Pastor Tyler Horton

4 Reasons to Speak Up

I remember reading a line that went something like this: Men will be content to listen to you preach publically against their sins, so long as you do not speak to them privately about them.  I definitely find it a lot easier to do the former than the latter.  It can be hard to speak “a word” to someone when we feel that we should.   I recently began reading “A Flame of Fire” which is a biography of Roland V. Bingham who founded the Sudan Interior Mission.  He was converted in Southern England through a Salvation Army meeting and soon felt “a joy that had to find expression in witnessing and in service.”  His conviction was that he should start at home and aimed to begin reading the Scripture to his mother and brothers.  At the age of 15 he fought through his reluctance and his account of the struggle gave me a nudge to do the same.  I saw four good reasons to push down hesitancy and speak up from his...

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Baptist Distinctives: Lesson 2 Links

My apologies for not getting these up sooner.  I'll be posting the reccommended links from each lesson up here each week but I'll also let you know on FB when I do.   CHRIST AS LORD AND HEAD 1.  Audio from a biography message that John Piper did on John Bunyan.  This will help give you a better picture of being a Baptist in the 1600's in Britain and also a greater appreciation for Bunyan. 2.  A sermon you can read from Charles Spurgeon, another Baptist that we'll look at later on.  The sermon is on Colossians 1:18 and explores what it means that Christ is the head of the Church. Enjoy!

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The Joy of Certitude

I am reading a biography of Augustine who lived from 354-430 AD and was a bishop in North Africa.  Here is some of his advice to preachers: “To be listened to, the preacher should possess a joy that is calm and deep, the joy of certitude.  He should himself show the joy that conviction brings.” This does not apply only to preachers and is a good test for the strength of all of our convictions.  Do you understand what he is talking about here?  Are you convinced to the point that you have the joy that conviction brings or are you wavering in uncertainty?  God is not afraid of your questions and the Christian faith will not crumble under the weight of your doubts.  Augustine spent around a decade searching and wondering before he came to this point.  If you are not yet convinced entirely, press on until you possess a joy that is calm and deep, the joy of certitude.   [Quotation from Jacques Chabannes, St. Augustine,...

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Charles Spurgeon on Ephesians 1:7

Preparing to preach I often read a sermon on the same text by a preacher from history.  It helps me to see how someone in a different era read the same passage and communicated its truth.  This week, my reading included sermon #1555 by Charles Spurgeon, “The Glories of Forgiving Grace”.  I compiled a few highlights from it, especially with our church people in mind, as they prepare to receive the Word from Ephesians 1:7 this Sunday.  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace… (Ephesians 1:7, ESV) Should I take the wings of the morning and fly unto the uttermost parts of the sea, unless I could escape from mine own self, even there would sin follow me, and its hand would smite me to my sore wounding. Nothing can be more practical than the doctrine which deals with sin and its removal, and no news can be more pleasant than the tidings of remission. Observe,...

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He Has Taken My All

Among the many seasons of trial in the early days of the China Inland Mission was an outbreak of cholera at one of the mission stations in 1895.  Hudson Taylor received a letter from a young Scottish woman whose husband and newborn son were among the nine deaths suffered within a ten day period.  What follows in an excerpt from her letter. “It is just possible that you may have heard of the honour that my God and Father has put upon me.  Yes, He has trusted me to live without my beloved husband and darling child.  They are not, for God has taken them....It would have been easy for me to have joined my treasures but our Father has willed it otherwise.  My treasures are gone and I am left alone – yet not alone: ‘Nevertheless, I am continually with thee.’ Dear Mr. Taylor, God has taken His workmen, but He will carry on His work.  I do not know what He has in store for me, but I do know He will guide the future as He has...

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Rubbing The Sleep From Our Eyes

Whenever I read one of Paul’s prayers in the New Testament, I remind myself of two things.  First, if Paul is praying for this it must be important that we have it.  Second, if Paul is praying for this we must need God’s help in order to gain it.  Here Paul prays that “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe...” (Ephesians 1:17-19, ESV).  So we need to see the hope He has given us, the inheritance that awaits us and the power at work within us, and we need God’s help in order to get it.   Recognize first that this is important for us to have.  We should not let the ‘internal...

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Your Account Balance

In the early 1880’s the monthly expenses for the work in China was around seven or eight hundred pounds.  The mission had about seventy stations, populated by eighty or ninety missionaries (not including their families) and about one hundred Chinese helpers to fund.  In that light consider how Hudson Taylor described the mission’s financial state at the close of an 1884 balance sheet.  Looking at very little on hand, he said they had “£10 and all the promises of God” (Taylor, 395).  A few years later, at the Annual Meeting of 1888 when they were looking at sending out 100 new missionaries and doubling their roster, he said, “Suppose He should not work in the way He has done, by sending in tens of thousands of pounds?  Well, then, we can do without it.  We cannot do without Him, but we can do without any ‘it’ in the world.  If only we have the Lord, that is sufficient” (Taylor, pg....

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Soon

“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13–14, ESV)   As much as I appreciate the differences between my kids, I also wish that the ploys that worked with one would have carried over to the others.  My youngest son will be 3 in a couple months and you can forget adding a few new tricks...I’ve had to find a whole new bag for him.  But one that has worked out rather well for us is the use of the term “soon”.  Sam wants things.  He wants a visit to Nana’s house, a book, a snack, a visit to Nana’s house, a TV show, a toy, a turn...but mostly just a visit to Nana’s house.  It took me far too long to realise that when I said “no”, Sam was hearing a lot packed into...

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Depression, Loneliness and Foreboding

The majority of my recent posts have come from reading the biography of Hudson Taylor and of course it is often the experiences of the ‘heights’ that grab my attention more and so show up here more.  I include the following paragraph to hopefully balance that out.  Faith was thus thrown into the crucible in many ways.  Weaknesses were brought out with startling clearness – need of spiritual power, or organisation, or leaders of more calibre.  With answered prayer on the one hand as to the opening up of inland China, and a growing faith for large reinforcements on the other, they were forced to a realisation of the utter inadequacy of existing arrangements to carry on the work even as it was.  In and through it all, Taylor himself was assailed by depression, loneliness and forebodings.” (Taylor, 388) Only from the broadest perspective possible can we look upon Hudson Taylor’s life as a triumphant march through China with...

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I Still Come

There is a great reluctance in my circle to the use of written prayers.  But unless you have ripped all 150 Psalms out of your Bible, you are at the very least admitting that they may be of some use.  The inspired prayers in your Bible deserve a unique position; however, it is not as though David and the sons of Korah have the market on praying entirely cornered.  They are not the only ones who can teach us to pray.  The fact that pre-written prayers have often fallen short of the ideal of lively communion with God gives us reason for caution but it doesn’t give us a reason for entire abandonment.  I don’t need to give up my balloon just because someone else’s popped.   And so, as I have mentioned before, I am using a collection of Puritan prayers called ‘The Valley of Vision’.  It helps me because these prayers say things to God that are not currently on my mind.  As a parent, I absolutely, indisputably do...

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