Grace to You

  • John MacArthur on Courage and Confidence
    Few things today are as valuable as carefully chosen words. In an environment where critics and opponents are looking for excuses to be offended, bold speech and clear language are increasingly rare. God’s people are not immune to this trend toward enforced inoffensiveness. We have all felt the familiar twinge of societal pressure to stay silent when we ought speak up, or to dull the sharp edges of truth that cuts to the quick. While we rightly long to be clear and courageous communicators of God’s Word, the reality is that we often fall short. We have been called to preach a... Read more »
  • Take Courage
    Scripture is clear that believers are divinely equipped by Christ to overcome the threats of this world (1 John 5:4—5). That means we don’t need to yield to the mounting pressure to conform to the world’s skewed values, sinful social norms, and ever-shifting morality. We don’t need to acquiesce to a world determined to sideline the church and silence the proclamation of the gospel. At the same time, we must not make the mistake of thinking we’re incapable of caving in to such pressure. We need to remember that none of us is impervious to momentary compromise, and we must not... Read more »
  • The High Cost of Cowardice
    When you think of courageous Christians, your mind likely runs to the heroes of church history. You think of the men and women who endured imprisonment, torture, and even martyrdom for the sake of their faith. And certainly there are many places around the world where believers still face similar threats today. But that’s not the context in which most of us live and work. What does courageous Christianity look like in our day-to-day lives? That question has been on my mind since late last year, when controversy swirled around a statement made by contemporary Christian recording artist Lauren Daigle. During a... Read more »
  • Friday’s Featured Sermon: “Fifty Years of Unleashing God’s Truth, One Verse at a Time: An Interview with John MacArthur”
    On February 9, 1969, John MacArthur preached his first sermon as pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. In the fifty years since, John’s sequential exposition of Scripture has continued unabated—always with the same relentless passion and desire to know God’s Word and explain its true meaning. In deciding what to say from the pulpit, and how to say it, John has never followed the “exciting” trends that have characterized evangelicalism over the past fifty years. And with very rare exceptions (e.g., 9/11, the Northridge earthquake, riots in Los Angeles, the Gulf War), news headlines have not influenced his... Read more »
  • Blessed Assurance
    God is holy and we are sinful. Those two inescapable truths should frame our entire worldview. They also explain the terror God’s saints always felt during the divine encounters recorded in Scripture. It shouldn’t surprise us that even the apostle John collapsed “like a dead man” at the Lord’s feet when he came face-to-face with the glorified Christ (Revelation 1:17). Throughout Scripture, that kind of intense, overwhelming fear was the consistent reaction of those who experienced a heavenly vision or encounter. When the Angel of the Lord appeared and announced the birth of Samson, “Manoah said to his wife, ‘We will... Read more »
  • God Glorified Through His People
    As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14–16)  One of the deadliest heresies the church has ever faced is the lie that unrepentant sinful behavior is compatible with faith in Christ. The apostle John wrote his first epistle in response to that teaching, forwarded by the gnostic docetists who had infiltrated churches in Asia minor. The gnostics were determined to sever all... Read more »
  • Sovereign Care and Protection
    How would you assess the current state of the church? Many believers would deliver a despairing report. Cowardice, compromise, and heresy abound in the guise of church growth strategies and contextualization. Religious broadcasting is overrun with charlatans and salesmen. And the political correctness juggernaut continues to infiltrate congregations.  Yet Jesus Christ is still building His church and exercising sovereign control over it. In Revelation 1:16, John sees that Christ is holding something in His hand: “In His right hand He held seven stars.” In verse 20, Jesus clarifies who these stars represent: “The seven stars are the angels of the seven... Read more »
  • The Lord’s Voice of Authority
    I frequently hear pastors say, “You need to learn to listen to the voice of God. You need to be tuned in so you can hear His still, small voice.” Author Sarah Young makes a similar claim in Jesus Calling—her bestselling devotional based on messages she claims to have received from Christ. Presumptuously writing in the Lord’s voice, she dispatches the following instructions. Wait quietly in My presence while My thoughts form silently in the depths of your being. Do not try to rush this process, because hurry keeps your heart earthbound. I am the Creator of the entire universe, yet... Read more »
  • The Lord Purifies His People
    “He’s not mad at you, He’s mad about you.” That’s how one high-profile pastor of a leading seeker-sensitive church likes to describe God’s supposed disposition toward sinners. [1] https://pastorrick.com/if-you-want-to-change-start-with-your-thinking/. But that short turn of phrase—clearly designed to soothe convicted consciences and diminish the offense of sin—is a woeful distortion of God’s holy character and the judgment our sin demands. Moreover, it belies Christ’s ongoing work of disciplining and purifying His church. When the apostle John encountered the Lord while exiled on Patmos, “His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow” (Revelation 1:14). Christ’s head and hair weren’t just... Read more »
  • Friday’s Featured Sermon: “The Benefits of Knowing Christ”
    I once heard the story of a man who spent his entire life in abject poverty. Soon after his death, a massive deposit of gold was discovered just beneath the surface of his small plot of land. I found it staggering to contemplate the vast resources that poor man had right under his feet his whole, wretched life—without ever knowing about it. Sadly, many Christians live their lives in a similar kind of oblivious ignorance. And while the poor man’s ignorance was largely excusable, the clueless believer has no such defense. As John MacArthur points out, we must not be so... Read more »