Something I have not seen before hit me like a ton of bricks this morning as I studied this famous and familiar passage (Exodus 3:1-12). I wanted to post it here because I do believe it will help others to be brought into a state of wonder as it did me. The scene begins with Moses, keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro. The text communicates an orinary day until Moses saw something. Something extraordinary. He saw a bush that was burning, yet it was not consumed. He says, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not consumed.” From there God reveals himself and speaks through an angel to Moses. The two thoughts God communicates next are astounding: Continue reading “The Burning Bush”
Good Friday comes around once a year. And although followers of Jesus should frequently reflect upon the death of our Lord and what was accomplished, this one day out of the year we corporately come together and abide in a more serious reflection on what occurred at Calvary.
I think that it can be easy during this celebration of Holy Week to move quickly from the Death to the Resurrection, but the problem with that is if you don’t soak in the terrible and wonderful realities of the death of Christ, you won’t benefit as much as you could in taking in the glory of the resurrection. So what are these realities? Many, but one that I find extraordinary is that the death of Christ is the greatest paradox that the world has ever seen. There, arguably, the greatest act of sin occurred, but simultaneously the greatest act of love occurred. Continue reading “Don’t Rush to the Resurrection”
I’ve been teaching in youth ministry for over a year now, and one thing that has stuck out to me is some of the students told me they appreciate being taught about the whole character of God; not just his love and grace but also his wrath and judgment. After a lesson I gave on God’s grace and wrath recently a student told me that in previous youth ministries he’s been a part of they never talked about Hell or God’s judgment. He said he really wanted to, but knew the youth leader wouldn’t discuss these things with him. That’s a red flag if I ever saw one. Continue reading “The Whole Truth”
At the beginning of a new year, many Christians make new goals or resolutions. In some way, these goals are always hard work. They take time to accomplish. The problem though with goals is we can fall prey to two extremes – on the one hand we can make them everything and view them as a foundation to stand on. We shouldn’t do that. The gospel is our only foundation to stand on that will never fail us. Our own ambitions will fail, but God will never fail – let knowing you can fail at your goals fuel you to accomplish them. On the other hand we can make them just because we feel like we should and the hearts not in it. We make them without really thinking through them and thus we barely remember them two days later. I want to offer what I believe is a healthy middle – grace fueled goals. Continue reading “Grace Fueled Goals”
Reading the book of Ephesians is sort of like climbing Mount Everest. It’s a tough climb, and it’s the highest climb. There’s a lot of work that goes into the preparation before and after. Then comes the climb itself, and it is brutal, but once you’re at the top, it’s so beautiful that you are speechless. Every hardship you just experienced turns to wonder, every trial to triumph, and every pain to pleasure. The below Scripture is tough to climb through, but once you do, once you climb to the top and see the wonder that exists in the Everest of Scripture that is Ephesians, you will be speechless. Continue reading “His Glorious Inheritance”
Every Christian should meditate and dwell on Scripture. But the below passage especially should be one of the keystones of our Scripture memorization. It’s definitely one of the steaks of Scripture so to speak. To summarize the previous posts in Ephesians, I would say this: We see the inheritance of God given, the predestination of God explained, the gospel of God proclaimed, the sealing of the Spirit applied, and all for this purpose: to the praise of the glory of God’s grace in Christ. Let’s dig further…
The doctrine of the Holy Spirit is a teaching throughout Scripture that is very cloudy in our modern day. There’s a lot of teaching today that attributes work to the Spirit that He doesn’t do and a lot of teaching that lacks in informing us of what He does do. It’s so unfortunate because He has a great ministry in this world and in the life of a believer. There is an extensive description given in John 14-16 of who He is and what He does. To summarize it, Jesus teaches us that the Spirit is our Helper, who will be with us forever (John. 14:16), that He is our guide who will lead us into all the truth (John. 16:13), and that His ministry is one of conviction (John. 16:8), showing people they are sinners in need of God’s grace. To summarize a summary, the Spirit’s primary ministry is the glorify Jesus (John. 16:14). That description alone narrows down how we can know when we see Him working. To give one example then, if the truth of the gospel is being heralded in a church, we can know the Spirit is at work! And it is in this proclamation of the gospel that something else amazing happens… the sealing of the Spirit! In Ephesians 1:13-14, the Spirit is revealed as the one who has sealed the believer, but what does it mean to be sealed by the Holy Spirit? Continue reading “The Seal of the Spirit”