The suffering of God’s people is not always correlated to their unfaithfulness toward Him. The afflictions we experience do not necessarily tell us that we are sinning in some way.Continue reading
Every Lord’s Day at this point in our worship service an exhortation is given. In these exhortations, you are reminded of God’s commands and are both admonished and encouraged to obey these commands. Naturally, this comes before our time of confession, because we are all reminded of the many ways in which we fall short of God’s standard and have sinned.
What I want to point out to you this morning is that what I am doing right now is really nothing more than what Scripture says you ought to be doing every day for one another.Continue reading
This exhortation was delivered to Christ Church Downtown on May 30, 2021.
The summer season is upon us and for many of you an opportunity for a more relaxed schedule, more recreation, more bonfires and fun family vacations. All very good gifts from God for you to heartily enjoy.
But we must remember that summer is not a time to kick back and relax spiritually. There are no spiritual vacations in the Christian life.
As the Apostle Peter wrote, we must always be sober-minded and watchful, because our adversary Satan never ceases from prowling like a lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Pet. 5:8). Now being watchful does not simply mean avoiding temptation and killing sin—the putting off of your old self. It also means further cultivating in your life and your home good spiritual disciplines and habits—the putting on of your new self (Eph. 4:22–24).
One foundational way to remain watchful and alert is to read the Word. We begin our summer Bible Reading Plan through the New Testament on Tuesday, and this is a great opportunity to jump into daily Bible reading with others at a pace of 4 chapters a day. If that’s not your speed or if checking off boxes does the exact opposite of motivating you, then I encourage you to just pick one book, like Ephesians, to read and reread all summer daily at your own pace, learning it front to back.
Regardless of your method, be in the Word consistently. Be vigilant. Be watchful. Take care of your soul and those entrusted to you.
This exhortation was delivered to Christ Church Downtown on May 23, 2021.
This week, as a church body we find ourselves in a time of corporate mourning, afflicted with the tragic death of a dear brother. And as we are all members of one Body, we certainly feel, even if comparatively so small, a tinge of the pain that is much, much stronger for some of our brothers and sisters.
In the midst of this grief, I am reminded of how we as Christians truly are a peculiar people in this world. Our response to suffering and death is similar in some ways, and yet fundamentally foreign to the world’s response. Yes, we weep and we mourn… we are not called to be unfeeling Stoics. But we do these things with a firm, genuine, and powerful hope.Continue reading
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and it is also the foundation for all the blessings of God. We see this in Psalm 128 which begins, “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways.”
This blessing is then exemplified by the psalmist in three essential areas of life: work, family, and worship. For work, you will eat the fruit of your labor. You will be blessed by having something to do and be successful in the doing of it. For family, you will have a wife who is like a fruitful vine in all sorts of ways, including children like olive-shoots gathered around your table. And for worship, you will experience the blessing of the Lord out of Zion, living to see the prosperity of the church not only in your day, but in your grandchildren’s day.Continue reading
This exhortation was given at Christ Church Downtown on February 21, 2021.
As I’m sure you know, last week was Ash Wednesday and the start of the season of Lent. And so very briefly I want to look at the Reformed tradition regarding the church calendar, our practice here at Christ Church, and how to go about differences in these matters.Continue reading
This exhortation was given at Christ Church Downtown on December 6, 2020.Continue reading
This exhortation was given at Christ Church Downtown on September 6, 2020.
“Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The LORD has taken away the judgments against you; He has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exult over you with loud singing.”Zephaniah 3:14–17
This morning I want to ask you: Does your God sing over you?Continue reading
I don’t know about you, but I was astonished to realize that it’s 2020 and we still have Father’s Day on our calendars. Father’s Day, the one day a year in our culture to honor the patriarchy it otherwise has smashed, hasn’t been cancelled.Continue reading
This exhortation was given on December 8, 2019 at Christ Church Downtown.
Many years ago, a messenger of God named Gabriel visited a young virgin in the city of Nazareth. Her name was Mary, and she was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David.
After greeting Mary and comforting her, the angel Gabriel presented her with a message from the Lord:
“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Lk. 1:31–33).
“But how can this be?” asked Mary in all sincerity, “since I do not know a man?”
Gabriel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Lk. 1:35).
And Mary, in all meekness and humility, responded to the greatest mystery of our faith saying: “Behold, the maidservant of the Lord. Let it be to me according to your word” (Lk. 1:38).
This Lord’s Day I want us to consider the Virgin Mary, our example in the faith.