I shared this in the sermon in our services this morning. It is from Scott Thomas and Tom Wood, who write of "a list of these positional promises...to remind me who I am declared to be in the Word of God. Even though I do not always feel this way, these Scriptures remind me of who I am in Christ.

Through Christ, I am dead to sin (Romans 6:11).
Through Christ, I am spiritually alive (Romans 6:11; 1 Corinthians 15:22).
Through Christ, I am forgiven (Colossians 2:13; 1 John 2:12).
Through Christ, I am declared righteous (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
Through Christ, I am God’s possession (Titus 2:14).
Through Christ, I am an heir of God (Romans 8:17).
Through Christ, I am blessed with all spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3).
Through Christ, I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20).
Through Christ, I am free from the law (Romans 8:2).
Through Christ, I am crucified with him (Galatians 2:20).
Through Christ, I am free from the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:24).
Through Christ, I am declared blameless and innocent (Philippians 2:15).
Through Christ, I am a light in the world (Matthew 5:14-15; Philippians 2:15).
Through Christ, I am victorious over Satan (Luke 10:19).
Through Christ, I am cleansed from sin (1 John 1:7).
Through Christ, I am set free in Christ from the power of sin (Colossians 2:11-15).
Through Christ, I am secure in him (1 Peter 1:3-5).
Through Christ, I am at peace with God (Romans 5:1; Philippians 4:6-9).
Through Christ, I am loved by God (1 John 4:10).

(from Gospel Coach71-72; HT: Trevin Wax)

AuthorMatthew Molesky

One of our most famous and oft-sung Christmas hymns was written by Isaac Watts, and first published by the author in 1719. It was based on Psalm 98, and was included in Watts' publication of his collection, The Psalms of David: Imitated in the language of the New Testament, and applied to the Christian state and worship. The influence of King David is readily seen when you sing "let heaven and nature sing" and then read,

        Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; 
break forth into joyous song and sing praises! 
        Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 
the world and those who dwell in it! 
        Let the rivers clap their hands; 
let the hills sing for joy together...  (Psalm 98:4, 7-8)

What many people don't understand is that Watts did not write the song to celebrate that Jesus came into the world, but to celebrate the promise that he is coming again. So, when you sing "Joy to the world! The Lord is come; Let earth receive her king," hear the poetry of King David,

        All the ends of the earth have seen 
the salvation of our God. 
        With trumpets and the sound of the horn 
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord! 
        before the Lord, for he comes 
to judge the earth. 
        He will judge the world with righteousness, 
and the peoples with equity.  (Psalm 98:5-6, 9)

Such reflections bring to mind the day when Jesus departed from this terrestrial plain, with the angelic promise, at that very same moment, he would one day return:

And when [Jesus] had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11)

Friends, that is our hope: This Jesus will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven. Which is why Watts has blessed us with likely our best Christmas song, for the great hope of the Christian, and the world, is the return of the King. So sing this year like you've never sung before, Joy to the World, Jesus will come! 

17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.”
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! 
21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen. 
(Revelation 22:17, 20-21)

Joy to the World!

Verse 1

Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her king;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Verse 2

Joy to the earth! the savior reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

Verse 3

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

Verse 4

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness,
And wonders of his love,
And wonders of his love,
And wonders, wonders, of his love.

AuthorMatthew Molesky

  See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. Isa. 65:17-19 (NIV)

     Dear heavenly Father, I love meditating through the Servant Songs of Isaiah during Advent, because they remind me that the birth of Jesus wasn’t a “merry little” event. Christmas represents the fulfillment of promises of immeasurable, irrepressible, indescribable proportions and delight. I praise you that every Christmas is colossal—irrespective of the economy or our discretionary spending.

     With the first coming of Jesus, you inaugurated your plan to create a new heaven and new earth, from the stuff of this very broken world—a New Creation world in which you will find great delight. Though it will take the second Advent of Jesus, your kingdom has come, and it will comein fullness. I praise you for your generosity, tenacity, and felicity in doing all that you do, mighty and merciful Father.

     And you’ve promised to redeem a people from every race, tribe, tongue, and people group to populate that eternal world of peace and joy—a people in whom you find great delight and over whom you will rejoice forever. The gospel really is that big and that good. You’ve used stars, sand, and dust to describe the mathematics of your mercy. Free me from my unbelief, grace-full and loving Father.

     Because you have sent Jesus to us and for us, we live with the blessed assurance that all of our sins have been wiped away, and the glorious hope that all of our tears, likewise, will one Day be wiped away. Until that Day, free us to engage in your commitment to make all things new, where you have placed us, and wherever you might send us. So very Amen I pray, with great joy and freshly fueled hope, in Jesus’ exalted name.

(From Scotty Smith)

AuthorMatthew Molesky

I know we are still on this side of Christmas, but my mind is already moving toward New Year's Day. It's the time of year when Susan and I start talking (with each other and our Father) about how the last year has gone, and our hopes and dreams for the year ahead.

On that note, I recall something I read recently from Kevin DeYoung about regrets. It is a great list for some of the things I want to make sure happen in 2015.

We won’t regret playing hide and seek with our children.
We won’t regret turning off the t.v. and putting the phone away.
We won’t regret that one night (or week, or even season of life) we let the kids get happy meals just so they would be happy and we could survive.
We won’t regret singing the same hymns over and over until they became familiar enough to sing with the saints around a hospital bed.
We won’t regret the time we spent hiding the word in our hearts.
We won’t regret jumping in a pile of leaves every fall.
We won’t regret overlooking a lot of little things that bother us about our spouses.
We won’t regret kissing our spouse in front of the kids.
We won’t regret going to bed with a messy house if that meant we had time to chase the kids around in the backyard.
We won’t regret all the wasted time with friends.
We won’t regret laughing often and laughing loudly.
We won’t regret hugging our kids whenever they’ll let us.
We won’t regret the times the kids slept in our beds and the times in the middle of the night we had to carry them softly back to theirs.
We won’t regret being a little bit goofy.
We won’t regret asking for forgiveness, and we won’t regret forgiving those who ask.
We won’t regret dancing at weddings–fast and silly with our kids, slow and sweet with our spouse.
We won’t regret giving most people the benefit of the doubt.
We won’t regret commiting to a good church and sticking around.
We won’t regret learning to play the piano, read music, or sing in parts.
We won’t regret reading to our children.
We won’t regret time spent in prayer.
We won’t regret going on long road trips filled with frustrations, but full with memories.
We won’t regret letting our kids be kids.
We won’t regret walking with people through suffering.

[And...] We won’t regret trusting Jesus.

AuthorMatthew Molesky