Psalm 19:7-14

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
    enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
    enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
    and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
    and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can discern his errors?
    Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
    let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
    and innocent of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

A Christian Response to the Orlando Massacre

News of the massacre at an Orlando gay night club a little over a week ago was shocking and tragic, on many levels.  49 people killed, 53 injured, and millions upon millions horrified at such brutal, cold-blooded carnage.


Since the shooting, there has been no lack of rhetoric regarding how Christians should think and respond.  In all I’ve read and listened to, there’s certainly a mixture of “the good, the bad, and the ugly”!  No doubt you’ve been involved in at least one conversation, and probably many, about this event.  No doubt you’ll be involved in more in days ahead.


If you’ve not already heard it, I encourage you to take 25 minutes and listen to Dr. Albert Mohler’s thoughts regarding a Christian response to the Orlando massacre.  He recorded this on his podcast “The Briefing” on 6/13/16, the day after the massacre.  Dr. Mohler’s words express biblical truth and love – I think you’ll find them helpful.


Beloved, Paul’s exhortation from Col. 4:5-6 is always timely and relevant:


Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.  Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.


Because Christ lives, and is returning,


Good, Hard Work

Every Christian has been created in Jesus Christ for good, hard work!  This is clear with what Paul says in Eph. 2:10 –


For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.


Paul reinforces this truth in Eph. 4:28


Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.


In the hope of all God’s riches and power in Christ, Christians must avoid every temptation to steal.  Positively, we must excel in working hard.  Hard work is God’s design, hard work is honorable, and hard work has a purpose – that we might share with others in need.


To encourage you in Gospel-motivated, Spirit-empowered good hard work, here are a few short and helpful books to check out:



Beloved, may we continue to trust God’s power and provision moment-by-moment, and work hard for the blessing of others, and the glory of God!


Because Christ lives, and is returning,


Practical Vigilance

When you’re angry, be careful!  This is the focus of Paul’s command in Eph. 4:26-27


Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.


Through the power of God’s indwelling Spirit, we need to be careful to not sin in our anger, to not sleep with our anger, and to not supply Satan an opportunity through our anger.


Practically, how do we learn to avoid these dangers?  Using “ANGER” as an acronym, here are 5 practical suggestions:


  • A-ACKNOWLEDGE your anger; be honest about your feelings of anger.  Don’t hide, deny, ignore, or justify your anger.  4:26 – “Be made angry…


  • N-NAME (identify) to yourself what’s provoking your anger.  Be as specific as possible. God asked Cain, Why are you angry” (Gen. 4:6). There’s a sense in which He asks us the same question, and we should ask it of ourselves!


  • G-GO TO GOD in praise and prayer.  Remember and rejoice in who He is, how He has blessed you in Christ, what He has called you to, and what He has promised!  1-3!


  • E-ENTRUST yourself afresh to God’s sovereign love, wisdom, goodness, and authority.  Constantly hold up the “shield of faith 6:16.  (see also 1 Pet. 2:21-23)


  • R-RESOLVE to respond with words and actions that please God, bless people, unify the church, and witness of Christ.  Walk worthy – 4:1-3!


Beloved, there are many ways our anger can be provoked.  We have no control over the people or circumstances that might vex us, but it’s our responsibility to respond in ways that magnify Christ.  Let’s keep praying for and encouraging one another in these things – Eph. 6:18!


Because Christ lives, and is returning,


On Anger

This past Lord’s Day, we began to look at Eph. 4:26-27, and the serious, sensitive topic of anger:


Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.


The heart of Paul’s exhortation is that Christians should be angry about sin, and yet without sin.  When we are provoked by the sin of others (Paul is writing to Christians in the context of a local church!), we need to be careful that we respond in godly, rather than ungodly ways.  As we all know, this is much easier said than done!  In fact, it is impossible apart from the indwelling empowerment of the Holy Spirit.  But God’s grace enables us to do what He commands, and we must learn to conquer and control our anger.


Because the issue of anger is so prominent for many of us, I’m taking 2 weeks to preach from Eph. 4:26-27.  Last week focused on understanding the nature of the anger Paul identifies.  This coming Sunday, we’ll zero in on the three warnings he gives:  don’t sin in your anger, don’t sleep with your anger, and don’t supply Satan an opportunity through your anger.  Oh, how careful we must be in responding to our anger!


Let me also commend to you a message on this topic from Pastor Jim Newheiser, of Grace Bible Church in Escondido, CA.  It’s entitled “Anger Mismanagement:  Only Grace Transforms the Heart”.  You can find the video here, the outline of his notes here, and more information about his message here.


Beloved, may we grow in the grace of being “slow to anger”, for the glory of Christ.  Please pray for me to this end, even as I’m praying for you!