Like Pooh & Piglet in the Snow

Paul in Philippians 2 says, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you both to will and to do according to His good pleasure.” How do you know that God is at work in you? Sometimes it doesn’t feel like God is at work. Sometimes you…

Great Toward Us

“O Praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For His merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth forever. Praise ye the Lord” (Ps. 117) We are gathered here this morning to worship the Lord, to praise Him for His merciful kindness toward us. We are…

Lila

Just finished Marilynne Robinson’s Lila. Two brief thoughts for now, maybe more later. First, Robinson really is a master at her craft. Her prose is casual, conversational, comfortable but never mundane, never boring, never so elusive or evasive to become frustrating. And yet she is not a tell-er but a show-er. Sure, she’s telling all…

More Grace Than We Want

One of the ways we sin against God’s grace is simply by not believing it. But when Christians refuse to believe in God’s grace they do it, (ironically) for very pious sounding reasons. I can’t possibly be forgiven because it was the fourth time I did it this week. I can’t possibly be forgiven because…

He Hears

The Psalmist says: I love the Lord because He has heard by voice and my supplications; because He has inclined His ear to me. Therefore I will call on Him as long as I live. We are gathered here this morning because our God hears us when we pray to Him. Our God listens when…

Builders Like Him

In the beginning God built the heavens and the earth. And you well know, God did not make it all at once, but rather He intentionally built the universe in six days, six discrete phases. He created light and separated it from the darkness. And looked at it and smiled and said it was good….

The Magic of God

Talking with a friend the other day who grew up in Iran, he told me that as a young boy he would walk into the home of an Armenian friend (Christians), and he immediately knew there was something different, something he couldn’t quite put his finger on, something good. Every car mechanic, he says, in…

Grace at Hand

Condemnation is the inexorable result of a guilty conscience. A sinner in the grip of guilt knows and feels the vast, impossible Grand Canyon between himself and the goodness of God and the goodness he was made for. In other words, condemnation underlines one reality — the reality of sinners before a just and holy…

Our Allegiance to His Allegiance

We began our worship this morning proclaiming the public nature of the gospel. This gospel, the good news that Jesus is King having destroyed the power of sin and death by His death and resurrection and having ascended to the right hand of the Father – this gospel is public. And that means that this…

The Dark Wine of the Spirit

The human heart inclines to all kinds of evil, and the flesh is a slippery beast. And as the Church has broadly acknowledged over the centuries, pride is the root of this inclination, the wriggling super-chameleon beneath all our schemes and sin. Pride can shove and take a fall. Pride can strike and be struck….