Thursday, January 31, 2013

What Does it Mean? #1

What does it mean to be for the heart to be inclined to God’s Word?
Mediation on Psalm 119:36
January 31, 2013|by Gregg Metcalf|Scripture 105:4|Topic: God’s Word

Inclining the heart toward the testimonies of God, means having the heart turned toward the Word of God. In the Psalmist’s case, he is praying that God would turn his heart toward God’s word rather than having his heart toward any selfish gain. “Incline” is the common translation of the Hebrew word “extend” or “stretch out.” The verb form of this Hebrew word is used some two hundred and fifteen (215) times. The Psalmist is praying that God would “extend” or “stretch out” his heart (soul) to God’s word.

The question that comes to mind is why does the Psalmist need to pray for this to happen? The heart is not naturally turned toward God’s word. It takes the transformation by the Holy Spirit when a person becomes born again by the Spirit of God to desire God’s word. Prior to being regenerated by the Spirit the human “heart” hates the Word of God. The heart has no interest in, nor love for, nor does it delight in God’s word.

One of the critical marks of truly having been born again by the Spirit of God is the presence or awareness of a love for the word of God. Granted this love may be small or faint initially in a new believer, but eventually the Holy Spirit develops a love for God’s word in the heart of a believer.

At least three (3) different times in this Psalm we read of the love that the Psalmist has for God’s word. “And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.” (Vs. 47) “O how I love thy law! It is my meditation all the day.” (Vs. 97) “Thy word is very pure, therefore they servant loveth it.” (Vs. 140)

I Peter 2:2 states, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”  Desiring God’s word in a believer is as natural as a newly born baby’s desire for milk. When a heart has no desire or interest in the word of God there is cause for alarm. That is not to say that we as believers do not go through periodic “dry spells” where our “thirst” for God’s word has been dulled or dried up. When there is an on-going disinterest and/or desire for the Word of God in the heart and soul of an individual, there is good reason to suspect that this heart has not been renewed by the Holy Spirit of God.

The Psalmist prays that God would “bend” all of his thoughts, desires, and interests, in the direction of God’s Word. The reason he prays this, is he knows that only the word of God can turn his heart away from the trivialities of this life and turn his heart toward the deep things of God.

It is unfortunate that the human heart has a tendency to run amok. Our heart can be easily distracted and can be caused to run after the “silliest” if not sinful things. Our heart is constantly bombarded and tempted to run after selfish desires. The Psalmist knew that the only cure for this tendency was the word of God. As a result, his prayer entreated God to always turn or extend his heart away from the vain and temporal things and toward the “full” and eternal (spiritual) things.

The great obstacle or hindrance towards having one’s heart turned to the Word of God is that of covetousness. “…take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” (Luke 12:15) “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Col 3:5)

The great promise of those whose hearts is turned toward the Word of God is that the Word gives both light and wisdom. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Vs. 105) “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.” (Vs. 130) “Moreover by them (God’s statues [words]) is they servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” (Psalm 19:11)

Therefore, persistently, passionately, and prayerfully beg God to “incline your heart unto the testimonies of God [word], and away from covetousness.”

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What is the Work of Your Life?

"May the living God, who is the portion and rest of the saints, make these our carnal minds so spiritual, and our earthly hearts so heavenly, that loving him, and delighting in him, may be the work of our lives."

--Richard Baxter

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Only Way to Overcome Temptation

Over the last forty (40) years I have written a number of quotes, comments, pithy sayings, and poems in the fly-leafs of my bibles. Each Tuesday I am going to share those various entries from my bibles with you. I hope they will be as much of blessing to you as they have been to me. Sometimes I will be able to give credit where credit is due and sometimes I won’t be able to credit the source. I apologize for this to each one who contributed these gems over the last forty (40) years.


"The joy of the Lord will arm us against the assaults of our spiritual  enemies, and put out mouths out of taste for those pleasures with which the tempter baits His hook."

--Matthew Henry

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Foolish Woman

by Gregg Metcalf
Based on Proverbs 9:13-18

The foolish woman is clamorous
Her only desire is to be glamorous
She is simple knowing not a thing
As she puts on her golden ring

She’s sitting at her door looking pretty
Calling at those who pass by in the city
Casting a spell with smile and dimple
Leading astray all those who are simple

To him who has no understanding she
Says come eat stolen bread with me
For stolen bread is moist and sweet
Eating it in secret is quite a treat

This young man is quite unaware
Of the dismal manner of their fare
For they become guests with the dead
And the depths of hell become their bed

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Collecting Confidence Part I

Series:  Profiting From Peter
A Challenge to Joyful Steadfastness

Title:  Collecting Confidence  Part I

Text:  I Peter 1:1a

Theme:  Introduction and overview 

Thesis:  This is a general introduction to this letter  


1)  To present a basic overview of the author, audience, age, argument, and aim of Peter

2)  To provide confidence in the veracity and validity of this epistle

3)  To promote the glorious character of our majestic God

Persecution can produce spiritual maturity or bitterness in a disciple of Jesus Christ. It is no secret that response determines the result. Peter writes a warm and pastoral letter to the members of a number of congregations made up of both Jews and Gentiles. These believers are struggling as they experience bitter persecution. Peter challenges these believers (as well as you and I) to conduct themselves courageously and to remain resolute and steadfast for Jesus Chris.

Peter reminds them that irregardless of their circumstances their character and conduct must be above reproach. Peter reminds them that having been born from above to a living hope they are to imitate Jesus Christ.

The fruit of that character will be Christlike conduct that is rooted in their salvation, their sanctification, their selection, their submission, and even in their suffering. Peter even informs them that they should not be surprised or overwhelmed by suffering. [He writes to them...]

"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial, which is to try you, as though some strange thing has happened to you, but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy." (I Peter 4:12, NKJV)

This response, this challenge for this kind of steadfastness is truly the climax of a believer's complete submission to the good hands of a sovereign God.

[Listen to what some have said concerning this beloved letter of Peter...]

E. F. Scott - "one of the most beautiful writings in the New Testament."

William Barclay - "it is one of the easiest letters in the New Testament to read, for it has never lost its winsome appeal to the human heart."

Edwin Selwyn - "a microcosm of Christian faith and duty, the model of a pastoral charge

Von Soden - "this short, impressive letter as one of the most precious monuments of primitive Christianity, a jewel of the New Testament worthy to be inscribed with the name of the great apostle."

D. Edmond Hiebert - "it exultantly proclaims the Christ-centered hope of the believer in the midst of an unbelieving and antagonistic world. It contains some of the most vivid expressions of Christian hope, ennobling ethical admonitions and challenges to courage in suffering to be found in the New Testament. As such First Peter may appropriately be designated 'the epistle of the living hope,' for it breathes a spirit of undaunted courage and exhibits as noble a type of piety as can be found in any writing of the New Testament outside of the gospels...down through the ages the persecuted church has always treasured it as a priceless possession."

After, hearing such wonderful thoughts and sentiments about this short letter, it beckons and behooves us to examine it closely. In order to fully appreciate this letter and to properly interpret it in order to properly and profitably apply the implications of this letter, we need to introduce it.

Any good and valuable introduction to any Scripture will have at least seven (7) elements that aid in the interpretation and application of its principles. We will examine those seven (7) key elements.

These key elements are: The Authenticity, the Apparatus, the author, the audience, the age, aim, and the argument.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday with the Doctor #4

Do You?

"There is something essentially wrong with a man who calls himself a Christian and who can listen to a truly evangelistic sermon without coming under conviction again, without feeling something of his own unworthiness, and rejoicing when he hears the Gospel remedy being presented."

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Book Review: Prayer: A Biblical Perspective

Title:  Prayer: A Biblical Perspective

Author:  Eric J. Alexander

First Copyright:  2012

Type of Book:  Paperback

General Subject Matter:  Christian Living

Special Features:  None

Price:  $12.00

ISBN:  978-1-84871-149-5

The author’s purpose in writing this book was to remind Christians that prayer is a fundamental part of their Christian experience rather than being merely supplemental. Alexander believes that this truth is imperative to both the closet (personal) and corporate prayer “life” of individuals and organizations. Alexander’s purpose includes demonstrating that this vital dependence on prayer is exemplified in both the life of Christ and in the early church.

The theme of Prayer: A Biblical Perspective is the necessity of prayer. Alexander’s thesis states that prayer is a foundational necessity rather than just an added component to the Christian life.

Alexander develops his thesis using the technique of persuasion as he argues to establish the veracity of his thesis. Alexander’s purpose is to persuade the reader in to believing that necessity of prayer which leads to the believer incorporating prayer into the believer’s daily life.

I found Prayer: A Biblical Perspective to be very interesting. Alexander writes from a pastor’s perspective.  His argumentation is orderly, precise, and takes a sermonic form. Alexander was very objective in his argumentation. He rarely if ever fell back on personal or subjective feelings to prove a point. Alexander utilizes many scriptures in order to provide authenticity and authority to his points. This book is of great importance to the Christian experience as it provides a number of explanations regarding prayer.

The main argument of Alexander is absolutely true. Prayer is very foundational in a believer’s daily life. It is not something that can be “tacked on” or added as some “supplement” called upon if and when needed. I agree with Alexander in both his thesis and argumentation that prayer is vital and that it is not something than is expendable.

God has designed the Christian experience to include the absolute submission of a believer to Himself. There is no place where submission is more necessary and visible than prayer.

Alexander raises the issue that prayerlessness is quite possibly an indicator that there is a definite problem, if not a lack of relationship between a so called believer and God. A “believer” who does not pray may not be a believer at all. Alexander raises the issue via the experiences of Old Testament believers who “longed for,” “thirsted,” and or “craved” the presence of God through prayer. He strongly suggests that individuals who are prayer less need to “check” their relationship with God at worst and at the very least need to ask God to provide them with a hunger and thirst for God. Alexander believes that prayerlessness can be traced to a lack of desire for God.

Alexander strengthens his thesis by defining prayer. He goes on to provide a theological foundation from prayer. He continues to build on his thesis by exegeting the teachings of Jesus on prayer. Alexander utilizes examples of prayer from the life of Jesus and the Apostle Paul. Alexander drives home his point by addressing the issue of “thirsting after God.”  In addition Alexander provides solid information on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer in regards to prayer. He concludes with what he calls “common difficulties” regarding prayer.

Alexander has valid credentials to sustain both his thesis and argument. He has served as pastor for over fifty (50) years in the Church of Scotland. He has preached and/or taught at a number of conferences in the United Kingdom and United States. He is also the author of Our Great God and Savior.

Prayer: A Biblical Perspective is laid out well. It is easy to read. It contains just ninety-one (91) pages. The type is clear, bold and easy to read. There are no photographs, maps, or pictorial illustrations.

There is no index nor end notes in this book. Alexander does make use of footnotes. There is no bibliography.

In summary, the content of the book is not new or earth-shattering. The content is straight from the bible and a pastor’s heart. The content is valuable, pertinent, and of extreme importance to a believer. Alexander’s arrangement and passion drives the material home with sharp accuracy. This is a must read for every believer.

It is however, not just a must read. Great reflection must be taken by the reader who may find themselves unable or unwilling to pray. My conclusions include the realization that a child will communicate with his or her parent. In other words, a true believer will pray. A true believer will develop communication with their parent, their heavenly Father.

The author’s summary or conclusion is very pastoral and passionate. He pleads with his readers to see the necessity of a praying people. He pleads, “May the church of Jesus Christ in our generation learn in depth how inseparable are prayer and preaching, and put what we learn into action.”

I received no compensation for this book, other than a free copy. The opinions expressed are solely that of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect those of the author or publisher. I was not required to give a positive review.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

We are Fading Fast!

Food For Spiritual Focus

Think heavily on the flower of the grass!

• It sprouts

• It blossoms

• It withers

• It dies!

“Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower fails and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst (in the very act) of his pursuits.”

( James 1:9-11 ESV)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I'm With You John!

Over the last forty (40) years I have written a number of quotes, comments, pithy sayings, and poems in the fly-leafs of my bibles. Each Tuesday I am going to share those various entries from my bibles with you. I hope they will be as much of blessing to you as they have been to me. Sometimes I will be able to give credit where credit is due and sometimes I won’t be able to credit the source. I apologize for this to each one who contributed these gems over the last forty (40) years.


Through communion with Christ
through participation with Him:

I offer thee my heart Lord,
promptly and sincerely.

--John Calvin

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Week of Thirteens: Day Five

A Week of Thirteens

I have never claimed to be clever or original. However, 2013 is somewhat significant to me. As a result I came up with the idea of “A Week of Thirteens.

Day Five:    Thirteen Blog Topics for 2013

1.  The Doctrine of Conversion  (Series coming in February)

2.  Problems in the Pulpit

3.  Problems in the Pew

4.  Who Said...?

5.  The Demise of Particular Baptists

6.  The Works of the LORD

7.  The Art and Science of Prayer

8.  The Attributes of God

9.  The Most Misquoted Verse in the Bible (And Misunderstood)

10.  Series on Preaching

11.  Did Jesus Really Say That?

12.  Prayer in Poetry

13.  Readers Choice

Sunday, January 20, 2013

In Praise of Denominations

Denominations serve a real purpose and are worthy of our promotion, propagation, and commitment

A congregation should also be able to expect certain theological precision and convictions from its leadership based upon the denomination’s stated beliefs and theology. In this way, a congregation is protected from a pastor who would come in and change the church in drastic ways (i.e. from an infant baptizing church to a believer’s only baptizing church). 
“We are moving into a post-denominational age” or so we are told. If that is the case, I for one don’t think it is good news. Denominations serve a real purpose and are worthy of our promotion, propagation, and commitment. I know that many of us have been “burned” by denominations and there is much fruit being born by different networks, fellowships, and independent churches. However, we shouldn’t throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. Networks, fellowships, and independent churches can’t provide the same benefits as a denomination. They may be able to provide some of the things below, but not all of them.
Accountability: Every church and every pastor of a local church needs accountability. If we believe that sin is a true reality, then we will strive to check it. And that often requires a voice outside of our own local church. Denominations provide structure with their policies, appeals process, confessions, and authority.
Safeguarding the Pastorate: Pastors can be the greatest harm or blessing to a local church and its people. This is a reason for the high qualifications listed in Scripture. Therefore, there should be a rigorous, time-tested, biblically faithful process by which men are ordained as pastors. This process should include a true trial, a true testing, and actual confirmation by men who can give an honest and unbiased assessment. Denominations provide for the credentialing and ordination of men in a way that seminaries, fellowships, and independency won’t and sometimes can’t.
Safeguarding the Congregation: Congregations need the protection afforded by denominations. A congregation at odds with its pastor or leadership should have a body to which it can appeal. And this body should have some authority to counsel and possibly intervene (depending on our ecclesiology) in the midst of a troubling situation.
Safeguarding the Pastor: As much as the congregation needs protection from unruly and overbearing pastors, so pastors need protection from fickle congregations. A pastor should have recourse when he finds himself at odds with his congregation. He should have a body to which he can run for counsel. And there should be a process in place by which a congregation at odds with its pastor can’t jettison him at a moment’s notice and move on to the next willing candidate.
Unified Confession: A congregation should also be able to expect certain theological precision and convictions from its leadership based upon the denomination’s stated beliefs and theology. In this way, a congregation is protected from a pastor who would come in and change the church in drastic ways (i.e. from an infant baptizing church to a believer’s only baptizing church).
Unified Mission: Denominations allow for a concentrated and comprehensive approach for engaging in ministry. It is just easier and more effective to do missions, Christian education, planting churches, etc. with a group of churches who belong to one another and are united around the same theology. Their combined assets, both physical and spiritual, will far-outstrip anything they can do independently or by uniting with a handful of like-minded churches.
Unified Voice: There are times when a myriad of voices should be replaced with one strong voice. When an old or new heresy has emerged, it is helpful to belong to a denomination that can speak with one voice to this aberrant teaching. There are also moments when the church should speak to the state or to another group of churches; and denominations provide this possibility.
Theological Precision: Every denomination must have some statement of faith. And usually those statements of faith are examined and tested over the years through the courts of the church or the annual assemblies of the denomination. In this way, theological precision is encouraged not only in the seminary, but in the confines of the church itself.
Fellowship: Don’t underestimate the advantages denominations provide for fellowship. Annual general meetings, regional meetings, and even denominational committee meetings can provide fellowship that is lacking for many pastors and churches. I have witnessed this often in the communities where I have pastored. In each locale, I have been contacted by area pastors looking for fellowship and a way to bring our churches together for some area events. Why? Because they see the need and have the desire for fellowship with like-minded men and churches. Belonging to a faithful denomination provides this.
Mutual Encouragement and Support: Every church and pastor needs to know that they are not alone. It is easy to get caught up in our own little corner of the world and feel quite isolated and as though there is nowhere to turn. Denominations can be useful in encouraging the work of the ministry and actually supporting that work in a significant way.
Denominations are not always easy or enjoyable, but they are worth sustaining. Without them there will be a void that we just can’t fill. A void that will do injury to the Church and her work in this world.
Jason Helopoulos is an ordained PCA pastor laboring at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan. He is a regular contributor at the Gospel Coalition where this article first appeared. It is used by permission.

Copied from The Aquila Report

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Saturday with the Doctor #3

Are You Involved?

The main trouble with the Christian Church today is that she is too much like a clinic, too much like a hospital; that is why the great world is going to hell outside! Look at the great campaign, look at it objectively, look at it from God's standpoint. Forget yourself and your temporary troubles and ills for the moment; fight in the army. It is not a clinic you need; you must realize that we are in a barracks, and that we are involved in a mighty campaign.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Book Review: The Glory of Christ

Title:  The Glory of Christ

Author:  John Owen

First Copyright:  1965

Type of Book:  Hardback

General Subject Matter:  Christology

Special Features:  None

Price:  $28.00

ISBN:  978-0-85151-123-8

The purpose of the author in writing this book was to demonstrate the grace of God made know in the person of Jesus Christ. Owen desired to illustrate the relation of Jesus Christ and Christian duty and experience.

The theme of The Glory of Christ is Jesus Christ the second person of the Godhead. The thesis of this book is that seeing the in depth and intimate character and nature of Jesus Christ is one of the greatest privileges that a Christian can experience.

Owen uses argumentation to develop his thesis. Owen uses the techniques of persuasion to establish his development of the detailed description of the person of Christ. The author desires to convince his readers of the beautiful, glorious, and splendor of the character of Christ.

This volume is an extremely accurate and documented picture of Christ. One needs to keep in mind that Owen is very tedious and dry. Owen has the tendency to be very verbose as he develops his theme. Owen is very objective in his writing. He is extremely thorough and goes into extreme detail to make his points. When slowly read and properly meditating on the material the reader will be extremely blessed.

Owen was educated at Queen's College in Oxford. He studied theology and was the ordained. His first church was at Fordham in Essex. From 1649-1651 he was the chaplain to Oliver Cromwell. Owen was appointed the dean of Christ Church in Oxford and then in 1652 became the vice-chancellor. Owen was a prolific writer having written numerous books.

This book contains no index or bibliography. There are no end notes. There are no footnotes. However this book is replete with scripture.

To summarize The Glory of Christ, would take more than any review could afford. One must read this book. It takes a great committment to stick with reading the book. However, as one reads, one will gain an indescribable insight and appreciation into the person of Jesus Christ. Owen skillfully takes the reader deep inside the person and work of Christ. This book is an extremely important work on the doctrine and person of Christ.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Week of Thirteens: Day Four

A Week of Thirteens

I have never claimed to be clever or original. However, 2013 is somewhat significant to me. As a result I came up with the idea of “A Week of Thirteens.

Day Four:    Thirteen Prayer Requests for 2013

1.  ... for the speedy return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His Assembly

2.  ...  for peace in Jerusalem

3.  ... for a true moving of God's Holy Spirit in His local congregations

4.  ... for God's name to be hallowed on earth as it is in heaven

5.  ... for laborers to enter the already ripe and ready harvest

6.  ... for the eyes of true believers to be enlightened in order to that they may know the hope of His calling and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in all of the saints

7.  ... for His will to be done and not mine (yours) on earth as it is in Heaven

8.  ... for the making of disciples from every nation, from all tribes, and peoples, and languages

9.  ...for local congregations to gain a vision for unreached peoples and to realign themselves in obedience with the Great Commission

10.  ...  for all men, for kings and all who are in authority that we may lead a quiet and peacable life in all godliness and reverence

11.  ...for Christ to dwell in your hearts by faith, that Christ personally and immediately inhabits His people by spiritual meditations upon and loving contemplations of His complex person, His glorious titles, His mediatorial offices, His precious promises, His wise precepts, He might have a constant place, the supreme place in our thoughts and in our affections, in order to have a spiritual sight of Christ, a spiritual knowledge of Him, a spiritual enjoyment of Him, so that He would be present and precious to the soul; and that can only be by the exercise of faith in Him as He is revealed in the Scriptures. (Gleanings from Paul, A. W. Pink, p. 169)

12.  ...for God's glory to be revealed and magnified in the lives of His people

13.  ... for an awakening in the souls of men by the Spirit of God for God and His Word

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Week of Thirteens: Day Three

A Week of Thirteens

I have never claimed to be clever or original. However, 2013 is somewhat significant to me. As a result I came up with the idea of “A Week of Thirteens.

Day Three:    Thirteen Places I Would Love to Visit in 2013

1.       Mesa, Arizona

          (Stacy, my youngest daughter lives there)

2.        Spokane, Washington

           (I have been all over Northern, Western, Southern, and most of Eastern Washington over the past 25 years. I have never been to the city of Spokane)

3.       Applebees

          (for ribs)

4.       Winnemucca, Fallon, Fernly, Elko, NV; Cheyenne, WY

           (communities in Nevada or Wyoming I would like to visit and see if they might be a good place to live...)

5.       Modesto, CA

           (Visit my parents)

6.       George Jones Concert 

          (I would love to see the Possum live, but unfortunately all the shows are on the east coastand this is his Farewell Grand Tour)

7.       Gun Show

          (I am looking for a wheel-gun, .38 or .357)

8.       Clatskanie Rifle and Pistol Club

          (Clatskanie, OR – gun club Irene and I joined)

          (In order to order more books, I mean tools!)

          (in order to order more used and inexpensive books, I mean used an inexpensive tools)

11.     Red Lobster

          (Surf and Turf – Steak and Lobster Tails)

12.     Living Water Community Church, Vancouver, WA

          (Our former home church; we haven’t visited in awhile)

Number one place I would like to visit:

13.     155 lbs

          (My weight when I was in the USMC and when I got married, almost 40 years ago)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Even Though It Seems Impossible

Over the last forty (40) years I have written a number of quotes, comments, pithy sayings, and poems in the fly-leafs of my bibles. Each Tuesday I am going to share those various entries from my bibles with you. I hope they will be as much of blessing to you as they have been to me. Sometimes I will be able to give credit where credit is due and sometimes I won’t be able to credit the source. I apologize for this to each one who contributed these gems over the last forty (40) years.


"I desire to glorify God more than I desire my own personal redemption and salvation."

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Week of Thirteen: Day Two

A Week of Thirteens

I have never claimed to be clever or original. However, 2013 is somewhat significant to me. As a result I came up with the idea of “A Week of Thirteens.

Day Two:    Thirteen Texts I Want to Preach in 2013

1.  Matthew 17:14-20  Jesus Heals a Lunatic

2.  II Peter 3:14-21  How to Wait on the Return of the Lord

3.  I Corinthians 1:2  Called to be Saints

4.  Romans 6:20-23  Salvation: The True Gift of God

5.  Matthew 5:1-3  The Foolishness of being Unprepared

6.  Hebrews 13:14 The Brevity of  Life

7.   John 3:7-8  Ye Must Be Born Again!

8.  Nahum 2:1  God Against You

9.  Luke 15:11-32  The Parable of the Loving Father

10.  II Tim 2:7  The Description of Real Religion

11.  Luke 13:1-5  Repent or Perish

12.  Acts 2:42-48  The Pattern of Priorities

13.  The entire epistle of Romans  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday with the Doctor #2

Is Christ Working In You?

To be a Christian is not only to believe the teaching of Christ, and to practice it; it is not only to try to follow the pattern and example of Christ; it is to be so vitally related to Christ that His life and His power are working in us. It is to be "in Christ," it is for Christ to be in us.

--Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones,
Pastor Westminster Chapel

Happy 12th Birthday to my youngest Grandchild, Paul Diontre Dupri Gresham, IV of Marseilles, IL!

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Week of Thirteens: Day One

A Week of Thirteen’s

I have never claimed to be clever or original. However, 2013 is somewhat significant to me. As a result I came up with the idea of “A Week of Thirteen’s.

Day One:    Thirteen Books I want to Read in 2013

Puritan Theology by Beeke, Joel R and Mark Jones

Meet the Puritans by Beeke, Joel

Transforming Power of the Gospel by Bridges, Jerry

Gospel for Real Life: Turn to the Liberating Power of the Cross... Every Day by Bridges, Jerry

The Sovereignty of God's Mercy by Ryken, Philip Graham

Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching by Kistler, Don

How Long, O Lord? Reflections on Suffering and Evil, 2nd ed. by Carson, D. A.

Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way by Packer, J.I.

Prayer, A Biblical Perspective, Eric Alexander

The Work of Christ by R. C. Sproul

Pentecost-Today?: The Biblical Basis for Understanding Revival
by Iain H Murray

The Mercies of A Covenant God by John Warburton

The Apostles Doctrine of the Atonement by George Smeaton

Faithful Witness:  The Life and Mission of William Carey by Timothy George

Thursday, January 10, 2013

What Do You Think? #1

Repentance and Conversion

“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,” (Acts 3:19-20, ESV)

Why did the early assembly of believers baptize a new convert immediately?

What was seen in those converts that led them to be baptized immediately?

Why do we delay baptism today to new converts? Why do we find it necessary to offer classes on baptism? What is it that we don’t see or aren’t seeing that would cause us to delay baptism of a new convert?

Why is the gospel seemingly so ineffective today?

Does justification of the soul have any effect or obligation on behavior?

Why is the “Sinner’s Prayer” and the concept of “ask Jesus into your heart” such dangerous aberrations to the gospel?

What is repentance and conversion?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Snoopy Says... Yourself! No one can say you are doing it wrong.

Be myself? (Nobody can say you are doing it wrong) This piece of advice is running around Facebook these days. I have seen it a number of times. Be myself? No, I don’t think so. Romans 7:18 says, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh.” (ESV)

Be myself. I think I would rather obey Christ and submit to His admonition of, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever losses his life for my sake will save it.” (Luke 9:23, ESV)

Be myself? No, I don’t think so. I long to submit to the promise that, “…those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son…” (Romans 8:29, ESV) Be myself just because everybody is taken? I don’t think so, Tim!

But what do you expect when folks take their theology from Snoopy?