All Articles For Langerak, William

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Rev. Langerak is pastor of Southeast Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Spring reminds us of gardens. It is when we bury seed in warm fertile soil, anticipate the arrival of burgeoning sprouts, and tend fledgling plants as they make their way toward the sun. It is also the season of Lent, when we meditate upon the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus, events in which two gardens figured prominently, and were made necessary by what occurred in a third garden long before. A garden is a plot of ground set aside for the cultivation of plants grown for...

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Rev. Langerak is pastor of Southeast Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. When Jesus said, “I am the door,” He invoked a rich covenantal metaphor. In general it refers to any opening that can be closed or shut. Thus, Job spoke of the doors of a womb, seas, leviathan, and death. There are doors of hope, lips, and mouth (Hos. 2:15; Ps. 141:3; Mic. 7:5). But, most importantly, doors open to habitations. Every home has its door. City walls have doors. And God’s house has its doors. The one on the tabernacle was colorful embroidered cloth, those in Solomon’s temple were...

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Rev. Langerak is pastor of Southeast Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For unto us a child is born. What reason for the church, especially believing parents and their children, to celebrate! Because a child is born unto us, children born of us are saved! But sadly, this good news is lost on many Christians, even mothers and fathers. Though perhaps ecstatic that Jehovah saves by this child born unto us, they suppose that children born of us are denied that salvation. The Father who loved, nurtured, and delivered His own child Jesus, supposedly does not do the same...

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Rev. Langerak is pastor of Southeast Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. At this same time each year, it seems that the world is morbidly preoccupied with death. A favorite name for the season is fall, something leaves do after they shrivel up and die. A celebrated holiday, Halloween, is merely a weak attempt to mock death and hell—and by implication Jesus who has the keys of both. Even Thanksgiving Day seems to be, for many, little more than a day to “eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Let it not be so for the believer. The season...

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Rev. Langerak is pastor of the Southeast Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Perhaps on vacation this summer you had opportunity to visit, cross, boat, raft, canoe, tube, swim, or fish some lovely river in God’s creation. Have you thought what human existence would be like without rivers? We would miss far more than awesome vistas and pleasurable recreation! Life would cease. How much vegetation, and how many crops, creatures, individuals, and even civilizations would perish if not for the presence of some river? Every great human habitation has had some significant river running through it—Egypt had its Nile,...

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Many who have not the privilege of living near them, will likely at some point travel to see the mountains. Rightly so. Immense, beautiful, towering, majestic, rugged, wild, and permanent, they are awesome visual spectacles the Lord created for us to enjoy, and also as enduring earthly pictures of spiritual realities. In general, mountains represent kingdoms and people that inhabit them, but more specifically they are a type of the everlasting, universal, kingdom of God. From the beginning, our Creator gave mountains a prominent place in old covenant history. Some are known mainly for their descriptive names: Halak (smooth), Seir...

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Of all our perennial, lifelong enemies, we seem most oblivious to the devil. Foolish, because he is the worst and most powerful. He is Beelzebub—lord of devils, prince of the world, ruler of dark powers, principalities, and spiritual wickedness in high places (John 12:31; Matt. 12:24; Eph. 6:12). He has power over death (Heb. 2:14). As to our own flesh that assaults us, all its sin is of the devil (LD 52; I John 3:8). Of all enemies, the devil is Satan, i.e., the Adversary, who sits in God’s temple as God, opposing and exalting himself over all that is called God (II...

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Of the five senses, the eye is the most significant in Scripture. The Old Testament word eye (ayin) is the 16th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, originally a circle symbolizing the eye. It can refer to eyelike objects, such as pools of color (Ezek. 1:4); springs or fountains (Prov. 8:28); facets of a jewel (Zech. 3:9); broad daylight (II Sam. 12:11); or surface of the earth (Exod. 10:5). And eye in Old Testament and New Testament (ophthalmos) refers both to the bodily organ itself and, by figure of speech, to seeing and many related actions, such as knowing, perceiving, and...

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Rev. Langerak is pastor of Southeast Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. When People are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man, by Edward T. Welch. P&R Publishing, 1997. ISBN 978-0-87552-600-3. 240 pages. Softcover. $14.99. Available at Reformed Book Outlet, or online at christianbook.com and the publisher at prpbooks.com. Reviewed by Barb Dykstra. Whom do you fear? Whom do you strive to please? God’s word instructs us to fear him alone. Proverbs 19:23 teaches us: “The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied.” To...

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The primary meaning of glory is derived from the Old Testament word kabod, as in Ichabod, the child so named after the glory of God departed with the ark (I Sam. 4:21). Its New Testament equivalent, doxa (as in doxology), originally meant opinion or view, but biblically has taken on the same meaning as the Old Testament kabod, which refers to a thing of heft or weight, i.e., massive, important, substantial, abundant, or considerable, thus honorable, splendid, magnificent, and awesome to see, experience, or contemplate. The opposite is something slight, trifling, vain, and lacking, thus lowly, dishonorable, contemptible, and shameful (Ps. 4:2; Is. 23:9; Prov. 3:35; I...

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