Reprise: Living The Doctrines Of Grace

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tulipsI am in the midst of doing something, I have longed to do for years.  I am preaching through Paul’s letter to Ephesians and more specifically I just finished preaching through what I consider the most beautiful, glorious and precious passage in the New Testament, Ephesians 2:1-10.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

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Hope for the Depressed Pastor

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You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? (Psalm 56:8)

Yesterday evening my heart was grieved to read the news of the death of Jarrid Wilson; a high profile, 30-year-old pastor from California, who took his own life Monday evening after a long battle with depression.  News like this is as tragic as it comes.  The darkness of depression is very real, and Christians are in no way immune from experiencing it.  Neither are pastors, as Wilson’s death demonstrates.

I didn’t know Jarrid Wilson or know much about his ministry, but I have experienced something of the darkness of depression and deep discouragement in pastoral ministry, and I know that depressed and discouraged pastors are far more common than many understand.  One of main reasons that depression, despondency, and discouragement become very real possibilities for those in pastoral ministry is that ministry is filled (as all of life is) with innumerable sorrows that no one in this life will ever see or acknowledge, but God.… Continue reading

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Teenager Mistakes

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Our oldest child just crossed into the teenager years. The emotions are high, logic off, and at times I’m dealing with an adult while other times a kid. This is par for the course. But as a friend of mine once told me, “Parents are not teachable when it comes to their kids.” Ouch, this is not what I want describing me. Unfortunately I have too many blind spots in my life to assume I always know what is best for my child. This reality prompted me to ask two different Youth Minister friends, in different parts of the country the same question.… Continue reading

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Reprise: Root Your Faith In The Old Testament

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I recently finished up the first part of a two part preface to a planned verse by verse exposition of the Gospel of John and this past Sunday, I started on part two. I don’t think that is so unusual, especially among churches where preaching and teaching is taken seriously. In churches devoted to expository preaching introductory messages are often preached before a new sermon series. What is unusual is that part one of this preface was a verse by verse exposition of all of the Servant songs of Isaiah and part two will be an exposition of all of the songs of ascent, Psalms 120-134.  I began this preface in mid-August and Lord willing it will wrap up some time around the beginning of April.… Continue reading

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Be a Berean *Reprise

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“Be a Berean.” This command references the Bereans response to the Gospel message they heard when Paul and Silas preached to them in the synagogue of the Jews. The Jews in the synagogue heard the message and responded by going away and studying Scripture. “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). When we issue this command to people, we are asking them to be discerning about what they hear and make sure the teaching is inline with Scripture.… Continue reading

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