Wait for it…

Wait for it…

The Battle of Bunker Hill was a sobering moment in our history.   Though technically a British victory, it came at a high cost.  The untested Colonial militia held off the frontal onslaught of Howe’s British seasoned regulars and made them pay dearly before the defender’s lines splintered and broke.  Legend attributes the order, “don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes,” to one of the Colonial officers.  Painfully aware of their low ammunition and lack of bayonets, the colonists calmly awaited the shock of battle, drawing the British into to close combat before firing.  Can you imagine the intensity of that moment?  How hard it is to wait.  We prefer to engage our battles at a comfortable distance.

What is true in warfare is equally true in the combat of faith.   We like to exercise our faith at a safe distance, outside of conflict and trial and uncertainty.  But faith tested is faith strengthened.   In scripture, Abram’s faith is repeatedly tested.  Through famine, through prosperity, through barrenness and through birth, God tests and grows Abram’s faith.    Waiting is one of the ways God tested Abram.  Waiting can be a severe test of our faith.  Consider how many times the scripture instruct us to wait before the Lord.  Yet we often grow impatient.  Impatience with the means or timing of God’s promises tempts us to use accelerants of our own devising.   But accelerants are explosive and deadly.

Join us this Lord’s Day, June 25, as we examine the testing of Abraham’s faith from Genesis 16 and consider the temptations we face when God seems silent.  We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock.  Click here for directions.

Come with a friend you and join us for fellowship and conversation. We look forward to seeing you there.

Warp and Woof

Warp and Woof

Mathematics has axioms – presuppositions, accepted without proof — which form the basis for all subsequent mathematical proofs.   Likewise, Christianity demands certain presuppositions.  As a revealed religion, Christianity’s presuppositions, its axioms, must be accepted on faith.   But this often seems to be an intellectual cop-out.

An appeal to faith in a recent conversation with a friend and skeptic brought charges of “philosophical laziness.”  “No so,” I answered, but I also had to admit that the exercise of faith is not binary. Faith is not either on or off, absolute or absent, and not black and white.   Faith has contours.  It has a warp and woof which creates contours in quality, character, and shading.  Faith has axioms, but it also demands proofs.  It has doubts, but it asks questions.  It waxes and wanes, but does not fail.  It is a gift, but it must be exercised and grow directed by the Spirit through a process of sanctification.

Abraham is the paradigmatic man of faith in Scripture and Genesis 15:6 is the core profession of his faith.  But even in this passage we see the contours of Abraham’s faith as it is received and exercised.

Join us this Lord’s Day, June 18 as we examine the faith of Abraham from Genesis 15 and consider the contours of our own faith.  We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock.  Click here for directions.

Come with a friend you and join us for fellowship and conversation. We look forward to seeing you there.

Rescue Operation

Rescue Operation

Jesus came to seek and to save that which is lost.   He came to proclaim liberty to the captives.  He rescues for His Father those of his own who have been enslaved by their rebellion against God and their own self-destructive identity and choices.   As Jesus’ followers, we are told to go and do likewise.  But beware, it is a messy calling.

Abram and Lot had a complicated relationship.  It was marked by disagreement and discord.  While Abram sought to bring harmony, Lot acted selfishly and disrespectfully.   It would have been easy for Abram to wash his hands of Lot but that is not what we see.  Abram is characterized by interceding for Lot, seeking Lot’s good and God’s grace in his life.    Like his Savior, Abram is a man committed to rescuing his own from the effects of his ungodly choices.

Join us this Lord’s Day, June 11 as we examine the account of Abraham and Lot from Genesis 14 and consider the messy calling given to us to “seek and to save that which is lost.”  We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock.  Click here for directions.

Come with a friend you and join us for fellowship and conversation. We look forward to seeing you there.

The Slippery Slope

The Slippery Slope

Pragmatism is the slipperiest of slopes.  Machiavelli’s maxim, “the end justifies the means” is perhaps the quintessential expression of pragmatism.   When it comes to decision making, Christians often wrestle with call of faith to act from principle rather than pragmatism.  Pragmatism subtly mocks faith in God’s promises and precepts as either naïveté or presumption.  Or Pragmatism dismisses the promptings of the Holy Spirit as a lack of common sense or sheer imprudence.

When Abraham left Ur of the Chaldeans, he conspired with his wife to follow a course of pragmatism.  Because of her great beauty and the immorality of the people they would encounter, they agreed to hazard their marriage covenant for the sake of physical safety.   But the Lord unmasked their plan and humbled Abraham before Pharaoh and the court of Egypt.  From this Abraham began to learn how to walk by faith and not by sight.  Lot, Abraham’s nephew, did not learn from observing his uncles mistake however.  By choosing the way of pragmatism, Lot led his family deeper and deeper into compromise and catastrophe and placed them firmly on a spiritually slippery slope.

Join us this Lord’s Day, June 4 as we examine the account of Abraham and Lot from Genesis 13 and consider how we are to “walk by faith and not by sight.”  We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock.  Click here for directions.

Come with a friend you and join us for fellowship and conversation. We look forward to seeing you there.

The Last Full Measure of Devotion

The Last Full Measure of Devotion

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here…. that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.

Lincoln’s words, spoken over a 150 years ago at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery and Battlefield, apply equally to every other battlefield at home and abroad where our forefathers, our family, and our friends fought and died for us.

If these words are true of those who gave the last full measure of devotion for our political freedom, how much more for the one who “shared in our flesh and blood [and] likewise partook of the same things [we do] in order to destroy the one who has the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)  The Bible says that Jesus Christ “disarmed the [evil demonic] rulers and authorities and put them to open shame by triumphing over them in him [through the cross.]” (Colossians 2:15)

As you gather with family and friends this weekend and over Memorial Day to remember those who gave the last full measure of devotion for our nation, use this time also to declare the good news that our greater brother, the Lord Jesus, gave the last full measure of devotion and then rose again in power to grant us freedom from our mortal enemy and new life both now and forever more, free from the enslavement of sin.   The Bible reminds us that “it is for freedom that Christ set us free.”  (Galatians 5:1)

River City Reformed will not meet this Lord’s Day, May 28, but will meet next Lord’s Day, June 4, from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock.  Click here for directions.

Let me encourage you to use this Lord’s Day evening as a time to practice hospitality and share the gospel with those whom the Lord has placed in your sphere of influence.

The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth?

The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth?

We have watched enough courtroom drama to be familiar with the swearing in of witnesses.  They must swear to tell “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”  But what is our responsibility regarding truth outside of the courtroom?   What does the Bible require regarding truth-telling?  How much truth must we tell?  Who has a right to hear truth from us?  Is there ever a time when we may conceal the truth?  Is there ever a time when the Bible allows, condones or affirms explicit lying?

These questions seem simple on the surface. But when we examine in Scripture the actions of many heroes of the faith and God’s response to their prevarication with respect to the truth, we wrestle with legitimate questions regarding God’s nature and character, Christian ethics , and what is required by the ninth commandment.

Abraham shaded the truth in regards to his wife  because he feared unbelievers.   Rahab lied to the king of Jericho to save the lives of the Israelite spies.  The Hebrew midwives appear to have lied to Pharaoh and then received God’s blessing.   How to we come to grips with these passages and reconcile them to the ethical demands of a Holy God who calls His people to holiness?

Join us this week as we take a detour from our conversations on Genesis to examine the story of the Hebrew midwives in Exodus 1 and consider what the Scripture says about truth-telling.  We meet this Lord’s Day, May 21, from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock.  Click here for directions.

Come with a friend you and join us for fellowship and conversation. We look forward to seeing you there this coming Lord’s Day at 5:00 pm.

Practicing Hospitality

Practicing Hospitality

River City Reformed will not meet this Lord’s Day, May 7, but will meet next Lord’s Day, May 14, from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock.  Click here for more information.

Let me encourage you to use this Lord’s Day evening as a time to practice hospitality with those whom the Lord has placed in your sphere of influence.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 4:8-11