Righteous Anger

“Indignation grips me because of the wicked, who have forsaken Your law.” -Psalm 119:53

Sinful nature has not changed. There are creatures who rebel against their Creator, reaping the consequences of sin which will last longer than our earthly dot of existence. The psalmist is zealous for God, and as he sees the apathy, the hatred toward his God he is appalled and angry. The wicked forsake God’s way because it is their nature bound in sin. We are all born sinners, not able to do good or even seek God on our own unless He seeks us first. “It is by grace you have been saved through faith- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). God’s rich mercy saves the hell-bound sinner when that soul comes to faith in Christ alone.

The law serves its purpose as a mirror to reflect the inner man, revealing to us our need of a Greater Adam than the one in Eden. Those who openly reject and mock God stir in our hearts grief, pity and righteous anger. The Christian hates what God hates and loves what He loves. What does God hate? Our sin. What does He love? People created in His own image. Although the sinful lives of the children of Satan should cause within us righteous anger for God’s honor, remember how the Lord has been long-suffering with you. We were once far from God yet He set His love on us unworthy though we are. God mercifully opened our spiritual sight so that we might truly see for the first time and live as new creations. We do not overlook or make excuses for sin, but rather approach it as God does rather than react from the flesh. He is slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love. Let this be our example too. 

Grace upon grace,


Grow deeper: Psalm 14; Psalm 103:8-19; 2 Peter 3:9

Dragon Layers

“Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through Your law.” -Psalm 119:29

The psalmist loves what God loves and hates what God hates. Deceit is lying, either to another or oneself. Here the psalmist does not want a false view of himself and mistakenly think his spiritual condition is better than what it actually is. People deceived in this way are blinded by their own spiritual pride. The psalmist is aware of this pitfall so he prays for the Lord to help him see his inner man rightly through the lens of the law. It is a grace for God to show us our sin so that we may return to Him in confession and repentance, restored in happy fellowship. In His loving-kindness our Father does not reveal all our hideous sin nature to us at once.

In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, there is a scene in which the miserable Eustace turns into a dragon after pursuing dragon-ish (sinful) desires. Aslan restores him back into a boy by tenderly though painfully taking off many dragon layers which Eustace was not able to accomplish on his own. God prunes our hearts in a similar way, so that as His disciples we will bear fruit. Through gradual understanding of His truth, He peels off our dragon layers one by one with the goal to make us look like Christ.

“I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on Your laws.” -Psalm 119:30

The psalmist has prayed for God’s strength and grace in his pursuit of truth. Now he makes a bold declaration, a line in the sand, of where his allegiance lies. Only a changing heart can utter these words and mean it. This is the pilgrim’s banner. When we see God’s ways as good and even to be desired, instead of burdensome, His good work is taking root in us. There is sure to be fruit.

Grace upon grace,


Grow deeper: John 15

Ocean of Mercy

“Remove from me scorn and contempt, for I keep Your statutes.” -Psalm 119:22

The scorn and contempt from men is one thing to endure, but to experience this rejection from God would be unendurable. It is literally a living hell. This is why our Lord, rich in mercy, made a way for us to approach Him though we are sinful and undeserving. God sent His Son Jesus to take our rightful place under His wrath, so we never have to bear eternal scorn and contempt from our Lord. As severe as the Lord’s judgment is for the unrepentant sinner, His ocean of mercy washes over the redeemed saint. The contrast could not be greater. There is no middle of the road, no lukewarm setting, no compromising with God.

Our sins carry consequences, justly provoking the Lord in anger. This is why God gave us His commands to follow, to pursue holy living, reflecting His Spirit. It is not a design of legalism, but birthed from an intimate fellowship to please our Lord with how we live day by day. Even when we stumble, “men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love. For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men” (Lamentations 3:31-33). Great is God’s mercy over His beloved, elect children.

Grace upon grace,


Grow deeper: Lamentations 3:19-58

Obedience as Worship

“Do good to Your servant, and I will live; I will obey Your Word.” -Psalm 119:17


If we have nothing to live for, our hopes dashed, then a sorrowful existence hangs about our neck like a millstone. The psalmist wants a life of zeal and purpose while God gives him breath. Where does such blessing lie? In seeing and experiencing the goodness of God. God is always good. We may not understand how this is true especially when we do not get something we want or experience more of the harsher reality sin’s curse has brought upon this world. How do we know God is still good in spite of the pain of sin? He sent His Son Jesus to pay our sin debt so that one day when we awake to see Christ face to face there will be no sin to taint our hearts. Yes, God is good all the time because His mercy is bigger than the oceans yet sufficient with one drop toward redeemed sinners. Therefore, in light of who God is and what He has done for a soul so unworthy, our response should be a desire to obey Him. Like the psalmist we pray to obey as our worship, becoming a daily living sacrifice before God’s Throne of mercy.


Grace upon grace,


“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship.” -Romans 12:1

Let’s sow

“Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.” -Psalm 97:11

One spiritual marker in my life has been remembering the wonder of God. That night I distinctly remember, as the Lord drew my eyes up to His star filled sky, instead of inwardly focusing on myself. It’s not that I didn’t understand Him to be the Creator Who spoke everything into existence. I knew He threw the stars into space, igniting the sun and moon, causing planets and galaxies to appear in splendor. Growing up I heard creation stories of God forming the elephant and the ant; the eagle and the caterpillar. I understood He made me according to Psalm 139. But somehow I wasn’t focusing on His Glory as much, still treating Him casually.

The commentator in my psalter devotional speaks of such thinking, calling believers to consider God in all His Majestic Glory. Confess wrong thinking of the Lord in which He seems small. By meditating on God’s Greatness, His truth, radiance and glory take root in us as we seek Him each day. I’m convinced that the downfall of Christianity has happened because believers stopped communicating to the world the wonder of our Lord. As we behold God, this serves as spiritual arrows which lead to questions about Jesus, the Gospel, commands in Scripture and finally, where we’ll spend eternity. We begin remembering Who God is in His rightful place by first telling the truth to ourselves. Some exchange the truth for a lie (even in the Church) which is why it is imperative to remain vigilant in pursuing truth, clinging to the Author of Truth. We begin with sowing- so let us sow, becoming our truest selves in Christ.

Let us be consistent in our reaction against evil. Whether this be condemning six months of burning cities, looting small businesses, wreaking terror against police or rioting at our nation’s capital. There is a stark contrast in peaceful protest versus chaotic rampaging. The latter does not promote any kind of justice, but is the exact opposite. The Bible says, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’ says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19). We do not repay evil with evil, but sow a deep seated trust in the Lord’s Sovereignty and wisdom to lead us.

Let us speak plainly. Words matter in how we say them. The language indoctrination caused by “political correctness” has seeped into every aspect of our culture. Two people may use the same word but have very different meanings. In his book ‘Live Not By Lies’ Rod Dreher says, “we are repeating the Marxist habit of falsifying language, hollowing out familiar words and replacing them with a new, highly ideological meaning. Propaganda not only changes the way we think about politics and contemporary life but it also conditions what a culture judges worth remembering”. Avoid rhetoric and kernels of truth kneaded into a lie. Also develop discernment to spot it when you hear it. Language is powerful. We must speak kindly but plainly.

Let us remember our history. One way to sow truth is to have a correct understanding of where we’ve come from. This applies not only to one’s nation but our Biblical history as well. We cannot understand the present if we are not informed about the past. Christians need not repeat the wicked actions of previous generations if we know what signs to look for and how to respond accordingly. How we react to the present will dictate who we are as a people in the future.

Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:25). In light of our cultural climate and political theater, believers need one another now more than ever. Some benefits of gathering together include strengthening the weary and downcast Christian, knowing they are not alone but in the presence of their spiritual family. We also lift one another up with Biblical encouragement, smiles, hugs, handshakes and accountability as we meet face to face. As we sing songs of worship, receive communion, hear words of exhortation in preaching, knit our hearts in prayer, we are being edified, our spirits refreshed. This is the ministry of meeting together which Hebrews 10:25 commands. It is for our own good.

Let us live in truth with our words and deeds. For generations America in particular have sown what God hates- the abortion of millions of people created in His image, same-sex mirages, sexual promiscuity which has led to pornography, pre-martial sex, adultery, lust and divorce to name a few. The material wealth of this country has turned Americans into a consumerist entertainment driven society, dulling our spirits as we live only for the temporal. We are now seeing the fruit of sin heaped in judgment today. It seems each day we wait to see which powder keg will explode, leaving many in a state of fear, anxiety and despair. This is not to be the mark of a Christian. This is not our legacy. Instead, let us cling to the Lord who is all Truth, Power, Wisdom, Judgment and Love. Know what God’s Word says, viewing each event from a spiritual perspective and act accordingly. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Ephesians 6:12-13).

Let us sow righteousness each day into our ordinary lives. This is how we bring about a quiet resistance to the evil of our day. Meet with others believers where you can speak freely, teach your children Biblical principles, protect the family unit, have a correct understanding of the past. Victory has been secured in Jesus Christ. He has already overcome sin and death for us. His is an everlasting kingdom which will never be destroyed, intimidated or censored (Daniel 7:9-27). Although the present time will require courage, boldness and sacrifice to live out what we profess, Christians must act like the victors we are. The next generation depends on how well we sow.

Grace upon grace,


Grow deeper: Revelation 19:11-16; Galatians 6:7-10; Psalm 63:8; Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 43:1-3; Psalm 2; Psalm 33

Falling and Rising

Sometimes life is heavy and confusing, hanging us upside down by our toe nails. That’s alright because God still has His firm grip on His sons and daughters. What if we need to be sifted? What if God graciously uses a situation to show us blindspots of sin? What if our faith needs refining to burn away the dross? Rest assured, the fire will not consume you. It just makes our zeal for Him stronger, stoking the fire in our hearts, for those who belong to our Lord. 

The doubts, hardships and sin battles are not something unique only to us today. Christians since the Fall have engaged in spiritual warfare typically compounded with situations which test our faith. Sometimes circumstances happen outside our control, sometimes we bring the consequences of sin on ourselves. But you are not any less in His eyes during moments of weakness or trials. Think of our great heroes of faith from Scripture. Noah drank too much after God rescued him and his family from the flood; Abraham on a few occasions let his fear overcome him and he lied about Sarah being his wife; Moses got angry with the Israelites and disobeyed God’s command to speak to the rock and bring forth water. He angrily struck the rock instead and took credit for himself. Then there’s “the man after God’s own heart” King David, who sinned in adultery and murder of Uriah. Even Saul, later renamed Paul, was a persecutor of Christians before Jesus changed his life. Paul would later write, “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Romans 5:20). These men understood God’s discipline and His grace.

So when we fail God is faithful to humble us, show us our sin leading to repentance. Then we get up again. And again. And again. Grace isn’t a license for us to sin, but a declaration that we are no longer condemned (Romans 8:1). This is the wonder of God’s grace to His children. The MacArthur Study Bible states this redeeming work in our struggle with sin combined with pursuing righteousness:

“Believers receive the imputed righteousness of Christ at salvation (justification) . The Holy Spirit works practical righteousness in the believer throughout his lifetime of struggle with sin (sanctification). But only when the struggle is complete will the Christian receive Christ’s righteousness perfected in him when he enters heaven (glorification).

Dear Christian, this is our promise, this is our confident hope. Rest in the finished work of Jesus today.

Grace upon grace,


A Broken World

“The heresy of heresies was common sense.” -George Orwell (1984)

I’ve floundered for words lately. The language to my thoughts seems elusive like grasping the wind. But here’s a shot anyway.

Going into the grocery store and retail stores I keep thinking how we seem like human robots. Faceless masked strangers walk by, staring straight ahead. The increased violence in the streets of cities has all of us on edge. There’s tension in the air wherever you go. The verse that says, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12) comes to mind a lot these days. There is a deeper issue which has wormed into the fabric in how we function as a society. What amazes me is how fast we spiraled down. Maybe I was like the proverbial frog in a pot, slowly held over boiling water, not realizing how far we had already fallen as a godless nation. Just like that, the Lord says ENOUGH. This is His judgement.


Even though most of us have never experienced anything like this rapidly changing dystopian world, it’s a cycle repeated throughout history. Kingdoms rise and fall. Jeremiah prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem because of their rebellion. The word of the Lord came to him as God declared He would no longer tolerate their abominations, defiling His Name (Jeremiah 32:30-34).

I’ve been angry watching the news the last few months, from excessive Coronavirus regulations, untimely deaths, riots, fear, and overall wickedness ruling the day. Our liberties and sound minds have been slowly stripped away. It’s too much. I’m emotionally wrung out like the tired dishtowel by my kitchen sink. What can we do about it? If you’re like me, I’ve been feeling pretty helpless. There is a quote I’ve heard which goes like this: “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

Christian, we need wisdom. The world does not love the things of God. May we hold onto discernment and look for truth in Scripture before turning on the news. Be informed but not easily swayed. Looting a Target store, burning down someone’s business, killing bystanders, shooting a retired police officer is not “protesting”. It’s sin without restraint and it is NOT the answer. This must stop. The lawlessness of the protestors resembles the lawless act of Derek Chauvin and the 3 officers that stood by, rather than mourning the death of George Floyd.

More than arguing over the color of our skin, we are showing the color of our hearts. Sin blinds us. Hatred only begets more hatred and what is the endgame here?

We can be the light shining in ever increasing darkness by speaking the truth to our brothers and sisters in Christ plainly. God created diversity in our appearances which is marvelous. Yet the only race that matters is the human race. Before we are black, brown or white we are all human, bearing the image of our Creator. Furthermore, there is no distinction for those in Christ. One group is not better or less than another. We are One in the Body of His Church and should act like it (Colossians 3:5-14). Christ is everything and He dwells in every. single. believer.

We should also pray. It seems like the Sunday school answer but prayer is powerful. In Revelation it is recorded how the prayers of the saints are incense before the Heavenly throne room, kept in golden bowls (Revelation 5:8). God hears the prayers of His people.


Lastly, we practice trusting the Lord to be faithful to His children living in modern Babylon. He is our only Hope. What we know to be true about God is still true in the bad times as well as the good.

“For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:5)

Fear and hatred are contagious. Yet believers have the antidote. This broken world will always need to hear the Gospel. Jesus is what every sinner needs. Have courage despite what the world thinks of you. You are never more secure in Christ. Be His reflection and persevere. If you aren’t accepted by the world because of standing for Biblical justice and righteousness then you’re doing it right (Matthew 5:11-16).

“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets. But I tell you who hear Me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:26-27)

“He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of His saints.” (Proverbs 2:7-8)

Grace upon grace,



A Bloody Covenant

Exodus 29:1-30:10; Matthew 26:14-46; Hebrews 10:1-25

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” -Matthew 26:26-28

Biblical atonement is bloody. Sacrifices made to consecrate priests, yearly and daily sin offerings, left a constant reminder of death. As I was reading about the sacrificial practices in the Old Testament I kept thinking how barbaric it is. In our sanitized modern living this world seems so removed from our own. Yet this is what God instituted before Christ, foreshadowing the cross to end all sacrifices once and for all. The blood of bulls and rams did not take away the peoples’ sins but implied confession of sin, recognizing the necessity of shed blood as atonement. God accepted this offering in anticipation of the finished work of Jesus.

Our sin is barbaric. Animal sacrifices are a picture of what sin does. It kills, as the consequence for sin is death. An in-your-face daily, blood-filled, cut up animal in place of your sin is sobering. I don’t like to dwell on the horrors of sin, mine or in general. The sin of humanity causes destruction wherever it goes, diminishing us to our worst selves as base creatures. This is one of the reasons God graciously reminded Israel of their sin and need for cleansing. We are all sinful. Once we are aware of our sinfulness, only then can a person come before the Lord in need. You realize someone or something is required to take away your sin because we can’t. You need a Savior.

Praise God for sending Jesus as our Atonement. The blood of Jesus covers every believer, serving as the propitiation for our sins. Our guilt is not counted against us as we are no longer condemned (Romans 8:1). At the same time I wonder if we who live post-resurrection frequently mediate on the ugliness of sin. We see its effects all around us but how often do we stop and remember what we once were? If you are in Jesus your sins are forgiven, but by remembering how far the Lord has brought you, no, transformed you, should fill every one of us with awe-inspired worship.

We have a Savior who redeemed us by becoming a Perfect Sacrifice. Jesus is the New Covenant. There is no longer the need to go through a priest, offering animals to be slaughtered on our behalf. Jesus has completed this function. He is the Great High Priest and Sacrifice. So we look back to the commands of bloody offerings, reminding us of the sorrow sin brings. We also rejoice in what Jesus has done for mankind. He paid the hefty price of my sin so I never have to. For those who place their faith in Him, the stains of sin and death have no hold on them.


Grace upon grace,



Grow deeper: Ephesians 2:1-9; Titus 3:3-8

Jesus Heals

Read Matthew 8:1-17

This passage shows how Jesus healed different people with just a touch or a word. His unlimited power displays the Lord’s authority over every kind of physical and mental ailment- leprosy, paralysis, fever, demon-possession, and yes, even death (John 11:1-44). Jesus is willing to “make us clean” as the leper asks of Him.

He did many miracles in the sight of the people, relieving them from physical suffering and sorrow. Yet our longing goes much deeper than relief from temporal afflictions. We are in need of divine spiritual resurrection (Ephesians 2:1-5). Jesus has done this for every believer.

Even though you and I must endure trials of various kinds on earth, we are not like those without hope. Jesus was willing to heal us from our sin sickness. This is the miracle that matters the most. All who were physically healed by Christ during His earthly ministry died eventually. This is the curse of sin- Death. But those in Christ are made clean and whole. We get to live.

The effects of sin’s curse all around us in the world- political havoc, mental illness, hunger, injustice, divorce, abuse, incurable diseases. The world is broken and not as it should be.

But this isn’t the end of the story, not by a mile. If we hold onto an eternal perspective then we remember ourselves as pilgrims in a transient world (Hebrews 11:13-16). Final restoration when all things are made new is coming. One day, on the very last day, the Lord’s healing will be complete. And we who are called His sons and daughters will be Home forever.


Grace upon grace,



“He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases,” -Isaiah 53:4