Preparing To Hear God’s Word

Do you pray that the reading and preaching of God’s Word each Sunday morning will speak to you? Hymns certainly allow us to meditate on the Lord’s various attributes, often helping us learn vital doctrines of the faith, and fellowship with other believers usually strengthens us in our walks with Him. But reading and sitting under faithful exposition of Scripture must remain the centerpiece and pinnacle of Sunday corporate worship.

For those of you who manage to read this blog post before you attend worship services this morning, I pray that the hymn I present today will encourage yo to prepare yourselves to hear from God through the reading and preaching of God’s Word. And if you read it later on, may it inspire you to pray for next Sunday’s Scripture reading and sermon.

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Saturday Sampler: May 12 — May 18

Cheesecake Sampler

Mondays with Michelle Lesley always delight me because she answers questions from her readers with incredible wisdom. In The Mailbag: If someone follows false teachers or teaches false doctrine for a long time, is she saved?, she offers a response that shows godly wisdom.

I like The Cripplegate. But I absolutely love the articles by Jordan Standridge! How Do I Evangelize Someone Who Says They Don’t Trust the Bible? is an excellent example of his brilliance.

Speaking of brilliant, Lisa Spencer of TheoThoughts writes At the end of the day, Christianity trumps white evangelicalism. I like the way this lady thinks.

Australian blogger Stephen McAlpine gives an interesting, sobering and sorely needed perspective by writing Would You Accept More Gospel Hostility If It Also Meant More Gospel Openness? His article both challenges and encourages us in evangelism as McAlpine looks at Western culture. Please don’t neglect it.

Sometimes I believe Elizabeth Prata and I lead parallel thought lives. Lately, the Lord has been convicting me to be more diligent about confessing sin. And just as I’m praying about that conviction, she writes Confess early, confess often in The End Time as a response to Psalm 32.

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Butterflies Might Be Pretty, But They Flutter By Quite Quickly

Untitled-1The early years of my relationship with John overflowed with euphoria. I can remember sitting at my computer and feeling thrilled when an instant message from him popped up on my screen. The first time I visited, we couldn’t keep our eyes off each other.

The day after our wedding, we sang, “Oh What A Beautiful Morning” to each other. We were giddy! People told me that the butterflies would eventually subside. Intellectually, I knew they were right,  but my emotions told me a much different story. I simply couldn’t imagine looking at John without feeling butterflies.

I’m not sure when the butterflies flew away. One day I just realized that they had given way to a much more satisfying love. This new love satisfies me even more, for Continue reading

Why We Like To Believe That God Speaks Directly To Us And Why We Must Question That Belief

Ancient ScriptureThe other Sunday School teacher had taken the rest of our Special Needs class on a short excursion, leaving me with a particularly difficult little boy. His intellectual disability was profound, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was somewhere on the autism spectrum. In 1975, leaving a child alone with a teacher didn’t raise eyebrows, so there we sat for ten minutes.

“I hate you, Debbie,” he declared. I was minoring in Special Education that semester, so I tried reasoning with him the way my professor had taught me. Didn’t work. He repeated his proclamation several times, each time more loudly and eventually adding profanity.

Suddenly I had the thought to sing “Jesus Loves Me.” To my astonishment, the little boy sang with me! The others returned to find the two of us singing and laughing together.

For years I told that story as evidence that Continue reading

Wellspring Of The Joy Of Living

Non-Christians do experience a measure of joy; the Lord graciously blesses them with the delights of family and friends.

As an example, many American mothers (regardless of their relationships with Christ) are enjoying special attention today as their children shower them with gifts or make them breakfast in bed. For many, Mother’s Day is a joyful celebration.

Christians,  however, have an even deeper joy because Jesus has paid for our sins and given us new life. We see His hand in creation, and rejoice that all His works point back to His glory. Even our ability to love each other ultimately comes from Him.

The Lord is the source of all joy, whether we acknowledge Him or not. Christians merely recognize, by His grace, that joy comes from Him. Consequently, we rejoice all the more as we praise Him for filling us with joy divine!

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Saturday Sampler: May 5 — May 11

Vexel Rose Trio

After reporting on the sad death of false teacher Rachel Held Evans last Saturday, Elizabeth Prata got verbally abused on both her blog and Twitter. She responds positively to this abuse in her essay, Disciples of false teachers, their anger, and what we can learn from this opportunity, which appears in The End Time.

Writing for the Grace to You Blog, Phil Johnson discusses The New Segregation that actually questions if white people can be saved. What a spiteful perversion of the Gospel!

Concluding his series on being salt and light for The Cripplegate, Jordan Standridge reveals The Reason God Made Us Salt and Light. He embeds all the other articles into the text of this post, making it easy to review them.

Leslie A exposes Five Lies Satan Really Wants You to Believe in Growing 4 Life. Have you fallen for any of these popular deceptions? I think we all have at one time or another. Thankfully, Leslie brings us to Scriptures that refute Satan’s lies and correct our thinking. This article stands out as a must read!

Apparently, Beth Moore and other women plan to preach sermons on  Mother’s Day. Owen Strachan responds to this disturbing trend by writing Divine Order in a Chaotic Age: Women Preaching for Patheos. He makes superb points that all of us should heed.

The Cripjgegate features a second notable post — this time by Eric Davis. A New Kind of Pharisee profiles social media pundits who are too busy advancing new rules of Social Justice to engage in thoughtful conversation.

Discernment bloggers of late have fallen under suspicion — some of them quite deservedly, I’m sorry to say. Mike Leake, who blogs at Borrowed Light, analyzes this trend in The Art of the Unintended Consequence. I recommend his post with the caveat that several discernment bloggers still do speak truth in a measured and loving manner. Don’t let Leake make you fearful of discernment ministry as a whole.

Mike Ratliff of Possessing the Treasure takes no prisoners! His piece, The superiority of Christ, the cost of discipleship, and the genuine Gospel cuts away at the pablum that most 21st Century churches spew, bringing us back to core Biblical principles.

In Knowable Word, Peter Krol shows us How to Understand the Context of the Psalms (something I’ve never thought about). Please don’t pass this one up — it gives refreshing insight into how we can worship though the Psalms.

With a righteous indignation that more of us should have, Michelle Lesley wears out her laptop with The Mother of All Rebellions: Having a Woman Preach on Mother’s Day. Praise God for people like Michelle who stand on God’s Word rather than kowtow to the defiance of our secular culture!

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Why We Can’t Place Ourselves Under Women Preachers

Pink tulips framed

Like it or not, the Bible is crystal clear:

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. ~~1 Timothy 2:8-15 (ESV) [Emphasis mine]

God, in His wisdom and for His glory,  has assigned specific gender roles to men and women. As we see in 1 Timothy 2:12-14, He inspired Continue reading