Dec 31, 2014

New Year's Eve, 2014

Happy New Year's Eve!

Preaching The Gospel to Yourself

"There is great security in the salvation of the Lord. God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, and His decision stands. The Holy Spirit has caused us to be born again, and there is no means by which we can destroy the life He has given us. Every believer has been crucified with Christ, and nowhere in Scripture do we see a way we can be uncrucified. Every one who has believed in Jesus Christ is justified, and no work of man or Satan can overturn the verdict of God. Jesus exercises sovereign care over all His people. Those in His hands cannot be taken from Him. Yet, despite the security of our salvation and standing before God through Jesus Christ, we can still find our way into trouble when we wander away from the hope of the gospel.
And wander we do. While wandering can come in the form of giving in to immorality, it more often masquerades as a kind of Christianity. For many, the Christian life is driven by doctrinal precision. We may rightly value our confessional heritage and see the importance of robust theology, but this can itself become the goal for which we strive while missing the connection of all theology to the gospel. Knowledge often "puffs up" and the resulting pride leads us into confessional confidence over gospel confidence. Some Christians base their spiritual life on emotions-the deep stirrings of the heart that are often connected with the profound truths of God. But while the truths of God never change, our experience of them does. And when the feelings are not there, our faith ends up in crisis. In finding confidence in our emotions, we wander from what should be our only hope in life and in death. Many of us lose sight of the gospel as we focus on our own works and how well we are doing spiritually. By measuring ourselves against self-imposed standards, we believe ourselves to be strong or weak, but in each care the fix is found in doing our best, rather than the work of Christ.
Fundamentally, the gospel is forgotten when it no longer functions as our ongoing hope and confidence before God, or when it becomes unessential for the practical, daily living of the Christian life. The gospel we often forget must be reclaimed and retained for the safety of our souls, and this is done through preaching the gospel to ourselves.
Preaching the gospel to ourselves is calling ourselves to return to Jesus for forgiveness, cleansing, empowerment, and purpose. It is answering doubts and fears with the promises of God. Do my sins condemn me? Jesus has covered them all in His blood. Do my works fall short? Jesus' righteousness is counted as mine. Are the world, the devil, and my own flesh conspiring against me? Not even a hair can fall from my head apart from the will of my Father in heaven, and He has promised to care for me and keep me forever. Can I really deny myself, carry my cross, and follow Jesus? Yes, for God is at work in me, willing and working in me for His own pleasure. This is what it looks like to preach the to ourselves.
This private and personal preaching can only happen when the Word of God is known and believed; when God's law reveals our sin and helplessness, and His grace covers that sin and overcomes our weaknesses. Preaching the gospel to ourselves is not simply the act of studying the Bible (though we can preach to ourselves in that act), but it is actively calling ourselves to believe the promises of God in Jesus His Son.
We preach to ourselves through the disciplines of prayer and meditation on Scripture. In praying, we look to God to graciously meet our needs, and in the act itself we exercise faith. In his exposition of the Lord's Prayer, Thomas Manton said, "Prayer ... is a preaching to ourselves in God's hearing. We speak to God to warm ourselves, not for his information, but for our edification." The gospel promises in God's Word guide us in prayer, leading us to the safety of Jesus' service and sacrifice. By meditation, we call to mind the gospel; by prayer, we claim the gospel as our great hope.
Most of us need to rediscover the gospel. And such a recovery is needed daily because our need is ever present and our hearts are prone to wander. But gospel recovery only happens when we feel the weight of our sins, the weakness of our flesh, and the frailty of our faith. This means that only those who know themselves to be unworthy sinners and God's Word to be true will find the gospel to be not only good news, but good news for their own souls."
Rev. Joe Thorn is lead pastor of Redeemer Fellowship in St. Charles, Illinois.
He is author of Note to Self and the forth-coming book Experiencing the Trinity:
The Grace of God for the People of God.
Article taken from Tabletalk, Jan. 2015

Dec 30, 2014

Alistair Begg

"In saying we will worship God, we're saying that we will
give Him the chief place in our thoughts and interests."
Alistair Begg

Dec 29, 2014

He Taught From The Boat

ePrata photo

And He got into one of the boats,
which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little way from the land.
And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat.
Luke 5:3
"Jesus taught from the boat...

Water carries sound and it amplifies it. The crowds were so crushing that in order to even have space, Jesus launched into one of the sailboats (not a dinghy as depicted above, lol) and He spoke to the crowds. Note, He was sitting, they were standing, indicting His important presence.

Were they thirsting for the truth from the Living Waters? Or were they rubberneckers hoping for a personal miracle? Both. We know the end of the story, most people turned out to be rubberneckers only out to see the latest thing in Galilee. Most of these same people eventually rejected Him. (Mark 6:4-5).

What a momentous occasion on that shore! To be present and taught directly by God Himself. We are blessed, we believers in this present Church Age. We have the Holy Spirit in us to teach us these things. This Spirit will never leave us.

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:7)

The blessings from our Lord are manifold, beginning with our indwelled Spirit, and His word which was later written down at the inspiration of His Spirit. Study His word today, worship Him by praising Him for those words, and bless Him by being obedient to them. He is a gracious and magnificent God, who taught His sheep from the boat."
by Elizabeth Prata

Dec 26, 2014

Old Hymns

 One day when heaven
Is filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to
Be born of a virgin
He dwelt among men, my example is He
Living He loved me
Dying He saved me
Buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified
Freely forever
One day He’s coming
Oh, Glorious Day
Oh, Glorious Day
One day they led Him
Up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him
To die on a tree
Suffering anguish
Despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose o’er
Death He had conquered
Now is ascended
My lord evermore

One day the trumpet will
Sound for His coming
One day the skies with His
Glories will shine
Wonderful day
My beloved was bringing
Glorious Savior this Jesus is mine

There is something special about the old hymns. Many of them carry a powerful message, a strong anointing, and a doorway into the praises of heaven—helping to carry our spirits to new heights of adoration and a deeper sense of the heart of God.

These old hymns are not only delightful to sing, but their words provide a rich and rewarding resource for prayer and meditation. Why are they so impactful? Why have they endured the test of time, enriched our lives, and helped us to express our worship? One of the main reasons is because they were birthed out of an intimate relationship that the hymn writers had with the Lord, and because of the comfort, hope, and encouragement they received from His Spirit as they walked through the dark valleys of life.

The following quote by F.B. Meyer gives us further insight into the hardships of many of the early hymn writers: “The church owes many of her sweetest hymns to the profound anguish which wrung the hearts of her noblest children. The rough feet of trial and pain have stamped, as in the oil-press, hearts whose life-blood is preserved in matchless lyrics.”
As you begin your spiritual journey through 2015, think about adding two books to your devotional library (if they are not already there). One is a book of old hymns (one with just the lyrics will do). The other is a book that tells the stories behind the writing of many of our favorite hymns.  These books will be a wonderful resource for mediation and reflection in your quiet times.
By Roy Lessin

Dec 5, 2014

Everett Sollars

Due to the unexpected death of Everett Sollars, the
Annual Christmas Banquet, scheduled for Friday, Dec. 12,
has been cancelled.
If you have already paid for admission, please see Camilla McKee
for a refund.
Funeral arrangements are:

The celebration of life memorial service for Everett Sollars will be as follows:

Grace Bible Church

15700 Leroy St.

Southgate, MI 48195


Saturday December 13th @ 2pm

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to:
Grace Bible Church Memorial Fund

Please continue to keep the family in your prayers

The Night Before Christmas - Brandon Heath | With Lyrics