[first published in the monthly congregational Notes for July, 2020.]
When we read the word “fear” it is natural for us to default to the definition “an un-pleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm.” Experience has taught us that there are so many threats of “danger, pain or harm” in this life that common usage hardly ever refers to anything else! We may not have had to face the same threats as those in previous generations but concerns from loneliness, illness or finance can stir up the same unease just as easily. The future is unknown and fear of the unknown can paralyze; we do not know how to prepare, where to begin, or if anything we do will make any difference. Very likely there are many who are gripped by a fear of what this virus may do to us, our loved ones, our nation…continue reading
[first published in the monthly congregational Notes for June, 2020.]
Both the Old and New Testaments call on us to be a people who are always ready and willing to praise God. To that end, the main purpose of the Scriptures is to teach what we are to believe about God, so that the praise we give Him is informed and accurate, and not something that springs out of our imagination. That only results in idolatry. And when we understand just who God is, we understand why ALL people should be commanded to give praise to God (e.g. Ps 100), and not just Christians.
For the unregenerate, the refusal to give proper praise to God is just one more proof of the perversity of sin. But Christians have the highest of reasons to celebrate the amazing love and grace of God. He has makes it personal! He, the sovereign…continue reading
[first prepared for the monthly congregational “Notes” for May, 2020.]
For a few days between the crucifixion and the resurrection, the disciples’ faith must have been sorely tested. All that they had seen and heard which had encouraged their belief that Jesus was the Messiah seemed to come crashing down to nothing. He was dead. As the two on the road back to Emmaus put it, “we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel” (Lk 24:21). Then in a matter of hours, it was built up again as Jesus appeared and set about explaining “the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures,” (Lk 24:27 & 32) and “the things written in the law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms” (Lk. 24:44). They were given a clear window into the plan of God that would stand them in good stead. No challenge would…continue reading