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Hurricanes are a result of people’s sins, Ken Ham, the president and founder of the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, tweeted on Wednesday.

Noah’s Ark theme park getting $1.8 million state tax rebate after first yearNoah’s Ark theme park getting $1.8 million state tax rebate after first year

“Devastating Hurricanes-reminder we live in a fallen groaning world as a result of our sin against a Holy God-it’s our fault not God’s fault,” he tweeted.

In the tweet, he posted a picture with a verse from Romans 8:22: “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.”


Devastating Hurricanes-reminder we live in a fallen groaning world as a result of our sin against a Holy God - it's our fault not God's fault.

SEE STORY HERE

 

September 8, 2017

My Soul’s Refuge

by Robby Higginbottom

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in You my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills His purpose for me.
He will send from heaven and save me;
He will put to shame him who tramples on me.

God will send out His steadfast love and His faithfulness!
My soul is in the midst of lions;
I lie down amid fiery beasts—
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let Your glory be over all the earth!
They set a net for my steps;
my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my way,
but they have fallen into it themselves.

My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
Awake, my glory!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to You among the nations.
For Your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
Your faithfulness to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let Your glory be over all the earth!

Psalm 57:1-11 (http://pcpc.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=eba67192d3a27da52e93fefb8&id=c0d2cef867&e=82a9a8f891)

Psalm 57 wasn’t written in a vacuum. This prayerful song rises from a real person and a certain moment in time. As you read the passage, imagine being David. The Lord has told you that you will be the king of Israel. You’re thrilled by the prospect, but the succession plan has all kinds of kinks in it. The old king (Saul) is not excited about the transition and would rather kill you than give up his job. So here you are, the Lord’s anointed, running from a man obsessed with your death, hiding in a cave. When you think about the threats around you, you can say “my soul is in the midst of lions” (Psalm 57:4). But from the lion’s den, a note of confidence rings. You declare to God, “In You my soul takes refuge” (Psalm 57:1). The threat of destruction is constant, yet you feel safely hidden in the shadow of God’s wings. You know your soul’s refuge.

In Psalm 57, the Lord commends to us the benefits of making Him our refuge. Like David, we live in a moment with real dangers, and we cannot help but seek refuge somewhere. Just in the past month, we have lived beneath the gathering clouds of political turmoil, racial division, natural disasters, and nuclear war. If the external threats were not enough, we face the perpetual conflict with sin that clings so closely (Hebrews 12:1). We feel the pull to find refuge in possessions, pleasures, politics, places, and people. But none of these compares to the security and strength we find in the Lord Jesus Christ. The hymn reminds us, “On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.” As our soul takes refuge in Christ, we begin to see every other shelter for what it is: fragile and faulty, unable to withstand the storm. When we see that our makeshift refuge is like a cardboard dwelling in a hurricane, will we forsake it?

Only in Christ do we have a shelter stronger than the wages of sin and the waves of life. There are countless blessings that flow from the security of being hidden in Christ. Even in the dark caves of life, the Lord gives us confidence that He will fulfill His purpose for us (Psalm 57:2). Because Jesus has overcome the darkness and destruction of the cross, we know that He is working all things together for our good and His glory. With this confidence, we can sing with David in the cave and with Paul in prison. The song of a steadfast heart pleases us, but it also perplexes those who have yet to make the Lord their refuge. When saints sing through their suffering, the worth of Christ is on full display.

If we have made the Lord our refuge, what kind of joy should be evident in our lives? For we know that in Christ we are loved, and nothing—not sickness, not persecution, not war, not even death—can separate us from His love. Storms are here, and storms are coming. But we have a refuge full of mercy, strength, faithfulness, and love. A refuge sovereign and eternal. He is Jesus Christ, the God man sent from heaven, the risen Lord who reigns in heaven, the returning King who promises to make all things new. As the battle rages, can we sing the song of our soul’s refuge?

About the Author

Robbie Higginbottom Robbie Higginbottom

Robby Higginbottom
Assistant Pastor of College Ministry
Park Cities Presbyterian Church

Robby Higginbottom was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. As early as high school, he sensed the Lord calling him to pastoral ministry. Robby is a graduate of Highland Park High School, Duke University, and Redeemer Seminary. Through the years, he has worked with high school students, college students, and young adults at PCPC. Robby currently serves as an assistant pastor. He is married to Ann, and they have two children: Will and John Harper.

 

September 1, 2017

Under Mercy's Care

by Mark Fulmer

There were some present at that very time who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And He answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

And He told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”

Luke 13:1-9 (http://pcpc.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=eba67192d3a27da52e93fefb8&id=1b5de4712f&e=82a9a8f891)

The outcries begin almost as soon as we can speak. Hang around any playground in any land and you'll hear them soon enough. "Justice! I want justice!" Now at that early stage, the protests may have a more ordinary ring. You may hear the shouted declaration, "It was my turn and he grabbed it. Make him give it back!" Or a plaintive, "She broke it, and it was new." Though they may seem but pediatric pleas, those cries for justice are fundamentally the same as all others. We have a deep, life-long yearning for things to be set right, a need to know that good will prevail and evil will be punished. The plotlines of countless epics depend on that longing.

The fellows who accosted Jesus with their made-up tale of treachery were also depending on it. They intended for the Rabbi to react boldly in righteous indignation, to cry out for justice, to call for the overthrow of Rome. But Jesus stunned them, and held up a spiritual mirror to their souls. He made them consider if justice was really what they wanted after all. The hatred and deceit that had fueled their ploy was evidence of judgment warranted, not justice deserved. He reminded them that justice, in fact, requires judgment. No one can bear the scrutiny of their own motives and jealousies and wickedness. Jesus made plain, again, that there is no one righteous, not even one.

Then He told them a story. And He invited them to consider their desperate need for mercy. With His winsome agrarian parable, Jesus described the breathtaking patience of God, shown even to those who hate Him. But the story also makes clear that God's patience is not a fool's game. He makes clear that there is both: judgment and mercy. God's patience is infinite, but not endless. Will the fig tree actually make figs?

This overheard conversation happened as Jesus was on His slow, unwavering journey to the only place in history where perfect justice and perfect mercy are met together. At the cross, the Lord would hang crucified, unjustly captured, tried, and executed. All of the righteous judgment of God against your sinful rebellion and mine would be meted out on the Son of His love. And in that very same moment, God's great mercy is poured over the souls of those whom He gave to that Son before the foundation of the world. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-7).

 

About the Author

Mark Fulmer
Elder
Park Cities Presbyterian Church

Mark Fulmer is an elder at Park Cities Presbyterian Church, and along with Steve Vanderhill, teaches the New Creations Sunday School class.

 


God's Holy Fire from Heartlight

God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
  • Who Can Argue with These Qualities?

    For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too.

    Romans 14:17-18 NLT

    Key Thought

    Who can argue with goodness, peace, and joy? These three virtues are not obtained just by human effort. Yes, a passion to possess these godly qualities is necessary, but the source of these qualities is the Holy Spirit alive in us. Goodness, peace, and joy have their source in God's nature and are made real in us through the work of the Holy Spirit. As we invite the Holy Spirit to reign over our inner being, our character is transformed to be more and more like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). So let's yearn for the Holy Spirit to transform us to be ever more like Christ and trust that the Spirit's influence will be displayed in our lives through goodness, peace, and joy.

    Today's Prayer

    Father, don't let me be distracted by, or addicted to, food or drink. I want to be sustained and fed spiritually and emotionally by the presence of your Holy Spirit within me. I specifically pray that your goodness, peace, and joy will become more and more apparent in my life as I seek to honor Christ and yield myself to the influence of your Spirit. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.


    Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

    Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

    Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

  • Confirmation

    I speak the truth in Christ — I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit...

    Romans 9:1 NIV

    Key Thought

    We often use hyperbole to make an emphatic point about something that is important to us. Hyperbole is an overstatement meant to get other people's attention. The words of hyperbole can even be jarring to help others understand the emotions behind the words spoken. Paul is about to make an incredibly shocking statement about being willing to be cut off from Christ if it would mean that his own people, the Jews, would know Jesus as their Messiah and Lord (Romans 9:1-5). But, Paul has done his own spiritual inventory: What he says is NOT hyperbole or exaggeration. He means it with all of his heart, and the Holy Spirit confirms it. As The Message puts it, "I'm not exaggerating — Christ and the Holy Spirit are my witnesses." Since the Holy Spirit lives within us and works with our consciences to convict us of sin, to help us discern God's truth when it is proclaimed, and to confirm God's truth within us, Paul can speak with assurance that what he says is the truth. We might stretch the truth to each other, but we cannot lie to the Spirit who lives within us.

    Today's Prayer

    Heavenly Father, I want to speak the truth in love. I know that I need the convicting, comforting, and confirming Holy Spirit to be at work in my heart so that my words are true and redemptive. I ask for this grace in Jesus' name. Amen.


    Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

    Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

    Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.