“What sermon had the most impact on your life?”

That question was asked by my friend Jeff Purswell at a recent dinner with some friends. We all paused and began to recount our histories of hearing sermons. We all reflected upon the difference the preaching of God’s word has made in our lives. This question provoked a wonderful review of each man’s experience of grace through preaching.

Something happens in the preaching of God’s word that doesn’t happen in our private devotions or small groups..

“You cannot rely on your experiences to prove the love of God. They may indeed give you evidences of it. But when you are in the dark, those very things may seem to mock you. There is one place you can go…There is no other evidence or argument that can be brought in all the dark providences of human experience that can withstand the mighty logic of the evidence of Calvary. If God has said, ‘I love you so much that I gave my Son in your place,’ you can trust Him in everything and for everything.”..

“I believe I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of living!” Psalm 27:13

How about you? What are you expecting in 2017?

Psalm 27 can serve us as we consider the year to come. The psalm describes David’s ambition (27:1–6) and David’s expectation (27:7–14). Last week we considered David’s sole ambition in Psalm 27:4. This week it would serve us to consider his expectation in 27:13.

As the first half of the Psalm describes David’s resolve to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord with..

“We should not be too taken aback when unexpected and upsetting and discouraging things happen to us now. What do they mean? Simply that God in his wisdom means to make something of us which we have not attained yet, and he is dealing with us accordingly. Perhaps he means to strengthen us in patience, good humor, compassion, humility or meekness, by giving us some extra practice in exercising these graces under especially difficult conditions. Perhaps he has new lessons in self-denial and self-d..

The other day I mentioned that Knowing God by J.I. Packer is the one book I reread every year. This excerpt is one of the reasons why:

What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlines it–the fact that he knows me. I am graven on the palms of his hands. I am never out of his mind. All my knowledge of him depends on his sustained initiative in knowing me. I know him because he first knew me, and continues to know me. H..

Yesterday, I preached my first sermon of the New Year from Psalm 27. This Psalm highlights David’s one thing, his single ambition:

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after…to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.” Psalm 27:4

There is not a greater ambition for 2017 than this ambition, that we might deepen our admiration of God and our affections for God by gazing upon the beauty of God. There are many ways to do this, but one of my favorites is to reread a particular classic Chr..

“How encouraging the thought of the Redeemer’s never-ceasing intercession is for us. When we pray, He pleads for us; and then we are not praying, He is advocating our cause, and by His supplications shielding us from unseen dangers…Little do we know of what we owe to our Savior’s prayers. When we reach the hill-tops of heaven, and look back upon all the ways in which the Lord our God has led us, how we shall praise Him who, before the eternal throne, undid the mischief which Satan was doing upon..

The ending to the book of Jonah is perplexing.

The author doesn’t tell us what happened to Jonah. The author leaves us wondering: did Jonah repent of his anger toward God for not executing his justice and wrath upon his enemies, the Ninevites?

What kind of storyteller is this? How could he not bring some resolution about the main character?

And that, my friends, is the nub of the problem.

If we think Jonah was the main character then we’ve missed the point and purpose of the story. For the a..

Her example is meant to provoke us.
Her example is a compelling public display of gratefulness for the forgiveness of her many sins.
Her example is presented in vivid detail by Luke in his Gospel, in chapter 7:36-50.

This woman, whose name we do not know, arrives uninvited at a dinner party. She came for one purpose, known only to her. Probably, no one noticed when she entered the room. But no one could ignore what happened next. No one was prepared for what she does. And no one would forget wh..