The Pastor’s Heart

“But even if I am made a drink offering over the sacrifice and worship of your faith, I rejoice — also, I rejoice with all of you!” (Philippians 2:17) Here, in Paul, we find the heart of a true pastor. His heart is laid forth that even if his very life is poured out from… Read More

Having Been Filled

“having been filled with the fruit of righteousness because of Jesus Christ to the glory and honor of God.” “Having been filled…” Notice the language that this verse begins with. We do not “fill” ourselves but we are filled. It is God’s work in us from the beginning to the end. We take no credit,… Read More

Honesty, Humility, and Grace

“And he went out and wept bitterly.” (Luke 22:62)   Though it has already been mentioned, Peter’s reaction to his sin is worth dwelling on for a moment longer. How great the contrast is between Peter and Judas. Both committed great sins against their master and both grieved deeply as a result of their sins.… Read More

The Rooster’s Second Crow, the Look, and the Tears

“And Peter remembered Jesus’ word when he said, ‘Before the rooster crows, three times you will disown me.’ And he went out and he wept bitterly.” (Matthew 26:75)   “And at once the rooster crowed a second time and Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows twice, three… Read More

The Rooster Crows a Second Time

“Then he began to curse and to take an oath, ‘I do not know the man!’ and at once the rooster crowed.” (Matthew 26:74)   “Then he began to place himself under a curse and take an oath, ‘I do not know the man of whom you speak!’ And at once the rooster crowed a… Read More

Details, Details, and More Details

“After a bit, those who were standing around went up to Peter and said, ‘Truly, you are also from them; your speech makes it evident.’” (Matthew 26:73)   “But again he disowned him. But in a short while, again those present said to Peter, ‘Truly, you are from them because you are Galilean.’” (Mark 14:70)… Read More

God Reigns from His Holy Throne

“God reigns over the peoples; God sits upon his holy throne.” (Psalm 47:9 {verse 8 in English translations})   The plain theme of God’s lordship and rulership over his creation continues through this verse as we move through the psalm — God is worthy of our praise — he alone is King and Ruler and… Read More

Come and See the Deeds of Yahweh!

“Come and see the deeds of Yahweh; How he has brought destruction upon the earth. He causes wars to cease unto their end; The earth and bow are shattered; And the spear is smashed to bits. The wagons he burns with fire.” (Psalm 46:9-10 {verses 8-9 in English translations})   Come and see the deeds… Read More

Ego Deficiam

“I will fail them.” The early church fathers reflected on the relationships between pastors, the world, satan, and the church flock and developed a series of statements that described each relationship. The first of these statements was that of the pastor with regard to his people: Ego Deficiam (I will fail). At first, our response… Read More

The Confrontation: Genesis 20:9-10

“Then Abimelek called for Abraham and said to him, ‘What have you done to us? How have I sinned towards you that you have introduced this great sin upon me and upon my kingdom? Works which should not have been done, you have worked upon me.’ Abimelek said to Abraham, “What did you see that… Read More

A Broken Spirit and Crushed Heart: Psalm 51 (part 18)

“The sacrifices of God are a spirit that is broken and a heart that is broken and crushed— O God, these you will not despise. (Psalm 51:19 {Psalm 51:17 in English Bibles})   There are two ways in which we can look at David’s statement about the “sacrifices of God.”  The first way is the… Read More

Conceal Your Face from My Sins: Psalm 51 (part 10)

“Conceal your face from my sins, and all my iniquities may you wipe clean.” (Psalm 51:11 {Psalm 51:9 in English Bibles})   Have you ever had to deal with something that is just so disgusting and distasteful that you just had to turn your head for fear that you might get sick, and simply work… Read More

Let Me Hear Jubilation and Joy: Psalm 51 (part 9)

“Let me hear jubilation and joy, Let the bones that you have crushed rejoice!” (Psalm 51:10 {Psalm 51:8 in English Bibles})   Just as forgiveness can only come from the Lord, so too does restoration.  True joy cannot be had apart from God, because true joy is something that can only be experienced in relationship… Read More

Forgiveness is the Result of Love

“And they refused to obey and they did not remember your wonderful works which you did with them.  They hardened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their bondage in their rebellion.  But you are a God of forgiveness—gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and abundant in steadfast love—and you did not forsake them.” (Nehemiah… Read More

Forgiveness is not Optional

“For if you should forgive people their offenses, your heavenly father will also forgive you.  But if you should not forgive people, neither will your father forgive you your offenses.” (Matthew 6:14-15)   “For if your Hebrew brother or Hebrew [person] is sold to you, he will serve you six years, and in the seventh year… Read More

Forgiveness is not a “Get out of Jail Free” Pass

“Let every soul be subject to the authorities that are in power, for there is no authority except from God and those that exist are appointed by God. Thus, those who resist this authority resist what God has decreed.  Those who resist will receive judgment.  Indeed, the ones who rule are not a terror to those doing good… Read More

Forgiveness is not Lip Service

“When the brothers of Joseph saw that their father had died, they said, ‘What if Joseph bears a grudge—he will surely return to us all of the evil that we did to him.’  So they sent an instruction to Joseph saying, ‘Your father gave an instruction before he died saying, ‘Thus you will say to Joseph:… Read More

Forgiveness is not Minimizing

“And even now,’ utters the LORD, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and lamentation! Rend your hearts and not your garments! Return to the LORD, your God, For he is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger and abundant in mercy, And he grieves over wickedness.” (Joel 2:12-13)               In addition… Read More

Forgiveness does not Condone Sin

“As obedient children, do not conform yourselves to the things you formerly did in your ignorance and lust, but according to your holy call.  You should be holy in all your ways, for it is written, ‘you shall be holy, since I am holy.’”  (1 Peter 1:14-16)               So many times, when people come to us for… Read More