Studying to preach on Mark 7.24-37 yesterday, I was convicted about my lack of faith. The Syrophonecian woman had faith Jesus was willing and able to cast the demon out of her daughter. She was so convinced that she did not stop pleading. She even entered into the dialog Jesus initiated with her even embracing being called a dog.
I learned from this that the evidence of your faith is not your confession of theological concepts but the constancy and content of your prayers to God. I immediately confessed my lack of faith in Jesus’ willingness and grace by this standard. I realized I didn’t really believe God would save a lot of people through my gospel ministry. That is a tough thing for a pastor of a gospel-believing and gospel-preaching church to admit. But my prayers, or lack of prayers for God to save the lost convicted me.
Then I read an article this morning that encouraged me. The excerpt grabbed me and I had to read it. Here’s the excerpt:
Do you need a pep talk to keep you going in gospel work? Have you just heard the media totally misrepresent Christian truth yet again? Are you worried about the Bible being totally banned in public schools? Are you sick of Christians being blamed for all the evils in the world? Do you look out your window and doubt that your neighbours will ever know Christ? Have you resigned yourself to be at least faithful, but not fruitful?
I encourage you to read the whole article.
Folly: “If you’re cheating on your spouse physically or emotionally, it might be time to give your spouse the respect they deserve and get a divorce so you both can find happiness.” – Joe and Cheryl Dillon (Huffington Post)
Wisdom: “If you’re cheating on your spouse physically or emotionally it is for sure time to give your spouse the respect they deserve and look to Jesus Christ’s death for sin and resurrection, repent from your sins, ask God for forgiveness, ask your spouse for forgiveness, reconcile with him/her and ask God for grace to be faithful so you both can find happiness.”
The Huffington Post advice is foolish. It’s like saying, “If you’re feeling the pain of anxiety at an upcoming surgery to take out your terminal yet treatable cancer, give your body the respect it deserves and skip the surgery so your body and mind can both find peace and happiness.” That’s stupid, right?
This is why we promise “for better, for worse.” There will be times that are worse than other times. We promise to be together through that. And we promise that until death do us part.
What God says about abortion.
God’s Word preached and taught in January, 2015.
Here is a response to the video above.
Donate “tissues”? “Tissue donation”? I guess the baby’s heart, liver, and other organs are tissues. But who’s tissues? Is it the mother’s heart or liver or organs? No, it’s the baby’s tissues. They are donating the baby’s “tissues.”
“Our top priority is the compassionate care that we provide.” There is no compassion for the baby. The baby is sacrificed and killed. There is no long term compassion for the mother who is now guilty of choosing to end the child’s life.
Do pro-lifers not care for the health and safety of women? Are we saying women shouldn’t be cared for or safe? I reject that. I care for the little women in the womb who are being aborted. I care for the mother who will walk around with guilt and regret and countless what-ifs. Not all mothers feel guilty or have regret. But many do. And even those who don’t are cared for by my pro-life desires and actions. I care for every mother who will stand on judgment day before God for her decision to abort the baby.
For those who fear the judgment of God that is coming, the good news is God sent his Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins and rise from the dead. If you repent from your sins, turn from them, ask God to forgive you of your decisions to abort your child(ren), and trust in Jesus Christ you will receive forgiveness of sins and his Holy Spirit who will live in you and begin to transform your life to love and joy in God.
If you want to hear from God’s Word, the Bible, on abortion you can listen here.
Mark of a Healthy Church: Expository Preaching
A healthy church is a church that hears God speak from his Word and trusts in it. That is why a healthy church must be committed to expository preaching. By “preaching” we mean the declaring of God’s truth with authority. By “expository” we mean that the preaching explains and applies the meaning of the biblical text. So expository preaching declares, explains, and applies the meaning of the passage. The content and intent of the passage must shape the content and intent of the sermons preached and lessons taught.
A church should be committed to hearing the Bible declared, explained, and applied to them. They should expect those teaching and preaching will be diligent and faithful to the Bible and its Author. If a church does not expect and prioritize expository preaching then the Word of God will no longer lead and shape that local church. The church is a group of sheep. And the sheep know the Chief Shepherd’s voice. They want to hear from him, trust him, enjoy him, and obey him. When expositoory preaching is neglected they are following other voices and another’s direction. Preachers are not called to be creative primarily. They are called to be faithful to the text. And they are not to be arbitrarily picking and choosing what they want to say. They must submit to the Scriptures and declare what it says, in season and out of season, when it’s popular and when it is controversial. Anything less will starve the church from feeding on the Bread of life.
PJ Tibayan, Pastor
Jim Armstrong | Al Hilte, Deacons
Barbara Spann, Secretary
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In these two passages cited below, the first one written almost 600 years before Jesus and the second written about 60 years after Jesus died and rose from the dead, we have the prediction/prophecy of false teaching and many in the world fall prey to lies. Even those who profess to believe will have a number who fall prey to the lies. This is true not only in the first century and but in the 21st century. It’s not only true in America today given the moral and immoral teachings and approvals, but it’s happening all around the world in different ways. We’ve been in the last hour with false teaching and people falling away and being deceived and tricked for a long time. And we must keep to God’s Word and to Jesus Christ authoritatively revealed in the Scriptures in this hour.
Daniel 11:31–34 (CSB) —31 His forces will rise up and desecrate the temple fortress. They will abolish the daily sacrifice and set up the abomination of desolation. 32 With flattery he will corrupt those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will be strong and take action. 33 Those who are wise among the people will give understanding to many, yet they will die by sword and flame, and be captured and plundered for a time. 34 When defeated, they will be helped by some, but many others will join them insincerely.
1 John 2:18–23 (CSB) —18 Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard, “Antichrist is coming,” even now many antichrists have come. We know from this that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. However, they went out so that it might be made clear that none of them belongs to us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge. 21 I have not written to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar, if not the one who denies that Jesus is the Messiah? This one is the antichrist: the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son can have the Father; he who confesses the Son has the Father as well.
(this post was inspired by reading chapter 5 of Greg Beale’s book, A New Testament Biblical Theology).
“One of the most controversial things I do… is when I tell a couple, ‘You can’t write your marriage vows.’ … The reason I do it is because there is an assumption underneath that that my marriage is my thing… The wedding is a celebration of [my love to my spouse] and so everyone is here to see their facebook post that is live. That’s not what a wedding is. You don’t even necessarily know what you are going to vow to one another when you’re 25 years old and you’re coming together. You need the rest of the body who are coming in and preparing you to be with one another during Alzheimer’s disease, through the death of a child, through the temptation to commit adultery, through all of these things that you can’t imagine right now. So teaching your congregation along the way. This is a Christian view of marriage that is different from what the rest of the world is doing. That’s how you’re going to build a long and sustaining marriage culture.” (Russell Moore, 1:29:14) – http://erlc.com/connecting
For more on this you can read this transcript.
I just saw an article entitled, “The Beautiful Trend Caitlyn Jenner Has Inspired” on Yahoo.com
Deuteronomy 22:5 “A woman is not to wear male clothing, and a man is not to put on a woman’s garment, for everyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD your God.”
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
(So we’re ALL cursed. But there’s hope!)
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(God is calling us to repent from our sins [including sexual and gender-violating sins] and trust in Jesus the Messiah who died for sinners and rose from the dead. Praying for Mr. Jenner and for us all to submit to God and receive his forgiveness and grace as he has revealed himself in his Bible).
Some pastors have to do everything because they don’t have other pastors on staff. They must marry, bury, counsel, preach, teach, lead meetings, evangelize, and sometimes even advertise.
One pastor asked Tim Keller (with Alistair Begg and another brother on the panel) for advice on how to get more sermon preparation time in light of all these other responsibilities. Tim Keller’s answer was very helpful. He basically said that the pastor should worry most about his time in personal bible reading and prayer. That is what must not get squeezed out. That is what many pastors would lose. And that, along with doing all the other things a pastor must do listed above with his people will actually make him a better preacher.
It was great advice in my view so I’m happy to record it here that it may encourage others.