“Continue in prayer.” -Colossians 4:2 It is interesting to remark how large a portion of Sacred Writ is occupied with the subject of prayer, either in furnishing examples, enforcing precepts, or pronouncing promises. We scarcely open the Bible before we read, “Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord;” and just as…
“O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.” -Psalm 107:8 If we complained less, and praised more, we should be happier, and God would be more glorified. Let us daily praise God for common mercies–common as we frequently call them, and yet so…
I know I just posted another Morning and Evening, but I really wanted to write a bit on this one too because this was honestly one of my favorite ones to record so far. We in the USA just celebrated Thanksgiving, a tradition that we think of as going back to the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony and to later presidential declarations of such days, including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
I was intending to do a sermon episode on it with this sermon, but with the time crunch as well as falling ill, that will probably be done next year around the same holiday, God willing.
The power of gratitude
I wanted to take a moment here and talk about why as Christians, this occasion should be particularly meaningful to us. We should, as a natural course of living, be constantly thankful to God, and I believe it goes hand in hand with the biblical command to rejoice in the Lord in all things. We should remember that our lives, our families and homes, our very existence, and most of all our salvation in Christ, is a gift of God’s goodness and love to us. Certainly, however, it is appropriate for us in this season when we begin to close out the year and reflect on everything that has happened, to make time as a nation to stop and give special gratitude to God.
Gratitude is also one of the believer’s greatest weapons against the temptation to run to sin. Someone who hopes in the cross and pours out his gratitude on the unending grace of God can endure the darkest pits. My own experiences have only grazed the truth of this, but the goodness and grace of God is so very sweet after a deep draught of sadness and suffering, and a time of thanksgiving is all the more appropriate in that time.
I have said before that I believe two important commands we find in Scripture are “rejoice” and “do not fear,” both of which are tied into the idea of loving the Lord with every element of your self, and which overflow into loving your neighbor as yourself. I am reminded most of all of this passage from Hebrews:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.–Hebrews 12:1-2
Such an amazing picture of the strength we can find in God is seen here! Christ set the example for all His people by enduring not just giving up His heavenly throne to live as a servant, but enduring the torment of death on a cross, doing so because He knew the joy that would come of it, of the coming perfect union between Christ and His church, was far more valuable than the shame meted out to him in such an ignominious death.
I am constantly holding myself up against this, and I fall so very short. Yet even knowing that drives me to further gratitude, because the immense and glorious grace of God is more than enough to fill that gap, and to grow me up further. I pray that I will always keep this weapon at hand, as I go forth into the next part of life and into whatever God has planned for me there.
“Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.” -Revelation 12:7 War always will rage between the two great sovereignties until one or other be crushed. Peace between good and evil is an impossibility; the very pretence of it would, in fact, be the triumph of the powers of…
I got a little sick over Thanksgiving weekend and got behind in these, I will be pushing to get them caught up and ahead so this doesn’t happen again around Christmas. Follow the link to hear and subscribe to Theology Mix on your podcast catcher for the twice-daily feed.
On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, I wrote a little article over at Theology Mix on faith, what it is and how it makes and fuels Christians to live in light of Christ. Check out the excerpt below and follow the link for more!
It is difficult to talk about the meaning of “salvation by faith alone” apart from its fellow slogans of the Reformation, because they inform each other and play different roles: we are saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ for God’s glory. But each of those has such a deep meaning behind it that they deserve…
Ever since this podcast started, probably the biggest question Jon and I have fielded is “Will you record the Morning and Evening devotionals?” And to be honest, that was the idea that prompted the creation of this podcast, but a day by day release of the devotional was a little outside my technical ability and budget.
Now though: thanks to the assistance of the Theology Mix network and three fellow podcasters, this wish from so many will be a reality! You may remember Ryan Jackson from our heaven double-feature, and I will also be joined by Len Flack of Renewal Media and North Country Fellowship Church, and Cody Almanzar of The Ordinary Pastor podcast.
This will be kicking off next month, and will be exclusive to the Theology Mix podcast network. If you haven’t subscribed to the TM RSS feed yet, this is a great reason to do so. I will post more once we are about to begin posting, but right now the plan is to begin releasing on August 1. Bookmark it!
Exciting news this week, as this podcast joins forces with the Theology Mix podcast network! Be sure to visit the website and check out the other awesome contributors. In future episodes you will start to hear promos for other shows, and I’ll be producing one for them to run for this show. There are a lot of great podcasts that you should add to your subscription list.
There are also a lot of awesome blog posts, such as this one right here: we’ve also made Calvinist Chewbacca’s list of Chewy Approved Podcasts! It’s truly an honor, and if that sounds absolutely bizarre…well, it really is an honor. Seriously, you guys.