Archives For Ordinary Pastor

These two quotes on the knowledge of God provoke worship and joy.

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God’s Knowledge Brings Worship

The knowledge of God is not only perfect in kind, but also in its inclusiveness. It is called omniscience, because it is all-comprehensive.

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The Omniscience of God

By the time you reach the age of 36 you assume that you know all of the important details about your family history. Sure, there may be some details that you’ve missed, but overall, you got it. Then a curiously overlooked detail emerges that causes you to pause, muse and ask more questions.

Such was the case the other night when I learned that my great-grandmother was a Baptist. This may not seem like much initially but I assure you it is.

I grew up Roman Catholic. There was not a whiff of evangelical thinking within miles of our family. My parents were not raised with any biblical teaching or preaching. I assumed the case was the same for all of my grandparents and their parents and so forth.

Now I hear that my grandfather’s mom was a Baptist. And apparently not an nominal Baptist. She was a bible reading, bible chewing, bible quoting, genuine New England bible thumper! She was known for her devotion to the Lord. Apparently so was her entire family before her.

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You act like you need to microwave everything.

It’s amazing how subtly our thinking can be shaped. It has been said that we live in a society with short patience and high demands. This combination creates an approach where we want what we want right away.

The above quote is an indication of this. It was made to me by a brother I have a great deal of respect for. And he was referencing my desire for a quick turn for implementation on everything, particularly ministry-related items. His point, which has made more of an impact over time than it had originally, was that we don’t have to be impatient and rush everything. There is time to think it through.

This is very tough for me. When I become convinced of a course of action I just want to go. And go quickly.

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True Hope on a Dying Bed

Erik Raymond —  October 20, 2012

Around a dying bed the scaffolding of all ecclesiastical systems falls, leaving the man who has reposed his all upon it, to his ghostly hope. But to that departing soul, to whom the savor, power, and preciousness of the name of JESUS is as ointment shedding its fragrance round the room where disease and death with united force are battling with life, oh how supporting, soothing, and hope-inspiring is the precious blood of Christ which is felt at that dreadful moment, when the transgressions of a life crowd upon memory, to “cleanse from ALL sin!”

–Octavius Winslow The Precious Things of God

This morning in our men’s theology class we highlighted this quote concerning God’s omnipresence and omniscience from Herman Bavinck. It is one of those quotes that Velcro’s itself to you.

When you wish to do something evil, you retire from the public into your house where no enemy may see you; from those places of your house which are open and visible to the eyes of men you remove yourself into your room; even in your room you fear some witness from another quarter; you retire into your heart, there you meditate: he is more inward than your heart.

Wherever, therefore, you shall have fled, there is he.

From yourself, whither will you flee? Will you not follow yourself wherever you shall flee? But since there is One more inward even than yourself, there is no place where you may flee from God angry but to God reconciled. There is no place at all whither you may flee. Will you flee from him? Flee unto him.

–Herman Bavinck, The Doctrine of God

To say that there is significant deployment and discussion of the word “missional” is an understatement. With the discussions there are also opinions; some people love the term and others, well–not so much. As I listen, read, and watch the discussions I am concerned that we may ultimately whiff (swing and miss) on a very important opportunity. From my chair, the miss comes on both sides.

Let me disclose up front that I like the term “missional.” You are doing well if you can adjectivize and deploy a noun that is central to your organization. Being missional is bound up in the Christian’s response to a missional God. God the Father sends the Son to accomplish redemption for his people, sends the Spirit to apply what Christ has done, and then sends the people of God into the world to make and train disciples (Jn. 20.21; Gal. 4.4-6; Mat. 28.19-21). In short, being missional is responding to the gospel by living faithfully as a Christian (it can be broken out to be more than this, but it is not less).
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