Posts from September 2018

Posts from September 2018

The Omega

Most of us have been tempted by the buy-now-and-pay-later mantra. After all, why wait for something when you can have it right now? It’s effective with us because of our finite nature as human beings. We’re bound—to a great extent, at least—by time. We’re aware of the past, and we anticipate the future, but more than anything, there’s today. That causes problems, of course. The Lord referred to himself as the Alpha and Omega in several places. He’s our Alpha,…

Resources for Discussion Class Hour on September 26, 2018

Sermon Title: Walking with Abraham: God’s Test Text: Genesis 22 (ESV) Click here to listen to or watch the sermon Download tonight’s printable study guide Brief summary (what’s the point of this text/sermon?) In so many ways Abraham’s life has always been moving here. It’s been 40+ years since God first appeared to him, making him the promise about a land, a nation, and a blessing. It’s been 15+ years since the promised son Isaac was born, and Abraham and Sarah…

The Alpha

You’ve made bad decisions, right? Some of them were really bad, resulting in things you’re embarrassed about, stuff you won’t share with anyone who doesn’t already know. Welcome to normal. It must be written in our DNA. Decision-making is a complex process, of course, and unfortunately, we can’t will ourselves into always making the right decisions. But here’s a good place to start: When the Lord revealed himself to John near the end of the apostle’s life, he said: “I…

Resources for Discussion Class Hour on September 19, 2018

Sermon Title: Walking with Abraham: Are You Serious? Text: Genesis 17:1-27 (ESV) Click here to listen to or watch the sermon Download tonight’s printable study guide Brief summary (what’s the point of this text/sermon?) It had been almost a quarter of a century since God promised Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation. Now he’s 99 years old, and (one would think) he’s pretty much given up hope. What 99-year-old man and 89-year-old woman are able to…

His good pleasure

It’s clear that God expects a human response in our relationship to him, but do we sometimes emphasize what we do above what he’s doing? It’s important to recognize that God’s saving us begins, continues, and ends with his initiative, not ours. Notice how Paul mentions both in this passage: Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and…

Resources for Discussion Class Hour on September 12, 2018

Sermon Title: Walking with Abraham: The Ups and Downs of Faith Text: Genesis 16:1-16 (ESV) Click here to listen to or watch the sermon Download tonight’s printable study guide Brief summary (what’s the point of this text/sermon?) What do we do when we face unfulfilled dreams? When life doesn’t turn out the way we want? When God doesn’t seem to be doing the things that he said he would? Sometimes we “help” God. We do his work for him to “encourage”…

Doubt…I Get it Now

From time to time, when an idea occurs to me…or I hear something that I want to explore further, I start typing and then title it and save it for a rainy day.  Recently I was looking for something to work on and noticed a file entitled “Doubt.” I thought, “We’ve been studying doubt in the teen class, so I’m sure I can add to that one.”  I opened it and saw these words: “Doubt…I get it now.” I looked at the date…

Resources for Discussion Class Hour on September 5, 2018

Sermon Title: Walking with Abraham: Faith, not Sight Text: Genesis 13:1-18 (ESV) Click here to listen to or watch the sermon Download tonight’s printable study guide Brief summary (what’s the point of this text/sermon?) Broadly speaking, we look at the world in two ways: by sight and by faith. Looking by sight is viewing the world around us in an unspiritual way—the way most of the world looks at things. So we make decisions based on what makes us most comfortable,…

Standing up

I love reading biographies, and Eric Metaxas has written two excellent ones. Amazing Grace describes William Wilberforce’s twenty-year fight to abolish the British slave trade. Bonhoeffer discusses the courageous life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian who stood up to the Nazi regime and was eventually hanged for his convictions. In his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast a few years back, Metaxas himself made a point about the common theme in these biographies: both of his subjects fought for…