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Archive for the 'Gospel' Category

God’s gifts never stop

Posted on December 27th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Gospel

The space under the tree is empty. The presents have been opened. Christmas day is done. I remember as a child on these first days after Christmas thinking that next Christmas was more than a life-time away.. I remember being sad that there were no more gifts to open. As I look back on those thoughts I am amazed at how quickly gratitude was replaced with self-centered longing for more stuff. Not pleasant thoughts! Now as adult, I find, I really haven’t changed all that much. God’s goodness to me.. read more

The manger to the cross

Posted on December 21st, 2017 · Posted in Culture, Gospel, Worldview

God’s first priority is not to make you and me happy. What impresses us is not what impresses God. Perhaps nothing demonstrates this more clearly than the incarnate life of his Son, Jesus. Christ’s birth was that of a peasant and his death was that of a criminal. He was born in the company of animals in a stable. He died in the company of thieves on a cross stained with his blood. The political leaders of his country tried to murder him as a baby. But it was the.. read more

Your last Christmas

Posted on December 19th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Gospel, Holidays, Worldview

What if you knew that this Christmas would be your last one on earth? Would it make a difference in how you celebrated, in the gifts that you give, and in the meaning of the day? Obviously, the answer would be yes. But how would it play out in your life? Of course, you can look at things from a statistical perspective and conclude that this will probably not be your last Christmas. But the truth is that the length of our lives is not determined by statistical probabilities. The.. read more

Are you Santa’s helper?

Posted on December 17th, 2017 · Posted in Culture, Gospel

Your children know everything about you. They see when you are sleeping, they know when you have been good or bad, they know when you pout and when you shout. Your kids know all of this without your ever having to say a word. When you stumble and ask God for help — they learn. When you stumble and snap or make excuses — they learn from that, too. If you value your relationship with God above all else, your children will know that as well. What does this have.. read more

Joy to the World — He Rules With Truth and Grace

Posted on December 15th, 2017 · Posted in Culture, Gospel, Holidays, Worldview

Joy to the World: A Biblical Worldview A Four-Part Series Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Part 4: He Rules With Truth and Grace Verse four of “Joy to the World” completes the biblical worldview contained in this Christmas hymn. This last verse is a dynamic testimony to the power of the gospel. The King who was anticipated in the first verse, celebrated for his rule in the second verse, and viewed as the Savior of this sin-cursed world in third, now is depicted as.. read more

Joy to the World — Far as the Curse Is Found

Posted on December 13th, 2017 · Posted in Culture, Gospel, Holidays, Worldview

Joy to the World: A Biblical Worldview A Four-Part Series Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Part 3: Far As the Curse Is Found “Joy to the World” is a Christmas carol that proclaims a biblical worldview. This is the third post on Isaac Watts’ famous hymn which is based on Psalm 98. The lyrics of this hymn reflect a biblical worldview, a worldview that brings honor to God in all that we do. The first part of this worldview has to do with the.. read more

Joy to the World — The Savior reigns!

Posted on December 11th, 2017 · Posted in Gospel, Holidays, Worldview

Joy to the World: A Biblical Worldview A Four-Part Series Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Part 2: The Savior Reigns! The second verse of “Joy to the World” builds on the theme of the first verse, where Isaac Watts anticipates the coming king. Now he exults in the current reign of Christ. This is the next foundation stone in constructing a biblical worldview based on this hymn. This truth is simple, yet profound – if Jesus is reigning, it is a good thing. Here.. read more

A child is born

Posted on December 10th, 2017 · Posted in Authority, Gospel, Holidays

Things were falling apart in Israel. The worship of God had been exchanged for the worship of convenience. The truth of God was exchanged for the lies of the pleasures of the flesh. The prophets of the Lord were exchanged for the prophets of Baal. The practice of purity was exchanged for debauchery and lewdness. The word of God was exchanged for human desires. Sound familiar? God’s message to Israel 2,800 years ago is the same for you today. As Psalm 2 says, The Lord laughs at those who think.. read more

Joy to the World: A Biblical Worldview

Posted on December 9th, 2017 · Posted in Gospel, Holidays, Worldview

Joy to the World: A Biblical Worldview A Four-Part Series Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Part 1: Let Earth Receive Her King! Worldview can be an intimidating topic to discuss, let alone teach to your children. Isaac Watts has done the church a huge favor in putting a biblical worldview in the form of a song—the Christmas Carol, “Joy to the World.” In this post and in 3 upcoming posts we will look at each of the hymn’s four verses and see how they combine.. read more

Guest Post: Jesus Tore the Curtain — Brian G. Hedges

Posted on December 8th, 2017 · Posted in Bible, Gospel

On the Cross, Jesus Tore the Curtain: Reconciliation Jesus took our place, facing the darkness of God’s judgment and wrath against our sins. Then, “Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom” (Mark 15:37–38) The Jerusalem temple had two veils—one that separated the rest of the temple from the Holy of Holies, the place where God’s presence dwelled, and another that separated the Court of Israel from the Court of Women and the Court of.. read more

Why “Merry Christmas” is Important

Posted on December 6th, 2017 · Posted in Gospel, Holidays

“Merry Christmas” proclaims the joy of Christ’s birth. This is not just a pleasant remembrance or an occasion for the giving of gifts. The birth of Christ literally means healing and hope for our planet, (Psalm 98; Romans 8) and the people that God rescues by his grace. And the Christmas Proclamation, or Merry Christmas, was heralded throughout the universe; it was and is a cosmic event! (Ephesians 3:10) The birth of Jesus was proclaimed by angels erupting into the night sky above the fields of Bethlehem. The Roman Press.. read more

Nourishing your children with Christ

Posted on November 30th, 2017 · Posted in Gospel, Parenting

The Holy Spirit instructs you to teach the person of Jesus to your children. One reason our children turn from the church and our parental instruction is that we teach them about Christ and Christianity without teaching them to learn, to know, the person Jesus Christ. Look closely with me at Ephesians 6:4: Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Fathers are commanded not provoke their children to anger. This rules out severe discipline, harsh or arbitrary.. read more

How thankful are you for the gospel?

Posted on November 25th, 2017 · Posted in Culture, Gospel

Psalm 72 declares that God alone does wondrous things. How easily this truth is discarded! Since the Fall, the only hope of mankind has been the gospel and the gospel alone. Ultimately, the reason that you have electric light instead of candlelight is the gospel. The reason someone lets you into the next traffic lane instead of running you off the road is the gospel. The reason you can buy food instead of having to kill others for it is the gospel. Sound strange or naïve? Take a moment to.. read more

Guest Post: The Spoils of War — Brian G. Hedges

Posted on November 17th, 2017 · Posted in Gospel

“And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil.” (Luke 4:1) The good news in the story of Jesus’ temptation is that Jesus obeyed God and defeated temptation at every point where Israel, and Adam, and you and I have failed! Jesus was tempted as our brother, captain, and king. Adam, our first representative, was tempted in paradise and failed. Jesus, the second Adam and our final representative, was tempted in.. read more

500 years ago

Posted on October 31st, 2017 · Posted in Gospel

500 years ago today a man nailed his beliefs about God’s grace on a church door. There was no one there to record the scene of a lone churchman with his hammer and papers with their phone. There were no posts to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. No one blogged about the event. The 24/7 news channels did not begin to speculate on what difference it would make if people actually believed the radical ideas that Luther posted and what the response of the church might be. Yet somehow, this single.. read more

Harvey has nothing to do with Mother Nature!

Posted on August 25th, 2017 · Posted in Gospel, World View

A few days ago a tropical storm weakened as it approached the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. But when the system reemerged into the Gulf of Mexico it began to move towards the coast of Texas and grew quickly into a powerful category 4 hurricane named Harvey. Do not allow the public media to deceive you into thinking that mythical Mother Nature birthed Harvey. This storm is not merely the random result of an intense area of low pressure coincidentally interacting with 2 high pressure centers that will potentially result.. read more

Repost: The Manipulation Game

Posted on June 9th, 2017 · Posted in Gospel, Parenting

Jesus delivers a subtle warning in the Sermon on the Mount about the danger of manipulation. Look at Luke 6:32-33: “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that…” If you do good to get something good you are involved in manipulation. So, if your parental discipline is primarily designed to make things at home go more.. read more

Why Thirteen Reasons Why, Season 2

Posted on May 10th, 2017 · Posted in Culture, Gospel, Teenagers

Hannah Baker has thirteen reasons why she ended her life. She describes them in moving, vivid detail on thirteen cassette tapes, one for each reason. Netflix has created a video series based on the book, Thirteen Reasons Why. It is the fictional story of Hannah Baker. The book is written in classic existential style. Existentialism, as a genre, focuses on the moment, without regard to the relevance of God. The Netflix series, in terms of viewing audience was a success. So it is no surprise that Netflix just announced there.. read more

Obedience: a response to grace

Posted on May 8th, 2017 · Posted in Gospel, Parenting

Obedience is not something that can be used to obtain grace. Rather, obedience is a response to grace. Just as I cannot make myself more acceptable to God by my obedience, neither do I want my children to think that I will be more accepting of them because of their obedience. Your children must not think that you will be more accepting of them just because they obey you. I know, saying it like this seems awkward. So much of your life is about training and teaching God’s truth.  But.. read more

Teach your kids to love God

Posted on April 18th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Gospel

Whether you read Deuteronomy, Matthew or Colossians, the message is the same: the first thing that God requires is that he is to be loved. Too often, when it comes to raising children, loving God is tacked on as an after thought to obedience. The thought process may run like this: “I can’t force my children to love God, so I will teach them to obey, because I can require that.” Teaching obedience appears to be a more doable task than teaching the love of God. After all, reaching the.. read more