Prayer of Confession of Sin – Psalm 95

According to a simple reading of Psalm 95, My love, adoration and joy in you has been too measured and too contained.  Tim and Kathy Keller write in their devotional on this Psalm: "When the love of the immeasurably great and transcendent God of the universe becomes real to us, the joy should be uncontainable.”My … Continue reading Prayer of Confession of Sin – Psalm 95

Psalm 51 and Becoming a Chief Repenter

Last evening I led a seminar on "The Gospel-Centered Parent." We talked about what it looks like to become the chief repenter in our families. The classic text on repentance is the penitential Psalm... Psalm 51, where David confesses and repents of his sins of adultery and murder. Here is a simple thought and a … Continue reading Psalm 51 and Becoming a Chief Repenter

Taking Time to Examine Yourself

Why do followers of Jesus take time to regularly confess their sins to God? The regular discipline of confession enables us to grasp more fully the beauty and wonder of grace as we are made continually aware of the depth of our need of God’s unmerited favor. Christopher Ash explains: We desire “to encourage self-examination … Continue reading Taking Time to Examine Yourself

The Importance of Ashes on Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday starts the forty-day preparation period for Easter Sunday. Count back forty days from Easter (excluding Sundays) and you will arrive at this Wednesday… exactly seven weeks before Easter. This forty-day period corresponds to Jesus’ forty-day fast in the wilderness (Matt. 4:2). The aim of an Ash Wednesday worship service is threefold: to meditate … Continue reading The Importance of Ashes on Ash Wednesday

Matthew 9:35-38 – A Prayer of Confession

Gracious heavenly Father, thank you for Your compassion for the lonely, oppressed, and harassed people of the world.   You sent Jesus to seek and to save the lost, but we confess our reluctance to personally engage with His mission.   If we are honest, we are more apathetic than active, isolated than involved, callous … Continue reading Matthew 9:35-38 – A Prayer of Confession

Reflections on Repentance that Leads to Life

The believer in Christ is a ‘lifelong’ repenter. He begins with repentance, and ends with repentance. Repentance is a change of mind regarding sin and God, an inward turning from sin to God. Repentance is hating what you once loved, and loving what you once hated, exchanging irresistible sin for an irresistible Christ. — Jim … Continue reading Reflections on Repentance that Leads to Life

Lavish Love for Returning Prodigals

The prodigal comes to a transforming experience of repentance. True repentance always issues into joy. The father takes his finest garment, worn only on special occasions or festivals, and puts it on his son -- a sure sign of acceptance to the community. The signet ring, a symbol of trust, and sandals, showing he's a … Continue reading Lavish Love for Returning Prodigals

Treasuring Prodigals (Luke 15:1-3, 11-32)

I recently preached on Jesus' famous parable. Here's what struck me most: As we think rightly of our Father and treasure Him as the real prodigal in this story, we will become more intentional in sharing His pursuit of other prodigals, whether they are prodigal in their rebellion and self-centeredness or whether they are prodigal … Continue reading Treasuring Prodigals (Luke 15:1-3, 11-32)

Personal Worship Guide – When God’s Word Pours Down Like Rain

Personal Worship Guide - When God's Word Pours Down Like Rain God’s Word is like the rain. It fulfills God’s purpose of causing life to flourish. It comes from beyond us. We can’t control it. We only receive it… much like this invitation to feast at God’s banquet of grace. Isaiah 55:1-13 reminds us that … Continue reading Personal Worship Guide – When God’s Word Pours Down Like Rain