Archive for the ‘Alistair Begg’ Category

I have a confession to make. For months and months – maybe even years – I’ve listened to Alistair Begg’s podcasted sermons and misunderstood a word he uses quite often.

I would hear him make mention of something called a “sermony” – that’s the way it sounded to me. I didn’t know what the word meant, but taking into consideration the context and the fact that I know what a “sermon” is, I was fairly confident that it had something to do with that. Maybe it was a short sermon, or charge, because Alistair brought it up when he talked about weddings, funerals, baptisms, and dedications. Or, I thought, it could be a Scottish word I wasn’t familiar with.

Then, while I was in my study at church sometime last week, I was listening to him and he said the word again. This time, though, was different. Immediately the thought popped into my head, “he’s saying “ceremony”! “Ceremony”! So that’s what he’s been talking about all along, a ceremony. That makes a whole lot more sense than what I thought before. I thought to myself, “How could I have missed that?”

It took Alistair saying the word “ceremony” hundreds of times – literally – before I figured out what he meant. The next time I hear him say it, it’ll make perfect sense.

Here’s a thought: maybe the gospel is heard the same way. People can hear the good news that Jesus Christ died for their sins and was buried; that He rose from the dead on the third day and was seen by many; hundreds, if not thousands of times, and it makes no sense. Then suddenly, because God the Holy Spirit has given them ears to hear and eyes to see, it makes sense. In other words, they have an “Oh, I get it!” moment.

My misunderstanding of Alistair Begg may have given an insight into how Ephesians 1:13 might take place: “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.”

Just a thought.


Read Full Post »


What does jealousy look like?

In a recent sermon, Alistair Begg painted a bit of a picture of just what the “green-eyed monster” might look like:

  • Jealousy can’t stand when others are doing better than we are.
  • Jealousy is sad at the happiness or success of others.
  • Jealousy makes us hostile to those who’ve never harmed or wronged us.
  • Jealousy seeks to bring about the ruin of others.
  • Jealousy fails to recognize that God knows what He’s doing in apportioning gifts.

This list hit home with me because I see them in myself, too. One of the occupational hazards of being a pastor is jealousy. You may not know that, but it’s true! For the seven years I spent in pastoral ministry, jealousy was a constant companion – the guest who wouldn’t leave. I, and all of my honest colleagues in the ministry, were jealous of other pastors (even ones we didn’t know personally), churches, staffs, and congregations, to name just a few.

That guest hasn’t showed up very much in the last year (thank God!). Maybe I’m enjoying what I’m doing (which being interpreted means school) too much to have time for it. Maybe the Holy Spirit is really at work in me to make me more like Christ. Maybe I’m growing more satisfied in God and a little less concerned about being satisfied with life. Maybe it’s a bit of all three.

Galatians 5:20 says that jealousy is one of the “works (or fruit) of the flesh.”  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Read Full Post »

Truth for Life is currently playing a series of sermons by Alistair Begg called “The Sabbath,” which has been fantastic so far. It’s causing me to think about what I’m doing on Sundays and make some changes. If you’d like to listen, go to the website and check it out.

Read Full Post »