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,


Speaking Truth Lovingly Entails Listening Carefully

As members of Christ’s body, the church, we have the privilege and responsibility of protecting one another in the truth.  This is the heart of what God commands in Eph. 4:25 –


Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.


We need to be moving toward one another, and seeking to move each another toward Christ by speaking the truth of God’s word in love (see also Eph. 4:12-16).  We’re thus to help one another stand against the deceitful lies of Satan.  He is the one who relentlessly seeks to lead us into unbelief and disobedience, to think that God and His word doesn’t matter.


Part of learning to speak the truth wisely in love means listening carefully to one another!  And listening carefully often involves asking good questions:


  • How is it with your soul?
  • How can I pray for you?
  • Any challenges you are currently facing…any temptations?
  • What things are you thankful for today?
  • What truths from God’s word are you feeding on today?


Beloved, may God help us minister His truth to one another lovingly and skillfully, that we might strengthen each other’s faith.  And may He thereby equip us to all the more faithfully proclaim the gospel to those who are lost.


Because Christ lives, and is returning,


Revelation 7:9-12

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

One Sovereign Voice

The words of mankind never seem to cease.  Whether in print, through social media, over the airwaves, on a podcast, or live and in person, EVERYONE’S got something to say about EVERYTHING.  And my oh my, how the voices intensify during an election year!


Thank God for the wonderful gift of communication, and the many venues through which our voices can be heard.  But never forget that over and above every voice, there is ONE UNCHANGING VOICE that silences all others; ONE SOVEREIGN VOICE that commands the worship of all.


Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,

ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

  Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;

worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

  The voice of the Lord is over the waters;

the God of glory thunders,

the Lord, over many waters.

  The voice of the Lord is powerful;

the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

  The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;

the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

  He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,

and Sirion like a young wild ox.

  The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.

  The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;

the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

  The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth

and strips the forests bare,

and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

10  The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;

the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.

11  May the Lord give strength to his people!

May the Lord bless his people with peace!


Amen!  He who has ears to hear, let him hear.


Christians are those who, by the power of God’s Spirit, should be zealous to “THEREFORE…walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called” (Eph. 4:1).

Because God has “made us alive together with Christ” (Eph. 2:5), we should be eager to grow in the glories of knowing God (this is what Eph. 1-3 is all about).  And we should therefore excel in the duties of pleasing God (this is what Eph. 4-6 is all about).

The key to rightly understanding the Christian life is found in the significance of the word “therefore” in Eph. 4:1.  The point of Paul’s entire letter is that as we believe and grasp the glories of Eph. 1-3, we should therefore walk in the duties of Eph. 4-6.  If we try to fulfill the duties without living in the hope, riches, and power of the glories, we’ll know nothing but defeat, guilt, fear, discouragement, and exasperation.

Oh Beloved, God has called us to better things, things that magnify His grace and glory!  This is why Paul prays for believers as he does (Eph. 1:15-23; 3:14-21).  And this is why and how we should be praying for one another (Eph. 6:18); praying with the confident expectation that God is indeed “…able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20)!  Amen!

Praying for you, and with you,

Humble, Contented Submission

Oh the massive, incomprehensible, mind-boggling, jaw dropping power of God Almighty!!  Listen how Job describes it in Job 26:7-14.


He stretches out the north over the void

and hangs the earth on nothing.

He binds up the waters in his thick clouds,

and the cloud is not split open under them.

He covers the face of the full moon

and spreads over it his cloud.

He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters

at the boundary between light and darkness.

The pillars of heaven tremble

and are astounded at his rebuke.

By his power he stilled the sea;

by his understanding he shattered Rahab.

By his wind the heavens were made fair;

his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.

Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways,

and how small a whisper do we hear of him!

But the thunder of his power who can understand?”


Take all of the grandeur and wonder of God’s creation in the heavens and on earth – all of God’s power, wisdom, authority, creativity, etc. – and all of it only reveals “the outskirts of his ways”!  Amazing!


Interestingly, we know Job was expressing these words in the midst of unimaginable problems, pain, and perplexity.  Job knew God, and he knew much that is true about God.  But for all he knew and struggled to trust, Job couldn’t understand WHY he was suffering as he was.  Job never cursed God, but he complained and lamented a lot, as expressed in Job 3-31.  The essence of his complaint?  “God, why is this happening to me…what have I done to deserve this?


God’s answer, in short, was to bring Job into the fuller knowledge and trust of “the thunder of his power”.  God never explains the “why”.  With all God declares in Job 38-41, Job’s sinful lust to know “why?” is dissolved into contented, quiet trust and submission (see Job 42:1-6).


Oh beloved, someone has once said, “in acceptance, lieth peace”.  May God give us grace to trust Him for who He is, and accept all that He ordains for us in humble, contented submission.


Because Christ lives, and is returning,


Psalm 40:5

“You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
    your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
    none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
    yet they are more than can be told.”

Jesus Plus Nothing Salvation

Most of you were with us this past Lord’s Day as Pastor Vanensio Bamwitirebye from Uganda preached from John 2:12-23 (you can find his sermon at our church website).  I had the privilege of joining Pastor Vanensio and a few other people for lunch following our service.  Among other things, he shared the story of how God brought him to saving faith in Christ.  Trusting you’ll be as encouraged as I was, here’s the written version of Pastor Vanensio’s testimony:

I was raised in a Catholic Family in a village in Bundibugyo District in Uganda.  I did well in school and I was invited to attend Catholic Seminary to become a priest.  This was a great honor for the village and for my family.  I lived in the Parish House with the Priest at the School.  One day at chapel, some missionaries from Philadelphia were invited to address the 700 students of the school.  They started explaining the Gospel from the Bible, and told us that our Salvation was based solely on our faith in Jesus Christ plus nothing.  As a seminarian this was blasphemy and I raised my hand and challenged them, that they were wrong.  Salvation was based on Christ plus Mary, the Saints, the Sacraments and our standing with the Catholic Church.  All of my friends were shouting, “Yes Vanensio, you tell them, you are the man!”  The missionary replied that I should show him the verses in the Bible that supported my position, and I answered back, that “if you will come back tomorrow, I will present the Bible verses to prove that you are wrong”.  The priests were the only ones allowed to read the Bible.  

That evening I explained to the priest about the missionaries and what they had said, and that I wanted him to give me the verses that support our Catholic beliefs about all of the church requirements for salvation, and counter this “Jesus Plus Nothing Salvation”.  He told me that the Catholic Church does not have to defend their beliefs, that they just are.  I was troubled by this explanation. 

The next morning we drove into the school yard and I saw the missionaries and all of my friends there.  I told the Priest that he must give me the verses to present to the missionaries, or maybe he didn’t know what he believed.  He simply reached into his pocket and pulled out a small tablet and a pen and wrote a note that I was no longer a candidate for the priesthood, because I had challenged a priest.  He had a truck loaded with my stuff, and I was driven back to my home in the village.  My parents were mortified and embarrassed, because I had disappointed them, the village, and the church, and they kicked me out of the house.  

I went and stayed a couple of days at my uncle’s house and cried and cried about my situation.  But something caused me to want to know what what “Jesus Plus Nothing Salvation” was all about.  I then walked 8 kilometers to where the missionaries stayed and when they saw me they said, “Hey Vanensio, we did not see you at school the other day”.  I explained what had happened and asked them about their “Jesus Plus Nothing Salvation”.   They opened the Bible and read verse after verse about Jesus’ love for us and that salvation was a free gift and we did nothing to earn it.  I listened and sobbed and sobbed, and repented of my sins before Jesus.  This is the message that I now preach wherever I am able.  

Amen – to God be the glory!!

Because Christ lives, and is returning,

1 Peter 2:9-12 (ESV)

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh,which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Psalm 1

The Way of the Righteous and the Wicked

1 Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
    but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked will perish.

Psalm 8 (ESV)

To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. A Psalm of David.

1     O Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
    Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
    to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
    and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
    and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
    and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
    whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

“But God” is the Gospel

“BUT GOD…” (Eph. 2:4)!

The very heart of the Gospel is expressed in these glorious words, “BUT GOD…”!  Though mankind is spiritually dead and hopeless in sin (Eph. 2:1-3), God has powerfully acted in Christ to bring about the salvation that only He could accomplish (Eph. 2:4-10).  “BUT GOD…” really summarizes the whole message of Scripture, played out from Genesis to Revelation.  Over and over again, God’s word reveals:

  • All the deadly works of man in sin, and
  • All the mighty works of God in Christ!

Oh Beloved, what hope, riches, power, and assurance for believers are found in these truths!  “BUT GOD”!!   The God who is rich in mercy and great in love has flooded us with His kindness in Christ – to the praise of His glorious grace!  And God wills for us to know and believe these truths all the more, daily trusting the absolute sufficiency of His mighty, saving power.

To that end, let me encourage you to listen to this sermon on Eph. 2:4 by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (a faithful Bible expositor from the 20th Century).  May God continue to strengthen your soul in the fullness of His grace in Christ!

Because Christ lives, and is returning,

Resource Recommendations

Many have rightly observed that with the Supreme Court ruling last Friday (6/26/15) regarding same-sex marriage, “everything has changed, and nothing has changed.”  Indeed, ever since man’s rebellion in the garden (Gen. 3:1-7), all of creation has been groaning under God’s curse (see Rom. 1:18-32; 8:18-25).  We have always lived in difficult times, because of the continual outworking of sin in people’s lives (see 2 Tim. 3:1-5).  And for believers, our God-given mission to make disciples (Mt. 28:18-20), and live godly lives that adorn the Gospel (Titus 2:11-14) is unchanging.  Moreover, we’ve continually been forewarned, so as to be forearmed, that suffering and pain will be a normal part of our Christian experience (Jn. 15:18-16:4; 2 Tim. 3:12).


All these truths are good to keep in mind as we respond to the recent Supreme Court Ruling.  God has placed each of us in unique networks with believers and unbelievers alike, many of whom are celebrating the Supreme Court ruling.  To encourage your thinking and responding in biblical ways, here are a number of resources I’ve found particularly helpful.  These are by no means exhaustive.  I trust these will help to strengthen your own convictions and responses, and also be tools you may pass on to others.


Online articles/audio:






Beloved, may God enable us to be faithful as witnesses for the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  And may He be glorified in the salvation of multitudes from the deadly bondage of sin!


“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.  Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you many know how you ought to answer each person.”  (Col. 4:5-6, ESV)


Because Jesus Christ lives, and is returning,


The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

In our corporate worship on the Lord’s Day, we’re now gazing into Eph. 1:13-14, as Paul gives praise for the guaranteeing seal of the Holy Spirit.  In this brief passage, Paul speaks specifically about the Holy Spirit’s work with regard to the genuine conversion of God’s people, and also with regard to His securing of their eternal redemption.


To be sure, much confusion and distortion abounds with regard to the person and work of the Holy Spirit.  Dr. Sinclair Ferguson makes this observation:  “For while his work has been recognized, the Spirit himself remains to many Christians an anonymous, faceless aspect of the divine being.  Even the title ‘Holy Spirit’ evokes a different gamut of emotions from those expressed in response to the titles ‘Father’ and ‘Son’”.  (Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, IVP: 1996, pg. 12)


An exhaustive biblical study of the person and work of the Holy Spirit goes beyond the framework of our current exposition of Ephesians.  But even as you read the book of Ephesians, you find that the Holy Spirit is prominent in all Paul has to say.  Thus we learn of the sealing of the Spirit (Eph. 1:13; 4:30), of access in one Spirit to the Father (2:18), of God building His people into a dwelling of His in the Spirit (2:22); of God revealing truth to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit (3:5), of God seeking to strengthen His people with power through His Spirit (3:16),  of Christians needing to be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (4:3), of there being one Spirit (4:4), of the danger of grieving the Holy Spirit (4:30), of Christian’s need to continually be filled with the Spirit (5:18), of the word of God being the sword of the Spirit (6:17), and of the need for Christian’s to continually be praying in the Spirit (6:18).


Beloved, because the Spirit of God has revealed so much about Himself in God’s word, we need to rightly understand His person and work.  And even from all that is declared in Eph. 1:3-14, we need to rejoice and live in the power of the Spirit’s work, in connection with the electing grace of the Father, and the redeeming work of the Son.  May God teach and strengthen all of us – for our assurance in Him, and His glory in and through us.


Because Christ lives, and is returning,


On Biblical Inerrancy

As you know, last week’s Shepherds’ Conference focused on the theme of the inerrancy of Scripture.  Ever since the Garden of Eden, when Satan tempted Eve by saying, “did God actually say…?” (Gen. 3:1), the authority and reliability of God’s Word has been under attack.  Satan’s strategy is as simple as it is deadly:  if he can tempt you to doubt God’s Word – which is now permanently revealed in the 66 books of Scripture – then you’ll be deceived into thinking there’s no need to treasure, trust, and obey that Word.

Because this issue of inerrancy is so important for the spiritual health of individual Christians, and the whole church, I encourage you to learn more.  All of last week’s 18 general sessions are helpful in this way (some more than others).  You can find them here.  While it’s best to listen to the messages in order, you might start with the Panel Q&A, which provides some helpful background to the topic.

Additionally, more information about the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, which gives a somewhat recent historical context, can be found here.

Beloved, God’s holy word is the treasure of all treasures.  He has given it that we might know and grow in His salvation through Jesus Christ – 2 Tim. 3:14-17.  May we be faithful stewards of what He has entrusted to us!

Because Christ lives, and is returning,

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,


Beginning a New Year

The beginning of a new year is a great time to refocus your energies in reading and feeding on God’s Word!  To that end, Ligonier Ministries has put together a helpful list of a variety of Bible reading plans available online.  If you don’t already have a focused approach to the regular reading of Scripture, I encourage you to look over these plans and implement one that works for you.  And you could even pursue this with another relative or friend!

You might also find encouragement from this brief article.

Beloved, the Spirit of God uses the word of God to grow us in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (Eph. 4:11-12; 2 Tim. 2:15-16; 1 Pet. 2:1-3).  As we gather weekly to share together in the reading, preaching, and teaching of God’s word, so may we individually be immersing ourselves in His word day-by-day!

Richest blessings, and Happy New Year!


Divine Discipline for Fleeting Foreigners

What faith-strengthening truths flow from Psalm 39, as we heard this past Lord’s Day through Tim Ingrum’s faithful preaching!  Tim helped us see that “fleeting foreigners need divine discipline to travel light”, and thus we should respond with faith and submission to God’s loving discipline.  I don’t know about you, but I continually need to be reminded of these truths!


Following this same theme, and reflecting on Rom. 8:28, the Puritan pastor Richard Sibbes (1577-1635) made these observations:


“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose!”

Whatever is truly good for God’s children–they shall have it, for all is theirs to further them to Heaven. Therefore . . .
if poverty is good for them–they shall have it;
if disgrace is good for them–they shall have it;
if crosses are good for them–they shall have them;
if misery is good for them–they shall have it;
for God makes all things work together for the good of His redeemed people.

God takes a safe course with His children–that they may not be condemned with the world.

God’s providence is often mysterious–yet He is just and righteous in all that He does. Therefore when any difficult thing befalls us for which we can see no reason, yet we must reverence the Lord and adore His counsels and submit to Him who is infinitely more good and wise than we.

Praying for you, and with you, as we learn to walk in our Father’s holy love through Jesus Christ,


Certainty of God’s Sovereignty

And just like that, another significant mid-term election has come and gone.  The outcome was overall encouraging for conservatives.  As usual, Dr. Albert Mohler’s observations are worth considering:  What the Election Reveals about Us and Why We Vote as We Do.  Whatever else the consequences from Tuesday’s election, as Dr. Mohler suggests, no doubt the next couple years leading up to the next presidential election will be politically interesting (should the Lord Jesus tarry)!


Beyond all the political maneuvering and shifting that constantly takes place – not only in America, but around the world – we can be absolutely certain that God is sovereignly working through everything to unite all things in heaven and on earth in Christ (Eph. 1:9-10).  This truth means that our hope as God’s people transcends the current social and political climate in which we live.  Ours is to embrace by faith the glories of God’s calling of us in Christ, and to “walk worthy” of that calling in the nitty-gritty details of our lives (Eph. 4:1).


Beloved, the more we understand and embrace the heavenly/spiritual realities God has called us to in Christ, the better equipped we are to serve others in this world for His glory.  This truth is central to the book of Ephesians.  May it be every more central in our lives, both individually, and corporately as His people!


Because Christ lives, and is returning,


As We Begin “Ephesians”

With great joy and expectation, I’m planning to begin preaching through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians this coming Lord’s Day.  What a glorious portion of God’s Word this is, revealing the fullness of believers’ identity and calling in Christ, and the practical implications of how we’re to walk worthy of that calling.


The central message of Ephesians is heralded by Paul early on.  In Eph. 1:9-10, as Paul recounts the unsearchable riches of God’s blessings in Christ, he declares that all of this is “…according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth…”.


In his excellent commentary on Ephesians, P.T. O’Brien observes:  “This text provides the key for unlocking the glorious riches of the letter, draws together into a unity many of its major themes, and enables us to gain an integrated picture of the letter as a whole.”  (The Letter to the Ephesians, Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans Publ. Co., 1999, pg. 58).


Beloved, as we plan to “camp out” in Ephesians for many months to come, let me  encourage you in a couple of ways:


  • Be regularly reading Paul’s letter to the Ephesians – both on your own, and/or with others.  With only 6 chapters, there are numerous ways you could plan to do this.  The key is to try and saturate yourself in the context and thought of the letter, which will greatly aid your understanding and application.
  • Be regularly praying the prayers of Paul in Ephesians (1:15-23; 3:14-21) – both for yourself and for other believers.  If you’re not sure about the meaning of these prayers, keep praying and reading!


May God do among us “…far more abundantly than all that we ask or think…”, for the glory of His great name in Christ!


Grace upon grace,


God Works by His Word

What a glorious, powerful, simple, sobering, overwhelming truth: God works by His word!!  We see this over and over again in the book of Acts, as our risen and exalted Lord Jesus Christ gathers, shepherds, and multiplies His flock – all by His word, through the power of the Holy Spirit.


AMAZINGLY, this is God’s single, permanent strategy for world missions!  He fulfills His mission to redeem a people for Himself by the work of His word, in and through His people.  He uses the proclamation of His word to miraculously create new life (1 Pet. 1:22-25), and to powerfully feed/shape new life (2 Tim. 3:16-17).  Oh how wise and glorious He is, and how authoritative, sufficient, sweet, and desirable is His word (Psalm 19)!


Beloved, this being so, how passionately, joyously, and expectantly ought we to always, “…like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grown up into salvation – if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good”?  (1 Pet. 2:2-3)


Many Bible reading plans abound, but the most fundamental issue is:  do we hunger for God’s word like newborn infants?  Are we so tenaciously zeroed in on the single source of nourishment, confident that God feeds only through His word, that we gladly bypass anything that would hinder our delight in His life-giving truth?   We’re all in different situations, and we face different pressures on our time, but we always seem to do what is necessary to feed our physical bodies (and many other things besides, my Facebook friends 🙂 ).  How much more should we do whatever is necessary to feed our souls with the living, transforming word of God!


I look forward to being with you this coming Lord’s Day, as we share again in the feast of God’s word He has for us!!


Because Christ lives, and is returning,


Titus and John 17

God’s eternal purpose – His mission – is to bring glory to Himself in His Son Jesus, in His people, through the power of the Holy Spirit.  As we are seeing in the book of Titus, God’s purpose informs every aspect of the life of the local church.  Likewise, His purpose and will impacts the daily lives of every Christian, in very specific and practical ways.


Along with encouraging you to read the book of Titus at least once a week over the next two months (in addition to other Bible reading you’re doing), let me also encourage you to weekly read John 17.  This majestic prayer of Jesus reveals the heart of God’s mission, and His purposes for us as His people.  Profoundly breathtaking, and profoundly relevant.


What a joy to share in these realities with you, growing as God’s people at RCG.  You are on my heart and in my prayers!


Because He lives, and is returning,


1 John 3:16-18

“16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.”