What Happens When We Forget The Future

It seems on almost every page the Psalms are reminding us to remember, to not forget:

“My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you…” (42:6)

“I will remember the deeds of the Lord…” (77:11)

“…they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God…” (78:7)

“Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles…” (105:5)

To remember God’s gracious and powerful acts is to honor Him; to forget is to dishonor Him. While we seem to know this intrinsically in our relationships with others – how do you feel when someone seems to forget or ignore all that you’ve done for them? – we struggle to remember all that God has done. And so we read our Bibles, we worship weekly, never tiring of reminders, so that we might honor God rightly.

But it isn’t just the past that must be remembered.


Monday Morning Musings

From the text in Romans 9 that quotes God from the Old Testament passage saying “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated,” the preacher said yesterday that the gasp should not come after the second phrase but the first. The wonder is not that God hates hell-deserving sinners, but that he chooses to love any of them.

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We enjoyed getting to know our new grandson Max over the holidays. When our rather petite daughter delivered this big 9 lb. 10 oz. boy, our youngest commented, “After that, Lindsay is going to be all Maxed out.”

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Put a bunch of Yorks, eight Nerf guns, and eighty darts in a room. Now you know why I haven’t felt the need to see the new Star Wars movie.

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God promised Isaac that “I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven…and in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” One reason the Lord gave for these great blessings was “because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws” (see Genesis 26:4-5). Do we live considering how our obedience to the Lord today will impact our grandchildren and even other nations […]


A Critique Of Tim Keller’s Comments About Homosexuality

In full disclosure, the video I’m about to link occurred many years ago.  I believe it was 2008.  But in that video we have Tim Keller being interviewed by David Eisenbach.  In the noted section, Keller is asked a question about homosexuality.

Now what is concerning to me is not only his answer, but the apparent influence it has had on some people in my circle of acquaintance.  I’ve heard some parrot Keller on this point.  Naturally, this had led to a discussion.

In what is to follow, I’ve pasted a letter I’ve sent to one such friend.  It details my thoughts about Tim Keller’s response.  Given the importance of maintaining anonymity, I’ve changed some details and the name and have left out certain parts.

One more matter.  Tim Keller’s view of homosexuality is not in question.  He does not approve of homosexuality.  This is plain from several sources.  But if I could direct readers to merely one, I would point to his review of Matthew Vines’ book here.

With that said, here is the video.  After that, my letter.

 

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James,

After reflecting on the matter of Tim Keller’s answer to Professor Eisenbach further, having listened carefully to the video again, I am very concerned. There […]


Psalm 77 to Auld Lang Syne

Many people sing Auld Lang Syne on New Year’s Eve. For some years I have been singing a portion of Psalm 77 as a way to bring in the new year.

The following translation is based on the metrical translation found in the Book of Psalms for Singing (1973). May this very useful custom be brought into your home as you reflect on God’s never failing grace in the midst of life’s struggles.

And Happy New Year!

Psalm 77:7-15
Tune: Auld Lang Syne

Forever will the Lord cast off, show favor never more?
His steadfast love forever cease? His promise come no more?
Has God forgotten all His grace? Has his compassion gone?
Or can it be His mercies all, He has in wrath withdrawn?

Then I replied, Such questions show my own infirmity.
The firm right hand of Him Most High through years must changeless be.
The LORD’s deeds I remember will, your works of old recall.
I’ll ponder all which you have done and weigh your wonders all.

O God most holy is your way; what god is like our God?
O God of miracles, your strength, you have made known abroad.
You have redeemed your people all, the power of your arm shown.
Your people sons of […]


Business For The Glory of God

Is God pleased with our owning things?
Is God pleased when we take materials from the earth and produce things?
Is God pleased when men employ others for work?
Is God pleased with commercial transaction?
Is God pleased with men making a profit?
Is God pleased with the idea of money?
Is God pleased with inequality of possessions?
Is God pleased with competition?
Is God pleased with borrowing and lending?

In his lecture “Business for the Glory of God: The Bible’s Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business,” Dr. Grudem answers each in the affirmative.  And he answers them, I might add, with pastoral care and biblical fidelity.  This is really helpful stuff.  If you’ve never thought through the basic tenets of capitalism, this deserves your time.  It will transform your thinking and give you a greater appreciation for the depth and relevancy of God’s Word.

Actually, the lecture listed above is the first of three related messages delivered at the 2010 Clarus Conference.  The others are equally as interesting and helpful.  Just consider their titles:

“Business Ethics: Working, Buying and Selling According to God’s Moral Standards.”

“The Bible’s Solution to World Poverty: 50 Factors within Nations that Determine their Wealth or Poverty.”

To download, go to this website.


Passing through the River

As the new year approaches, many will look ahead to 2016 and make resolutions. They will want to make changes to make this coming year a better one. Yet as this year ends, what about a sober reflection that truly looks ahead and plans for the future? How about a few resolutions that prepare you for the inevitability of your death?

Being the holiday season, some will view this as morbid, I know. Yet have you not seen one of those lists of celebrity deaths of 2015 that appear in the magazines? Seeing the passing of people who in your mind’s eye seem forever young, such as Kevin Corcoran, the child star of the movie Old Yeller, reminds you of how fleeting this life is. If we packed for a trip this holiday season, should we not also get ready to leave this earth?

John Bunyan reminds us in vivid ways in The Pilgrim’s Progress of the journey those in Christ are on. We travel through the difficulties of this world, headed ever onward toward the Celestial City. However, as Christian and his companion Hopeful found, one great obstacle to arriving there is a deep river, with no bridge to cross it – Bunyan’s picture of death. Christian […]


Revisiting the Manger

The following is a guest post from Dr. Michael LeFebvre, pastor of Christ Church Reformed Presbyterian in Brownsburg, Indiana.

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“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7, ESV)

This week is the time when society remembers the birth of Jesus, with nativity scenes popping up everywhere. The traditional scene of Mary and Joseph checking motels and finally bunking in a stable, is all based on the interpretation of one word in the above verse—a word which has probably been misunderstood in the motel-and-stable version of the story. The word in Luke 2:7 that is normally translated “inn” actually means “a lodging space.” This word can indeed refer to a public inn (as in Luke 10:34), but it often refers to the lodging room within a common house (as in Luke 22:11). Which does Luke have in mind in this verse: a public inn or the lodging space of a common house? Almost certainly the latter.

The reason Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem was because that was where Joseph’s family was from. That means Joseph had lots of […]


In This Year of Our Lord

If you have never read Vermont Royster’s classic Christmas Eve editorial In Hoc Anno Domini in The Wall Street Journal, do yourself the favor of reading it tomorrow when it is republished. It has appeared annually since it was composed in 1949. Or, you can read it here today. In it, he sets forth one key implication Christ for men and nations. The Wall Street Journal has long-prided itself on reporting the news so that readers immediately understand what today’s news means for the future; In Hoc Anno Domini is an editorial example of the same. Royster editorialized on the influence of Christ in a unique way. He caused readers to consider the historical news of the incarnation (though he did not explicitly articulate it as such) and its influence on their place in history present and future. No wonder the article resonates enduringly.

According to Royster’s biography, “most newspapers [in the late 1949] ran Christmas editorials that were messages of glad tidings, about peace and joy and the babe in the manger.” Years later, Royster noted,

But I did not see the world that way that year. There was a blockade in Berlin, and war clouds were again scudding across the map of Europe. There were the first […]


The Incarnation: A Brief Reflection

It is worth noting how the manifold wonders of Christ’s incarnation show forth the glory of God.  By wrapping the divine in flesh, being born a mere babe in a lowly estate, the humility of Jesus is demonstrated with marvelous clarity.  Mention can likewise be made of the timing of His birth.  Rather than appearing immediately after the fall of Adam, or perhaps the flood, when the numbers of men were fewer, God waited until the earth was teeming with people, and kingdoms were established, and the armies of Satan had spread like cancer, infecting the earth most abundantly.  This was to show forth more clearly his conquering power and grace and boundless love, saving the worst in the worst possible conditions.

With the passing of ages, as well as the establishment of the Mosaic economy, Christ’s mission could be prefigured in diverse ways, perplexing and intriguing both prophets and angels.  By fulfilling the types and shadows, the light of His majesty shone with greater brightness, causing dull hearts and clouded eyes to suddenly see and praise, having experienced the joys of serendipity.  Satan’s kingdom would be shown all the more impotent and foolish as his schemes could not destroy, nor […]


Ten for One

Surely you have heard a preacher say at some point in time, based on James 2:10, that if you break one commandment, you have broken them all. Perhaps you have even heard the illustration of the law being like a window. Transgressing one commandment is like hitting the window with a hammer in one place, for the whole is shattered.

Yet how does this actually work?  For James 2:10 does say, “ For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” How does stumbling at just one point mean you have violated the whole of the law? Let us use an actual sin and the Ten Commandments, which are God’s summary of his law, to help us see how this works.

As I have confessed here in a story I told a while ago, in my youth I stole a Hostess Fruit Pie from our neighbor’s corner store. In so doing, clearly I broke the eighth commandment against stealing. Yet what about the other nine?

You shall have no other gods before me. By not obeying God’s instructions and instead listening to my friends who dared me to take it, I placed other words before the Word of God. Man is […]