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Apr 2013 12 Apr 12, 2013

Pope Francis (Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio) made history in becoming the first Jesuit to be elected as leader of the Roman Catholic Church. But who are the Jesuits? The answer to that question begins with a man named Don Inigo de Onez y Loyola, otherwise known as Ignatius (1491-1556). He was the youngest in a family of thirteen children who spent his early years seeking fame and fortune in the military. He "grew up a courtier and caballero, captive to the romantic ide...Read More

Apr 2013 11 Apr 11, 2013

“If the war on poverty is worth fighting, how much more the war on your own sin? The fact of the matter is, if you read through the instructions to the New Testament churches you will find few explicit commands that tell us to take care of the needy in our communities and no explicit commands to do creation care, but there are dozens and dozens of verses that enjoin us, in one way or another, to be holy as God is holy (e.g., 1 Pet. 1:13-16)” (Kevin DeYoung, T...Read More

Apr 2013 11 Apr 11, 2013
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Let’s me summarize what we’ve seen thus far. (1) God is not a miser with his mercy. (2) Paul prays for joy and peace because pleasure in God is the power for purity. (3) Pleasure in God is the fruit of faith in God. Fourth, the purpose of pleasure in God is hope in God. Why do we lack hope? Could it be because we’ve been “burned” by putting our confidence in something that we really didn’t need in the first place? We “hope&rdqu...Read More

Apr 2013 10 Apr 10, 2013

“Even if you could enter heaven without holiness, what would you do? What joy would you feel there? What holy man or woman of God would you sit down with for fellowship? Their pleasures are not your pleasures. Their character is not your character. What they love, you do not love. If you dislike a holy God now, why would you want to be with him forever? If worship does not capture your attention at present, what makes you think it will thrill you in some heavenly f...Read More

Apr 2013 10 Apr 10, 2013

We return to Paul’s prayer in Romans 15:13 and take note of yet another of the five important truths found in it. Third, pleasure in God is the fruit of faith in God. It is from or through the Scriptures that joy and peace arise. Why do I say this? I say it because Paul prays in Romans 15:13 that God would "fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." The phrase “in believing” could as ...Read More

Apr 2013 9 Apr 9, 2013
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In an earlier post I explained why prayers such as Romans 15:13 are so important and instructive. In this one I want to unpack Paul’s petition with two of five observations. First, God is no miser with his mercy. Note the words “fill”, “all”, and “abound”. Paul prays that God will “fill” us with joy and peace, not simply “give” or “impart” or “enable” us to experience these blessi...Read More

Apr 2013 9 Apr 9, 2013

In view of the recent tragic death of Rick Warren’s 27-year-old son, Matthew, perhaps we should give some deep consideration to the nature of suicide and the oft-asked question: Is suicide the unpardonable sin? But before diving into the deep end of this devastating topic, please pause and pray for the Warren family, as well as for others who have lost a friend or family member in a similar fashion. Statistics can often deceive and be used to prove just about anyt...Read More

Apr 2013 8 Apr 8, 2013

It’s been a while since Christmas, but my thoughts are still fixed on the holiday season. I only ventured out once into the shopping malls of Oklahoma City prior to Christmas Day, and once, I assure you, was quite enough. Although the atmosphere was in many ways electric and exciting and people seemed to be having a good time, I couldn’t help but wonder how these same people would be feeling the week after Christmas, after all the holiday festivities had died...Read More

Apr 2013 5 Apr 5, 2013

I’m excited about a new biography of C. S. Lewis just released by Tyndale House. Alister McGrath, Professor King’s College, London, has written: C. S. Lewis: A Life, Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet (Carol Stream: Tyndale House, 2013), 427 pp. The only other biography written by McGrath that I’ve read is his treatment of the life of J. I. Packer. This one looks to be quite good, if the endorsements are any measure of its quality. McGrath is applauded...Read More

Apr 2013 5 Apr 5, 2013

We earlier saw that the gospel is what binds Paul and the Philippians, indeed, it is what binds you with other believers as well. I pointed out that this expresses itself in four ways, two of which we’ve already noted. We turn now to the third and fourth. Third, Paul’s joyful gratitude to God is also based on his confidence that the work God initiated in them he will bring to completion (v. 6). Paul had seen his fare share of people who loudly proclaimed th...Read More