Gazing into God’s Word

I can’t get it out of my head!!


One of the hymns we sang last Sunday morning, Jesus I Am Resting, Resting, just keeps going over and over again in my mind.  And what a blessing it is!  Even as there have been sins to confess, responsibilities to fulfill, challenges to face, and temptations to fight, I’m reminded through this hymn that Christ “…hast bid me gaze upon Him”.  As I do so by gazing into God’s word, indeed, “…I am finding out the greatness of His loving heart.” I’ve been feeding on this mainly in connection with Eph. 1:7-12, and the riches of God’s redeeming, forgiving work in Christ.


So even in the details of my days – whether I’m answering emails, meeting with people, changing the car oil, or watching my son’s basketball game – my heart and mind are being strengthened by faith in the joy of all that Jesus is, and all that God has given in Him.   And the song keeps going on!


Beloved, this illustrates the blessing and privilege of our weekly gathering in corporate worship.  Even as we speak to one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, God graciously works through this so the word of Christ might dwell all the more richly in us (Col. 3:16)!  All for our good, His glory, and the blessing of others through us.


Looking forward to being with you again this coming Lord’s Day!




Freedom in His Full Forgiveness

Over the last two Lord’s Days, we’ve been gazing afresh into the endless ocean of God’s rich grace in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:7-12).  We’ve been looking particularly at vs. 7-8:


In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight…


This coming Sunday, I’m planning to focus in on the blessing of forgiveness, which is the foundational result of Christ’s redeeming work.  And oh, how essential that God’s people know and live in the freedom of His full forgiveness in Christ – to the praise of His glorious grace!!!


Pastor Milton Vincent, in his excellent book A Gospel Primer for Christians, skillfully observes:


“As long as I am stricken with the guilt of my sins , I will be captive to them, and will often find myself re-committing the very sins about which I feel most guilty. The Devil is well aware of this fact; he knows that if he can keep me tormented by sin’s guilt, he can dominate me with sin’s power.  The gospel, however, slays sin at this root point and thereby nullifies sin’s power over me. The forgiveness of God, made known to me through the gospel, liberates me from sin’s power because it liberates me first from its guilt; and preaching such forgiveness to myself is a practical way of putting the gospel into operation as a nullifier of sin’s power in my life.”  (Vincent, Milton (2013-01-07). A Gospel Primer for Christians [Kindle Locations 227-228]. Focus Publishing. Kindle Edition.)


Beloved, do you live in the freedom of God’s full forgiveness in Christ’s redeeming work?  Or are you tormented by sin’s guilt, and dominated by sin’s power?  Keep preaching the gospel to yourself my friends, embracing by faith all the glorious riches of God’s blessings in Christ!


Because Christ lives, and is returning,


How Rich Our Treasure

Beloved, the riches of God’s lavish grace to us in Jesus, against the backdrop of our inexcusable sin, are beyond comprehension!  And yet, it is the very greatness of these riches that God would have us to know and feast on in greater and greater ways by faith – all to His glory!  So it is that Paul opens his letter to the Ephesians with praise (Eph. 1:3-14), and prayer (Eph. 1:15-23).


This coming Lord’s Day, as we’ll continue to look at the redeeming work of Jesus Christ in Eph. 1:7-12, we’re also planning to learn a new hymn entitled How Rich a Treasure We Possess.  I encourage you to listen to this song a time or two before Sunday, and take note how the lyrics echo many of the themes from Eph. 1.


What else can be said – how rich a treasure we possess in Jesus Christ!!


Looking forward to joining heart and voice with you,


How to Read the Bible: A Matter of Stewardship

Following my post in this column last week, I learned of this helpful article (thanks Sharon Lowery!):  Do’s and Don’ts When Reading the Bible.  These are very helpful encouragements, reminding us that more important than simply reading Scripture, is the vital question of how we read Scripture.


Given that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16) and also that all Scripture clearly and comprehensively reveals Jesus Christ (Jn. 5:39-40; Lk. 24:27), it behooves us to approach scripture in the right way, with the right heart.


Beloved, we live at a time in history, and in a part of the world, where God’s word has never been more available.  Let alone the opportunities for our own reading, study, memory, and meditation, but we also have access to countless resources in hearing the word of God faithfully preached and taught.  This is indeed a great privilege, and also a great stewardship.


So may we be devoted and diligent to grow in faith by feeding on God’s word, both individually and corporately.  And may we be faithful stewards in proclaiming God’s glorious word to others!


Because Christ lives, and is returning,