Kevin Halloran shares from Encouraged to Pray: Classic Spurgeon Sermons on Prayer.
Be looking for an update on R.C. Sproul’s condition. Steven Lawson shared this last night:
Please be in prayer for R. C. Sproul. Our champion of the faith, the great warrior of truth, and my mentor, is soon to be home with the Lord.
— Steven Lawson (@DrStevenJLawson) December 14, 2017
I’ve been encouraged to hear of many groups of men, including pastors and their elders, working together through Reset: Living a Grace-paced Life in a Burnout Culture. In response to feedback, I’m pleased to make available a free Study Guide (pdf) to accompany the book.
2017 has been a hard year for “peace on earth.” We’ve seen wars and rumors of wars. We’ve watched earthquakes flatten towns, hurricanes destroy islands, fires consume neighborhoods, and floodwaters engulf a city. Last month brought news of a mass killing that took more than half of the people gathered for worship at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas.
A few years ago I walked into the holiday season with fresh wounds, and I was blindsided by how a season I once found comforting brought additional pain. That calendar year had brought so much suffering: we had lost loved ones, our marriage had been through a rough season, our adoption plans had been halted, my husband was in the middle of a career change, and we were walking through a family crisis. I’d even been diagnosed with PTSD from all the shock and change. Sin, death, and brokenness seemed ever-present, and the raw grief prevented me from celebrating the holidays like I used to.
In my mind, though, we aren’t asking the right question. The real question isn’t whether or not God is going to give a person what they ask for if they are an unbeliever. That is not the nature of prayer. God is sovereign and he may or may not answer our requests. The real issue is whether or not an unbeliever has relational access to God apart from Christ. And that is a resounding no according to the Scriptures.
A favorite from the archives:
Our church fairly regularly changes up the songs we’re singing during corporate worship. There are lots of reasons for this—a song is past its prime/badly dated; some songs only fit with certain messages and themes; sometimes there’s something new to share with the congregation… you get the idea.
One positive that comes from this is you might be introduced to a new and powerful song that adds to your personal and corporate praise. But, there’s also a consequence you have to deal with: sometimes really great songs aren’t sung as often anymore (if at all).
There’s a song I really miss singing at church. It’s one that I can’t remember the last time we sang it. It’s one of the songs that I sing loudest with at every opportunity: Stuart Townend and Keith Getty’s “In Christ Alone.”