Friday, December 17, 2010
"Virgin birth" is a misleading expression, suggesting that there was something unusual about Jesus's birth, whereas his birth was entirely normal and natural. It was his conception that was abnormal, indeed supernatural, for he was conceived by the operation of the Holy Spirit, without the cooperation of a human father.
"The first and most indisputable fact about the birth of Jesus," wrote Bishop John A. T. Robinson, "is that it occurred out of wedlock. The one option for which there is no evidence is that Jesus was the lawful son of Joseph and Mary. The only choice open to us is between a virgin birth and an illegitimate birth."
To me the humility and courage of Mary in submitting to the virgin birth stand out in contrast to the attitudes of the critics who deny it. She surrendered her reputation to God's will. For us too what matters is that we allow God to be God and to do things his way, even if with Mary we thereby risk losing our good name.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Today I visited All Saint's Anglican Church in Peachtree City as their new bishop. This congregation has stood strong for the Gospel of Jesus and Biblical Truth. They sacrificed much for the integrity of the Christian Faith and it was truly an honor to be with them. The congregation has numerous folks who are committed to serving our Lord through intercessory prayer and it is observance in the atmosphere of their worship. Jesus said that those who worship him should worship in spirit and in truth. All Saints does both well.
The rector, Michael Fry, has served in the formation of the new diocese and is the current president of the Standing Committee. He is a man of deep devotion to our Lord who practices a love for the reading and study of the Scripture.
I preached on Matthew 11:2f a sermon entitled, Is Jesus the Messiah, based on John the Baptist's question in 11:3. To hear this sermon go to http://www.holycrosspodcasts.org/C1-media;show,56.
Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised! (Ps.48)
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
The culture around us is already celebrating Christmas. We actually had houses in our neighborhood all decorated like Christmas before Thanksgiving. Even a local Christian radio station started playing Christmas music several days before Thanksgiving. When I received an email from a local bank on Thanksgiving Day wishing me a Merry Christmas, I promptly wrote back and reminded them that it was THANKSGIVING, not Christmas; that Thanksgiving is a day which Congress set aside as a national holiday to give thanks to Almighty God. This is one of my pet-peeves: Can't we at least celebrate Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day and then start celebrating Christmas? Do we really have to listen to Christmas Carols on the radio on Thanksgiving morning?
Well... it's Advent. Maranatha! Come, Lord, Come!
To hear my First Sunday of Advent Sermon entitled: "The Advent Message" click on http://www.holycrosspodcasts.org/C1-media;show,53
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Here in Georgia, there is no bigger football game each year than the Georgia - Georgia Tech Game. I was privileged to be able to attend with my wife and a couple of friends. Wow! Non-stop excitement. Neither team could stop the other one. It was either a score or a fumble for most of the game. And of course, it came down to last minute of the game!!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
We are blessed to live in a country which by an act of Congress has set aside a national holiday calling for the people to give thanks to Almighty God. As I look back at this year, there is much I can give thanks for, but today I especially give thanks to God for sending His one and only Son into the world to live and die on a cross for my sins.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Christianity is essentially a revealed religion. We would know nothing about God if he had not made himself known. This is especially true of God's gracious character. He offers a free drink to the thirsty, a free place in the covenant to the nations, and a free pardon to the wicked. (v.1-7). Who could have invented such a gospel of grace? It is too good to be true!! It could be known only by divine revelation. Consider its logic.
FIrstly, Yahweh's thoughts are inaccessible to us. They are as much higher than our thoughts than the heavens are higher than the earth. Our little minds cannot climb up into the infinite mind of God (vv.8-9).
Secondly, Yahweh's lofty thoughts must come down to us as the rain and snow come down from heaven to earth (v.10).
Thirdly, Yahweh's thoughts have in fact been brought within our reach because they have been put into words. Thus human speech is the model of divine revelation. It is by the words of our mouth that we communicate the thoughts of our minds. We cannot even read each other's minds unless we speak; how much less can we read God's mind unless he speaks? And God has spoken, his word has come down to us.
Fourthly, Yahweh's word is powerful; it always achieves its purposes (vv.10-11).
The last two verses of the chapter (vv.12-13) describe in vivid Hebrew poetic imagery the immense blessings enjoyed by the people of God who have received the word of God. They experience a new exodus (v.12), and they inherit a new promised land (v.13). No wonder we are filled with joy and gladness. See 1 Corinthians 2:6-10.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Been thinking about what I have been thinking about!!
Do we really reap what we sow? Gal.6:6-8. Yes, we do. So what am I sowing in my mind? Am I constantly sowing what I hear in the news or from the gossip trail or from my pastoral counseling? If I do not sow the Word of God, the awareness of God's Presence, His Beauty in the creation all around me, and WHO the Scriptures say I am "in Christ," then the fruit of my life becomes more and more worldly and chaotic. But if I will sow God's "good" in my life, I benefit by reaping the fruit of a Spiritual life, and the peace which passes all understanding.
Been meditating on Philippians 4:8 -- "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think on these things."
Friday, October 22, 2010
1. In spending this money, am I acting like I owned it, or am I acting like the Lord’s trustee?
2. What Scripture requires me to spend this money in this way?
3. Can I offer up this purchase as a sacrifice to the Lord?
4. Will God reward me for this expenditure at the resurrection of the just?
Wesley also encouraged someone to pray a prayer like this before a purchase:
“Lord, thou seest I am going to expend this amount on that food, apparel, furniture. And thou knowest I act therein with a single eye, as a steward of thy goods, expending this portion of them thus, in pursuance of the design thou hadst in entrusting me with them. Thou knowest I do this in obedience to thy word, as thou commandest, and because thou commandest it. let this, I beseech thee, be a holy sacrifice, acceptable through Jesus Christ! And give me a witness in myself, that for this labor of love I shall have a recompence when thou rewardest every man according to his words.”
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Of course the preacher is above all others distinguished as a man of prayer. He prays as an ordinary Christian, else he were a hypocrite. He prays more than ordinary Christians, else he were disqualified for the office he has undertaken. If you ministers are not very prayerful, you are to be pitied. If you become lax in sacred devotion, not only will you need to be pitied, but your people also; and the day cometh in which you shall be ashamed and confounded. All our libraries and studies are mere emptiness compared to our closets. (Charles Spurgeon)
Pray continually. (Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Prayer should be the breath of our breathing, the thought of our thinking, the soul of our feeling, and the life of our living, the sound of our hearing, the growth of our growing. Prayer in its magnitude is length without end, width without bounds, height without top, and depth without bottom. Illimitable in its breadth, exhaustless in height, fathomless in depths and infinite in extension. (Homer Hodge)
If during meditation our thoughts move to persons who are near to us or to those we are concerned about, then let them linger there. That is a good time to pray for them. Do not pray in general, then, but in particular for the people who are on your mind. Let the Word of Scripture tell you what you ought to pray for them. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
What the church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use – men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men – men of prayer. (E. M. Bounds)
The potency of prayer has subdued the strength of fire; it has bridled the rage of lions, hushed anarchy to rest, extinguished wars, appeased the elements, expelled demons, burst the chains of death, expanded the gates of heaven, assuaged diseases, repelled frauds, rescued cities from destruction, stayed the sun in its course, and arrested the progress of the thunderbolt. Prayer is an all-efficient panoply, a treasure undiminished, a mine which is never exhausted, a sky un-obscured by clouds, a heaven unruffled by storm. It is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings. (John Chrysotrum)
If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on with spending three hours daily in prayer. (Martin Luther)
I must secure more time for private devotions. I have been living far too public for me. The shortening of private devotions starves the soul; it grows lean and faint. I have been keeping too late hours. (William Wilberforce)
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
My friend and colleague in ministry, Dr. Michael Youssef, Rector of the Church of the Apostles in Atlanta, has issued a call for 100k Christians across America to covenant with God to pray daily for a spiritual awakening in our country from July 4 (Independence Day) to November 2 (Election Day).