Tag Archives: #freegift

Are you a Pharisee?

22 Oct

As yet another politician fell by the wayside recently because his private life did not match up with his wholesome public persona I was reminded yet again of Jesus’ interactions with the Pharisees.  Everyone who has read the Bible knows that the Pharisees are the bad guys of the Gospel story.  They were the ones who hated Jesus and certainly Jesus reserved his harshest criticisms for them.  As a result, it is easy to condemn the Pharisees for their cold religion and hypocrisy.  However, even as I read about their failings, I fear that if I am honest the spirit of the Pharisees is alive and well in my heart.

Jesus’ major problem with the Pharisees was their hypocrisy.  They put on a show of religion, ostentatiously obeying all the laws and fulfilling all the important religious obligations, however, their godliness was only on the outside.  They were not willing to admit their sinfulness.  The outward appearance was white but their hearts were black.  As a result they refused to listen to Jesus.  Jesus famously said that he had come to heal the sick not the healthy.  Jesus’ message of salvation was for the sinner, not for the righteous.  Continue reading

Hymns: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

21 Oct

At Church in the Bank we love to sing hymns. Hymns are a rich heritage of beautiful theological truth combined with moving and memorable melodies. I think we would miss a lot if we didn’t sing them, and if we didn’t take time to think about their words. So, let’s have a think about Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, a hymn written to the grace that we are given in Jesus. This is the first of three blog posts – one on each verse (that is commonly sung today – there are other verses that have dropped out of use).

Come Thou fount of every blessing

Tune my heart to sing thy grace

Streams of mercy, never ceasing

Call for songs of loudest praise

Teach me some melodious sonnet

Sung by flaming tongues above

Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it

Mount of Thy unchanging love

This verse is a prayer of orientation Continue reading