Author Archives: josephhelt

Believe the Word

And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
(Gen 15:4-6)

Have you ever wondered how faith comes into the hearts of men? It is by hearing (see Romans 10:17.)

This has always been the case and here in Genesis we see it clearly stated. Abraham believed the word of the Lord and this was what gave him righteousness.

It is still true today. In order for men to believe the Word must be preached.

Do not hold back the truth of Scripture for it is life, righteousness, and joy for all those who believe.

Take time to thank the Lord for the faith he brought forth by his Word in your own heart and then shout it from the mountaintop.

sola scriptura

(Our church is currently in a series on the 5 Solas. Right now we are studying Scripture Alone.)

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Purified words, not flattering lips

To the choirmaster: according to The Sheminith.
A Psalm of David.

Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gone;
for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.

Everyone utters lies to his neighbor;
with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

May the cut off all flattering lips,
the tongue that makes great boasts,

those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail,
our lips are with us; who is master over us?”

“Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord
“I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”

The words of the Lord are pure words,
like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.

You, O Lord, will keep them;
you will guard us from this generation forever.

On every side the wicked prowl,
as vileness is exalted among the children of man.

 

Everyone lies. We’re all guilty and so are all those who are around us.

Except one. One doens’t lie. One doesn’t speak falsely. One promises and then always acts.

This one is the Lord, the God of all creation.

He is faithful and true and his words are pure.

Let us trust him and delight in his trustworthiness.

-joe

(Our church is currently in a series on the 5 Solas. Right now we are studying Scripture Alone.)

sola scriptura

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For our good

sola scriptura

Scripture is good.

All Scripture, even the hard parts.

It is good for our souls like a cool drink on a hot day.

It is nourishing our bodies like a hearty meal after a day’s work.

It is good for our minds like an exercise program that strengthens the body.

Each time we open the Word we are treated with nothing but goodness.

Let us thank God for the grace of His Word.

“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good.” Deuteronomy 10:12-13, ESV

-joe

(Our church is currently in a series on the 5 Solas. Right now we are studying Scripture Alone.)

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Every Word of God

sola scripturaIt proves true.

“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”

That’s Proverbs 30:5 and how delightful it is to think about.

Not only is the Word of God true but it proves itself true. It ends true and shows its trueness. And then, the second half of the proverb gives us the result: God proves himself a shield. Take refuge in His Words and it is a shield of protection for us. We need not fear tyranny, terror, or anything fearful if we have run to the refuge of weary souls and found it in His Word.

He is a refuge.

He is true.

Be delighted.

-joe

(Our church is currently in a series on the 5 Solas. Right now we are studying Scripture Alone.)

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Daily thoughts: Titus 1:1

“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and the their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness” (ESV)

The Apostle states both the nature of this specific writing to Titus and the Spirit-breathed nature of all Scripture: it is for the faith of every believer. So, it is with great encouragement that we take up the Bible and read it each day, knowing that it was written for the sake of our faith. Take heart, Christian, as we read and study this word to Titus that our faith was in view, not just his.

Prayer: Father, thank you for your gracious gift of the Word to me. Thank you for caring about the faith of me, thousands of years after the fact. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for guiding the apostle to write these words for my benefit, for my faith. Open my eyes to this glorious truth as I seek to find You in the Word.

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When we are anxious

Peter’s letter contains one of the most quoted and loved verses on anxiety “Cast all your anxieties (burdens) on him, for he cares for you.”

This is wonderful good news to the person who is anxious and worrying but the Word of God does not start with that thought. Instead we find strongly worded command to “humble yourselves, therefore, before the mighty hand of God.” This is key to helping combat worry and anxiety. It is the lesson learned by Job and it is here summed up: humble yourself before the mighty God.

This is the rock solid assurance for our souls, that there is a mighty Creator, a Lord of heaven and earth, bigger and stronger than all of the creation. He is exalted and glorious wonder, seated on a throne, surrounded by thousands of angels and creatures declaring and singing his praises.

When we begin here, at the throne of God, we will be humbled before him. When we recall the deeds and character of God we will bow in humiliation. And it is here that our sorrows, anxieties, and burdens are cast at his feet. The same mighty God who spoke the universe into being is the one who cares for us. Cares so much that he “has called us to eternal glory in Christ” and chosen us of all the created things to be his beloved.

This will begin to spread the light of the Gospel hope into your burdens and anxieties. This will be a lasting cure for the sinful tendency to worry and fret. The God of the universe, enthroned in light, has redeemed you. Rest in him and be well.

 

-joe

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Altering the Paradigm

“Jesus Christ super-fulfills the Old Testament.” – David Powlison

That one sentence contains the entirety of the Old Testament found in the New.

Jesus “super-fulfills” the promises, hopes, and commands of God.

His answer to these things goes beyond our understanding. His reality is greater, stronger, mightier, happier, more extensive, and more intensive than anything we could ever hope or imagine.

The first promise, in the midst of a curse, is that a man would crush the serpent that strikes him. Serpents kill when they bite. A crushed snake-skull comes from the foot of a  man.

Yet, who would have thought that it would be this cosmic? The enemy struck Christ with death, expecting victory. But Christ rose triumphant and has delivered the death-blow.

That is altering the paradigm. That is super-fulfilling. That is the Gospel of glory.

Behold the extravagant promise-keeping God of the universe in the man, Jesus Christ.

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the beauty and the horror

I have witnessed the confession of many people. People who have either been caught in untold sin or who finally can bear the weight no longer. Some confess because they are coerced. Some confess because grace compels them. 

Each time I see a person driven to the darkest reaches of the darkness they have been hiding, each time a sinner is brought to their knees, and each time the horror of true confession happens I see the unsearchable riches of the Gospel of Christ and my soul turns somber. 

I, too, have been brought thorough the sloth and slime of my sin and screamed my confession with tears. And, God, in his severe and crushing grace, forgave me as He will forgive all who repent.

Be appalled at sin, the brutal horror of the insides of men, but be awed even more by the unbounded love of the creator of men.

-joe

 

 

 

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by | October 23, 2012 · 5:32 pm