Sunday, March 31, 2013

That's My King!

Friday I posted a clip from S.M. Lockridge entitled, It's Friday...But Sunday's Coming. Now that Easter Sunday is here, as we celebrate the resurrection of our King, it seemed appropriate to share another clip from Lockridge entitled, That's My King!

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Maundy Thursday Sermon...Denying Jesus

Last night at our Maundy Thursday service, I preached from Luke 22:31-34 on Denying Jesus. Audio is available here and below is an excerpt.
Peter needed to come to a realization and it's the same realization we need to make: We do not strive on the basis of our own strength; we thrive on the basis of God's strength. When we are weak, he is strong through us.

We need to remember at all times that it is not our personal holiness that earns our spot with God. I need to remember that I am a wretched, miserable sinner, saved by grace alone that I might pursue holiness to the glory of God. And I even fail at that having been saved, and yet, as great as my sin is, the grace of God is greater still! And I must remember that always.

God pours out his grace on us. He floods us with his grace. And we must realize too that he does this not merely so that we would be receptacles of his grace, but that it might flood into us and flow through us and pour out of us into the lives of others. We are to be conduits of God's grace, not merely receptacles of it.

Now what does that look like? Well, it means that we ought to serve humbly, realizing that we are no better than anyone else. It means that we should serve selflessly and sacrificially. It means that we should offer forgiveness to those who have offended us, to those who have wronged us, to those who have injured us, to those who are even our enemies. Not because they deserve it, but because they need it, and because when we needed it Christ Jesus gave it to us.

It's Friday...But Sunday's Coming!

 Rev. S.M. Lockridge

What Christ Endured

"Thus, while he was hanging on the cross from below Satan and all his hosts assailed him; from about men heaped scorn upon him; from above God dropped upon him the pallor of darkness, symbol of the curse; and from within there arose the bitter cry, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'"

William Hendriksen
New Testament Commentary: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon

Friday, March 22, 2013

Great Book Deal

Westminster Seminary Bookstore has a great deal running on the Contours of Christian Theology series. If you purchase the set by April 27, you can get them for 55% off ($80, as opposed to the cover price of $176), This is an excellent series as the endorsements below testify. If you don't want to buy the whole set, but would like to get a few of the books, they are also on special individually through Wednesday for 45-50% off the cover price.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Word for Preachers...Stott on the Pastor's Personal Walk

"We pastors have God-given responsibilities both to the congregation we serve and to the doctrine we teach, for both have been committed to us. Yet our prior responsibility is to ourselves, to guard our personal walk with God and our loyalty to him. Nobody can be a good pastor or teacher of others who is not first a good servant of Jesus Christ. Disciplined habits, of pastoral visitation and counselling on the one hand, and of theological study and sermon preparation on the other, become barren exercises unless they are supported by disciplined habits of personal devotion, especially biblical meditation and prayer. Every pastor knows how exacting his ministry is. We may encounter misunderstanding and even opposition; we shall certainly grow weary in mind and body; we may also have to endure loneliness and discouragement. Even the strongest personalities collapse under the weight of these pressures, unless the power of God is being revealed in our weakness, and the life of Jesus in our mortal bodies, so that 'inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (2 Cor. 4:7-11 and 16)"

John Stott
Between Two Worlds: The Challenge of Preaching Today

Friday, March 15, 2013

Exciting Conference News!

On October 26th we at Calvary Presbyterian Church will be hosting our conference for the 10th time and we have a number of developments to share:

1) The conference's name is changing. To this point, it has been called the Mid-Michigan Conference on Reformed Theology. Beginning this year it will simply be called the Mid-Michigan Reformation Conference. The name change reflects a number of things. While we are still unquestionably Reformed in our theology, our intention is to have a Gospel-centered conference instead of having a Reformed Theology-centered conference. The teaching will still be from a Reformed perspective, but we hope this change will reflect our realization that we are not saved by having really sound theology, but by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

The reality also is that, perhaps since we have always held the conference on Reformation Weekend, many (most?) of the people we spoke with already referred to it as our "Reformation Conference." Perhaps this was also because of the fact that it's less wordy, which is another benefit of the new name.

2) This year's theme will be "The Glory of Christ" and we will once again have four gifted pastors from our region coming to speak to us. David Crabb of First Baptist Church in Lapeer, Jason Helopoulos of University Reformed Church in East Lansing and Don Galardi of Community EPC in Owosso have already agreed to speak. We are still waiting on confirmation from our fourth speaker and will pass along word as soon as we have it.

3) And the biggest news is...THIS YEAR'S CONFERENCE WILL BE ABSOLUTELY FREE! We will gladly accept donations to help support the conference and enable us to continue to provide it, but we wanted to remove the possible obstacle of cost so that as many people as possible could be a part of this thoroughly enjoyable and edifying experience. 

So make sure you mark October 26th on your calendars now. There will be more information coming out soon. In the meantime, feel free to email me with any questions at

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom...Calvin on the Believer's Security

"Christ instructs his followers to remember that, in this world, they may be said to be in the midst of a forest, surrounded by innumerable robbers, and are not only unarmed and exposed as a prey, but are aware that the cause of death is contained in themselves, so that, relying on the guardianship of God alone, they may walk without alarm. In short, our salvation is certain, because it is in the hand of God; for our faith is weak, and we are too prone to waver. But God, who has taken us under his protection, is sufficiently powerful to scatter, with his breath alone, all the forces of our adversaries. It is of great importance for us to turn our eye to this, that the fear of temptations may not dismay us; for Christ even intended to point out the way in which sheep are made to live at ease in the midst of wolves."

John Calvin
Commentary on John 10:28

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What Exactly Do We Owe the President?

In a post today entitled The Most Disobeyed Commandment in the Church, David Murray cites the Westsminster Larger Catechism (Answer 127) in outlining what we owe the President:
  1. All due reverence in heart, word, and behavior
  2. Prayer and thanksgiving for them
  3. Imitation of their virtues and graces
  4. Willing obedience to their lawful commands and counsels
  5. Due submission to their corrections
  6. Fidelity to, defense and maintenance of their persons and authority
  7. Bearing with their infirmities
  8. Covering them in love
I fear that many Christians I know (including at times myself) have failed miserably at these (especially numbers 1 & 8). I'll let you and the Holy Spirit be the judge at how well you specifically have done, but Murray puts it this way:
Many Christians have shattered this commandment in a thousand pieces over the last four months, perhaps even over the last four years.

Sure, we must defend the sanctity of life and of marriage, but we must not do so at the expense of the fifth commandment. Since when do we get to pick and choose which commandments are most important and which are irrelevant?

Serious moral errors in some areas of government policy and practice are no excuse for failing to obey this commandment in all other areas.
Thankfully and mercifully, God offers forgiveness for this sin too – if we repent of it and believe in Jesus.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Word for Preachers...Alexander on the Key to Applicatory Preaching

"I am told that someone said of Robert Murray McCheyne of Dundee, 'He seemed, as his preaching progressed, to advance upon you until he was standing inside your heart, applying the Word of God to all your life.'

"My own increasing conviction is that this application begins at our own door. I think the secret of applicatory preaching is that we must apply to ourselves the Word of God while we are meditating upon it, while we are studying it. We must do this before we ever begin to think about applying it to other people.

"John Owen wrote, 'A man preacheth that sermon well unto others which preacheth itself in his own soul. If the Word do not dwell with power in us, it will not pass with power from us.' And again, 'He who doth not feed on and digest and thrive by what he preaches and prepares for his people, may give them poison as far as he knows,   for unless he finds the power of it in his own heart, he cannot have any ground of confidence that it will have power in the hearts of others.'"

Eric J. Alexander
What is Biblical Preaching?

Where Theology Intersects Life

Here is an example I noticed last night of the type of theological insights that make Kevin DeYoung a must-follow at Twitter:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Get the Word Out!

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you may be familiar with the Smith family. Friends of mine back in Webster Groves, Missouri, and one of my favorite families on earth, I've mentioned them before (here, here, here and here).

Karen created a missionary organization called Get the Word Out, Inc. Its underlying goal is to distribute Bibles with the understanding that God's Word changes lives, replacing despair with hope, conflict with peace, and hurt with healing. Much of their ministry has taken place in Kenya where they have also been able to help people through such projects as digging fresh-water wells, building an orphanage and a school, and even bringing children with cancer back to the United States so that they receive medical treatment which otherwise would have been impossible.
They are preparing to send a team to Kenya in a little over a week, and just the other day, the resale shop they started to help fund the ministry was featured on KSDK Channel 5's Show Me St. Louis. Check out the video below. And please consider how you might be a part of the wonderful work they're doing!

If you live in St. Louis and are interested in visiting the GTWO Store, their address is 10050 Manchester Rd. in Glendale and their phone number is 314-368-8184. You can also reach them via email at


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom...DeYoung on the Gospel and Holiness

"(T)he gospel aids our pursuit of holiness by telling us the truth about who we are. Certain sins become more difficult when we understand our new position in Christ. If we are heirs to the whole world, why should we envy? If we are God's treasured possession, why be jealous? If God is our Father, why be afraid? If we are dead to sin, why live in it? If we've been raised with Christ, why continue in our old sinful ways? If we are seated in the heavenly places, why act like the devil of hell? If we are loved with an everlasting love, why are we trying to prove our worth to the world? If Christ is all in all, why am I so preoccupied with myself?"

Kevin DeYoung
The Hole in our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Word for Preachers...Alexander on the Unction of God

"When the unction of God is upon the preacher of his Word, people will go away saying, not 'What a great preacher!' but rather, ' Truly, God is in this place! How great and glorious he is!'"

Eric J. Alexander
What is Biblical Preaching?