Pastor Steve shares these links to stimulate some Thursday Thoughts…

Standing Near Lepers – – Over at the TheoCast blog Byron Yawn writes a challenging article that deals with the reality of sin in our lives, what should be our hatred for it, and ultimately what great delight is afforded us in repentance. He writes: “It’s crazy. At its base, Christianity is at least a confession of unworthiness and inability. The confessed need of a righteousness outside of ourselves. For goodness sakes, our designated emblem is the cross. Basically, this is what I deserve as a human being, but did not receive. Someone substituted himself for me and that’s the only reason I roam free. We have made repentance sound like a trip to the dentist rather than a trip to the candy store. Those who know it know sweet relief.” You can read the rest HERE.

Gratitude for Grace in Ministry – – Banner of Truth carries an article that asks this question: “Do you have a critical, jaded spirit towards the church?” The article focuses on the importance of recognizing the works of grace in the church among the people. VanDoodewaard writes: “We need to know and remind ourselves what marks of grace, or evidences of grace are. A beekeeper needs to know signs of health and growth in his bee population if he is going to produce honey; pastors, elders, and church members need to be students of the marks or evidences of the grace of God in the lives of people to spur on spiritual development.” You can read the rest HERE.

If Only I Had Been Saved By Merit – – Tim Challies writes of the constant temptation the Christian faces that wishes to find merit in their own righteousness, their own works; a personal contribution to their salvation. This temptation is real – and Challies’ article is a help. He writes: “One of the hardest tasks for every Christian is to deeply believe and forever remember that we’ve been saved by grace. This is a lifelong challenge because our natural tendency is always to veer back to merit, to assume that we’ve been saved by something we are, something we’ve got, or something we’ve accomplished.” You can read the rest HERE.