Friday, November 28, 2008

November Newsletter Article

Here is the November newsletter article I wrote for my church, which I just remembered I never posted on here. I pray that it might be helpful and cause us to thank God for pastors who preach the word faithfully and to remind us to encourage our pastors in the work that they do for the kingdom of our Christ.

The Word in Worship:
Preach the Bible

This month's admonition to “Preach the Bible” may be the one that would seem the most obvious to us. You may be thinking “Kenny, of course the Bible should be preached.” Thankfully, I probably will not have to convince anyone at Spring Place Baptist of that, but there are churches across the country where a verse from the Bible simply becomes a springboard for the preacher's own thoughts. Satan trembles not when a pastor preaches the latest psychological methods for superficial change, but he convulses when the Word of the Lord is explained on the Lord's Day. Thank God that we have a pastor who preaches with bold assurance.

John MacArthur stated that the opening of 2 Timothy 4 is one of the most sober exhortations in Scripture. In the passage, Paul writes: “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (ESV). Paul is issuing a remarkably intense command, reminding young Timothy that it is a charge given in the presence of Christ the Judge in kingdom splendor. The words of our God make up the subject matter of true preaching. We come on Sundays because we want to hear from God through the preaching of Scripture. God must be supreme in the preaching, for “if God is not supreme in our preaching, where in this world will the people hear about the supremacy of God?”1

Let us thank God for our pastor, a man who preaches the words of our God and not his own words!

Let me close with offering practical ways to respond to this article:

1. Thank God for Brother Tim with verbal thanks and through cards, letters, or inviting him and his family over for a meal.
2. Apply the preached Word to your life. As a church, we believe strongly in God's Word. Let our actions reflect our beliefs.
3. Attend the worship services of the church to receive instruction from God through the preaching and teaching of the Scripture.
4. Finally, thank God that He has chosen to reveal Himself to us.


From: The Supremacy of God in Preaching, John Piper. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2004, 108.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving 2008

Blogging has almost become a thing of the past for me. Life seems to be so much busier than when I started it, but I hope to be able to write more frequently in the near future. However, I felt compelled to list some things that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving season, in the attempt to spark greater thankfulness in my heart and hopefully yours as well. Sometimes it helps to simply list what I have to be thankful for to remind me how good God is.

1. God granted me another year of life. Every year of life is a blessing, especially when I consider that I could easily fall asleep tonight and not wake up tomorrow morning. Being reminded how fleeting my days are (Psalm 39:4) teaches me to appreciate them and grants me a dose of wisdom (Psalm 90:12) that I would otherwise not have.

2. God gave me grace to transition to a new place of service. This has been a year of changes, and I am discovering anew the truth of 2 Corinthian 12:9. For me, changes have always been difficult. Even while I did not expect the move to my hometown to be as difficult as it has been, it has definitely been a reminder of how important God's grace is in ministry.

3. God gave me many blessed years in Louisville, Kentucky where I was able to be taught and led by some amazing professors at Boyce College. As part of the seminary community, I was able to attend chapel services and lectures, slowly being shaped and sharpened by some of the brightest minds in the Christian community. I miss Louisville and Southern Seminary so much that I have often joked about how Southern Seminary needs to start a class about how to cope with living outside of the SBTS community.

4. God has been good to my family, especially as we look forward to welcoming my nephew, Levi, later next month or just after the new year. I looked forward to holding that little guy, singing to him, and eventually talking about the gospel and the Bible with him, recounting God's wondrous acts of mercy over the years.

5. God has challenged me in my Christian faith in many ways and at many times, all the while strengthening my trust in Jesus Christ. I had some unique experiences that left me further convinced that Jesus of Nazareth truly walked on this earth, was crucified, dead, and buried, to be raised to new life again. I truly believe that He ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of God the Father, from which place He will one day come back again as Judge of all the earth. It was through encounters with others who did not believe these things that I became more convinced of them. In all of this, God reminded me that faith is ultimately a gift. So, I am thankful for God's grace grace and how He has given me the faith to believe, faith that I would not otherwise have were it not for His grace (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The list could go on and on, and I pray that it will...the rest of my life!

Happy Thanksgiving!