The Basic Ingredient for Growth is Need

I received this powerful quote in an email from a friend this week. “Now it so happens that God’s basic ingredient for growth is need.  Without personal needs, we would get nowhere in our Christian life.  The reason our Father creates and allows needs in our lives is to turn us from all that is…

Becoming a Lefty

In honor of Martin Luther for posting his historic, and gospel recovering 95 Theses on this date in 1517, I want to reflect on a significant implication of grace that Luther discovered. After all, Martin Luther spoke of two kinds of power: right-handed power and left-handed power. Right handed power is the strength of man….

The Very Essence of My Religion

O My Savior, I thank thee from the depths of my being for thy wondrous grace and love in bearing my sin in thine own body on the tree. May thy cross be to me as the tree that sweetens my bitter Marahs, as the rod that blossoms with life and beauty, as the brazen…

“One Another’s” Not Found in the New Testament

As you may know, there are many passages that exhort Christians to love, serve and bless “one another.” Ray Ortlund shows us a number of “one another’s” that we don’t find. “Sanctify one another, humble one another, scrutinize one another, pressure one another, embarrass one another, corner one another, interrupt one another, defeat one another,…

The Doctrine of the Trinity

This Puritan prayer from The Valley of Vision expounds the doctrine of the Trinity with remarkable clarity and serves as kindling with which to worship the God of all grace. Three in One, One in Three, God of my salvation, Heavenly Father, blessed Son, eternal Spirit, I adore thee as one Being, one Essence, one…

True Repentance and Genuine Faith

Lord, I confess my sin with feeling, lamentation, a broken heart, a contrite spirit, self-abhorrence, self-condemnation, self-despair. Give me relief by Jesus my hope, faith in his name of Saviour, forgiveness by his blood, strength by his presence, holiness by his Spirit: And let me love thee with all my heart. From The Valley of…

“The Sweet Results of Faith”

I have been on a prayer retreat the past couple of days in Monteagle, TN, meditating on John 15:4-5. As I have reflected, meditated and prayed, a Puritan prayer from The Valley of Vision (© Banner of Truth) has been profoundly helpful in its honesty, focus and hope. It is titled “The Minister’s Praise,” and captures the working…

Taking a Long-Term Approach

On a recent visit to two California vineyards, author Margaret Feinberg discovered that vintners must adopt a long-term approach to their work. According to Feinberg: The first year a vintner plants shoots of vines rather than seeds because these yield the strongest vines. At the end of the first growing season, he cuts them back….