Good afternoon brothers and sisters,
It has been a very hectic week and there is yet much to do over the next couple of days, so I’m covering just the basics in this Post-it.
This Lord’s Day we will continue our exposition of 1 Peter. Our text will again be 1 Peter 4:12-19 where Peter gives his largest (and last) commentary on the theme of suffering. This is a meaty series of verses so we are taking two weeks to cover them. The Order of Worship is attached.
Our annual Resurrection Day Breakfast is next Lord’s Day but there is still time to sign up if you have not already done so. You can do so in one of two ways: either on line (Patti sent that out again yesterday) or on the sheet on the back table.
Please put April 27 on your calendar. Our deacons have scheduled a workday for some much-needed Spring cleaning and repair work. There is a list of projects on the back table from which you may choose. There are lots of slots yet to be filled. I would remind you that this is our “home” and we need as many family members as possible to accomplish these numerous tasks. So please stop by and sign up for one (or more) of these projects. A fair number of them can be done as your schedule permits.
· 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
Be sure thou art watchful more than ordinary over thyself, in those things where thou findest thyself weakest and hast been oftenest foiled. The weakest part of a city needs the strongest guard. —William Gurnall
The battle for our Sundays is usually won or lost on the foregoing Saturday night, when time should be set aside for self-examination, confession and prayer for the coming day. — J.I. Packer
Memorizing Scripture strengthens your faith because it repeatedly reinforces the truth, often just when you need to hear it again. —Donald Whitney
Faith begins where man’s power ends. —George Muller
He that lacks assurance of God’s love, converses too much with Satan. —John MacArthur
Screwtape, teaches his apprentice nephew, Wormwood, the art of deceiving mankind by saying “A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all – and more amusing.” —C.S. Lewis
Prayer is the spiritual leech which sucks the poison of sin out of the soul. —Thomas Watson
To read the Bible is not merely an exercise in intellectual comprehension; it’s an opportunity to stand before the throne of the King of the universe. —Jonathan Leeman
Jared C. Wilson
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
— 1 Corinthians 13:7
Love is fulfillment by way of emptiness. It would not seem to work that way. This is why nearly every worldly notion of love—and even some churchy notions of love—try to get at the fulfillment by way of filling. We want our eyes filled with sex, our ears filled with platitudes, our bellies filled with morsels, our minds filled with daydreams.
And then there is the way of Jesus. The Lord of the Universe who, not desiring to exploit his deity, empties himself. Obeys even in the personal famine of the desert. Commits even in the darkness of the garden. Serves even in his final hours. Even washes the feet of those who, if they knew better, should be hugging his neck! And he loves all the way to the cross. He loves all the way from his heart to the splattered ground beneath his pierced feet. READ MORE…
Jordan Peterson: High Priest for a Secular Age
An article in The Spectator recently described Jordan Peterson as “one of the most important thinkers to emerge on the world stage for many years”—and they have a point. Peterson went from being virtually unknown in 2012 to perhaps the most famous public intellectual in the world in 2018.
He has more than 2 million followers on YouTube and more than a million followers on Twitter, and his 12 Rules for Life has sold approximately 3 million copies in less than a year. The book tour is reaching stadium crowds of up to 100,000 people.
Many reasons can be given for Peterson’s rapid ascent and expansive influence. But most important, I think, are his social status as a clinical psychologist and his unique ability to respond to a certain set of conditions inherent to our secular age.
Recently, I wrote a chapter for an upcoming book about Peterson (Lexham Press). My assignment was to evaluate the reason for his meteoric rise. In this article, I’ll briefly summarize some of the main lines of argument. READ MORE…
Christian Discourse in an Age of Outrage
The world has never seen an age like today, filled with so many self-proclaimed experts who know so little about their professed area of expertise. The modern cycle of news and opinions coupled with the publishing power of the internet has helped create an environment where a ten-minute Google search replaces years of research, study, and education. A person’s “extensive” findings can be immediately shared on social media. The ensuing comments overflow with other “experts” holding opposing opinions. Battle lines are drawn. Insults are hurled. And all involved parties are filled with anger and dismay over the ignorance of those who dared question their freshly acquired, strongly held beliefs. This raises an important question: How should Christians seek to conduct themselves in such a cantankerous environment where everyone is primed to be outraged by their newfound adversaries?
Roger Nicole wrote: “Christians have not managed in many cases to win over their opponents. They have shown themselves to be ornery; they have bypassed some fairly important prescriptions of Scripture; and in the end, they have not convinced very many people—sometimes not even themselves!”1 In an age of outrage, Christians have an obligation to model Christlikeness with discourse that is “worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Phil. 1:27). In the heat of the moment, it can be easy to allow our emotions to overtake us, but the Bible provides basic principles that should inform Christian discourse. READ MORE…
When Our Voices Fail
Three weeks ago this past Thursday (March 21), I decided it was probably best, because of my mother’s serious health situation, for me to head home to South Carolina after worship on the coming Sunday to be with her. The next day, Friday, I received a text from my brother telling me that things had suddenly declined with my father’s health. Although his health had not been great, he was not on our radar as far as being our imminent family health concern.
Early the next day, a Saturday morning, I sat on a plane contemplating the sudden turn of events, determined to get as many texts out as possible before having to put my phone on airplane mode. My heart and mind were a jumble of worry, fear, and potential anticipated tasks. One minute all things had been carrying on as always–and the next minute I faced the real possibility that both of my parents might be gone, just like that. I was struck at how hard it was for me to think, much less write, anything that seemed like a sensible sentence.
As I stared out the window, without warning, the melody and words of hymns–so many, rich, precious hymns–began running through my mind. Overwhelmed with emotion, I texted a friend:
The comfort, especially in light of the Latin origin of the word, that solid hymnody brings in times like this is a beautiful, poignant irony. When I cannot find words in my heart to bring to my lips, these truth-laden, Scripturally-rich hymns rise in my spirit! It is as if they are an incarnation of the Spirit’s intercession to embrace my groaning, wordless heart. Now I can voice within what cannot form in my mouth–and not only am I sure that the Father has searched and known my heart, I am strengthened by his glorious Gospel with music that carries me back to his never-failing Word. READ MORE…
3 Reasons Christians Cannot Commit the Unforgivable Sin
There is a point in the synoptic gospels where some scribes from Jerusalem alleged that Jesus cast out demons by the prince of demons, Beelzebub. Jesus replies to them that they shouldn’t have said that because they are committing blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
Mark 3:28-29: Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.
Matthew 12:31-32: And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
Luke 12:10: And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
Because of these texts, many Christians have wondered: Is it possible for a Christian to commit the unforgivable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? READ MORE…
8 Questions You Must Face as You Fight Pornography
Peter sits in his room, staring at the screen. He’s been in this position a thousand times, and yet again, he feels trapped. Earlier in the day, he saw a scantily clad woman walking down the street, and it stirred him. He hasn’t shaken the image of her. He’s aroused. He wants to act out. He knows where to find pictures online. Will he do it again or will he hold off?
Cheryl fought (again) with her boyfriend, and afterwards, looked at nude pictures online. She didn’t want to do it, but it helped to numb her charged feelings. A mixture of shame and guilt overtake her, and she avoids eye contact with her pastor when she leaves church on Sunday. Will she ever defeat this wretched sin?
As you counsel Peter or Cheryl, consider eight questions. READ MORE…
The Gospel Coalition…2019 National Conference
There were 8 outstanding Keynote Addresses. WATCH & LISTEN TO THEM HERE…
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