I doubt that my struggles with sin are unique. There have been far too many times that I’ve told God I wanted out — I wanted to live on my terms rather than His. The fool’s gold of the world seemed so much more attractive than the eternal promises of His kingdom.
Praise God that His Holy Spirit has sealed me for salvation! The Lord, being exceedingly gracious, keeps reminding me of His goodness. I remember that only He has the words of eternal life.
How I praise Him for faithfully keeping me for Himself! I know that, apart from His goodness, I certainly would have forsaken Him years ago, so I praise Him for not allowing me to leave Him. And, with tremendous joy, I look forward to an eternity of worshiping Him.
So often, we take it for granted, don’t we? Yes, yes, we agree with confident nods of our heads, Jesus died to save us from sin. So, clutching our little Get Out Of Hell cards, we file away our blessed assurance and carry on with our lives.
But every now and again, the Holy Spirit reminds us of how desperately lost we were until He revealed Christ to us. He reminds us of the amazing love that caused the Second Person of the Trinity to leave His glory so that He could shed His blood in payment for our sin. He reminds us of our enslavement to sin before He shattered our chains and allowed us to follow Him.
When we remember, how can we take His amazing love for granted?
Cessationists often get accused of having nothing beyond an intellectual faith. Our accusers suppose that, because we distrust personal experiences in favor of the Bible, we implicitly deny God’s activity in our lives.
Their assumption couldn’t be further from the truth! I’ll address this topic myself next week, but in the meantime I implore you to find an hour to watch Phil Johnson’s YouTube video on providence. It answered some of my questions, so perhaps it will lay some groundwork for ensuing discussions.
When you attend high school reunions, weddings, funerals or other social events, people invariably ask about your accomplishments. Who did you marry? What career did you choose? Where are you sending your kids for college? Where do you spend vacations?
And don’t you love answering that your husband is a prestigious man? Or that your employer absolutely depends on you? Or that your kids each chose well-known universities and consistently make the dean’s list? Or that you’ve been abroad just recently and happen to have pictures on your iPhone.
We love boasting about ourselves!
But as Christians, we should boast only in Jesus Christ and what He has done to save wretches like us. His love should both puzzle us and fill us with overwhelming joy! If we must boast, let us boast in what He has done for us.
Donning the victim mentality that characterizes the LBGTQ movement, keynote speaker Nate Collins told last weekend’s Revoice Conference that he’s tired. Collins holds a PhD from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is in a “mixed orientation” marriage and is the founder of Revoice. He labels himself a gay Christian.
Marin County California has such beautiful areas to enjoy natural creation! From the beaches edging Point Reyes National Seashore to the breathtaking views from the summit of Mount Tamalpias, the splendor of God’s creation reflects His glory.
Downtown Boston has areas of natural beauty as well in its cultivated gardens and lazy Harbor Walk. The Public Garden and Rose Kennedy Greenway boast ever changing varieties of flowers, while points along the harbor draw the eye to the vastness and strength of the ocean.
All these wonders proclaim the greatness of God. Yet nature only begins to tell the story. As we approach the Gospel, and as we anticipate Christ’s return and the new heavens and new earth of His kingdom, we better grasp an understanding of how absolutely magnificent He truly is!
You read that correctly. God created us with the ability to feel guilt so that we would know the discomfort of violating His perfect standards. He then uses that guilt to show us how desperately we need a Savior.
Even after we become Christians, we often feel guilt when we sin. Again, these feelings can lead us to confession and repentance, thus restoring our fellowship with the Father. So in that sense, we can also praise Him for the capacity to feel guilty. Yes, dear sisters in Christ, guilt can be a wonderful thing!
But guilt can also be a dastardly thing. It can blind us to God’s grace, convincing us that we’ve abused His mercy once too often. It turns our focus away from the sufficiency of Christ’s work on the cross, pulling us back to the same old lie that our salvation ultimately depends on us.
It’s reassuring,therefore, to look back to Jesus, remembering that His blood completely atoned for our sins if we are believers. We can shake off guilty fears that try to condemn us. Hallelujah!