Category Archives: Mercy

1 Samuel 1:9-18

One of the greatest blessings of being a Christian is that, through Jesus Christ, we have access to the Father in prayer. We see this wonderful privilege on display everywhere in the New Testament! Paul tells us that we are to “pray without ceasing.”[1] He writes that we are to be “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”[2] When the author of the epistle to the Hebrews writes that we should confidently “draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need,”[3] he is reminding us that because Christ is our Mediator, our Great High Priest,[4] we can rest assured that all of our prayers are heard of God. Indeed, our Lord Himself has taught us to pray; we pray His model prayer every Lord’s Day.[5] And we recognize also that He expects we will pray; He does not say “if you pray” but “when you pray.”[6] Prayer is indeed commanded in the New Testament, but it is a command that seems almost redundant. Prayer, dear friends, is the chief exercise of faith in God. Continue reading

The Good King, A Story for Children Who May Be Afraid

As a pastor, I’m blessed to be not only an under-shepherd of God’s grown-up sheep, but of His little lambs as well. During a crisis like the one in which we now find ourselves, it is very easy to be so caught up in our own concerns and preparations that we overlook the wee ones. They may be small, but when they see their schools closing, or their mommy or daddy staying home from work, or when they don’t get to go visit granny in her care facility like they would normally do, their fear can be just as real and just as big as anything that might face an adult. These are confusing times for a child, and they need their parents or grandparents or other grown-ups to help them to understand that even when the world seems like it is falling apart, the Lord is still in control, and is still protecting them from all evil. Here is a simple presentation of the gospel that might help you as you talk to your little one about the coronavirus, its impact on our society, and how we respond to it as Christians.

A long time ago in a far-off country, there lived a good King. This King had two subjects, a man and a woman who were husband and wife. Continue reading

Moral Exemplar or Holy Substitute?

“Because our minds are so poor and frail, we rightly discuss the theories of the atonement. But we must always remember that the atonement is not a theory. It wasn’t a theory that died for us on the cross. It was a man who took our very physical nature himself in his own body.”[1] Ultimately, when discussing any theological issue, the reality that must overwhelm us is that we are contemplating truths that in their fullness are beyond us; our minds cannot grasp the depths of the Incarnation, the Trinity, etc., nor can our words completely encapsulate their reality. The God Whom we so often discuss is the living God, Whose holiness and glory and being and thoughts are beyond the reckoning of man. Continue reading