This past Sunday we had the opportunity to hear about the gospel at work in Scotland. One of the names that has been etched into the religious history of Scotland is John Knox. A contemporary of John Calvin in the 1500’s, Knox was a Scottish minister, theologian, author and a leader of the reformation. Knox was educated under Roman Catholic instruction. Eventually John Knox would part with his Catholic training and retaliate against the French Catholics when bishops and priest were nothing more than political appointments. In 1547 the French would take Knox hostage and force him to serve as a galley slave on their warship.
Over the past few weeks we have had many conversations around New Life concerning busyness. No doubt life can quickly rise to the level of insanity and get out of control because of our busy schedule. At the Harmon house it seems like we struggle with this issue on a regular basis. Now that we have a five year old in our family we get the opportunity to do kindergarten again. I am grateful for the many blessings that God has placed on our family but if we are not careful we can become consumed by our busy schedule.
This past Sunday we were all challenged by the text from Hebrews 4 concerning sabbath. People have become eager to tell me two important facts about their week: 1) they are not tired and 2) their schedule is really not that busy. One of the things that I have noticed personally is that my family schedule becomes more of a challenge each year.
...but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night
One of my favorite puritans to study is John Owen. He has often been identified as one of the greatest theologians among the puritans. That is a major accomplishment when you consider the ranks of men like Jonathan Edwards.
I remember after professing faith in Christ as a teenager I was motivated to do daily devotions. During those teenage years I was not too keen on the early morning hours. In fact, the thought of getting up early did not have much curb appeal!
A quick survey through the book of Acts reveals the values of the early christians. It is easy to recognize that they valued community and listening to the teaching of God’s word. Another value that is easy to recognize is corporate prayer.
One of my favorite leaders of the 16th century Protestant Reformation is Martin Luther. In 1521 the young monk and theologian named Martin Luther stood before a church council in Germany. Luther had written a series of books and articles in which he expressed concern over the corruption of the Roman Church.
At New Life, we want to make disciples who make disciples. I get excited about that statement and I think everyone at NL is on board. The problem however is how do we accomplish this goal? That question can be difficult to answer. I want to bring some clarity to the Biblical role of discipleship. It is essential to understand that discipleship begins at baptism and never ends. Hopefully this post will help answer questions and provide practical examples. Discipleship is the continual pursuit of bringing every aspect of life under His lordship. Here is a good definition I want to introduce that is based on the example of Jesus throughout the gospels:
O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
This Sunday we will begin the last chapter of 2 Thessalonians. Our specific text is 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5. It appears that the driving point of this last section is to remember the faithfulness of God. A faithful exposition of the first five verses will properly characterize Paul’s argument with these words: God is faithful- be faithful.
Our Pastor writes most of the blog posts we publish, however, occasionally some of our other church leadership (some staff, some volunteer) who also contribute to the New Life blog.