Showing posts from March, 2012

How Deep the Father's Love for Us

One of the contemporary hymns that I learned to like singing is Stuart Townend's 'How Deep the Father's Love for Us.' During our Church Family Retreat every Holy Week, we sing this beautifully written song. I especially like the last few lines which says,

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom.

The song clearly views the atoning sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ as a way for us to be redeemed from our bondage to sin. Christ's death is the ransom price for those He came to save. He is the Father's expression of love for us His elect. Through His sacrificial death we have been set free from the power and penalty of sin. By faith in Him, Christ, by His Spirit, has delivered us from our enslavement to sin. Thanks be to God!

Here's the full lyrics of this contemporary classic:

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son


by Gregory the Great (c.540-604)

Back in seminary, I was required to read this classic book on Pastoral Theology in my History class with Dr. Peter Wallace. I remember reading this and many other ancient texts with great delight. The modern publisher of this book summarizes its comment about this volume by saying, “Recognized as the most thorough pastoral treatise of the patristic era, this sixth-century work by Saint Gregory the Great carefully details the duties and obligations of the clergy concerning the spiritual formation of their flock.”

Here’s my summary of Part I and Part II of this book. I hope this helps to remind us pastors and elders, and those aspiring to the work of shepherding God’s flock, that the work of ministry is a privilege God has given to those whom He called to the pastoral office to use His gift of leadership to serve His people and to glorify Him.

Part I. Concerning Qualifications for Spiritual Leader and Shepherd
1. Knowledge of the Lord and sufficient pas…

Does God Answer the Prayers of Unbelievers?

This question was asked in one of the Facebook fora that I’m a part of. Since I’m very interested in anything about prayer, I’ve shared some of my thoughts on this question. Here are a few of those thoughts.

First, the simple answer may be found in the Gospel of John: "We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him" (John 9:31).

Second, when one surveys the Biblical passages on prayer, the overwhelming evidence tells us that God answers the prayers of His people if it is according to His will. However there are instances in the Old Testament that even foreigners, non-Israelites, are heard by the Lord when they come to Him in faith, as 2 Chronicles 6:32-33 says, "“Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for the sake of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm, when he comes and prays toward this house, hear from heaven your dwellin…