Why Letters of Grace?

We chose “Grace” as a part of our daughter’s name not simply because it is a beautiful name, but because of the rich theological significance of grace in the Christian faith. Grace can be defined as the favor of God bestowed on undeserving sinners. Similarly, J. I. Packer, in his classic book, Knowing God, offers this definition: “It is God showing goodness to persons who deserve only...

May 2021 Savannah/Jekyll Trip: Church History

This is our third time visiting Savannah, GA, and one of the highlights of our second trip (July, 2019) was discovering Savannah's church history. While we visited some of the church history sites we discovered last time, we also stumbled upon new sites as we vacationed in the Jekyll Island area. I want to share some of our discoveries in this post. Savannah, GA The most famous and iconic church...

Hymn Reflection for Good Friday 2021: Ride On, Ride On in Majesty!

The week preceding Easter Sunday is known as Holy Week or Passion Week. Scripture is replete with details of the events of Holy Week. We recently finished our studies in the Gospel according to Mark. Interestingly, Holy Week (Chapters 11-16) accounts for almost 38% of the book. The week begins with the Triumphal Entry (Mark 11:1-11), which is commonly associated with Palm Sunday (one week before...

Doctrine of Divine Providence

One of the more difficult things when preparing a message on a text of Scripture is deciding what details to leave out. Because Scripture is so rich and inexhaustive, it is tempting to include everything from my study notes in the final manuscript, but that would be unfocused, unwieldy, and uninteresting. So, when I prepare the final manuscript, some details are completely excluded and others...

Hymn Review: Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending

This past week, the hymn I selected for both the hymn of praise and the hymn for responding to the Word was "Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending." The Order of Worship  is attached, along with the lyrics to the hymn; perhaps you will find the order of worship useful in your daily devotions. In my mind, this hymn fits perfectly with what we have been studying for the past few weeks (Mark 13,...

Mark 10:1-12: Lesson on Divorce and Marriage

Lesson on Divorce and Marriage Text: Mark 10:1-12 | March 8, 2020 Scripture has been twisted in many ways to accommodate the sins of man. This is accomplished through purposefully misinterpreting Scripture, adding to Scripture, or setting aside God’s Word. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for “setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition” (Mark 7:9). In our passage (Mark...

Mark 9:42-50: Lesson on the Seriousness of Sin

Lesson on the Seriousness of Sin Text: Mark 9:42-50 | February 23, 2020 Sin is not talked about very often, even in many churches, but our passage today highlights the seriousness of sin. Pastors and churches who eschew the topic of sin put their congregations in danger of neglecting our Christian duty to aggressively deal with sin. This passage warns us not to cause others to sin, and it also...

Mark 9:30-41: Lesson on Humility

Lesson on Humility Text: Mark 9:30-41 | February 16, 2020 In the previous passage, the disciples learned a crucial lesson on faith; in this passage, the disciples learn an important lesson on humility. Humility is not natural, but as Christians, we have a lifelong battle with pride. In our culture, pride is a virtue, but the Bible teaches the total opposite: humility is a virtue. Like our...

Mark 9:14-29: Lesson on Faith

Lesson on Faith Text: Mark 9:14-29 | February 9, 2020 The cross was less than a year away, and it was time for the disciples to learn some crucial lessons to prepare them for the time when Jesus departed. The first lesson was a lesson on faith. For over two years, the disciples had walked by sight, seeing, hearing, and touching Jesus, but soon they needed to live by faith. Second Corinthians 5:7...

Mark 9:1-13: Christ Transfigured

Following Christ Text: Mark 9:1-13 | February 2, 2020 The transfiguration was one of the greatest miracles recorded in the Scriptures. The disciples struggled to understand why Jesus, the Messiah, needed to suffer, be rejected, and killed (8:31). In their minds, the Messiah would overthrow Roman rule and establish an earthly kingdom. Knowing how hard it was for the disciples to accept His...

Mark 8:34-38: Following Christ

Following Christ Text: Mark 8:34-38 | January 26, 2020 In our text today, we studied Jesus’ invitation to follow Him, the cost of following Him, and the folly of not following Him. Unlike what many believe, following Christ comes at a high cost. In fact, it will cost everything. We are told that anyone who desires to follow Christ deny himself (8:34). Self-denial is not easy for us because we...