Pastor Chad's Itinarary

Monday, January 25, 2016

"Being Still and Knowing God"

“Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10

PHBC meeting house

             The past few days have been filled with Arctic air, snow showers, and sheets of ice here in northern Tennessee. I measured Friday morning at 9AM, and we had received 10 inches-- two hours later, there was over a foot of snow on the ground. As far as I can remember, this is the most snow I have seen fall at once in my lifetime. And, as usual, when all the white stuff falls, there is anxiety that comes along with it. Do we have enough milk? Bread? You know, for milk sandwiches (that’s a joke). Will we be able to make it to work? Will the kids have school? Will we be able to gather to worship on the Lord’s Day? All of these are legitimate questions, but should we not ask, "What is the Lord teaching us during the time we are unable to get out of our houses and go about our normal routines?"

            May I suggest a couple of things that perhaps the Lord would like for us to glean during times like this past weekend.

1. First, perhaps the Lord is teaching us to Be still. If you know me, I am not very content with being still. I have to be doing something all the time. I am a mover and a shaker. I am unable to sleep at night because I am afraid I might miss something (that’s another joke... kind of). There are times that I may look like I am “being still,” but I am actually thinking or meditating on what needs to be done next. This is not healthy. Therefore, I believe the Lord gives us times such as this past weekend to slow us down and “be still.” This can be a good thing. Notice, being still does not mean being lazy, but be still and…

2. Secondly, “know that I am God…” God wants His children to know Him. This is one of the most amazing attributes of God. God makes Himself knowable to His creation. He is immanent (meaning that He is knowable). He has made Himself knowable through His creation (Psalm 19:1), which is general revelation, but namely, He has made Himself knowable through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 17:3), and by the Holy Spirit, which is special revelation. To know the sovereign God of the universe in a personal and special way is humbling, and, at the same time, it is beyond my comprehension; however, it brings me great joy-- not only in the here and now, but also as I look forward to being with Him one day soon in heaven.

So, I reflected and wanted to share with you some of the blessings I received from “being still and [knowing] that [He is] God” over the weekend:

1.     Our family spent time together. If your family is like mine, there is a lot going on. Our calendars are packed with little time to waste. I barely made it in late Thursday night from the Pastors Conference before the ice and snow began to fall. Our family spent a lot of time together playing games, talking, playing in the snow, and eating. We just spent TIME together. The older I get, the more I realize how important TIME is. It is actually how we show our love to those whom we love.
The Becks

2.      Our family ate meals together. This is something I do not take lightly. All of our meals are eaten at our kitchen table as a family when possible, regardless if it snows or not. As the boys have gotten older, Chance's job, baseball practices, and my appointments run me late into the evenings, so meals at the table together are not always possible. So, over these few days, we spent time eating together. There is such a joy and blessing that many families miss out on due to the simplicity of just gathering at the table to eat and talk. I enjoy hearing how everyone’s days was and what happened. This is a tremendous blessing I believe too families miss out on.
3.     Our family played together. As I am sure many of you did, we were able to get out and play in the snow. The boys rode the sled. Dylan and I built somewhat of a snowman. Samantha even made a snow angel. We had to clean off our vehicles, shovel the sidewalk, and try to clear off our driveway, in which I ended up getting a vehicle stuck. Overall, we had a good time just being a family and playing in the snow.
Dylan's snowman
Samantha's snow angel

4.     Our family worshipped together. It was good to spend some time together in God’s Word and pray together as a family, particularly yesterday as we worshipped with James McDonald and Harvest Chapel Church in Elgin, IL via television. It was a blessing to listen to his message and then spend time together talking through his message on biblical wisdom. Our family concluded our time in worship with reciting scriptures that we have memorized. It was even mentioned we needed to get back into the practice of memorizing Scripture together as a family.

In conclusion, I write this today to remind all of us that this weekend was exactly the way God intended for it to be. He was not surprised by the snow or ice. He knew we would be unable to meet yesterday, but in all of this, He desired for us to "Be still and [to know Him]." I pray that you and your family took time to meditate upon Christ, Scripture, and spend some time in prayer together. If you are like me, you often miss the forest because of the trees. God often works in the mundane, every day events of life. It is in the craziness of having three rowdy boys with cabin fever who are picking and arguing that we find God right in the middle of it all. Therefore, I praise Him for this weekend and causing me to “Be still and know He is God.”

So, what have you and your family been doing these past few days? If you feel like sharing, please do so.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

"An Open Response on the Doctrine of Election"

    As a pastor, I have been called by God to preach and teach the "full counsel of God's Word" (Acts 20:27). "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ" (Romans 1:16), nor the doctrines which accompanies it. Therefore, I want to be faithful to teach God's people His Word and to expose them to the doctrine of Scriptures. I am not na├»ve enough to think everyone will agree with me in every facet of the gospel or to believe as I do on elements such as, "election," "limited atonement" or the "teaching of the last things." 

     However, as I said last night, we must agree on the fundamentals of the faith when it comes to Christian orthodoxy, such as the virgin birth, deity of Christ, substitutionary atonement, the physical death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. By God's grace, I try to make the gospel of Jesus Christ the centrality of all my teaching and preaching at PHBC. For without the free grace of God in Jesus Christ, no one can or will experience the forgiveness of and the removal of the bondage of sins and come into a personal relationship with God.

     Likewise, my interpretation of the doctrine of election does several things; 

First, it allows God to be God. He is sovereign! He has the right to do whatever He chooses (Psalm 115:3 & Romans 9: 14-18), and I believe He will do the right thing. By the way, He is God. 

Secondly, it causes me to worship Him. When I think about what He has done in choosing me before foundation of the world (Eph.1:4 & Jer.1:5), and then seeking me out with the gospel of Jesus Christ (Luke 19:10), convicting me of my sins (John 16:8), granting me a desire for forgiveness of my sins against Him (John 3:8), and saving me-- it causes me to love and worship Him. 

Thirdly, the doctrine of election brings about humility (4:6). As the Apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:8-9, "By grace you have been saved, through faith. And this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." I have no room whatsoever to boast about the salvation with which God has graced me. 

Fourthly, the doctrine of election gives me assurance that I am eternally secured in Christ (Eph.1:13). If God eternally choose me before the foundation of the world in Christ (Eph.1:4; Rev.13:7;17:7), then after being graced with salvation, I cannot lose that salvation because He is the One who brought it about. Therefore the doctrine of eternal election secures my eternal security.

 Fifthly, the doctrine of election motivates me to burn passionately for the souls of lost men, women, boys, and girls. Because I know that God has His elect who will believe, although I do not know who they are, and it gives me confidence that when I share the gospel with others, there will be those who will repent and believe upon Christ. 

I will close with a quote, from arguably the greatest of Baptist preachers known as the Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon, to his pastors on preaching/teaching the doctrine of election:
"Some of you have never preached on election since you were ordained. “These things,” you say, “are offensive.” And so you would rather offend God than offend man. But you reply, “These things will not be practical.” I do think that the climax of all man’s blasphemy is centered in that utterance. Tell me that God put a thing in the Bible that I am not to preach! You are finding fault with my God. But you say, “It will be dangerous.” What! God’s truth dangerous? I should not like to stand in your shoes when you have to face your Maker on the day of judgment after such an utterance as that."

Here is a link to an excellent message on the doctrine of election which helped me immensely on this glorious doctrine: