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Well-Driven Nails

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“The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd.” (Ecclesiaistes 11:12)

The wrath of God is regularly minimized and downplayed by Christians. We tend to focus more on His love or His grace, but we do so to our own detriment – we’re not portraying God the way He has revealed Himself to us in Scripture. Gavin Ortlund has some good insights on the subject.

Laws that allow assisted suicide aren’t the panacea many thought. In fact, many who want their diseases treated are being pressured into the financially cheaper option of suicide. “Right-to-die” has morphed into “duty-to-die.” Helena Berger writes about it in The Hill. This is a serious ethical issue and we need to think Christianly about it.

“Remarkable Biblical Memorization” is the title of an article written by Justin Poythress about his father, theologian and professor Vern Poythress. The piece is short, but you’ll be challenged by it.

What do students in a student’s ministry need? They need to take the Bible and their spiritual growth as seriously as they take their school studies and sports. Jen Wilkins makes the case.

“Jesus is Lord.” That seems like a simple statement, but it’s packed with meaning. When someone says it, they’re saying eight things according to Jesse Johnson. Jesus is Lord!

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The hour was dark – very dark for the British Empire and the rest of the world – as Nazi Germany was on a seemingly unstoppable march toward world domination. Winston Churchill, however, shone brightly in contrast.

Darkest Hour tells the story of Churchill’s appointment as Prime Minister through the rescue at Dunkirk and his “We shall never surrender” speech to Parliament. With the exception of one scene (Winston riding the Tube in the Underground), the movie is historically accurate. Gary Oldman was fantastic in his portrayal of Churchill. He obviously studied the Prime Minister’s mannerisms and speech patterns. The makeup artists deserve some kind of reward for transforming Oldman into Churchill – unless his name was on the credits, you may not have known it was him.

Darkest Hour presents Churchill’s admirable qualities quite clearly. As an admirer and student of Churchill, I’m well aware of his less than admirable qualities as well (which were seen in the movie, too). He was flawed, just like all of us.

Churchill provided the courage needed to fight against, and ultimately defeat along with the Allies, the Axis powers. Providentially, Churchill was the right man for the right time. Churchill harnessed the power of words to motivate, inspire, and lead the free world in the battle against evil that was World War II. He was a needed counterbalance to Adolf Hitler, who also used words to advance his cause. Viscount Halifax, an opponent of Churchill in many ways, said of Churchill that he “mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.” Indeed he did.

There are lessons for us to learn from Britain’s experience in World War II. Courage is always needed whatever our time or place, but it is always in short supply. It’s the rarest of virtues. Words are powerful: they turned the tide in World War II; they were used by God to create all things – visible and invisible; they turned the world upside down as the early Christians preached the gospel; and they changed the world in the Reformation as Bible preaching thundered from from pulpit all over Europe.

I highly recommend Darkest Hour. It’s a movie my Dad, who was a “Churchillophile” (if I may coin a word), would have liked.

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Luke 2:8-14 says,

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

Rejoice, the Saviour has come! Repent and believe in Him.

Rejoice, the Lord has come! Submit to Him.

Rejoice, the Saviour and Lord is coming again! Prepare for Him.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

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I had the privilege this morning of hearing Pastor Rick Elzinga preach on Psalm 110. Here is a summary of his sermon in one sentence: Not only is Jesus the King who subdues us, He is also the Priest who reconciles us to His Father.

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I had the privilege this morning of hearing Pastor Dan Gannon of Renton Bible Church preaching on Psalm 98. Here is a summary of his sermon in one sentence: Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah whose coming brings joy to the world.

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Apologetics is the art and science of defending the faith – defending the truth of Christianity – Voddie Baucham shows how that can be done in the process of preaching and teaching God’s Word in his book Expository Apologetics: Answering Objections with the Power of the Word. Part of Baucham’s preaching style is to anticipate the objections of skeptics (and other non-believers), and then answer them using the text of Scripture being explained. In addition to explaining how the faith can be defended, he also demonstrates by providing a transcript of one of his sermons.

Expository Apologetics is a layman’s introduction to presuppositional apologetics, which is connected frequently with Cornelius Van Til in the early 20th century. Baucham makes the concepts of the system understandable and applicable. His treatment of Romans 1 – what everyone knows and is answerable for – is excellent.

Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are commanded to “set apart Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within you, with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). Expository Apologetics by Voddie Baucham will help you obey that command. Tolls lege! Take up and read!

 

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I had the privilege this morning of hearing Pastor Scott Gilchrist of Southwest Bible Church preach on Acts 18:9-26. Here is a summary of his sermon in one sentence: There is no safer place to be than when we are where God wants us to be, doing what He wants us to do.

 

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