During last Sunday’s talk from Luke 3 we saw that after Jesus is baptised and at prayer, the Holy Spirit descends upon Him and the Heavenly Father declares Him to be his Son as well as Servant. “Heaven was opened.” The baptism opens communication with heaven, that is, with God. Being earthbound is no longer a barrier. This is why faith in Jesus is so beautifully important. As God’s children we have instant access to him and his grace. Jesus underwent baptism not because he sinned, as we do, and needed forgiveness, but because he identified so much with us [...]
Jesus renames us, calls us His, and reminds us of our identity in Him. He says the same words to us as He said to Israel, “Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name you are mine” Isaiah 43 v 1. We’re no longer defined by what we’ve done but by what he did. He has engraved you on the palms of his hands, yes Isaiah 49 v 16 says it, a beautiful foretelling of the cross. Your name has been changed. You’re defined by God and His love now. Who are you? Because of the cross you are forgiven, redeemed, [...]
There are endless markings and scribbles in my already worn copy of Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp.* It's going to be a pastoral classic: with so much wisdom, understanding and challenge. The paragraph below is worth the entire book. I urge you to read it slowly:- It is only love for Christ that can defend the heart of the pastor against all the other loves that have the potential to kidnap his ministry. It is only worship of Christ that has the power to protect him from all the seductive idols of ministry that will whisper in his ear. It [...]
Discerning the voice of God isn't easy, but we shouldn't let our uncertainty paralyze us. Thomas Merton once said, "A tree glorifies God by being a tree." So let us shine, let us begin to take risky steps toward those dreams that God is waiting to burst from within our hearts. Let us step forward into a life lived with no regrets.