Pastor Tyler Horton

Trust In God, And Keep Your Powder Dry

Psalm 127 tells us that if God is not in the building of our houses they will not stand.  We can work all we want but it is the will of God that finally determines whether our efforts will amount to anything other than our own exhaustion.  Does this lead us into fatalism?  Does it mean that we should throw up our hands and say it does not matter what we do?  Here is an answer from Charles Spurgeon: "Note the Psalmist does not bid the builder cease from labouring, nor suggest that watchemen should neglect their duty, not that men should show their trust in God by doing nothing: nay, he supposes that they will do all that they can do, and then he forbids their fixing their trust in what they have done, and assures them that all creature effort will be in vain unless the Creator puts forth his power, to render second causes effectual.  Holy Scripture endorses the order of Cromwell - 'Trust in God, and keep your powder dry': only here the sense is...

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Fear God And You Will Have Nothing Else To Fear

"Fear God and you will have nothing else to fear.  Don't fear what the next day may bring.  Don't fear other people.  Don't fear violence and power, even when it comes to you personally and can rob you of your life.  Don't fear the high and mighty in the world.  Don't fear yourself.  Don't fear your sins.  All these fears will die.  From all these fears you will be set free.  For you they are no longer there.  But fear God and him alone.  For he has the power over all the powers of this world.  The whole world is in fear of God.  He has power to give us life or to destroy us.  All other powers are a mere game.  God alone is real, seriously real.  Fear God seriously and 'give him the glory.'  He would be acknowledged as the creator, as our creator; he would be acknowledged as the reconciler, who has made peace between God and man; he would be acknowledged as...

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Providence: Am I Suffering Because God is Teaching Me? (Part 3 of 3)

It seems that the picture the Bible presents is that wherever you cut circumstance, it bleeds providence.  God does not relate to His world like a nervous mother whose son has moved to college for the first time, checking in on weekends to make sure there is milk in the fridge.  He is ever and always upholding, directing, disposing and governing all things.  But on what basis does God choose?  Does God send circumstances to match the lessons I need to learn? There are a few things in Scripture that suggest such a connection.  Proverbs is full of cause and effect statements between what we choose and what follows.  It is clear that God has made the world so that if you jump in the water you’re going to get wet and if you kick a dog you’re going to get bit.  As well, Paul warns the Corinthians that the reason “many of you are weak and ill, and some have died” is that they were partaking of the Lord’s Supper unworthily...

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Providence: Am I Suffering Because God Is Teaching Me? (Part 2 of 3)

Toward the end of the last post I let some of our early Baptist ancestors summarize what the Bible seems to say about God’s providence.  A more complete version of the statement they made is: “God the good Creator of all things, in His infinite power and wisdom, doth uphold, direct, dispose and govern all creatures and things, from the greatest even to the least, by His most wise and holy providence....to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, infinite goodness and mercy” (1689 London Baptist Confession, 5:1).  That sounds alright standing on its own. God is governing all things with wisdom and holiness for His glorious purposes.  But our beliefs don’t get to stand alone.  They have to hold the weight of life that leans on them without toppling.  If God is disposing all creatures and things doesn’t that mean He is directing people to sin?  If it is all by His choice, how can my choices be real or matter at...

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Providence: Am I Suffering Because God Is Teaching Me? (Part 1 of 3)

Here in New Brunswick, we all have a common pool of experience with mosquitoes.  We have all sat out to enjoy the splendour of a maritime evening and we have all had that serene moment interrupted by the buzz and the bite.  I for one take a special delight in killing them.  Strategies are laid out and scores are kept.  Each successful strike triggers a surge of delight.  Unfortunately, as humans, we also all have a common pool of experience with thinking of God like this.  That He is in a state of leisure enjoying the universe He has made until the incessant buzzing of our sin gets too loud.  And then...swat!  You can feel the pulse of this fear by putting your finger on any of the religions that we have made.  Attempts to appease the gods, superstitions to ward off spirits and even just living as a good person (or maybe as a just good enough person) all spring from this impulse.  Hopefully, we have been convinced by the gracious...

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An Unpleasant Christmas

Most of us are hoping to have a pleasant Christmas.  There are many enjoyments associated with this season exclusively that we try to lap up while we can.  Anticipation grows to an avalanche.  Nostalgia cries from every corner.  I plan to revive the Horton tradition of making caramel popcorn and I already bought the peanuts.  It is good to enjoy the good gifts that our Heavenly Father gives to us (James 1:17) but that is not the only thing that Christmas is about.  I’ve been reading a collection of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Christmas sermons and although I’ve only finished the second one, I have been challenged already.  He has been helping me to see what a jarring reality Christmas is.  It is a ‘nice’ time of year for us but the fact of God coming incarnate to the world is anything but ‘nice’.  This particular sermon was preached in Cuba and he called them to “look around at the outside world...

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The Most Wonderful Event

Christmas is coming and we have probably already spend more time preparing our houses than our hearts.  I came across this extended quote while I was reading for our current sermon series in Ephesians 1:11-14 and it pushed me to remember which is most important: "The coming of the Son of God into this world from heaven is always in the Bible a theme for praise and glory and thanksgiving. I ask, therefore, whether that is our response to it. Is that the effect which it has upon us? As human beings we all tend to show our reactions, our enthusiasms. You have but to pass a football ground on a Saturday afternoon, and you will hear people expressing themselves very definitely. The same thing happens when they listen to a play or when they see anything that pleases them. When they read a book that pleases them they must tell someone about it and talk about it. Do we Christian people do the same with respect to the Advent of the Son of God into this world? I sometimes fear that...

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He Needed God Right Now...

WARNING: The video below contains extremely graphic and distressing material.   Recently I finished reading "Rangers in the Gap" which chronicles the story of Dave Eubank and the Free Burma Rangers.  Their ministry has been to get in between the Burmese Army and the civilians.  They have brought help and hope to thousands but as you can imagine, the work has also put them in grave danger on many occassions. The following is an excerpt from the chapter by Doh Say who came to follow Jesus through Dave.  "Let's pray right now, Doh Say. Okay? In the truck.  At the restaurant.  Among government officials.  Or with the prime minister himself!  Dave didn't hesitate.  He prayed with anyone, for anyone, anywhere. It embarrassed me at first.  But I grew to appreciate his spontaneous acknowledgment that he needed God right now to be present and active.  God's peace covered us each time he called...

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Proving Jesus

I have a post on Don Longworth's blog this week.  Part of his 'Proving Jesus' series and you can read it here.

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Baptist Distinctives: Lesson 3 Links

1)  We talked about the pamphlet William Carey wrote called "An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to use means for the Conversion of the Heathen..." and you can read it here.  Even if you don't intend to read it all, just browse through to see what his main points were and think of how they relate to what we talked about on Sunday. 2)  A website where you can learn a bit more about Anne Steele and look through some of her hymns. 3)  A short article about the role of confessions in the church.  The first line is: "I recently received an email from an individual complaining about churches that require their members to “subscribe to a man-made fallible doctrine-of-man human tradition creed.”'

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