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Showing posts from February, 2013

Faithfulness Defeats Fearfulness

I've heard the saying, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" and I think it is very true. Oftentimes when things stand in our way of completing whatever task we've been called to complete, we slow down or we forget the necessity of the charge given to us. If we're honest with ourselves, when we know the road ahead is not going to be easy, we prefer shortcuts past the pain instead of through it. When the apostle Paul was saying farewell to the church leaders in Ephesus, he knew that it very well could be the last time he saw them. Picture the scene. Paul, this great man of God who had come to Ephesus with the message of the gospel. As a result of his nearly three years of ministry work among them, practically the whole region heard the message of salvation, churches were started, and several men surrendered their lives to the call of the ministry. Now this champion of the faith was telling the church leaders he had trained that God was calling him else…

A Silenced Accuser

Most people think the devil is just a fictional character who carries a pitchfork, has a couple horns, a long tail, and is fire engine red. When it comes down to it, people do not confess to believing in a  very present and active enemy of our souls. The funny thing is, Jesus and his disciples warn the early church about this individual in very frightening and realistic terms. Peter warns, "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith…" (1 Pet. 5:8-9a). Is this person known as Satan or the devil really after us today? Paul warns the Christians at Corinth about not being outwitted by Satan, saying, "for we are not ignorant of his designs" (2 Cor. 2:11b). Is this character we call the devil really designing and scheming things against us? Paul calls the church at Ephesus to be spiritually armed and ready for, "the flaming darts of the evil one" (Eph. 6:16…

The Measure of My Days

Today I preached my first funeral service. In the past few days that I have been preparing to perform this funeral, I was struck with this thought: "When I die, and the specific preacher is asked to perform my funeral service, what will he think of me and what will those who were close to me inform him about me." Essentially the question is, am I living my life in such a way that people will say about me what I want them to say? What do you want people to say about you when you're gone? When your casket is rested below whatever preacher preaches your funeral and as all your loved ones walk past and gaze at your lifeless body, what comments will be most made? And what comments will not be made based upon the way you lived your life? 
Not by coincidence I believe, I read today from Psalm 39, where David writes in verses 4-5, "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths…

Read the Bible? What's the Point? The Main Theme of the Good Book

The saying, “Don’t miss the forest for the trees” is very important when reading the Bible. Many people are all gung-ho about reading thru the Bible starting January 1st, but somewhere between Leviticus and Deuteronomy they begin to taper off and eventually stop altogether. I think the problem for most people is that they see the sixty-six different books of the Bible as being so diverse and different and they cannot seem to make sense of the “Good Book” as a whole. Without reading in context, any book becomes confusing and laborious. As I’ve heard it said, “A text without a pretext is a context”. So am I suggesting that the Bible has one main theme that runs throughout it? Yes! It is when people think the Bible is just a ton of different interesting and inspiring stories about kings and nobodies and the drama of their lives that they end up shelving the Bible for Harry Potter or Twilight. Why is it that millions of Christians around the globe have found the Bible to be their source o…