by Danny E. Olinger
Ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church must be humble men of prayer. Yet, as the Scottish preacher Alexander Whyte once said, "If you want to humble a man, ask him about his prayer life." We are all convinced of the importance of prayer, but for many of us prayer is a struggle. We end up caught between the demands of life in a fallen world and the requirement that we pray. But we cannot pray just when it suits us or how it suits us.
This was part of the problem that Paul encountered at Ephesus, as seen in his first letter to Timothy. There were nonpraying men at Ephesus who wanted to be leaders in the church. They not only rejected Paul's apostolic teaching, but also balked at prayer. Independent and elitist, they refused to pray for all sorts of men. Paul makes it clear, however, that arrogant, nonpraying men have no place in the gospel ministry. Read more
by William B. Kessler
The conversation quickly became more difficult. The young woman with tears running down her cheeks asked, "Where is the Lord in my suffering? Why is he silent?" If only she could see him, she said, even for a moment, that encounter would ease her pain. Many of us have had such longings. The longing of the child of God to see the Lord is natural and good. One day that desire will be realized.
And yet in the meantime we know, as weary pilgrims, that God does all things well. He is wise, loving, powerful, and good. He knows what we need, even before we ask. It is not a deficiency that Jesus is out of sight. Rather, he presently carries on an exalted ministry as our High Priest. Indeed, his priestly presence in heaven makes possible a supremely efficacious ministry that can comfort us in our darkest, longest night. Read more
by Joshua Allen
The Reformed faith is the proper, biblical expression of Christianity, yet at times our theology can get the best of us. This is no fault of biblical truth or true religion, but is a tendency of fallen man. Our thoughts are evil (Gen. 6:5). We pervert even the holiest of things into idolatry. In addition, our knowledge on this earth is dim compared to what we shall have in glory (1 Cor. 13:12). We frequently misunderstand or misapply the truths of God.
For example, how does God's sovereignty relate to our prayers? This question is frequently put along these lines: If God foreordains and controls all things, why should I pray for anything? Will God change his plans to meet my needs? Why should I petition the Lord to save my friends and neighbors if they have been elect or reprobate from all eternity? Read more
by D. G. Hart and John R. Muether
The Presbyterian Church in America was born in 1973, but the rationale for its founding dated back more than a hundred years. The American Civil War provoked the division of Presbyterians along the Mason-Dixon line.
On December 4, 1861, commissioners from Southern presbyteries met in Augusta, Georgia, to renounce the jurisdiction of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (Old School) and to form the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America. (After the war, the church changed its name to the Presbyterian Church in the United States.) In its "Address to All the Churches of Jesus Christ throughout the Earth," the church outlined the Northern ecclesiastical indiscretions that forced its separation, especially the Gardiner Springs Resolutions of the previous General Assembly that declared the church's obligation to uphold the Union and support the federal constitution. In the minds of Southern Presbyterians, this was a violation of the spirituality of the church by an unwarranted engagement in partisan politics. Read more
by William Shishko
"Be still, and know that I am God." (Ps. 46:10)
After six days in overdrive, it is difficult to slow down, change gears, and get our souls to the proper speed for the worship of God. Even with the best preparation for the Sabbath day, the world and its concerns stick to us as we gather on Sunday. Read more