Church Blog

Church Blog

Thank You

Sometimes my prayers are characterized more by habit than by heart. “Father, I thank you so much for this food and for this day and for my family and for every blessing. Thank you for our house and our clothes and our friends. And, of course, thank you for Jesus.” I can say all that—and quite a bit more—without thinking at all about what I’ve said. Do you ever do this? We fall so easily into the rut of ritualism,…

Resources for Discussion Class Hour on March 20, 2019

Sermon Title: No One Like Him Text: Philippians 2:19-24 Resources: Click here to listen to or watch the sermon Download tonight’s printable study guide Brief summary I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy’s proven worth,…

Getting along

Have you ever (secretly) wished that everybody in the church would be more like you? Most of us probably wouldn’t admit it, but maybe we’ve looked down our noses at some church folks and wondered why they’ve got the issues they do. Truth is, if everybody in the church was like you and me, we’d still have problems. It’s just the way it is. Last week I wrote about how much I appreciate the sweet fellowship of God’s people, and…

False Gospels and God’s Wrath

In the Bible book of Galatians, Paul writes bluntly to the church that met in Galatia. In the letter’s introduction and greeting, Paul points to the eternal hope that we have through the resurrection of Jesus.  He reminds the readers about the grace that we all need and enjoy.  I love the line in the song “How He Loves,” that says “if grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.”  It is endlessly deep and is literally available to all people everywhere. Then,…

Resources for Discussion Class Hour on March 13, 2019

Sermon Title: The Kindness and Severity of God Text: Romans 11:22; Deuteronomy 27, 28, 32 Resources: Click here to listen to or watch the sermon Download tonight’s printable study guide Brief summary “How America Sees God” (USA Today lead story from October 7, 2010)—the article is based on a study conducted over the last four years by two sociologists from Baylor University in Texas. Their work is published in a book called, America’s Four Gods: What We Say About God and What This…

God’s family

I’m sure there’s enjoyable fellowship outside of God’s family, but I honestly can’t imagine what it would be like not to have the church. These are my people. Oh, they’ve got their problems, of course (don’t we all?), but people within the household of faith are my support group. I grieve and rejoice with them, I depend on them, I need them. Where does everyone else find this? At a local bar? With their bowling club? I’m thinking it’s a…

Look ahead

It’s a cliché, I know, but it became a cliché because it’s true. Don’t live in the past. Is that you? Are you beating yourself up over something you did years ago? I think the apostle Paul struggled with that. In some of his letters he mentioned the terrible things he’d done to Christians years earlier, referring to himself as the “worst” of sinners and the “least of the apostles” (1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:9). It bothered him. I’m…

Cut flowers

Note: I wrote this article before the governor of New York signed a bill on Tuesday that legalized abortion up until birth in some cases. He also directed the One World Trade Center and other landmarks to be lit in pink to celebrate the passage of the “Reproductive Health Act.” How exactly the law will be interpreted and applied remains to be seen, but it seems like another step in the deeply discouraging direction of becoming a nation that delights…

One day soon

I’m looking forward to the resurrection, aren’t you? There’s a sense in which we’ve already been raised, of course. When we were brought up out of the baptismal waters, God raised us from our spiritual graves. We were dead, and now we’re alive. We were lost, and now we’re found. But the resurrection isn’t over yet. Sometimes I get sore muscles, and my head hurts (“in this tent we groan,” 2 Cor 5:2). I struggle with sin way more than…

Expectations

In Luke chapter 9, we read that Jesus sent His disciples into the towns and villages to teach the gospel and to heal.  Followers of Jesus should expect to be sent. We don’t become Christians to be served or catered to. So, in our youth ministry, we are hoping to help equip our children for their mission to reach out to the lost and dying world and show them Jesus. But when Jesus sent his disciples out to work, he…

Do you know him?

About 32% of the people in the world identify in some sense with Christianity, which is about 2.5 billion. I have no idea how many of those truly walk with Christ—God does, of course—but it seems that if there were 2.5 billion dedicated Christ-followers in the world, some of our problems wouldn’t exist. Right? Part of the answer is obvious—there’s a difference between what we call ourselves and what we actually are. There’s a difference between checking a box on…

Inviting

I’ve heard of people who have led thousands to Christ in their lives—through preaching to huge audiences or writing books or tracts that reach thousands. That’ll never happen for most of us. Paul established dozens of churches, and Peter preached to enormous crowds. Both of them wrote letters about Jesus that have been read by hundreds of millions. My circle of influence is considerably smaller than that. Once we’ve realized that, we’ve got two options. We can resent our situation,…