merciful to our enemies, is applied to marriage. The last one on marriage is titled, "When Sinners Say 'I Do': Grace." Here Titus 2:11-15, about God's grace in Christ, is applied to marriage. These messages really are applicable to all our relationships with people.

There is also one message on parenting titled, "Parenting in Weakness," that applies to parenting 2 Cor 11:30-12:10 in which Paul boasts in his weaknesses so that the power of Christ might rest on him. I am in the middle of this one right now. What I have listened to so far is excellent.

You can download recordings of these sermons at There you can also download the sermon notes.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Significance of the Local Church

I came across an article on the significance of the local church. I encourage all Christians to read it! Being a part of a local church is not optional for Christians. It is as vital as having a family when you are born. How can a child thrive without a family? More importantly, how can a child of God thrive without being in God's household? We as Christians need to better understand the significance of the local church. The Enemy seeks to persuade us that it is OK to stay home on Sunday every once in a while, or that it is OK to limit our church involvement to 90 minutes a week. God's Word turns this thinking upside down, not so much by commanding us to be an active part of our church (though it does), but more so by telling us the significance of the local church. We should LOVE the local church. We should lay down our lives for the local church. We should "eat and breathe" the local church, so to speak. This article makes a good attempt at explaining some of the signifiance of the local church. Read it. Look up the Scripture references. Pray about it. Apply it! The article is, "Pastoral Pensees: The Church-A Hidden Glory (1 Timothy 3:14-16)

Perfect Peace

I just ran across a great prayer by Pastor Scotty Smith, posted by Tim Challies. The prayer is based on Isaiah 26:3-4 "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal." Here is a link to the prayer.