Posts by Matthew Holst


Ralph Venning, in his work The Sinfulness of Sin describes sin in this way, “Sin is the dare of God’s justice, the jeer of his patience, the slight of his power, the contempt of his love, the upbraiding of his providence, the scoff of his promise, the reproach of his wisdom and the rape of his mercy.” May God grant us the grace to see sin for what it is, and yet to see the healing grace and mercy of God in Christ, who has paid the debt for even the “vilest of offenders.”


The Lord Jesus Christ provides us with the great tonic to anxiety and idolatry: ensuring that our priorities are heavenly, that our treasure is in heaven (6:19), that our eyes are full of light (6:22) and that we love our Lord. He instructs us to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Setting our minds on things above (as Paul says in Colossians 3) is the sure way to a life of peace and blessedness and a certain tonic to anxiety.


Every single day, Christians are confronted with a barrage of competing messages. One cannot drive down the nterstate without being assaulted with numerous billboard messages–-political, commercial and even sexual. Visual messaging is the manner in which society has chiefly chosen to communicate. Perhaps one of the greatest confrontations we face, is when the Word of God and Providence appear to collide--when circumstances appear to contradict God’s promise, or when what we see collides with what we believe.


Prayer is a spiritual discipline which is, in equal measure, both difficult and rewarding. Our struggles are surpassed by the blessings we derive from God’s love in answering our prayers. Yet prayer remains difficult.


If there is a manifesto of kingdom life, it is found in graces wrought in individuals by the Holy Spirit. This manifesto--a Christian manifesto, a Kingdom manifesto--is called the Beatitudes.