mgpcpastor's blog

reports, reviews, thoughts, news (and fun) posted by Gary Ware


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Living Without Worry by Timothy Lane – A Review

ldworry_mediumborder.hjog6xdm752qmagw2ebqmrohfru27xedLiving Without Worry (Good Book Company, 2014) by Timothy Lane is a helpful, concise, and accessible treatment about the roots of anxiety and methods of dealing with it. While recognising different degrees of anxiety and various physiological conditions that may contribute to, or arise from, extreme situations, Lane offers basic principles to try navigate the circumstances of worry in a positive manner.
Identifying causes of worry that arise from past (actions done by the individual, or to the individual), the future (situations that may arise), the present (what is happening now); Lane goes on to unfold a pattern by which the individual identifies how these circumstances supplant or distort focus on God and then cultivate a perspective that expresses trust in God.
Scripture is skilfully used to both provide the pattern of the counsel as well as the context for trusting it. Helpful questions practically unfold the process and an important section contextualises the process in terms of recognising that circumstances in life will provide opportunities to give in to worry and fear, but these are used by God to grow the faith of his people.
Personally, as a long-standing worrier who is inclined to periods of melancholy, Lane’s analysis rings true and his counsel resonates as being a constructive pattern to dealing with the various situations in life that can easily lead to anxiety. Even as I read it for this review I found current situations causing apprehension giving way to a sense of God’s power and purpose that brings peace.

The .mobi edition of Living Without Worry upon which this review is based was provided by Cross Focussed Reviews as part of a Living Without Worry blog tour. A positive review was not required as a condition of its provision.


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Christians Never Outgrow The Gospel (via Jerry Bridges)

Jerry Bridges (courtesy of Desiring God) on why the Gospel is not confined to becoming a Christian, but is our companion all through our lives as Christians.


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Come And Hear Again About The God Who Works His Purposes Through Your Weaknesses

I hope if you attend Christian worship tomorrow you won’t be subjected to a lesson in moral improvement, an exhortation about how God can use you by your following a list of steps of moral improvements drawn from Bible narrative turned into object lessons.
I trust you’ll hear about God’s redemptive love, which always achieves its purposes not by making people better so that they’re useful, but by making the imperfect actions of people serve His better purpose of bringing His people into family and caring for and preserving them.

Mark Altrogge has a few more thoughts on the subject.


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How Then, Should We Live? – New Article by David Cook

David Cook, current moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Australia has posted the first of three articles on areas of systematic theology that he believes need special attention in order that the people of God may live out the freedom Christ has earned for them.

The first is on the place of the law in the believer’s life.
Read it here.

In a series on the Ten Commandments the preacher may well lay the keeping of the commandments as the burden of the sermon, simply replacing the Sabbath in the Fourth Commandment, with the Lord’s Day now.
However, redemption is always previous to law. In Exodus 20, the Ten Commandments begin in verse 2 with the reminder that God has redeemed his people.
Redemption is not conditioned by obedience but obedience is to be the fruit of redemption.
The law is never the means of achieving relationship with God, it is how God’s old covenant people were to live if they were to know His blessing.
Wilful, habitual disobedience was indicative of a lack of respect for God’s covenant and the redemptive act which was as its centre.
Read the whole article.


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Bless Me Too, Father (via Mark Buchanan)

Esau cried out for a blessing he never valued until it was no longer his, lost to his younger brother.
The elder brother in Jesus’ parable recorded in Luke 16 accuses his father of wasting a blessing that he alone deserves on his prodigal younger brother.
The words that the father speaks to his son in that parable “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours…” foreshadow a blessing that all those who trust in Jesus share.
Tomorrow as you worship you may come feeling that there are blessings you seek that are being denied.
Worship in joy as you celebrate the eternal blessing that is already yours in Jesus.

From Mark Buchanan:

You are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
This is subversive. This changes everything. Before Jesus, blessing was scarce. It was meted out. It was rationed carefully, sparingly, grudgingly. There was generally one blessing per household: miss it, you get the dregs.
But now “out of the fullness of [Christ’s] grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another” (John 1:16; GNT).
You are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
The words the Father speaks over his Son Jesus are in one sense for him alone. But in another sense, everything he has is yours.
source


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Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 1

Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 1

Q & A 1
Q. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God,1 and to enjoy him forever.2

*1 Psalm 86:9; Isaiah 60:21; Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 6:20; 10:31; Revelation 4:11.
*2 Psalm 16:5-11; Psalm 144:15; Isaiah 12:2; Luke 2:10; Philippians 4:4; Revelation 21:3-4.


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Look To The Sloth, You Workaholic

Following on from my last post, there’s always this for a new year’s resolution.

new-year-sloth