Sunday, August 19, 2018: God Doesn’t Sit on A Swivel Chair

The LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. (Numbers 6:25) Author James Bryan Smith, sharing his testimony, talks about how he used to view God before coming to a true knowledge of His love: “For years I related to God as if He sat in a swivel chair. When I did something good, God would look at me and smile. When I did something bad, God would turn His back to me until I made amends, when He would swivel back and accept me again. I kept God constantly on the move.”  Smith’s testimony is something most—if not all—of us can relate to in some way or (Read More)

August 15, 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, 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, August 20, 2017: What Do You See on Sundays?

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. (2 Corinthians 3:18) Throughout His earthly ministry, thousands of people looked at Jesus with their own two eyes. But few people looked long enough to actually see Him for who He truly is. Few beheld Him. This is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in John’s gospel. One time, Jesus was speaking to a large crowd who had just witnessed Him perform a mind-blowing miracle with the meager contents of a little kid’s lunch basket (6:1-15). (Read More)

August 16, 2017 // 0 Comments

Sunday, August 06, 2017: What True Worship Is All About

“Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh…” (Philippians 3:2-3) Worship is all about where we place our confidence. “Confidence in the flesh” was the greatest threat to the worship of the Philippian church in the apostle Paul’s day. Those to whom he referred as “dogs” were putting pressure on the Philippians to make the Hebrew custom of circumcision a prerequisite for (Read More)

August 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

Sunday, May 21, 2017: What Are You Bringing to Church This Sunday?

For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. (Romans 1:11-12) It’s Sunday morning and you’re getting ready to head out the door for church. What do you bring? Think about it, what’s on your “mental checklist” of stuff you need? Probably your phone and car keys. Hopefully your Bible. Maybe you need a quick, on-the-go breakfast so you reach for that trusty protein bar. Oh, and don’t forget your kids. No matter what the (Read More)

May 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

Sunday, April 23, 2017: God Exalts Himself to Show Mercy to Sinners Like Us

Therefore the LORD . . . exalts himself to show mercy to you. (Isaiah 30:18a) Why We Don’t Like Self-Exalting People Most of us have a natural aversion to self-exaltation. We tend to be turned off by people who make a practice out of parading their self-importance. And rightfully so. Man’s blatant self-exaltation is, by its very nature, quite ugly. And this is probably so for two main reasons. First, human beings are, in large part, instinctively attracted to humility. For instance, we often find it refreshing when we meet a famous person who exhibits humble qualities, (Read More)

April 19, 2017 // 0 Comments

Sunday, March 26, 2017: Is The Cross Of Christ Our Only Boast?

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:14) An Untimely Death Recently, singer-songwriter Michael Gungor (widely known to the Christian music world simply as Gungor) ignited controversy on Twitter, tweeting multiple statements concerning the place of Christ’s atoning work in the musical worship of the church: I would love to hear more artists who sing to God and fewer who include a Father murdering a son in that endeavor… if you can’t think of anything to sing to God other than gratitude for taking your shame away through (Read More)

March 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

Sunday, September 04, 2016: God Has Destined Us For Sonship, Not Employment

“In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 1:4-5) The Not-So-Whole Story We’re all familiar with the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. It’s the one Jesus told about the son who couldn’t wait to get out on his own. So he decides to ask his father for an advance on his inheritance, which is basically another way of saying, “Listen dad, I can’t sit around forever and wait for you to die so I can get what’s coming to me. I want it now.” Despite the unthinkably (Read More)

August 31, 2016 // 2 Comments

Sunday, July 10, 2016: Can You See God’s Grace in The Church?

When [Barnabas] came and saw the grace of God, he was glad…” (Acts 11:23) What Do You Expect? What do you expect to see when you come to church this Sunday? Take a second and think about how you might answer that question. It’s an important one—more important, perhaps, than we might initially think. After all, what comes to your mind as you consider that question reveals a great deal about how you perceive the purpose of the church and what you tend to value about its worship gatherings. The fact is, almost everyone has deeply engrained expectations about what the (Read More)

July 6, 2016 // 0 Comments