And Speaking Of The Church

After writing a series of posts about the church, only one hymn seems fitting. The hymn writer shifts the focus from the church itself to the One Who established the church as His bride.

Usually, I introduce Sunday hymns with lengthy musings on them, and usually doing so has merit. In this case, however, the hymn simply provides a conclusion to my series. May we remember that the church belongs to Christ and exists for His glory.

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Saturday Sampler: September 8 — September 14

Blend Circles Sampler

Let’s begin with Barry York’s tribute to his dad as he writes The Poker Table for Gentle Reformation. I know it’s not something I typically include in Saturday Sampler, but who says I can’t do things differently once in a while? This story definitely highlights God’s delight in saving the most unlikely people.

What were copybooks? And why would a Christian blog about them? If you’ll visit The End Time, you’ll find that Elizabeth Prata answers these questions as well as pointing us to The ultimate copybook.

None other than John MacArthur speaks out on the Grace to You Blog. He explains the urgency of Craving God’s Word by borrowing the imagery of newborn babies from 1 Peter 2, and he includes valuable insights on how shallow preaching fails to feed believers properly.

Are you genuinely saved? Throwback Thursday ~ Basic Training: The Gospel by Michelle Lesley navigates us through a series of Scriptures and questions to assist us in determining our spiritual standing before the Lord. Even if you think you understand the Gospel, I plead with you to read her article and examine yourselves. I did.

Don and Joy Veinot of Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc blog about “The Things You Know That Ain’t So” as a way of helping us see the illogic of some who oppose Christianity.  They also boost our confidence in the Bible by a quick overview of Bible translation and preservation. My husband loves stuff like this!

Want a second helping of Elizabeth Prata’s wisdom? I don’t blame you! She reprises her essay, Are you drifting toward only wanting your ears tickled? from November 2010, encouraging us to endure sound doctrine.

Being a San Francisco Bay native, I feel saddened and disgusted by the 5 incredible revelations from this week’s abortion hearing in California. Jesse Johnson of The Cripplegate reports these unsavory details in hopes that Planned Parenthood will unwittingly expose themselves, but also as a warning of what could happen if they win the case.

Along similar lines, Denny Burk fills us in on another front of persecution with Florist takes her case to the Supreme Court… again. Look, I understand that nobody particularly enjoys articles of this nature. I certainly prefer other topics. But we need to be aware of the direction of our culture.

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As Persecution Draws Closer, We’ll Need Church Family

Persecuted ChurchDon’t kid yourselves. Even if Donald Trump wins a second term in 2020, he can’t stop (or even delay) the growing persecution against Christians in the United States. He may  be the most powerful man in the world, but he’s only a man. From what I’ve observed, his position on LBGTQ issues appear somewhat ambiguous, leading me to doubt his ability to preserve religious liberties. And, as you’ll see in tomorrow’s edition of Saturday Sampler, California lies under the control of Planned Parenthood in regard to its court system.

But I don’t want to debate politics right now. Rather, I want to emphasize that not even a conservative president possesses the power to Continue reading

The Church Will Hurt You: A Biblical Response

 

Faded Church

If you join a local church,  you can pretty much expect that, at some point,  you’ll experience some level of hurt. The offense may be as mild as a friend neglecting to say hello on a Sunday morning or as devastating as leadership taking you out of a ministry you enjoy.  A few of these hurts are intentional and malicious; most result from plain old thoughtlessness or misunderstandings. Occasionally you will experience hurt because a brother or sister has called out your sin.

I write from 48 years of Continue reading

What If There Is No Good Church Near You?

Elusive Church

In response to the article I wrote Monday, a reader from Australia commented that the only churches near her were five Hillsong churches. My heart broke for her, causing me to pray that the Lord will open up something that allows her to enjoy fellowship opportunities and to serve the body of Christ. I ask each of you to join me in praying for her.

As I read her comment, my mind went back to 2014. John and I had just Continue reading

Can A Born Again Christian Do Without Church? (I Think You Know My Answer, But Read This Post Anyway)

Come To ChurchThe short answer is no.

Blogging isn’t conducive to short answers, however, and perhaps a longer answer would be more helpful than simply quoting Hebrews 10:25 as a definitive proof text. While that verse certainly carries all the authority necessary to teach that Christians need to meet regularly with their brothers and sisters in the Lord, looking at other passages can help us develop a fuller understanding of why we need to devote ourselves to a local body of believers.

In the interest of full disclosure, let me admit that John and I can’t attend our church during the winter months due to health concerns. And this past Sunday, the RIDE got us there late and picked us up early, completely depriving us of fellowship opportunities. But (and mark this point) we maintain contact with various people in the congregation, keeping accountable to the pastors and elders. We continue serving the church as best we  can while we’re providentially hindered (to borrow a phrase from Michelle Lesley) from making personal appearances and/or encouraging our church family.

Resisting the temptation to get on my soapbox about Continue reading

As We Take the Lord’s Supper

I’m preparing my heart for Communion this morning. This memorial, which Christ instituted only hours before His betrayal and arrest, reminds us both of His atoning sacrifice for us and His future return.It also reminds us of our unity with each other.

The church John and I belong to delayed our monthly celebration of the Lord’s Supper a week because of Labor Day weekend. So I spent a little time yesterday contemplating it by listening to the Gettys’ beautiful hymn, Behold the Lamb. Whether or not your church will observe Communion today, the words will sharpen your focus on our precious Savior.

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