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Pastor Jay's Blog

This blog is Pastor Jay's weekly musings about God's Word, God's world, and God's call to our culture.  We hope they encourage, challenge, and inform you.  Sign up to recieve them in your email. 

Posts Tagged with "Suffering"

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Being an Expendable Christian

I read a letter from a missionary today and it got me thinking about a topic the church needs to think through regularly and precisely. That topic is expendability. What do we mean when we speak about being expendable? It means the willingness to be spent completely, in all manner of life and experience, up to and including death, for the sake of the kingdom. That mis...

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Adversity or Prosperity: Both are Beside the Point.

Are you concerned you will turn away from the Lord in tragedy but confident you will grow if you have all your needs met? Do you fear adversity and hope for security? This kind of thinking is prevalent in many people, and is perpetuated by governments, businesses, and even churches. This thinking is flawed at the core, but since it is wrapped in logic it is easy to s...

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Doing Hard Things

Life is hard. Ironically, this is easy to say. And it seems there are seasons of hardness, not only for individuals but also families, marriages, churches and nations. I think we may be seeing some of that in our church. As I looked over the membership of our church, almost every family has a significant challenge facing them. While this is not happening to our church ...

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How God Likes to Use Power

One of the most frustrating realities, and at the same time one of the most wonderful realities, is that God is not like us. This is wonderful because if God became moody or capricious, even for a moment, all of reality would be unalterably unhinged. We tend to forget this. And we forget it because we are busy suppressing our angst that God hasn't done what we see as c...

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A Quick Reference Guide to Suffering

In last week's blog I took a close look at one particular type of suffering that Paul spoke of in Romans chapter eight. But as I was thinking about that one type, it got me thinking about the other distinct categories of suffering that Scripture speaks about. As I did that, I found it incredibly helpful to think about the variety and number of categories that suffering c...

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You Must Suffer To Be Glorified

Romans 8 is a gloriously rich chapter of the Bible that should fill the mind of every believer. But gloriously rich doesn't mean easily swallowed. Such is the case with verse 16-17. Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Hi...

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A Precious Chapter in the Book of Job

We have been going through the book of Job in our Sunday evening service and I have been wonderfully helped in this close study of God's Word. We are nearing the end, so I may have to come back with an updated post, but up till now one chapter has struck me as exceedingly precious. Most people are familiar with the first 2 chapters and the last 5 chapters, and rightly ...

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God and My Stolen Computer

I am typing this on a borrowed computer. Why? Because I think my work computer just got stolen. I am still hoping this is just some bad trick or that I set it down in some place so random that I still haven't found it. But with each passing minute and every memory of the morning, my hope is crashing like a virus-filled computer program. I really liked that computer. It w...

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Understanding The Gun On The Table

There is a principle in theatre that says if you put a gun on a table in the first scene it had better be used by the last scene. There are needful reasons for this. You are trying to carry your audience along a particular storyline and pointless details will confuse and distract them. Additionally, you only have a limited amount of time and space. You don't want to wast...

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Two Handrails for Suffering

Have you ever watched a bull rider right before the gate is opened and he frolics with 2000 lbs. of fury? Almost all the focus is upon getting that perfect grip which will anchor him for 8 seconds of insanity. Knowing that your grip is secure when turbulence comes is important. 1 Peter is predominantly about the turbulence of suffering, and he gives us two realities that...

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All Roads Lead To The Cross

The greatest moment of all human history is what Christ did on the cross. Certainly, there have been remarkable moments from the past such as the creation of the universe and a miracle-filled exodus. And without doubt, there will be remarkable moments to come; such as the return of Christ and the marriage feast of the Lamb. But the Cross stands by itself. The greatest re...

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Why Is Weakness Such An Asset?

It is so counter-intuitive to think that weakness is an asset. Weakness is supposed to be a liability. But that is just one of many reversals that we find in Scripture. The poor become rich. He who loses his life finds it. The first will be last. On and on it goes. At some point each of these reversals have to be explained because, as already mentioned, it just doesn't m...

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4 Ways to Boldness

The apostle Paul was promised a life of suffering, and God delivered on that promise. Few have ever lived such a hard life. Much of what made it so hard was the uncertainty of what would hit him around the next corner. It was like being blindfolded at the receiving end of a dodgeball game where anything was allowed to be thrown. Would the next thing be a rotten tomato or...

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Sorrow Rides On The Shoulders Of Joy

Some things are capable of carrying tremendous loads. I have seen pictures of a massive ship called the Blue Marlin that is designed to carry disabled ships and other large ocean machines. Not rowboats, mind you, but huge ships like Navy Destroyers as well as oil rig platforms. Google it and be amazed. When it comes to sorrows of the deepest kind, what is it that will c...

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26 Helps for Suffering: A Primer For Suffering From 2 Timothy

In one way or another, suffering for the gospel is coming. You might as well get ready. To do so, there is no better place to go than the letter of 2 Timothy. Over and over again, Paul is preparing Timothy to suffer. We can get ready too, if we pay attention and take heed to this letter. Buckle down, open your Bible, and let these instructions sink in. Read the verse; th...

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The Anatomy of Disappointment

The other day the weather man said we were going to have some snow. For adults, snow usually throws a monkey wrench into plans. For kids however, it is the white powder of joy. Snow covers the world with fun. It lets you slide with speed, and fall anywhere with the promise of a soft cushion. It can be thrown as balls, or built into stick-arm, scarf wearing people. Our ki...

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Thankfulness: Getting It Through Your Thick Skull

In God's word, one verse is all you need to hear an authoritative word. If God spoke it, it is true and God doesn't need to repeat Himself. But, the more you read God's word, the more you appreciate that God is gracious and compassionate, willing to condescend to those of us who are slow, oblivious, misdirected, stubborn, and, welllike you and me. And so, God is pleased ...

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Don’t Grow Weary of Growing Weary

There is a famous quote that says, "never say never." It is one of those fun little quotes that endures because there is a glaring contradiction that still conveys an important reality that we do well not to forget. That dynamic is very similar to the simple admonition of this blog post, "don't grow weary of growing weary." The main difference is that my reminder is bibl...

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Why Doesn’t God Heal Amputees?

This is a great question. I mean that. It really is. To be more precise, the question is "why does God seem to heal all types of diseases, but never once heals someone with an amputation?" Don't get me wrong. I know how this question can be asked. This question can be launched from a person who is looking at you with the narrowed eyes of a hunter peering through a rifle ...

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