Without a doubt, life is busy. Each component of our lives asks for our time; work, family, church, school, leisure. However, walking with Christ is not a time slot in our day. It is a heart disposition and desire that drives how and where we spend all the time we are given.
MASA-FL, Mission Aviation Support Association - FL, is the only organization like it in the country. MASA is a non-profit, faith based, volunteer organization existing to support aviation mission organizations which are dedicated to the dissemination of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people in areas of the world that are difficult or impossible to reach without air support.
**The following is an excerpt from Killing Sin: An Adaptation of John Owen's 'The Mortification of Sin.' Our Student ministry will be using this book throughout the spring semester to dive deeply into the Bible's teaching about how to deal with remaining sin in the lives of believers. Books will be available in Alex's office beginning this week.**
What is the most practical piece of advice you have gotten for your Christian walk? My guess it that the answer has something to do with fighting sin. Some of the best advice we ever get comes from those who have been tested and tried, who are battle-worn, and yet who by the grace of God have had some measure of victory over sin.
In my early 20s, I got this kind of advice. And the man who gave it to me had been dead for over 300 years. John Owen is a giant. He was the greatest English Puritan during the time of the post-Reformation, and he wrote extensively about how to deal with sin. His short book The Mortification of Sin is one of the best things ever written on the daily business of fighting sin. Owen takes the Biblical doctrine of the mortification of sin and drives it home to the heart, in classic Puritan fashion. The Puritans were brilliant heart surgeons, seeking to let God’s Word do its work on the hearts of God’s people.
During his time as vice-chancellor at Oxford, Owen must have realized the importance of fighting sin early and fighting sin often, for he preached a sermon series about killing sin to a group of teenagers and young university students. Owen could look back on his life and see the importance of the Puritan devotion instilled by his parents, along with the sweetness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which enables us to fight sin. And to this day, The Mortification of Sin remains one of the most influential works on the doctrine of sin the Christian Church has ever seen.
In our day, sin is swept under the rug. It is not a popular subject. And if John Owen were ministering to teenagers today, he might scarcely find a job, because there are so few churches that will get excited about teaching the doctrine of sin to their youth. That is precisely why it is needed. This world is fallen. Broken. Sin-sick. And the redemption that is offered in Christ is about being free from sin’s dominion. It is about walking in newness of life, experiencing the fullness of redemption in God’s sanctifying and glorifying work. In other words, the gospel is not only about “getting saved” from spiritual hell. It’s about being redeemed—mind, body, and spirit—by the grace of God in Christ. God wants us to be free of sin and to embrace the newness of life granted to us in Christ.
Since all this is true, we must recognize the times. We are at war. Look around. Do you still see a sin-sick world in need of redemption? Do you still experience temptation on a daily basis? Do you fail to keep the law of God? Yes. Of course you do. Remaining sin is a real problem in the lives of believers, and it will be until Christ returns! When we become Christians, we are not automatically exempt from all temptation to sin. Indwelling sin—the sin that remains even after we are saved—is an enemy to be visciously fought. In the words of John Owen, you must always “be killing sin, or it will be killing you.”
 John Owen, The Mortification of Sin (Christian Focus, 2006), 27.
So, when this phrase says (in some translations) that it is by God’s hand that Kings are made and brought down, what does that say about you? When we think about it in those terms, it is overwhelmingly clear that every blessing we have comes from God.With that as our overarching truth, what is our responsibility as good stewards with these blessings?
I specifically remember shortly after Emmy was born feeling lonely. I was home alone a lot with a baby that did not talk to me, so there were many days when the only words I would hear were my own thoughts. Sometimes great thoughts, but many times thoughts of doubt, frustration, anxiety, worry, and most of all fear. A first time mom has many things going through her mind on any given day.
Jesus’ acts of redemption in his death and resurrection were the culmination of God’s plan and purpose to unite all things in him (Ephesians 1:10), and part of the way we experience that kind of unity is through worshiping together. Unity in worship is also a foretaste of that which we will engage in for all eternity in the presence of God.
This fall our student ministry will be partnering with parents and families in a Bible study through the book of Exodus. We have developed a devotional guide to help take students and families through this study together. It is our hope that each member of the family will engage in the daily Bible studies, family activities, additional resources, etc. Part 1 can be downloaded by clicking the button below.
In many ways, I can think of no more appropriate name for a church like ours: Heritage. We have a rich heritage of fruitful ministry in Lakeland, thanks to the faithful preaching, prayers, evangelism, and ministry of generations prior. In fact, we have the unique privilege of experiencing ministry alongside some of our church’s original founders!
Chances are, the word “catechism” evokes thoughts of old churches, out-of-date practices, or outright confusion for most of us. If you grew up in a Roman Catholic or other “high church” context, catechisms may have been used to drill into your mind the essential doctrines of the Church in preparation for confirmation. If you grew up in a Baptist or non-denominational context, the concept of catechism may be unfamiliar to you, having fallen out of vogue in the past few centuries or so. What is a catechism? And why would we use it for our summer Bible study in the student ministry? Those are great questions! Here are some brief points to consider…
I continued to wrestle with a biblical view of vocation throughout college and after I entered the workplace. My questions continued to mount: Did the work I do have value to God’s kingdom? Was the work I was doing even worth doing at all? Was there a difference between “secular” and “sacred” work? Did God’s word have anything to say to the average 40+ hr/week worker?
If we’re honest with ourselves, there have been times when we’ve felt the urging of the Holy Spirit to bow before the Lord in prayer, and, sadly, in that moment we simply didn’t feel like it so we ignored Him. Nonetheless, it is in those exact moments that we must obey and allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, to push through the feelings of anxiety of not knowing what to say or the fear of saying the wrong things because the beauty of grace is that God simply wants to know and be known by his children.
Doubt is an uncomfortable word. It is an oft overlooked subject in Christian preaching and teaching, perhaps because it is somewhat unapproachable, or perhaps because it hits too close to home. Many times we buy into the notion that to have faith in Christ means that we ought no longer to doubt. So, when the inevitable doubt occurs, we bury it deep within and wear the façade of blind trust.
Downtown Lakeland is a hub of activity. From events like First Friday, Food-Truck Thursday, Holiday Parades, Farmer’s Market, and more, people from all over our city and the surrounding areas flock to downtown Lakeland for events that are family-oriented and provide memorable experiences. In order to reach families in our community, we must engage them where they are….literally!
In 2003, Scott and Jennie journeyed deep into the jungles of Indonesia to make their first contact with the Dao tribe. The “YO” event will detail their amazing journey of these last eight years living and ministering among the Dao. The Phillips have specifically labored in evangelism, discipleship and the translation of the New Testament into the Dao language.
As I write this, my son could be born at any moment. This year, my wife and I will celebrate our first Christmas as parents. We have fervently prayed throughout the term of this pregnancy that the incarnation of Christ will be real to our son, that one day he will embrace the truth about Christ by faith and passionately follow the Lord from a young age. In prayer, we ask God to do what only He has the power to do—save the souls of our children.
If you walk through the doors of Heritage any given Sunday, chances are you may be greeted by a friendly couple who obviously hail from New England by the way they don’t pronounce their “R’s.” Andy and Jan Lafreniere have been an active part of the Heritage Church family for many years after moving down to retire in Florida from New Hampshire
When Jacob was born, he was given the name “heel-grabber” because he was grabbing Esau’s heel as he entered the world. This phrase “heel-grabber” may not seem very significant, but someone that heel-grabs is one that cheats or deceives. If you know Jacob’s story at all, he definitely lives up to his name...