Posts by gcbcmn (Page 2)

Posts by gcbcmn (Page 2)

Why Is Christianity Exclusive?

Ravi Zacharias died over a month ago. Though I never read any of his books and only occasionally heard him speak on Christian radio, I do know he did much to advance Christianity in a religiously pluralistic age. We certainly live in an age in which religious pluralism prevails. In a nutshell, religious pluralism is the belief in the existence of multiple paths to God. Christianity, in distinction from religious pluralism, says that there is only one way to God.…

One Sentence That Could Change Your Life

Now that I have your attention from the title, let me give you the sentence: relationships are not meant for your happiness; they are meant for your redemption. This statement comes from Paul Tripp and Tim Lane in their brilliant and biblical book, Relationships: A Mess Worth Making. The fact of the matter is that your life is filled with relationships. You have family, friends, work associates, church members, neighbors, doctors, lawyers, accountants, contractors, postal workers, school associates, homeowner’s associations,…

Churches are Re-Opening…What Church Should I Join?

One thing the coronavirus pandemic has taught us is the importance of the local church. While you can “live stream” almost any church in the nation from the comfort of your living room, this is no substitute for being a member of a specific local church. Choosing a local church is an important decision. Thankfully, you are not the first person in history to have to make the decision. Throughout history, Christians have faced the decision of what church to…

Longing to Be Clothed

The changes to our lives brought about by COVID-19, one being the ability not to meet in person, has us longing to be clothed. What in the world do I mean? In 2 Corinthians 5 we read: “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with…

Prayer Is the End

We live in a culture of productivity. And one thing is for sure: a culture of productivity makes prayer challenging. Since we thrive on accomplishments, it is often hard to see what prayer accomplishes when prayers are not answered in the way we want. And when we cannot measure and quantify tangible results of prayer, prayer is often neglected. When we do not get what we want, we give up asking or get frustrated and impatient. But this is exactly…

Sorting Out Our Priorities

The COVID-19 pandemic has sorted out priorities in all of our lives. We haven’t arrived in this reorganization, but we’re closer perhaps than ever before. As a pastor, this prioritization has taken place regarding theology. Theology matters. But not every area of doctrine has priority. I believe three doctrines emerge as foundational. 1. The foundation of the inerrant word of God. As we have discovered on social media, everybody is an expert and people’s opinions come and go, but the…

A Discipleship Lesson for Every Christian

During Jesus’ short three-year ministry on earth, He taught us much on how to minister to others. One of the important ministry lessons Jesus taught (which we need to be reminded of again and again!) and borrowing the words of one pastor, is this: “Don’t let what God wants you to do get in the way of who God wants you to be.” This simple truth is so profound and helpful. In a real way, God is more concerned about…

Theology Matters Now More than Ever

Over the past two months, with the outbreak of the coronavirus and the rapid change of “normal” life as we know it, I have experienced quite an array of emotions. Here are a few: fear (that I could have or will get COVID-19), panic (because everybody else is panicked!), joy (that the market finally received the correction it needed), sadness (that I cannot worship with my church family in person), and many others. In all these emotions, I have realized,…

God’s Omniscience Motivates Prayer

God is omniscient. This means that God knows all things past, present, and future. As this relates to prayer, it means that God, as Jesus says, “knows what you need before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). Notice carefully that Jesus does not say God knows what you need if you do not ask. Instead, Jesus says God “knows what you need before you ask.” While it is certainly true that God knows what you need if you ask or do…

Annihilating Anxiety

During this unprecedented time associated with COVID-19, we can be tempted to fall into various sins. While there are many that I could mention, sinful anxiety comes to the surface. We are tempted to be anxious in this current situation, not only because we are afraid of getting very sick, but because of the pressure it is placing on relationships and on our finances. In fact, I think the tendency towards anxiety in our lives is often directly connected to…

Who Wants to Limit the Atonement?

Some Christians are often charged with limiting the atonement. The truth is that these Christians do not want to limit the atonement. No one does. The reality, however, is that unless you are a Universalist, then you limit the atonement. How? In one of two ways. You either limit the effectiveness of the atonement, or you limit the extent of the atonement. If you limit the effectiveness of the atonement, you believe that Christ atoned for the sins of every…

Consider One Another

The New American Standard Bible, the version used to preach God’s word at Grace Community Bible Church, puts Hebrews 10:24 like this: “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” Unfortunately, this way of translating Hebrews 10:24 does not entirely capture the original Greek wording. In the original Greek, the main verb is the word “consider,” not the word “stimulate,” which happens to be a noun. Since the main verb is “consider,” the immediate object of…

Providential Interruptions

In our culture, we plan to the max: our calendars are full, our checklists are long, and our goals are polished. Yet sometimes we are interrupted from our plans, checklists, and goals. The whole world has been interrupted by the virus we call COVID-19. Even as the pandemic rages, we experience small interruptions like our children’s mishaps, cancelled appointments, and technology that does not function when we need it to. So, how should we respond to interruptions in our lives?…

How Long, O Lord?

Recently, I have been asking myself the question, as I’m sure you have too: “How long, O Lord,” will this social distancing/shelter-in-place order last? At this point, we do not know. And not knowing is driving us crazy! Of course, if you have read the last paragraph with attentiveness, and if you’re familiar with the Bible, particularly the Psalms, you know that I made an allusion to an often repeated line: “How long, O Lord” (Psalm 13:1; 79:5; 89:46). Take,…

Easter is Not Canceled

You might read this title and think: My Easter has been canceled! My church is not assembling. Easter brunch is not happening and my family is not gathering. Easter is canceled for me! Yes, churches are not assembling, restaurants are not open, and families are not meeting. But Easter is not canceled. I say Easter is not canceled because of the nature of Easter. All the things I’ve mentioned thus far—church assemblies, Easter brunches, and family gatherings—are merely celebrations of…

Bearing Burdens

Bill Withers, writer of the famous song ‘Lean on Me,’ died Monday March 30th at the age of 81.  I had just referenced a specific lyric of this song (we all need somebody to lean on) the day before in a sermon on bearing one another’s burdens from Galatians 6:2-5. In this passage, Christians are called to bear the burdens of others because they have a biblical view about self. To bear the burdens of others, a Christian must look…

God’s Grace and Sovereignty in Troubled Times

Charles Spurgeon observes of 2 Kings 6:6 that no matter how many of life’s heavy burdens threaten to overwhelm us, we can take it to the Lord in prayer. Perhaps you are facing desperation in a relationship, job, or an unimaginable task that is just too heavy for you to bear, where are you to turn? Too often we only turn to prayer when we are in agony because our own abilities to resolve the situation to our liking has…

Standing Firm in Christ

In 1 Cor 15:58, Paul reminds the Corinthians that the blood of Christ redeemed them and because of that they can stand fast in Him. The times we live in are unlike any other. Not only are we dealing with the Coronavirus, but our world is such a different place now than it has ever been, filled with prosperity and material abundance, medical technology that is second to none and the ability to travel around the world faster and with…

The Coronavirus and the Last Days

With many stores and venues closed and shelves remaining understocked, I’m sure you, like me, have drifted to thoughts of: Is this the beginning of the end? As my mind ponders all the ramifications of the coronavirus on my 401k balance, my favorite restaurant, and our church body, I am reminded of two truths: (1) We are living in the last days and (2) Jesus is coming back sooner today than he was yesterday. I want you to know that…

You are Mine!

But now, thus says the Lord, your creator, O Jacob, and he who formed you, O Israel, do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. Isaiah 43:1-2 What a comforting passage for us in…