Posts by gcbcmn (Page 3)

Posts by gcbcmn (Page 3)

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…

Doctrines of Power

At Grace Community Bible Church, we believe the Canons of Dordt are an accurate summary of what the Bible teaches about key doctrines regarding salvation. Sometimes the Canons of Dordt are referred to as the “Doctrines of Grace.” But I have always wondered how my Arminian friends feel about this title. Is their system not “doctrines of grace”? It wasn’t until a recent study of the Canons of Dordt, I found that it might be better to refer to the…

Keep Hoisting the Sails

For many of us, right about now, we are stuck in a rut with our daily Bible reading. We started the year well, with great intentions and ambitions to read the Bible in a year. But somehow, Leviticus is boring us to death! So, with that said, I want to remind you that the means of grace God has orchestrated, like Bible reading, is like sailing. A sailor cannot control the wind one iota. All the sailor can do is…

Human Love Versus God’s Love

How is God’s love different than our love? There are at least four ways God’s love is different than human love. I’m borrowing these four ways from a sermon by William Cooper, author of many well-known hymns including “There is a Fountain.” God’s love is eternal; ours is not. It is hard to fathom in our finite minds, but, if you are a Christian, from before time began, God loved you. This means his choice of you is an effect…

Life Is Fragile

Three years ago on Easter Sunday 2017, I was so sick that I could not get out of bed. The day before I was in full health; on Easter Sunday morning, I was hardly able to move. I can only recall two other times in my entire life being so sick. More recently, due to a herniated disc, I have been on my back more in the last few weeks than I have ever been. Both sickness and injury have…

Why Is Prayer Hard?

Prayer is hard. Not technically hard, for a young child can pray. Prayer is practically hard. Why? Here are four reasons why: 1. We are self-sufficient. When Jesus teaches his disciples to pray: “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt 6:11), the disciples needed that day’s bread. They did not have weeks and weeks of food stored up in a refrigerator or pantry. It’s not only economic self-sufficiency that makes it hard to pray. It is spiritual self-sufficiency. We…

What Does Chalcedon Have To Do With Christmas?

Chalcedon is a city in Turkey that was the sight of the ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451. The Council of Chalcedon produced the Chalcedonian Definition which explains the incarnation of Christ. The Chalcedonian Definition says that Jesus Christ was one person in two natures—fully human and fully divine. This means that . . . At the moment of incarnation, Christ was fully man and fully God, being fully God from eternity. In the incarnation, Christ not only assumed flesh,…

What Is Christmas About?

What is Christmas about? Christmas is about the incarnation of the glory of God. Allow me to unpack this. What is the glory of God? The glory of God is the display of all that he is. Each of God’s attributes (e.g., holiness, goodness, justice, etc.) tell us what God is like; they tell us about who he is. The glory of God is the display of his attributes, of all that he is. To use an imperfect analogy, on…

Your Work Is Service to Christ

The Scripture teaches us that as we work, we are to work for God, doing the best at what he has called us to do (Colossians 3:23). If we can do our work—whether outside the home or inside the home, paid or unpaid—“as for the Lord,” then it follows that our work is in some sense service to God. And this is exactly what the Bible teaches: “It is the Lord Christ whom your serve” in your work (Colossians 3:24).…

The One Principle that Will Save Your Marriage

One principle, if consistently followed, will save your marriage. The principle is easy to understand but hard to practice. The principle is this: See yourself as the problem not your spouse. I get this from Jesus’ wise instructions in Matthew 7:3-5: “Why do you look at the s peck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck…

Should We Use the Term “Born Again?”

Many people use the term “born again.” The term is heavily utilized both by evangelicals and the news. When Christians use the term “born again,” it is often shorthand for an evangelical Christian, as opposed to a Roman Catholic. However, many Christians use the term with little thought of their context and audience. Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus is illustrative and instructive for us. When Jesus meets Nicodemus, he says to him that “unless one is born again he cannot see…

Advice on Killing Sin

The definitive treatment on killing sin is a series of sermons John Owen preached on Romans 8:13 that eventually became Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers (1656). In the book, Owen has several pithy statements of advice on killing sin. “Be killing sin or it will be killing you” According to Romans 8:13, Christians are to actively kill sin in their lives. The reason is simple: sin is serious. If we do not kill sin, it will kill us!…