Grace in 3D – Part 2

In the first part of this series, we looked at an often-overlooked role of grace: its empowerment for spiritual growth in a believer.

But this is not the only part of God’s grace toward Christians that gets overlooked. The other major work of “grace” in the Christian life is God’s empowerment for ministry.

The foremost example of this is the apostle Paul, who repeatedly cited the grace of God that was give to him for the particular ministry to which he was called: taking the gospel to the nations (Romans 1:5; 15:15-16; 1 Cor. 3:10; 15:10; Galatians 2:9; Ephesians 3:2, 7-8).… Continue reading

Give Thanks–Paul’s Prayers of Thanksgiving


Early in my Christian life I obtained Arthur W. Pink’s Gleanings from Paul: The Prayers of the Apostle (Moody 1967). That study of Paul’s prayers in Scripture kindled a spiritual fire in my heart and life. Paul’s example in prayer, especially in the thanks with which he begins most of his epistles, set a pattern for believers throughout the next two millennia and beyond. Paul’s admonition, “in everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) certainly challenges each one of us. As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day 2016, let’s immerse ourselves in opportunities for thanksgiving that the apostle exemplifies through his epistles.… Continue reading

“You Are My People”–How Should We Live?

slide_jer-7_23God said to Israel, “I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people” (Leviticus 26:12 NASU). The middle two phrases present an expression of the covenant relationship between the Lord and His people. In an earlier blog we covered the first major concept (“I will . . . be your God”) and discovered whom we should serve. Now we turn to the second major concept (“you shall be My people”) and how we should live for Him.

Jesus taught His disciples, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).… Continue reading

Help! I Have To Help!

Walk with the Lord and you will have opportunities to minister to people. [1] There are times where this is easy, “Can you give me a ride to the airport? or “Can you pray for me?” Those are fairly easy to do. By easy, I mean, do not require me to break out of a comfort zone or do something unfamiliar. Yet, situations and serving opportunities will come up requiring me to get heavily involved. At some point, a friend struggles or needs more than just a ride. The Lord engages us to struggling people. A friend comes to you with a problem.… Continue reading

My First Year of Pastoral Ministry – A Letter to a Friend


Not too long ago a pair of events coincided which have led to the post before you today. The first event was the completion of my first year of ministry as the Pastor-Teacher of Stansbury Park Baptist Church in Utah. The second was a message from a friend just Ancient Letterabout to enter pastoral ministry with some questions he was hoping I might answer. I was happy to help him and even encouraged that he found my answers helpful. And since he did, I would like share the same info here in case it might be an encouragement to anyone currently serving in ministry or facing the prospect of having a new Pastor arrive at their local church.… Continue reading