No Safer Place

Photo by Ramiro Pianarosa on Unsplash

What do you think of as a safe place? It may be described as a child runs to the comfort of his mother or father and the protection of their arms. It could be a shelter in the midst of a storm. Maybe it is having security during a violent uprising. As those serve as a sort of safe place there is no other safe place than being under the mighty hand of God.

Peter writes to the Christians in Asia Minor, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

He is pointing out that the safest place to be is under the mighty hand. Here are few points to reflect on.

1) Humble Yourselves

The mighty hand of God can seem like a burden or a shelter. For example take the Exodus event into account. To the Egyptians, God’s mighty hand was one of power and might. They rebelled against God and his mighty hand was heavier. But for the Israelites, the mighty hand of God was safety and a shelter. He protected them and guided them. The psalmist says, “For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock” (Psalm 27:5).

The Egyptians rebelled and his hand was heavy towards them. The Israelites needed to walk in humility and it was a shelter. The same is true for you and I.

2) Access to God

The one who walks humbly (because God opposes the proud) receives grace and can approach his throne of grace boldly because of Jesus, the humble servant, who paved the way for us.

We then can cast our anxieties on him. The word cast means to throw off or like a fisherman casting his lure we cast our anxieties, worries, and stresses and give them to God. This passage doesn’t tell us what God does with them, but all I know is that we can give them to him and he will handle them a lot better than I can.

3) He Cares For You

Notice Peter points out why we can cast our cares and worries to God. He does not just say because he is God and he can handle it which is true. Or, we can cast our cares because God is sovereign and is in charge of it all. No, we can cast our cares on him because he cares for us.

This is amazing that the sovereign God who knows you cares for you. His care is deep and wide. His care was demonstrated as Jesus suffered and died on our behalf on the cross. God’s care was confirmed through his resurrection from the dead three days later. God is the God who cares for you!

The safest place is to be under the mighty hand of God!

Look to Jesus the Chief Shepherd

It has been somewhat of a whirlwind since our arriving to our new home on Sept. 13. God has called us to Bellingham, Washington to lead his church, Rome Community Bible Church.

This is our second week being here and we are enjoying the Washington rain! I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the points from 1 Peter 5:1-5 that I shared from the first message as it pertains to my position as an under shepherd and a biblical expectation of that role. 

1) The elder’s task is to shepherd the flock (vs 2).
This means pointing you, the congregation, in the direction as you go through the daily difficulties of life, feeding you God’s word, caring for you and your spiritual condition, and protecting you from the predators of the world and even within the church.

Feeding the flock is the importance of teaching the whole counsel of the Word of God. This is presenting it wholly and as holly!

Caring is not just making visits, phone calls, or having gospel conversations. It is having the burden of the congregations spiritual well being on my mind.

Protecting is from presenting God’s Word as truth and directing the congregation to be on guard. This also means spotting the wolves in sheep’s clothing to protect the flock.


2) The elder’s motivation (verses 2-3).
It is one which is motivated by looking to Jesus, the chief shepherd. It is not under compulsion or obligation but out of love for Jesus and others. It is not for shameful gain but eagerly knowing that there are the riches found in Jesus alone. Not domineering and abusing power but looking at the example of Jesus who leads willingly and humbly. 

This is the proper motivation which is Jesus, the true reward. His riches are vast, his love is great, and he is worth it.

3) The elder’s reward (verses 4-5)
The true reward is Jesus! The crown of unfading glory is being in the presence of the Lord knowing that the things of this world pass away but what matters is looking to Jesus who is the founder and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2). I desire to look to Jesus who is the Chief Shepherd of RCBC and that is my prayer for you too! He loves this church more than you are I could ever. 

The Restorer of Manhood

Here is the video of our men’s Summer study as we look at the seriousness of our sin and the greatness of God’s love and mercy from Ephesians 2:1-10.

We see that the Fall (Gen 3) affects not just our spiritual condition but even our identity. In this study we look at how sin has shaped our identity but in Christ we have a new and better identity.

Creativity and Faith

I had the opportunity to interview the very talented Dirk Dallas, one of the pioneers in drone photography as we talk about what it means to be creative as an expression of our faith. Dirk has worked with different companies such as Nike and Disney, His photography has been featured on CNN and ABC News. You can find more information about Dirk by visiting DirkDallas.co or From Where I Drone; Follow on Instagram @dirka and founder of @fromwhereidrone. He just finished and curated the book Eyes Over the World: The Most Spectacular Drone Photography.

Here is the interview:

Theology Thursday

I wanted to spend a few moments to look at Theology in a casual manner on a Thursday. This was actually something my wife suggested in a conversation we were having about how to teach our children and those in the church theology.

In the Christian community the word “Theology” can have a broad meaning. Some hear it and become guarded, thinking that this is something for the students in seminary or bible college. It is academic and or those in the ivory towers. Others may think of division in the church which has stirred from theological debates and understanding.

Yes, it can be somewhat of a turn off to some, but on the other hand you can approach Christian theology as what a Christian is all about.

Christian theology at the core is Christian and every Christian is a theologian.

Everyone is a Theologian

Granted, that can be a big statement but really every person who has ever existed is a theologian. If we define theology at its simplest definition, as the study of God, everyone person has had a thought about God, whether that thought is right or wrong.

For example, The Atheist says, “There is no god.” That alone is a thought about God, though it is incorrect. That is a theological statement. Theology is a science but it is also more than a science.

What is Christian Theology

Mentioned above it is the study of God.

To study God means that we study God through the way God has revealed himself through the Word of God (The Bible or Scripture). This is what in academics is called Theology proper, which is the discipline of studying God through the revelation of the Bible.

Within this scope you can peel the different layers that are within theology. For example, Christology, which is the study of Christ. Or, hamartiology, which is the study of sin. Each of these specific areas of theology are looked at through the lens of the Bible.

How should we respond to Theology:

As a Christian we need to not fear or be intimidated by theology but pursue in understanding and study of what God’s word says about who he is. Here are some reasons to study theology

Theology is practical– It is lived out, not just studied but applied. Not just read but lived. Not just thought about but preached outload. Your God-view shapes your world-view. Theology is lived out, even if you aware of it or not.

Theology is missional– Theology is a witness. Your God-view affects your worldview. What you think about God is translanted in what you say about God. How do we know that we are to make disciples of all nations and how do we know what these disciples are supposed to look like and what are we to teach these disciples (Matt 28:19-20). These are theological questions.

Theology is biblical– What we know and say about God comes from the Bible. Christian theology is not man’s creation but found in the Word of God.

Theology is worship– When you study who God is, it leads to the response of worship. The psalmist rightly declares, “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our maker” (Psalm 95:6)! The psalmist makes the theological statement that God who is maker (Creator) is worthy of worship.

Theology is historical- When you look at history and throughout history you see the study of theology. Christians who have gone before us, who studied the Bible to know more about God. We see theology becoming clearer as truths were discovered from the Bible and communicated for us to know more about who God is. Christian theology is historical which means that it is family history. As believers we all share in this story!

Theology is Apologetic (not I’m sorry)- We need to know how to define and defend what we believe. Theology helps us in our endeavors to do just that.

Theology is to disciple– The idea of theology is to build up or to grow in our awe of God. R. C. Sproul wrote:

The purpose of theology is not to tickle our intellects but to instruct us in the ways of God, so that we can grow up into maturity and fullness of obedience to Him. That is why we engage in theology.

This mindset is for the believer but also how a believer disciples others.

What are some of your questions that you may have about theology?

The Enemy Wants to Divide but Christ Unites

In a time of our history when not only as a nation we should be united for the greater good of one another because of the impact of COVID-19 but more so within the church. This is a time that is hard for the world but the church can shine bright but the problem is there is a division within the church.

First, we have had division on whether the church should meet in person or not. Personally, we have had this conversation with those who have felt like the church is in the wrong for not pushing to meet in person because the goes against our civil liberties while we know others who argue we need to listen to the government out of love for the neighbor.

Second, the issue of masks. Yes! Within the church, there were heated debates about wearing a mask or not. Same thing, the liberties we have to not wear a mask or to wear one for the love of other people (I am not making this up) This is the 2020 debate among Christians, forget smoking, drinking, or tattoos as the past debates of Christian liberties, now it is to wear a mask or not.

Third, which has been a divisive issue for most of Christendom, race, and racism. If you do not know what is going on across America in response to the death of George Floyd. In America, we have the freedom to use our voice and to fight against injustice. As Christians, we should care about how every human being regardless of color is made in the image of God. All of this points to the spiritual battle that is taking place. More now than ever the church needs to be united. In fact, because of Christ, we are united!

We have an enemy

I am grieved at what is going on. This should not be happening. This post is not to dissect the situation but to remind the church of the enemy we have who wants to divide the church. We see even in the book of Acts that if the devil can not stop the church through persecution then he turns his attention inwardly. The Bible tells us that the enemy called a thief comes kills, steals, and destroys (John 10:10). Or he is also described as our adversary and vividly like a roaring lion seeking one to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

There are sin and sinful actions that take place. Hurt and pain. Death and chaos. Injustice and oppression. These take place in this life that shouldn’t but because of the Fall this happens (Gen. 3). This is where the church needs to be beacons of light because Jesus is the light of the world (Matt 5:14; John 8:12).

In Christ, we are One

When there is hurt and even more hurt, we must come together to pray, to care, to comfort. The Gospel not only saves us from sin, we have peace with God, we have eternal life, but the gospel also unites other believers together because we are one in Christ. Unity is necessary! The Puritan Richard Baxter is known for his desire and pursuit of Christian unity. He wrote,

In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity.

The Apostle Paul reminds us of this truth, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves[d] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Cor 12:12-13). Unity is necessary because of the work of the gospel.

The Apostle Paul mentions race and status, regardless, we are one in Christ. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection defeated sin and united image-bearers who are in Christ. Church let us work together, stand together, love together, weep together, cry together, and long for Christ’s return together because he is making all things new (Rev. 21:5).

If we want to fight, then fight to remember our unity in Christ. Be careful knowing that the enemy is wanting that wedge to hinder the work of the gospel going out. At a time that the world is going to listen, let us boldly proclaim the gospel. The world is watching, let us be gospel lights!

A New Podcast Launch

Hey everyone!

I just launched a new podcast, Anchored in Truth where I address how the Gospel and life collide. In this introductory episode I talk with my wife Alyssa about what has happened these past 3 months and what Anchored in Truth is about.

You can listen to it here:

The Attainable Gospel

In Deuteronomy 30 we get a glimpse not just for Israel entering into the promise land but a foreshadow of what Christ has done for us. The Word that became flesh, dwelt among us so that sinners could be saved!