Paul’s first prayer in Ephesians really intrigues me. Compare what he prays for with commonly heard prayer requests. When I say, how can I pray for you, what do we often respond with? We mention issues, situations, or desired outcomes. This isn’t wrong. To clarify please do not feel guilty for asking for specific issues you want others to pray for. Instead, I propose some additional content to be added to our prayers on behalf of your church family, family, coworkers, and ourself. Paul’s prayer, inspired by the Holy Spirit, allows us a glimpse into the apostle’s concern.
As Paul writes to the church, he thanks the Lord for this congregation and records how he prays.… Continue reading
This month marks the 503rd anniversary of the birth of the Protestant Reformation; 503 years since a Roman Catholic priest and professor of theology published and presented ninety five propositions (“95 Theses”), expressing his points of contention regarding the sale of indulgences in the Roman Catholic Church. Martin Luther’s straightforward invitation to debate the practice of selling indulgences set in motion a dramatic recovery of the biblical Gospel, which had long been obscured amid centuries of innovative traditions in the Catholic Church.
Since the days of the Reformation, efforts to summarize the key doctrines that under-girded and supported it have often led theologians to the themes of what eventually came to be known as the “Five Solas.” The… Continue reading
What you see on social media is not real life. I have noticed a trend among people, both Facebook groups and Twitter, to think that what we see and experience on social media explains our local situation. Think about social media: at any given time individuals from around the world can communicate with others on a centralized platform. What centralizes us? Only the platform. Many times, maybe even most the time, people communicating actually live in different parts of the country, if not the world. But this creates problems when a certain discussion or popular # issues comes to bear.
Take a #Video, one hot off the press from a part of the country.… Continue reading
John Owen addresses the vanity of the mind. He posits the mind is the source of all vanity. Preaching through Ecclesiastes these days and preparing for a Trinity series in the summer, the Lord in his providence brought my two studies together with this gem from John Owen.
“It may not be amiss to stop a little and consider that practical exposition, which the whole world affords us, of this text concerning the vanity of the mind; for this is the source of all the vanity with which the world is filled. Almost all that we see or hear is vain.… Continue reading
For various legitimate reasons (weather, virus pandemics, etc.), a Sunday church gathering may cancel leaving the people of that congregation left without the encouragement, fellowship, and giftings of the local church that Sunday..
The key at these times is to not waste that Sunday. Rather, use it as you normal would to further your spiritual growth and be an encouragement to other believers. Be active that your spiritual life is being cared for.
To help in this, here are some suggestions on what to do when church is canceled:
- Do family devotion time with singing, prayer, and a Bible study.
- Listen to a past sermon from your pastor.
… Continue reading