Five Points Blog
- JJ Sherwood
- Sep 30, 2013
In Tim Keller’s book, The Prodigal God, he writes about how Jesus is the only one who gives hope in the midst of ordinary human life… the only one who can truly help us face death with assurance, confidence and joy.
“Jesus, unlike the founder of any other major faith, holds out hope for ordinary human life. Our future is not an ethereal, impersonal form of consciousness. We will not float through the air, but rather will eat, embrace, sing, laugh, and dance in the kingdom of God, in degrees of power, glory, and joy that we can’t at present imagine. Jesus will make the world our perfect home again. We will no longer be living ‘east of Eden,’ always wandering and never arriving. We will come, and the father will meet us and embrace us, and we will be bought into the feast.”
~ Timothy Keller, 104
If we truly believe that Jesus is the one who through his life, death and resurrection has brought us into His Kingdom, how can we go about our daily activities and not live our lives in light of his preeminence? If we believe that in the end “we will be brought into the feast”, it will hardly be possible not to.
- Brent Nelson
- Sep 13, 2013
When the early church prayed in unified, earnest, corporate prayer, God exploded with blessing upon them, and he was mightily glorified through them. Peter and James were both arrested for their leadership in early Christianity. The church prayed for both, but God answered very differently. James was slain by the sword; Peter was miraculously and angelically released from his bonds.
While sleeping peacefully in the midst of a raging storm of persecution, Peter was awakened in his cell by an angel who instructed him to rise and follow him out to freedom. Peter thought it was a dream. Even the outer gate opened of its own accord. This was not man’s doing, nor even the angel’s, but God’s rescue of Peter. Peter made his way to Mary’s home where many were praying and both Rhoda, the servant girl, and all the intercessors were profoundly amazed. God had miraculously answered their prayer, even while they were praying. God had heard and answered far more abundantly than they could ask or think!
Herod had his guards executed for their failure to retain Peter, and God had Herod executed for his failure to glorify God. What was the result? Acts 12:24, “The Word of God increased and multiplied.” So effective was the Word of God upon the wings of corporate prayer that one of Herod’s own court was converted and joined the church (Manaen of Acts 13:1). What follows in Acts 13 can only be termed divinely historic: Paul and Barnabas are sent out as missionaries to proclaim the gospel such that it has come to even our own city and time. And it shows no signs of decline until the full number of the nations are brought in (Matthew 24:14).
Marvel at the power of corporate prayer in the local church! What wonders God achieves at the hands of frail, weak, mixed-motive saints like you and me! Would you join us in asking much of the God who magnifies his glory in answering our prayer?
Join us this Sunday at 10:45am to worship the God who answers prayer; Pastor Brent will preach part 2 of what drives us as a church: prayer.
- JJ Sherwood
- Sep 12, 2013
ND Wilson's new book, Death By Living, was recently released and is one of the best books I have read this year. Wilson writes, "living is the same thing as dying... living well is the same thing as dying for others." To truly live, you must die daily to self. Wilson's book is not only a great read, but a tremendous guide in seeing the glory of God in this world He Spoke into existence. I think you'll find Death By Living a help as you run the race God has set before you... a race that is heading towards a finish line.
You can view the book trailer below or read a great review of the book here.
- Brent Nelson
- Sep 06, 2013
King David loves God. He loves God so much that when God speaks to him, he regards it as if he has won the greatest and most wealthy reward. It’s as if to hear God speak to him, he has won some ancient, wildly luxuriant lottery. He writes of the decrees of God, “More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:10-11).
The Word of God is no mere duty for David. He does not read God’s Word because he is diligently disciplined in his life, nor because he is trying to find proof for some pet doctrine, nor marshaling texts to refute his enemies. His encounter with Holy Scripture is an encounter with God himself. God’s Word is God’s worth.
This does not mean David does not sin. He sins both by these baffling, mysterious inclinations to ungodliness in him—and us—and by these presumptuous sins of pride that ensnare his life. “Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression” (vv.12-13).
What is David’s hope for such ingrained sin? The Lord himself is David’s Redeemer. He hopes in the very God he has offended! “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer” (v.14). The Lord of glory supplies pardon and power for sinners who seek him by faith. So his redeeming Word to us is no religious duty but sweet delight.
Join us this Sunday at 10:45am for our morning worship service; Pastor Brent will pause from the series on Ruth to expound on the vision of Five Points being grounded in the Word. All new Bible Study Hour classes will begin at 9:30am and the Evening Family Gathering will resume at 5:45pm followed by a picnic dinner.
- Bryan Mathews
- Sep 01, 2013
Hope is found in the ministry of the Holy Spirit—he is our helper, he is our comforter, he is our advocate who gives us assurance that we are part of God’s family. And that hope is articulated here in one of the most blessed, encouraging and thrilling chapters (Romans 8) in all of Holy Writ. Many saints have turned to this chapter and found their hearts wonderfully stirred by the glorious truths that are found here.
Be encouraged by these verses because as adopted children of God, we are spiritually rich. The Holy Spirit has been given to us by God. He “has set [us] free … from the law of sin and death” (v.2). We walk “not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (v.4). Being led by him, we are the sons of God (v.14) enabled to cry, “Abba! Father!” In verse 26 we read, “We do not know what to pray for as we ought.” Don’t be discouraged because Paul’s teaching here in verses 26-27 explains that our Helper intercedes for us and his intercessory work is perfect every time! This is true because he does so according to the will of God.
The Spirit does this when we are in a state of weakness, not knowing what to say to God. He intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. We are weak but he is strong. We don’t know what to say, but he precisely communicates with the Father. There are many things that we do not understand, yet he intercedes for us in perfect harmony with God’s plan.
We make plenty of mistakes, but there should also be progress and joy and encouragement since the Holy Spirit is at work continuing to prepare us for the day when we will be glorified and released from the effects of the Fall forever. Maranatha!
Join us this morning at 10:45am as we come together to worship Jesus for his redemptive work in our lives by his Spirit. Bryan Mathews, one of our elders, will be preaching on Romans 8:18-27.