No Low Too Low

No one expected that the Messiah would come how he came. Yes, the people knew that at some point God would send a Savior, but they could hardly have expected that he would be born to unknown parents and that he would enter this world in a barn. They would hardly have expected that their Messiah would be born in the lowest possible circumstances. Why was it important to God’s purpose that Jesus be born so low? There are many …

If Dead Men Don’t Rise

Almost 2,000 years ago, a Christian named Paul wrote a letter to a group of people in Corinth, a city in Greece. People in that city had at one time been enthusiastic about the Christian faith, but had then begun to have some second thoughts. They had written a letter to Paul to ask something like, “You told us that this man Jesus died and then came back to life. We’re pretty sure you don’t actually expect us to believe …

Become a Patron

God’s Masterpiece

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Since the dawn of time humans have looked to the sky and marveled at its immensity, its vastness, the sheer unfathomable number of stars dotting the dark night. The heavens declare God’s glory in all of these ways, but also in this: the heavens provoke wonder. The heavens provoke wonder and that wonder calls us to worship. The sky declares God’s glory through the fact that …

The Essential: Incarnation

This is the sixteenth installment in a series on theological terms. See previous posts on the terms theology, Trinity, creation, man, Fall, common grace, sin, righteousness, faith, pride, election, revelation, atonement, adoption, and sanctification. We sing joy to the world at Christmas, says Spurgeon, “because it is evermore a joyous fact that God should be in alliance with man, especially when the alliance is so near that God should in very deed take our manhood into union with his godhead; …

How the Incarnation Humbles Me

Christmas is fast approaching and, as I so often do at this time of the year, I feel tension between Christmas as a day to commemorate the birth of Jesus and Christmas as a day to exchange gifts and spend time with family. I don’t think there is any good reason to feel this tension, as if these things cannot co-exist, and yet it is there year after year. As Christmas draws near, my church is spending four Sundays looking …

Humiliation

Yesterday I had the rare opportunity to preach for just one Sunday which meant that instead of beginning a sermon series or continuing a series, I could preach any text that seemed fitting. As I thought and prayed, I was drawn to Luke 10 and the short story of Mary and Martha and the sibling rivalry between them. My purpose in going to that passage was not primarily to teach on the contrast between the life of busy service and …

Wanting Not To Die

I’m writing today from West Boylston, Massachusetts (I’ve never managed to spell Massachusetts without using spell checker), at the site of the Psalm 119 Conference. Yesterday I spoke on desiring discernment and a few minutes ago on how to be discerning without being a complete jerk (a.k.a. speaking truth in love). It’s been great to connect with some people in this neck of the woods, though such Christian fellowship requires overlooking the fact that the folk around here are Red …

God Is With Us

One of the things I enjoy about blogging is that a blog is, in a sense, a living media. It is a reflection of my life, of what I am thinking of at a certain time or in a certain place. Occasionally I go back and read something I wrote years ago and post it again, offering new reflections on it or even just leaving it as-is. Such is the case today as I began thinking about an amazing (and …

Behold the Man Upon a Cross

As seems to be the case with most boys, my friends and I went through a stage where we found great joy in tying people to things. In second or third grade we would take turns being the guys who would grab the skipping ropes and twist endless knots, fastening one of our friends to a tree or fence or flag pole. And, of course, we would take turns being the unfortunate one who was on the receiving end of …

It Was My Sin that Held Him There

As seems to be the case with most children, my friends and I went through a stage where we found great joy in tying people to things. In second or third grade we would take turns being the guys who would grab the skipping ropes and twist endless knots, fastening one of our friends to a tree or fence or flag pole. And, of course, we would take turns being the unfortunate one who was on the receiving end of …