Providence Church Blog A gospel-centered church in Austin, Tx

Archive for November, 2011

Advent Devotional

If you are looking for something to guide you through the Advent season, you can download Come Lord Jesus Come for free.


What is Providence, Pt. 5

For our final post in the series, I want to highlight Derek Thomas’ contribution to the Basics of the Reformed Faith Series where he answers the question, “What is Providence?”. He finishes his booklet by addressing ‘redemptive providence’:

There is one final consideration of providence that should occupy us: the One who governs and ensures the good outcome is our Redeemer. The Mediator has achieved redemption for us. He has been glorified because he has finished the work he was given to do (John 17:4-5). He has been exalted because he has been obedient unto death (Phil. 2:8-9). And he exercises his rule in the interests of his people; he is “head over all things to the church” (Eph. 1:22). All authority is given to him (Matt. 28:18).


What is Providence, Pt. 4

Why does our belief in the doctrine of God’s providence matter? Why is this so important? John Piper gives us 10 reasons:

1. The good news of God’s substituting his Son for us on the cross depends on it.

“Truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” (Acts 4:27­–28)


What is Providence, Pt. 3

Today we consider the worthiness of God to reign and rule providentially. The following is taken from a sermon given by Jonathan Edwards in June 1735, entitled “The Sole Consideration, That God is God, Sufficient to Still All Objections to His Sovereignty”:

A duty described, to be still before God, and under the dispensations of his providence; which implies that we must be still as to words; not speaking against the sovereign dispensations of Providence, or complaining of them; not darkening counsel by words without knowledge, or justifying ourselves, and speaking great swelling words of vanity. We must be still as to actions and outward behaviour, so as not to oppose God in his dispensations; and as to the inward frame of our hearts, cultivating a calm and quiet submission of soul to the sovereign pleasure of God, whatever it be.


What is Providence, Pt. 2

Day Two’s reflections on providence come from a sermon preached by Charles Spurgeon on May 4, 1856:

There is no attribute more comforting to His children, than that of God’s sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials—they believe that sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that sovereignty overrules them, and that sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend, than the doctrine of their Master over all creation – the kingship of God over all the works of His own hands – the throne of God and His right to sit upon that throne.


What is Providence, Pt. 1

Providence Church is a church plant, which means that exactly one year ago today, we had our very first public Sunday gathering. By the grace of God, we can celebrate with much joy the one year anniversary of Providence Church. We named our church “Providence” because the story of our community coming together is the story of God’s sovereignty and provision. He is in control, He goes before us, and He is at work orchestrating all things for His glory and our good. “Providence” is a name that suits us well.

In honor of our one year anniversary this week, we will be posting daily reflections (well-written words from others) on the theological truth and beauty of God’s providence. To start us off, here is Chapter 5 of the Westminster Confession of Faith:


How To Deal With What You’re Not

Here’s a question that snuck up on me this week: Is there anything compelling about your life? That is, does your way of life inspire or challenge or shape those around you? For me, this question surfaces a constant tension between the person I want to be and the person I am.

I will assume that there are times when you feel deep down in your gut that you are not what you want to be. Not as healthy as you want to be. Not as proactive or productive as you want to be. Not as joyful, thoughtful, thankful, faithful, gentle, or peaceful as you want to be. I will assume this is true of you because it makes me feel better about it being true of me.

So how do we deal with this tension?


Community: Just a Matter of Personal Choice?

Community. As Christians, we all want it. Unfortunately, we often want it primarily for what we will get out of it, not for what we might have to put into it. Because of this, it is easy to have a consumeristic approach to community. We want to tailor-make our community in much the same way we would custom order an automobile (“I want the pearl white exterior, tan leather interior, and navigation system, but no sunroof.”) This approach makes sense to us, because we get to choose everything else in our lives (from the songs we download to the type of milk in our latte). So why shouldn’t we be able to choose our community in such a way that it maximizes our own growth and best fits our own preferences, schedule, and comfort?