From Your Pastor: Great Grace


And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all (Acts 4:33).

It can be notoriously and historically difficult to quantify true and genuine revivals of the Holy Spirit in church history, but I believe we can observe biblical evidences of great grace being upon us right now at KCPC. What are genuine revivals? Revivals are genuine movements or outpourings of the Spirit upon the Church when God does a mighty work of great grace above His normal working through the ordinary means of grace (preaching, sacraments). It is important to note that a revival is foremost the “sovereign, extraordinary, saving activity of the Holy Spirit and is characterized by an intense sense of God’s presence” (quoted from ‘Pentecostal Outpourings: Revival in the Reformed Tradition, Michael A. J. Haykin).[i]

A genuine revival is a powerful work of the Holy Spirit in which there is recovered a new awareness of the holiness of God among His people. This heightened knowledge brings in a new season of the conviction of sin, which, in turn, leads to heartrending repentance. This lowly humility ushers in an awakened love for Christ. Believers begin to pursue personal holiness. Love for other believers intensifies. The gospel spreads like wildfire. Sinners are brought to faith in Christ, and the church is enlarged and empowered. True revivals are characterized by God’s people desiring at a deeper level to glorify Christ and to make Him known to one another and the world, and there is combination of faithful, bold, biblical teaching/preaching combined with faithful, exuberant, joyful, obedient, service-oriented living. There are both gifts being used, and grace that is given. True revival must be more than merely gifts, there must be grace, grace that demonstrates love for Christ and one another (cf. John 13:34-35; 1 Cor. 13:1-3).

If KCPC experienced a genuine revival, what would it look like? Both personally (individually) and corporately (as a congregation), because of the Holy Spirit’s powerful working, there would be a deeper awareness of God’s holiness and character. This would produce a greater fear, awe, and reverence for God. This deeper awareness of God would cause us to see more clearly the depths of our depravity and need for more Christ, and a deeper repentance. More particularly, a “heartrending” repentance because we would be sorry not merely for the consequences of our sins, but because our sins offend God and hurt others. There would be a deep, spiritual humility that would love Christ more, and desire to be holy, gentle, more like Him. This would cause us to overflow in love for one another, and more of a concern for the souls of men, that would cause the gospel to spread. The church would grow both spiritually and numerically.

Though there are abuses and misunderstandings, true and genuine revival ought to be sought out by those in the Reformed tradition. In fact, the great twentieth-century preacher, Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981), commented that

“There is no subject which is of greater importance to the Christian church at the present time than that of revival. It should be the theme of our constant meditation, preaching and prayers.”

In the time known now as the Great Awakening, a time of revival in eighteenth-century Colonial America, Jonathan Edwards rightly warned critics of genuine revival when he said, “To oppose a genuine revival is to oppose God Himself”. Edwards wrote that a genuine and true revival could be recognized by a few important characteristics:

  1. Christ-centered: True revival makes much of Jesus Christ, not a focus on self; 2. Humble, Other-worldliness: True revival operates against Satan, the world, and the flesh; 3. Use of Means of Grace: In true revival there is a higher regard for Scripture and preaching; 4. Witness and Seal of the Spirit: The Spirit of truth witnesses to genuine revival’s validity; 5. Personally, Congregationally, Culturally Transformative: A change of heart evidences itself in love to God and others (this has societal and cultural implications).

Prayer is of utmost importance for revival. The grand object of prayer is to be that the Holy Spirit may be poured down on our ministers and churches, that sinners may be converted, the saints edified, the interest of religion revived, and the name of God glorified. Jonathan Edwards wrote concerning the importance of prayer:

When God is about to bestow some great blessing on His church, it is often His manner in the first place, so to order things in His providence as to show His church their great need of it, and to bring them into distress for want of it, and so put them upon earnestly crying to Him for it.

Edwards’ pastoral-theological instinct was “simply to prayerfully seek and expect from God ‘outpourings of the Holy Spirit’ as the central means of spreading Christianity until the Consummation”.

Some evidences of great grace being upon KCPC: We can observe increased joy in our worship; deeper desire for holiness and communion with God; strength, endurance, and sanctification in our troubles; confessional carefulness, clarity and boldness in our making the word known; loving, healthy and gracious “one-anothering” among members; increased attendance and participation at worship services and particularly prayer meetings (and new prayer meetings/gatherings starting organic-Spiritually!!); unity, humility, and gentle care in the body; a collective working together to beautify our building as one body, and a unique and magnanimous generosity that God has blessed us with! Our Heavenly Father does indeed do more than we can ask or even imagine according to the power at work within us! (Eph. 3:20-21).

Let us continue to pray together for more of Christ’s anointing or great grace by His Spirit. True revival will never depend upon techniques and the self-centered works of men. We must seek God for outpourings of His Spirit, while remaining ever faithful to the preaching of God’s Word and the means of grace He has graciously provided for His church to accomplish the mission He has given us. Let us also pray to be more watchful knowing that our enemy prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. We must pray to powerfully resist him by standing firm in the faith (1 Peter 5:6-11). Our real enemy hates what God seems to be doing; let us watch and pray lest we fall into temptation!

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs


[i] Part of this brief study is taken from my lengthier review of this book.

Good Friday / Easter Meditations

Good Friday Meditation: BEHOLD THE LORD JESUS: “With what less than ravishment of spirit can I behold the Lord Jesus, who, from everlasting was clothed with glory and majesty, now wrapped in rags, cradled in a manger, exposed to hunger, thirst, weariness, danger, contempt, poverty, revilings, scourgings, persecution? Into what ecstasies may I be cast to see the Judge of all the world accused, judged and condemned? To see the Lord of life dying upon the tree of shame and curse? To see the eternal Son of God struggling with His Father’s wrath [in the Garden…on the cross]? …How Jesus’ love toward His own has carried Him! He has laid down His life for us! What raptures of spirit can be sufficient for the admiration of this infinite mercy! Be thou swallowed up, O my soul, in the depth of divine love; and hate to spend your thy thoughts any more upon the base objects of this wretched world. Look upon Him! He hangs on the cross naked, torn, and bloody, between heaven and earth, as if He were cast out of heaven, and also rejected by earth….The whole gospel is no other thing than a motive to draw man to God by the force of God’s love to man in Christ….Is not this a great love? Are not all mercies wrapped up in this blood of Christ? …Christ is all in all, and Christ above all, and will you not love Him? O that all our words were words of love, and all our labors, labors of love, and all our thoughts, thoughts of love, that we might speak of love, and muse of love, and love this Christ who first loved us, with all our heart, and soul, and might!” – Isaac Ambrose, ‘Looking Unto Jesus’.


Easter Meditation: “How was Christ exalted in his resurrection? A. Christ was exalted in his resurrection, in that, not having seen corruption in death, (of which it was not possible for him to be held,) and having the very same body in which he suffered, with the essential properties thereof, (but without mortality, and other common infirmities belonging to this life,) really united to his soul, he rose again from the dead the third day by his own power; whereby he declared himself to be the Son of God, to have satisfied divine justice, to have vanquished death, and him that had the power of it, and to be Lord of quick and dead: all which he did as a public person, the head of his church, for their justification, quickening in grace, support against enemies, and to assure them of their resurrection from the dead at the last day.” – Westminster Larger Catechism.


Easter Weekend Prayer: “Our Lord, teach us to see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ…If we seek salvation, we are taught by the very name of Jesus that it is ‘of him’. If we seek any other gifts of the Spirit, they will be found in his anointing. If we seek strength, it lies in his dominion; if purity, in his conception; if gentleness, it appears in his birth. For by his birth he was made like us in all respects that he might learn to feel our pain. If we seek redemption, it lies in his passion; if acquittal, in his condemnation; if remission of the curse, in his cross; if satisfaction, in his sacrifice; if purification, in his blood; if reconciliation, in his descent into hell; if mortification of the flesh, in his tomb; if newness of life, in his resurrection; if immortality, in the same; if inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom, in his entrance into heaven; if protection, if security if abundant supply of all blessings, in his Kingdom; if untroubled expectation of judgment; in the power given to him to judge. In short, since rich store of every kind of good abounds in him, let us drink our fill from the fountain, and from no other. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.” – From John Calvin, Institutes 2.16.19.


In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs



Why Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy is Glorious! (Part 1)

Dear Beloved, the next few weeks on the KCPC blog will be focused on showing why keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious! I hope this will encourage you in your faith. – Pastor Biggs


“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8)

Why is keeping the Lord’s Day holy glorious?

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is an opportunity to please and glorify God in obedience to His commandments.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is a privilege and blessing of the Covenant of Grace.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it can remind us that the Lord Jesus created it, kept it, and fulfilled it, and gave it to believers as a way of imitating Him.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is an opportunity for growth and maturity in Christ.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it can be a time well spent that helps us not to live overly busy and distracted lives.

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is a way of joyfully, peacefully, and graciously witnessing publicly to whom it is you belong, and to whom it is you ultimately submit!

* Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is glorious because it is part of our confessional heritage as particularly Reformed Christians.

  1. Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy is glorious because it is an opportunity to please and glorify God in obedience to His commandments.

God has given His people commandments for His glory and our good. The law of God, as summarized in the Ten Commandments, is a clear revelation of God’s righteousness and holiness. The commandments are a clear expression of what it means when believers are admonished: “Be holy, as God is holy” (Lev. 20:26; 1 Pet. 1:15-16).[1] God commands His people in the fourth commandment to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”. This commandment teaches us that God wants us to set apart one day in seven for holy worship and rest. He desires that we make the Lord’s Day special.[2]

As Christians we should desire to fear God and keep all of His commandments. Indeed, the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 1:7; Ecc. 12:13). Fearing God and keeping His commandments is a constant teaching throughout Holy Scripture (Exo. 20:20; Deut. 10:12-14; Jer. 32:38-42; Psa. 130:4; 2 Cor. 7:1). As believers, we are taught to work out our salvation with “fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12-13; cf. Exo. 20:20; Isa. 66:2). Although there is absolutely no fear of God before the eyes of the wicked and foolish in this world (Psa. 36:1-2; Rom. 3:18), Christians have been granted the fear of the Lord as a blessing and gift of the Holy Spirit in Christ (Jer. 32:38-42; Heb. 12:28-29)! Do you understand fear of the Lord as a blessing and aspect of the work of the Spirit? God promises in Christ that by His Spirit He would cause His people to fear Him:

I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever…And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me (ESV Jeremiah 32:39-40b)

In Holy Scripture, the fear of the LORD is another manner of describing a desire to obey and please God and to keep His commandments (2 Cor. 5:9-11: “We make it our aim to please Him…Knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others…”). In Christ, the commandments for Christians are not merely a duty or obligation (although they are that!). Rather, in Christ, the commandments for Christians are privileges of grace (Matt. 5:17-20; Rom. 6:17; 8:1-6). Christians have been set free to please God in this way before a dying and dark world infested and possessed by sin. Only a Christian can truly say with David, “O how I love your Law! It is my meditation all the day!” (Psa. 119:97); and with the Apostle Paul cry out, “The law is holy, and the commandment is righteous and good!” (Rom. 7:12).[3]

God is very clear that although the ceremonial and civil laws of Israel have been fulfilled in Christ (Col. 2:16-17; Mark 7:19; cf. Rom. 14:17), nevertheless, the moral law, summarized in the Ten Commandments is still a duty and privilege for God’s creatures to keep, particularly His own people. There is no other commandment where God so fully exegetes and unpacks the meaning as to why His creatures, particularly His set-apart people are to keep the Lord’s Day holy than the fourth commandment. Although many evangelical Christians emphasize (rightly!) Jesus’s fulfillment of the ceremonial and civil laws of Israel, and his fulfillment of the moral law (summarized in the Ten Commandments) as a Covenant of Works, they often fail to teach the importance of the ongoing requirements of the Law of God for believers. For instance, our Lord Jesus clearly said:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (ESV Matthew 5:17-20).

Jesus with a holy hatred despised the legalism of the Pharisees. Jesus was constantly pointing out that the Law as a way of righteousness or as a Covenant of Works was impossible for sinful man (Matt. 5:20), but He as Lord of the Sabbath, also upheld and honored the moral law revealed in the Ten Commandments. The Apostle Paul taught that faith in Christ’s righteousness was not to overthrow the moral law of God: “Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law” (ESV Romans 3:31). God’s people in Christ should also seek to uphold the moral law in reliance upon His grace and Spirit.

As fallen and sinful human beings, let us be honest that we often desire to go about doing our own work in our own way, selfish and stingy of our time. We want to work as much as we possibly can to get ahead, and to live our lives as fallen people as separated from God as we possibly can! The natural, fallen man sees the Lord’s Day as a hindrance and something that prevents him from doing what he wants to do. And we don’t like to be out of control (in our estimation!) of our calendars and our schedules. This was one of the reasons why Israel often did not rejoice and delight in keeping the Sabbath, and this can be our reason, too!

Yet God in His mercy and covenant faithfulness counters the sinful heart that deceives us by alluring His people to a promise of “Riding on the heights of the earth” in our delight of His holy day! Who in their right minds would not want to enjoy this treasure of a promise given by a Holy and Faithful God and Father?! Have you ever ridden on the heights of the earth??!! God promises as loving Father and blessed Savior:

If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (ESV Isaiah 58:13-14).

“THEN you shall take delight in the LORD…!” Don’t miss this promise. God in His merciful kindness and grace desires to set His people free from our selfishness and self-centered “will worship” of doing our own thing the way we want to do it (“…From doing your pleasure…going your own ways, seeking your own pleasure…”), so that we can experience the liberty of life in the Spirit and the peace that goes with that in Christ! (Gal. 5:1; Rom. 6:1, 14; 8:6: “…The mind of the Spirit is life and [glorious!] peace”). Our great God and Father wants us to understand that true Christian freedom is keeping the Lord’s day with delight! Do you call the Lord’s Day a delight? Do you take delight in the LORD? If your life is joyless, and you have asked God to search your heart for sin that may be hiding, that you’re not seeing (Psa. 139:23-34), perhaps this is something that you haven’t taken seriously enough?! In Christ, we are set free from selfish focus on ourselves, to live unto God, gratefully desiring to do His will. Let us pray more that we will not only do God’s will as we are commanded, but to will to do it from tender and loving hearts that have been thrilled by His grace and love! “…For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).

Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy is an opportunity to show the freedom we truly possess in Christ. As a Covenant of Works, the law summarized in the Ten Commandments, particularly the fourth commandment on keeping the Lord’s Day has been fulfilled in Christ. No fallen sinner could ever keep God’s law as a way of works, or as a covenant of works to earn or merit their salvation. Jesus Christ, the glorious God-Man has accomplished this perfect law-keeping for us in our stead, on our behalf (Gal. 2:16-21). This glorious God-Man has died in our place under the just wrath of God because we did not keep God’s commandments, and we did not take seriously his teaching to keep his Sabbath holy. The glorious Gospel is that when we believe in Christ alone by faith alone through grace alone, this perfect righteousness, or perfect law-keeping of Christ is imputed to believers as if we have never sinned and perfectly kept the commandments of God. “And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

Suggested Questions to Ponder and Ask Yourself to Help You to Keep the Lord’s Day Holy:

Is this activity on the Lord’s Day going to glorify God above all things? / Is this activity a work of necessity or mercy that I lovingly desire to do to love God and neighbor? / Is this activity going to hinder me (or others) from publicly worshipping God and attending to any calls to worship that God calls me to through his ordained servants? / Is this activity loving and the best use of my time for myself, my family, my guests, my neighbors, and those who look to me for leadership? / Is this activity going to be consistent with God’s Word, and particularly His clear teaching on how he desires the Lord’s Day to be remembered? / Is this activity work that I normally engage it on other days, and can it wait? / Is this activity a distraction from my taking time to grow up in God’s Word? / Is this activity something that will not be conducive to remembering what I learned in the morning worship sermon and meditating upon it and hiding in my heart so that I won’t sin against God? / Is this activity properly living a godly example before a broken and lost world? / Prayer: Dear Jesus, I want to keep the Lord’s Day holy, please help me. Grant me your wisdom and discernment. Amen

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Biggs


(To read the entire study on why keeping the Lord’s Day is glorious, click here: From Your Pastor.Why Keeping the Lords Day is Glorious.March 2016)



[1] Note that Old Covenant people were addressed by God’s commandment as those He had redeemed out of slavery: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery…”
(Exo. 20:2). So that we are to understand that all of the commandments are made in the context of God’s covenantal grace to His people who once were enslaved, but now freed by His grace (indicative). The commandments can only be kept by those who ultimately received God as their Savior, and believed in His promises of grace made to Abraham and his seed.

[2] The distinction between Sabbath and Lord’s Day is made later in study.

[3] The Westminster Larger Catechism, Question and Answer 97 is helpful here: What special use is there of the moral law to the regenerate? A. Although they that are regenerate, and believe in Christ, be delivered from the moral law as a covenant of works, so as thereby they are neither justified nor condemned; yet, besides the general uses thereof common to them with all men, it is of special use, to show them how much they are bound to Christ for his fulfilling it, and enduring the curse thereof in their stead, and for their good; and thereby to provoke them to more thankfulness, and to express the same in their greater care to conform themselves thereunto as the rule of their obedience.

Soul Idolatry, Or, “How Do I Discover and Destroy My Idols by Faith in Christ”

Soul Idolatry, Or, “How Do I Discover and Destroy My Idols by Faith in Christ”

By David Clarkson[1]

Edited by Pastor Charles R. Biggs


“For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”

ESV Ephesians 5:5


Do You Have Reigning or Ruling lusts?

Everything created that seeks to master your spirit and to bring your life into conformity unto it is potentially a reigning or ruling lust. Every love that is not subdued and submitted under the Lordship of Jesus Christ is a potential lust. Every desire that you have that seeks to rule you rather than to bring you delight in God is potentially a reigning or ruling lust. Every reigning or ruling lust is an idol, and every person in whom it reigns is an idolater. What are your reigning and ruling lusts?

Pleasures, and riches, and honors are the carnal man’s “trinity”, and these become gods that make men idolaters:

ESV 1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world- the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions- is not from the Father but is from the world.

In Satan’s kingdom, every one bowing himself to his lust worships it as an idol. When the mind is most taken up with an object, and the heart and the affections most set upon it, this is soul worship, and this is what is due only to God.

Secret and soul idolatry is when the mind and heart is set upon anything more than God; when anything is more valued, more trusted, more loved, etc.

According to Ephesians 5:5 (as well as Colossians 3:5 and Revelation 21:8) teaches us that soul idolatry will exclude men out of heaven as well as open idolatry. He that serves his lusts is as incapable of heaven as he that serves, worships idols of wood and stone. We must be careful as Christians, and learn to daily watch and pray. We must learn to live a life of daily repentance: Turning from the “over-desires” or inordinate loves and desires that we see seeking to master us, and influence us, and turn for grace and strength in Christ Jesus alone.


Can Christians Commit Idolatry??

Yes, but more subtly from the heart, or the soul (Prov. 4:23). The danger of soul idolatry is that we often do not notice it as easily because it is inward, from the heart, and so we fail to recognize the dangers of it as we do outward, more obvious idolatry. Many fine Christians would never bow the knee to wood and stone idols, but will bow down from their hearts or souls to other idols that are unseen, yet just as grossly idolatrous and displeasing to God (Deut. 4:19-21; James 4:1ff).

The following are the acts of soul worship so that you might prayerfully consider each one and if found an idolater in God’s sight, you might ask Him to forgive you and restore to you the joy and love of your salvation. God is always crying out to His people: “Return, O Israel…for you have stumbled because of your iniquity” (Hos. 14:1ff). Let us bring our confession to Him each day, knowing He is faithful to forgive us and restore us, and to give us new and wondrous grace to live for Him (Hos. 14:6-8; John 15:1ff; 1 Jo. 1:7; Heb. 4:14-16).

Are you an idolater? If so, remember God gives more grace in order that you might humble yourself through repentance and confess your sins to Him, knowing that He is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness (James 4:6ff; 1 John 1:7ff):

  • Esteem: That which we most highly value we make our God. Estimation is an act of soul worship. What we most esteem we make our God such as high opinions of self, our accomplishments, what folks think of us, how we dress ourselves up before others, our possessions, etc. Whose opinions do you esteem the most? At the end of the day who has power over you to judge you “guilty” or “non-guilty”? God or other men? Who do you live your life before? Whose opinions do you “need” to make you someone important?
  • Mindfulness: That which we are most mindful we make our God. What do you think about the most often? When we should be thinking about God and we’re thinking about other things, we are revealing what we love the most. Are our thoughts seeking to follow after God’s thoughts? Do you set your minds on things above where Christ is? (Col. 3:1-4).
  • Intention: What is our greatest longing and goal in life? God and nothing else must be our chief end. If our chief end is to be great, safe, rich, powerful, famous, when it is our own pleasure, credit, profit, and advantage, this is soul idolatry. What do you get up each day with a mind of accomplishing and doing?
  • Love: That which we most love we worship as our God. Do we love riches, possessions, family, and/or friends more, or equal with God? Love, whenever it is inordinate, it is an idolatrous affection.
  • Trust: What do I trust in? Who do we trust, and/or depend upon the most? Where is our confidence? Trust God “with all of your heart” (Proverbs 3:5). Do you trust in your wisdom, strength, intellect, handgun, abilities, etc? Do you trust ultimately in riches, how much you have in your savings account and/or retirement; do you trust ultimately in your friends? Do you boast in yourself, and in your own wisdom or boast in the Lord (1 Cor. 1:29-31).
  • Fear: What we fear, we worship as our God. That is our god which is our fear and dread: ESV Luke 12:4-5: “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Those therefore who fear other things more than God; who are more afraid to offend other people than to displease God; who fear more to lose outward enjoyments than to lose the favor of God and His Spirit; who fear outward suffering more than God’s displeasure and wrath.
  • Hope: Ask yourself: What is my hope? Christ alone should be our hope as Christians; he is our hope and righteousness. What excites your hope each day helping you to get through the day?
  • Desire: That which we chiefly desire is the chief good in our lives, and what we account as our chief good is our god. To desire anything more, or so much as the enjoyment of God, is to idolize it, to prostrate the heart to it, and worship it as God only should be worshipped. What is your heart prostrated before in worship? Pray with the Psalmist that God alone would be your chief desire: Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:25-26). Pray for the Holy Spirit to grant you not merely to “do” for God, but that you might will and desire to do good (Phil. 2:13- “to will and to work for His good pleasure”).
  • Delight: Delight is an affection that in its height and elevation is called “glorying”. What do you “glory in”? To take more pleasure in any way of sin, uncleanness, temptation, intemperance, gluttony, drunkenness, earthly employments or enjoyments, than in the holy ways of God, than in those spiritual and heavenly services which we may enjoy God, is idolatry. Would you rather be “glorying” in other things (even lawful and good things) rather than worshipping God and fellowshipping with His people? How do you keep the Lord’s Day? How do you spend your money? Are you generous? The answers to these questions will reveal your idolatry or love for God alone.
  • Zeal: What are we zealous for? Are we zealous for ourselves, our plans, our vacations, our dreams, our agendas more than God? Are we fervent for ourselves and our own good and glory, and indifferent, lazy, and lukewarm in our zeal for God and His Kingdom? Are we more zealous for political parties, persons and/or teachers in the church or in our communities than we are in God and His Church? Do we spend more time thining about, and planning our vacation and retirement than we do in preparing ourselves for worship of the Living God and to appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ?
  • Gratitude: What are you most thankful for? Do we honor “diligence” or “luck” or “prudence” or “fortune” more than God’s goodness? In response to compliments, and/or other offering you respect do you give glory and thanksgiving to your “diligence” or your “luck” more than God?

When our care and industry (hard work) is more for other things than for God, we are idolaters. No man can serve two masters!


How Many Masters Do You Have?

When you are more careful and industrious (hard working) to please men, or yourselves, or your children and posterity, than to be serviceable, useful and faithful to God; if it is more important to you to provide for yourselves and your family more than to serve God; if you are more careful what you shall eat, drink, and wear more than how you may honor and glorify God you have a hateful and burdensome master who is not God: ESV Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other….ESV Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

To live like this is to idolize the world, yourselves, your lusts, your relations, while the God of Heaven is neglected.

We must remember that the Bible defines true conversion to Christ as “turning from idols”: ESV

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10: For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

Does this characterize your life? You have “turned to God from idols to serve…to wait for His Son…”?

Have you experienced true conversion? How do you know if your affections of your heart and your actions seek something more than God; if you’re an idolater- -how can you be assured of your knowledge and relationship to Christ?


Who then shall be saved??!!

Where is the heart in which some idol is not secretly advanced? Where it that soul that does not bow down to some lust or vanity? Where it that person that does not give that soul-worship to the creature which is due unto the Creator alone?

On the one hand, we find in Scripture that the people of God can be guilty of terrible sins such as stumbling into unforgiveness, anger, lying, drunkenness, murder, adultery, denial of Christ, and blatant idolatry itself (Abraham and the patriarchs, Noah, David, Solomon, Peter, etc). On the other hand, how can this be consistent with the state of grace when this is blatant spiritual idolatry that is offensive to God??!!

Answer: There is an aptness and still a propensity in every saint of God to be idolaters, just as much there is a propensity and aptness toward other sins. In fact, idolatry as a sin is a root and foundational sin to all the others in the heart. The corruption of our natures in Adam consists of proneness to all abominations, including idolatry.

Grace is imperfect in this life and only corrects this corruption in part. Grace weakens the disposition and desire to idolatry,but it does not completely abolish it. That is why we must be aware of it, and constantly be fighting to kill it in its first motions, and thoughts to sin. We must watch and pray that we do not fall into temptation.

It is true that those folks, those natures that are most sanctified on earth are still a seminary (seed bed) of sin; there is in them the roots, the seeds of atheism, blasphemy, murder, adultery, apostasy, and idolatry.

This disposition to idolatry remains more or less in the best, while the body of death remains. Remember the Apostle Paul’s struggle and great frustrations for his own sins (Romans 7:20-25):

Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.


Is Paul’s Struggle Familiar to You?

Is the Apostle Paul’s struggle in Romans 7 familiar to you? Do you have a fight, a conflict within your soul against sinfulness? Is your alliance with the Spirit of God warring against your flesh? Are you hopeful of being delivered by Jesus from the body of death?

Love in the regenerate still may be inordinate, therefore the other affections, desires, delights, desires, fears, zeals, etc. can give way to actual sins of idolatry in their actions.

With that said, however, we must still understand the power of Jesus Christ, and the fact that true believers have been united to Christ and take part in not only the removal of our penalty for sin, but we are empowered by God’s Spirit to live as more than overcomers (Romans 8)!


Are You Habitually Idolatrous?

The regenerate will still have a disposition toward idolatry, but they will not be guilty of habitual idolatry. The unregenerate and unbelieving are guilty of constant and habitual idolatry, but the regenerate will not be (1 Jo. 2:1-3). True Christians are not habitual idolaters; idolatry does not characterize their lives.

Believers will not yield to these idolatrous notions knowingly, willingly, constantly as unbelievers do; these idolatrous desires are not tolerated or allowed, but rather fought against because they have the Spirit that wages Holy War against the flesh (Gal. 5:16-26).

Believers resist idolatry by living watchfully, prayerfully, carefully, and fully and constantly dependent upon God’s strength and grace in Christ. True believers in Christ will resist, lament and pray against idolatry; they are neither arrogant or ignorant of their remaining sinfulness, but they know that sin shall not reign over them as their master:

ESV Romans 6:11-14: So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Are you a habitual idolater? Has arrogance made you neglectful and apathetic (see Rev. 3:14-22)? Has ignorance caused you to overlook it? Is your life privately characterized by idolatry?

Are you still a slave to sin? Does sin have dominion over you? Has it mastered you?

Begin with your private life. Begin with your heart. Ask God to search you and know you. Is your private life characterized by idolatry as sketched above? Are your hearts and minds filled with idolatry?

If you are characterized by habitual idolatry, you cannot claim the assurance of the knowledge of salvation in Jesus nor can you have assurance that you are empowered by His Spirit.

How can you be assured of your faith in Christ that it is truly a saving faith?

True believers fly to the blood of Christ for pardon; they run desperately and violently as possible to Christ and His power to overcome sin and idolatry! When believers see sin, they run to Christ to confess it.

Believers are diligent to mortify or kill their idolatry when they find it in their hearts and minds so that they can please Christ in their daily duties.

The idolatry that the saints united to Jesus are prone to is not the same as reigning, habitual idolatry of the unregenerate and the unrepentant. None are more ready to disclaim this idolatry than those who are most guilty! Those who are most guilty of idolatry reject any need from God or others.

Our proneness to idolatry is the reason why we must all be neither arrogant nor ignorant toward the remaining sin that is within us. We must seek the LORD and ask Him through watching and praying that He would deliver us more and more, and grant us a deeper repentance and trust in Jesus Christ.

The more we understand what we have been delivered from, and from what we are being delivered, and just how much it has eaten us up inside like a cancer, the more diligent we will be in exalting the grace of God found in Christ Jesus, and running to Jesus for His cleansing blood to purify and empower us over our sins.

Do you live a life of repentance, asking God to search your hearts and minds to cleanse of all of your idols?

Are you an idolater?


What is your hope?

If you realize how deeply your idolatry goes, wouldn’t it behoove you to use your time more wisely in seeking Christ, and seeking Him to make you pure as He is pure? The root to all of the believer’s fruitfulness is found in union with Jesus and we grow as behold the gracious face of God each day in our prayers and in our walk:

ESV 2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Our only hope is in our Savior Jesus Christ! So be strengthened by the grace that is in Jesus (2 Tim. 2:1); watch and pray that you fall not into temptation (Matt. 26:41); be strong in the LORD and in the power of His might (Eph. 6:10); resist the devil, draw near to God (James 4:6ff). Remember the words of James; if we need grace, God will grant it as we ask for it:

“…[God] gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”

Let us pray together for a closer, more committed walk with the Living God by His Spirit!



Dear Lord and Father, help me to watch and pray against idolatry in my heart. Keep my heart pure and clean, and my focus fixed on Christ! Grant me grace to be self-aware of my sin, leading me to daily repentance; make me Christ-aware as I keep my the focus of my affections, feelings, emotions, will and mind on Jesus and not on my base and sinful lusts. In Jesus’s Name. Amen.


In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Biggs



[1] The sermon is by David Clarkson (1622-86), entitled ‘Soul Idolatry Excludes Men from Heaven’ (from Works of David Clarkson, Vol. 2, Banner of Truth Trust). Clarkson was a ministerial colleague of John Owen, and the minister who preached and ministered to Owen’s flock after John Owen’s death (yes, Pastor Clarkson was in the shadows of a greater man—but both were great men!).

“Being a Blessing in a Consumeristic World”

Word of Encouragement

‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’– Acts 20:35

“…And I will bless you…so that you will be a blessing…And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” – Genesis 12:2-3


If you’re a believer, you are blessed! All who believe in Jesus are blessed by God with Father Abraham (Galatians 3:13-16, 26-29). We are blessed with Father Abraham because of God’s promises to him were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. We are all sons and daughters of God through faith in Christ! This means we are greatly blessed!

What does it mean to be blessed by God? What do we mean when we say “God bless you”? Or that “God has blessed me!” We often mean that God has given us some extra money in popular language. But God’s blessing is much more than that! What we should mean primarily when we speak of God’s blessings to us is that we are recipients of God’s grace in three particular ways: (1) Relationship; (2) Righteousness; and (3) Riches.

In Genesis, we are taught that “Father” Abraham was called out of darkness into God’s light by God’s grace and was granted precious promises that established a relationship with God, that gave a righteousness to him that he did not have, and promised great riches because of God’s love.

(1)   Relationship: God has been gracious in seeking out sinners and granting them a relationship to Him by His grace. We who were once far from God have been brought near through the blood of Jesus Christ, and this is what it means to be blessed.

(2)   Righteousness: God has been gracious in giving sinners a perfect righteousness that is received by faith alone in Christ alone. We receive Jesus’ righteousness that was earned from His perfect life lived, and we receive forgiveness of sins through the atoning death Jesus died in our place, and we are received as God’s forgiven children in Him, and this is what it means to be blessed.

(3)   Riches in Christ: God has been gracious in that he not only grants us a relationship with Himself, and a righteousness that is a perfect righteousness that forgives us our sins and equips us for heavenly life with Him for all eternity, but God also further blesses us with all of the riches that are found in our union with Jesus Christ (and there are so many!) and this is what it means to be blessed.

All good and perfect gifts come from God; all things that we enjoy in this life are blessings, but of all these blessings, the greatest of these would be a relationship with the living God, a righteousness from God that makes us acceptable in the Beloved, and all of the riches of God that are given to us because of Jesus.

We are to know that we are richly blessed, so that we will be a blessing to others. God says to Abraham: “I will bless you…so that you will be a blessing.” In Scripture we are taught that God abundantly gives so that we can give to others. We are called by God to honor others above ourselves, to seek to serve, to seek to give whatever we can of our time, talents and possessions.

Do you seek daily to be a blessing to others? Do you plan your day seeking to think prayerfully how you might bless another person, especially those of the household of faith? (Gal. 6:10). We are commanded when we meet together as God’s people to plan or consider how we might stir one another up to love and good works (Hebrews 10:23-25). We are naturally self-centered and focused only on ourselves, so God in Christ commands us to have our eyes fixed on Jesus who gave Himself for us, so that we will seek to stir up others to love and good works.

How can you be a blessing today? Pray that you better understand just how much God has given to you in Jesus Christ. Reflect daily, and meditate day and night on the relationship you have with God because of the love and grace of Jesus. Reflect and meditate upon God’s righteousness that has been given to you, that covers all of your sins, and makes you righteous in God’s sight (use Psalm 32 to equip you to bless others). Reflect on the riches that are in Christ Jesus, and that are yours in Him.

In the Old Covenant, the blessing of God was shown more outwardly in material blessings such as prosperity in land and possessions, fertility (or fruitfulness) in producing families and clans and tribes and peoples, security in dwelling safely and securely in God’s presence, and in victory over one’s enemies in battles. Prosperity, fertility, security, and victory were shadows, or types of the eternal blessings that would come and be fully realized in Jesus.

In the New Covenant, the blessings of God are revealed and realized in spiritual blessings in Christ (but they can also be in material blessings of course; both the Old and New Covenants warn against enjoying the riches and the blessings of God such as prosperity apart from a relationship with the living God, or trusting in one’s fertility, or security, etc; read the Proverbs and prophets for abundant examples of this! In both the Old and New Covenants one could enjoy all the blessings and riches, but be far from God within one’s own heart).

In Christ, we have all of the spiritual riches in the heavenly places we are taught in Ephesians 1:3-14. This means that all believers possess eternal prosperity, fertility, security and victory in Jesus Christ (this is one of the ways you can interpret the Letter to the Ephesians and gain much wisdom from your studies).  These spiritual blessings in the heavenly places can be enjoyed now by God’s people as they walk by faith. God’s blessings in Christ are a foretaste of the blessed eternal and heavenly life of the new creation that we enjoy now by the Spirit of Jesus.

In Christ, we are prosperous in that we will inherit the New Heavens and the New Earth; all that Christ has inherited, we will inherit as “joint-heirs” with Him (we are called beloved “children” and “joint heirs”, Rom. 8:17). In Christ, we can be fruitful through obedience to God, and from the Spirit’s work in our lives through sanctifying grace (John 15:1-11); we can be fruitful in building the church by making disciples of all nations through evangelism or adoption or support of missions and church plants, etc.

In Christ, we can be secure and safe in union with Him, knowing our lives are hidden with Christ in God, and He is our rest from all of our labors (Col. 3:1-4; Matthew 11:28-30; Hebrews 4). In Christ, we can know that all of our victories are because we are more than overcomers in Jesus, and that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

All of these truths of who we are in Christ Jesus should help us to realize how much we have been blessed. In fact, this is how the Apostle Paul tells the Ephesians to pray for one another (Notice how Paul desires them to know their hope, identity, inheritance and power- -all of these are Old Covenant blessed realities found in Jesus: prosperity, fertility/fruitfulness, security, and victory):

ESV Ephesians 1:15-23: For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Do you know how blessed you are in Jesus? Pray to know this better! Ask God to enlighten the eyes of your hearts so that you might know your hope in Jesus, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe! Ask God for a vision through a spirit of wisdom and revelation in your knowledge of Him to see by faith all that God has prepared for those who love Him!

“As it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”- these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.”- 1 Corinthians 2:9-10


May we pray as a congregation for ourselves, but particularly for one another that we would know our prosperity, potential fruitfulness, security and victory in Jesus! You might think to meditate prayerfully to God right now by saying to God in Jesus (in your own words, from you own heart): “I am thankful that you have blessed me in Christ that I am an heir with Christ of all your good creation, of every blessing, and every good thing you will do for Jesus, you will do for me!”

You might pray: “I realize that apart from Christ I can do nothing, but I am eternally grateful in Christ that I can produce fruit that will last; I can reach out to others in your courage and strength, making Christ known in my words and actions, and see many come to know the Lord Jesus.”

You could say to God: “I am grateful that I am secure in Jesus and a conqueror over all my spiritual enemies in the heavenly places- -I am invincible in Jesus; if you be for me, who can be against me?” (Romans 8:31; Eph. 6:10-20; Matt. 28:18-20).

Are you characterized as a worldly consumer or a Kingdom producer? Be careful that a worldly, self-focused, and self-centered mindset does not hinder you from realizing these great blessings that you have in Jesus (1 John 2:15-17; James 4:4)! Be careful that a worldly consumeristic mindset and culture that is set on taking and receiving does not hinder you spiritually from realizing these truths and the great blessings of God in blessing others!

You must remember that we live in a consumer-culture where almost everything that is advertised to us and is appealing to us is for instant gratification; we are often lured into living for self in our daily course. It is not hard for us to be distracted and to backslide in our hearts and minds toward self-service and consumers. Be warned!

As God’s beloved children, let us be wise and wary of being tempted to constantly buy and consume the “next best thing” or the “next version” or “upgrade” or “next download” etc. (We all have the same temptations; let’s help each other from falling into temptations and traps: 1 Cor. 10:12-13).

The worldly consumeristic mindset will focus you on yourself rather than upon others. This consumeristic mindset will indeed harm you spiritually and cause you to consume in a worldly manner that takes your focus off of heaven and of your blessed heavenly pursuits.  All that you have ever really wanted and desired can be fully found and satisfied in Christ- -He is all you need; God is your portion in Christ! One day we will live blessed forever, fully realizing for all eternity that God was all we ever needed, and we can learn this to a certain extent now by God’s grace and Spirit.

But be careful of seeking to satisfy your desires through consumerism like the world; it will make you worldly. Our Lord Jesus warned us of how we can all be so easily tempted to be devoted to purchase power and possessions and despise God. So he taught us to live to thrive by God’s grace in seeking first the Kingdom of God:

ESV Matthew 6:24, 33: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money….But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Do you despise God? If you are devoted to purchasing power and possessions you already despise God, and particularly God’s blessings to you in Christ. Why? Because you love your worldly “blessings” more than you love the blessings found in Jesus. If this is true of you, take a moment right now, to bow your head to Christ, repent and ask Him forgiveness. When we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive and restore us! (Amen!! 1 John 1:8-2:2).

As a congregation, let us for a moment think more deeply about how subtly, quietly and softly that we can be lured into being molded into the mindset of this present age as a consumer. There are at least two kinds of people in the world: worldly consumers and Kingdom producers (note: we all are both consumers and producers in this world, and to consume is not evil in itself, but we should think prayerfully what characterizes us).

Consumers are generally characterized as takers and receivers, while producers are givers, and seek to benefit others. Those characterized as consumers are not normally good producers. Consumers are often hindered from producing, especially producing for the Kingdom of God. Consumers very easily just keep buying and seeking to possess, not realizing that their life is passing them by and that they have been molded into the ways of the world.

Consuming can develop an attitude of immediate gratification and walking/possessing by sight (and cash!), while producing for God’s Kingdom can develop an attitude of delayed gratification and walking/possessing all things by faith (in Christ!). Those who are characterized by walking by sight and cash will not walk by faith and wait upon the LORD.

What is God’s answer to worldly consumerism? Giving. We need to be aware that giving is God’s answer to consumerism. Giving rather than receiving and consuming is God’s way of helping us to keep our heavenly focus on heaven more than the “next best thing”.  Learning to trust God with the riches we already have, and everything else we need to live well in this world, is found in giving. God teaches us to be producers more than consumers. Giving is God’s way of helping us to depend entirely on Him, to resist instant gratification, and to set our hopes on the delayed gratification of storing up treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves do not break in and steal (Matt. 6:24ff).

Consumerism at a deeper level also affects the way we worship, pray and serve. Be careful and aware of the deeper problems of consumerism. Not only will this world turn you into more of a consumer-taker than a producer-giver with the products the world advertises, but it will make you turn into more of a consumer-taker in God’s Church and Kingdom as well. Watch that you have not already been affected by this terrible threat to your good growth and production in Jesus’ church.

How do you know if you have bought into this worldly consumeristic mindset even within God’s Kingdom? One way to know is that you come to worship services thinking merely about how you might receive from God’s Word and others, but have not planned how you might serve and give of yourself. You have come to worship Christ but perhaps you are focused on yourself. You tend to only consume God’s Word, but you do not allow it to transform you into a willing servant and producer for God. In other words, you seek to be a consumer of God’s Word for mere knowledge, rather than knowledge through the Spirit that will transform you and make you productive in God’s Church. This can be an especially dangerous temptation of confessional Christians who love theology.

Another way is that you think that you think when you pray, that the prayers are for yourself only, and you approach God as if you know better than He what is good or best for you and what it is that you need. You might spend more time talking about what you need from God than about worshiping and praying to God and enjoying fellowship and His holy presence. You might seek Him for what you think you need rather than asking Him to search you and correct you and change you. You may have a list of things God needs to do for you today (not to be misunderstood, we should make our requests known to God, but let him also examine your heart and motives for asking, too!).

You might think that everyone else serves, but you don’t need to, or that you do enough. If you have been affected by the consumeristic culture you might not want to commit yourself to others, but you are willing to take from them (there are seasons where we need to be receivers of course, but this is to help us to think about what characterizes us most of the time; look at your heart).  The worldly consumer spends time thinking of self, and taking rather than receiving.

In your service, you might have forgotten that Jesus says that as our Master and Lord, he has set an example of service that all of God’s people should lovingly follow, so that all of us will be built up in our faith. Remember after Jesus washes the feet of His disciples (even of the one disciple who didn’t deserve it and would betray him?):

ESV John 13:13-17: You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

“If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” This is a very important truth to remember my beloved brethren.

If we are characterized by worldly consumerism in our lives and spending habits, then this will be what molds our minds, hearts, and actions in the church and local congregation as well. If we spend our lives seeking to consume and take, we will also spend our spiritual lives seeking to consume and take, rather than realizing the great blessings of God in Christ for those who produce and give, and seek to give more and more! Let us hear and heed the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 12:2:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

It is interesting that the spiritual blessings found in Christ alone that we can never lose such as prosperity, fruitfulness, security and victory are also counterfeited in our culture, and even drive much of our idolatry for consumption. We are tempted to seek prosperity, fruitfulness, security and victory often apart from Christ and in the things that we can do for ourselves, or what we can buy from others. We do not naturally trust God, and we don’t always believe that we have been blessed in Jesus! But we have! Let us be careful of the idolatry of our hearts! Do not let a day go by that you don’t ask God to examine and search you as David:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”- Psalm 139:23-24

Our first step in learning that it is more blessed to give than to receive is to ponder anew and realize all of the lavish love and blessings we have in Christ! Notice in Ephesians 1 that there is a storehouse of wonderful spiritual food to fix your focus on Jesus: We have been chosen; we have been adopted; we have been redeemed by Christ’s precious blood; we have been sealed unto the day of redemption; we have hope; we have an inheritance that no mind has even conceived, that is above and beyond anything we could imagine; we have power in Christ that we have yet to tap into.

In light of the blessings you have received in Jesus, go now in the Name of the Lord Jesus and ask God how you can be a blessing to others. Ask God to make you a brother or sister in Jesus characterized by producing for God’s Kingdom. Ask God by His powerful might and Spirit to transform your consumerism into being a productive son/daughter in God’s kingdom that gives of yourself, and seeks to worship God to give back to God, and to pray to God to enjoy God, and to serve God desiring to produce disciples and build His Church.

You will be greatly rewarded and blessed for all that you do in Jesus’ Name! God is so good to us that He wants us to produce great riches in heaven that we will enjoy with Christ for all eternity!

You have been blessed with a relationship with God in Jesus Christ! You have been blessed with perfect righteousness so that you can enjoy God’s favor, Jesus’ inheritance and eternal bliss for all eternity! You have been blessed with all of the riches in Christ Jesus- -riches that you will never ever be able to fully fathom.

All this has been lavished on you. Serve others. Seek to bless someone today, particularly those in the household of faith. Give of yourself. Give of your time. Give of your talents. Give of your money and possessions to bless.

“I will bless you…so that you will be a blessing.”- Genesis 12:2-3



In Christ’s love,


Pastor Biggs

“Fall Down at the Savior’s Feet”

“Fall Down at the Savior’s Feet” – Luke 8:40-56


What makes us fall down? The weight of something can make us fall down. We fall down and stumble sometimes because we are careless and frail. What makes us fall down before God?


Our need.


His great power and glory.


The weight of our need for Jesus, and the weight of our realization of His power and glory, and the weight of His kind and merciful willingness to take time to heal us. This makes us fall down at his feet.


Let us worship Jesus. Right now, fall down, and seek Him who calls out to you, and promises to you all that you will ever need in Him. Fall down at Jesus’ feet and find what you need in Jesus, where you can get nowhere else. Go to Him and worship


In Luke 8:40-56, two people fall down at Jesus’ feet because they have great need of Jesus and His healing power. One person who falls down in Jesus’ presence is Jairus, an important person in his day, a synagogue ruler. Another person who fell down in Jesus’ presence was just a nameless common woman described as “a woman who had a discharge of blood for twelve years” (Luke 8:43). Read Luke 8:40-56.


Jairus, the important man, and the nameless common woman both had desperate needs, and it didn’t matter the social or economical position that they held in this world. When death came calling, both of them knew that only Jesus could bring healing and help.


And death came calling. In Jairus’ home, Jairus’ dear and **only** daughter was dying. His only daughter (about twelve years of age) was dying; he was losing what was most important to him in this world; the little girl would no longer bless him with her smiles, giggles, hugs, and wretched death would steal her presence from his home forever! (Luke 8:42).


Jairus went to Jesus because all of his importance, all of his religious and social standing, did not matter at this moment. He was a frail man in the face of death, with absolutely no power to save the dear one who meant the most to him in the whole world! He goes to Jesus. Amen! Go to Jesus right now for help.


Jairus goes to Jesus, and “falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house…” (8:41). Jairus implored Jesus. The word “implore” is from the verb parakaleo the same verb used of the Holy Spirit as being one called along side. The term here is being used to show that this important man was begging Jesus with all of his might to do the impossible: reverse death’s awful threat upon his daughter’s life! Jairus is praying fervently. Jairus prays by the Spirit for his daughter to be healed.


In the nameless common woman’s life, she had spent all she had in this world (and it was probably very little) to get well. We are told that “she had spent all her living on physicians” (8:43). No one could help her; no one (not a soul could help her) (8:44). All of the professional advice, wisdom, and medical help she sought could not save her from this slow discharge of blood that would eventually kill her. Death was creeping up on her and robbing her of life.


This woman, with all of the faith she could muster rushes through the crowds to Jesus and touches the fringe of Jesus’ garment. Don’t let anything hinder you from seeking the healing that only Jesus can give. Go and find at least his outer garment to touch. Get as near as you can!!


Just the outer edges of Jesus’ presence will heal sinners! Don’t you see, go to Jesus, touch whatever you can, reach as far as you’re able, with whatever faith you can muster. You may have a little faith, and little hope to get to Jesus, but you’re reaching for a great and powerful CHRIST!


Power went out from Jesus when this dear weak and nameless woman touched Him. We are told “she came up behind HIM and touched the fringe of His garment and immediately her discharge of blood ceased” (8:44) – -and she was immediately healed (8:45-48).


In the face of Jesus Christ, the nightmare of death is over. Jesus brings life.


A little faith, perhaps a very small hope that anyone could ever help her, but this nameless common woman took hold of a GREAT CHRIST. And when this woman felt the weight of God’s glory in Jesus Christ, and the power of his LIFE, she came “trembling and falling down before him” (8:47).


She fell down to worship Christ, to honor the only hope for those dying! We find in Christ the only one who can help us in our time of need!


And her faith in Jesus healed and saved her (8:48). Although she is nameless and common, she is a “daughter” to the living God. Jesus says to her: “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” The woman’s faith in Jesus showed her to be a true daughter of the Living God, heirs to the life that is found in Jesus. She goes in peace, having found her hope of life in Christ.


But while Jesus was healing this nameless common woman, Jairus’ daugther had grown worse in the meantime, and news came to Jesus that Jairus’ daughter has died. They came with the news: “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher anymore” (8:49).


This is an example of a faithless people, who do not understand that when Jesus is present to faith there is no threat of death. “Let’s not trouble Jesus with things that he cannot do,” they say. We also think this way sometimes functionally even as Christians. Whereas the nameless common woman was at least willing to give Jesus a try with the little faith she had, these folks are unwilling to even ask?!


Such prayerless and hopeless people we can be sometimes—even when Jesus promises that He is with us!


But Jesus is gracious to even the prayerless and hopeless, and He speaks Gospel words of comfort into Jairus’ life; Jairus (and all in his home) heard life-giving, Holy-Spiritual empowered words come forth from the lips of the Savior. Jesus told Jairus confidently as the Lord of Life and Death:


“Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.”


We often will listen to fear and look to circumstances before we look to Christ and hear His words of promise to us!


What confidence believers can have when facing Jesus Christ. When we look to Jesus and hear His Gospel-drenched, gracious words of power and kindness, all of our fears can be relieved. Our faith, while it may be small, takes hold of a GREAT CHRIST, who can do things that we can’t even conceive or imagination- -so great is His grace and power (Eph. 3:20-21).


And this causes us to fall down beneath the weight of his majesty and power, and we worship Him, too. Worship Him now. Thank Jesus for calming all of your fears; for being your Savior and promising to never leave you nor forsake you. Turn now from what you fear the most, bask in His goodness, mercy and kind presence (Heb. 4:14-16), the go back to face that which seemed so insurmountable, and find grace and comfort.


Jesus reaches Jairus’ home and there are many mourners present. Jesus brings words of comfort for those who have ears to hear. While there is the sound of weeping and mourning, Jesus speaks peaceful words of grace: “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping” (8:52).


Even in the midst of sadness, Jesus’ words can bring hope.


But the folks at Jairus’ home laughed at him (8:53- How did they go so quickly from mourning and weeping to laughing?!!). Do you laugh at God’s Word, or do you simply believe what He says to you? Do you live functionally like these people laughing inwardly, sneering, seeking to lean on your own strength, while laughing at others who take God’s words seriously?


Do you laugh rather than fall at Jesus’ feet? Behold the glory of God:


In the face of Jesus Christ we behold that the nightmare of death is over (see also John 11:40).


Jesus doesn’t rebuke the people for laughing; he doesn’t let the folks with unbelief bother him in the least bit. No, he goes to the one who needs Him. And he will find you who are in need too…


Jesus goes to the child. We are told: “But taking her by the hand he called, saying ‘Child, arise’” (8:54). Jesus is so gentle and merciful. He takes the dead little girl, the **only** daughter of Jairus, the precious daughter of Jairus, by the hand, and she speaks words of power and life to her.


But in the face of Jesus, death is only sleeping.


Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. Death cannot abide in His powerful presence, and this is a reason for us to fall down before Him. Jesus Christ is the Lord of Life!


Jesus speaks to the child a command; Jesus’ words of command have power even over the dead. Jesus commands the child to arise (8:54). We are told then that “And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat” (8:55).


Death had not only separated Jairus from the love and presence of his beloved only daughter, but death had separated Jairus’ daughters’ spirit from her body.


Death is an horrific and evil intruder in God’s creation. Death is not the way it should have been; we must never say that death is just a part of life. Death is because of the sin of man against God, and the just penalty of God for disobedience to His Word.


God does not leave man in fear of death (Heb. 2:14-18). God becomes a man, and becomes subject to the weakness and sin and misery of this life characterized by death, and even undergoes death Himself on behalf of those who believe. God becomes man and dies under the curse of death so that we might be forgiven of our many sins against God, so that we might be reconciled to God and never separted from Him, so that we might be healed of death, and so that we might never be separated from our loved ones again!


This is the hope of those who believe in Christ. Christ has taken the death penalty for our sins. He paid the infinite price of eternal death in our place on the cross. Jesus was forsaken by His father, separated from communion with God, and his body and spirit were separated in death for all who believe. Jesus Christ has been in the tomb , under the power of death, and He has risen victorious as the King of kings and Lord of Life!


In Jesus’ resurrection, we see our hope of sins forgiven, death abolished, and a life with God and our loved ones for all eternity. This is the hope we anticipate as Christians (Revelation 21:1-7). God will dwell with us forever, and we will live with Him and all our loved ones never to be separated by death.  We rejoice that when Christ returns the final enemy will be defeated which is death itself. There will be no more death soon and very soon!  “The last enemy to be destroyed [at Christ’s second coming] is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26).


Death is a problem that only Jesus Christ can fix by His power and grace. Only Jesus can bring together and unify eternally loved ones who are separated by death, and spirits separated from bodies. And death becomes sleep in Jesus’ presence. What a picture here of Jesus’ care of all who believe.


Jesus finds His beloved people in our weakness and death, and he comes to us, takes us gently and mercifully by our hands, and speaks life to us. We arise and find healing from our sins in His presence and we behold His face.


When we face death as believers, Jesus may heal us as he did the nameless and common woman. But usually when we face death, we actually die as Jairus’ daughter; we close our eyes as in sleep. For believers in Jesus, death is just like a sleep; a short nap. This is the important point.


Like Jairus’ daughter dying, our dying is very similar. Jesus reaches down into death and draws up back into life. Jesus reaches through into this dimension characterized by sin and misery and death, and brings life to us by taking us permanently into His wonderful and blessed presence.


And we live forever beholding His face! When we die, or when our loved ones die in the Lord, we can be confident that although we are separated from them for a season, they are not separated from Jesus Christ! Although their spirits and bodies be separated and await the union of both on the resurrection on the Last Day, nevertheless, they are not separated from the blissful presence of the Lord Jesus.


And they through death will stare and behold, like Jairus’ daughter, into the glorious and merciful face of their precious Savior. And they will be fully healed because of His power. They will be rescued and saved from a world of sin and misery characterized by death.


This is our hope in Jesus Christ!


When we die, and when those we love die, let us be reminded and comforted of these truths. That death is like sleep in that we close our eyes from this world to open our eyes and to awake fully alive and well and healed staring and beholding the face of Jesus Christ.


When Jairus’ daughter awoke from her death, you can imagine how she would have never forgotten Jesus’ precious face. To remember that glorious face all the days of her life would have given her hope in the death she would die again. But the next time she would die, she would know that the same Jesus Christ who healed her once, would do it again- -but the next time for all eternity! This is written for us to know this and believe.


Don’t forget this face. Don’t forget the face of Jesus Christ. Once he has healed you, you will never see anything more beautiful and glorious again!


Behold the face of Jesus Christ in life and death.


Fall down and worship Him!


Encourage and comfort one another with these words of the Apostle Paul concerning death from 1 Thessalonians. The Apostle Paul teaches the doctrinal truth of what Luke’s Gospel shows to us in the sleep of Jairus’ daughter:


ESV 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18: But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.


Fall down and worship before Him!


Find life in Christ alone.


You and I need Him so desperately. Whether you’re an important person or a nameless common person, fall down and find hope and healing in Christ alone.


In Christ’s love,


Pastor Charles- “The Vicar” (I was affectionately known as ‘the Vicar” to John Connor)


This Word of Encouragement is dedicated to my friend and brother John Curtis Connor who recently closed his eyes in this world, to open his eyes in the presence of the Lord Jesus. I am grateful for John’s life, and hopeful in Christ for his death.

Communion with God

Word of Encouragement

The following is a digest of John Owen’s excellent work entitled ‘Communion with the Triune God’ for those who may not have the time to read it right now but would like to benefit from the rich teaching.


John Owen on ‘Communion with God’ (Excerpts from his book and a digest of the truths therein).


How do I have communion with God? To experience communion with God we must first be reconciled to Him through faith in Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ brings us into fellowship with the Triune God. Jesus reveals God to us and by His Spirit unites us to God. In God, we can have wonderful communion and fellowship with the Eternal God.


“…Our fellowship (communion) is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.”- 1 John 1:3-4


Owen wrote: “To experience communion with God there needs to be fellowship and communication: shared affections, response, delight, and satisfaction. Communion is active communion of giving and receiving.”


We have the privilege in Christ to seek God and to find Him. And to find in God one we can share our thoughts, read and meditate upon His words to us and delight and be satisfied by this fellowship. Like the most intimate relationships we have on earth, true communion is to share oneself; it is to enjoy one another; it is to delight and be satisfied. Isn’t is an amazing truth that the God of the universe whom we by nature have offended with our sins, has sought us out in Christ to have intimate fellowship and relationship with us?!


We were created for fellowship with God. Only in God do we find what our hearts are ultimately desire; God alone satisfies our souls. God gives by His Spirit through His Word and we receive from Him the grace to live on Him and in Him.


The Spirit of God by His grace makes possible our communion with God. The Spirit of God is particularly the One who is sent as Sanctifier and Comforter of God’s people in Christ (John 14-16). The Spirit brings life from our deadened hearts, and unites us with Jesus Christ so that we might have fellowship and communion with God.


Owen wrote: “The Spirit as Sanctifier comes with power, to conquer an unbelieving heart; the Spirit as Comforter comes with sweetness to be received in a believing heart.”


The Spirit not only enables us to have communion with the Triune God, but He makes us desire communion as we seek after Him. The Spirit makes our communion sweet.  Whatever rules over our affections, rules our emotions and thoughts and will. What we love the most; what is most sweet to us is what will rule the entire person.


But as Christians in this world, we still struggle against our sins, and so we must by faith seek the Spirit’s help in our communion with God. Our flesh will fight against us (“war against us” Gal. 5:16), and prevent us from doing what we desire in seeking God (Gal. 5:16-26; Romans 7:13ff).  As we realize this inward conflict, we must seek Christ all the more for help by His Spirit. For those who recognize their emptiness and need, the Spirit takes us to Christ.


Owen wrote: “Assure yourself then, there is nothing more acceptable unto the Father, than for us to keep up our hearts unto Him as the Eternal Fountain of all that rich grace which flows out to sinners in the blood of Jesus.”


We have a constant, daily need for the grace of Christ. We are dependent upon Him for all things, and we submit humbly to Jesus for a greater and deeper communion with God. Our flesh will try to seek satisfaction from worldly things, even lawful worldly things, but we must never forget that God alone is the one who can satisfy the deepest longings of our soul.  We must keep our hearts unto Him by His gracious Spirit, as we reflect on the death of Christ and the mercy God has shown to us in Him.


By nature, God is far from us, therefore we must always think of God’s divine attributes, or the truths about God, through the lens of Christ. We can be confident that in Christ as our Mediator, we will always receive mercy and grace in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16). Christ gives us confidence before God, and in Christ we can know that God is for us.


As sinful people, we learn in creation that God is above us (Rom. 1:19ff); in the Law we learn that God is against us (Rom. 8:3-4); in Christ Jesus we learn by God’s Spirit that God is for us and if God is for us, who can be against us?! (Romans 8:31).  How are we to be confident and sure that God is for us in Christ? We have confidence by the fact that Jesus who died for sinners is also raised for us and seated at God’s right hand. God has received a down-payment of our flesh in heaven, and so has sent a down-payment of heaven to us by His Spirit.


Owen wrote: “For as God has given us the earnest (down payment) of His Spirit, so Has He received from us the earnest of the flesh, and has carried it with Him into heaven as a pledge of that completed entirety which is one day to be restored.”


This means that the Spirit takes from Christ and gives to us in our humanity all that we need for life and godliness. Christ satisfies our souls. The Spirit enables us to live for Christ and strengthens us against sin by taking from the glorified humanity of Jesus in heaven. The Spirit is a down-payment now of the full and eternal communion that awaits us for all eternity. We can have a part of eternity now as God has poured out His Spirit into our hearts and grants us His loving presence (Romans 5:5; 2 Cor. 1:21-22).


How does God draw us into close communion with Him by His Spirit? By teaching us of His loving thoughts toward us. God reveals His love to us so that we can delight in Him. Everything that Jesus did in His life, death, resurrection, and is doing in His ascended Heavenly ministry at God’s right, is for us, for His beloved.


Owen wrote: “From eternity He had thoughts of what He would do for us, and delighted Himself therein. And when Jesus was in the world, in all He went about, He had still this thought: ‘This is for them, and this is for them- -my beloved’.”


Let us think on the promises of God in Christ. All of God’s promises are “yes” and “amen” in Christ Jesus! We can draw from God’s promises to us in Christ so that we might draw nearer to Him and benefit from communion with Him.


Owen wrote: “The life and soul of all our comforts lie treasured up in the promises of Christ. God’s promises in Christ are the breasts of all our consolation.”


Our communion with God will encourage us to be more intentional in our obedience to God. We will know and experience more of the liberating power from the Spirit, and we will live more freely from our sins. Our communion with God will become more of a delight and liberty rather than a mere duty. Prayer will be more frequent and necessary for our souls to be filled up with Christ.


Owen wrote: “God’s Spirit brings spiritual freedom, love, and rest. This freedom is a freedom for obedience, not a freedom from it. Slaves take liberty from duty; children have liberty in duty….The soul is never more raised with the love of God than when by the Spirit it is taken into intimate communion with God in prayer.”


Let us rejoice in our communion with God and let us seek that heavenly communion with God now as we live here, hoping and awaiting heaven when all of our desires will be fully realized and satisfied.


ESV Colossians 3:1-4: If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.


Ponder the love of God for you.


IN Christ’s love,


Pastor Biggs

Growing in and Praying God’s Precious Promises

Word of Encouragement


Earlier this week, we considered the assurance of our salvation in our W*O*E. One of the ways that we grow in our faith and so in our assurance of salvation is through believing the precious and very great promises of God (as we considered in 2 Peter 1:3-11). Let us look at a few of the precious and very great promises of God from the Apostle Peter’s first letter.


I encourage you to pray these to God this morning (or in a time that you might have later), confessing who you are in in Jesus and then I will challenge you to pray with me, as you pray for yourself, your family and our congregation according to how we are to live in light of it in the conclusion below. I truly believe as your pastor that if we would pray these truths for ourselves, our families, and our congregation at KCPC, we would continue to see the glory of God in Christ. Let us pray together always (Eph. 6:18-20).


Who are you in Jesus?


  • I am an elect exile (1 Peter 1:1-2). I have been chosen by grace before I was born from eternity past; I am a pilgrim-exile here who longs for a Heavenly Home where Jesus is and prepares a place for me (Heb. 11:13-16; John 14:1ff; Revelation 21:3, 7).
  • I have been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus (1:3). As Jesus has been raised from the dead, so I will be raised from the dead (and am already seated with Christ in the Heavenly Places now, Col. 3:1ff; Eph. 2:5-8).
  • I have a great inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading (1:4). My inheritance no person can steal, nothing can destroy, no one can take from me. It is kept with Jesus and is one of my greatest hopes and should be the content of my most fervent prayers (see Eph. 1:15-23).
  • Although I live by faith, I believe Jesus and His words to me and so I am filled with a joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory (1:8).
  • I have been born again, not of perishable seed, but imperishable (1:23). God has acted on me by His power and Spirit so that I am who I am because of grace alone!
  • I am a spiritual house where the Spirit of God lives (2:5); I am part of a chosen race, a royal priesthood and holy nation (2:9); I was formerly under God’s wrath, now I have received mercy (2:10). I am the temple of the Spirit of God, and part of a family of those privileged to know Jesus, and one for whom Christ died; I am part of a priesthood of people who make God known to the world, and have the privilege of entering the Most Holy Place where Jesus is (Heb. 4:14-16).
  • I am one for whom Christ died, and thankful that Jesus bore my sins in His body on the tree, that I might die and live to righteousness; by His wounds I have been spiritually healed, though privileged to suffer physically with him (2:22-25).


How should I live and pray today?


ESV 1 Peter 3:8-12: Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; 11 let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”


Lord, let me and others in my family and congregation at KCPC…

  • Lord, let me and others in my family and congregation at KCPC have unity of mind. Let us all be like-minded in our knowledge of the Savior, and know that you love us. Let us be committed to one purpose (1 Peter 3:8).
  • Lord, let me and others in my family and congregation at KCPC be sympathetic (3:8) with each other and with our neighbors. Let us have a sympathy with each other like Christ has, and give us strength to grow in sympathy because of His Spirit and our union with Christ.
  • Lord, let me and others in my family and congregation at KCPC possess deep brotherly love and affection (3:8) for one another (also 2 Peter 1:5-7). Let us grow in this and so allow our faith to mature into assurance and deepen our joy in Jesus.
  • Grant us a tender heart (3:8). Let us be humble before you, resisting the world, the flesh and the devil, drawing near to you, standing firm in our faith (1 Peter 5:6-10; James 4:6-10).
  • Lord, grant us humble minds (3:8). May we learn from one another; may we learn from others who we least expect to teach us. Grant that we humble our minds before you and be teachable.
  • Help us never to repay evil for evil, but let us bless others (3:9).
  • Let us take part in your promised blessing of Psalm 34:12-16 (Quoted in 1 Peter 3:10-12): (1) Let us keep our tongues from speaking evil and telling lies so that we can enjoy life and see pleasant days for ourselves, our family and our congregation (3:10); (2) Let us seek peace and pursue it, turning away from evil, and doing good (3:11). Let us not merely live with one another, but be actively seeking peace and pursuing it as a family and a congregation at KCPC. (3) We know that you will hear us, O Lord as you have promised:


“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayer” (3:12).


As Peter taught men earlier to live with their wives so that they might not be hindered in their prayers (3:7). So Peter here teaches all of the saints who make up the congregation to live righteously in light of who we are in Jesus, so that our prayers will not be hindered (3:12)>


I leave you with the blessed promise that if we know who we are in Jesus, and we live like it, then we can confidently believe God’s precious and very great promises to us in Christ, and we can grow in our faith and thus grow in our assurance of the love of Christ for us; as we grow in faith and then assurance, so we will grow more in our faith and so on, and so on, and so on, forever and ever. Amen!


Love in Christ,


Pastor Biggs


Important! Reminder for All Preachers

Recently I’ve been reading Arturo Azurdia III’s book ‘Spirit-Empowered Preaching’ (Mentor, 2010) and have been reminded of some very important truths. What has been most helpful to me as a preacher was to be reminded of the great promise and hope of God’s power when we pray. Additionally, I have been struck with how important it is for the congregation to pray for their preachers, coming expectantly to worship to receive from Christ in each sermon. As the Apostle Paul commanded the Ephesian Christians to pray at all times,for one another, and especially for the preaching ministry of the Gospel of grace:

ESV Ephesians 6:18-20: …Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

The Apostle Paul commands Christians to pray at all times, for one another, and also that “words may be given…boldly” in the proclamation of the Gospel. This call to pray is that the Gospel would go forth boldly from lips and sink into the people’s ears by God’s power and the working of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:1-5).

I would like to share a few quotations with you from Pastor Azurdia’s chapter on Preaching and the Man of God (pgs. 129ff). Please read carefully and prayerfully whether you are a preacher or a listener to preachers.

“Throughout the Upper Room discourse Jesus is exceedingly consistent: prayer is to be the preoccupation of the man sent out to proclaim the message of the Gospel.

The confession of the apostles was as follows: “We will devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:4a).

Charles Bridges wrote, commenting on this text from Acts:

“Prayer…is one half of a man’s ministry; and it gives to the other half all its power and success. Without prayer, a minister is of no use to the church, nor any advantage to mankind.”

Bridges continues: The minister sows; and God gives no increase. He preaches; and his words are only like ‘sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal’ (1 Cor. 13:1-3). The minister recites the praises of God; while ‘his heart is far from God’.

It is prayer alone, then, that gives the whole strength and efficacy to our different administrations as ministers of God’s Word. That man ceases, if I may use the expression, to be a public Minister of God’s Word from the time he ceases to pray.”

Calvin Miller wrote similarly:

“The oral side of our career as ministers is visible, but it is never the source of our spiritual power. In fact, our devotional life…is the secret of clout. A friend of mine long ago reminded me that I could not help people if I was always with people….When Harold Fickett, Jr. says, ‘A preacher is the epic poet of his people,’ we must admit that the epic gains its form from silence….Preaching from the silent center is the evidence that we who preach on trust are also living it.

Preaching, in one sense, merely discharges the firearm that God has loaded in the silent place [of prayer]. The successful volley does not mean that we have passed homiletics but rather that we have been with God.”

Edward Payson summarized this aptly: “It is in the [prayer] closet that the [spiritual] battle is lost or won.”

Advice on how to be a faithful preacher (a summary from book):

  • Pray for the vitality and power of the Holy Spirit and guard your devotional life from intruders. He writes: “For this reason, barring emergencies, I do not schedule appointments or receive telephone calls before 1 pm. Like all hard-working pastors, if I pray only when people and circumstances allow it to be convenient, I would rarely pray. To be sure, this kind of priority on prayer can arouse accusations such as the following: ‘Our pastor is unapproachable. It is difficult to get close to him. He is not very accessible.’ Over time, however, maturing Christians will come to appreciate the value of such a discipline. They themselves will be the benefactors of it. Until such a time, a preacher must rest in the conviction that the protection and cultivation of his own inner life is in the best interest of the congregation.”
  • The Minister of God’s Word must prepare himself for preaching by the means of diligent study of the Scriptures. “The Gospel preacher can take great confidence in the fact that the Spirit of God speaks effectually through His rightly divided Word.”


  • A minister should daily recognize and confess his inabilities, weakness, and place his total dependence and trust upon God. “The preacher must recognize, and even revel in, his own human inabilities….God will have no competitors. For this reason He manifests His power through weakness. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the Gospel preacher to recognize the overpowering nature of his inabilities; to be able to say with Paul: ‘who is sufficient for these things?’ (2 Cor. 2:16). ‘The strength of the pulpit is in its own conscious weakness, and in God’s almighty power’.”

Let us pray for our preachers that they will be filled with God’s powerful Spirit, that they will be faithful to the hard work of painstaking exegesis of the word of God, and that they would pray, pray, pray. Let us pray that they would be comfortable in their weaknesses, and strong in their trust and dependence upon the Lord Christ! (Eph. 6:10-13)

Let us pray that our preachers would be able to say that almost half of their ministerial labors is invested in study, meditation and learning God’s Word, and that the other half would be willingly and eagerly invested in prayer for the preaching and the people of God.

May we glorify Christ and build His Church by being useful, faithful, self-forgetful, and Christ-centered!

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Biggs

Octavius Winslow on Prayer

Hebrews 4:14-16: Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.- ESV

Octavius Winslow:

“The throne of grace is near at hand. You have not to travel far to reach it; there is no lengthy and painful journey, no wearisome and mortifying pilgrimage. It is near at hand. Lying down or rising up, going out or coming in, in the streets and in the house, in public or in private, in the private chamber or in the sanctuary, God is everywhere, and where He is, there is a prayer-hearing and prayer-answering God.”

Why do we often say that we are too busy to pray? To know that Jesus our Savior is always accessible to us; to know that He loves us and invites us to come to Him often; to know that Jesus tells us to come boldly to Him through His blood.

How could we NOT pray?

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

I think sometimes we forget our great need for Christ in all his grace and fullness. Here’s help to get you seeking Jesus prayerfully. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you trust God enough right now in your life?
  • Do you love God and others enough?
  • Do you pray enough?
  • Do you forgive others enough?
  • Can you “do” life alone today?

Now, take these questions to the throne of grace, confess your needs, and there you’ll find a loving and merciful Savior, full of compassion and sympathy toward sinners, and one able to help you!

Are you really too busy to pray?

Love in Christ,

Pastor Charles