July 2022 Newsletter
by Pastor Mike Novotny
While I normally love to be the one to open a Bible and tackle tough topics from our modern times, I was happy to be sitting and listening while my coworker Michael stood up to preach. (Yes, the other campus pastor at our church is also named Michael, which can be super confusing for our guests!)
During his teenage years, Michael was torn between two career paths—full-time pastor and research scientist. While he ended up as the former, he never lost his passion for the latter. No wonder his message that Sunday covered doctrine and dark matter, salvation and structural constants, Adam and atoms.
I couldn’t help but text him after the sermon to praise God for his knowledge,
honesty, and balance between science and religion.
Because too often, we feel like we have to choose between one or the other. I bet you can identify with that tension—like you have to choose between scientific claims and your biblical faith. You don’t.
Before Pastor Michael’s dual love of the Scripture and science, countless other Christians excelled in their scientific fields. By studying both the heavens and the Holy Word, they saw the full picture of God, his glorious power and unfailing love. Their necks moved up and down, from skies to sacred words, as they longed to know as much about the one true God through both the “natural knowledge” of creation and the “revealed knowledge” of Scripture.
Maybe this is why King David struck that same balance in his classic song: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul” (Psalm 19:1,7). The heavens. The skies. The law of the Lord. All joined together in one song of praise to our Creator.
So you don’t have to choose between science and Scripture.
Like King David and Pastor Michael, you can love both as you love God.
Keep praying for more ‘‘God moments’’
You never know when the gospel will touch someone’s heart. That’s why we’re thankful for friends like you who help keep the messages of God’s love flowing through Time of Grace for whenever someone’s heart is open. Someone like Joan.
She says …
“It took me many years to love God first, but when I did, I was so thankful and began growing stronger in faith. I couldn’t sleep one night about two years ago, and I heard you on TV talk about God. It all began from there. It took one night of insomnia and your message that night. I pray everyone has their moment.”
Let’s pray for more moments like Joan’s. And thank you for your support to share God’s love with so many others so they too can have their God moment.
As a Christian, you need to know how to answer difficult questions in order to point a hurting world to Jesus.
More Tough Questions and How the Bible Answers Them by Dr. Bruce Becker equips you to do just that.
In it, Dr. Becker helps you respond to some of the major issues people raise about God, the Bible, and following Jesus. Gain biblical insight and practical wisdom to help you present a compelling case for your Christian faith and invite others to meet the loving Savior whose truth sets us free.
More Tough Questions is our thanks for your gift to help reach more people with the love of Jesus through Time of Grace.
And as an extra thanks for your support, we’ll also send you a copy of
Dr. Paul Kelm’s book, Tough Questions, Reasoned Answers.
These resources make a perfect set to help you stand in the truth and share your faith.
If you haven’t been to the Time of Grace online store lately, it’s time to check it out! The layout is new and easier to navigate. You’ll find more payment options and improved package tracking. Visit timeofgrace.store today to find a variety of resources to help you seek God every day!
Click here to visit the new store!
Tune in to Time of Grace in August for Pastor Mike’s new series Help Me Have More. In a world that feels increasingly unsettled and angry, T-shirts and social media posts encourage us to “be kind” or “choose kindness.” The Bible not only agrees with that message but adds, “Be joyful, peaceful, patient, and self-controlled.” However, God doesn’t leave us with a simple command to achieve these near-impossible ideals; he gives us Jesus and sends us his Spirit. The Trinity, working together in us, begins to change us from the inside out.
The first episode of Help Me Have More is available to watch on August 7th with new episodes released each Sunday in August.
Recently, a fifth grader from our church wrote me a question that was on her heart—Why does God love us when we are sinners?
Here was my reply …
Dear Bella, that’s the biggest question out of all the questions!
Medium answer—God loves people who don’t deserve it, which is sometimes called grace.
Long answer—You’ll need to look in the Bible, but it still comes down to grace.
Even though it’s been a long time since I was in fifth grade, I still sometimes ask myself Bella’s question. Why does God love us still?
Thankfully, his answer never changes: “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
Hello from Pastor Mike
When it comes to tough questions and controversial issues, there is a pattern that I have noticed in my 15 years of being a pastor.
Rarely do I witness people change their minds about a hot-button issue based off a biblical discussion of the hot-button issue itself.
What I have seen, however, is how meeting Jesus changes the way we view everything. Call it a Christ-first approach to the controversy. After learning about the love of Jesus, the sacrifice of Jesus, and the grace of Jesus, some (but not all) people begin to trust the Word of Jesus regarding other issues.
Suddenly, the God who saved them despite their sins wins their trust,
including trusting what his Word has to say about that topic.
That’s why we do what we do at Time of Grace. We love to open our Bibles and address tough topics (like in this month’s great resource from Dr. Bruce Becker), but tough topics are occasional while the gospel is constant. We address race, politics, gender, and evolution from time to time, but you will hear about the good news of your forgiveness at the cross all the time.
Because it all starts with the incredible news of how much Jesus loves you.
Thanks for supporting a ministry that tries to dive into the deep end while still keeping its feet on the solid ground of the gospel of Jesus Christ.