Every time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we think about the past, and we remember that there is a future for the people of God; that we are having a foretaste at the Lord’s Table of that ultimate fellowship we will have with Him in heaven.
The Lord’s Supper is a rich sacrament full of meaning and blessing for God’s people. Scripture talks about it in various ways, centered on Christ and his life-giving death. Regarding the Lord’s Supper, R. C. Sproul explained its past, present, and future aspects. Remember this next time you celebrate the holy Supper.
Obviously the Lord’s Supper is concerned about remembering something that took place once for all in time past. Often the words “Do This in Remembrance of Me” are carved into the wood of Communion tables. Jesus exhorted His disciples on many matters to be diligent in their learning and to remember the things that He had taught them. But it is as if the culmination of His teaching came in the upper room when He said, “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19b). Our Lord said, in essence, “What is about to take place is the acme of My mission. I am about to ratify a new covenant, and I am going to do it in My blood. I am going to offer the atonement by which redemption is secured for My people. Whatever else you do, do not ever forget this.” …
…So, a major dimension of what takes place in the Lord’s Supper is reflection on the cross, but we miss much of the meaning of the Lord’s Supper if we restrict it merely to the remembrance of things past. There is also a future orientation to the Lord’s Supper. This dimension gets less attention from the church than the others, and I am not sure I understand why.
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By Scott Slayton — 4 months ago
When we take the sole responsibility of leading, providing, and working upon ourselves, we tend to become slaves to our work. The anxiety this produces destroys our sleep. However, what does God give to those who don’t vainly toil day and night with an anxious spirit? Sleep. When we entrust our work and our provision to the Lord, we can lie down at night and sleep soundly knowing that God works even when we don’t.
Men face overwhelming pressures both internal and external. We feel an internal drive to provide for our families and to contribute to our communities. Whether we want to admit it or not, we struggle with the expectations other people place on us too. We have trained ourselves to ignore the nagging pain because we can’t show weakness.
Our churches often don’t know what to do with the weight men carry. Too often, we berate men for their failures without pointing them to the resourses that will help them grow. We pretend like the inadequacies we feel either don’t exist or shouldn’t be talked about in polite company. The grace we talk about fades from view and we replace it with heavy weights that sink us deeper into the abyss.
The Psalms made no sense to me when I was in college because they sounded so bleak. Here were these compositions that were supposed to be so worshipful, but the Psalmists just spent too much time complaining about how hard life was. Now that I’m in my 40s, the Psalms resonate with me because in my frustration with the difficulties of life, I’ve said many of the things they say.
If you are a man who struggles in silence, turn to the Psalms. In them, you find strong men revealing their weaknesses and showing you where you can turn to for help. There are three Psalms in particular that give you grace for the difficult situations you face.
Psalm 127, for When You Feel the Weight of the World
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” I cannot emphasize how much we need to hear this. God built men to take responsibility, work hard, protect, and provide. In our brokenness and sin, this God-given wiring can become a complex where we feel like we have to become not only our own savior but the savior of the people who rely on us as well. When we do this, we take a responsibility upon ourselves that only God can fulfill. We wear ourselves down and exhaust the people around us.
Psalm 127 does not call us to a “let go and let God” approach to life, but rather to an appropriate understanding of God’s work and our own. We work, but we realize our work accomplishes nothing if the Lord does not work through it. We work hard, start new ventures, and look for new opportunities, but we do it by entrusting the results to the Lord and praying he will give us the strength we need.
The second verse speaks a truth that every man needs to hear.
By Christian Winter — 2 years ago
For Christians to truly hold fast to what is good, to truly seek the good of their neighbors, then they must hate what is evil. They must hate the evil lies promoted by transgender activists. Out of love for others and love for the truth, Christians must refuse to speak the lies of transgender ideology.
On Matt Walsh’s New Documentary
At the very beginning of the Bible we are instructed about the division of the sexes: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). There are only two, male and female, and nowhere does God’s Word indicate that men can become women, or women men. In fact, the Bible explicitly condemns attempts to live as the opposite sex. Deuteronomy 22:5 says that “[t]he woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” The Bible is abundantly clear about the nature of sexual division within the created order.
In “What is a Woman?,” Matt Walsh’s new documentary about the transgender movement and its critics, Walsh nowhere appeals to the Bible, but instead uses common-sense, rational questioning to investigate transgenderism’s attempt to overthrow nature—God’s “second book” of revelation. Walsh’s documentary reveals how the transgender movement has exchanged the truth about humanity for a lie. No lie conforms to reality, yet Walsh shows how this lie is especially incoherent and detached from reality. Over and over, licensed doctors, college professors, practicing pediatricians, and sitting politicians fumble through Walsh’s interviews (or end the interview, refusing to answer his questions) thereby exposing their gender ideology for the nonsense that it is. Walsh directs each of his interviewees to a concluding question, one that transgender activists were unable to answer in a direct or logical way: What is a woman? Responses ranged from “Great question” and “I’m not a woman, so I don’t know,” to “Why do you want to know?” and “A woman is someone who claims to be a woman.”
One particularly striking interview was with Dr. Patrick Grzanka, Professor in a University of Tennessee Program for Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Walsh begins by asking Grzanka if sexuality and gender are different. In a long and circuitous way, Grzanka answers that the concepts are distinguishable yet interrelated. When Walsh presses Grzanka, asking if we can identify a person with male physical characteristics who identifies as a transgender woman as in fact male due to his biology, Granzka demurs. This leads to one of the most eye-opening exchanges in the film. Grzanka asks Walsh why he cares so much about identifying someone’s biological sex, and Walsh says he wants to understand reality, to “start by getting to the truth.” Grzanka reacts, claiming that he is deeply uncomfortable with the language of “getting to the truth,” and that such language is “deeply transphobic.”
Grzanka and other transgender activists believe in their ideology despite what they see. The external world has no necessary connection with reality for the believer in transgender ideology. Instead, each individual’s deliberate choice decides whether he is a man or a woman. Transgenderism thus requires its adherents to deny the concept of stable, accessible, absolute truth, as well as stable human nature. As Grzanka and numerous other interviewees of Walsh made clear, they recognized “my truth” or “your truth” but not the truth.
Walsh’s interview with Gent Comfrey, a gender affirming therapist, reveals the extent to which the transgender understanding of truth and the world blurs the lines between men and women. This blurring makes even knowing one’s own gender uncertain. Comfrey explained that modern research has shown that sex and gender are not mere binaries and are not restricted by biological sex differences. She claimed that “some women have penises…some men have vaginas.” When pushed by Walsh to explain how that claim is known, Comfrey said that she learned it by talking with transgender people who identify as the opposite of their biological sex. Walsh then asked the logical follow-up: if these concepts are fluid, how can Walsh know whether he might be a woman or not? Walsh explained that he likes scented candles and watched Sex and the City. Could Walsh be a woman? Comfrey did not dismiss the idea but encouraged Walsh to ask the question with curiosity to start his journey of gender identity development.
Walsh interviewed one person who had taken the concept of individualized truth to its logical extreme. Naia Okami claimed to be both a transgender woman and a wolf therian. A therian is “someone who identifies as a non-human earthen animal either spiritually or psychologically.” Okami told Walsh about how he (she?) discovered his inner wolf-ness at around age 10 when watching an anime cartoon. Apparently Okami then went on to spend time at many wolf preserves, communicating with wolves in non-verbal ways.
By Adam Nesmith — 2 years ago
God can use the small act of faithfulness in gathering your family together to pray or sing or read His Word for His great ends. There will always be more that you want to do with your family worship time. But by starting small and incrementally building and by adjusting your plans as needed you can ensure that your family keeps up the habit of growing in the knowledge and love of the Lord together.
When I was a single college student, I operated under the assumption that family worship is simple to implement and execute. I expected to find the “perfect formula” soon after I was married and then spend the rest of my life executing that perfect plan. How wrong I was. I am sure for some people, implementing family worship is easy and straightforward. But I would wager for most people, even though you have a desire to start and continue regular family worship, you find that it is easier said than done. This can quickly become discouraging if you don’t remember that family worship is typically incremental and iterative.
Incremental: Little Victories Build to Bigger Victories
What do I mean by incremental? Oftentimes, your family worship will not start with a long, complicated liturgy right off the bat. There are a dozen different things you can do with your time: Bible reading, catechism memorization, hymn singing, prayer for your local Church, and on and on the list goes. If you try to do too much all at once, the habit of worshiping together as a family each day actually becomes more difficult to nurture. There is a lot you could do with your family worship time. The question is what is most realistic, spiritually edifying, and glorifying to God way to spend the time that you have.
If you want to start worshiping God together as a family on a consistent basis, start small. Focus on one or two activities primarily, like reading a chapter of the Bible together and then singing a hymn. Your family worship time does not need to become a daily mini-Church service right away. In fact, biting off more than you can chew with family worship is, in my opinion, one of the main reasons so many families with good intentions end up giving up on it. Start small and build up as you go.