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There’s Always A ‘Next’ When You’re Following Jesus (via Michael Kelley)

The maturity of disciples of Jesus shows in a consciousness that expresses humility about of how far we have to go, not pride in how far we have come.
From Michael Kelley:

We are on this road – on this walk – not because of our achievement but because of God’s grace in the gospel. And we continue on this road – on this walk – not from a sense of achievement but empowered by that same gospel. That’s why there is always a “next” when it comes to following Christ.
When we first start following Jesus, the “next” might be that we need to attack some moral impurity. Then the “next” might be the easier-to-hide sins of greed and pride. Then the “next” becomes how to live like a Christian in marriage. Then the “next” is how to die to our own preferences and desires as we seek to raise and lead our children. Next, next, next all the way until the “next” is how to die like one who follows Jesus. There is always a “next.”
But the gospel transforms this ever-present “next” of following Jesus. See, our “next” is not to merit favor. It’s not that with each “next” we think, Perhaps now at last I will at last be good enough to warrant the love of God. No, the gospel transforms our “next” in that we are growing into what we have already become.

Read the whole post at Forward>>Progress.


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The Day Jesus Said “I’ve Got This” (via Stephen McAlpine)

Stop whatever you’re doing and read Stephen McAlpine’s post The Day Jesus Said “I’ve Got This”.
No excerpts, no quotes, the whole thing is a highlight.
Really.
Read it.


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How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place – Sunday Songs

How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place is a setting of Psalm 84 set to the hymn tune KINGSFOLD.
It comes from Matt Searles’ new album Watches Of The Night, which I was informed this week will be sent to subscribers of EMU Music releases.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 47

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 47

122.
Q. What is the first petition?
A. “Hallowed be your name.” That is: help us first of all to know you rightly, and to hallow, glorify, and praise you in all your works through which there shine your almighty power, wisdom, goodness, righteousness, mercy, and truth. And so order our whole life in thought, word, and deed that your name may never be blasphemed on our account, but may always be honored and praised.


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An Expositor Doesn’t Merely Preach From A Text Or On A Text. An Expositor Preaches The Text. (via Jason Allen)

Some thoughts from Jason Allen about expository preaching.
If you’re at church tomorrow listen for the message of God’s word, not some words that use God’s word to impart a speaker’s message.

… “preaching the word” is marked by these three essentials:
1. The necessity of accurately interpreting the text in its immediate, and broader, biblical context.
2. The necessity of the main point of the sermon and the sermon’s sub-points to be derived from the text.
3. The necessity of the sermon’s application to come from the text and for the text to be brought to bear on the congregation.
These three marks are, admittedly, minimalistic, but they are essential. They are found where an expository sermon is to be found. Consequentially, expository preaching may be much more than this, but it mustn’t be anything less than this.
So, how do you know if a sermon is an expository one?
Is the text accurately interpreted, with consideration given to both its immediate and broader biblical contexts?
Are the main point of the sermon and its sub-points derived from the text?
Does the sermon’s application come from the text and is the text being brought to bear on the congregation?
An expositor doesn’t merely preach from a text or on a text. An expositor preaches the text.

Read the whole post here.


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Many Schemes (preparing for MGPC 25/11/2018)

Song: No Other Name
Welcome:
Song: This Is Amazing Grace
Prayer Of Confession
Song: Because He Lives
Affirming our Faith: New City Catechism 27
Song: May The Grace Of Christ Our Saviour
Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 – The Apostle Paul teaches the church regarding “the day of the Lord” (vv 1-11), provides final instructions (vv 12-22), and prays for the Thessalonians as he concludes his epistle (vv 2328)
Bible Memorisation: Ecclesiastes 5:10
Song: How I Love To Trust In Jesus
Bible Reading: Ecclesiastes 7:15-29
Sermon: Many Schemes
Song: Jesus Calls Us O’er The Tumult
Announcements:
Pastoral Prayer:
Closing Blessing
Song: Never Alone


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Seeing Bruised Reeds And Smouldering Wicks As Jesus Sees Us (via Tim Counts)

Tim Counts reminds us of the way Jesus looks at people, the way he looks at us, the way we should look at those around us.

Isaiah, in his expressive word pictures and poetic prophecy, describes hurting people as bruised reeds and smoldering wicks.
Bruised reeds were useless. Shepherds would make small musical instruments from reeds and once they were cracked, they would no longer make music. So they would be thrown out. Nobody would blame the shepherds for that. But when it comes to people who are like bruised reeds, Jesus does not despise or reject them. He will not break them, but he welcomes them and offers them healing if they will but come to him.
Smoldering wicks were useless. In a time that people depended on lamps for light, smoldering wicks did nothing but create smoke in the house and give little or no light. So they would be snuffed out. This made sense. But when it comes to people who are like smoldering wicks, people who create more smoke than light, people who seem to create more problems than they are worth, Jesus does not despise or reject them. He will not snuff them out, but he welcomes them and will make them a light for him if they will but come to him.
Reflecting Jesus’ heart towards broken and hurting people does not mean that we are never appropriately firm with someone who needs boundaries, and this does not mean that we believe in a squishy love that does not love someone enough to tell them the truth. Jesus was perfect truth and perfect grace all the time. But it does mean that we will see broken and hurting people as people who need Jesus like the rest of us.

Read the whole post at For The Church.