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Sermon in a Sentence

ps 30

This morning I had the privilege of hearing Pastor Rick Elzinga preach on Psalm 30. Here is a summary of his sermon in one sentence: A God-centered life is one that praises God for deliverance in order that others will praise God, too.

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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” (Ecclesiastes 12:11).

Is God’s sovereignty a secondary issue in terms of doctrine? Steve Lawson gives the answer here in an article at Ligonier’s blog. Not only is it one of the most important doctrines, but also one of the most comforting.

Dr. Scott Redd answers the following question: Should excellent preaching drive people away? You should read his answer.

No, Jesus would not “just bake the cake” to be used for a same-sex wedding. Steven Ingino clearly explains why this is true. If we’re going to ask what Jesus would do in a given situation, we’re going to have to think deeply, clearly, and biblically before we come to an answer.

Michael Kruger continues his series on the progressive (meaning Leftist) “Ten Commandments.” The fifth is “Are Questions More Important Than Answers?” I’ve heard that one quite a few times. The entire series is worth reading and thinking about.

Denny Burk thinks the phrase “same-sex attraction” is confusing and suggests a phrase that is more biblical and accurate. He makes a very good case, which you can read here.

 

 

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“Encourage one another daily” (Hebrews 3:13)

It’s wonderful to hear that someone is praying for you. Sometimes you can almost feel it. Their willingness to go before the throne of God on your behalf is a tremendous blessing. It means something when we pray for each other.

But there’s Someone else who’s praying for us, too – the Lord Jesus Christ. In his epistle to the Christians in Rome, the apostle Paul said, Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;  who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us” (Rom. 8:33-34). 

If you belong to Jesus Christ, you can be confident that He’s praying for you (see also Hebrews 7:25; John 17:20-26 and 1 John 2:1), just as He prayed for His disciples (Luke 22:31-32; 23:34; John 14:16; 17:6-19). Better than anyone, He knows precisely what and when to pray. He knows when we’re tempted and what it is that tempts us. He knows when we need strength or comfort or exhortation. He also knows His plan and purpose for us, meaning that He knows what we really need (not always what we think we need).

How wonderful is it to know Jesus is praying for you? How much of a blessing is it? It should be encouraging to us, to say the least! Knowing we’re being prayed for by our brothers and sisters in Christ and by Christ Himself gives us both confidence and hope.

Not much needs to be added to this statement other than “Amen!”

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Sermon in a Sentence

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Last night and this morning, I had the privilege of preaching on Psalm 115. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: The God-centered life is characterized by giving glory to God alone. On a side-note, I used Power Point for the very first time!

Don’t Grow Weary

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“Encourage one another daily” (Hebrews 3:13)

Sometimes it’s tough to keep going, especially when you don’t see results. That’s true in life and ministry. We feel like we’re banging our head against a wall and we want to quit. Besides that, it hurts!

Listen to Paul’s encouragement in Galatians 6:9: “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” We should keep doing what’s good and right even if we fell like giving up because we’re not seeing any results. If we maintain our faithfulness the results – God’s results, not ours necessarily – will come at some time.

William Carey, called “the Father of Modern Missions,” labored for seven years in India before baptizing his first convert. Mary Drewery, in her biography of Carey, said, “The actual number of conversions directly attributable to him is pathetically small; the number indirectly attributable to him must be legion.”

Adinoram Judson, America’s first missionary, labored for seven years in Burma before seeing his first convert.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Nott spent twenty-two years laboring on the island of Tahiti as missionaries before Pomare II was baptized on May 16th, 1819.

Don’t lose heart and don’t grow weary as you continue to do good – as you plant, water, and tend. In God’s time you’ll reap.

Nobody’s Arrived Yet

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“Encourage one another daily.” (Hebrews 3:13)

“Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, “ (1 Thessalonians 4:1, 9-10).

The Christians in Thessalonica lived in such a way as to please God. They loved God and each other well. Paul commended them for it.

But notice something else he said: “Excel still more” on both counts. Paul is saying, “You’re living in such a way as to please God, but you can do even better,” and “You’re loving each other well, but you can do even better.”

They have room to improve, and so do we. None of us have arrived at a place where any further improvement is impossible. We can always do better in our walk with God. We can always please God more. We can always love God and others with more fervency and effectiveness than we do now. There’s always room “to excel still more.” Whatever we do for the Lord can always be improved upon. When we think we’ve arrived, we get stagnant, which doesn’t please the Lord at all.

It’s encouraging to know that we can improve (yes, it’s possible) and that God will give us the power of His Spirit to “excel still more.”