Giving Glory to the Immutable God

As we gather in the church sanctuary to worship God, we know one purpose is to give glory to him. The minister may even call us to worship this way from the Psalms, such as “ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness” (Ps. 29:2). We may ask the Lord to glorify himself as we praise him. “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!” (Ps. 108:5).

Further, Jesus said our Christian testimony can bring glory to God when he instructed his disciples, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Giving glory to God is our chief of duties as the answer to the first question in the catechism states: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.”

Yet we need to be clear what giving glory to God really is. More precisely, we should realize what giving glory to God is not.

It is easy for us to conclude that giving glory to God means we are adding something to him. We can come to worship and think that by glorifying the Lord we […]


From Geneva to Amsterdam in Five Minutes!

Alpine Climes!

I’ve just arrived back from 3 days on the slopes with Andy Jr skiing. We stayed in a beautiful little village in the Chablais region of the Northern French Alps called Les Gets – really ‘chocolate box’ scenery. It was kind of some friends to let us have the use of his chalet for a few days.

Fabled Fun

Dad & Junior

Anyway, now, aged 51, the ‘thigh-burn’ is starting to get ridiculous – I was chasing a trail of ‘snow-dust’ for almost all of the time. I’m glad to say, however, that there is still a little life in the old legs of the old dog yet. I was happy to quote Aesop’s Fable of the Tortoise and the Hare to Andy Jr as I left him for dead on the big bumps on the final run of the final day. His only reply was that his shin was beginning to hurt – a classical case of Invisible-alpine-shin-microblister-dad-just-beat-you Syndrome, no doubt!

A dear French brother flanked by two Irishmen!

En Route!

After a few hours shut-eye, we rose at 5.30 am, did a quick final clean of the chalet, and headed down the road to Geneva Airport, only to have to pull […]


Gymnasts, Prophets, and Us

The following article is a guest post by Rebecca VanDoodewaard, author of Uprooted: A Guide for Homesick Christians, Your Future ‘Other Half’: It Matters Whom You Marry, and Reformation Women: Sixteenth-Century Figures Who Shaped Christianity’s Rebirth. She is also the author of the Banner Board Series, a four-volume set of books written for young children on church history figures.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Nassar trial ended today, and it was close to home. About a year ago, I was in a courtroom where a judge handed down a verdict that told everyone that little girls aren’t worth much, really. Yet in the Nassar trial itself, there is a lot to be thankful for in how this horrific situation has concluded: a life sentence, a culture that places blame and shame on the predator and not victims, and widespread support for those brave young women who stood up and faced down an abuser.

But the situation is shot through with so much failure, that this conclusion is hardly a satisfying ending. In her concluding testimony, Rachael Denhollander was eloquent in her assessment of the situation, pressing home the hollowness of dead works and the need for Christ. She was a lonely voice. So many other young women spoke, […]


Giving Thanks for Unbelievers

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (1 Peter 4:10)

Peter encourages those in the church to use their God-given gifts to serve one another as stewards of the “manifold grace of God.”  The word translated “manifold” here literally means, “multi-colored” in the original language.  This is the same word used to describe Joseph’s special coat of many colors in the Greek version of the Old Testament.  Peter is reminding first century believers that God’s grace comes to them in many forms – just like the vast array of colored threads woven into a tapestry.  Although Peter’s focus here is that we each USE our gifts wisely and faithfully, it is also true that it is incumbent upon us to recognize and praise God for the gifts that He gives to others.


Your Daily To-Do List

The Christian life is not a formula. You cannot simply maintain a daily to-do list with the assumption that, if you have crossed each item off the list by day’s end, you will experience the desired results and feelings. A regimented devotional life, a perfect parenting strategy executed to perfection, and a list of rules for members of the church will always leave people deeply disappointed when life does not go as expected.

At the end of his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul gives a long list of instructions for the Christian life that is a to-do list of sorts. Yet, it achieves something far richer than an earthly formula. He tells us to:

Respect those who labor among you
Esteem them very highly in love
Be at peace among yourselves
Admonish the idle
Encourage the fainthearted
Help the weak
Be patient with them all
See to it that no one repays evil for evil
Seek to do good to one another and to everyone
Rejoice always
Pray without ceasing
Give thanks in all circumstances
Do not quench the Spirit
Do not despise prophecies
Test everything
Hold fast to what is good
Abstain from every form of evil

This list teaches us how to relate to those in authority and to those in the body of Christ […]


3GT Episode 69: The Sound of Silence

Now, for our most ironic episode yet. Yes, a podcast where we talk about being quiet!

With the digital age readily providing megaphones such as Facebook and Twitter to make our every thought known, believers should consider anew the Biblical wisdom regarding silence. The 3GTers point out how restless hearts create restless tongues. Meddling, self-inflation, failure to listen and other sources of this restlessness are discussed. The Lord’s examples of silence are explored. Practical words from Proverbs and James are given.

Please join us for another episode of 3GT!

https://threeguystheologizing.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/3gt-episode-69.mp3

Download

You can also subscribe to 3GT on iTunes!


A Hidden Source of Boaz’ Compassion

The story of Ruth is a tender one. This young widow came with her likewise widowed mother-in-law Naomi to Israel and began, through the hard work of gleaning, to provide for them. As a foreign woman from a cursed nation, Ruth could have easily been rejected or mistreated.

Instead, in God’s providence she was led to glean from the fields of Boaz. A relative of Naomi’s deceased husband, Boaz showed compassion to Ruth in providing more “easy pickings” from his fields. The subsequent appeal by Ruth for him to engage in the kinsman redeemer statutes from the Mosaic law (Lev. 25) so they could wed – and Boaz’ eagerness to fulfill it – not only warms the heart but encourages the soul. In the redemption Boaz brought to Ruth and Naomi, we see the merciful and protective love of God revealed in Christ. Like Boaz, Christ loved and redeemed an unlikely, unworthy bride. To eternally commemorate this story, God not only captured it in His holy Word. The book of Ruth ends by showing that Ruth became the great-grandmother of King David, from whom Christ came.

As we reflect on the compassion of Boaz for Ruth, certainly it was stirred by many […]


Gospel Thoughts on a Dark Anniversary

Below is a bulletin insert that I wrote for Lord’s Day, January 21, 2018, in remembrance of the 45th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision which legalized human abortion in all 50 of the United States. Monday, January 22nd is that anniversary: 

Thoughts on A Dark Anniversary

On Monday, January 22, 2018, Americans in the US will wake up and go to work and about the day as usual. Looming as the backdrop of that day sits an anniversary that some celebrate as a victory of women’s reproductive rights and others lament as one of the darkest stains on our national conscience.

On this day, in 1973, 45 years ago, under the so-called right of privacy, the Supreme Court declared abortion legal in all 50 States. As the national median age is 37; more than half of Americans, including myself, have always lived with this so-called right to privacy—human abortion.

The psalmist reminds us that there is no privacy before God when it comes to human life; for he is the one who forms and weaves. Psalm 139:15-16 says:

“My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,  intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw […]


God has a plan for you

The beginning of a new year brings all kinds of emotions with it. Maybe it’s just the excitement of a new start, or the anticipation of some new venture in the year to come—a wedding, an expected birth, a special holiday. Or perhaps it’s the optimism that comes from making a set of new year resolutions. But a new year can bring with it very different feelings: anxiety, uncertainty, even fear. What lies in store for me this year? Heartache and suffering? What if some tragedy strikes? Will I be able to cope?

Christians are subject to the ups and downs of life in a fallen world as much as anyone else, but we have comfort and hope in the midst of uncertainty that no unbeliever has. We know that our Father in heaven is in control of everything that happens and is working out his purposes for us.

One of the most helpful verses to hold on to whenever we are fearful about the future is Jer 29.11: ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’ These are words you may know […]


Now That You Are Behind in Your Bible Reading Program…

Sorry for the pessimistic title! But knowing that a large number of New Year’s resolutions typically get dropped by mid-January, I wouldn’t be surprised if many reading this post do not find themselves in this predicament. I want to offer you some encouragement and perhaps a plan that may refresh instead of burden you.

As I explain in the article I am reposting below, many Bible reading programs do not account for human nature. Such things as the unforgiving character of a checklist, the legalistic tendencies of our hearts, and the common disruptions in our calendars can make following a typical Bible reading program frustrating rather than freeing.

As I explain below, I have journeyed through many types of reading plans. That experience, combined with my own desire for Bible reading to be worshipful, meditative, and joyful, led me to put together what I call the STAR Bible Reading Program. If you are already behind and discouraged in your Bible reading, or even if you just want to try a different approach, perhaps this method might revitalize your time in God’s Word.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Over the years I have used a number of Bible reading programs.  From choosing different books of interest to McCheyne’s classic […]