Episode 57: The Glory, Unity, and Triumphs of the Church

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Our first consideration should not be, “Now I am here, how can I be comfortable?” but “I am here, how can I please others for their good? How can I relieve the distressed, help the weary, or cheer the sad?” It is a grand thing to do good in little ways. It is a glory to be the sweetener of life at home, the self-forgetting friend of all around. The world before long confesses that Christ is in such a man. The true Christian is Jesus Personified.

Charles Spurgeon, sermon 1472: “The Glory, Unity, and Triumph of the Church”

This sermon was honestly one of my favorite ones to read so far, and especially so because it’s rooted in such an important passage in my favorite book of the Bible, the gospel of John. Likewise, it has also been a tremendously convicting one in many positive ways, and I would echo my good brother’s words in that I “confess that I have not yet attained all that I have said to you.” Indeed, I feel that I am a lot farther from that than Charles Spurgeon would have been at this time in his life. But it is in pursuit of that, that we all continue to run towards the cross as we do.

And it is of that unified goal and unified struggle that I want to continue speaking on in this podcast. I want to look at two passages that sit heavily on my own heart. As Charles Spurgeon said in this sermon, I as much as anyone else am very sensitive to the ways in which I have fallen short, and must trust to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit for my desire to grow more in step with these words of Scripture. The first passage, like our sermon text, is from John, the words of Jesus:

“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:34-35 CSB

The second is from Romans 12, where Paul talks about the outworkings of this, what it really looks like for the disciples of Jesus to love one another:

Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Give careful thought to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for God’s wrath, because it is written, Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord. But
If your enemy is hungry, feed him.
If he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
For in so doing
you will be heaping fiery coals on his head.
Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.

Romans 12:9-21 CSB

Unity in grace

This is why unity has to begin with the gospel and therefore work out into our lives; our works must bear the fruit of our faith. So how is it that we can live in such a way that we may reflect that need, in such a way that we can carry out the words of Paul, while engaging with each other over issues that bring deep divides, in calling for repentance from sin?

We must realize that it is entirely God’s grace that we have what we are able to enjoy in this life. And, we must look to showing that grace out in how we use what we have in light of the human divisions that we still have. I think that it’s important to lay a foundation of love and service. And I have to press myself most of all on this: where am I seeking to directly serve and share with those whom I disagree with, to display our brotherhood that runs deeper than an opinion? Where am I hiding from either my own sin or from speaking to a brother to encourage him to repent of his own? Where am I failing to love a brother or sister? Where am I being lazy in seeking to root out the hypocrisy of my life? Where am I not hating what is evil and not loving what is good?

Unified in abundance and in suffering

The struggle is real to remember the unifying factor of the cross between believers. What’s the difference between engaging error or heresy, and being a divider of the brethren? It seems to be a fine line, and all the harder to discern when the primary mode of engagement is 280 characters a pop rather than seeking to truly know someone. It won’t be my place to try to establish that in full here (though there will be future episodes of King’s Highway Radio to discuss some of the issues that bring that division). But let’s look at a few of the things from those passages just to get an idea of what I think it should look like:

Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. These words of Jesus lay the standard from the beginning: Himself, and His love. What greater example of the self-sacrificial love is there than Jesus giving Himself up to the horrors of death by crucifixion? And after that, His loving forgiveness and restoration of Peter for his betrayal, displaying the depths of His mercy not as simply an impersonal setting aside of wrong, but of a personal act that transforms the hearts of His people in ways that we can scarcely consider.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. This is truly a challenge in our modern world, where the idea of something being evil or good is convoluted beyond belief. Indeed, the words of Isaiah in “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” echo throughout the world today. But let’s take a moment to think about, how do we apply these words to a situation where sin has entered into the life of a member of our church?

What is evil? This sin is evil, and its destructive power is clearly seen in the impact it’s having on the life of this person and those around them. I don’t think I need to be more specific than that to have anyone listening to me be able to instantly bring to mind an example they’ve personally experienced. We are to detest it, to abhor that sin, to hate it and desire its destruction. Yet we are also to cling to the good, to hold fast to it and not let it go. What is good? It’s what we remind that struggling saint of in calling them to repentance. It’s the foundation that we as believers have to call out sin in the world as a whole: we are made by God, in His image, and it is that image that shines through and demands to be seen in the light of His glory. Sin dims that glory, it takes what is beautiful and turns it into an evil mockery of God’s goodness. We are to hate that evil, but to love the good and call for repentance on that foundation: let your lives be made not on twisted sinful distortions of God, but truly in His image, seen perfectly in the person and work of Jesus.

Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Finally, let’s truly rely upon God in all circumstances. The pain of persecution was fully upon the early church often, yet they endured it in the hope that was rooted in Christ and poured out in them through the Holy Spirit. Their rejoicing was in the finished work of Jesus, but also in knowing that they had a hope that was stronger than any meager temporary reprieve from discomfort the world might offer them. And this is the conviction that rests on my heart, that I’m going to share with you all now: am I truly being patient when affliction comes, or am I griping and groaning under it until it passes? Am I persistently seeking the Lord in prayer, or am I being lazy in exercising this amazing right I have as a child of the Living God to enter His throne room and seek His face?

Brothers and sisters, I think we all need to wrestle with these questions, yet in hope, not in despair. Do we fall short? Then trust Jesus. Cry out with the words of the father of the possessed boy, “I believe, help my unbelief!” God is happy to hear our cries and always gives good gifts to His children.

Conclusion

So here’s my challenge to my brothers and sisters in Christ: let’s apply these words to our walk, to our conversation, to our thoughts. I hope we will all put ourselves into positions to be accountable to our brothers and sisters of our local church in seeking holiness and obedience in showing this love. We cannot separate God’s love from holiness, or vice versa. Let’s encourage one another in showing gracious love through enduring the suffering of this present life, knowing that we have a hope that shines far beyond anything we could ever have in this world.

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Episode 54: Unity in Christ

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The one Church of God, of what is it composed then? Is it composed of the Church of England, the Congregational Union, the Wesleyan Conference, and the Baptist body? No, it is not. Is not then the Church of England a part of the Church of Christ, and the Baptist denomination a part? No; I deny that these bodies, as such, unrefined and in the gross, are a part of the great unity for which Jesus prayed; but there are believers united with the Church of England who are a part of the body of Christ, and there are believers in all denominations of Christians, ay! and many in no visible Church at all, who are in Christ Jesus, and consequently in the great unity. The Church of England is not a part of Christ’s true body, nor any other denomination as such; the spiritual unity is made up of spiritual men, separated, picked out, cleared away from all the mass with which they happen to be united.

Charles H. Spurgeon

The main idea I am hoping to drive home in the course of this series is clear by now, I hope: the church, the body of Christ, is unified in and by Jesus, and therefore is moved to act by that union. As a result, the gospel is to be preached clearly and constantly, and that which brings disunity and dissension is to be rejected.

But what is the difference between “bringing dissension” and “geniune disagreement?” What is the guiding factor that leads us to determining the way we ought to serve and sacrifice and suffer? That word, that key that unlocks the great gate to the King’s Highway, is love.

The superior way

Love is the key to the greatest commandment, as well as the second. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is, He didn’t just provide an answer like someone in a trivia contest. He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

When the church is looking to understand the direction they are being led in the Scriptures by the Holy Spirit, they can see clearly when they apply the truth of this fundamental commandment: they are to pursue ultimate love for God, which involves true worship, humility in all things, and trust to His goodness and provision. It involves a desire to serve one another and to minister to the need for godliness as much as for any physical need. And loving God with every aspect of your being is itself a sacrifice, putting the selfish sinful desires of your humanity to death as the Holy Spirit refreshes you with new, holy desires.

The fruit of love for God

And just as much, loving your neighbor as yourself is an outgrowth of that sacrifice. It is not normal to a human to love another person the same as he loves himself–especially given the definition of neighbor Jesus gives later in the parable of the good Samaritan. Certainly it isn’t normal for a man to sacrifice his time, his money, and, under the levitical laws, his cleanliness, to help someone who under normal circumstances would despise him, as the man in the story did.

This love, furthermore, is informed and driven forward by our preeminent love for God. In the parable of the unforgiving servant, Jesus uses the example of a servant forgiven a massive debt by his master immediately turning on another servant who owes him, essentially, fifty bucks, and mercilessly demands payment. He heard his master’s forgiving words–but what effect did they have on him? Did he really love his master if his own love for another over a trifling sum is so easily quashed? Love for neighbor and everything entailed in that–mercy, forgiveness, generosity, and more–descends from a deep and abiding love for God above all.

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Episode 42: God Incarnate, the End of Fear

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Read the sermon text at Spurgeon Gems

If you missed it, I did a livestream while I was recording on the Facebook page.  Follow this link if you want to see this sermon read unedited for mistakes, coughing, etc.

I won’t belabor this final episode of the year, except to wish you all a merry Christmas and happy new year.  I ran a little poll on the Twitter account to see what people would choose for the Christmas episode, and this sermon won out by a large margin.  I found it very fitting as well.

Right before things began to officially blow up in my life earlier this year, I recorded an episode called “Joy in Place of Sorrow.”  In it I talked about two phrases from Scripture that struck me as being very central to the day to day life of a Christian: “Rejoice” and “Do not fear.”  Furthermore, they both seem linked directly to the greatest commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength; and the second which is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.  If you are loving God completely, you will rejoice in all circumstances, and that love will kill what Brother Spurgeon here calls “slavish fear,” the fear that drove Adam and Eve into hiding in the garden.

I have been put through a crash course in these truths this year, and as we prepare to close out one year and begin a new one, I want to say to you, my listeners: Rejoice in the coming of Christ, every day.  Do not fear the Lord, but call out to Him and seek to worship Him in everything you do.  Let that love spill over to how you treat your neighbors, how you love the people close to you and the strangers you meet.  I have seen a disturbing trend of many Christians digging in trying to find safety for their traditions and I want to tell you: stop.  Safety is not why we are here.  Love is why we are here, and we must have our eyes open to those around us, for every way we can show it.

We don’t do it out of fear, but because of the love He has shown us.  Do not let your thinking be so high that you cannot lower yourself to the level of Jesus loving the poor, broken, desperate people around Him.  If you want to show the truth of Jesus, let your hands match your words, brethren.  I pray that I will live as consistently with that as I can in this coming year.

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Episode 38: Love Thy Neighbor

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Read the sermon text at Spurgeon.org

I want to say thank you to everyone who has had kind words and continued prayers for me as I have been working through the divorce and all of the personal fallout that has been involved.  I want to especially thank Alex Humphrey of The Rugged Marriage and his wife Rachel, and I definitely recommend subscribing to their podcast if you don’t already.  They were a tremendous encouragement to me, along with many others in my church and around me who have helped counsel me through this.

I debated exactly how I wanted to deal with the ongoing podcast, and I decided I want to just jump back into it with both feet.  I have a few reasons: firstly, as I have said before, this exercise is as much a devotional for me as it is a desire to minister the gospel to others, and it does my heart good to be sitting under the teaching of a man like Charles Spurgeon in this manner, who himself was under a great deal of weight on his heart.

Secondly, I want to have my say, for whatever it’s worth, about what I see happening in the world and the way others are talking about it.  I invite dialogue, although I do require good behavior.  I will be saying things here that many will disagree with.  If you can disagree with me respectfully, I will publish and engage with your comments as best I can.  If you can’t engage with someone who disagrees with you without treating them as subhuman, I would suggest not wasting your time here.  Not because I hate you, but because if even the most fundamental foundation needed for discussion is absent and all you can do is snark and meme your way through a rant, you and I will not be getting very far.

Loving your neighbor, loving your enemy

I want to point out something very important about the concept of loving your neighbor, and to do that I want to look to Scripture:

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”–Luke 10:25-37

The first thing I want to point out about this: this is a command.  I’m not exactly breaking new exegetical ground here, but it is common for people to handle moral issues in the context of “Well, I may do X, but that guy, he’s a real jerk!”  We do that with everyone from our literal neighbors to people in the public eye we will probably never meet.  So, I want to do exactly what Charles Spurgeon did here: I want everyone to take this command and say to everyone, it is pointing squarely at you.  It points at me and you, reader, and each one of us will have to stand before God and account for our obedience to it.

Yet it seems that the primary emotion being demonstrated by many right now is fear, with a healthy backing of anger.  You have fearful liberals and fearful conservatives, fearful radical progressives and fearful alt-rightists who are so convinced that the other is going to destroy them and everything they hold dear.  There is no love for God or for neighbor in their thinking, but there is the thought that “As soon as the other guy is taken down a peg, or removed, or whatever, then the world will be sunshine and butterflies, the poor will have food and the oppressed will be free.”

I have news for you, my friends.  Fear and love are enemies.  “Perfect love casts out fear.”  And if you are a Christian and your reaction to another person who is outside of your camp is fear and anger, if it’s looking for a way to build a compound to hide in rather than to understand and engage with your neighbor, to serve their needs and love them where they are, then I have to put it to you that you are disobeying Jesus, and you need to repent and adjust your heart.  I have seen Christians behaving absolutely shamefully towards other Christians–and if your reaction to these words is defensiveness or finger-pointing then I guarantee that yes, I am talking about you.

But there’s no one I’m harder on in this regard than myself.  I am always looking to hold my thoughts and actions against the standard of righteousness here, and I am wanting.  Yet I do not despair, for two reasons: firstly, because I know that Christ’s sacrifice is enough to cover every sin I have, and that His righteousness will be mine on that day of judgment; and secondly, because I know that God is working in my life through the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit to change me, bit by bit, into the image of Christ.  I want that, I want to represent Him in love and peace and joy through all things.  My friends, I pray that for each of you, you will know the desire for holiness in God in that simultaneous ache of longing and satisfaction of having Jesus.

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Episode 31: Paul’s Persuasion

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Sermon text here

This week’s song: Truly You Are the Son of God by the Loverlies

I want to start by reading the fuller context of our verse this week, from Romans 8:31-39:

What then shall we say? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?  Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?  It is God who justifies.  Who is to condemn?  Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  As it is written,

“For your sake, we are being killed all the day long;
We are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This passage is about hope.  Where do we place our hope?  I actually decided to read this sermon several weeks ago, but between my life being extremely busy right now and the ongoing production of the Morning and Evening podcast, I have had less time lately to produce regular sermon episodes.  But it is oddly fortunate that I should end up reading a sermon on this passage the week that we spend time recalling the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001.  I do remember where I was, and what I was doing, and more than that I remember how I felt afterwards.  I wanted to put my hope in American might, and American goodness, and certainly now I realize that was foolish in many ways.

I recommend listening to John Piper’s sermon from that week, which is, not coincidentally, also on this same passage from Romans.  He reminds his listeners who are still reeling from the shock of the attack, that they cannot put their hope in anything that is here on earth, because it will ultimately fail them.  The words painted on the side of his church—“Hope in God”—have never rung more true, and the reason why is etched plainly in the lives of so many saints before us who have endured suffering for the sake of Christ: His love is unstoppable, irresistible, and perfectly sufficient for all things.

My fellow American Christians, I think it is safe to say that many of us feel very frustrated as we see a culture that has, for centuries, endured and enjoyed great bounty courtesy of a society informed and structured largely according to the Christian worldview if not according to submission to Christ, surrender that worldview en masse and replace it with evil, selfishness, and insanity.  There is a tendency to fear, both losing one’s place, as well as losing “the culture war.”  My brothers and sisters, the only war that really matters is already won.  The Victor stands at the right hand of God now, waiting for the time when His enemies will be made a footstool for His feet.  Meanwhile, we here continue, no matter who is elected president and no matter who is allowed into your public bathroom, to have the duty and joy of serving our fellow man as ambassadors from the living God, as ministers of reconciliation come to  bring the call to repent and turn to Christ, to find that true and neverending, never-damaged love.  Brethren, let us embrace that, though the world should hate us, though our flesh should fail us, though the devil should assault us, let us know that God is truly God and move forward in obedience and love.

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Episode 20: Love at Its Utmost

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As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.–John 15:9

Sermon text

This week’s song: This is Love For God by The Loverlies

I actually forgot that this was Valentine’s weekend when I chose this sermon.  However, I think that simply makes this all the more appropriate to talk about.  The love of God, and its outworking in Jesus’ incarnation and atoning work on the cross, is an oft-misunderstood and twisted concept.  Love in general is a rather abused concept in modern Western culture.  But I don’t really want to spend a lot of time talking about that specifically.  Nor do I intend to rehash many of the things you commonly hear in sermons on the subject, including the (actually incorrect) discussion of Greek words like αγάπη and φιλέω.*

No, instead I want to remind you, my listeners, of the importance of reflecting this great love to those around us.  I especially want to make this imperative in the face of the changing dynamics of the world right now.  As I record this, the news has just broken that Justice Antonin Scalia, who had long been a voice for truth on the US Supreme Court, has passed away suddenly.  This has naturally sparked a lot of commentary as well as worry.  Add this on top of everything happening in both parties with the upcoming presidential election, growing fears of more economic instability, wars and rumors of wars, and so forth.

There is a tendency, when hearing the news and the state of the world, to feel a sense of dread.  There is a thought that we should worry, that something could go wrong and things could turn bad very quickly…and then, who knows what might happen next?  But I want to remind you all, those of you listening who are in Christ and believe that He is indeed on the throne, that we have no cause for fear.  Our anxiety will not change anything, nor does it serve well to remind us of the truth: that God does love us, that He did send His Son to atone for our sins, and that His will is being accomplished perfectly in all things.

Why should the nations say,
    “Where is their God?”
Our God is in the heavens;
    he does all that he pleases.–Psalm 115:2-3

This is the God we worship, and we should demonstrate our love for God by obeying His Word, by loving each other well and giving as we can to those who are hurting.  Do not mistake me: the opposite of anxiety is not apathy.  It is action, driven by the truth of the Gospel: those who are in Christ have been saved from the wrath of God for their sins by the work of Jesus, and therefore we are free to live knowing that He provides perfectly for us!  Not in some kind of “name it and claim it,” prosperity gospel nonsense–that is not Christianity.  That is idolatry of the worst kind, dishonoring to God and destructive to the body of Christ.

No, I am talking about knowing that I can obey God faithfully, knowing that He provides what I need to do so, even when things seem bleak.  I can live in a country and participate in a political process that seems to be heading to a darker and darker place, knowing that no matter who wins an election, God is the one who appoints and casts down kings, all for His purposes and the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

So let us take this time when love is the word of the day and do exactly what believers should do in all times and all seasons:

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.–Romans 12:9-21

*For a full discussion of these terms and the reality of claims that “this word means unconditional love” and “this word means brotherly love!” as well as a thorough but highly readable discussion of God’s love, I highly recommend D.A. Carson’s book The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God.

Episode 16: Mediation of Moses

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Sermon text here

This sermon was a special request of a listener, and I can only hope that I’ve done even a little justice to how this sermon has sounded in his head.  Of course, more than my own voice, the voice I pray that he and all others hear is the Holy Spirit, convicting, teaching, rebuking, and building up in love.

And I know all of that was true for me even as I read through it.  This sermon brings to mind many things for me, firstly a conviction of the way I pray for those around me.  I know that my heart for my neighbor has not been a boldly praying one as it should be, and that I personally need to come outside the typical box that so many Americans fall into, where we find our comfortable spot and sit there, happy to not have to deal with the mess around me.  But what that attitude shows, is that I don’t truly live in light of the magnitude of the mercy shown to me by God.  I want my life to be a grand reflection of the deep thankfulness of a man who has been given back his life by a Judge who had a properly rendered death sentence before Him…and yet, not only did He commute that sentence, but adopted me as His child and granted to me an inheritance beyond any I could ever conceive.

This is a truth I want to affect every inch of my being.  I want my thought patterns, my desires, my actions and day to day life to reflect this.  I am aware of the inconsistencies that I continue to carry with me day by day, and yet God’s mercies continue and renew daily.  The Father’s call never changes, the Son’s atonement and intercession never changes, and the Spirit’s loving conviction and renewing never stops.  I look forward to growing deeper in this.

And believers, brothers and sisters, this is something I hope will be true of all of you.  We live in a time that seems to be becoming more dangerous and uncertain, and where that danger is not located “over there” thousands of miles away, but is right here, right now.  Yet the responses I see from Christians are, to put it simply, disheartening.  I desire justice to be done.  I desire the innocent to be protected, and I too burn with anger when I see innocent children being murdered, or the cackling madness of ISIS terrorists as they brag about their latest atrocity.

But my brothers and sisters, we cannot afford to let that change the way we look at the people around us.  We can’t let it cause us to take joy in their destruction, nor to react with a spirit of fear to them.  Firstly, recall that you and I are just as deserving of the justice of God as they are, and it has only been God’s mercy upon us that lets us stand anywhere but directly in the place of judgment.  If we are to live and act consistently with the truth we have been convicted of by God’s Word, then we must walk in obedience to Jesus’ command to love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us.  I know that this thought causes me to reflect more before pressing that share button, or commenting on a post.  I hope I will come to live more consistently with this.

Episode 9: Herein is Love

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Love is in the air and in the news, and I wanted to do a sermon on love with its truest center in our human experience: God’s love, and the great display of it in the person and work of Jesus Christ.  Listen above, and stay tuned for our next discussion episode featuring a very special crossover!

Meanwhile, I am also posting my own writing on the subject, crossposted from my own blog.  Check it out below the fold:

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