Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Our Father



On Sunday, February 7, we begin a new sermon series at DPC.

We'll be looking at The Lord's Prayer.  "Our Father..."

Come Join Us!

“The first three petitions in the Lord’s Prayer express our concern for God’s glory in relation to his name, rule and will…  It is comparatively easy to repeat the words of the Lord’s Prayer like a parrot (or indeed a heathen ‘babbler’). To pray them with sincerity, however, has revolutionary implications, for it expresses the priorities of a Christian. We are constantly under pressure to conform to the self-centeredness of secular culture. When that happens we become concerned about our own little name (liking to see it embossed on our notepaper or hitting the headlines in the press, and defending it when it is attacked), about our own little empires (bossing, ‘influencing’ and manipulating people to boost our ego), and about our own silly little will (always wanting our own way and getting upset when it is frustrated). But in the Christian counter-culture our top priority concern is not our name, kingdom and will, but God’s. Whether we can pray these petitions with integrity is a searching test of the reality and depth of our Christian profession.” 
~John Stott




Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Grace We Need



While introducing Christ to us, the Apostle John makes this statement:

"For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace."

"Grace upon grace."  Grace after grace.  Grace in place of grace.  A never-ending supply of relentless, fierce, unstoppable grace.

For all who come to Jesus: an infinite and eternal store of grace.  The amount is never lessened by our sin, the fund never runs low, the inventory is never diminished—no matter how much we take.

When one grace has been bestowed, another is ready to be sent; the provision is never-ending.

And the variety of kinds is as inexhaustible as our need.  

William Barclay: "We need one grace in the days of prosperity and another in the days of adversity.  We need one grace in the sunlit days of youth and another when the shadows of age begin to lengthen.  The church needs one grace in the days of persecution and another when the days of acceptance have come.  We need one grace when we feel that we are on the top of things and another when we are depressed and discouraged and near to despair."

Be greedy and needy for grace.  Don't settle in and get complacent on a comfortable little plateau.  Seek yet more grace.  Jesus Christ has much more to give.

But this grace isn't just for us to enjoy.  It's also for us to give away.

Freely received, freely given.  Flowing in, flowing out.

From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.



Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Being Human... what does it mean?



Wednesday night, January 6, Decatur Presbyterian Church resumes its Midweek Ministry meetings.

  • 5:30 pm - church family meal
  • after that - all kinds of things, for all ages

I teach the Wednesday Night Adult Bible Study, and let me tell you what we're doing.  Last semester we began by exploring the mighty fullness of the message of the Bible.  Which is... that in Jesus Christ, God is making all things new.  And this is good news!

In that good news, we see human beings being restored to God, being restored to their true selves, being restored to one another, and we also see the whole world (in which human beings live) being healed from the curse and bondage of sin.

Then we spent a few weeks looking at what this gospel ("good news") reveals about God.  We saw (among other things) that God is our original love, our original desire, the One for whom we were made.

And when we set our loves on other things (which is the sin of idolatry) God sent Jesus to restore us, to make us worshippers and lovers of God again.  And through Jesus we truly become "the children of God," with new and transformed lives.

This semester we pick up there, exploring in more detail what this gospel ("good news") reveals about us.  About human beings.  What does being a human being mean?  What did it mean at creation, what did it mean after the fall, what does it mean if we are redeemed by Jesus, and what will it mean for believers when the world is made new?

We begin with Genesis 1... which is the first account we have of human beings in the Bible.

Here's the plan for the next few weeks:

Genesis 1.26-31: What It Means To Be A Human Being
Romans 1.18-25: What It Means To Be A Fallen Human Being
Ephesians 2.1-10: What It Means To Be A Saved Human Being
Psalm 1: What It Means To Be A Wise Human Being
Colossians 3.1-17: Putting On The New Self

Come join us!