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In Case You Were Wondering About Joel Osteen

It doesn’t get much clearer than this:

January 28 2011 | Blog | Comments Off on In Case You Were Wondering About Joel Osteen

Salvation & Depression

Great thoughts here from Dr. Mike Emlet on the relationship between the gospel and depression.

January 21 2011 | Blog | Comments Off on Salvation & Depression

5 Years Old

IMG_0214This year I’m starting a new tradition with my boys.  I’m going to try to write each of them a letter, every year on their birthday.  My hope is to kind of recap the year for them and specifically to tell them how much I love them and how I’m praying for them.  Eventually I think I’ll get each boy’s letters bound together and give it to them at their 18th birthday.  Hopefully they will be able to look back at these letters and see my love for them and a consistent presentation and application of the gospel to each year of their lives.  Here’s the first one for my 5 year old.

Dear Micah,

It’s hard to believe that you’ll soon be turning 5 years old. It really seems like just yesterday when your mom and I rushed down to the hospital from your grandma and grandpas house and met you for the first time. Even as I write this letter and look at you in bed, I’m amazed at how much God has done in your little life.

Your mom and I had a real scare a few years ago when we realized that you were having a lot of trouble with your speech, but today you have made so much progress we can hardly believe it. I wish that we could say that your progress was due to our quick thinking or good parenting skills or even the outside help that we’ve gotten from the school, but the truth is that God deserves all of the glory for what’s happening in your life and both your mom and I want to thank Him for it.

This year has been full of changes for our whole family. We moved down to Cool, CA from Mount Vernon, WA where you had lots of friends and a great church. It was a hard move, because we all had to leave things that were so familiar but I’m convinced that it was a very good move. You have made so many new friends here, you have a great school that I think you’re really going to love attending and we have a new church that really loves us! Even better than all of that, I’m so happy that you have your grandparents so close by. They come up about once a month or so to visit you and your brothers and you are so excited to see them each time. You bring so much happiness into their lives and into our lives as well.

I think one of my favorite memories of you this year is going to be the entire Christmas season. You just love Christmas!!! Even back in June you would walk up to complete strangers at Target and say, “Merry Christmas”. You especially love it when we go to look at Christmas lights, which we’ve done a lot of this year. There are few things that give me as much joy as hearing you talk about “baby Jesus” and the “star”. That’s usually followed by something about Santa Claus, but I’m at least glad that you’re starting to get the picture that Christmas is about Jesus.

Micah, I love you so much! You are such a precious gift to me and I am so thankful that God decided to make me your daddy and to make you my son. My greatest prayer for you is that you too would come to know God as your Father. I know that even at 5 years of age, the concept of God can be a hard thing to grasp but whenever you do get around to reading this I just want you to know that I have been praying for you that you would know who God is, know who you are, know Jesus and believe the gospel. Really, you could sum up my prayer for you in that I want you to love Jesus. Not just to say that you love Him, because you know that’s what I want but that you would have a great passion and affection for Jesus like your mom and I do.

Next year will be another year of change I’m sure. You’ll be starting up Kindergarten (I’m sure I’m going to cry my eyes out the first day of school), continuing to grow and becoming more athletic (you’re already very athletic). Through it all, I want you to know that I love you very much and I will continue to pray for you that you would love Jesus as He already loves you.

‘Til Sin is Bitter Christ Will Not be Sweet,


January 17 2011 | Devotional | Comments Off on 5 Years Old

Short & Bald

I don’t usually post my sermons here on the blog, but I really liked this excerpt (3 1/2 minutes) from a recent sermon covering the indicatives and the imperatives of the gospel.

Indicatives & Imperatives from DrewBuell on Vimeo.

December 24 2010 | Blog | 1 Comment »

The Greatest News in All the World

This is an excellent explanation of the gospel.

October 01 2010 | Blog | Comments Off on The Greatest News in All the World

Jesus is the Our Sufficiency

It’s so easy to try and find our sufficiency outside of Christ.  Calvin understood that and wrote about in chapter 16 of the Institutes.  I hope these words warm your heart as they did mine.

We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ.  We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else.  If we seek salvation, we are taught by the very name of Jesus that it is “of him”.  If we seek any other gifts of the Spirit, they will be found in his anointing.  If we seek strength, it lies in his dominion; if purity, in his conception; if gentleness, it appears in his birth…If we seek redemption, it lies in his passion; if acquittal, in his condemnation; if remission of the curse, in his cross; if satisfaction, in his service; if purification, in his blood; if reconciliation, in his descent into hell, if mortification of the flesh, in his tomb; if newness of life, in his resurrection; if immortality, in the same…if protection, if security, if abundant supply of all blessings, in his Kingdom…In short, since rich store of every kind of good abounds in him, let us drink our fill from this fountain, and from no other.  Some men, not content with him alone, are borne hither and thither from one hope to another; even if they concern themselves chiefly with him, they nevertheless stray from the right way in turning some part of their thinking in another direction.  Yet such distrust cannot creep in where men have once for all truly known the abundance of his blessings. – Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion (Book II, Chapter XVI, 19).

September 22 2010 | Blog | Comments Off on Jesus is the Our Sufficiency

The “Nowism” of the Gospel

Paul Tripp has an excellent post on the “Nowism” of the Gospel.  I don’t know about you, but I know that it is a daily struggle for me to take the implications of the gospel and apply them to the here and now.  Tripp does an excellent job of giving four implications of the gospel that mean something to us right now.

  1. Grace will decimate what you think of you, while it gives you a security of identity you’ve never had.
  2. Grace will expose your deepest sins of heart, while it covers every failure with the blood of Jesus.
  3. Grace will make you face how weak you are, while it blesses you with power beyond your ability to calculate.
  4. Grace will take control out of your hands, while it blesses you with the care of One who plan is unshakable and perfect in every way.

September 08 2010 | Blog | Comments Off on The “Nowism” of the Gospel

How Does the Gospel Conquer the Sin of Pornography

Some excellent thoughts here from DA Carson and Tim Keller on how to overcome the sin of pornography with the gospel.

August 13 2010 | Blog | Comments Off on How Does the Gospel Conquer the Sin of Pornography

“A Gospel Primer” Book Review


I first saw A Gospel Primer for Christians at the Shepherds’ Conference a couple of years ago.  It looked like an interesting read, so I picked up a copy but in the busyness of life and ministry forgot about it until just a few months ago.  As I was packing up my library preparing to move down to Cool I found this little book (97 pages) and decided to read it.  The result has been a powerful re-awakening of my love for the gospel and insight into it’s application to daily life.

A Gospel Primer is essentially a devotional book with a series of meditations.  What makes this such a powerful book is the way that the author unfolds the implications of the gospel for every day life.  Each meditation is well thought out, winsomely written, and directly applicable today.  The second half of the book is called “A Gospel Narrative”, which walks step by step through the process of salvation in a way that exalts Christ and leaves one hungry for more of the gospel.

This is a fantastic little book and one that I highly recommend.  I’ll close with my favorite meditation from the book on the topic of Liberation from Self-Love

Compared to greater endeavors, self-love is mundane and tiresome.  Consequently, the more thoroughly I can be done with such tedium, the freer my soul will be to soar at its God-intended heights.

One of the leading causes of my natural tendency to self-love is fear.  I fear that if I do not love myself there would be no one left to love me quite so well as I do.  An even more significant cause of self-love is a lack of persuasion that there is someone out there who is worthy to be loved more than I.  Arrogance lies underneath both of these causes: I love myself supremely because I am the most worthy person I know to be loved and also because I think I can do a better job at it than anyone else.  Such arrogance makes me dangerous, yet it is deeply ingrained in my sinful flesh.

Thankfully, the gospel frees me from the shackles of self-love by addressing both of these causes.  First, the gospel assures me that the love of God is infinitely superior to any love that I could ever give to myself.  “Greater love has no one than this,” says Jesus while speaking of His love.  And the deeper I go into the gospel, the more I experience the truth of His claim and thereby know how far His love for me surpasses even my own.  His astonishing love for me renders self-absorption moot and frees me up to move on to causes and interests far greater than myself.

Second, the gospel reveals to me the breathtaking glory and loveliness of God, and in so doing, it lures my heart away from love of self and leaves me enthralled by Him instead.  The more I behold God’s glory in the gospel, the more lovely He appears to me.  And the more lovely He appears, the more self fades into the background like a former love interest who can no longer compete for my affections.

Preaching the gospel to myself every day reminds me of God’s astounding love for me and also of His infinite worthiness to be loved by me above all else.  These reminders deliver a one-two punch to my innate self-absorption and leave me increasingly absorbed with Christ and with God’s ultimate plan to gather together all heavenly and earthly things in Him.

August 09 2010 | Blog | Comments Off on “A Gospel Primer” Book Review

What is the Gospel?

Great video here from Southern Seminary.

What is the Gospel? from Southern Seminary on Vimeo.

July 09 2010 | Blog | Comments Off on What is the Gospel?

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