Today's Scripture Passage

Isaiah 58-60

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  • Vicarious Intercession
    …having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus… —Hebrews 10:19Beware of thinking that intercession means bringing our own personal sympathies and concerns into the presence of God, and then demanding that He do whatever we ask. Our ability to approach God is due entirely to the vicarious, or substitutionary, identification of our […]
  • Read the Bible to Your Anxiety
    I created three labs teaching through Matthew 6:24–34 on anxiety. My objectives were both to understand how Jesus helps us overcome anxiety, but also to draw out six lessons for how to read the Bible for ourselves. With this short series, I have methodology, theology, and application in mind. Here are the six lessons I […]
  • God's Basic Design (Part 1 of 2)
    There’s a great deal of confusion today about a woman’s unique role in our culture. And there’s no better source for clarity than the Bible. On Truth For Life with Alistair Begg we’ll examine God’s Design for Women!

Living the Good News

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The Cross

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May I…

From the desk of the pastor:

Psalms 119:9-16-“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord;teach me your statutes! With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.”

 

As we contemplate and face the rigors of everyday life there is one constant that can guide, uphold, encourage and correct our way…God’s Word! As we enter this new year may our desire be that of the Psalmist…

  • May I with all my heart seek God
  • May I not wander from God
  • May I store God’s Word in my heart
  • May I not sin against God
  • May I declare God’s truth
  • May I meditate on God’s precepts
  • May I fix my eyes on God’s ways
  • May I delight in God’s statues
  • May I never forget your Word

“Oh, to have “the word of Christ” always dwelling inside of us;—in the memory, never forgotten; in the heart, always loved; in the understanding, really grasped; with all the powers and passions of the mind fully submitted to its control!” -Charles Spurgeon

Merry Christmas

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‘God with us’

From the desk of the pastor:

Hebrews 2:17-“Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

I am thankful that God, in eternity past, decided to send His only Son. Christ came and took on every aspect of humanity, except for the very thing that separates me from God and that is the sinful nature. Only God can produce a sinless sacrifice, through His Son, worthy of making atonement for me and everyone that puts their faith and trust in Him.

That is the reminder and message of Christmas. Don’t let the image of a baby in the manger fool you, that baby represents God incarnate; our Wonderful Counselor, our Mighty God, our Everlasting Father and our Prince of Peace. Jesus is fully capable of accomplishing all His promises and the all-wise plan of redemption.

May the joy of this truth excite the hearts of all believers across the globe and may it be the message of hope for those who are in need of salvation.

Thankful everyday!

Thanksgiving is a special day that our nation sets aside for being thankful and we truly have much to be thankful for. I appreciate the reminder of the apostle Paul in…

1 Thessalonians 5:18-“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Our thanksgiving to God demonstrates our acknowledgment of our reliance on Him. The Scriptures go on to remind me that:

-God ‘gives to all mankind life and breath and everything’

-His power is so great that ‘from him and through him and to him are all things’

-God’s great mercy ‘has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’

The freedom that I have because of Jesus Christ should compel me to give thanks for all things and at all times. So dear family and friends I thank the Lord for all of you and trust that today will echo throughout the other 364 days of the year! Happy Thanksgiving!

The greatness of God

From Spurgeon, Morning and Evening Devotions:

Isaiah 40:9a-“Get you up to a high mountain,”

Our knowledge of Christ is somewhat like climbing one of our Welsh mountains. When you are at the base you see but little: the mountain itself appears to be but one-half as high as it really is. Confined in a little valley, you discover scarcely anything but the rippling brooks as they descend into the stream at the foot of the mountain. Climb the first rising knoll, and the valley lengthens and widens beneath your feet. Go higher, and you see the country for four or five miles round, and you are delighted with the widening prospect. Mount still, and the scene enlarges; till at last, when you are on the summit, and look east, west, north, and south, you see almost all England lying before you. Yonder is a forest in some distant county, perhaps two hundred miles away, and here the sea, and there a shining river and the smoking chimneys of a manufacturing town, or the masts of the ships in a busy port. All these things please and delight you, and you say, “I could not have imagined that so much could be seen at this elevation.” Now, the Christian life is of the same order. When we first believe in Christ we see but little of Him. The higher we climb the more we discover of His beauties. But who has ever gained the summit? Who has known all the heights and depths of the love of Christ which passes knowledge? Paul, when grown old, sitting grey-haired, shivering in a dungeon in Rome, could say with greater emphasis than we can, “I know whom I have believed,” for each experience had been like the climbing of a hill, each trial had been like ascending another summit, and his death seemed like gaining the top of the mountain, from which he could see the whole of the faithfulness and the love of Him to whom he had committed his soul. Get thee up, dear friend, into the high mountain.

 

The Spirit of Prayer

The spirit of prayer makes us so intimate with God that we scarcely pass through an experience before we speak to Him about it, either in supplication, in sighing, in pouring out our woes before Him, in fervent requests, or in thanksgiving and adoration. –O. Hallesby

Walking with God…

From the desk of Pastor Hugh Diggins, Reformed Bible Church, West Rutland, Vermont:

“And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” Genesis 5:24

This Verse is a short and distinct commentary on a life well worth living. Enoch was a man who knew the best that life on earth has to offer is found when you walk with God. There are numerous passages that teach us how to walk. Here are a few:

“…walk in newness of life…” (Romans 6:4)

“…walk by faith, not by sight…” (II Corinthians 5:7)

“…walk by the Spirit…” (Galatians 5:16)

“…walk in love…” (Ephesians 5:2)

“…walk as children of light…” (Ephesians 5:8)

“…walk in a manner worthy of the Lord…” (Colossians 1:10)

“…walk and please God…” (I Thessalonians 4:1)

“…walk according to His commandments…” (II John 6)

When we take this composite list and apply them we will, as Enoch did, be walking with God in a way that brings us into an extreme closeness with Him. Our lives will take on a new and richer dimension that will carry us through the end of our days when God takes us home to forever be with him. It is amazing how quickly the “things of earth grow strangely dim” when we’re walking with God. Equally amazing is the vibrant life that accompanies such a walk.

Christians sometimes talk about and pray for revival, a “Great Awakening” as took place in our country many years ago. Interestingly Enoch didn’t need a special “re-viving”* because each day he experienced “viving”* that kept him alert and alive and excited and overwhelmed with the special presence of God. As one old preacher said, “Real revival is simply daily living the New Testament life”.

Do you need a little spiritual adrenaline? Need some “viving”? Don’t look for the next revival meeting in your neighborhood, look a little closer, look in the Word and look in your heart and look at your life. If the three are in accord and you set out today to walk with God you’ll experience revival as it is meant to be.

(* the words “viving” and “re-viving” were coined by a preacher from the past to illustrate a similar point)

God our hiding place...

From the desk of Pastor Hugh Diggins, Reformed Bible Church, West Rutland, Vermont:

“You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah” Psalm 32:7

Most if not all of us remember playing hide and seek as children. We did our best to find a place where we hoped whoever “It” was would not find us. In this morning’s Verse we are reminded God is, for the Christian, a special place to hide. We read elsewhere He holds us in His hands and covers us under His wings. He is a Strong Fortress, an impenetrable Refuge and an unmovable Rock upon which we can stand. Hiding in Him is the safest and securest place any of us can be. There we are preserved and protected from whatever trouble may come our way. What makes this so exciting is when you consider the attributes of God such as His perfect wisdom, power and grace we know trouble may be looking for us and at times find us but we’re never left alone. We may be vulnerable but not unprotected.

What adds a special dimension to God being our hiding place and takes us beyond protection and preservation is the accompanying symphony of peace that surrounds us in His presence. “Songs of deliverance” echo and reverberate around us as we hide in safety from the distractions that fill the air with fearful noises. Words of assurance such as “I will never leave you nor forsake you” and “I never change” and “I am the Good Shepherd” are music to our ears as we rest in safety.

As always there is more to consider, another blessed truth to encourage our hearts. We are never far from this “hiding place”. It is as near as a prayer whispered quietly or a shout sounded in desperation. Reaching out to God is the door that opens to the “hiding place” where trouble cannot get to us and within are the delightful, restful, peaceful and ever so comforting songs of deliverance sung by our King, the great Deliverer and Rescuer of all who come to Him seeking safety. Does trouble lurk in the coming hours? None of us know. But we do know this, “God, you are our hiding place, You preserve us from trouble. You surround us with songs of deliverance. Selah (Pause and meditate on this)”