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Showing posts from August, 2015

It's LOVE!

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John Piper, writing about the great preacher Jonathan Edwards, said this: “…our people need to hear God-entranced preaching. God himself needs to be the subject matter of our preaching, in his majesty and holiness and righteousness and faithfulness and sovereignty and grace. And by that I don’t mean we shouldn’t preach about the nitty-gritty practical things like parenthood, and divorce, and AIDS and gluttony and television and sex. We should indeed! What I mean is that every one of those things should be swept right up into the holy presence of God and laid bare to the roots of its Godwardness or godlessness. What our people need is not nice little moral or psychological pep talks about how to get along in the world. They need to see that everything, absolutely everything—from garage sales and garbage recycling to death and demons—have to do with God in all his infinite greatness. Most of our people have no one, no one in the world to placard the majesty of God for them. Therefore m…

Is Anyone Listening?

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I recently had a conversation with a friend whose nephew is dying. As the family waits for what seems to be inevitable, they pray. My friend’s brother, father to the man who is so ill, is struggling with why God isn’t answering his prayers. I imagine that he is praying that his son will be healed—such a prayer would be natural. No father expects to bury his son. He’s been a believer for a long time. He understands that God always heals, but not always in the way that we would like Him to heal. But he still wants his son, alive and well—who can blame him?

That conversation came to mind when I read Psalm 94 this morning. Many of us have times when we wonder if God is even aware of our struggles, if He is listening to our prayers. The psalmist reminds us: “Does he who implanted the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see? Does he who disciplines nations not punish? Does he who teaches man lack knowledge?” (Psalm 94:9, 10)

The psalmist is dealing with one of those questions: Is Go…

Almighty

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The seas have lifted up, O Lord,
    the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
    mightier than the breakers of the sea—
    the Lord on high is mighty
” Psalm 93:3, 4.

As I read Psalm 93 this morning, Athabasca Falls in Jasper National Park, Alberta, came to mind. We were a long way from the sea when we visited the falls in June, but the roar of the water as it plunged over the falls into the gorge was awe-inspiring. It was yet another reminder of just how puny we human beings are. We can run, lift weights, bulk up, jump hurdles, wrestle steers, climb mountains, swim lakes, but we are still puny creatures when compared to the strength of water that cuts through sold rock, sweeping everything before it and drowning out any voice. There is no sound system as powerful as God’s!

There is a bench at the end of the walkway that you can see in the photo. On the back of the bench is a plaque ded…

Small Steps, Single Drops and Little Foxes

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But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me, so I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.”

So writes Asaph in Psalm 81 as he looks back at the history of God’s people and recounts how the Lord brought them out of slavery in Egypt and set them above all other nations as His chosen. Asaph only mentions one command, one warning, given to Israel. The people were not to worship any other gods (vs 9). If they obeyed this command they would be protected and provided for (vss 10, 13-16). In fact, obeying this one would ensure that all the rest of God's instructions would be kept as well. Unhappily for Israel they chose not to obey the command. That disobedience cost them a great deal.

But the verse from the psalms is reminiscent of something Paul repeats several times in the beginning of his letter to the Roman church. He describes the wickedness of men who reject God in Romans 1. Three times he writes: “…God gave them over…” He let the…