Soldiers, Athletes, Farmers, Web Designers & Other Workers for the Kingdom

Following Christ is decidedly not easy. It involves a lot of hard work. That much seems clear from the variety of word pictures Paul uses in 2 Tim. 2:1-15 to motivate his pastoral charge, Timothy. Every one of them - soldiers, athletes, farmers, workers of all kinds - engages in strenuous activity to accomplish his objectives. Terry Johnson, in this month's edition of Tabletalk Magazine, observes: Success in these endeavours requires aggressive, focused, energetic involvement. Each may, and should, pray to God for help, for wisdom, and for strength. God's strength is ...

Read More


Why Pray for Power?

We have biblical precedent to pray for God's power in our lives. For example, Paul prays this way for the Ephesians in 3:16 - that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being. The question remains why? The answer comes in v. 17 - so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. The key to understanding what Paul means by this purpose lies within the word dwell. D. A. Carson, in his book A Call to Spiritual Reformation, observes: The verb rendered "to dwell" is a strong one. Paul's hope ...

Read More


What's a Church to Do with So Many Support Requests?

Most of us have had numerous “asks” in recent months with several folks from our church heading for the mission field in one direction or another. Truthfully, there are more to come. We’ve got "asks" from new candidates for the mission field as well as already deployed servants whose support has deteriorated with the economy. The demand has the potential to strain relationships in our midst in one way or another.  Here’s what we all can do when an “ask” comes our way to keep the process redemptive as opposed to divisive:  Welcome the request as a possible ...

Read More


Grudem Systematic Download

Someone tipped me off earlier today that Barnes & Noble has Wayne Grudem's excellent one-volume systematic theology available for download right now for $14.99. You can order it by clicking on here. If you have yet to invest in a resource of this kind, I highly recommend you start here.

Read More


J. C. Ryle on Heb. 11:24-26

I neglected to mention a quote by Bishop Ryle regarding Moses and his astonishing choices in this morning's sermon text. Wonder not that he chose affliction, a despised people, and reproach. He beheld things below the surface. He saw with the eye of faith affliction lasting but for a moment, reproach rolled away, and ending in everlasting honour, and the despised people of God reigning as kings with Christ in glory. On this International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church we are reminded that many of our brothers and sisters around the world in 2009 must make similar ...

Read More


Ten Ways To Think Rightly About Murderous Rampages

First Fort Hood in Texas, now Gateway Center in Orlando. Back to back. Crazy men lock and load and blow folks away - the last episode striking far too close to home, right in our own back yard. How are we to think in light of all we feel? I ask the question in light of Jesus' response to certain horrific tragedies in His day in Luke 13:1-5. When informed about Pilate's murderous rampage in mingling the blood of Galileans with their sacrifices, Jesus asked, "Do you think." It matters greatly what and how we think in the face of such things. Thoughts give way to feelings ...

Read More


A Nasty Trick

More like a dreadful scare actually. I thought I had oral cancer again. Two months ago a sore developed in my mouth on the same side where tongue cancer hit four years ago. After it didn't go away for two weeks, I played it safe and made an appointment with my ENT to check it out. This week I saw him for the third time. No sign of the thing anywhere.  Your mouth played a nasty trick on you, he said. We're not sure what it was. I might have accidentally bit my cheek. It could have been a canker sore. Turns out after radiation treatment of an area in the mouth, sores ...

Read More


Another IDOP for the Persecuted Church

As with every year, this Sunday we will observe the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. All 9:30 Hour classes Middle School and above are cancelled for a prayer meeting in the fellowship hall on Nov. 8 for our brothers and sisters in chains. Here is this year’s world watch list of the ten worst countries in the world for persecuting Christians. This comes from Open Door’s website. This year’s number one on the World Watch List is no stranger: North Korea has topped the list for seven years in a row. There is no other country in the world where ...

Read More


What True Practical Holiness Is

In chapter three of J. C. Ryle's Holiness he offers these twelve marks of true and practical holiness in the believer. Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture. A holy man will endeavour to shun every known sin, and to keep every known commandment. A holy man will strive to be like our Lord Jesus Christ. A holy man will follow after meekness, longsuffering, gentleness, patience, kind tempers, government of his tongue. A holy man will follow after temperance and self-denial. A holy man will follow ...

Read More


An Acts 9:31 Birthday Wish/Prayer for OGC

Our church turned 18 on Sunday. Thanks be to God. We sang Happy Birthday to Us the previous Sunday night. Different, but sweet. This is my personal birthday wish/prayer for our church. My hope is you will join in making it with me. It comes from Acts 9:31. So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied. By peace Luke means rest from persecution. The previous chapters record the hits taken by the fledgling church throughout Palestine in the ...

Read More