Nick is a second year Public Affairs pre-med who enjoys being in nature, singing in the car, and hanging out with his small group homies (past & present!).
***QUICK NOTE: if anything in my testimony resonates with you, please feel free to reach out! I’d love to be your amigo (: ***
I used to think the best life someone could have was to grow up as a non-Christian so they could experience all the “joys” of life when they were young, and then at some point, when it was time to get serious, God would save them and then they’d get to go to heaven. Even though I professed to be a Christian for most of my life, this was basically how I saw the world. I knew that living by the Bible was right, but I believed that living by the world was better.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (I Peter 1:8-9).
Our devotion to Jesus should be so precious to us! Unlike Peter, who had personally seen Jesus, we did not witness Christ’s transfiguration. The vast majority of believers who read through Peter’s account have never seen Christ, yet still by God’s grace, He opened our eyes to love Christ, have faith in Christ, and rejoice in Christ. Peter even marveled at this. This could also be cross-referenced to Jesus’ word to Thomas in John 20:29. “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”. We should be immensely thankful to our heavenly Father for opening our eyes to the truth of the Gospel even though we lived thousands of years after Jesus’s journey on earth. It is truly through grace alone by faith alone in Christ alone that we are able to experience the inexpressible joy Peter was able to taste through following his Rabbi, personal Savior, and Lord on earth.
If 2020 had a theme, uncertainty would definitely be a front runner. With a timely message from the passage of Genesis 3:1-7, Isaias reminded us of the consequences of not trusting God. Taking a deeper look into the fall of Adam and Eve reveals the serpent’s techniques as he leads Eve towards disobedience.
The serpent begins his deceit through the doubting of God’s Word. Covered in verses 1 through 4, the serpent misquotes God, which leads to Eve misconstruing the commandment that God clearly explained in Gen. 2:17. With Eve lacking accuracy in God’s Word, the serpent continues his attack on God, this time through the doubting of the creator’s character. In verse 5, Satan poses the idea that God is a deceiver himself, withholding godly knowledge from Adam and Eve. As the spiral of doubt continues, verse 6 describes Eve losing trust in God’s wisdom and leaning on her human intelligence to decide on what is suitable for her consumption. The doubting of God’s Word, character, and wisdom all come together as Eve partakes in the fruit with her husband. Although Eve was deceived, Adam fully disobeyed God’s commands and in doing so, cursed mankind.
“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!” (Psalm 34:8)
Friends, this is a verse that we often repeat—but when we do, are we fully convinced of our contentment in the Lord? Can we say confidently that we have given up all our worldly desires and have turned to God alone for our source of everlasting joy?
Isaias’s message on Micah 2:1-5 was a timely reminder that the sin of covetousness should not be taken lightly. What is covetousness? A lack of contentment in God paired with an insatiable desire to be pleased with something (or someone) that does not belong to us. “You shall not covet,” says the Lord (Exodus 20:17). But these oppressors in Israel have not only blatantly disobeyed God’s command; they have twisted their very legal system so as to make their wicked actions just in the eyes of the law. They have orchestrated opportunities to abuse, seize, and steal for their personal gain. They thirst for satisfaction in land and inheritance, having forgotten their Maker and Master––the only One able to quench that thirst.
Charlotte is a third year MCDB major who enjoys knitting, drinking coffee, and taking walks on her free time 😀
I’m so thankful to have parents who dedicated me to God in front of their church before I could even remember. They sent me to Christian school where I learned a lot of verses and sang worship songs, and prayed with my teachers. It must have been part of the curriculum because every year teachers would meet with me personally and ask me if I wanted Jesus in my life, and I would pray and accept Jesus once again because I was just never sure if I truly accepted Jesus the year before.
The events of 2020 have brought the concept of “justice” to the forefront of our public conversation. With all the different voices in our culture trying to define justice these days, it is important for us as Christians to turn to the Bible for our definition of justice. Austin’s message on Micah 1:10-16 this Friday helped us to understand the concept of justice from a biblical perspective. In this passage, the prophet Micah lists the various judgments that God is going to send on the people of Judah for their disobedience to His commandments. Before diving into the passage Austin showed us three categories of the Biblical idea of justice as outlined by the old, dead theologian Charles Hodge. The first category, rectoral justice, is the idea that all justice —the very idea of what is right and what is wrong — comes from God (Romans 1:32). The second category of justice, distributive justice, based on Romans 2:7-8, is the idea that God will judge each person according to what he or she has done. This justice can either be retributive, punishing people for their sin, or remunerative, rewarding each person according to his or her righteousness. Finally, because all people are sinners, the only way any person can receive remunerative justice is through redemptive justice in which, through placing one’s faith in Christ, their sin is transferred to Christ and Christ’s righteousness is transferred to that person. In the passage we studied on Friday, the prophet Micah is proclaiming that God will exact his retributive justice on the cities of Judah. The prophecy is presented as a poem with wordplays on the name of each city to describe the kind of judgment that will take place there. For example, the city of Shaphir, whose name means beauty, will be made naked and ashamed.
This sermon by Pastor Austin Duncan covered Micah 1:2-9. God pronounces judgment on Israel and Judah for their disobedience and sinfulness against Him. The first two verses focus on how God is sovereign above the heavens and earth, yet still comes down to meet His people where they are. Verses 3 and 4 cover the judgment that no longer feels distant when the Lord comes which is terrifying for sinners like us. Micah’s message shocked the Israelites because they thought that God was pronouncing judgment on their enemies- Assyria and Babylon. However, God was declaring judgment on the Israelites due to their unfaithfulness and corrupt worship. Pastor Duncan emphasized that the judgment first begins in the house of God. Verses 8 to 9 illustrate how Micah responded to the coming judgment. The prophet weeped, understanding that God’s people deserved judgment. The ultimate model of compassion is Christ, and when we reflect on the incoming judgment that the world will face, we should be in tears like Micah and Jesus.
This past Friday, Austin preached on Micah 1:1, particularly focusing on the details of who Micah was, where he was proclaiming God’s Word, and who he was proclaiming to. We learned about the history and geography of Israel and Judah and learned how it was applicable to the book of Micah. We also looked at the structure of the book of Micah and how there was a common theme of judgment with subsequent hope, repeating in three sections of the book. All in all, it was a quick overview of the circumstances surrounding Micah when he wrote this book which we will be studying this year.
Micah is not a common book we hear from on a regular Friday night. Typically, the book is regarded as mysterious and sometimes the passages may seem irrelevant to today’s 21st century. However, as we take a closer look at the book, the mysteriousness begins to fade away, and a clearer vision of God’s profound lessons and messages is seen. The invaluable treasures found in this minor prophet — the relatable sufferings of Micah in his generation, the overtones of judgment and salvation traced throughout the book, and the promise and foreshadowing of Jesus Christ — points us to God’s faithful character, encouraging our hearts to hope and ponder deeply on the profound words spoken ages ago in Micah.