It is fitting that our sermon on Mother's Day happened to be on the grace of God. There's nothing a mom needs more than that. And both prove to be very different than we at first expected.
Christians are not immune from self-hatred. Here is an excerpt from Tony Reinke's introduction to his interview with David Powlison on the topic of self-hatred. As Powlison unpacks this struggle, he shows us how common it is.
There was a moment in worship on Easter Sunday when I thought the Lord might be sending me to the prophecy mic. We were singing “Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed.” And the Lord took me to Scripture, Jesus Himself saying to Thomas in John 20:29: “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” But sometimes it can be so hard to believe, can't it? To remember how much He loves us, to remember that He is there, because we cannot see Him in all the ways we can see our trials, our sin and the sin of others, our family and brothers and sisters in Christ who are right here in this mess with us.
Jerry Bridges went to be with the Lord yesterday (March 16, 2016). Born to cotton farmers six weeks after the Stock Market Crash of 1929, he was saved in college and eventually went into vocational ministry with the Navigators. Most of us who know him, though, know him as an author and teacher who took gospel truth and made it accessible. If the name is new to you, Justin Taylor has written an excellent piece to honor him and survey his life.
As Christians we often stress the now-ness of our faith, what it brings to us in the moment. That is right. But there is another dimension of faith which is unavoidably future-oriented. It deals with grace and blessing and riches and treasure and wonders that have yet to come. The culmination of faith is not in the present; it is in what has yet to come. Yet, these glories that await us in the future have a way of breaking into our present. The NOT YET becomes ALREADY for the people of God.
Amazing Grace has to be one of the most familiar Christian hymns of all time. I haven't done any studies on it, but it seems to find it's way into all kinds of Christian and secular movies. If you start the song on a Sunday, everyone present will sing along, not just those who grew up in your church. It is a vivid reminder that something is “amazing” and worth singing about, namely, “grace.” But what exactly is “grace”? Let's define it and then look to the New Testament to answer six important questions about it.
And by the way,…
My testimony isn't spectacular in that one life altering event happened that altered the course of my life. My testimony hinges on the fact that the God of the universe was faithful throughout my life to put me in just the right place at just the right time that I might be able to encounter him in just the right way.
To say that God is immutable is to say that he is unchanging. It is to say that he is constant and consistent. It is to say that he is not fickle. The God who reveals himself in his creation and in his Word is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. With this in mind, there are at least four ways in which we can speak of God as being immutable.
In the critical last hours of Jesus’ earthly ministry, he instituted what we call the Lord's Supper at his last meal with the disciples. As we saw in our Sunday sermon, the Lord's Supper is a simple act, but it has profound meaning. What is the Lord's Supper? We answered that question in four parts.
In my last post I encouraged us to grow in walking in the Spirit. One thing that goes hand in hand with walking in the Spirit is walking by faith.