Good afternoon brother and sisters…
I so enjoy reading, studying and meditating on the Psalms. I try to spend little time there as often as I can.
In the two opening verses of Psalm 31, David approaches Yahweh with these words: Deliver me! Rescue me! Save me!
What is the chief thing from which we need to be rescued, even after coming to saving faith in Christ? Is it not our sin?
So we pray:
Lord keep me from sin.
Lord keep me from wandering away from You.
Lord keep me from forfeiting the joys of my salvation.
Lord keep me watchful and vigilant.
Lord keep me from whatever is inconsistent with the love and allegiance I owe to Christ.
Lord keep me humble and thankful, grateful and submissive.
Lord keep me from the dominion of pride or selfishness.
Lord keep me from being over-anxious and over-troubled about earths many things.
Lord keep me from surrendering my heart and it’s affections to the base compliances and maxims of this present evil world.
Lord keep me from all indolence and sloth.
Lord keep me from all unworthy ambitions and debasing allurements.
Lord keep me from all that would interfere with my brothers well-being.
Lord keep me from every breach of love.
Lord, deliver me… Lord, rescue me… Lord save me.
This Lord’s Day we will continue our exposition 1 Peter. The text we will be considering is 1 Peter 4:1-6. There is some interesting language in these verses, especially verses 1 and 6. Please pray that the word would be preached with power and that it would accomplish that purpose for which God sends it forth. The Order of Worship is attached.
Please remember that this Lord’s Day is the final one of the month which means that we will be heading down to Neighborhood Fellowship to serve a meal to our brothers and sisters and others who need the grace of Christ demonstrated to them in tangible ways.
Our deacons are planning a major workday at our building on April 27. We will need all the help we can get. The list of projects is attached. A fair number of them can be done as your schedule permits.
· March 24 – Neighborhood Fellowship
· March 25 – Ladies Group
· March 31 – Psalm/hymn sing
· April 1 – Adults Fellowship Group (townies)
· April 3 – Deacons meet
· April 7 – Fellowship Meal
· April 7 – Prayer service (immediately following Fellowship Meal)
· April 8 – Ladies Group
· April 10 – Session meets
· April 14 – Young Adults Fellowship Group
· April 15 – Adults Fellowship Group (townies)
· April 20 – Spring Feet ‘n Eat
· April 21 – Resurrection Day breakfast
· April 21 – Adults Fellowship Group (westsiders)
· April 22 – Ladies Group
· April 27 – Spring Workday (at the building)
· April 28 – Neighborhood Fellowship
At any rate, cost what it may, to separate ourselves from those who separate themselves from the truth of God is not alone our liberty, but our duty. – C.H. Spurgeon
Let the man who would hear God speak read Holy Scripture. – Martin Luther
Take the world, but give me Jesus; In His cross my trust shall be, till, with clearer, brighter vision face to face my Lord I see. —Fanny Crosby
Everybody wants to enjoy heaven after they die, but they don’t want to be heavenly-minded while they live. —D.L. Moody
The riches of His free grace cause me daily to triumph over all the temptations of the wicked one, who is very vigilant, and seeks all occasions to disturb me. —George Whitefield
Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude—an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God. —A.W. Pink
Where one thousand are destroyed by the world’s frowns, ten thousand are destroyed by the world’s smiles. The world, siren-like, sings us and sinks us. —Thomas Brooks
A Horror of Theology
The noisy gongs of acerbic and judgmental discernment bloggers, podcasters, vloggers and conference speakers are scattered throughout our social media feeds…and they’re here to stay. The uncharitableness with which such individuals speak online immediately ought to leave a bad taste in the mouth of Christ’s true lambs. After all, the fruit of the Spirit in the life of believers is an inextricable constituent of doctrinal truth. No amount of insistence that one is speaking the truth in love (when, in fact, he is speaking the truth in anger) will mask the fact that he is actually speaking in loveless pride. As Jesus said, “A tree is known by its fruit.” The bitter fruit of an acrimonious “truth speaker” will inevitably be the bringing forth of disciples more fractious than himself. Nevertheless, the root of the problem does not lie in a love of the truth and a desire to trumpet forth sound doctrine–it is rooted in pride and self-love. READ MORE…
We All Live in Marx’s World Now
The term “cultural Marxism” has recently entered the mainstream vocabulary of orthodox Christianity. A staple of the media of Twitter and blogs, it seems to have gone the way of all sophisticated ideas when reduced to a few hundred characters and placed in the hands of those with too much time to troll yet not apparently enough to think. It has become a verbal bullet, designed to kill any opponent on the left, much as “white privilege” has come to be used to hit those on the right.
Yet the emergence of the term, and even its deployment in inconsequential Twitter exchanges, points to an interesting and perhaps disturbing pathology of our times. Indeed, it witnesses to the fact that, while Karl Marx and his progeny may have lost the economic battle, a good case can be made for saying they’re winning the cultural struggle.
In this sense, we all live in Marx’s world now. READ MORE…
A Guide for Bible Reading
I hope your personal and family worship is going well! From painful personal experience, I know how easy it is to let this most basic spiritual discipline slide, especially when it feels like you’re not “getting something” out of it. In recent conversations with my own kids as well as friends in the church, I’ve been reminded that we all need both encouragement and instruction in Bible reading. Encouragement because we have real enemies who would keep us from it and instruction because we’re not naturally good at it. That is, just because we have the Bible open and are reading words on a page doesn’t necessarily mean we’re reading it correctly and in a way that will benefit us spiritually. READ MORE…
The Story of Marriage in Seven Verses
Recently I married an unusually mature couple. Both groom and bride were in their late thirties. They had waited with admirable patience. Both were established in life and in faith, and they knew where they each stood: together on God’s word. Few couples, if any, that I’ve married have demonstrated such clear, solid, stable footing together on the rock of what God has said in the Bible. READ MORE…
The Blessing of the Gift of Prayer
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the benefits of being a Christian. There are so many that I hardly know where to start. I can easily write about the gifts of justification, sanctification, or adoption (and many others similar to it). But in this post, I want to keep it simple. I want to focus on a blessing that we may sometimes overlook — the blessing of the gift of prayer.
Isn’t it amazing that the God of the Bible allows his people to communicate with him through prayer?
I think sometimes we take for granted this access we have to God. But if you pause and think about the various dimensions of prayer and just how beneficial this access to God is, it will bless your soul. READ MORE…
The Character of the Christian: Mature and Humble
Today we continue our series on the character of the Christian. We are exploring how the various character qualifications of elders are actually God’s calling on all Christians. While elders are meant to exemplify these traits, all Christians are to exhibit them. I want us to consider whether we are displaying these traits and to learn together how we can pray to have them in greater measure. Today we will consider why elders—and all Christians—must strive to live mature and humble lives.
Paul tells Timothy, “[An elder] must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:6). This is a call to spiritual maturity and we learn that elders must be mature for at least two reasons: Because maturity is accompanied by the virtue of humility and because immaturity is accompanied with the vices of pride and condemnation. Thus we must give positions of responsibility only to those who are spiritually mature. John Piper writes, “the new believer, given too much responsibility too soon, may easily swell with pride. The implication is that part of Christian seasoning is a humbling process and a growing protection against pride. We should see evidences in his life that humility is a fixed virtue and not easily overturned.” READ MORE…
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
“In the sphere of religion, as in other spheres, the things about which men are agreed are apt to be the things that are least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight.” J. Gresham Machen
“When Christ calls a man – he bids him come and die.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer