The Gospel is for You

For a while now I’ve been following Evangelium21, a network of German churches united by biblical inerrancy and reformed theology. I am continually encouraged that this kind of teaching even exists and seems to be spreading in Germany (oh the irony!). In a recent talk, one of the E21 pastors shared an interesting observation. Though intentional about preaching the gospel in every message, his listeners were overwhelmed by the heavy demands of good works. How can that be?
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Sense in Suffering

Over the years, probably the most common objection to the existence of God I’ve heard is the existence of evil and suffering. The question is this: “Why, if God is omnipotent and good, doesn’t he dispense with evil?” Since he surely would, he must not exist. (He could also not be omnipotent, not be good, or be neither, but the conversation rarely goes there.) Maybe you have been asked the same question.
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Sovereignty Is Not Enough

How are you comforted in difficult times? Preaching the gospel to ourselves is a good way. Rehearsing all the blessings God has showered on us is another. Remembering the countless deliverances from the past, yet another. Maybe we can summarize these as remembering “God’s truth” and “God’s faithfulness”. They look to the present and the past. But what about the future? To consider the future, we must grapple with God’s sovereignty. Isn’t it comforting to know that God controls the most minute details of everything? By itself, I must say no, it is not.
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Missed Opportunity

Derek Kidner writes in his commentary on Psalm 93:1-2: “True to Israel’s faith, the psalm reaches back to the Creator himself for what is everlasting, not to the seeming eternity of the earth."1 This reminded me of a lab session in my Physics class in college, and a missed opportunity.
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Deep Thoughts

Speaking of God, Psalm 92:5b says “Your thoughts are very deep!” Something about the wording made it stick out to me. I think my first reaction was “well duh, of course they are deep.” The sentence seems simplistic, but I like it! It piqued my curiosity: What does “deep” mean in the Bible? I expect it to mean what the English phrase suggests, but maybe there’s more to it, so let’s do a word search and see what comes up.
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I am no Morning Person

When do you read your Bible? For now, I will simply assume that Christians should read their Bibles regularly and frequently (on the practice of the church devoting itself to the Word, I’ve found Acts 2:42 convincing). But when? In light of our busy lives, some may recommend spending time in God’s Word anytime you can, and if the choice is between not reading at all and reading, I will second that recommendation. That is, please just read it whenever you have time!
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Blessings in Isolation

Last week, Tim Challies posted an article about missing the ordinary means of grace in this time of isolation. You should read it, it is good; but to summarize it briefly, he wonders if the feelings of increased stress, fear, and anxiety may be related to the absence of some of our ordinary means of grace. We were never meant to live and worship alone, so this current situation is not normal, not best, leading to increased anxiety.
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Serve One Another

“Papa, why are you so good at doing things, like folding laundry without complaining?” I was watching a movie while folding and putting away laundry when my son asked me this question. Caught a bit by surprise, I answered that there are probably things I do complain about, but that it’s not really that big of a deal to put away laundry, because it has to be done anyway. Plus, if I not only put away my laundry but also my wife’s, I will have blessed her and she’d be happy. He pondered the seemingly novel idea of doing something to make someone else happy, and left.
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I Long for Heaven

Do you long for heaven? Curiously, what makes me most frequently long for heaven is waking up in the morning to get ready for work. Not because my work is particularly bad or, really, for any other reason than that I am still tired and already look forward to rest again. Eventually I wake up all the way, go through my morning routine, and start work, my mind now engaged otherwise and no longer lamenting my weariness. Other situations make me wish for Jesus’ prompt return. A tragedy caused by natural disaster, some wicked crime reported in the news, or maybe the bliss of knowing God in a brief moment of extraordinary spiritual clarity.
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An Introvert at Church

My wife and I are introverts. Not the stare-at-our-shoes kind of introvert, or the slightly less awkward stare-at-your-shoes kind of introvert. We are social, high-functioning introverts and enjoy being around people. But it drains us, and we need people-free time to recharge.
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