Prayers for Preachers

People often ask me how they might pray for me.  Such inquiries are a kind blessing and encouragement.  Here’s a great place to start:  10 Reminders for Preachers (think of this as “10 Prayers for Preachers”!).


And as you pray for me, know that myself and the other elders are praying fervently for you – Eph. 1:15-23; 3:14-21.  How grateful to God we are for you, and the privilege of serving you for your joy (2 Cor. 1:24)!


All for the glory of our Good, Great, and Chief Shepherd (Jn. 10:11; Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 5:4),


Psalm 105:1-6 (ESV)

Tell of All His Wonderful Works

1 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
    make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
    tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and his strength;
    seek his presence continually!
Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
    his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,
O offspring of Abraham, his servant,
    children of Jacob, his chosen ones!

Overwhelmed by Awe

Are you OVERWHELMED??  We often experience this in daily life, don’t we?  We know what it is to be overwhelmed, sometimes crushed under the burdens and challenges of life in this groaning, fallen world.


But let me encourage you to think of being overwhelmed in a completely different way than we normally do.  While there’s no denying the difficult things we often face, there is also no denying that God Almighty, the “Father of Glory” (Eph. 1:17), would have us be OVERWHELMED at the wonder of His greatness, goodness, and grace in Jesus Christ!!


In Eph. 1-3, the Apostle Paul is clearly overwhelmed with wonder and awe before God and in view of the riches of His grace.  Paul opens this great letter by bursting forth with adoration and praise:


“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…” (Eph. 1:3) 


As Paul’s words unfold from this starting point, you quickly sense that he’s beside himself with amazement at the glory of God and the goodness of His grace.  He simply can’t find enough adjectives, enough superlatives, to adequately describe the overwhelming reality of God and His glorious grace in Jesus!


Paul was certainly much like King David, who likewise was often overwhelmed  by the knowledge of God and His grace.  Consider the beginning of Psalm 103, which sets the focus for all that follows:


“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits…”  (Ps. 103:1-2)


Beloved, whatever your circumstances and cares may be this day…even this moment…God calls you to look to Him by faith, rejoice in Him, and praise His glorious name.  Take some specific, undistracted time to Look to His word – His revelation of His glory – and ask Him to help you be overwhelmed, amazed, and in awe of all He is, and all the blessings He’s given in Jesus Christ.


Remember:  a “worthy walk” (Eph. 4:1), is first and foremost a walk of praise – being more and more overwhelmed in the knowledge of God’s glorious grace.  Let’s keep praying for, and encouraging one another in these ways!


Because Christ lives, and is returning,


Thanksgiving from the Elders

From the Elders:


What a great blessing, joy, and privilege it is to serve among you all in Christ’s work at RCG!  Our thanks to God for you, and prayers to Him on your behalf, follow the example of Paul:

15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might… (Eph. 1:15-19)


May God continually be glorified as His grace and truth in Jesus Christ abounds in all of us, and overflows through us to more and more people!


Happy Thanksgiving,


Greg, Chuck, Gary, and Smokey

A Worthy Walk is a Worshipful Walk

At the beginning of his letter to the Ephesians, Paul declares and demonstrates that a “worthy walk” (Eph. 4:1) is first and foremost a walk of worship.  His anthem of doxology in Eph. 1:3-14 is a call to all believers to join him in praising the God of all grace.  As John Calvin has observed, ““The lofty terms in which he extols the grace of God toward the Ephesians, are intended to rouse their hearts to gratitude, to set them all on flame, to fill them even to overflowing with this thought” (from Calvin’s Commentary on Eph. 1:3).  So gripped is Paul by the weight and wonder of the glories he heralds, he then pleads with God to help all believers know the fullness of these lavish blessings (Eph. 1:15-23).


Later in his letter, Paul exhorts believers to address “…one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart…” (Eph. 5:19).  One recent song that richly fulfills this exhortation is Come Praise and Glorify (see the lyrics here).  As you’ll hear, the song is based fully on the truths of Eph. 1:3-14.  Lord willing, we’ll be singing it corporately at RCG in the near future.


Beloved, the wealth, riches, and power of all that God has blessed us with in Christ is far more abundant than all we could ask or think (see Eph. 3:20-21).  Together as His people, by faith, may we keep feasting upon, praying, singing, and walking in light of His glorious grace in Jesus Christ!


Because He lives, and is returning,


Give Thanks to the Lord!

God’s people always have reason for giving thanks to our Creator and Redeemer!  The commandments to do so could not be any clearer:


“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  (1Thess. 5:18)


Elsewhere in Scripture, the Lord reveals volumes about why His people are to be characterized by thankfulness.  One such place is Psalm 136.  The opening words bring this explicit appeal:


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever;”  (Psalm 136:1-3)


The psalmist then goes on to recount numerous demonstrations of God’s steadfast love, ending the psalm as he began, with an appeal to give thanks.


Beloved, the God who saves us and keeps us in Christ is worthy of our continual thanksgiving!  Take time this week, individually and with family and/or friends, to think about the endless and great wonders of His steadfast love, and thank Him accordingly!


Thanking Him for you, and with you,