Prayer

Sunday, October 14, 2018: To God, You’re Not Just Another Face in the Crowd

“. . .you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God” (Galatians 4:9) The world is more connected than ever. Technological advancements have made constant connectedness possible. In mere seconds, you can email a co-worker, text a family member, or make a new “friend” from across the globe. However, we as a culture are realizing that people are lonelier than ever. There’s even a name for it now—”The Loneliness Epidemic.” Psychology Today reports that, in the past 50 years, the rates of people who feel lonely have skyrocketed. In a survey of (Read More)

October 10, 2018 // 1 Comment

Sunday, October 07, 2018: To Pray for the Church is to Love the Church

“…without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers” (Romans 1:9-10) The purpose of the Christian life is to know and make known the love of God in Christ, beginning with how we relate to the church. Jesus told His disciples, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn. 13:35). And Paul said, “…do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10). As Christ-followers, it seems like one of our most basic instincts should be to love our church family. At (Read More)

October 3, 2018 // 1 Comment

Sunday, August 12, 2018: God Still Shows Up in the Nazareths of This World

Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” (Genesis 28:16) In John 1:45, Philip tells Nathaniel, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote: Jesus of Nazareth.” For an Israelite at the time, this would’ve come as a surprise—”the world’s Messiah is from where now? Nazareth? Of all places?” You see, Nazareth wasn’t exactly a desirable place to live. It was about as podunk as you could get, hence Nathaniel’s snobbish response: “Can anything good come (Read More)

August 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

Sunday, August 05, 2018: You’re in Two Places at Once

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) In Scripture, God occasionally allows us a peak behind the curtain of this material world to see how He is worshiped in heaven. One can’t help but marvel while reading such accounts—Isaiah’s vision in the temple, Ezekiel’s calling at the Chebar Canal, John’s encounter with Jesus while in captivity on the island Patmos. These men experienced heaven and their lives were forever transformed as a result. Indeed, these passages cause us to long for the bright future that awaits (Read More)

August 1, 2018 // 0 Comments

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 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