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Archive for February, 2017

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I had the privilege this morning of preaching on John 21:24-25. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: The Gospel of John, as well as the entire Bible, is authentic, authoritative, and sufficient.

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As I read Psalm 31 yesterday in my read-through-the Bible-in-a-year program, verse 15 jumped out at me. In the midst of his psalm, David writes, “My times are in Your hands.” 

As I meditated on that phrase, the following thoughts came to my mind.

“My times are in Your hands” teaches us, as does the rest of the psalm, God’s sovereign care and control of the lives of His people. It can be seen even more clearly when each word is considered in turn.

My times are in Your hands. God’s care and control are personal and individual, not just for “first class” Christians or special Christians or especially holy believers. “My” includes me and all of God’s other children individually, too.

My times are in Your hands. God’s care and control are inclusive. Everything I am and have are in God’s hands. It isn’t simply physical time, though that’s included. The Lord determines the day of my birth, my death, and everything in between.

My times are in Your hands. God’s care and control are present – not past (not “were”) or future (not “will be”) or potential (“might be”); it’s actual. His control and care are current and constant.

My times are in Your hands. God’s care and control is active. My times are in His hands, not outside of them. To be “in” is to possess something and have it under control.

My times are in Your hands. God’s care and control are His possession – something He does and doesn’t share with anyone. I’m in God’s hands, not my own (which is a very good thing, for which I’m incredible thankful!).

My times are in Your handsHands are representative of what God id doing – His work on our behalf in this case. Nothing slips through God’s hands – nothing in our life or the lives of God’s people.

Because our times are in God’s hands, He does with us whatever He chooses. Knowing that should be a soft pillow, and not a hard rock, on which to lay our heads.

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JC-Ryle

 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.”  He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.”  He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.” (John 21:15-17)

J.C. Ryle comments about this passage saying:

We should notice first, in these verses, Christ’s question to Peter–“Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Three times we find the same inquiry made. It seems most probable that this three-fold repetition was meant to remind the Apostle of his own thrice-repeated denial. Once we find a remarkable addition to the inquiry–“do you love Me more than these?” It is a reasonable supposition that those three words “more than these,” were meant to remind Peter of his over-confident assertion–“Though all men deny You, yet I will not.” It is just as if our Lord would say, “Will you now exalt yourself above others? Have you yet learned your own weakness?”

“Do you love Me” may seem at first sight a simple question. In one sense it is so. Even a child can understand love, and can say whether he loves another or not. Yet “Do you love Me” is, in reality, a very searching question. We may know much, and do much, and profess much, and talk much, and work much, and give much, and go through much, and make much show in our religion, and yet be dead before God, from lack of love, and at last go down to the pit. Do we love Christ? That is the great question. Without this there is no vitality about our Christianity. We are no better than painted wax figures, lifeless stuffed beasts in a museum, sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. There is no life where there is no love.

Let us take heed that there is some feeling in our religion. Knowledge, orthodoxy, correct views, regular use of forms, a respectable moral life–all these do not make up a true Christian. There must be some personal feeling towards Christ. Feeling alone, no doubt, is a poor useless thing, and may be here today and gone tomorrow. But the entire absence of feeling is a very bad symptom, and speaks ill for the state of a man’s soul. The men and women to whom Paul wrote his Epistles had feelings, and were not ashamed of them. There was One in heaven whom they loved, and that One was Jesus the Son of God. Let us strive to be like them, and to have some real feeling in our Christianity, if we hope to share their reward.

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I had the privilege this morning of preaching on John 21:18-23. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Following Jesus involves trusting Him with your future and not comparing yourself to others.

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Psalm 56:3 is good medicine for the soul.

In context, David writes, “Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled upon me; fighting all day long he oppresses me. My foes have trampled upon me all day long, for they are many who fight proudly against me. When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise; in God i have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?” (Ps. 56:1-4)

When David wrote this psalm, King Saul was in hot pursuit of him, trying to kill him. David, the man after God’s own heart, admitted the nature of the battle and the effect it had upon him, but he was convinced of a deeper truth that was even more real then the personal effects of the battle.

He states it in verse 3: “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.” When we are afraid, even as a precious child of God, we know our Father can be trusted. We may be trampled upon, oppressed, and fought against, but it never has to be simply endured, stoically accepted, or even raged against. David’s prescription is medicine for the soul – when I am afraid, I will trust God.

The deeper truth is that God is worthy of our trust. He knows what He’s doing. He’s causing all things to work together for our good and His glory. Our sovereign God (sovereign over everything) sees to it.

This truth, which is also a command, has an application that is far wider than being on the run from a king! It applies to everything! We can say:

When I am discouraged, I will put my trust in You.

When I am worried, I will put my trust in You.

When I am angry, I will put my trust in You.

When I am confused, I will put my trust in You.

When I am discontent, I will put my trust in You.

When I am impatient, I will put my trust in You.

When I am irritated, I will put my trust in You.

When I am tempted, I will put my trust in You.

When I am “out of my comfort zone,” I will put my trust in You.

When I am proud, I will put my trust in You.

When I am nervous, I will put my trust in You.

When I am joyful, I will put my trust in You.

And finally,when I am afraid, I will trust in You. That’s good medicine for the soul!

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This morning I had the privilege of preaching on John 21:15-17. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: If God has graciously forgiven your sins, you will love Him greatly and serve others gladly.

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Getting Ready to Worship

Worship is designed to remind you that in the center of all things is a glorious and gracious King, and this king is not you. (Paul David Tripp)

 

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