“That God can stop a germ or a car or a bullet or a demon is not good news; it is not the news of the Bible. God can! And ten thousand times he does. But when he doesn’t he has his reasons.”–John Piper, A Sweet and Bitter Providence, p. 82
According to Jesus, it is what we do in secret that matters most. Jesus is not suggesting that the outward is unimportant—far from it. “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” (James 2:14).
The answer is emphatically no. Still, it is also possible to have outward works but no inner reality. In this instance, religion is a pretense. Six times in the Sermon on the Mount, alluding to three distinct exercises, Jesus employs the term secret:
- Give “in secret…and your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matt. 6:4).
- Pray “in secret…and your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (v. 6).
- Fast “in secret…and your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (v. 18).
Continue reading In Secret,
Gene Veith shares an interesting piece from a pastor who was not one of those who received a subpeona for his sermons in Houston. However, this pastor is standing with the Houston Five and encourages others to do so. It boils down to a case of freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
Do you ever feel like a failure as a parent? I think that is a pretty universal feeling.
Carolyn Mahaney shares a time when she did:
When you add the feeling (or reality) of a mothering failure to the exhaustion, the endless work, and the temptation to compare yourself to other moms, you have a perfect motherhood storm.
This happened to me countless times when I was raising my children. I would fail in my mothering—either by something I did, or something I didn’t do—and I was sure it was a sign I would ultimately fail. That was it. My kids would never “turn out.” I had ruined them forever.
I remember one time I got angry at one of my daughters. Although I had repented before God and asked my daughter’s forgiveness, I still felt terrible. I berated myself for treating my child in such a manner. I was convinced the damage was irreparable.
But she goes on to talk about how her husband encouraged her in the gospel. It’s a good reminder that you can find in When You Feel Like a Failure.
A good exhortation from Mark in Faith To Keep Praying For Your Unsaved Children. It ends:
Don’t stop praying for your children. Don’t give up. God hears our prayers for our children and grandchildren. He desires their salvation more than we do. If Jesus saved you, you have good reason to believe he intends to save your children as well. Pray that he will save them for his glory. Don’t rest satisfied until you see your children saved. And when he does save them, KEEP praying for them!
Read it all here (even if all your children are saved).
There’s enough here in these three articles by John MacArthur to help you learn how to respond to the growing number of people who believe that the miraculous gifts are still operating today. Get a cup of coffee, open your Bible, and give some thought to this biblical response! Share it with others.
James Spiegel speaking in reference to the cross: “God redeemed this worst evil to bring about a great good, in fact the greatest good the world has ever seen: the redemption of the human race. Thus, God is capable of redeeming even the worst moral evil. Moreover, the divine reasons for the murder of Christ were not clear to anyone until God made them clear to us…. And if we were blind to the higher (and now obvious) good that Christ’s tortures served, then how much more might we be blind to the higher good served by the sundry other moral evils that vex us?”–James Spiegel, The Benefits of Providence: A New Look at Divine Sovereignty, p. 210..