30 April 2010

A Prayerless Ministry

A preacher may preach in an official, entertaining, or learned way without prayer, but between this kind of preaching and sowing God’s precious seed with holy hands and prayerful, weeping hearts there is an immeasurable distance.

A prayerless ministry is the undertaker for all God’s truth and for God’s Church. He may have the most costly casket and the most beautiful flowers, but it is a funeral, notwithstanding the charmful array. A prayerless Christian will never learn God’s truth; a prayerless ministry will never be able to teach God’s truth. Ages of millennial glory have been lost by a prayerless Church. The coming of our Lord has been postponed indefinitely by a prayerless Church. Hell has enlarged herself and filled her dire caves in the presence of the dead service of a prayerless Church.

The best, the greatest offering is an offering of prayer. If the preachers of the twentieth century will learn well the lesson of prayer, and use fully the power of prayer, the millennium will come to its noon ere the century closes. “Pray without ceasing” is the trumpet call to the preachers of the twentieth century. If the twentieth century will get their texts, their thoughts, their words, their sermons in their closets, the next century will find a new heaven and a new earth. The old sin–stained and sin–eclipsed heaven and earth will pass away under the power of a praying ministry. - E.M. Bounds

I love this quote for it reminds me of the great necessity of prayer. All too often we spend too much time on our feet rather than on our knees in prayer over our ministries. Let us heed these words and become people of prayer for His glory and for the spritual welfare of His people.

29 April 2010

27 April 2010

Doctrine of God Week 4

(Please ignore the pop-up adds)

Looking for the basics? Then this is the study for you.

26 April 2010

Never a more splendid specimen...

I never could believe in the Jesus Christ of some people, for the Christ in whom they belive is simply full of affectionateness and gentleness, whereas I believe there never was a more splendid specimen of manhood, even ints sternness, than the Saviour; and the very lips which declared that He would not break a bruised reed uttered the most terrible anathemas upon the Pharisees. - C.H. Spurgeon

This one of my favorite Spurgeon quotes. It is so because it reminds me that we so often share Jesus as this guy who has a wonderful plan for your life yet we forget His horrible wrath that will come to unrepentant sinners such as the Pharisees. Let us share the Gospel rightly, that is, Scripturally. Let's not water down the Gospel to what it can do for the sinner but share what a wonderful and blessed God He is and that He sent His Son to die on the cross for the likes of you and me.

The Purpose of Marriage Ephesians 5:31-32

(Ignore the pop-up adds)

Part two in a series on Marriage. A great, new look at this subject.

24 April 2010

Encouragement to the Weary (like me)

From C.H. Spurgeon we read...

“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.” - Song of Solomon 2:12

Sweet is the season of spring: the long and dreary winter helps us to appreciate its genial warmth, and its promise of summer enhances its present delights. After periods of depression of spirit, it is delightful to behold again the light of the Sun of Righteousness; then our slumbering graces rise from their lethargy, like the crocus and the daffodil from their beds of earth; then is our heart made merry with delicious notes of gratitude, far more melodious than the warbling of birds-and the comforting assurance of peace, infinitely more delightful than the turtle’s note, is heard within the soul. Now is the time for the soul to seek communion with her Beloved; now must she rise from her native sordidness, and come away from her old associations. If we do not hoist the sail when the breeze is favourable, we shall be blameworthy: times of refreshing ought not to pass over us unimproved. When Jesus himself visits us in tenderness, and entreats us to arise, can we be so base as to refuse his request? He has himself risen that he may draw us after him: he now by his Holy Spirit has revived us, that we may, in newness of life, ascend into the heavenlies, and hold communion with himself. Let our wintry state suffice us for coldness and indifference; when the Lord creates a spring within, let our sap flow with vigour, and our branch blossom with high resolve. O Lord, if it be not spring time in my chilly heart, I pray thee make it so, for I am heartily weary of living at a distance from thee. Oh! the long and dreary winter, when wilt thou bring it to an end? Come, Holy Spirit, and renew my soul! quicken thou me! restore me, and have mercy on me! This very night I would earnestly implore the Lord to take pity upon his servant, and send me a happy revival of spiritual life!

Tiger's Tiger

Tiger's Tiger
by Rev. Scott R. Wright, Ph.D.

News of Tiger Woods’ infidelities rocked the world. His double life finally caught up with him, and it cost him dearly. He lost his sponsors, his wife and his dignity, and a horrified public scratched their heads saying, “How could he have done such a thing?” From those shocking revelations most concluded that he was overcome by an illness – an addiction - which destroyed his image. What he needs, they say, is a good dose of therapy. But what our culture wrongly describes as an addiction requiring treatment is correctly identified in Scripture as a sin that demands repentance. What that means, at least in part, is that Tiger’s problem is far more urgent and dangerous than people think.

Adultery is not a symptom but a sin. It is the outworking of an indwelling principle of iniquity that plagues every one of us. Indeed, in each heart sin crouches at the door seeking to devour, and unless one does well, he will not rule over it (Gen 4:7). Therefore Tiger has a “tiger” on his hands. He’ll need more than treatment because he is in for a fight. The poignant reality is that he is no match for this sinister beast. It has devoured the best this world has to offer. So like every other sinner Tiger must obtain power from outside himself if he has any hope of mastering the fiend. More specifically, he will need the radical and regenerative influence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, if he ever hopes to prevail. His golf prowess pales in comparison to the prowess of sin to dupe and destroy. Therefore to win this match He must look to Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2), and humbly rely on the indwelling Spirit’s life-giving and heart-transforming energy. Only then will Tiger Woods be whole in One.

Rev. Scott R. Wright is pastor of Redeemer Church (PCA). For more information please contact scottRwright@gmail.com or go to www.RedeemerOhio.org. Copyright reserved

23 April 2010

Shameless Persistence

Shameless Persistence

by Rev. Scott R. Wright, Ph.D.

We live in a society of quitters. Marriages fail, companies collapse, careers cease, and lives are lost all because people give up too easily. In a word, we as a culture lack staying power. Sadly this tendency has infiltrated the church. It is alarming how often professing Christians parroting the culture abandon their commitments, renounce their convictions, and give up the pursuit of holiness. They do so simply because they refuse to persevere in following Christ, in walking with the Spirit, and in doing good.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the arena of prayer. In "closet contests" modern Christians seem to have lost the determination to prevail like that which motivated Jacob at Peniel (Gen 32:25). Perhaps this is one reason why the contemporary church finds her task so difficult. She will overcome not by might nor by power but by God's Spirit, who is given in answer to prayer (Lk 11:13). But she is not praying! As pray-ers we must persevere that we may enjoy success in the Christian life. In fact, one must be shamelessly persistent in prayer if he is to obtain whatever he needs (Lk 11:8). That is so counter-cultural! Rather than giving up and crying foul when our desire for instant gratification is foiled, we must stick with it on our knees in asking, seeking, and knocking! In time through persistence our minds and hearts will be properly aligned and suitably poised to receive the good things God has so graciously and generously designed for us. Those desires offered to Him for things agreeable to His will shall be satisfied through our diligent and dogged pursuit of answers from heaven. Isn't this what characterized Jesus Himself, whose greatest work was the fruit of persistent prayer (Mk 14:36)? Let us walk in the same way He walked (1Jn 2:6).

Rev. Scott R. Wright is pastor of Redeemer Church (PCA). For more information please contact scottRwright@gmail.com or go to www.RedeemerOhio.org. Copyright reserved

21 April 2010

Remembering the Mystery of God's Providence

Remembering the mystery of God's Providence redirects our attention from why to God. Though we seek comfort in answers to our question of why we suffer, God brings us comfort by answering the question of who is working mysteriously in our suffering.

The above is from J. Ligon Duncan's unsurpassed little tome, Does Grace Grow Best in Winter?. This is must read for all of us. We will go through trial or suffering at some point in this life. We need to be ready and we need to be ready to help those in need around us. I can't recommend this read enough. I earnestly agree with C. J. Mahaney's endorsement of the book in which he states, If you are presently suffering, this book is for you. And if you are not, this book is still for you.

20 April 2010

Ministering Through Personal Visiting

Dr. Nelson Kloosterman will be the guest speaker at Redeemer Church (PCA) in Hudson, Ohio on May 8 from 9 to 11 am. He will be speaking on the topic of The Calling of Church Leaders to Minister Through Personal Visitation. Dr. Kloosterman is Professor of Ethics and New Testament studies at Mid-America Reformed Seminary. All are welcome to attend.

19 April 2010

T4G 2010 Resources

I was so greatly encouraged by the Together For the Gospel conference last week. Allow me to share some of what transpired last week. Below is the first of several videos from the Band of Bloggers meeting. It was a phenomenal event. Click here for more videos.

The audio downloads for each speaker can be found at the T4G website here.

It was a great to be with 7,000 like minded believers worshiping our triune God and discussing the Gospel. May God humbly allow me to put to use what I learned.

Thanks to all who worked so hard to put on this great event.

(HT: Tim Brister)

The Nature of Marriage

A fresh sermon on an important topic.

Doctrine of God Week 3

We continue with the Doctrine of God study. Excellent discussion on images and the Spirit of God.

16 April 2010

Mohler at T4G

T4G 2010 was fantastic. It was inspiring, enjoyable and encouraging. Take some time to watch or listen to each speaker. Below is Al Mohler's talk which I particularly appreciated.

T4G 2010 -- Session 3 -- Al Mohler from Together for the Gospel (T4G) on Vimeo.

For all the T4G videos at Vimeo click here.

15 April 2010

Engraved Names

Engraved Names

Our culture is not just fascinated by but obsessed with the beautiful, the impressive, the dazzling and spectacular. As that fixation on celebrities and celebrity-ism bleeds into the church, Christians are more apt to esteem great gifts among their ranks than divine grace within their hearts. It was no different with the disciples, who greatly rejoiced when they were authorized to suppress the demons themselves in their gospel ministry. Upon returning from one of their evangelistic "crusades" they jointly celebrated their ability to subject even the spiritual forces themselves (Lk 10:17).
Jesus' response is both instructive and heartening. He said, "Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are engraved in heaven" (Lk 10:20). It is not as celebrities that we will experience our deepest joy and know our greatest pleasure. Rather, it will be as adopted sons and daughters of God, endowed with all the family privileges that we will know our utmost delight. As an ancient scribe with a stylus would etch the name in a stone tablet, so God has etched the names of His elect children in the Lamb's book of life (Rev 21:27). It is permanent, ineradicable, impossible to remove! This helps put into proper perspective the whole notion of spectacular gifts. While the Lord variously equips His servants for ministry on earth, what matters most is one's membership in heaven. The beautiful, impressive, dazzling and spectacular that so impress men here will make no difference there. It will all fade away. But our place and position in God's family will never wane. The mountains will sing and the trees will clap as we go out in joy (Is 55:12). So we have reason to rejoice!


Rev. Scott R. Wright, Ph.D. is pastor of Redeemer Church (PCA) in Hudson, Ohio. For more information please contact scottrwright@gmail.com or go to http://www.redeemerohio.org/. Copyright reserved.

12 April 2010

A Little Time Off

I'll be taking a couple days off to attend the Together for the Gospel conference. Also I'm looking forward to attending the Band of Bloggers. I'll be back shortly. Off to sunny Louisville.

09 April 2010

Controversy or Compromise - Piper and Warren

Trevin Wax does an outstanding job refuting the foolishness of those who are rigorously opposing Piper's decision to have Warren speak at his next conference. Give me a break. Thanks Trevin for posting this.

06 April 2010

05 April 2010

He is Risen Mark 16

This is a wonderful Easter sermon delivered yesterday at Redeemer Church (PCA), Hudson, Ohio by Rev. Scott R. Wright, Ph.D.

03 April 2010

A Few Thoughts from C.H. Spurgeon

As we celebrate Easter tomorrow we would do well to remember the following from C.H. Spurgeon:

Leave out the cross, and you have killed the religion of Jesus. Atonement by the blood of Jesus is not an arm of Christian truth; it is the heart of it.

The hill of comfort is the hill of Calvary; the house of consolation is builded with the wood of the cross; the temple of heavenly cordials is founded upon the riven rock, riven by the spear which pierced its side. No scene in sacred history ever gladdens the soul like the scene on Calvary. Nowhere does the soul ever find such consolation as on that very spot where misery reigned, where woe triumphed, where agony reached its climax.

The cross is the focus of all human history—I was almost going to say it is the centre of the life of God, if such a thing can be. All the ages meet in Calvary. Jesus is the central Sun of all events.

Are They For Us?

Are They For Us?
by Rev. Scott R. Wright, Ph.D.

Parachurch organizations (those standing outside and alongside of the church) have always been controversial. For example, the disciples were troubled by an unauthorized exorcist because "he does not follow with us" (Lk 9:49). Today such organizations have multiplied in unprecedented numbers. Far from being a sign of ecclesiastical health, their proliferation implies church problems which they are designed to solve (e.g. evangelism, media, education, disaster relief). Sensing an unmet need, sincere Christians often take the initiative in devoting time, energy and resources to facilitate ministry in particular areas. The question for the church has always been, "Are they for us or against us?"

Interestingly, when the disciples sought to impede the work of the "non-denominational" exorcist, Jesus corrected them saying, "Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you" (Lk 9:50). How illuminating! While the Bible identifies the Church as the divinely-appointed agent of gospel ministry, Jesus teaches us in this terse statement how to treat those who seek to glorify Him though they "do not follow with us." We are to exercise godly tolerance toward those sincere Christians who labor for the Kingdom not as a part of our church, not ordained as we are, and not in fraternal relations with us. He who believes in Christ and sincerely tries to serve Him will reach the same end even though he does not follow Him in the same way. We have plenty of enemies already. Why make more? Remember, "Whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward" (Mk 9:41).
Scott R. Wright is pastor of Redeemer Church (PCA). For more info. contact scottRwright@gmail.com or http://www.redeemerohio.org/. Copyright reserved.

01 April 2010

Piper on Warren

Spurgeon - It is time to seek the Lord

It is time to seek the Lord. Hosea 10:12.

This month of April is said to derive its name from the Latin verb aperio, which signifies to open, because all the buds and blossoms are now opening, and we have arrived at the gates of the flowery year. Reader, if you are yet unsaved, may your heart, in accord with the universal awakening of nature, be opened to receive the Lord. Every blossoming flower warns you that it is time to seek the Lord; be not out of tune with nature, but let your heart bud and bloom with holy desires. Do you tell me that the warm blood of youth leaps in your veins? then, I entreat you, give your vigour to the Lord. It was my unspeakable happiness to be called in early youth, and I could fain praise the Lord every day for it. Salvation is priceless, let it come when it may, but oh! an early salvation has a double value in it. Young men and maidens, since you may perish ere you reach your prime, “It is time to seek the Lord.” Ye who feel the first signs of decay, quicken your pace: that hollow cough, that hectic flush, are warnings which you must not trifle with; with you it is indeed time to seek the Lord. Did I observe a little grey mingled with your once luxurious tresses? Years are stealing on apace, and death is drawing nearer by hasty marches, let each return of spring arouse you to set your house in order. Dear reader, if you are now advanced in life, let me entreat and implore you to delay no longer. There is a day of grace for you now-be thankful for that, but it is a limited season and grows shorter every time that clock ticks. Here in this silent chamber, on this first night of another month, I speak to you as best I can by paper and ink, and from my inmost soul, as God’s servant, I lay before you this warning, “It is time to seek the Lord.” Slight not that work, it may be your last call from destruction, the final syllable from the lip of grace. C.H. Spurgeon

How true Spurgeon's words are. We waste so much time putting off what we know we should do today. If you are searching, search no more. Christ is your answer. Seek him out. Find a friend, a church, someone here on the 'net who can help you (there are many of us). Wait no longer. If you are a believer whose faith has waned, take heart. The Spirit is waiting to fill you once again to live a life full of rejoicing in the Lord. Indeed, It is time to seek the Lord.