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Just Thinking

This category contains 37 posts

I Was Just Thinking … About Responding to Grace

When John Newton wrote the song “Amazing Grace,” he celebrated the panorama of God’s grace, including the grace that saved him, the grace that brought him through trials, and the prospect of a grace-filled life of joy and peace in eternity, for which he expected to continue praising God after ten thousand years. Newton’s song … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About the Panorama of Grace

Grace is all about joy! God’s grace is how he expresses and how we experience the fullness of his joy. John Newton, the former slave ship captain turned Christian pastor and poet, celebrated his experience of God’s grace in song. His poem, “Amazing Grace,” written in 1772 to illustrate his 1773 New Year’s Sunday sermon, … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About the Blessing of Chastening

According to Deuteronomy 28:47, we are to serve the Lord with joyfulness and gladness of heart, “because of the abundance of all things.” My initial response is that I know of no one, myself included, who has an “abundance of all things.” Everyone senses deficiencies in some part of our lives. Nevertheless, according to this … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About a Good Reason to Rejoice at Easter

Sometimes the answer to the question Why celebrate Jesus’ resurrection? focuses on the forgiveness of our sin. That is a good reason to celebrate. Knowing that God no longer holds our sin against us, because Jesus cleared God’s name of any charge of unjustly doing good to those who deserve punishment, should take a load … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About Humble Exultation

Because the gospel writers frame their narratives differently, we sometimes need to weave them together in order to see the big picture. Only Luke reprises Jesus’ parable about the noble who went to a distant land in order to receive the authority to rule as king. Because he was near to Jerusalem, and because his … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About Defeating Covetousness

The Bible teaches that certain attitudes of mind and heart give Satan a foothold in our lives. For example, Ephesians 4:26–27 says that to allow anger against others to persist is to give place to the devil. 2 Corinthians 10:4–5 urges us to cast down all those attitudes (“arguments”) which scorn the knowledge of God. … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About the Next Advent

“It Came Upon A Midnight Clear,” one of the many songs we enjoy during the Christmas season, is not really about the past. It begins there, but it quickly moves to remind us about how we should live while we await Jesus’ second advent. Since we live in the present so that we can enjoy … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About Being More Than Conquerors

According to Romans 8:37 we are “more than conquerors through him who loved us.” While studying this passage with a class I taught, the question came up: How is it possible to be more than a conqueror? We understand what if means to win against an opponent, but how is it possible to do more … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … about Grace in Action

When the Apostle Paul described the synergy undergirding his ministry he said, “God’s grace toward me has not been in vain. I worked harder than anyone; nevertheless, it was not I, but the grace of God that was working with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10). As my wife and I talked with our children during the … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … about Conditions for Peace

Everyone wants to experience what Philippians 4:7 calls “the peace of God which passes understanding.” God’s peace “passes understanding” in that it keeps our hearts peaceful and calm even though we understand perfectly well that there is no human or natural way that we can be extricated from some difficulty that threatens our future. Philippians … Continue reading