Sunday, June 17, 2018: Getting to the Heart of What Church is All About

“For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh…” (2 Corinthians 5:14–16a) When we truly experience God’s love, we are transformed into willing servants. Jesus frees us to love and serve others rather than regarding them according to the flesh. That’s what defined the apostle Paul’s life. (Read More)

June 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

Sunday, June 10, 2018: Where God’s Greatest Blessing Awaits

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3) As fallen people, we all experience the brokenness that sin has brought to bear upon the world. It manifests itself in countless ways. Some people sense it in an unspoken resentment that has strained their relationship with their spouse. Others in the remembrance of a painful childhood experience. Still, others in a constant search for approval and validation from those around them. However brokenness might show itself, it is our tendency to want to avoid the places in our lives where we most need healing. We (Read More)

June 6, 2018 // 0 Comments

Sunday, June 03, 2018: How to Have Confidence before God

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are…By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. (1 John 3:1, 19–20) God’s opinion of you is not necessarily the same as your opinion of yourself. This is one of the hardest things for us to learn. Until we do, we are going to be ruled by our self-opinions. Most of the time, we tend toward smugness or despair in our view of ourselves. In the case of (Read More)

May 30, 2018 // 0 Comments

Sunday, May 27, 2018: With Empty Hands And A True Heart

The twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast down their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4:10-11) Nothing says “I’ve made it in life” like wearing a crown. It is a status symbol, an almost universally recognized image of authority and nobility. In our world, the few who receive a crown receive a thing of tremendous value. (Read More)

May 23, 2018 // 0 Comments

Sunday, May 20, 2018: The Source of Most of Our Problems in Life

“We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) We often forget how loved we are. This is the source of most of our problems in life. When we fail to realize God’s love for us, we become frantic, sin entangles us, our worries prevail, our hearts grow cold. As a result, there’s little to no room for Jesus in our noisy, crowded lives. What can be done about this? If we’ll simply pause here for a moment, God can speak into our situation. Over every competing voice in our lives, He’ll tell us exactly what we need to hear—that in Christ we are loved with an (Read More)

May 16, 2018 // 0 Comments

Sunday, May 13, 2018: God’s Cure for Our “Itch”

Ah, stubborn children…who set out to go down to Egypt, without asking for my direction, to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt! (Isaiah 30:1–2) As a kid, I think I got poison ivy just about every summer. The red, bumpy rash would cover my arms and legs, and drive me crazy with incessant itching. If you’ve ever had poison ivy, you know what I’m talking about. It’s the worst. In the book of Isaiah, the people of Judah were itching all over with a desire for security and relief from the looming threat of an Assyrian (Read More)

May 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

Sunday, May 06, 2018: The Key to Enjoying Church

…in your thinking be mature. (1 Corinthians 14:20) Worship leader and scholar Chip Stam once said, “A mature Christian is easily edified.” This means that people who are advancing in Christian maturity will probably find it much easier to enjoy church than people who are not. Immature Christians tend to want gathered worship to scratch their particular itch. They often assume that things like music, preaching, and kids ministry ought to adhere to their expectations and preferences; and when they don’t, church is hard to enjoy. On the other hand, mature Christians are (Read More)

May 2, 2018 // 0 Comments

Sunday, April 29, 2018: The Danger of A Divided Heart

Then Solomon built a high place… (1 Kings 11:7) Jesus said that “a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand” (Mark 3:24). This was certainly true for Israel after Solomon’s passing. Solomon began his kingship with God-given wisdom and honor, yet turned from the Lord later in life, giving his heart to his idolatrous wives by building high places for their gods (1 Ki. 11:1-8). As a result of Solomon’s unfaithfulness, God promised judgment; the kingdom of Israel would be divided (11:31). A generation later, God’s Word was fulfilled. David’s throne in (Read More)

April 25, 2018 // 0 Comments

Sunday, April 22, 2018: Do You Realize What God Is Offering?

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:8–9) Philip’s request to see the Father reveals that he hadn’t yet understood who Jesus is. Of course, at some level, Philip knew that Jesus had been sent by God. But he still wanted that oh-so impressive spiritual experience. Ironically, he was totally oblivious to the fact that he was already with (Read More)

April 18, 2018 // 0 Comments

Sunday, April 15, 2018: What Compels Us to Sing?

I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me. (Psalm 13:6) Why do we sing to worship God each week? Because, as the psalmist says, He has dealt bountifully with us. In Christ, God’s greatest provision has met our greatest need in abundance: redemption and everlasting life. It’s like Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Abundant life in Jesus? God’s glorious bounty for sinners like us? What Good News! Because the life we have in Jesus should compel us to sing God’s praises, why wouldn’t (Read More)

April 9, 2018 // 0 Comments