Sermons on Spiritual Growth

Counterintuitive Truths: Content in Every Situation

In some ways, Christianity is taking a beating in our post-Christian society. Much of the secular media seems to jump at any opportunity to point out inconsistencies or hypocrisies in Christians. So I think it’s good for us to be reminded that the way of Christ actually is the best way to live, even when it seems counterintuitive. Since God knows our true nature, it shouldn’t surprise us that living according to his plan will be best for us. In…

Counterintuitive Truths: It is More Blessed to Give

We aren’t Christians because it’s an easier life, but because we believe Jesus is the Son of God. Nevertheless, when we follow Christ we pursue a way of life that is consistent with God’s creative purposes for us. In other words, it may not be easier, but it leads to what Jesus calls the “abundant” life. In so many ways it’s counterintuitive, though. Jesus reigns over an upside-down kingdom . . . it subverts the way that comes naturally to…

A Resurrection Meal

Our text describes the last meal that Jesus ate with his disciples as far as Luke’s gospel is concerned. And it’s a really important one. Luke seems intent on making sure we think about Jesus’ resurrected body (he passes through walls, yet has flesh and bones and eats real food). It’s interesting that Luke specifies that Jesus ate the fish “before” the disciples . . . and not just “with” them. Jesus clearly wants to make a point out of the fact…

The Best Seat at the Table

Meals play a central role in Scripture. The crucial holiday in Israel’s calendar was a meal that commemorated their deliverance from captivity, and the central commemoration of Christians is a weekly meal that reflects on God’s ultimate deliverance from bondage. Our presence in the new heavens and earth is sometimes described as a huge feast where we take our places at a banquet table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the central part of our favorite Psalm is about God’s…

Conflict at the Dinner Table

Meals play a central role in Scripture. The crucial holiday in Israel’s calendar was a meal that commemorated their deliverance from captivity, and the central commemoration of Christians is a weekly meal that reflects on God’s ultimate deliverance from bondage. Our presence in the new heavens and earth is sometimes described as a huge feast where we take our places at a banquet table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the central part of our favorite Psalm is about God’s…

At Mary and Martha’s House

Meals play a central role in Scripture. The crucial holiday in Israel’s calendar was a meal that commemorated their deliverance from captivity, and the central commemoration of Christians is a weekly meal that reflects on God’s ultimate deliverance from bondage. Our presence in the new heavens and earth is sometimes described as a huge feast where we take our places at a banquet table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the central part of our favorite Psalm is about God’s…

By This All People Will Know

Have you noticed rising levels of fear and anxiety in recent times? The stock market is way down (a bear market?), inflation is way up (an impending recession?), and the price of gas is ridiculous. Political polarization feels worse than in the past, so many people–especially teens and young adults–are struggling with mental and emotional health, the war in Ukraine shows no signs of abating, and our culture seems to have lost its mind (one of many examples: gender and…