Do You Understand Your Original Sin (HC LD 4, QA 9-11)

I heard a pastor say one time in response to how he was hurt by others, “I would never do that.” What a statement to make. His statement stuck with me. He would never hurt people like that. Did he mean to suggest that he was above certain sins, fully sanctified in those areas, that he was the standard of righteousness? I doubt it. But he implied it. More than anything else, I think his emotion and pain led him to speak an irresponsible word. Our sin runs much deeper than we realize. We...

Continue reading

Do Masks Really Conceal the Image of God in the Face of Man (HC LD 3, QA 6-8)?

Are wearing masks for prolonged periods of time concealing the image of God in the face of human beings? Some Christians argue yes. Are they right? What does it mean for human beings to be created in the image of God? Do we see God’s divine image in our eyes, noses, mouth, complexion, and so forth? Is wearing sunglasses ungodly because we are veiling the glory of God in our eyes? I’m not asking whether masks are helpful or not, nor am I addressing the many concerns with being forced by the...

Continue reading

Struggling with Besetting Sins with Confidence & Hope (HC LD 2, QA 3-5)

Besetting sins are such a struggle. Besetting sins are those sins that are particularly enticing for us, particularly persistent. They are often quite unsettling because we can’t seem to shake them. It seems we make little to no progress at all. Of course, we struggle against all kinds of sins every day, but some sins seem to be particularly troubling. Pride. Selfishness. Lust. Anger. The fear of man. Doubt. What are some of your besetting sins? Do you feel beaten down? Are you...

Continue reading

We Are But Needy & Dependent Spiritual Infants (HC LD 52, Q/A 127-129)

In 1 Peter 2:2–3, the Apostles Peter compares his readers to infants. Imagine yourself as a spiritual infant. You are helpless and need to be cared for. You are loved, and yet you cry often and need to be coddled. You need to be dressed, fed, and changed. You are not strong and independent, you are weak and dependent. Can you picture yourself as a helpless, weak, and dependent infant as you relate to your heavenly Father? Too often we feel self-sufficient like the superhero that needs to...

Continue reading

Constant Confession Is Not Condemnation but Comfort (HC LD 51, Q/A 126)

When Jesus taught his disciples how to pray, he focused them in on something extremely important for their everyday walk of faith: recognition and confession of sin. Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Jesus taught his disciples to continually recognize and confess their sins and to ask God for gracious forgiveness. Why would he do this? Why would Jesus instruct his disciples to constantly remember their sinfulness? It was as...

Continue reading

All That We Have Is from God (HC LD 50, Q/A 125)

Why would we ask God for things we already have? I can go into the kitchen and get clean and delicious water from my reverse osmosis tap. My pantry and refrigerator are filled with delicious food. Hanging in my walk-in closet, which also happens to be my office, are plenty of clothes. I have a house with indoor plumbing, a small storage shed out back, a Honda Odyssey and Civic, a laptop with adequate software to do my job, books to read, and even healthcare in the case of illness. EMS and...

Continue reading

Do You Really Believe God’s Will Is Best for You? (HC LD 49, Q/A 124)

When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Thy will be done,” he was not teaching them to ask for something that he himself didn’t entirely desire. Jesus wanted God’s will more than anything, to do what most glorified God, even at the cost of great personal pain and suffering. The God-man, Jesus Christ, fell on his face in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane and with the cross looming uttered these faithful words: “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless...

Continue reading

Praying for Church Growth (HC LD 48, Q/A 123)

What companies have the most physical locations around the world? The answer may surprise you. No, the top dog is not McDonald’s. Ranked number five with 25,860 locations is Kumon, the learning centers. Number four is Starbucks with 29,324 locations. McDonald’s ranks third with 37,240 locations. The second is Subway with 44,610. And the gold medal goes to none other than 7-Eleven with 62,105 locations. [1] Can you get Twinkies at all those locations? I hope so. I like Twinkies every now and...

Continue reading

Grant Us (HC LD 47, Q/A 122)

What does it mean for God to grant us something? It means that He gives us something as a gift or He answers a request we have of Him. Think about visiting the White House. If you want to visit, I suggest you don’t just jump the fence and run to the door. That will end badly for you. If you want access to the White House, access must be granted to you. You can tour the White House by submitting a request to your Representative or Senator. When access is granted, you can take a tour, which...

Continue reading

We Have a Good & Loving Father (HC LD 46, Q/A 120-121)

When Jesus taught his disciples how to pray in Matthew 6, he began with these important words: “Our Father.” Consider that very carefully. Why “Our Father”? Father is familial. Father is close. Father is warm. Growing up, I respected my father, and I trusted my father. My dad gave me good things growing up. He gave me a nice house, food, clothing, and support. He gave me presents at Christmas and on my birthday. My dad counseled me and gave me Biblical wisdom to apply to life. My dad...

Continue reading