mgpcpastor's blog


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The Preacher As Faithful Home Cook (via Robert Farrar Capon)

If you’re attending worship with other Christians tomorrow and hearing a sermon, may it have this character:

Preachers of the Word labor under three distinct requirements. First, they are to be faithful (pistoi). They are called to believe, and they are called only to believe. They are not called to know, or to be clever, or to be proficient, or to be energetic, or to be talented, or to be well-adjusted…
Second, the clergy are to be wise (phrenimoi). They are not to be fools, rich or poor, who think that salvation can come to anyone as a result of living. The world is already drowning in its efforts at life; it does not need lifeguards who swim to it carrying the barbells of their own moral and spiritual efforts. Preachers are to come honestly empty-handed to the world…
But it is the third of these clerical requirements that strikes me as the most telling: preachers are stewards whom the Lord has ‘set over his household servants to provide them with food at the proper time.’ After all the years the church has suffered under forceful preachers and winning orators, under compelling pulpiteers and clerical bigmouths with egos to match, how nice to hear that Jesus expects preachers in their congregations to be nothing more than faithful household cooks.
Robert Farrar Capon, The Parables of Grace, Eerdmans, 1988, 91-2.


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Due Credit (preparing for mgpc 28/8/2016)

Songs of preparation: From Heaven You Came (The Servant King) and What A Wonderful Saviour Is Jesus.
Call to worship:
Praise: Come O Fount Of Every Blessing.
Corporate Prayer of Confession:
Song of assurance, confession of faith, doxology: O Lord My God (How Great Thou Art); Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 60; Unto God Be Praise And Honour.
Consecutive reading: 1 Corinthians 7: 1 – 24 – The Apostle Paul answers questions the Corinthians had raised regarding marriage, singleness, and divorce.
Bible Memorisation: Ephesians 2: 8 – 10.
Praise: Holy Spirit, Living Breath Of God.
Reading: Ephesians 2: 1 – 10
Sermon: Due Credit – God gets the credit for our salvation, it’s not just right, but a vital element to healthy Christian community life.
Tithes and offerings.
Departing praise: This Life I Live.


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Rest In You by All Sons And Daughters

All Sons And Daughters’ forthcoming album Poets And Saints, collection of new songs that seek to evoke connections with past generations of God’s people.
This is Rest In You.


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God’s Highway by Sandra McCracken

This is a recording from last year of the title track from Sandra McCracken’s forthcoming album God’s Highway.


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Footy Tipping 2016 – NRL Round 25 / AFL Round 23

The final home and away round of AFL for 2016, along with the penultimate NRL round.
The top eights of both comps seem settled, though there are many permutations of places in the AFL with results and percentages all important.
For all my bleating about the NRL, all the teams currently in the top eight have more wins that losses (Gold Coast are equal, but have one draw) and all have positive points differentials.

NRL (last round 7/8; season tally 114/178)
North Queensland
Melbourne
Canberra
Gold Coast
Cronulla
New Zealand
Souths
Paramatta

AFL (last round 6/9; season tally 132/189)
Adelaide
Geelong
Carlton
Sydney
Port Adelaide
Greater Western Sydney
Saint Kilda
Hawthorn
Western Bulldogs


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The Church Is Important Because The Fruit Of The Gospel Is Not Just The Conversion Of Individuals But The Creation Of The Church (via Peter Adam)

Being a Christian is a corporate experience with individual implications, not an individual experience with corporate implications.
Peter Adam is writing a brief series about preaching. Here he addresses what it means to understand the Bible (and preaching) is “mainly addressed to God’s people, not to individuals.”

Individualism in preaching [that is, merely addressing individuals] misses the main purpose and aim of the Bible, and so mistreats it. Even in individual Bible reading, we should be thinking of how this message impacts our church. We need to realise how frequently “you” in the Bible is “you” [plural], rather than “you” [singular]. It would help if we popularised the word “youse”, as we could then use it in our translations of the Bible! We should use the Bible for the main purpose for which God wrote it, to create, mature, train, correct, transform, equip, and perfect his church.

Read the whole post here.


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Real Church Is More Than A Human Support Group (via Ray Ortlund)

Ray Ortlund writes about the messiness of real church.

And the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin
Real church is more than a human support group, more than empathy. The sacred blood of Jesus is here. And we bring no sin out into the light which his blood cannot cleanse away: “. . . all sin.” This is not sinless perfection, but it is substantial healing in every area of life. That particular sin weighing most heavily on your conscience, that sin that shames you and damns you and haunts you—that is the sin Jesus bled for, and that is the point in your existence where he loves you the most tenderly. Take a step out into the light, as the Holy Spirit nudges you. Confess that particular sin to God and to your fellowship, in some meaningful, appropriate way. Then take the next step after that, as God leads you, and then the next—a new person walking in the light day by day, continually cleansed, constantly reinvigorated, daily included in the circle of grace, not shamed, not forced back into hiding, but trusting in the ongoing power of justification by faith alone, welcomed into the fellowship of the forgiven, and you’re free as never before.
Here is the price we pay: putting our pride away and admitting the truth, moment by moment, as we walk together in the light of the Lord.

Read the whole post here.