• God's New Year's Resolutions

    by Tom Hicks on December 31, 2012

    Tis the time for “New Year’s Resolutions.” While I’m not totally opposed to making New Year’s resolutions, I would submit that there is no power in them at all. The power to change your life does not come from your personal resolve, but from God’s resolve.

    When we make New Year’s resolutions, we often focus on ourselves, our determination, our discipline, and our personal efforts. But our focus should never be on ourselves, especially when it comes to personal change. Our focus should be on God and what He has done in Christ, is doing in Christ and will do in Christ. When we think on God’s resolutions, our hearts are won to Him and then we lovingly, joyfully, and willingly resolve to change for His glory.

    So this year, rather than making “New Year’s resolutions” (especially ones not found in the Bible), I would encourage you to think on God’s resolutions. Certainly God’s resolutions are never limited to the New Year, and that’s part of their beauty. God’s resolutions originate in eternity, and they remain immutably constant in time. God’s resolutions never need to be renewed because He brings every one of them to pass according to the times appointed in His eternal decree.

    Let us simply look on Him and His works. Let us look away from ourselves, away from our sins, away from our faith, away from our love and good works, and instead set our eyes upon our God.

    Consider just a few of God’s eternal resolutions related to “newness.”

    1. He resolved to forgive us. “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. . . . I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (Isa 43:19, 25).

    2. He resolved to create a new heavens and a new earth in which weeping will be no more. “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness. I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress” (Isa 65:17-19).

    3. He resolved to make an unbreakable new covenant, unlike the old covenant. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer 31:31-34).

    4. He resolved that His love and mercy will never come to an end, but that they are new every morning. “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lam 3:22-23).

    5. He resolved to give His people one heart and a new spirit that walks in His commandments. “And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezek 11:19-20).

    6. He resolved to make His people a new creation in Christ. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17).

    7. He resolved to end the division between Jews and Greeks (and all racial/ethnic divisions) and to make one new man in Christ. “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility” (Eph 2:14-16).

    8. He resolved to open a new and living way to Himself through the shed blood of His Son. “We have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh” (Heb 10:19-20).

    9. He resolved to make all things new. “And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true” (Rev 21:5).


    by Shawn Merithew on December 20, 2012

    It is very hard to process a tragedy like the one that took place in Newton, Connecticut this past Friday.  Murder of even one person is appalling.  Mass murder is exceedingly horrific.  The mass murder of children is inconceivable.  We must continue to be in prayer for the families affected by this tragedy, especially this week, as so many funerals are conducted and as the town reels in emotional trauma.  Pray specifically that the gospel of Christ would be lifted up (more…)


    by Shawn Merithew on December 4, 2012

    Last week, I wrote an article on the biblical reality of Spiritual Warfare.  Near the end of that article, I noted that Satan is a created being who fell from heaven because he rebelled against God.  Though he is powerful, God is still completely sovereign over him.  He is nothing (more…)


    by Shawn Merithew on November 28, 2012

    I believe that most of us have had the experience before of sensing a severe spiritual attack.  Perhaps it was through personal adversity, marital or family difficulties, or even through challenges faced by a church, but it was clear that demonic forces were at work to create discord and bring destruction.  Despite what many might think, spiritual warfare (more…)

  • Taking Up the Call to Social Gospel Ministry

    by Shawn Merithew on November 8, 2012

    We were blessed this past Lord’s Day to observe Orphan Care Sunday here at Morningview.  The testimonies were excellent, the worship was very meaningful, and it was a joy to explore with you the theological basis and practical outworking of Christian adoption through the sermons.

    During my Sunday evening sermon, one of the points of application I made for us regarded the importance of raising up the next generation to be responsible for caring for those in need.  During the last century, the church has surrendered numerous aspects of social ministry to the secular state, thereby divorcing itself from ministry opportunities where the gospel is critically needed.  In specific regards to orphan care, we often see unwanted, abused, or neglected children as the problem of the state rather than (more…)

  • The Great American Worldview Test — The 2012 Election, by R. Albert Mohler (Part 2)

    by Shawn Merithew on October 30, 2012

    (Continued from Last Week)

    On the issue of abortion, the Republican platform states, “we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.” The Democratic platform states: “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”

    The worldview clash could hardly be more dramatic. The Republicans frame the issue in terms of the unborn child’s “fundamental individual right to life.” The Democrats frame the issue as “a woman’s right to make decisions” — including the explicit right to decide to kill the baby in her womb. These are two contradictory moral claims.

    One party claims that no abortions should be legal and the other claims that all abortions should be legal. Each party is driven by their own moral logic. The Republicans are driven by the belief that, at every point of development, every individual human being is sacred (more…)

  • The Great American Worldview Test — The 2012 Election, by R. Albert Mohler (Part 1)

    by Shawn Merithew on October 23, 2012

    American presidential elections are the world’s most public display of the democratic process. The global media follow the American elections with a fervor that is easily understood — what happens in an American presidential election matters all over the world. Our presidential campaigns are political pageants and electoral dynamos. But, as any honest thoughtful observer will understand, our elections are also great worldview exercises. We reveal our worldview by our vote.

    This is particularly true of the 2012 election. The presidential nominees of the two major parties represent two very different worldviews and visions. President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney have adopted policy positions that place them in direct conflict, and the platforms of their respective parties reveal (more…)

  • What Hath the Gospel to do with Politics?

    by Shawn Merithew on October 16, 2012

    The Answer:  Absolutely Everything.  You all knew it was coming sooner or later — something on politics and voting from the senior pastor.  Contrary to some opinions, who we are (more…)

  • "Knowing" Christ

    by Shawn Merithew on October 11, 2012

    In my sermon this past Sunday, I noted that one of the key points drawn from Ephesians 4:17 is that believers are to know our Savior — not just facts about Him, and not just head knowledge of theology.  We are to know Him personally, relationally, and intimately.  In fact, Christian maturity is squarely grounded in a deepening knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Given that truth, I wanted to set some pertinent Scriptures before you on the subject of “knowing” Christ.

    Jer 31:33-34   “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man (more…)

  • Electronic "Addiction"

    by Shawn Merithew on October 5, 2012

    It is certainly amazing how the human heart can make an idol out of almost anything, even our technological devices.  This past week, the psychologists who publish the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” announced that an addiction known as “Internet-Use Disorder” was officially being added to the list of mental illnesses.  Diagnosis of this mental illness began as psychologists began to recognize problems that arose with video game addictions.

    In a 2009 incident, 17-year-old Daniel Petric of Ohio shot his mother and injured his father after they confiscated his Halo 3 videogame because they feared he was playing it too much.  A Korean couple was arrested in 2010 after their infant daughter starved (more…)

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