Be Of Sin The Double Cure

In my daily prayer time, I devote some of my attention to various aspects of the Gospel. In so doing, I adore and thank the Triune God for all the ways He brought me to salvation. In the process, I preach the Gospel to myself.

A wonderful component of the Gospel is the amazing truth that Jesus went beyond saving His people from the penalty of sin. Although His grace in that side of salvation gives us more than enough reason to praise Him throughout eternity, His lavish generosity also liberated us from sin’s power over us!

Hymn writer Augustus M. Toplady celebrated this dual function of Christ’s atoning work on the cross in his 1775 hymn, Rock of Ages in the opening stanza. While the following verses also contain robust points of doctrine that inspire worship and praise, today I especially praise the Lord for this glorious double cure from sin. And Jesus, the Rock of Ages, lets me hide myself in Him!

 

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Saturday Sampler: March 24 — March 30

Tulip Sampler

Each Sunday, Phil Johnson features a devotional or sermon excerpt by Charles Spurgeon on the Pyromaniacs blog. This week’s quotation tells us How to meet the evils of this age. It always amazes me that things Spurgeon wrote over 100 years ago apply so accurately to 21st Century evangelicals.

Do you know The Early Symptoms of Spiritual Danger? Writing for the Ligonier blog, Sinclair Ferguson discusses apostasy, using a passage in Hebrews 6 to explores how someone becomes an apostate.

In Christians and Coming Out Redux, John Ellis of adayinhiscourt uses personal experience to illustrate the world’s wholesale rejection of Christian values. If you have any doubt that non-Christians lack tolerance for Bible-believing Christians, I urge you to consider this article.

For years, I’ve wondered how progressives would respond when the Muslims they supported refused to support LBGTQIA concerns. Stephen McAlpine sees this unraveling of causes beginning, and writes about it in Secularism’s (Misplaced) Confidence. Maybe I’m not so crazy after all.

Michelle Lesley encourages us, using Scripture as authority, not to be Frightened by Freedom.

I appreciate the candor of Andrea Burke in The One Life Dream That Makes a Girl Blush, featured in For The Church. The post takes me back to my days as a single woman and the guilt I felt for wanting to be married.

Drawing from 1 Samuel 4:1-11, Elizabeth Prata of The End Time shows us that “The more things change, the more they stay the same” rings true. This Old Testament episode should sober us as we consider how we approach life.

It’s a Christian’s greatest fear.  And Mike Ratliff addresses that fear with his article in Possessing the Treasure entitled What is Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? If you genuinely love the Lord, you’ll find this short Bible Study wonderfully reassuring.

Let’s have a second one from Elizabeth Prata, shall we? “God Told Me:” About those whispers to the heart evaluates claims that God speaks to people personally. It distresses me that we still need instruction on this matter. Be sure to watch the videos by Gabe Hughes and Mike Abendroth that Elizabeth includes in her post.

SharaC, the purveyor of Into the Foolishness of God, challenges the popular notion that the Bible is muddy and therefore difficult to understand by writing Deconstructing Faith. While I disagree with her comments about doubt, her overall argument for the clarity of God’s Word makes this article essential reading. I wish more bloggers would stand this resolutely against efforts to dilute the Word!

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Praying For Your Pastor To Preach Clearly And Accurately

Praying WifeAs we close this series on praying for our pastors, let’s talk about his most important ministry (aside from his ministry to his wife and children). In order to do so, we need to turn again to Paul’s words to Timothy:

 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. ~~2 Timothy 4:1-5 (ESV)

Paul wrote this epistle from prison, acutely aware that he would soon be beheaded for proclaiming the Gospel. Except for personal requests, this passage contains his last instructions to the young pastor. For that reason, he began (in verse 1) by emphasizing the solemnity of Continue reading

Praying For Your Pastor To Counsel Biblically

Pray For Pastor

Sadly, I’ve belonged to churches that believed pastoral counseling could only go so far before referring someone to a professional counselor (meaning a counselor trained to use psychology). The acknowledgment that some problems stretch beyond a pastor’s paygrade seems humble until you realize that such actions call the sufficiency of Scripture into question.

Regular readers know I love 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (ESV)

Generally, I quote this passage to substantiate the sufficiency of Scripture, and doing so doesn’t wrench it out of context. But have you ever stopped to think that Paul wrote this epistle to Timothy, in part, in order to Continue reading

Praying For Your Pastor’s Friendships

Pray For PastorDon’t you cherish the friends God has  blessed you with in the body of Christ? Whether those friends attend the same local church with you, worship at a church you attended in the past or connect with you online, they encourage your growth in Christ. You need them and they need you! Nothing matures a Christian quite like fellowship.

Have you ever thought about the opportunities your pastor has for mutual friendships? Certainly, he spends time with the other elders in the church, and may even host a men’s Bible Study. But as the primary authority figure Continue reading

Praying For Your Pastor’s Family Life

Pray For Pastor

If your pastor is like mine, he probably has the sort of marriage that honors the Lord. He’s probably a devoted husband and an excellent father. And he’d better be! 1 Timothy 3:2-4 and Titus 1:6 mandate such qualities, which Ephesians 5:25-30 and Ephesians 6:4 flesh out. We must expect nothing less from the men who lead our churches.

Precisely because Scripture holds pastors (and elders) to their high standards, they need our prayers. After all, those of us in the pews aren’t perfect spouses or parents, are we? Doesn’t it stand to reason, that being the case, that our pastors also experience Continue reading

Praying For Your Pastor To Resist Temptation

Pray For PastorYour pastor, like mine, requires your prayers on a regular basis. He’s probably a godly man whose faithfulness and integrity serves as a model for everyone in the congregation, making it seem as if he’s a spiritual giant with no personal problems or needs. His willingness and availability to minister to each person in the church lend credence to the idea that he exists solely for our benefit. Thus, we often fail to understand that he has just as many physical and spiritual needs as we have.

This week, I plan to offer a few ideas on how we can pray for our pastors. By no means will I touch on every area in which these men need prayer support; I regret my own shortcomings in praying for the two men who shepherd the church I attend. Rather, I hope my posts will spark ideas, leading you to develop your own ways of praying for your pastor.

For me, the most difficult area of praying for my pastors has been Continue reading

Hidden In His Protection

This world isn’t friendly towards anyone who takes Christ or His Word seriously. And since Obergefell, the hostility has become a great deal more open. No wonder we struggle with feelings of vulnerability!

Thankfully, we serve a Savior Who loves us passionately and tenderly. However the world may harm us emotionally, financially or even physically, He lovingly keeps our souls under His protection, assuring us of abundant spiritual blessings. He calls us to take refuge in Him as we delight in the pleasures of His glory and holiness. What a comfort to be hidden in His protection for all eternity.

I have always loved the hymn that I’m posting today because it reminds me to take shelter in the Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps you also will find encouragement in its lyrics to trust Him as He hides your soul in the depths of His love.

 

 

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Saturday Sampler: March 17 — March 23

Five Easter Babies

Have you ever heard of Sign Chi Do? Since it’s different from most type of Eastern meditation, you might think Christians can practice it. C.T. Adams evaluates this possibility in Profile 23: Sign Chi Do, an article appearing in Faith Contender. I appreciate this information.

Maybe you’re not moving any time soon. But if you are, consider the advice John Ellis gives in Make Finding a Church a Priority in adayinhiscourt. He presents ideas I wish I’d implemented when I moved from California to Massachusetts.

The lady who blogs at Biblical Beginnings does an outstanding job of confronting a popular misinterpretation of a beloved parable that Christ told.  Twisted Tuesday — The Pearl of Great Price both demonstrates proper hermeneutics and challenges teachings on Christian self-esteem.

In Thy Word Is Truth, Erin Benziger again helps us reflect on the sufficiency of Scripture. We all need reminders of the power of Gods Word. Erin blogs at Do Not Be Surprised.

Quoting at length from a blog post she found on The Masters Seminary website, Amy Spreeman of Naomi’s  Table asks, Do you love the deceived? For those involved in discernment ministry, this question is imperative.

Throwback Thursday ~ 9 Ways NOT to Fight with Your Husband by Michelle Lesley makes me gulp a little because I’ve committed some of these infractions in my own marriage. May I learn to fight fairly, honoring both John and the Lord.

Here’s an interesting perspective on Biblical unity and separation by Mike Ratliff on his blog, Possessing the Treasure. Let’s be careful not to divide unnecessarily, but also not to fellowship with anyone who corrodes the Gospel. Mike gives very helpful guidelines on when and how to separate from those who disobey Gods Word.

I want to list this second post by Michelle Lesley, Feminist Infiltration and the Emasculation of Christian Men, because I’ve seen evangelicals capitulate to the world’s denigration of men. Michelle looks at this problem honestly through the lens of Scripture, offering a powerful and  badly needed corrective that would benefit men as well as women.

Although I haven’t vetted Marci Ferrell’s blog, Thankful Homemaker, I do recommend that you read Dealing with Controversy as a Christian. What a timely and thoughtful piece of writing!

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