April 10, 2013

Words of Wisdom

"When old truths are attacked with new weapons, they must be vindicated by new defenses, adapted to meet the most recent forms of error;..."
 - James Buchanan, The Doctrine of Justification

April 9, 2013

Where does Psalm 110 fit into your devotional life?

The Psalms are written in the key of 'worship' for believers everywhere. The 23rd Psalm holds a place of prominence amongst North American evangelicals, understandably so. It's one of my favorites as well, along with Psalm 29.

After a recent lesson in Sunday School, I am left wondering why Psalm 110 doesn't take a more prominent position in our devotional lives. Why? Psalm 110 is a Messianic Psalm with several familiar references to the Savior... but this alone is not what lifts Psalm 110 above its brothers.  Rather, Psalm 110 is the Psalm most-often quoted in the New Testament. Stop and think about that. Of all the Psalms to draw from, Psalm 110 is dipped into most often by the writers of the New Testament.

Pause and consider where this Psalm should fit in your personal devotions.

Psalm 110
English Standard Version (ESV)

A Psalm of David.

The Lord says to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.”

The Lord sends forth from Zion
your mighty scepter.
Rule in the midst of your enemies!
Your people will offer themselves freely
on the day of your power,
in holy garments;
from the womb of the morning,
the dew of your youth will be yours.

The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind,
“You are a priest forever
after the order of Melchizedek.”

The Lord is at your right hand;
he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
He will execute judgment among the nations,
filling them with corpses;
he will shatter chiefs
over the wide earth.
He will drink from the brook by the way;
therefore he will lift up his head.

April 8, 2013

Deo Volente, New Features Coming Soon

Dear friends,

God willing, you will be seeing video blog entries beginning later this month. I have been blessed with an opportunity to get some new {to me} technology that gives me the ability to begin vlogging. Yes, I know. People have been doing that for years, so this isn't innovative by any stretch of the imagination.

Nevertheless, I am pretty excited about the possibilities, and feel more energized and eager about this than I expected. It has come about primarily through my home church, First Evangelical Free Church. The dear brothers and sisters there are so encouraging to me, both as friends on a personal level and corporately as a body of believers who consistently affirm my ministry among them as a lay-minister, teacher, theologian, and sometime elder in their service.

So I am pretty stoked about the ministry opportunities, and pray that, Deo Volente (God willing), I will be faithful in proclaiming the glory and grace of our Triune God.

Soli Deo Gloria

April 7, 2013

Words of Wisdom

God is worthy.

    Of love.

    Of adoration.



He calls you and me to believe His word about His Son.

    To trust.

    To obey.



Commit your life, your hope, your very soul to His tender, sure care. Abandon the prison of sin and death to follow the Author of life forever.

Repent and believe.

April 6, 2013

Psalm 29

A Psalm of David.

Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.

      The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over many waters.
      The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
      The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.
      The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.
      The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
      The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare, and in his temple all cry, "Glory!"

The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.

May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace!
(Psalms 29   ESV)

Propitiation and Expiation

"The two concepts (propitiation and expiation) are really very different. Propitiation means the turning away of anger; expiation is rather the making amends for a wrong. Propitiation is a personal word; one propitiates a person. Expiation is an impersonal word; one expiates a sin or a crime."

  -- The Atonement, Leon Morris

April 5, 2013

The Rightness of Trouble

Sometimes the brokenness of this fallen world pours into your life like a flood that washes away every familiar landmark, drowns every self-sufficient anchor point under the roiling waters, and leaves you gasping for air as it washes over your head and pulls you ever downward. When the curse of sin crashes  and crushes you, prayer is not a problem. The Lord is our refuge, calling us home through the clamoring of the Spirit's warnings. Our heart sees the Son of Man lifted up and we cry out to Him for help in our trouble, in our disaster, in our darkness, in our pain. Trouble is the servant of God, a teacher for the saints, helping us remember how far we've fallen, how high our Triune God is, and how willing God is to help us in our trouble.

April 4, 2013

More Testimony to the Depths of Human Depravity

I am left in disbelief at the testimony of a Planned Parenthood representative, and a separate publication by two ethicists concerning human babies.  This written editorial documents the tragic thinking of humanism  taken to its logical conclusion. To be clear, there is no such an operation as 'post-birth abortion'. That is a sanitized and unjustifiable re-titling of infanticide, plain and simple.

Read the editorial here.

The Problem of Forgiveness

"God deserves worship, and we deserve his wrath. Our greatest need is to be right with God, and the insurmountable obstacle is our sin. 'Where God's wrath is no longer a problem, Christ's cross is no longer a solution.' So we must be clear on what the problem is for sinners. The one from whom we need pardon is the one whom we have offended. We have spat on God's infinitely precious name with our wickedness. We have insulted his majesty and belittled his worth. We desperately need forgiveness for our sins, cleansing for our disobedience. Granting forgiveness, though, is no cheap act by God."

     -- The Gospel is for Christians, Mitchell Chase

April 3, 2013

Words of Wisdom

"Sin was so odious and detestable in the presence of our heavenly Father, that by no other sacrifice could the same be purged, except by the blood and death of the only innocent Son of God."
 -- John Knox, cited in Bonar's Words Old & New

April 2, 2013

Jesus' Inefficient Ministry

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, nicknamed 'sons of thunder' by Jesus himself, were models of the inefficiency of Jesus' ministry.  Christ called them into his inner circle to witness many of his miracles in person, miracles that the other disciples did not get to see. He brought them along with Peter to the mount of transfiguration, where they were given a foretaste, an appetizer of heaven displayed in Jesus' glory revealed. He brought them into the inner room to witness him raising a little girl from the dead. These are a couple of amazing examples where Jesus involved them in his ministry of sovereign miracles.

Yet, when we turn to James specifically, what role does Jimmy Thunder play in the early church?  He is the first martyr drawn home from the twelve, dying by the sword early in the book of Acts.  He didn't write of his intimate experiences with Jesus. He didn't leave a written account of the refulgent glory of Jesus on the mount, or of Jesus' precious tenderness as he raised the little girl with a gentle call and a helping hand.  No, instead of Jesus selecting the ones he knew would bear the most fruit, write accounts of their treasured Lord, and testify before the watching world, he devoted time to a man who would only live for a few weeks past the cross. 

What of us? Do we seek to make 'strategic decisions' on who we will disciple, aiming for optimized time invested  and potential impact from that individual over the long-haul? Jesus had a wonderfully inefficient ministry with James, son of Zebedee, martyr  of the church.

April 1, 2013

Written On a Tablet of Silicon

I made the decision last week to purchase a tablet computer. After consulting my resident 16-year-old hacker, I settled on a brand and model based on his compelling reasons. I supplemented the tablet with a compact bluetooth keyboard, wondering if the combination would enable me to write more actively than my obviously reluctant authorship.  I think it has. I was able to convert several years of notes into draft posts for the blog, giving a body to ideas so far only captured in germ form. And here I am, authoring this update as well on the same tablet.

Life remains very busy, with several commitments at my home church, including: a 12-week introduction to New Testament Greek (halfway through as I speak...   er.... write), co-teaching our mid-week youth group, teaching adult Sunday School (current series is a foray into biblical theology based on Walter Kaiser's Messiah in the Old Testament), and a devotional study with my pastor on Bruce Ware's book of theological reflections on the humanity of Christ. I can think of few times in my life when I was this busy. Of course, there are the usual commitments to spouse, children, and parents that are such a great joy to serve. All that said, I am very thankful to the Lord for my health and well-being and these many opportunities to impact others for King Jesus.

As time passes we will all be able to see if this technology truly is revolutionary for my writing... or not.  The proof will be in the posting.  Here's hoping to seeing you much more frequently in the coming weeks.