Justin Taylor via Twitter:
Justin Taylor via Twitter:
Justin Taylor via Twitter:
Sinclair Ferguson in his book, Man Overboard: The Story of Jonah:
We would be foolish to think that anything God ever says or does means that we can treat sin lightly. But, when his children return to him in true evangelical repentance, accepting his chastisements and humbling themeselves before him, they should hang on firmly to the knowledge that God is able to make his name a praise among the nations even on the shoulders of his children's failures and sins. Nothing will stop him. If need be he will use the devil himself (as indeed he ultimately will) to bring glory to his name, and to fit his own people for their temporary and eternal destinies.
The principle by which God works is that where sin abounds grace super-abounds (Rom. 5:20). It is this super-abundance of grace and wisdom in God which can make our experiences, even in rebellion against him, serviceable in his hands to equip us for the future.
I made reference to Psalm 103:12 in my Good Friday sermon last night:
as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
I also included some of Charles Spurgeon's reflections upon this same verse from The Treasury of David. The quote is so good that I had to post it here, too:
O glorious verse, no word even upon the inspired page can excel it! Sin is removed from us by a miracle of love! What a load to move, and yet is it removed so far that the distance is incalculable. Fly as far as the wing of imagination can bear you, and if you journey through space eastward, you are further from the west at every beat of your wing. If sin be removed so far, then we may be sure that the scent, the trace, the very memory of it must be entirely gone. If this be the distance of its removal, there is no shade of fear of its ever being brought back again; even Satan himself could not achieve such a task. Our sins are gone, Jesus has borne them away. Far as the place of sunrise is removed from yonder west, where the sun sinks when his day’s journey is done, so far were our sins carried by our scapegoat nineteen centuries ago, and now if they be sought for, they shall not be found, yea, they shall not be, saith the Lord. Come, my soul, awaken thyself thoroughly and glorify the Lord for this richest of blessings. Hallelujah. The Lord alone could remove sin at all, and he has done it in a godlike fashion, making a final sweep of all our transgressions.
Propitiation, as we saw in Chapter 5, addresses the wrath of God. It is the work of Christ saving us from God’s wrath by absorbing it in His own person as our substitute. Expiation which basically means “removal,” accompanies propitiation and speaks of the work of Christ in removing or putting away our sin. Such is the symbolism of the two goats used on the Day of Atonement. The first goat represented Christ’s work of propitiation as it was killed and its blood sprinkled on the mercy seat. The second goat represented Christ’s work of expiation in removing or blotting out the sins that were against us. The object of propitiation is the wrath of God. The object of expiation is the sin, which must be removed from His presence.
Bridges finishes the chapter in this way:
The work of Christ in finished. Nothing more remains to be done. God's wrath has been propitiated. Our sins have been removed. The question is, will we appreciate it, not only for our initial moment of salvation, but for our day-to-day acceptance with God? It is only as we do the latter that we will truly begin to appreciate the glory of the cross and the unsearchable riches of Christ.
I'm a little late here, but better late than never.
This was shown at Coram Deo's Sunday worship gathering on February 21, one week before 2 Pillars Church–Northeast's public launch. In the video I speak with Coram Deo pastor, Bob Thune, about our first church planting conversation, Coram Deo's support of 2PCNE, and some of our prayer needs.
2 Pillars Church–Northeast launches this Sunday. Here's a brief summary of what launch week has looked like so far:
You can't make this stuff up! I'm beginning to wonder if this is all part of some church planter hazing ritual I wasn't told about.
I know God is up to something here, though I'm not entirely sure what it is. At the very least, I suspect it includes teaching me lessons about my sinful desire for control and how critical it is that I trust Him as we launch this 2 Pillars Northeast.
Now, back to that sermon.
We nailed down a start time for 2 Pillars Church–Northeast worship gatherings:
We recently announced our public launch date, but left you hanging regarding the exact time of our Sunday gatherings. Well, we've finally arrived at a start time: 10:15AM.
This is one of the great paradoxes of the gospel. It is the poor he makes rich, the weak he makes strong, the foolish he makes wise, the guilty he makes righteous, the dirty he makes clean, the lonely he loves, the worthless he values, the lost he finds, the have-nots who stunningly become the haves — not mainly in this age, but in the new creation to come.
Last week was an exciting one for 2 Pillars Church–Northeast. We launched a new website and announced the date of our upcoming public launch.
From my post on the 2PCNE blog:
We are thrilled to announce that 2 Pillars Church–Northeast will hold its first-ever public worship service on Sunday, February 28. The gathering will be held at the Joyo Theatre in Havelock which will serve as our new home on Sunday mornings.
What an incredible announcement! We've been praying for this church plant, talking about this church plant, dreaming about this church plant, and planning for this church plant for years. And now, here we are.
Do you live in the Lincoln area? If so, I'd love for you to mark the date on your calendar and join us.
Westminster Bookstore is running a sale on their 2015 best sellers. Give the list a look—you'll find some great titles. The sale ends Wednesday, so don't dally.
Well, it looks like it's that time of year again when my reading list doubles in length.
Bloomberg featured Lincoln today as an emerging tech hub in the midwest. Strong salaries, low cost of living, and reasonable real estate prices are major contributors to the growth:
High prices on the West Coast are making it easier for the fresh crop of computer-science graduates and other techies to choose heartland hubs that are growing, in part, because putting down roots there doesn’t require a small fortune.
You don't have to search long to find evidence of serious growth in Lincoln.
The tech echo-boom is already starting to hipsterize Nebraska’s capital city. The downtown now has three sushi restaurants, a speakeasy serving $12 cocktails and dozens of startups filling once-abandoned warehouses. New workers are pushing up real estate values. Home prices are up almost 14 percent since 2012 and apartment rents have risen 38 percent.
It's an exciting time to call Lincoln home—even if you don't care for sushi.
After controlling for family medical history, age, education, diabetes, smoking and many other variables, the researchers found that compared with eating hot food, mainly chili peppers, less than once a week, having it once or twice a week resulted in a 10 percent reduced overall risk for death. Consuming spicy food six to seven times a week reduced the risk by 14 percent.
This is great news! I'm eating buffalo wings this week to celebrate.
(HT: David Chartier)
Todd Bumgarner, lead pastor of 2 Pillars Church, on his return from sabbatical:
But do you want to know how the overwhelming majority of people have responded? They’ve said, “We didn’t think you would come back.” I’ve had—no exaggeration—over 15 people say something like that.
Fortunately, Todd did come back. But, as he explains, it isn't always a bad thing if a pastor doesn't return to "ministry as usual" following his sabbatical:
Pastoral sabbaticals (whether the pastor is paid or unpaid) are a regular, normal, and healthy thing for healthy churches.
And even when a pastor comes back from a sabbatical and quits… that’s still healthy because the sabbatical revealed the fact that that pastor wasn’t healthy. Something was off. Whether it was his health, his pace, his marriage, his walk with God, or his calling—something was off. And the healthiest thing for that pastor could be, to step back (and possibly down) in order to address that lack of health.
Glad to see you back in the saddle after a restful season away, Todd. Welcome back.
All Christians are sent people. God has given us new life by the gospel, so our lives should revolve around the gospel. And here’s what we need to grasp: believers in the church should see themselves as a missionary family—and the family business is making and training disciples.
Paul is fully alert to the difficulties, however, both internal and external. Timothy himself is inexperienced, infirm and shy. The world’s opposition is strong and subtle. And behind these things stands the devil, bent on ‘taking men alive’ and keeping them prisoner. For the devil hates the gospel and uses all his strength and cunning to obstruct its progress, now by perverting it in the mouths of those who preach it, now by frightening them into silence through persecution or ridicule, now by persuading them to advance beyond it into some fancy novelty, now by making them so busy with defending the gospel that they have no time to proclaim it.
This isn’t an email I work off of, or even keep in my inbox. It’s a one time overview of how much stuff I have to do today. It tells me if I need to say no a lot today, or if I have bandwidth for more.
Looks like a handy AppleScript. It'd be great to see something like this baked into OmniFocus.
Twenty percent of Nebraskans are religious "nones" according to the Pew Research Center's Religious Landscape Study.
Here's how the numbers broke down for the 312 Nebraskans surveyed:
The "Nothing in particular" group was further broken down into two additional groups:
Some metro areas were highlighted in the study results, but unfortunately, no information specific to Lincoln or Omaha is given. I would love to see what these numbers—the religious "nones" in particular—would look like in Lincoln. I assume they would rise, but by how much?