I Don’t Pray Enough, Do You?

May 7, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Today is the National Day of Prayer for our country. This day of prayer has been annually observed since 1952. On a day like today, Christians may reflect on why don’t we pray more often. In fact, I think many Christians would quickly state, “I don’t pray enough,” when asked about their prayer lives. We know well the biblical exhortations: “pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17), “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil 4:6), and “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Eph. 6:18). Why do we not pray as we ought?... Keep Reading

Last week I began writing this three part series reflecting on the nature of God’s grace in perseverance and the church community’s responsibility for her members’ perseverance. Our Confession of Faith states that “perseverance of the saints depends not upon their free will, but upon” God himself (WCF 17.2). Yet, God’s sovereign grace in our perseverance does not abdicate our responsibility to persevere and help one another persevere. The following paragraph in the WCF states that “through…the neglect of the means of their preservation, [the saints] may fall into grievous sins.”... Keep Reading

The Westminster Confession of Faith 17.2 states, “Perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace: from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.”... Keep Reading

Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted

April 9, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Matthew 5:10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” In the 20th century more Christians died for their faith than in all of the previous centuries combined. That’s an astonishing reality. And the trends seem to indicate that the 21st century will surpass the 20th. Of the 200 nations in the world, Christians face persecution in 133 of them. According to the evangelical group Open Doors some 150,000 Christians are killed each year for their faith.... Keep Reading

Finding Hope in Christ's Ransom

April 2, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

One of the most beautiful messages of hope from the Gospel of Mark is found in 10:45 where Jesus says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus came to give his life as a ransom, for everyone who places his/her faith in Christ. How does Christ’s life as a ransom bring hope for our lives today?... Keep Reading

God Opens a New Door for Oak Hills

March 26, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

The day has come. This Sunday, March 29, Oak Hills will gather for worship in a building she has purchased! For 16 years Oak Hills’ has been a “tabernacling” church in the Kansas City metro seeking to glorify God by proclaiming the good news of God’s astonishing grace. We continue that mission now in our own facility.... Keep Reading

Blessed Are The Peacemakers

March 19, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Peacemaking is a high calling for the Christian. The promise of this Beatitude identifies peacemakers as being like God. Being called sons of God draws attention to character qualities that we share with the Father (i.e. “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…”). Peacemaking is a work of God (see the example of Christ making peace in Ephesians 2:14-17). Therefore, those who are peacemakers are like God.... Keep Reading

Blessed Are The Pure in Heart

March 12, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Matthew 5:8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” This is my favorite Beatitude (if I’m allowed to have a favorite). It utterly humbles, it leads to our greatest hope, and it energizes the good fight.... Keep Reading

Blessed Are The Merciful

March 5, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Matthew 5:7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Of the Beatitudes, this one about mercy may produce the most confusion. At face value, it sounds as if mercy is only received from God when we give mercy to others. The mercy of God becomes part of a legalistic exchange. The very nature of mercy, however, contradicts this understanding. We never earn God’s mercy.... Keep Reading

Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Once again, Jesus commends a kingdom value that is not in vogue with popular culture. Hungering and thirsting for righteousness sounds prudish and stuffy, like many perceptions of the Puritans. Even among professing Christians, the pursuit of righteousness is not popular. “Many today are prepared to seek other things: spiritual maturity, real happiness, the Spirit’s power, effective witnessing skills.... Keep Reading

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