Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Worship Preparation - February 4

Whichever body of Christ you worship corporately with this weekend, resolve by God's grace to do so with a prepared heart. But believer, unless providentially hindered, do worship Christ corporately.

For those who are planning to worship
with Grace, these are only suggestions to aid you as you prepare your soul. Note: be freed from all legalism. If you can't read the sermon, for example, praise the Lord! If you can, praise the Lord!

Suggested Helps:
  1. Meditate (pray) through 2 Corinthians 4-5
  2. Pray for me :)
  3. Pray for all who will gather
  4. Try make find time to read prayerfully through John Flavel's sermon, Christ The Desire of All Nations.
  5. Pray for God to make you a full-time missionary everywhere you are
  6. Pray for God to provide opportunities for you to engage intentionally in going and/or sending the gospel to those who have never heard.
Excerpt from Flavel's sermon:
“...So here, the “desire of all nations,” is Christ, the object of the desires of God’s elect in all nations of the world. He is a Saviour infinitely desirable in himself, and actually desired by all the people of God, dispersed among all races, tongues, and nations of the world. Therefore note,

Doctrine: That the desires of God’s elect in all kingdoms, and among all people of the earth, are, and shall be drawn out after and fixed upon, the Lord Jesus Christ.

First Week

Grace, remember this is First Week.
Living to spread lasting joy,
The Pastors of Grace

An Opportunity to Obey

Seeing temptation from God's perspective will go a long way in helping us to make advance in the battle with sin, self, and Satan.
"Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness." (Psalm 95:8).
What does that mean? Meribah? Massah? You may be thinking, "I've never been there." Oh yes you have. We all have. Some of us are there even now!

Meribah is the place where Moses struck the rock (twice) instead of speaking to it (once). It was the place where Moses disbelieved God to prove Himself holy among His people. You see, Moses was fed up with God's people, and was given to depravity's impulse rather than God-pleasing obedience.

The worst part about any sin for a true believer is what might have been had I obeyed? What progress in sanctification might have been enjoyed? What experiential nearness to God might have been known? What progress of growth in grace might have taken place?

Every temptation is a "Y" in the road. An opportunity to disobey or obey. On this side of eternity no one will always walk the path of obedience. But that doesn't lessen God's standard! Nor does it comfort the real Christian to excuse his sin.

What is it that takes place in the moments of crisis when we turn to sin instead of to Christ? When the temptation is so real it is as if it were breathing down our neck? Surely there are many things taking place in that moment, but what is the one domino that begins our chain reaction of rebellion against God? In a word, hardening. God pleads, "Do not harden your in the day of Massah in the wilderness." Massah means, "temptation." In other words God is saying, "When the temptation to disbelieve Me arises, and your deceitful hearts conceives of another path to success, DO NOT harden your heart! In that moment turn to Me!"

The consequence for disobedience is always great. For Moses and Aaron who sinned at Massah instead of obeying, it meant never entering the rest of God in His land of promise. Who are we to suppose the price is anything less?

Massah, or temptation, is an opportunity to obey.

The Holiness of God and the Response of His People

Believing God rises from seeing His holiness and elicits one proper response from His people -- loving obedience.
"Because You Have Not Believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them." (Numbers 20:12)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

God's Global Glory and the Joy of the Nations

Thanks Bryan for the excellent sermon today! God carried you my brother!

** We are hoping all of the sermon audio will be available at Grace's website in the next few weeks.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

College Friend Tries out for AI

This is a guy I knew from college.

We had several late-night God-talks in my dorm. Sean if you come across this post I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Worship Preparation

  1. Pray for Bryan
  2. Meditate (Pray) through Psalm 67
  3. Try to listen to Doing Missions When Dying is Gain
  4. Pray for people to be willing to take the gospel to those in "Restricted Nations" such as:
    • Morrocco
    • Tunisia
    • Algeria
    • Nauritania
    • Nigeria
    • Libya
    • Egypt
    • Sudan
    • Somalia
    • Syria
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Iraq
    • Iran
    • Yemen
    • Oman
    • U.A.E.
    • Kuwait
    • Qatar
    • Azerbaijan
    • Belarus
    • Uzbekistan
    • Turkmenistan
    • Tajikistan
    • Afghanistan
    • Pakistan
    • China
    • Bhutan
    • Bangladesh
    • Myanmar (Burma)
    • Laos
    • Vietnam
    • Malaysia
    • Brunei
    • Cuba
For God's global glory and the joy of the nations,

Monday, January 22, 2007

Memoir & Remains of Robert Murray M'Cheyne

For those who were wondering, that's the book from which I quoted on Sunday.

Commercial: I can now think of three saints (who were each widely read individuals) who personally told me that this book is their favorite outside of Scripture.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


You should consider the fact that you will never be able to forget what you see before watching this video. I am not suggesting that everyone should watch it.

If you watch or not, pray for the unborn!

Friday, January 19, 2007

A Plea for Prayer

Please pray now, and often, for Bryan and Nathan. They are both keeping rather hectic schedules these days, and I'm sure they would appreciate you praying for them.

Keller's In Town

@ 2pc.

A Commercial Appeal columnist recently pondered Keller's call to live in the city when she wrote:
What if the sacrifice calls for you to live in a neighborhood where the nightly soundtrack is gunfire, booming bass music and car alarms?

Am I thinking more about my personal comfort and resale values than Christ's love when I avoid homes where my neighbors would be renters or on public assistance?

Read the entire article here.

Worship Preparation

Sermon Text: Psalm 16 (esp. v. 11).

One of the most foundational sermons known to me on the subject of the fullness of joy being found only in the Lord is Thomas Chalmer's, The Expulsive Power of a New Affection.

When you have time, I would encourage you to print and read this sermon...aloud. I did that today and it landed more powerfully than when I've read it silently.

Note: Chalmers had a powerful command on vocabulary, but I'd guess sermons such as Chalmers' will be followed most ably when read aloud. And, the more we expose ourselves to this sort of preaching, the easier it will become for us to follow...for we will be tilling in familiar gardens.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Love Jesus

That's it.

Celebrating the Power of the Gospel Over...

Every conceivable obstacle. That's what we said Sunday at Grace with regard to racial division. Christ is powerful to save sinners like those of us at Grace, and therefore, racial harmony would be a small thing for God. Pray with us to that end!

Thanks Kurt for celebrating the power of the gospel over abortion!

Because "issue junkies" abound allow me a brief word of clarity. We don't care a thing about being the "racial harmony church," or the "Pro-Life church," or the "_______ church." What we are concerned with is loving Jesus Christ preeminently and gladly taking whatever comes with loving Him. May God make Grace, and your church, a Christ-loving-church that loves Christ in such a way that we gladly take whatever comes with loving Christ!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Anointed Evangelistic Preaching

Over the past decade I've had the joy (and heartache) of speaking at well over 300 youth events. Because I too have plead with a broken heart for teenagers to awaken from their spiritual stupor, I have a unique joy in recommending to you one of the best evangelistic sermons I've heard in a very long time...a sermon that earned this Christian youth communicator the infamous "never invite back" reward.

Consider giving this sermon to any and every unconverted person you know...especially those who are duped by the rampant false gospel of easy-believism.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Worship Preparation

Preparing for corporate worship expands the soul's capacity for experiential enjoyment of God. Think of it, if you arrive to church numb to God, your 'soul-tingles' may not wear off until half-way through the service...or later. If, though, you arrive with a heart already warmed in the presence of God, the flame can be fanned. The proverb would be, 'Tis easier to fan than to light.

For those who will be at Grace, here are some simple ways to prepare your soul for Sunday:
  • Prayerfully meditate through the sermon text -- Isaiah 53 (esp. v. 11).
  • Pray diligently for the power of the gospel to be exerted in our city among believers through an extraordinary display of racial harmony.
  • Pray by name for the conversion of at least five unconverted people....who are of a different race than you.
  • Make plans to attend the corporate prayer meeting at 9a.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Not Your Average Nursery Training

We are encouraging all of those at Grace who have been involuntarily assigned to help with GraceKids to attend three evenings of nursery training. Now, I know what some of you may be thinking. "How much skill does it take to change a diaper?" That's not the point.

This is not your average nursery training (not to suggest I have a wide array of exposure to childcare training events). The purpose is to set forth a God-centered vision of ministry to children...that the next generation might set their hope in God! We are not so much interested in corralling kids for an hour as we are interested in the Lord using each of us to lay before these children--week after week--an exalted vision of God. Sure, diapers, graham crackers, and legos are part of it too. But the main goal is to impart Christ to these precious little ones, from cradle to grave. Parents are primarily responsible for the spiritual nurturing of their kids. We believe that. A church family, though, is to join parents in the discipling process. "Story time" today may lead to much diligent seeking of the face of God tomorrow!

I look forward to attending the 3 week nursery training (and I'm not doing any of the teaching!!). If you've not yet registered, please do so this Sunday morning with Bryan.

Training Dates:
  • Sunday's - 14, 21, 28 (5p in Marion, AR)...OR
  • Wednesday's - 17, 24, 31 (7p in Midtown-ish)
See you then...


...January 15, 2007 marks the 21st annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday, and...

...because January 14, 2007 marks the 1st annual celebration of The Gospel & Racial Harmony at Grace Church, and...

...because love for Christ knows no racial boundaries, and...

...because I am closer to my black brother, Anthony Carter, with respect to the extra-biblical source that is currently influencing our lives the most than I am to many people I see on a regular basis (I've never met Anthony), and...

...because Anthony's post is so similar to the one I was soon to post, and...

...because I love the fact that two pastors, one white and one black, are being so profoundly blessed by a dead Scottish Presbyterian...

I now link to this.

The Latest Greatest Discovery In Church Growth

The Christian Science Monitor reported on an interesting study. "A new study shows that the fastest-growing churches boast more men, less reverence, and percussion during worship." Growth=more men + less awe of God + drums. Call me crazy but that sounds more like primitive cult rituals than Christian worship, doesn't it?

(HT: TA)

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Holiness, Worthiness & Worship

Christ's essential nature (holiness-Rev. 4:8) and His intrinsic value (worthiness-Rev. 4:11) commends Him as the object of the heavenly angels' and elders' unceasing worship.

So, what effect would it have on us if we saw His holiness and worth more clearly? Oh to see Him more clearly!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Family Worship

* * * *

I do therefore desire, that all masters of families would first study well this work themselves, and then teach it their children and servants, according to their several capacities. And, if they once understand these grounds of religion, they will be able to read other books more understandingly, and hear sermons more profitably, and confer more judiciously, and hold fast the doctrine of Christ more firmly, than ever you are like to do by any other course. First, let them read and learn the Shorter Catechism, and next the Larger, and lastly, read the Confession of Faith.
* * * *
Taken From Thomas Manton's epistle to the reader of the Westminster catechism and confession of faith.


Seriously? Come on, is this serious?

(HT: Challies)

Worship Preparation

Sorry such late notice with this one, but giving some time to worshiping through Jonathan Edwards' sermon from Revelation 5--The Excellency of Christ--would be a most helpful way to prepare the soul for worshiping in Revelation 4 this weekend at Grace (Or, you can listen here). If you're not able to get to it before Sunday, this is one that would be better later than never. Truly one of the best sermons to which I've ever been exposed.

* This sermon, along with several of Edwards' other essential sermons on the beauty of Christ have been printed by Soli Deo Gloria in Altogether Lovely (or rebound, with this look)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Rise Up Women of the Truth!

15 challenges from J. Piper (from January '95).

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Read This?

Perhaps you have seen this already. If not, it's worth the read!

(HT: Justin Taylor)

Pray For Us

Thank you for praying for the pastors of Grace. We are meeting this evening for one hour. Bryan is not feeling well and I'm sure would appreciate your prayers.

"...the joy of the Lord is your strength!"- Neh. 8:10

Monday, January 01, 2007

Preparing for Worship

Thanks Lig.

Grace Announcements

Morning worship begins this Sunday
  • 9a - prayer
  • 10a - singing/preaching
Membership Introduction Forms
  • For those interested in pursuing covenant membership in February, you should submit your MIF by this Sunday (7th). Also, select an interview time via the form on the back table.
  • Everyone who has helped with childcare to this point is encouraged to attend three week's of nursery training. The training is offered on either Sunday's (14, 21, 28) or Wednesday's (17, 24, 31). Sign up sheet is on the resource table.
Sermon CD's
  • Grace's sermon cd's are available on the resource table each week. Everyone who has worked in the nursery is encouraged to grab one. Any remaining cd's are fair game.
Upcoming Sermon Text
  • For those who are praying for Grace, and those attending who are preparing for worship by giving attention to the upcoming sermon text, this week's text is Revelation 4.

Happy New Year

May 2007 be your most Christ-besotted yet!