Showing posts from March, 2020

"O death, where is your sting?"

“O death, where is your sting?”
Hey everyone! This morning I am thinking about Peter, the night of Jesus’ arrest. Remember Jesus tells Peter that he will betray Jesus 3 times. And Peter says, “I will die before I betray you!” 
Then, when push comes to shove, he denied Jesus. Why? Because Peter feared death more than he trusted Jesus. I wonder how many of us have this problem too? When things are good we proudly declare that we do not fear death – we shout “Amen!” and sing “death has been defeated”. But when push comes to shove… 
Today we are going to be looking at two passages. The first is Hebrews 2:9, 14-15 “9But we see Him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.” (italicize added). Here the connotation is that Jesus tasted death so everyone (this includes you) might have the opportunity not to have to taste death! More on this later.…

You Will Never Know Why

You Will Never Know Why
Today we are going to begin our week with the story of Job. This story about Job begins by describing the outstanding character of Job. Job 1:1 says, “There was a man of the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turn away from evil.” It goes on to describe his immense wealth and large family. As the story goes, the Devil approaches God and tells God that Job wouldn’t be so devoted to Him if God didn’t protect Him so. So, God allows the devil to take all of his possessions, his children and his health. So, Job goes from being rich and prosperous to having nothing, no children and sitting the dust with “a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself”. 
And yet, Job never attacks God nor forsakes Him. But Job does go into deep depression. He spends the next 36 chapters begging God for an explanation, he, like many of us in troubling times, wants to know why?Finally, in Job 38 God speaks to Job out of …

Everything is an Opportunity Part II

Everything is an Opportunity Part II
Yesterday we talked about finding opportunity in everything to share the truth about Jesus. Today we are going to look at another way that everything – both good and bad – has the potential to be an opportunity if we choose to use it as such. 
Today we will be looking at Romans 8:28-29. Now, if you want to hear an excellent sermon on this text follow this link: Adam, our worship arts minister, delivered on this text and really dove deep into the point we are going to skim over this morning.
The text says this, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” We like to stop there! And you know why we like to stop there right? Because we want to define “good”! We want this verse to mean that if we love God enough, He will heal us or protect our employment or make sure this ministry works exactly as we envision it working. We want good to mean –…

Everything is an Opportunity

Everything is an Opportunity
Today we are going to be jumping around to several places in scripture but our primary text is going to be 1 Corinthians 9:19-22, “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. (Here Paul is saying that he is free from all – Jesus is his only Lord – but he chooses to see himself as others servants for the express purpose of wining them to Christ) To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. (Paul is not saying he shouldn’t obey the commands of the Lord – he is referencing old Jewish law that Christians are no longer under. Things like circumcision, not eating certain meats, etc. are no longer things he must follow but he will if it means he can lead someone who does observe those laws to Jesus) To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outsid…

A Simple Resolve

A Simple Resolve
I want to begin today with a movie quote! Last night Leah and I watched The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. In it, two of the main characters, Sam and Frodo, find themselves in a very discouraging way. In a moment of despair Frodo says, “I can’t do this Sam.” And Sam’s response goes like this, “I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Fodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Fodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those st…

"But even if He does not..."

“But even if He does not…”
I want to take us back today to the Old Testament. We will be looking at the famed story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the third chapter of the prophecy of Daniel.
As the story goes King Nebuchadnezzar (heck of a name ain’t it??) has a great statue of himself erected that is made of gold. He commands that everyone must bow down and worship this statue or else they will be thrown in the “blazing furnace” and burnt alive! (Crazy that I remember learning this story on a flannel graph as a kid… yikes…). 
As you may have guessed our three heroes refuse to bow down and worship. They are thrown in the furnace and the flames don’t even warm them up! In fact, a fourth person appears in the furnace with them (some say it may have been Christ) and they are delivered unscathed and Nebuchadnezzar comes to believe in their God. 
I want to focus on one part of this story that I find profound – I want us to focus on how our guys respond to Nebuchadnezzar when he thre…

A Secret to Happiness

A Secret to Happiness
Good morning everyone! I hope these words find you safe and healthy and, above all, in awe of our Almighty God who will never leave us nor forsake us!!! 
I want to share with you today the secret to happiness! But before I tell you what the secret to happiness is, I want to tell you what it is not!
The secret to happiness is not wealth.
The secret to happiness is not health.
The secret to happiness is not family.
The secret to happiness is not success.
The secret to happiness is not knowledge. 
The secret to happiness is not safety. 
The secret to happiness is not perfection. 
Here’s what I want to say to you today, You can be happy in any situation if you are grateful.
Why is this? Because, in our gratitude, we forsake a sense of entitlement, we stop worrying about what we need or don’t have. In gratitude we find that we want for nothing because we are already overwhelmed with what we have! 
In 2 Corinthians Paul talks about gratitude in a unique way:
2 Corinthians 4:15, “For…

"For You Have Died"

Today I want to spend some time in Colossians 3:1-4.
It reads, If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
What does it mean to “seek the things that are above”? 
The Bible teaches that when the Christian is baptized, they literally die and are raised to a new life. The idea is they go under the water and are buried and then come up something new, something different. Different in what way? They now set their minds on things that are above – why? Because their eyes have been opened to eternity.
I am reminded of the scene in the Christmas Classic “White Christmas” at the end when they are singing white Christmas in an inn – hoping for snow and then the wall behind the stage is opened t…

Put to Death Your Hopelessness

Put to Death Your Hopelessness 
Greetings everyone! So, if you are reading this than chances are you believe in Jesus Christ, you believe in the Resurrection, in Heaven, in the truth that God is with you always – but, if you’re like me, even with this faith you have moments when you look out the window-when you see the news and you cannot help but be shaken. 
Maybe it’s not current events that give you pause-fear-or some doubt, maybe it is a personal tragedy or something else that seems to be a drain on your faith.
With this in mind, I want us to look today at Mark 9:14-29. In this account there is a young boy who is demon possessed. The father of this boy says that the demon has made his son mute, foam at the mouth and go rigid. The disciples are unable to make a difference, so the man brings his son to Jesus. The father says to Jesus in verse 22, “But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”Do you hear the note of desperation in the father’s voice? Do you see his …

How to Fight Your Battles

How to Fight Your Battles:
I woke up this morning thinking about the story of David and Goliath. When I got into the office I looked up 1 Samuel 17 and read this famous account with new eyes. I would like to share with you a few things I found to be meaningful. 
First, a brief recap, the Israelites are at war with the Philistines and they agree to each send out their best warrior to fight. Whoever wins that fight wins the war and takes the other nation as slaves. The Philistines sent out Goliath – a giant of a man, upwards of 9 feet tall – a tried and true warrior with the armor, weaponry and scars to prove it. Nobody wants to fight Goliath so day after day he comes out and makes fun of the Israelites and their God. Then David, a young shepherd boy, arrives on the scene with food for his brothers. He sees what is happening and volunteers to fight Goliath on Israel’s behalf. You can read the account to see how he convinced King Saul to send him out when Saul himself was too afraid to f…

How to Overcome the World

Greetings friends! The scripture I would like to focus on today is 1 John 5:4-5 where the apostle writes, “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.” Man, doesn’t that sound good! If you’re born of God, you overcome the world!? What does that mean? You overcome sin, fear, worry, even death! You overcome all the evil schemes and the natural disasters. You overcome the coronavirus and the lies of the devil – you overcome the world! Some of us feel encouraged by this – but for some of us we are certain we are not good enough, that this applies to someone else. 
This is why we desperately need to finish this verse and find out where our victory comes from: “And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”Listen, you do not overcome the world through figuring it all out, or knowing enough, or always doing the right thing, or never doing the wrong thing. You overcome the worldthrough faith! The next verse defines faith for us:
“5 Who is it that overcomes the world…

Getting Back to Base

[If you prefer to watch rather than read go to ]
When I was little (and sometimes today with my boys) I remember playing tag! One of the things you always do is pick a “base” or a “safe zone” where you could go and the person who was “it” couldn’t tag you. The base was a place to rest in safety where you could get your energy back before you ran back out into the fray – where the “it” person wasn’t allowed to enter. 
A few weeks ago, our staff and elders and their spouses joined for a night of worship, prayer, and reading of scripture. During that time, we read from Psalms 46. Here are a few excerpts:
Psalms 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength,”
God is our “base”. He is the place we find our shelter in – the well from which we gain our strength. The greatest difference being we don’t ever have to leave this “base” this Refuge. In the words of a dear friend of mine, “Our base goes with us everywhere we go.” We can stay in Him constantly and forever – but we mus…