The Word: Psalm 103:8-13

Happy New Year! I realize we’re well into January at this point, but given how little time I have to blog it’ll have to do. Over the weekend, I was encouraged by this passage from Psalms and the reminder it offers of the gospel’s promise to believers. So I wanted to share it with all of you too. There is no better news in the world than the news that God offers mercy and does not repay us for our sins, but rather Christ Jesus took them on himself to free us.

Psalm 103:8-13 ESV

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
    nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

When It Is Not Well

It’s been a tough couple of weeks. Well, honestly I’ve spent much of this year riding the roller coaster from discouragement, uncertainty, anger, and pain to hope, optimism and faith and back around again. The most recent instance has just been another circumstance which brought pain and worry.

A few days ago, I’d looked up Bible verses about worry and anxiety and was punched in the gut with Philippians 4:6 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” I am always thankful for God’s grace when a verse like that lays me out flat. While I pray often, I also fail regularly to “not be anxious.”

The following day, I really didn’t want my worries and fears to consume all my thoughts as they had been doing. As I brought all of that to the Lord in prayer that morning, many things ran through my head. My need to repent and confess of my sins of worry, and control and fear was a large part of it, and it was in that time of prayer I finally realized all those were symptoms of having placed my faith in myself regarding the situation rather than placing it in God. Again, ouch.

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GTY Sermon Series: Pillars of Christian Character

While I was browsing programs at Grace to You the other day I came across this 10-message series on Christian character. And I had an idea to listen to one each Wednesday for the next 10 weeks.

Will you join me?

I’ll be sharing those messages in order here and on my Facebook page each Wednesday beginning today. I would love to have some company to discuss the content either in the comments section, on Facebook or via email if you prefer. Continue reading

The Word: Romans 1:14-20

I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.  Continue reading

Persecution Updates: Uzbekistan, Canada and Cuba

Uzbekistan’s authoritarian president died recently and it has Christians concerned that religious persecution will only increase.

Christians in Uzbekistan already face severe restrictions on their religion—the worst of any nation in Central Asia. Now they fear an increase in persecution following President Islam Karimov’s death.

Karimov died Sept. 2, days after being hospitalized for a stroke. The government did not acknowledge his illness until hours before his death.

Continue reading at World online.

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Charles Spurgeon Recounts His Salvation

While writing my post the other day about grace and the doctrine of salvation I found this extended quote from Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s autobiography and wanted to share it:

Spurgeon wrote:

When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me. I do not think the young convert is at first aware of this. I can recall the very day and hour when first I received those truths in my own soul—when they were, as John Bunyan says, burnt into my heart as with a hot iron, and I can recollect how I felt that I had grown on a sudden from a babe into a man—that I had made progress in Scriptural knowledge, through having found, once for all, the clue to the truth of God.

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Acts 15 and Salvation by Grace Alone

It was so good to be back at my own little church today to sing, to pray and to study with my church family. It is always so sweet to return after time away from them.

My pastor was continuing our study through the book of Acts and today we were going through Acts 15:6-12 (saving the rest of this section for next week). It’s a historical passage but with pertinent information about the issue of salvation. This post stemmed from the message my pastor preached this morning. Continue reading