We confess the mystery and wonder of God made flesh and rejoice in our great salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. With the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Son created all things, sustains all things, and makes all things new. Truly God, He became truly man, two natures in one person. He was born of the Virgin Mary and lived among us. Crucified, dead, and buried, He rose on the third day, ascended to heaven, and will come again in glory and judgment. For us, He kept the Law, atoned for sin, and satisfied God’s wrath. He took our filthy rags and gave us His righteous robe. He is our Prophet, Priest, and King, building His church, interceding for us, and reigning over all things. Jesus Christ is Lord; we praise His holy Name forever. Amen.
Nothing too good for thee to give.
Infinite is thy might, boundless thy love,
limitless thy grace, glorious thy saving name.
Let angels sing for
Satan’s captives released,
blind eyes opened,
broken hearts bound up,
the despondent cheered,
the self-righteous stripped,
the formalist driven from a refuge of lies,
the ignorant enlightened,
and saints built up in their holy faith.
I ask great things of a great God.
I know that thou art the author and finisher of faith,
that the whole work of redemption is thine alone,
that every good work or thought found in me
is the effect of thy power and grace,
that thy sole motive in working in me to will
and to do is for thy good pleasure.
My Lord and My God,
My focus is far from you, the one who sets up Kings and puts them down.
I have been distracted by the choosing of kings rather to place my focus on the King of kings.
It is in you, O Lord, where my strength resides
my salvation is present
my heart’s desire
my soul’s fulfillment.
Be my provision. Be my grace. Be my mercy.
Be my life. Be my zeal. Be my might.
Be my glory.
Bless me, O Lord.
Smile upon me.
Help me to trust in you, your faithfulness, and your steadfast love.
Hold me in your hands.
Protect me from the enemy of my soul.
My life is yours, O God. I love you with all of my heart.
Romans 8:24-25 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
What is this hope?
Walk backwards from the text. Our hope in adoption as sons? Redemption of our bodies? That creation would be set from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God? The revealing of God’s glory? Heir of God? Fellow heir of Christ? The Spirit bearing witness that we are children of God?
See the pattern?
But all of those things that we long for and desire and hope for are found in Christ alone.
He is our declaration of no condemnation.
He is our condemned sinful flesh.
He is our righteous requirement.
It is His Spirit by which we live, move and have our being. 1
It is His Spirit that dwells in us.
It is by His Spirit that we have been given life.
But Christ is someone we don’t see. Likewise, we cannot see the Father nor the Spirit. Because we can’t see him, we long for him. Like long distance lovers. Like husband off to war waiting for the day to come back home to be with his wife. Heck, like the guy who has to go to work 8 hours a day and fight hours of traffic just to be with his woman. Like the gal who goes out of town on business who just can’t wait to be with her baby.
In that waiting, we are not impatient as a kid wanting ice cream after dinner. We know we can’t see God right away but one day, we will. And when we see him, He will wipe away all of tears, make all things right, give us the fullness of joy and pleasures evermore.
- Acts 17:28 ↩
O Father, I thank thee that in fullness of grace
thou hast given me to Jesus, to be his sheep,
O Jesus, I thank thee that in fullness of grace
thou hast accepted, espoused, bound me;
O Holy Spirit, I thank thee that in fullness of
grace thou hast
exhibited Jesus as my salvation,
implanted faith within me,
subdued my stubborn heart,
made me one with him for ever.
When I met these two girls about four years ago, I knew two things:
- They are thieves. They love to take your heart and never give it back.
- They love the Bible.
If you know me, I have many kids. But none of my kids had that spark, that interest… that proclivity that these two girls had in the word of God.
From the moment, I met them I knew that I would give them every ounce of theological and doctrinal training, every note, every book, every podcast, every video that I had not just simply to raise preachers and pastors—although that is a small part of it.
I would train them up so that they would know that we can and do worship God through our intellect. Some people worship God in song or being in the midst of nature. I want them to know it is way more than okay to worship God with fully engaging your mind as well as your heart.
To see them thrive and grow in their thinking and engaging with God and others over the last few years has been a complete joy for me.
Praise God and amen.
Featured image courtesy of Mae Burke Photography.
Mark 8:14–21 Now they had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”
- According to Jesus, what was the miracles of the Loaves and Fishes really about?
- With every Miracle, what is God doing?
In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written,
“Those who have never been told of him will see,
and those who have never heard will understand.”
(Romans 15:17-21 ESV)
Mark 8:11–13 The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” And he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side.
Luke 24:44-49 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
- How can we understand God?
- How can we understand the Bible?
- If we do not understand something, who can we turn to?