ABC Blog

We talk a lot about relationships in the church. There are scores of marriage seminars, retreats, and conferences. There are video series and books for newlyweds and engaged couples. Most every church offers marital counseling and most every pastor preaches somewhat regularly on marriage. And the same is true for parenting. There are dozens of books on raising children. There are Sunday school

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In case any of you have missed the ongoing discussion on free will between my dear shirt-tail cousin, JoAnne, and I, you might want to look at it. Because I've spent a good deal of time responding to her, I think I'll just blast through the rest of this section. I'm assuming that most of you who are reading this blog are already on board with the Doctrines of Grace and wouldn't profit from more meandering through this section. And yet, there are a few points that I think are helpful for us to remember: "[Saving] Grace is acquired not by 'doing what is in one' [by just trying your hardest]. It is acquired when we are so completely humbled by God's alien work in law and wrath that we see how completely we are caught in the web of sin and turn to Christ as the only hope." (61) 

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Imagine struggling with an incessant issue whose history is filled with harsh stigmas and bigotry.  Imagine suffering under this daily condition feeling as though you were a shameful, less than human, unlovable outcast.  To make things worse, the place where you go to worship God regularly spouts condemning slogans against the very struggle with which you are wrestling.

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This is the fourth devotional in an 8-part series on Relationships. We were surprised. We simply didn't see it coming. We thought things were going well. We thought we'd built a good relationship. We thought that we'd been good neighbors. 

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“O Lord, How lovely are Thy dwelling places! My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself – even Thine altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and my God.”  This morning I watched one of my self-imposed feline residents curled up in a most agreeable spot on my back porch with the look of seraphic peace and contentment, untroubled and safe within the harbor

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Three Inescapable Limits  So let’s take that big laundry list of limits from the last post, plus all the ones I didn’t name, and bring them down to something a little easier to recall. Every human being is essentially subject to three foundational limits. We are limited in wisdom, in power, and in righteousness. It doesn’t take a great deal of humility to agree with this statement, does it? Think of it this way. What would it mean if, in any one of these areas, you weren’t limited, but unlimited ... infinite? You really would be the fourth person of the Trinity!  Knowledge and acceptance of these three limits is essential to productive living in this fallen world. What a testimony to our foolish pride that we have any trouble accepting them! 

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“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.” – Exodus 14:15 “All God’s revelations are sealed to us until they are opened to us by obedience. Immediately you obey – a flash of light comes. Obey God in the thing He is at present showing you, and instantly the next thing is opened up.  The tiniest fragment of obedience, and heaven opens up and the profoundest truths of God are yours straight away. God will never reveal more truth about Himself till you obey what you know already.” – Oswald Chambers Depression can be so weighty that it has its own gravitational pull, and one that has found me more than once dead center on the couch watching some mind-numbing television show. (Interesting isn’t it that the word a-muse means to “not think”?)

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