Mark Dever’s Study

April 21, 2010

I really like Mark Dever.  I like his preaching.  I like the church he’s pastoring.  I like his books.  I like his personality.  I like the 9Marks ministry.  I like his theology.  I think he’s a godly pastor and a great guy.  I like using the materials he produces at Bethel Grace. 

In this video, he takes us on a tour of his office, his “golden cage.”  My prayer is to one day visit this office.  He does “Weekender Conferences” inviting pastors, elders and church leaders to come observe Capitol Hill Baptist Church services and leadership meetings.  You get to hang out with him, his team, and be encouraged in pastoral ministry.  Maybe someday.   

I think you’d be encouraged listening to his messages.  I think you’d be encouraged by his books too.  If you’ve not done so, and you’re a Bethel Grace member, you must read 9 Marks of a Healthy Church.  We have copies at Bethel Grace.  Foundational. 

Watch this and I think you’ll see why I like Pastor Mark.  He’s funny–I was cracking up over and over again. 

Ok, without further delay, here’s the tour!…

~Jeff

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Copelands in Japan

April 18, 2010

We shared a great evening with Walter and Louanne Copeland last Sunday night.  Let’s be in prayer for them as they prepare to go back to Japan to initiate their third church plant.  In Japan, less than half of one percent of the population believe in Jesus.  And God has given the Copelands a deep desire to make the name of Christ known in that land.   

Be sure to visit www.copelandsinjapan.com and save it in your favorites.  Check in regularly and pray for the Copelands! 

~Jeff

 


I’ve been chewing on the lines of my favorite song in the hymn book.  In this song Charles Wesley captured the wonder and amazement we all experience as we think about God’s saving grace in our lives.  We will be singing the song on Easter Sunday.  Give the song some thought and sign it powerfully when we gather! 

There are four parts…

Part 1 – The Culpability of the Sinner

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

It helps me to understand those lyrics when I read them like this…
Died he for me?, (the one) who caused his pain?
For me?, (the one) who him to death pursued?

Wesley counted himself among the Pharisees who pursued him to death and the Romans who caused his pain driving in the nails.  Amazing. 

Part 2 – The Saving Incarnation and Work of Christ

He left His Father’s throne above
(So free, so infinite His grace!),
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

The grace and mercy of Jesus are “infinite” and “immense” on the one hand, and very specific, narrowing to the individual Christian on the other hand.

“It found out me.”  The mercy of Jesus found out me.  Think of it in terms of a game of hide and seek.  You seek out the person hiding.  I think that’s what Wesley means.  He was hiding in the darkness.  God sought him out.  God came seeking by His grace, and succeeded!

Part 3 – The Spirit’s Creation of a Christian

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

“I rose!!!”  Christ is the firstfruits of the resurrection.  He is risen, and he brings us back from the dead using the light of his laserbeam grace!  We were dead, but by the quickening ray from his gracious eye, he makes us alive!

Part 4 – The New Life and Worship of a Christian

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

And now we are united with Chirst!

How about following this link and singing this song of praise to God right now!?!?!

~Jeff