Mining Grace

…the more happiness you have, the more I shall count myself glorified

Archive for October 2008

Almighty

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” -Revelation 1:8

Almighty is one of those terms that we only come close defining but in the end come up lacking.  It is a word that involves infinity and therefore, incomprehensibility.  The word in the Greek literally means “all power”.  Try and wrap your mind around that one.  God is all power.  How much is that?  What scale should we use to measure it?  Is it sheer physical power?  Is it more like political power?  Is it mental power?  Is it the power of long-suffering love?  To all of these things we answer “yes”.

I had a math professor in High School who tried to demonstrate the concept of infinity to us.  He began drawing a line on the chalk board.  He wrote off the chalk board and along the classroom wall.  He kept writing along the wall, out the door, and down the hall.  He didn’t come back for the rest of the class.  Pedantic as it is, that scratches the surface of Almighty.

So when you are tempted to call on God as “the Almighty” take a moment of pause and realize what it is you are doing.  Turn your eyes to the cross and see there the clearest illustration of “all power”.  Jesus was powerful enough to love when it cost him everything.  God was powerful to will and to pay the cost to redeem a poor wretch like me–who remains a poor wretch, by the way.  He now is powerful enough to apply that all-cross-power to the hearts of sinners, reversing death in them, and leading them to repentance and faith.

God is indeed Almighty.  But that doesn’t even say the half of it.

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Written by Joe Holland

October 31, 2008 at 8:45 pm

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How God Answers Prayer – Series Index

According to the statistics on my blog, the single most popular series I have ever written has been my series on How God Answers Prayer.  They aren’t that easy to find outside of a search so I decided to post an indexed list to that series.

How God Answers Prayer Series:

Written by Joe Holland

October 30, 2008 at 5:00 am

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John 1:18 – Jesus: The Revelation of God

A few Sundays ago I preached the second sermon in my series entitled, “Jeuss, His Church, and His Mission”.  It was my first of four sermons on the person and work of Jesus.  I wanted people to see that Jesus is the revelation of God.  When God wants us to see his love he shows us his Son.  When God wants us to understand the way of redemption he shows us his Son.  When God sets down a patter for godly living he shows us his Son.  The main theme of the Old Testament is to introduce the people of God to the person of Jesus Christ.  For these reasons and many more Jesus remains the focus of the church.

To many this doctrine is nothing new.  But the basics are often the very places that we witness the greatest doctrinal errosion.  My hope was to shore up the foundation and encourage my people again to love and adore Jesus Christ.

John 1:18 – Jesus: The Revelation of God

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Written by Joe Holland

October 29, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Posted in haste

Mouth and Mind

The sum of the matter lies here: It is our duty to speak truth, that is, so as our mind agree with the matter, and our mouth with our mind.  We must speak things as we think them to be, and think them to be what they are.

– Thomas Boston, The Complete Works of the Late Rev. Thomas Boston (1853; repr., Tentmaker Publications: Stokes-on-Trent, 2002), 2:312.

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Here Thomas Boston reflects on the ninth commandment–the Christian’s need to speak the truth.  He sees in it the double necessity of being true to one’s self and true to the subject at hand.  Or to put it another way, the Christian must speak the truth and believe the truth he speaks.

In just a few paltry words, Boston gets to the heart of Christian religion.  It is not intellectual assent.  Even demons confess that Jesus is Lord (James 2:19).  It is a heart-faith tied to mouth-faith that makes true faith.  At the same time I know how often cowardice gets the best of the Christian.  He truly believes that Jesus is the only hope for the lost sinner yet his mouth rebels against his heart in the evangelistic moment.  No, one cannot exist without the other.  Truth is verified by the tongue in concert with the heart.

Written by Joe Holland

October 28, 2008 at 9:16 am

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Spiritual Warfare

I’ve been reading up on spiritual warfare recently.  It is a topic that I haven’t done all that much study on.  Given the preponderence of the topic in the New Testament I figured I should take some time to study the theories, issues, and opinions involved.

What is your own experience with the topic of spiritual warfare?

Things I’ve read or listened to recently on spiritual warfare:

Written by Joe Holland

October 27, 2008 at 1:22 pm

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Eternal Fatherhood

And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.  – John 17:5

Fatherhood is eternal.  Before the world existed Jesus and the Father existed in perfect trinitarian love.  My heart warms with the thought of it.  Before he created anything, God was Father and Jesus was his Son.  Before their was such a thing as birth, God was Father and Jesus was his Son.  Then there was the moment when the father had to give us his only son.  He had to send him, allow him to die for sinners who weren’t worthy to untie his Son’s shoes.  But he loved them and he loved him.  And in the cross both fatherhood and the Father’s love were on display as they never had been or ever will be.  Fatherhood is eternal.  Jesus has paid the price to enable sinners like you and me to boldly, audaciously call God our Father who art in heaven.  How wonderful is the cross?  How wonderful is the broken healing it brings?  How wonderful is the Father’s love?

Written by Joe Holland

October 25, 2008 at 8:30 am

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CS Lewis Lectures

Written by Joe Holland

October 22, 2008 at 10:17 am

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