Pastoral Notes

With so much information crowding our minds we need regular reminders of God’s faithfulness. These “Pastoral Notes” are brief devotionals, articles, and prayers written by the elders of Grace Presbyterian Church for the edification of the saints. We hope they encourage you as you seek to glorify God and enjoy him forever.

The apostles wrote letters to the churches under their care. Many of their pastoral notes were recognized as the very word of God. The letters of the New Testament from Paul, Peter, and James were written for a particular situation in the first century, but they have ongoing relevance for us today. They were the teachings of the apostles to which members of the early church were devoted (Acts 2:42).

These pastoral notes do not have the benefit of being divinely inspired, but they are an attempt to treat God’s Word as such and to apply it to our present needs in our particular culture and context. We seek to read everything, from the daily news to popular books to systematic theologies, through the lens of God’s special revelation contained in the 66 books of the Bible. God’s Word is the only infallible rule for faith and life. As such, it should inform everything we think and say. We write from a reformed perspective.

You may want to sign up for our weekly newsletter if you would like to be notified whenever we write another note. We also include our weekly church calendar events along with prayer requests. You will find the form to sign up at the bottom of this page. Also, if you live in the Fresno area, we invite you to worship with us at 10:00 AM on Sunday mornings!

Does the Bible Teach the Controversial Practice of Conversion Therapy?

The rash of recent laws concerning conversion therapy (CT) has many pastors worried that their government will declare the Bible to be hate speech in the near future. The LGBTQ+ agenda has made sexual orientation a fluid matter of health, rather than a fixed matter of biology. Combine this with several years of Covid policies that have restricted religious freedoms, and you have a recipe for tyranny. If you think this an overreaction, consider the following reports from recent days:…
Biblical Sexuality Sermon Sunday on January 16, 2022

Why Preaching A Sermon On Biblical Sexuality This Sunday Is Important!

On Sunday, January 16th, we will take a break from our series in Nehemiah to join in solidarity with faithful pastors who plan on preaching a sermon on biblical sexuality. The language of Bill C-4 may serve to criminalize preaching against homosexuality in Canada. The bill unanimously passed the federal parliament of Canada in December and goes into effect on January 8th.  I’m grateful for the faithful example John MacArthur has provided of preaching God’s Word with boldness and integrity,…
the Bible provides a blueprint for worship

God’s Blueprint for Worship – Part 3

You may want to read part 1 and part 2 before reading part 3 in this series. There are three passages which unlock God’s design for public worship—what I’m calling God’s blueprint for worship. These three texts are: Text Topic John 4:24 Spirit and Truth 1 Corinthians 14:40 Decently and In Order Hebrews 12:28-29 Reverence and Awe In part 2 we studied the context of John 4:24 and learned that the Father is seeking true worshipers who worship in spirit…
the Bible provides a blueprint for worship

God’s Blueprint for Worship – Part 2

In the previous post (God’s Blueprint for Worship) I stated that God has not left us free to do as we please in the worship service. If God had left us to do as we please during the Lord’s Day gathering we might ask ourselves this guiding question: “What will please the congregation?” Unfortunately, too many churches ask themselves this question and their answer, which means their practice, is usually unbiblical. The right question to ask ourselves about how we…

Would You Rather…? (Applying Proverbs 16:8)

Do you remember the childhood game “Would you rather”? Would you rather have Batman’s powers or Spiderman’s powers? Would you rather the weather be too hot or too cold? Sometimes the choice was easy, and other times it was difficult. If two friends are hanging from a cliff and you can only save one, would you rather save this one or that one? This game is not much fun for adults, especially when the choices are hard. But since hard…
the Bible provides a blueprint for worship

God’s Blueprint for Worship

God has commanded us to worship Him and He alone is worthy to be worshipped. But how are we to worship God when assembled together as a congregation? The answer will transform your worship service, your congregation, and your life. How could biblical, God-centered worship of an almighty, infinite God do otherwise? The Westminster Larger Catechism, Question 7, describes God in this manner:  God is a Spirit, in and of himself infinite in being, glory, blessedness, and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal,…
Maundy Thursday Lord's Supper

What is Maundy Thursday and why is it important?

“Holy Week” is when the church remembers the final week of the life of Jesus Christ. Last Sunday we celebrated Palm Sunday which marks Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem riding upon a donkey. Today is Maundy Thursday. Tomorrow will be Good Friday when we reflect upon the substitutionary death of our Savior upon the cross. And this Sunday is Resurrection Day or Easter Sunday.

Show Yourself to Be Mighty to Save

Heavenly Father, You have provided us with everything we need for life and godliness! In your Word, we find “precious and very great promises” (2 Peter 1:3-4). One of those promises comes to us from the words of David in Psalm 27, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1-2). Teach us to rest in that promise even now. When…

Mindful of the Lessons We Are Learning

Heavenly Father, we come to you because we know that you alone have the answers to our greatest needs. You are faithful and kind to hear us when we call upon you. When everything else in our world is turned upside down, you remain upright. You are steadfast and sure. You are our Rock when every other foundation is shifting sand.  We are grateful that it seems the earliest predictions of this coronavirus crisis are not bearing out in reality.…