Well, it’s that time of year again when a lot of people think about what changes they want to make in their life. Lots of people make resolutions related to their physical health, like losing weight, starting an exercise program, or quitting smoking. Some set educational or career goals, say, to go back to school and finish a degree, earn a certification, or get a new job or promotion. Maybe you want to improve yourself as a person — quit a bad habit, learn a new skill or hobby, or travel somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. But have you thought about making a resolution that will profit your soul or help you to grow spiritually? Continue reading “A New Year’s Resolution for the Soul”
…It will be Different!
He came veiled in the form of a child.
A star marked His arrival.
Wise men brought Him gifts.
There was no room for Him.
Only a few attended His arrival.
He came as a baby.
The Next Time Jesus Comes:
He will be recognized by all.
Heaven will be lit by His glory.
He will bring reward for His own.
The world won’t be able to contain His glory.
Every eye shall see Him.
He will come as Sovereign King and Lord of all.
From The Miracle of Christmas by John F. MacArthur, Jr.
May you all remember and celebrate the wonder of Christ’s incarnation this Christmas season!
A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life by William Law“He is the devout man who considers and serves God in everything and who makes all of his life an act of devotion by doing everything in the name of God and under such rules as are conformable to His glory.”
(Note: I read the 1955 abridged edition, which was edited by a group of laymen to make it more accessible to the 20th century reader.)
William Law’s book, published in England in 1728, was written in a time and society in which just about everyone professed to be a Christian and attended church. This may seem like a good thing, but during this time, the Christian Church in England (and America) was in a state of spiritual decline. Law observed that there were many nominal Christians who appeared to value the teachings of the Bible and attended church on Sundays but were not serious about living out Christ’s teachings in their every day life. This book is not intended to tell the reader how to become a Christian, but rather, how to be a “good” Christian. Law is basically challenging those who profess the name of Christ to take it seriously and to live out what they claim to be. A Serious Call may feel a bit moralistic or legalistic at times, but it needs to be kept in mind that the author is not implying that by living a good life a person can earn his salvation or even earn more favor with God. It is a reminder that if I am truly a Christian, I am “dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ” and should “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which I have been called” (Rom. 6:4; Eph 4:1). Continue reading “Becoming Holy on Purpose: A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life”
Today’s Gospel: Authentic or Synthetic? by Walter Chantry“Our ears have grown accustomed to hearing men told to ‘accept Jesus as your personal Savior’, a form of words which is not found in Scripture. It has become an empty phrase. These may be precious words to the Christian – ‘personal Savior’ – but they are wholly inadequate to instruct a sinner in the way to eternal life.”
In Today’s Gospel, Walter Chantry examines the methods and message that is being delivered in today’s efforts to evangelize the lost. Some may say, “What does it matter, as long as people are coming to Christ?” But Chantry submits that it does matter, because if the message being preached or the methods being used are not Biblical, the result may be “converts” who continue to live carnal lives, who struggle with doubt and assurance of salvation, and whose faith withers away just as the seed that falls on the thorny or rocky ground. Or worse, these “converts” are sent away with a false sense of security after making a decision and repeating a formula prayer, when in fact they may not be regenerated at all. Chantry challenges all who share the Gospel, whether from a pulpit, on the mission field, or in one-on-one relationships, to consider if they are communicating the whole Gospel message. Continue reading “A False Gospel + False Methods = False Believers : Today’s Gospel”
Knowing God by J. I. Packer“The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father.” – Charles H. Spurgeon
If, like me, you were raised going to a Christian church, reading the Bible, and participating in Bible studies, you might think you know all there is to know about God. But the goal of the Christian shouldn’t be merely to know about God. We must realize, first, how little we know God and secondly, why it’s important to do so. Packer’s purpose for writing Knowing God is to stress the importance of really understanding who God is and to excite and motivate the Christian to strive towards knowing Him better. Theology is often downplayed and seems to receive little attention in many churches these days. (I actually saw a video of a “preacher” mocking those who sit in church and actually want more teaching!) But every professing Christian should have as a lifelong pursuit the subject of theology, which is simply the study of God. And as a student of God’s Word, Packer says, the Christian must ask himself, “What do I intend to do with my knowledge about God, once I have got it?” When we read passages like Psalm 119 where the psalmist expresses his love for and desire to know God, His word, and His ways, it is clear his goal went beyond acquiring a basic knowledge about God. Packer points out that one may know a lot about God and godliness, and still hardly know Him. Continue reading “If You Think You Know God – Think Again”