GAFCON’s Lift Up Your Hearts Devotions for March 2021

From GAFCON:

“Canon Craig Roberts, along with his colleagues at Anglican Youthworks (Australia) contribute to the Lift Up Your Hearts Devotions for the month of March.

The focus of the devotions demonstrates how throughout scripture, we see God at work through intergenerational discipleship.

The devotions are also available in Spanish and Portuguese, and in audio version in English.”

How Christians can guard against the Cultural Milieu

This short video from Carl Trueman encourages Christians to read widely and to ground themselves in biblical and systematic theology.

Published by Crossway, it’s part of a promotion for Dr Trueman’s new book, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self.

For the good of Others

“As we commence a new year in 2021, I am sure that many of us look forward to the suppression, if not elimination, of the Coronavirus which has threatened lives and livelihoods. We welcome the imminent distribution of some of the vaccines that have been developed and are currently in use in other parts of the world, and I am grateful for so many who have offered prayer each night at 1900hrs for COVID-19 research…”

– In his column in this month’s Southern Cross, Archbishop Glenn Davies uses COVID-19 as a lead-in to speak of the goodness of God’s Law.

The Sign of the Cross in Baptism — Broughton Knox

“Why do Sydney Anglicans sign the forehead of children with the sign of the cross at their baptism?…”

The Australian Church Record publishes two short articles by D. Broughton Knox on Baptism.

Photo: DBK at George Whitefield College in Capetown.

Discounted kindle version of Married for God

We understand the Kindle version of Christopher Ash’s book “Married for God: Making Your Marriage the Best It Can Be” is on special at Amazon until February 17.

Carl Trueman writes,

“I heartily recommend it as a book to read and also as a basis for framing and informing pastoral discussions with Christian couples who are looking toward marriage and want a realistic but encouraging picture of what to expect. A great book.”

Justification

Some encouragement:

“The voice that spells forgiveness will say: ‘You may go: you have been let off the penalty which your sin deserves.’

But the verdict which means acceptance [justification] will say: ‘You may come; you who are welcome to all my love and my presence.’“

– Sir Marcus Loane, quoted in John Stott, The Message of Romans.

Photo: Archbishop Sir Marcus Loane (centre) at Bishopscourt, December 1981. From the Sydney Diocesan Year Book, 1982.

Why do we say things together in church?

“As a teenager, I was deeply impacted by a youth ministry that made a lot of hay out of throwing out traditional, churchy practices. We started a church service on couches and bean bags in the hall where we didn’t do anything like liturgy or set prayers.

I remain deeply grateful for this low-church experience, for I heard the gospel there with a freshness that was God’s gift. But in hindsight, I have mixed feelings about the excitement we felt at doing things differently. For while this stance did grab my attention, it also distanced me from good things…”

– At The Australian Church Record, Andrew Errington shares three ways that saying together “sentences from the Bible, psalms, creeds, and other prayers” can be a real help.

Continually trying to improve your prayer life?

“How is your prayer life going? Many of us feel this part of our faith lives could improve for a variety of reasons, but the Rev Stephen Shead says not all of these reasons are good. …”

Here’s some encouragement for you, via SydneyAnglicans.net.

“I believe in the Holy Spirit”

“Two years ago, while preaching through Deuteronomy and the instruction given there for Israel’s calendar, I was convicted of the usefulness of having times in our church year, where we remember God’s great saving acts and rejoice before him—celebrating his kindness to us in Christ.

It would give a pattern to our year and make prominent what was core in our confession of Christ, and would help us remember, and not forget, that we are the Lord’s people, saved by His grace to live for Him.

We already celebrated Christmas and Easter. What would we add? It was a no brainer: Pentecost, the coming of the Spirit on the first disciples recorded in Acts 2; an event of fundamental importance to the individual and collective life of Jesus’ followers. …”

– Moore College graduate, and Minister at Bundoora Presbyterian Church in Melbourne, Neil Chambers, writes the next article in the series commissioned by The Gospel Coalition Australia on The Apostles’ Creed.

What’s wrong with the world? Is there hope?

“Guilt, weakness, spiritual slavery, prejudice, arrogance, tribalism, conflict, war, victimhood, persecution, pain, suffering, futility, ignorance, lying, deceit, anger, theft, greed, pornography, sexual sin, darkness, fear, drunkenness, substance abuse, domestic abuse, workplace abuse, spiritual powers…

In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he says many things about the problems we face in this world. He also gives us wonderful reasons to find life, hope and healing in Jesus Christ. Along the way, he provides practical teachings about how to respond and live together.

Here are some key reflections relating to the topic of what’s wrong with the world according to Ephesians in my series Lift Your Eyes: Reflections on Ephesians.”

from Lionel Windsor at Moore College.

On How Pastors Should Prepare their People for Eternity

In the latest Pastors Talk podcast, Jonathan Leeman and Mark Dever chat about something more important than politics.

Challenging and encouraging. 25 minutes well spent. Do listen.

Listen here.

Mark also mentions the talk he gave at Together for the Gospel 2020The Accounting We Shall Give.

We can have Confidence

“Sennacherib ruled Assyria from the capital city of Nineveh, which was the largest city in the world at the time. He was formidable, ruthless, a military ruler bent on collecting nations.

Nebuchadnezzar II, the ruler of the Babylonian Empire, surpassed him. He made Babylon even larger and greater than Nineveh. Nothing like it had ever been seen.

Cyrus surpassed them both, creating the world’s largest empire through merciless force. When Cyrus’ vast army marched, the ground shook for miles. …”

– Ligonier Ministries’ Stephen Nichols writes with godly encouragement to Christians in a world of turmoil.

Image: Dr. Stephen Nichols from a Ligonier Ministries video.

We Believe — The Story of the Apostles’ Creed

“The Augsburg Confession. The Helvetic Confession. The Gallican Confession. The Belgic Confession. The Westminster Confession and Catechism. The Second London Baptist Confession. The Canons of Dort.

What do these historic evangelical confessions have in common? Each of them has its roots in the Apostles’ Creed.

The Creed, also known as the Twelve Articles of Faith, expresses essential biblical doctrines that have been articulated, defended, and embraced for nearly two thousand years of church history. …”

– At Desiring God, Brian Hanson gives a helpful backgrounder to The Apostles’ Creed.

See also:

Andrew Moody’s series on The Apostles’ Creed at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

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