As lead pastor for Creekstone Church, I would like to provide some perspective for our faith community on how I am processing the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-gender marriage. Regardless of your present position on the issue, please read to the end, knowing that there is so much more I would like to say. I trust … Continue reading A Pastoral Response to the SCOTUS Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage
Until recently, Tullian Tchividjian served as Lead Pastor for Coral Ridge PCA in Ft. Lauderdale. He also founded Liberate, a ministry that existed to connect God's inexhaustible grace to an exhausted world. On Sunday it was announced to Coral Ridge that he and his wife had succumbed to extramarital affairs and that he had resigned as pastor. Subsequently and … Continue reading Pastoral Reflections on Tullian Tchividjian’s Pastoral Tragedy
Francis Schaeffer, in one of my all-time favorite books, True Spirituality: “I'm convinced…that this is when we begin to make our forward steps as Christians: When I know through experience that I can lay hold of Christ's blood by faith to cover my sins this morning, and then to cover my sins this afternoon, even … Continue reading Living by Faith
While reading tonight in Paul Miller's book, A Praying Life, he said something that rang too true in my experience. He describes the disconnect that takes place when my heart gets out of tune with God. He says, "I continue to perform and say Christian things, but they are just words." That is the place … Continue reading Just Words
The Lutheran professor, Dr. G. Ferdie, said, "The gospel is not a movement from vice to virtue, but rather, a movement from virtue to grace." The idea is that when exposed as a sinner (our vice), we naturally attempt to become virtuous (i.e., we try to "be good" or at least be better). The big problem … Continue reading Moving from Virtue to Grace / Matthew 23:25-26
Ray Ortlund says: "There's your picture on a baseball card. Turn it over, and whose stats, season by season, do you find there? Not yours, but Jesus'. A great career."
I have been reading a book by Dr. Archibald D. Hart, entitled, The Hidden Link Between Adrenaline and Stress. His thesis is that the adrenaline hormone is released by stress, which if allowed to continue flowing, creates "stress damage" upon the body, especially on the heart. He calls this negative impact "hurry sickness." It's a … Continue reading Slow This Train Down!
Joseph Hart wrote this hymn in 1759, which is one of the most beautiful gospel invitations ever penned. Let's personalize this and respond by gathering on Sunday at the high school to sing of God's glorious grace. For as we say over and over, grace changes everything. 1. Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched, Weak … Continue reading Calling All Sinners!
Here are some reflections on John 1:43-51... Jesus is the Great missionary (Jesus goes, finds, and calls)– it is our great privilege to join HIS mission to reach and disciple the lost (v. 43) The Old Testament is a foreshadowing of Jesus (vv. 44-45) Don't despise small town ministry— Jesus was from a tiny community … Continue reading John 1:43-51, “Joining the Redemptive Mission of Jesus”
Here is the graphic Johnny Long used a couple of years ago at Creekstone to diagram how the love triangle of marital intimacy works. Thanks, Johnny!
The common view of the Bible is that it was given by God to show people how to live right. Some (including myself) have said that it is a “users manual for life.” However, the more I read the Bible, the more I am convinced that its purpose is not to show me how to … Continue reading Jesus is the Hero
In John 1:20, John the Baptizer makes a profound denial. Peter had denied knowingthe Christ. But here, John denies being the Christ, saying firmly, “I am NOT the Christ.” Hmmm… That just may be a new mantra for me. Not that I would ever be confused with Jesus. However, my flesh wants the glory of Jesus, and longs to be … Continue reading “I am Not the Christ”
Archibald Alexander, in Thoughts Concerning Religious Experience (1844): “Why is there so little advancement made [in living the Christian life]? First, there is a defect in our belief in the freeness of divine grace. To exercise unshaken confidence in the doctrine of gratuitous pardon is one of the most difficult things in the world… Christians cannot but … Continue reading Archibald Alexander on the Pressing Need to Preach Grace
Al Mohler rightly says, "Most moralists would not claim to be without sin, but merely beyond scandal. That is considered sufficient." The problem is the self-righteousness that stems from that world-view IS a scandalous sin in light of the cross. While focusing on public sin, we moralists overlook the sins of the heart. Yet both … Continue reading The Most Dangerous Spiritual Condition
Ralph Erskine, a Scottish pastor in the 1700s, wrote a hymn that expresses the relationship between law and gospel. This will preach. The law supposing I have all, Does ever for perfection call; The gospel suits my total want, And all the law can seek does grant. The law could promise life to me, If … Continue reading “Live, for all is done”
“We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake or we cannot be accepted at all. This is not only true of us only ‘when we believe,’ it is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be true as long as we live. Our need for Jesus does not cease with our … Continue reading The Ground of My Acceptance
The Heidelberg Catechism was written in 1563 and continues to serve as a theologically masterful and pastorally devotional confession of faith. This is how it begins. Q: What is my only comfort in life and death? A: That I, with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong to my … Continue reading What is My Only Comfort in Life and in Death?
According to Len Sweet in his book, Soul Tsunami, there are essentially four kinds of churches. 1. Mission churches. These churches are on the front lines of gospel expansion. They have a radar for the "ungospelized," and desire to have others discover the joy of the gospel by serving, reaching and discipling these new, unreached people. … Continue reading Let’s Set Sail! (or, Four Kinds of Churches)
In the gospel he authored, John calls himself, “the disciple Jesus loves.” Interesting. Did he mean that Jesus did not love the others? Not at all. He knew better. However, his own self-perception was wrapped up in being loved by Jesus. And so rather than mention himself by name, he uses that rather stunning description … Continue reading The Disciple Jesus Loves
Dan Allender, in his book, Leading with a Limp, asks a question, “Is living out the gospel in this world meant to be marked by an inverted, paradoxical, mysterious twist on what most people expect of a leader?” He answers with a resounding “yes,” saying that the paradox of biblical leadership is that the chief leader must be … Continue reading Paradoxical Leadership
I want to remember today that I can't change or fix anyone. And neither can anyone change or fix me. That is the role of the Holy Spirit alone. But I can pray. I can ask. In my weakness, I can go to the Father, my strong Abba. He is able to do "immeasurably more … Continue reading Immeasurably More Than All I Can Ask or Imagine
God chooses and uses the weak things of this world to accomplish supernatural results in ministry. I think we need to emphasize “supernatural,” because there can also be “worldly” results in the church. Numbers. Programs. Energy. Fame. And so we look for leaders like Saul. Big. Impressive. Powerful. But God’s model for a leader would … Continue reading Unschooled, Ordinary Men
The Bible talks about “walking with God.” I suppose this means that as I live each day, I am to be in conscious fellowship with him who is with me—really with me, as if we were walking down the road together. It’s better than a “Quiet Time” (as very profitable and essential as focused, daily … Continue reading Walking with Jesus
"The death of the Lord Jesus is absolutely unique. It is subsitutionary. There is no death like Jesus' death... His substitutionary death on the cross, in space and time in history, had infinite value because of who His is as God. Thus nothing need be added to the substitutionary value of His death, nor can … Continue reading Jesus + Nothing