God’s Providence: Wonder and Mercy!

Thomas Watson (c. 1620-1696) was one of the great Puritan ministers, who wrote prolifically, and is especially known for his A Body of Practical Divinity (1692). One of Watson’s popular writings was The Christian’s Charter: Shewing the Privileges of a Believer (1652; sixth edition, 1665. All page citations below are taken from the 1665 edition. […]

The Perfect Forgiveness of God

The Bible is filled with words of comfort for God’s people. Psalm 32:1-2 is one of them: “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” Here David describes a “blessed man.” The word “blessed” […]

William Ames Tells Us Why to Pray

                                                                     William Ames Tells Us Why to Pray Why pray? This question may rise in our minds when we think about our […]

Living with Christ in Union and Communion

Living with Christ in Union and Communion Donald K. McKim Who are we as Christian people? This is a question we ask ourselves as thoughtful Christians. We have heard the voice of Jesus Christ saying: “Follow me” (Mark 1:17). In the silence and stillness of our own hearts, we have said, “Yes. Yes, Lord Jesus. […]

Prescriptions for Pentecost

Pentecost Sunday points us toward the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples of Jesus, fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection. Acts 2 tells the story. The disciples were together in Jerusalem and “suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they […]

Trusting God’s Providence

The providence of God is a central Christian doctrine. Providence is the assurance that God, the Creator of all things, does not “walk away” from what God created. God is continually involved with the creation. God upholds the creation, sustaining it. God also leads and guides creation to move to and through God’s purposes. As […]

All Things are Yours

We live our lives day by day. We experience joys and sorrows; and much in-between. Most of the time, perhaps, we do not give much thought to who we are or what we do—we are too busy just “living” to reflect on the nature of our lives.   We are Christians. So we realize we have been […]

Advent Joy

One of the most beloved Christmas carols is “Joy to the World.” We sing: “Joy to the World! the Lord is come. Let earth receive her king.” The coming of Jesus Christ brings joy! Advent Joy anticipates the coming of Jesus who the Puritan Thomas Watson said is “the Wonder of Angels; the Joy and Triumph of […]

Advent Love

The most famous verse in the Bible is John 3:16. Martin Luther called it “the gospel in a nutshell.” This is a verse for all seasons. John 3:16 is a verse for the Advent season. It says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not […]

Advent Peace

Advent is a time of living on tip-toes! We eagerly anticipate a new world coming, a world of peace. The message of the angels at the birth of Jesus was for peace on earth (Luke 2:14), a vision that can be fulfilled only by the action of God. No political or personal efforts of our own can bring […]

Advent Hope

Advent is a time for hope! The Hebrew Scriptures present God’s promise to send a Messiah to rule and deliver the people of God (Jer. 33:14-16; 23:5). There is the promise: a “young woman [traditionally: “virgin”] is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel,” which means “God is with us” […]

Be a “Cheerful Thanks-giver”

Thanksgiving Day is approaching. Since this is a national holiday in the United States, everyone is familiar with Thanksgiving. We associate it with family, food, and for some: football! Christians are especially acquainted with thanksgiving. The Psalms are full of references to thanksgiving for the people of Israel (e.g. Pss. 9:1; 30:4; 100:4 etc.). Thanksgiving […]

A Sermon To Read: “Believe Also In Me”

John 14:1 That lonely Sufferer, of whom David sings in the 22nd Psalm, was, of course, none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. He was the One who was a reproach of men and despised by the people. He was the One whom they scorned, saying, “He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver […]

A Sermon To Read: “God Is Life”

Text: John 5:26 I have on my shelves somewhere a catechism that was published many years ago in St. Louis, Missouri, and which contains among others this question and answer: “What is God?” – it asks, and the answer given is “God is a Spirit. He is triune. He is light, and love, and life.” Naturally, along with […]

Grace and Peace

Sometimes when we read the letters of Paul, we almost skip over the opening Salutation. Paul typically greets the church to which he writes using some theological language of welcoming those saints gathered who would have originally listened to Paul’s letter being read. But like his letters themselves, Paul’s salutations are also very rich in […]

A Sermon To Read: “By Hosts Surrounded”

Text: II Kings 6:16 Friends – there are different days for all of us. Who is not troubled by the state of our nation – the prevailing irreligion and immorality, the economic and political uncertainty, and by wars and rumors of wars on the international scene? What Christian is not concerned about the church -“by […]

A Sermon To Read: “Who Is The Holy Spirit”

Many people have a pretty good idea of what we mean when we speak of “God”, and in our circles, at least, they might accept the famous definition of the Westminster Catechism, that “God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth!” a truly classic and memorable word indeed! And […]

8 Daily Directions for Christian Living

Each day is a new day to live our Christian faith. We awake; and wonder what God will do today and how we can be serve God and others in the gift of our lives of faith? A Puritan theologian and preacher who thought about this question was Paul Baynes (c. 1573-1617). Baynes was the […]

A Sermon To Read: “The Real Question”

“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” The question is often raised on Easter Sunday whether Jesus Christ really rose from the dead. Had He really and truly died on the cross? Was the tomb really and truly empty? Can we be sure that no human hand had […]

Trust in the Lord

Christians are people of faith and trust. We have faith in God, we trust Jesus Christ, we are led by the Holy Spirit. Our whole lives are wrapped up in our relationship with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. John Downame (1571-1652) was an important Puritan theologian and writer. He explored the meaning of […]