Pastor Kelley Hand
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March 28th 2013
This is an interesting article about the mystery of Christ's suffering as a part of the Trinity.
Novemember 8th 2012
I read Psalm 145 today and I'm always amazed at how encouraging the Psalms can be. Psalm 145 is very encouraging- read it! The Lords glory and goodness are on display. His care and steadfast love, His everlasting continual watching out for and guiding His people. Grace to his people and also common grace.
9 The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. (Psa 145:9 ESV)
That's good news for everyone. The glory of creation and the world reflects the glory of the creator. But specifically God calls people to worship him and follow him. He reveals himself particularly and makes covenant with them.
O LORD, and all your saints shall bless you!
That is good news too! More than this he upholds those who are falling and raises up those who are bowed down.
17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. (Psa 145:17 ESV)
18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
Such kindness is almost unimagineable but this is what it is like to know the God of the Bible.
But with all this blessing comes a curse!
20 The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. (Psa 145:20 ESV)
This is God's holiness and is as much a part of his character as is his perfect love. It is a reminder to those saved by grace that God is still a judge. That we are to love God with everything we are- but also that justice, real justice, will come from God. That the sufferings here on earth are neither pointless or trivial or unanswerable. For we all will answer to God. God will set all things aright in the end- in His time and in His way.
21 My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever. (Psa 145:21 ESV)
Psalm 145 ends with blessing God for who He is- Almight, Soverign, Just and Loving!
March 20th 2012
Here's a link and some thoughts on athiesm start back up.
October 14th, 2011
I've been reading Bonhoefer on the role of the pastor in caring for Christ's church and it is such a reminder of all Christians' call to follow Christ and to offer Christ. Pastor Bonhoefer writes of always needing to listen to God's people and especially when invited to comment, point them to Christ. Christ stands between us and the person that is bringing their cares into our offices. In that act they are inviting us into their lives and it is only through Christ that we can love them and address the smallest (and biggest) of their needs. This is great stuff coming from a conservative Lutheran pastor who has a view of the pastorate (authority) that most Western evangelical Christians would be offended by. Yet his answer is the right answer- it is the power of Christ that heals, it is the love of Christ that binds up the wounds of the broken hearted and it is the truth of Christ that we have to offer, by grace and in a gracious manner, to those who need correcting, admonishing, rebuking and encouragement. Give Jesus to the people who need help and counsel, for his wisdom is the truest and most loving and lasting wisdom we can give!
October 10th, 2011
This coming week we will be hearing from Matthew 7:7-14 where Jesus teaches about our relationship with the Father and with the people around us.
September 27th, 2011
This coming week we'll be looking at Mattew 7:1-6 where Jesus teaches about judging.
This article in ByFaith magazine talks about grace and judgment. Thank God for His grace in Christ Jesus in the face of judgment!
September 20th, 2011
I've been listening to a lot of the indelible grace music since I've started playing guitar in the service now. This is a great resource and they've done an outstanding job with lots of classic and older hymns.
This is one I plan on singing soon!
Here's the hymnbook and samples too http://www.igracemusic.com/hymnbook/hymns.html
September 2nd, 2011
Came across this great quote from G.K. Chesterton: "Tradition is the democracy of the dead"
June 17th, 2011
Been reading T.S. Eliot lately-
Simeon was the old man waiting in the Temple courts to see the Messiah. When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the Temple as an infant Simeon knew his time had come.
March 24th, 2011
I've been very excited to be reading and praying through the Sermon on the Mount. This is Jesus' defining sermon for the first part of His ministry. The sermon tells us what it means to live in the Kingdom of God. The Beatitudes start by explaining what blessing is and in this teaching Jesus turns on its head our understanding what blessing really is. Through this sermon (Matthew 5,6,7) we get Jesus' thoughts, views, heart and teaching on what it means for us to live for Him!
February 22th, 2011
A must-listen-to sermon on serving God by Pastor Sinclair Ferguson. http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=12303211631
Yes- I'm a big fan of Sinclair Ferguson.
January 14th, 2011
In writing about the prayer of faith Sinclair Ferguson references Elijah:
"Elijah's praying is used as an example not because it produced miracle-like effects but because it gives us one of the clearest of all illustrations of what it means for anyone to pray with faith: it is believing God's revealed Word, taking hold of His covenant commitment to it, and asking Him to keep it."
That's an area in which we (I) need to grow and mature. Lay hold of God's covenant commitment to His Word and ask along those lines.
"The struggles we sometimes experience in prayer, then, are often part of the process by which God gradually brings us to ask for only what He has promised to give. The struggle is not our wrestling to bring Him to give us what we desire, but our wrestling with His Word until we are illuminated and subdued by it, say, 'Not my will, but Your will be don.' Then, as Calvin again says, we learn 'not to ask for more than God allows'. This is why true prayer can never be divorced from real holiness. The prayer of faith can be mad only by the 'righteous' man whose life is being more and more aligned with the covenant grace and purposes of God. In the realm of prayer, too (since it is a microcosm of the whole of the Christian life), faith (prayer to the covenant Lord) without works (obedience to the covenant Lord) is dead."
January 13th, 2011
Way too long since I wrote anything here... Been thinking through prayer and our class on prayer. Great words from R.C.H. Lenski- "It is heathen folly to measure prayer by the yard." Let us pray to God and not for the ears of our fellow man. Andrew Murray would say that the way we learn how to pray before man is by being practiced, sincere and spirit led in private prayer with God.
October 21st, 2010
Reminder of the purpose of all gifts in the church from Donald Guthrie:
"[Paul] is at pains to point out that when the Spirit gives gifts he gives them 'for the common good'...It is essential to approach the subject of the NT teaching on the gifts of the Spirit from the standpoint of the giver and not of the recipients. We have already adduced ample evidence to show that the Spirit's main task is to guide and empower the people of God, and when he bestows gifts on men he does not abdicate his sovereign control. The gifts are still his, whoever happens to be the channel through whom they are exercised. Paul insists that the only valid outcome of the exercise of these gifts is the building up of the church."
July 15th, 2010
I listened to this from Tim Keller:
If you do or don't like Tim Keller's preaching, this sermon should be a challenge. Every man and every preacher has his faults. Dr. Keller is like all others in this regard but his gift is in addressing souls with God's word and I think particularly with Jesus' life and words. This sermon sounds like the Sonship stuff that was so popular a couple of years ago but is much better. This sermon was challenging to me because it made me ask the question, "Am I the older brother?" Most people who have been Christians (and I'll say in particular, intentionally Reformed) for a number of years need to review and think through their present motives and actions in their Christian walk. I see this as a challenge not to cease Christian habits or even to re-examine reformed theology, but much more to follow that call of the reformation to be "The Church Reformed and always reforming." Certainly this is not a call to become more *liberal, progressive, or even centrist* but is a call to love the Lord our God and live for him with godly motives day by day.
No caveats for this one--it's Rob Rayburn, one of my living heroes.
May 26th, 2010
Well - another month just evaporated! The time has flown by: Sunday school it out for the summer, men's bible study is on the Summer schedule, we've had a blood drive and a food drive, baptized some babies added some members, moved some people, had some work days at the church, and started a new preaching series about encounters with Jesus in the Gospel's. Now we're gearing up for VBS, shoebox ministry, and our annual pool party at Hamilton pool on the last Sunday of August.
March 24th, 2010
I absolutely love this passage. Someone gave me a book this past week by Iain H. Murray "LLoyd-Jones: Messenger of Grace". In the preface is written, "The advance of the church is ever preceded by a recovery of preaching, and in that recovery the memory of those who have spoken 'with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven' (1Peter 1:12) has often played an important part. Eminent examples give light to later centuries." LLoyd-Jones was a great preacher devoted to Scripture as the word of God and devoted to inculcating that word in God's people. He said at the end of his life, "I did not live for preaching." To follow Christ and live for Him was the greatest thing he knew. Here is that 1 Peter passage in fuller context-
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully,
March 17th, 2010
Been a couple of really busy weeks at DPC. We're gearing up for the Os Guinness conference. Engaging our culture with grace and truth. I'm excited! I've also been thinking through what makes DPC distinct, how to explain this and also how to frame it within our broader mandate to lovingly call others to Christ and Christ Worship. More on that later.
Only four more sermons on the life of David. I know it sounds funny but I'm going to miss interacting with David so frequently when this series is done. I feel as though God has been growing me personally through His word- I feel a deeper confidence- a knowledge of His adoption and love. I think along the lines of what the Westminster Confession of Faith mentions in Chapter 18 section 2.
Been reading a great book by Martyn Lloyd-Jones lately. I love Lloyd-Jones' writing. very devotional but has depth and meat too. If you don't have any Lloyd-Jones in your library, get some! You'll be encouraged.
Grace and Peace,
March 3rd, 2010
I've been reading "The Gravedigger File" by Os Guinness. It's a fiction work that is a comment on the western church. It follows in the tradition of C.S. Lewis' "Screwtape Letters."
Here's a quote from the "Gravedigger File" where a senior antagonist briefs a newer agent in the plot against the church:
"The underlying strategy of Operation Gravedigger is as stark in its simplicity as it is devastating in its results. It may be stated like this: Christianity contributed to the rise of the modern world; the modern world, in turn, has undermined Christianity; Christianity has become its own gravedigger. The strategy turns on this monumental irony, and the victory we are so close to realizing depends on two elementary insights. First, that Christianity is now becoming captive to the very "modern world: it helped to create. Second, that our interests are best served, not by working against the church, but by working with it. The more the church becomes one with the modern world, the more it becomes compromised, and the deeper the grave it digs for itself."
Feb 25th, 2010
More from Rosner
“Biblical theology is practiced by Christian communities and is intricately linked to their determination to shape their faith, life, worship and service in accordance with Scripture under the guidance of the Spirit.”
I've really been enjoying reading some articles on biblical theology. This quote reminds me what the church is supposed to be about: Following Christ in accordance with the Scripture under the guidance of the Spirit.
Feb 24th, 2010
Biblical theology if very important for our understanding God's plan for His people and for our understanding our purpose in serving Him.
Biblical theology is principally concerned with the overall theological message of the whole Bible. It seeks to understand the parts in relation to the whole and, to achieve this, it must work with the mutual interaction of the literary, historical, and theological dimensions of the various corpora, and with the inter-relationships of these within the whole canon of Scripture Biblical theology may be defined as theological interpretation of Scripture in and for the church. It proceeds with historical and literary sensitivity and seeks to analyse and synthesize the Bible's teaching about God and his relations to the world on its own terms, maintaining sight of the Bible's overarching narrative and Christocentric focus. B. S. Rosner, New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, (IVP, 2000)
Feb 23rd, 2010
A friend sent these quotes to me...
Tony Snow, who was the White House Press Secretary in 2006/2007, and was a Christian, died of cancer in July 2008. He wrote an essay entitled, “Cancer’s Unexpected Blessings.” Consider, in contrast, how a God-centered person dealt with his own impending death:
In contrast, consider the words of atheist William Provine, professor of the history of science at Cornell University:
Feb 22nd, 2010
Found this very interesting:
Background for 2 Samuel 11 - From An Introduction to the Old Testament Historical Books - David M. Howard Jr.
Early in his kingship, Saul appears as a very commendable character (9-11). Soon after he becomes king, however, Saul disqualifies himself from the office by his sins (13:13-14; 15:22-29). After David is anointed king (chpater16), the rest of the book of I Samuel is devoted to the interplay of the rising fortunes of David and the declining fortunes of Saul. In almost every encounter between the two of them, David emerges with his reputation enhanced, while Saul’s has suffered further.
Even David, however – who was God’s chosen king, whose rise in fortunes occupies all of I Samuel 16-31 and II Samuel 1-5, and whose reign is marked by great successes early on (II Samuel 6-8)—suffered a decline and much trouble with his sons (chapter 12-24), after his great sins against Bathsheba and Uriah (Chapter 11). His first son by Bathseba died (Chapter 12); another son, Amnon, raped David’s daughter Tamar (chpt13); yet another son, Absalom, killed Amnon (chpt13); Absalom rebelled against his father (15-18); and another son, Adonijah, seized the kingship from his brother Solomon (IKIngs1). David seems to have lost most of his moral authority and much of his stature by that point in his life. For example, in I Kings 1:6, he is judged for never having disciplined his son Adonijah, and in II Samuel 13:21 the Old Greek and Qumron versions add the statement, [David] would not punish his son Amnon, because he loved him, for he was his firstborn]
Reminds me of the danger and warning that sin is. God does not excuse sin he punishes sin. Shows the need for Jesus so clearly. Explains much of the pain in the world around us. Points to the glory and grace and need of Jesus.
February 1st, 2010
Two things: First, F.F. Bruce points out that its difficult to see weather anyone's sins are forgiven. It's a pretty easy things to say, "Your sins are forgiven." But to tell if that has been accomplished- well that's a different matter. Given Jesus' audience and the place this proclamation held in His teaching, it was important for the people to see. That's why Jesus told him to take his mat and go home. None of this had anything to do with action and ownership on the part of the paralyzed man. In this instance we aren't told that his faith had made him well. His strong faith didn't make him get up and walk. I guess that's another discussion. The point of narrative is that Jesus has this authority and so that people could see it He told the man to get up and walk. This reminds me that forgiveness of sins is more important than walking.
Second, F.F.Bruce comments that the authority that Jesus exercises here to forgive sins is exercised as the representative of man. I almost always jump to the fact that Jesus is God when I think of miracles- and the forgiveness and the walking are both miracles in this story. I guess this just simplifies things for me. But the scripture records Jesus' words as, "that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." This gives me pause and makes me think again about who Jesus is. He is God but He is also clearly human. Jesus is saying that it is in his capacity as a man, and specifically under the title of Son of Man, that He is forgiving these sins. Matthew seems to lean further towards this for he ends this story with ,"When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men." (Mat 9:8 ESV)
This goes to show just how amazing Jesus is as our perfect representative. He is human, people could touch Him- but He could also forgive sin. Jesus is our representative and God has bestowed on him this amazing authority and power.
January 27th, 2010
The initial assessment is right. Man is prey to every species of vice and depravity. Depravity is the right word to use here. But the answer has got to be something beyond man. War cannot be the answer to depravity because war is waged by depraved men (and that is not even touching on just or unjust war) The answer to depravity is to seek honor and glory but not in the way that this Spartan would have us seek it. We need glory that is beyond us, beyond our depravity. In fact we need God's glory and God's honor. War is not the answer to this problem- at least not that kind of war.
I've also been reading the book of John and John writes of glory, the kind of glory we need.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (Joh 1:14 ESV)
The kind of war we engage in has more to do with God becoming flesh and dwelling among us. Jesus waged war against sin and depravity. In Him, this is the answer to our depravity and the glory we need- glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
January 26th, 2010
We've been going through the life of David on Sunday mornings and there is always more stuff to look at than we can get to. More connection and more rabbit trails. So, from time to time I'll mention some of those things here. One of the possibilities for this section dealing with Nabal and Abigail in I Sam 25 is that Nabal is a type of Saul. He represents many of Saul's actions. He's rich, he is increasingly harsh and he is badly behaved- all things attributed to Nabal but also descriptive of Saul. Some commentators try to push the similarity a bit to far, saying that Nabal's death foretells the kind of death Saul would have. It came on him unawares. But, if nothing else David is being reminded and further taught how to deal with Saul and men like him in the encounter with Nabal.
A while ago I was asked to exhort and pray for the Chandler city council. Here's what I said:
1 Timothy 2:1-6 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
Paul is writing to Timothy here and he writes to encourage Timothy in how to be a good pastor- how to love people for Christ. And part of that training is for Timothy and the church inEphesuswhere Timothy ministers to pray for those in authority over them.
Paul writes- for kings and all who are in high positions- you may not be kings- but inChandler,you are those who are in high positions. So we pray for you- that God would show you grace and mercy, a sense for justice and wisdom- wisdom beyond your collective years. When you are in leadership somebody is always going to be upset with you- so you need wisdom- wisdom to do what is right and true.
Paul writes in Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Basically, those in authority will have to answer to God for their decisions and policies- God put you in a place of authority that you might shape this place, cause it to flourish- that the people who live here might lead a peaceful and quiet life,godly and dignified in every way.
Chandleris a great place to live I love it here, my family loves it here. A lot of that has to do with city leadership- and you may face difficult times in months or years to come – I want you to know that you have a lot of people praying for you and that we are more than simply your constituents- but are advocates for you before God who is the one who gives authority.
So let’s pray that God give you wisdom and for blessing for this meeting.
First, some believe the problem to be a lack of moral absolutes. They want to take culture back through grass-roots efforts and political social activism. They site the statistics on abortion and divorce and other social ills within the church as proof of moral relativism.
A second, approach is the idea that the church has become irrelevant. The first group thinks that the church has become to assimilated, the second group thinks not assimilated enough. They site the Christian language barrier and how separated from being understood or understanding culture the church is. They desire to meet felt needs.
A third group, says that the church has fallen into the “Constaninian error” of seeking to reform the world to be like the church. This group believes that “instead, the church has become like the world.” Christians have become seduced by the world trying to change it. I assume they would sight the many well meaning Christians that have gone to Washington but have ultimately been absorbed by the system. This critique was striking: “Trying to be relevant and to meet felt needs only turns the church into another consumer mall.” This third group believes that the answer is to return to Christianity’s counter-culture roots and be the alternative to society. The church needs to live by mercy and to “live as signs of the future kingdom.
Dr. Keller points out that there are aspects of each of these three perspectives that are right and that in this book Tullian Tchividjian brings out the benefits of each and offers a biblical approach to the issue of the living as Christians today.
The thing that defines us as a church at DPC is salvation in Jesus Christ. Within that, we see in Scripture that we are saved by grace (Ephesians Chapter 2). Hopefully you will not be here long without coming into contact with the concept of grace, and more importantly, the outworking of grace.
We experience God's grace in our forgiveness and in his continued redeeming work in our lives. We experience God's grace in the interactions that we have with one another, and as we live for God together. We experience God's grace in the joy of working together (...playground assembly in July anyone?), and in the pleasure of a job well done.
We cannot overestimate the importance of grace in our lives or the extent to which grace is a part of every aspect of our lives. In every nook and cranny of your life, God's glory is on display in His grace to you. And God's grace is irresistible, by the way, at least according to those pesky Calvinists. Irresistible in that Deuteronomy 7:6-8 "set his love on you" sort of way. If you love Jesus it is because God has set his love on you. That's pure grace. Theologically, grace means God's unmerited favor. It is the communication of the blessings of God as opposed to the giving of wages earned. In the New Testament it signifies the unmerited operation of God in the heart of man by the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, God makes us alive in Christ who is "full of grace and truth." (John 1:14) This is where the joy comes in. By grace you have been saved. By grace you have been made alive - and it's good to be alive! By grace you are able to live for God. Because of God's powerful working in your life, "Grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." There is joy in purposing to live for God in response to what he has graciously done for you. Your salvation does not hang in the balance of your good deeds. Good deeds flow from a heart transformed by God's redeeming grace. The apostles start their letters with "grace and peace to you." That's a good place to start and also end. Our days are much more bearable and even enjoyable when we start with grace. We can reflect at the end of a day on God's grace to us and learn. A day can be lived with joy, knowing that Jesus has saved you by his death and resurrection and that because of God's grace this has been applied to you.
Meditate on grace with me - look for God's grace and blessing in your life. May your looking to the Father fill your heart with peace. May you experience God's grace in a new way and find great joy in living for Jesus.