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Archive for the month “April, 2014”

God Moves In A Mysterious Way

Live Life! God's way

Hymn #510 (Redemption Songs) speaks truth into our hearts during these hours of waiting. God’s ways are mysterious, yet the psalmist claims, “The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me.” Lord, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the…

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Raised for Our Justification (Sermon Audio)

Via Emmaus

But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
– Romans 4:23-25 –

On Resurrection Sunday I preached a message on Romans 4:23-25. I asked the question: What does the resurrection of Jesus Christ mean? And I showed from Romans 4:25 how Christ’s resurrection served to justify his people. In four points, I argued

  1. Justification comes from belief in God’s word, not our personal fancies
  2. Justification comes from belief in the God of history, not merely belief in historical facts
  3. Justification comes from belief in the Gospel, not our works
  4. Justification comes from Christ himself

On this last point, I aimed to show Christ died and rose as public person…

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Thou Shepherd of Israel, and Mine

Live Life! God's way

My parents kept sheep for many years on our farm in Northeastern Ontario. There were various ‘seasons’ in caring for sheep and helping them I learned a few valuable lessons. Sheep require care – they need someone to look after them, perhaps more so than many other farm animals.

Today’s hymn, using this theme of shepherding, is built on reflections of God’s care. If the LORD is my shepherd, I’m well cared for as His sheep.

Thou Shepherd of Israel, and mine,
The joy and desire of my heart,
For closer communion I pine,
I long to reside where Thou art.

The pasture I languish to find,
Where all who their Shepherd obey,
Are fed on His bosom reclined,
And screened from the heat of the day.

Ah, show me that happiest place,
That place of Thy people’s abode,
Where saints in an ecstasy gaze,
And hang on a crucified…

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There Are Worse Things Than Hiding Easter Eggs

Polemics Report

I’m not worried about churches that hide Easter eggs for kids once a year – I’m worried about churches that hide the Gospel from people every week. – Clayton Pruett

Dr. Jack Graham’s Prestonwood Baptist Church is having their annual Easter Egg Drop – in which they dump thousands of eggs out of a helicopter for an egg hunt at their Dallas campus. Graham, a two time president of the SBC and big fan of Beth Moore and Word-Faith, Hillsong pastors Brian Houston and Christine Caine, is a proven #DOWNGRADE specialist and so a helicopter egg drop (a Stephen Furtick specialty) at Graham’s church seems hardly newsworthy. Prestonwood’s press announcements about the egg drop, devoid of Christ altogether, narrowly avoided becoming the focus of Friday’s Daily #DOWNGRADE segment.

But the words of Clayton Pruett, circulating in social media, stung me back into focus and put things into perspective.

story

Clayton…

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The Centrality of Preaching

Reformed Baptist Fellowship

By Pastor Tom Lyon of Providence Reformed Baptist Church of University Place,Washington

Preaching has fallen on hard times. The great Protestant Reformer, John Calvin, wrote: “At the present day there are many who are well-nigh sickened by the very name of preaching, because there are so many stupid, ignorant men who blurt out their worthless brain waves from the pulpit.” That was 450 years ago! Today not only has preaching been decentralized, but the greater part of what is called “preaching” no longer deserves to be at the center. This has created a vacuum and few have raised a voice while a Pandora’s Box of replacements has rushed in to fill the void.”

A.W. Tozer said of the danger: “One of the most popular current errors, and the one out of which springs most of the noisy, blustering religious activity in evangelical circles, is the notion that as times change…

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“Hosanna”–A Palm Sunday Poem

Unto Him

Today is Palm Sunday. Reflecting on the language used in Matthew 21, Mark 11, and Luke 19 about that event, here’s a poem called “Hosanna.”

“Hosanna”
April 13, 2014
Palm Sunday

“In the village,” said the Savior,
“Find a donkey that is tied,
On which no one else has sat.
Bring it so that I may ride.”

To the Master came the donkey,
Guided by the two he sent.
And they threw their cloaks upon it
Right before he climbed and went.

Toward Jerusalem he journeyed,
As the crowds were laying palms,
Shouting “Hosanna! Blessed is he
Who in the name of Yahweh comes!”

Then Pharisees commanded Jesus,
“Teacher, stop these words they shout!”
But Jesus said, “If they were silent,
Rocks themselves would still cry out.”

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Hercules Collins on Ministers’ Garb and Powdered Hair

The Sands of Time

Live Life! God's way

Here is the full version of this hymn written by Mrs. A. Cousin. John Bunyan in his ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ speaks of heading to Immanuel’s Land, more commonly known as heaven. What joys await those who know their Saviour!

The sands of time are sinking, the dawn of Heaven breaks;
The summer morn I’ve sighed for—the fair, sweet morn awakes:
Dark, dark hath been the midnight, but dayspring is at hand,
And glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

O Christ, He is the fountain, the deep, sweet well of love!
The streams of earth I’ve tasted more deep I’ll drink above:
There to an ocean fullness His mercy doth expand,
And glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

Oh! Well it is forever, Oh! well forevermore,
My nest hung in no forest of all this death doomed shore:
Yea, let the vain world vanish, as from the ship the strand,
While glory—glory…

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Theological Anemia. Part I

Polemics Report

Theology has fallen on bad times. In one sense, it always has. The image of the guy with an insanely long beard, surrounded by books, looking like the guy in the photo above, is just not appealing to us. It’s too cerebral, too based on the brain, too intellectual. “Christianity is not intellectual, it’s faith, the heart, the soul” – according to a preacher friend of my dad’s. That attitude is pervasive in evangelical Christianity.

For instance, I recently went with my Dad to go and visit a church. Now, whenever I go somewhere with Dad and people see this burly guy right next to him, they usually think I’m one of his elders and so my Dad will point out that I’m actually his son. After the service, the pastor of the church, who used to pastor in the same denomination as my Dad when we lived in Germany, came…

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