Archives For The Gospel Changes Everything

“Is there any hope for me if I’ve committed a terrible sin?”

Of course there is, that’s why Jesus died on the cross. The good news is that you understand that what you have done is a terrible sin against the Lord. God has made your conscience sensitive to His Law and you have responded to your conscience and the leading of the Holy Spirit to seek reconciliation and forgiveness with the Lord.Head in Hands

But the question is “how is the gospel applied to my terrible sin? Or maybe, what should I do if I’ve committed a terrible sin?”

First, confess it to the Lord. Only you will be able to tell if your heart is genuinely sorry for what you’ve done. Your relationship to the Lord is the most important relationship that you have and God wants to talk to you about this terrible sin. He wants you to see exactly how terrible and heinous it is in His sight. He wants you to understand what you really deserve for sinning against a holy God. And what you deserve is to face the wrath of God, experiencing physical death and spiritual death for all eternity. Contemplating and meditating on the seriousness of this situation is healthy for your soul and it will enable you to appreciate the lengths that God has gone to in order for you to not have to face His wrath. Namely, that God the Father, sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to die in your place, physically and to wash you clean from all your sins, past, present and future.

Secondly, repent of your sin. This simply means to turn away from your sinful behavior and to ask the Lord to cleanse your heart from ever wanting to sin in this way again. Repentance is about turn away from sin but also turning back to the Lord. It is about making a change.

Thirdly, our repentance leads us to put our faith in Christ and His work accomplished through His life, death, resurrection and reign. We are believing that the promises of God are better than the promises of the sin we just committed. We are putting our faith into Jesus who has taken our sin upon himself and placed his righteousness upon us.

Finally, we begin to obey the Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit working in us. The grace that we have received from Christ’s redemptive work does not allow us to keep on sinning but rather to develop a hatred for sin and a love for obedience to God and His Word. Leviticus 20:7-8 says, “Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies.”

Live everyday in this rhythm of confession, repentance, faith and obedience. Believe with the greatest confidence that Jesus died for your most heinous and terrible sins and He does not want you to be enslaved to it any longer. Nor does Jesus want you to despair because of your sin. Jesus wants you to find hope in His gospel.

All for Jesus,

Fletch

Several folks have asked for devotional ideas for this year. I love these getting these questions!

bible-study1

Here are some top choices for spending time with the Lord:

  1. Just Read your Bible. Start with a particular book and read a chapter or passage each day. Ask yourself three question:
    • What does this passage tell me about who God is?
    • What does this passage tell me about who I am?
    • What is this passage calling me to do by the power of Christ living in me?
  1. Tim Keller has a new devotional: The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms. Each day has a Scripture to read, an encouraging word and a prayer to pray.
  2. Ken Boa has written several devotional books over the years and you can find them at www.kenboa.org The one that I have used regularly for over 20 years is called Handbook to Prayer. It’s a daily prayer guide that only uses Scripture, no commentary. I absolutely love it. These books come in leather which makes them a little pricey, but well worth the money.
  3. Scotty Smith’s Everyday Prayers is Andrew’s favorite and he has been leading our staff times with it. Highly recommended.
  4. Valley of Vision, a compilation of Puritan prayers. We use these prayers in corporate worship at times.
  5. Paul Tripp’s New Morning Mercies was my top choice for 2016, so if you didn’t get it yet, then definitely order it, immediately. Gospel centeredness every day, it is awesome. I’m doing it again, especially since I know that I didn’t actually read it every single day this past year.
  6. Heath’s top pick is Voices from the Past, Puritan Devotional Readings.
  7. You probably know that John Piper is one of my favorite authors/pastors/theologians. Piper has written numerous devotionals. The Godward Life is exceptional and I highly recommend it. You can also download his app called Solid Joys, which is a daily devotional on your phone. I have really benefited from this one as well.

I could go on and on, but we need to leave some information for another blog post. Bottom line is to encourage you to read your Bibles daily, spend some time praying and believing that the gospel changes everything!

What is YOUR favorite devotional?

All for Jesus,

Fletch

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 says,

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,”

The gospel is the good news that Jesus has come to save us from ourselves for Himself.  Apart from Christ we face Continue Reading…

Why Not?

November 2, 2016 — Leave a comment

Romans 10:13-14 says,bartunlovable

“For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”

Why not love the unlovable? Why not give grace to Continue Reading…

Don’t Miss it!

August 10, 2016 — Leave a comment

In 1 Chronicles 16, King David brings the Ark of the Covenantmountainsclouds back to Jerusalem. If you remember, during the time of King Saul the Ark had been stolen and misused. But King David recaptures the Ark and brings it back to Jerusalem and plans a huge worship service. 1 Chronicles 16:8-36 recount the songs of praise and prayers during the worship service.

In verses 25-29 the attributes of God are magnified. As you read (pray) through these verses look for specific attributes of God. I think too often we miss looking at the Scriptures this way. We can get caught up in the narrative and miss seeing who God really is and how we should worship Him. These attributes have an impact on our daily lives. Here are a few that I found.

25 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and he is to be feared above all gods.
26 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
27 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and joy are in his place.

28 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come before him!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;  (1 Chronicles 16:25-29)

great, above all gods, maker of the heavens, majestic, strong, joyful, glorious, holy, beautiful, eternal, compassionate, humble, a reviver of spirits and hearts

And if you keep reading (praying) to the end of the worship service (v.35-36) you will see that it ultimately points us to Jesus, who is our salvation. God alone is worthy of our worship and praise. It is good to get to know His attributes and His characteristics because this creates more intimacy in our relationship with Him. It also strengthens and encourages our faith in the One whom He sent to die for us, be raised from the dead and is now seated at His right hand, ruling over all creation.

All for Jesus,

Fletch

“In the beginning God…”selfish3

These are the first four words of the Bible in Genesis 1. These first four words remind us who the entire Bible is about. They remind who all of life is about, and its not about me, or you. God is the center of the universe and it is God who is the reason for everything that is in existence. We have to keep reminding ourselves of this truth each day in order to be more focused on glorifying God and not ourselves.

These are the first four words of the Bible in Genesis 1. These first four words remind us who the entire Bible is about. They remind who all of life is about, and its not about me, or you. God is the center of the universe and it is God who is the reason for everything that is in existence. We have to keep reminding ourselves of this truth each day in order to be more focused on glorifying God and not ourselves.

As you think about this particular day, ask the Lord to keep you from being so self-focused on your own pleasure. Instead, ask Him to keep you focused on who He has called you to be. So that the people you interact with, the relationships that are growing and developing in your life will not be about Continue Reading…

Safe and Secure

August 8, 2016 — Leave a comment

This God—his way is perfect; mountain-path-1119909_960_720
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

 For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?

Psalm 18:30-31

To follow God is a way that will always be best. It may not be the easiest or the safest way, but it is always the best way. “For your way is perfect…” You just can’t go wrong if you choose the path that God leads you down.

To live according to God’s Word has proven to be Continue Reading…

The famous football coach Vince Lombardi blockandtacklebelieved that if his team could learn two things they would win football games. Just two things were the key to winning games? What about a thick and complex playbook? Don’t you need the fastest running backs and the most agile quarterbacks? Well, according to Vince Lombardi all you need to learn and execute are two things: blocking and tackling. If he could get his players to do those two things better than anyone else then they would win football games.

The Christian life points us in this direction as well. Not that we need to learn how to block and tackle, but there are two basic skills that are so foundational to life that we will be at a great loss if we don’t learn them. There are two things that Continue Reading…

What Never Fails?

August 3, 2016 — 1 Comment

Numbers 23:19SunRisingCloseUpII590300

God is not man, that he should lie,
or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

Nobody is worried about whether or not the sun will come up tomorrow. The sun always comes up. But the sun comes up because Continue Reading…

The gospel provides rest from all of our burdens, anxieties and fears because the gospel is founded upon the character of God. This is the God, the great I AM, the sustainer of all things, ruler over the entire universe and everything else.“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

The gospel says that God is taking what is broken beyond our ability to fix and fixing it; the gospel is God taking our sinfully dead hearts and bringing them back to life through the life, death, resurrection and reign of Christ. Continue Reading…