Monday, January 26, 2015

The Kindness of God’s Righteous Judgment

Romans 2:1-11            January 25, 2015         Link for audio/video/manuscript

God will not show favoritism towards you or me or us and anyone who refuses to acknowledge the reality of their sin, who stands in judgment of others, and who presumes upon the kindness of God for their salvation without embracing a lifestyle of constant repentance. Without the essential process of repentance the product of our faith will not have the quality of righteousness that God demands. We praise God that in His patient, forbearing kindness He offers us the precious gift of repentance that will lead us to everlasting joy and glory!

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Gospel of the Wrath of God

Romans 1: 18-32           January 18, 2015          Link for audio/video/manuscript 

God judges sin – and that’s good news. The fact that God judges sin tells us that we have hope beyond our sin because the gospel is about Jesus dying for our sin so we might be forgiven and redeemed and restored back to God. The gospel does not guarantee that we will be rid of the sinful tendencies that plague us in this life. But the gospel does wake us up to the reality of the depth of our sin and of our desperate need for God and of the joyful hope we have in Jesus. Praise God for the gospel of righteousness that is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ask Whatever You Wish - Jon Bloom

This promise that Jesus made to us is so sweeping in its scope and seems beyond the experience of many of us that it can strike us as unbelievable:
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)
We don’t even attempt to cash this check at the bank of heaven. There must be insufficient funds in our account. Whatever we wish will be done for us? Having desired and asked God for so many things that haven’t been done for us, we figure either 1) Jesus is using hyperbole or 2) this promise is only for super-saints who experience a kind of connection with God that we don’t seem to have.
Neither is true. Jesus doesn’t exaggerate and he chooses weak, foolish people (1 Corinthians 1:26), people whose faith is small (Matthew 14:31), people just like us, to be his disciples.
No, this promise is real and Jesus is making this promise to us. It is not to be passed over with a shrug. It is a check to be grasped, taken to the bank of Heaven where there is no lack of treasure, and cashed. Jesus wants us to cash it.
But there are two conditions we must meet for the check to be valid. The first is that we must abide in Jesus. Remember the context of the previous six verses. We are to abide in Jesus just as branches abide (are embedded) in a vine. Apart from Jesus we can do nothing (verse 5) and, in fact, we wither. Abiding branches have the sap of the Holy Spirit running through them, which means that the branches receive and share the affections and wishes of the vine.
The second condition we must meet is that Jesus’s words must abide in us. What this means is all of Jesus’s words, not just the words in John 15:1–6. We know that because of what Jesus says in verse 10: “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” Jesus loves us by telling us the truth (John 17:8, 26) and we love him by believing and therefore obeying/living what he says (John 14:15).
So by these two conditions — staying in Jesus and having Jesus’s words stay in us — he shapes our desires and our thoughts through the Holy Spirit so that our wishes and his are increasingly the same. You see, it is only natural that a branch should receive exactly what it needs from the vine.
The only times our prayers seem to go unanswered are when 1) we don’t share Jesus’s wishes because we aren’t abiding in him (James 4:3) or 2) we don’t share Jesus’s timeline, or 3) we don’t recognize Jesus’s unexpected answers.
This is a promise that Jesus wants you to believe and one he loves to fulfill. Because through it we discover that our joy doesn’t spring from Jesus giving us what we want but Jesus being what we want.  © 2015 Desiring God

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Gospel Call of Grace and Glory

Romans 1:1-7                   January 4, 2015                Link for audio/video/manuscript

Grace is a reality that comes from God through Jesus Christ by his sacrificial work on the cross on our behalf both in our salvation through Christ and our calling to serve Christ. The grace we have been given by God through our Lord Jesus Christ is not for us as much as it is for others. When God pours His grace into our hearts and lives, He does so with the expectation that we will obediently in faith respond to the grace we have received by the grace we have received – and use our gifting’s to fulfill our common call from God to share the gospel of the grace of God with those who don’t know the grace of God in Christ.