It’s been a tough couple of weeks. Well, honestly I’ve spent much of this year riding the roller coaster from discouragement, uncertainty, anger, and pain to hope, optimism and faith and back around again. The most recent instance has just been another circumstance which brought pain and worry.
A few days ago, I’d looked up Bible verses about worry and anxiety and was punched in the gut with Philippians 4:6 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” I am always thankful for God’s grace when a verse like that lays me out flat. While I pray often, I also fail regularly to “not be anxious.”
The following day, I really didn’t want my worries and fears to consume all my thoughts as they had been doing. As I brought all of that to the Lord in prayer that morning, many things ran through my head. My need to repent and confess of my sins of worry, and control and fear was a large part of it, and it was in that time of prayer I finally realized all those were symptoms of having placed my faith in myself regarding the situation rather than placing it in God. Again, ouch.
Posted in Christian Life, Personal Reflections
Tagged anxiety, christianity, circumstances, faith, fear, forgiveness, grace, hard times, hymn, It Is Well, Jesus, my life, peace, Prayer, Psalm 23, rest, sin, song, trust, truth, worry
Any Christian who ever learned the “Romans Road” method of communicating the gospel can probably recite Romans 6:23, “23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
It is an essential and tremendous reminder. We, because we are sinners from the start, deserve the wrath of God. But he has given us eternal life instead.
But it struck me as I reread the entire chapter of Romans 6 repeatedly this week that there is so much more there. It is a stern warning to anyone who would abuse the grace of God to continue sinning. It is a call to obedience and holiness and an admonition to wrestle against our sinful desires, with the confidence that Jesus has already set us free from their power over us!
Posted in Christian Life, Personal Reflections, The Word, Uncategorized
Tagged amazing grace, assurance of salvation, Bible, death, eternal security, failure, fighting sin, God's wrath, gospel, grace, holiness, introspection, life, obedience, Romans, Romans 6, salvation, Scripture, self-examination, shame, sin, trampled grace
Another great song to encourage you this week:
I’m really enjoying this new song from Jeremy Camp!
World Digital has revamped its international content and my persecution stories are now part of a roundup called “World Tour.” Here are the past few which include my reporting on false charges against Indian Christians for kidnapping and forced conversion, a trend in attacks on pastors in India, and the Russian Supreme Court‘s decision to ban Jehovah’s Witnesses (and why that will hurt Christians), and how persecution is a part of the refugee crisis.
Posted in In The News, My journalism, Persecution
Tagged Christians attacked, Forced conversion, india, journalism, migration, pastors attacked, persecution, refugees, reporting, Russia, violent persecution, World Magazine, World Tour
The image only reflects the post in that the church this sermon is from is my favorite church in New York City. I discovered First Baptist Church in recent months and have been grateful to listen to Pastor Hoskinson’s preaching online as well. Continue reading
Posted in Christian Life, Sermons, The Word
Tagged Baptist, Bible, churches in NYC, confession, debt, faith, first baptist church, forgiveness, forgiveness of sins, Jesus, Luke 7, NYC, parables, Pastor Matthew Hoskinson, preaching, saving faith, Scripture, sermon, sin, sinful woman, teaching, truth