The Apostle John prays for his church: Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. - 3 John 2 John Trapp, an Anglican Bible commentator and pastor in the 1600s, explains what it means for our souls to … Continue reading Is Your Soul Prospering?
In John's narrative of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, a gnawing statement surfaces not once, twice, but three times. "Jesus, if you’d been here, this would not have happened!" Couldn’t Jesus have prevented the death of his friend, Lazarus? The neighbors mumble: “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have … Continue reading Overcoming the Violent Tyranny of Death – John 11:17-44
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. Only those who have first tasted peace with God at the cross of Christ can become peacemakers. - James M. Boice The peace intended is not merely that of political and economic stability, as in the Greco-Roman world, but peace in the … Continue reading Reflections on Blessed Are the Peacemakers
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3) The sermon on the Mount describes what human life and human community looks like when they come under the gracious rule of King Jesus… Still today the indispensable condition of receiving the kingdom of God is to acknowledge our spiritual poverty… Thus, … Continue reading Reflections on “The Poor in Spirit”
The Lord gladly answers us when we call out to Him in our distress (Psalm 120) The Lord exercises His watchcare over us when we face physical and spiritual dangers (Psalm 121). The Lord is worthy of our thankful praise for He extends peace to us (Psalm 122). The enthroned God of heaven delights to … Continue reading Psalms of Ascent – What do they teach us about our Lord?
Here are three practical implications from the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. A. DANGER: Treasuring the temporal blinds us to the eternal. Money and wealth blind us. We see this danger of wealth in the life of the rich man. He was not sent to hell because of his wealth, he was sent to … Continue reading Treasuring the Temporal or the Eternal – Luke 16:19-31
Prayer to prepare your heart based on Psalm 46: Lord God, our refuge and strength, when the restless powers of this world and the waters of hell rise up against your holy city, watch over it and keep it safe. By the river that flows from the throne of the Lamb, purify us, your new … Continue reading Prayer of Preparation for Reformation Sunday
One of our main purposes of gathering corporately for worship is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. We aspire to do this throughout our whole worship service by cultivating in all who gather three things: A dawning realization of the greatness of your God, A growing awareness of your own sinfulness But also a … Continue reading Proclaiming the Gospel to Ourselves in Corporate Worship
The below reflections come from studying Isaiah 56:1-8. God wants his gathered people to seek him for Himself, not merely for His blessings, great though they are. He wants us “to minister to Him, and to love His name, and to be His servants” (Isaiah 56:6). Then, he promises to “make us joyful” in his … Continue reading The Marks of a Redeemed Community – Worship Reflections
There is something exciting about being in a crowd. A crowd came from Jerusalem to greet him… to welcome him into the great city of David as the long anticipated Messiah… the deliverer for whom they had hoped. But Jesus rides into Jerusalem in a manner that shatters the expectations of his people of their … Continue reading Welcoming the King on Palm Sunday