Showing posts from August, 2018

Is the Gospel enough?

“ For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes...” - Romans 1:16 There’s a plethora of discussion happening in the current climate of the Church today regarding the latest form of cultural shift – the Social Justice movement.   This isn’t necessarily a new movement, but rather it has resurfaced due to several tragic events that have taken place in recent years involving law enforcement and young, African American males .   Just yesterday, in fact, an officer in a neighboring town was convicted of murder and sentenced to 15 years in prison without parole after firing into a vehicle of African American teenage boys, none of whom were armed, who were leaving a party after the officers had asked everyone to leave.               Setting political stances aside, when these types of things happen, they are senseless, they are wrong, and yes, they need to be fixed and fixed quickly.             However, let the record show, t

"It was good for me to be afflicted..."

" It was good for me to be afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes ."  - Psalm 119:71 This thought doesn't jive in our culture at all. When things are going well, it's easy to trust in ourselves and forget about the Lord. When things aren't going so well, we learn to trust and follow the Lord and His Word. Why is it good that we go through affliction so that we can learn God's Word?  Because, " The Law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces ." ( Ps. 119:72 ) Have you ever thought about that before?  The thought that God's Word is better to us than anything else on this planet?  Specifically mentioned here are riches - God's Word is better to us and for us than all of the riches in the world.  David would have known that quite well being King.  He would also have understood that God's Word is better to him than people because he knew what it meant to be betrayed and/or let down by those close t

From a Pastor's heart: Trying to understand God in loss...

John 11 tells the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. The story goes that it is reported to Jesus in advance that Lazarus, a close friend of His, had become  ill and would soon die.  Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters, whom He also knew very well, Mary and Martha ( vs . 2-5 ).  Upon hearing the news, Jesus did something we may find puzzling - He stayed where He was two more days instead of rushing to heal Lazarus (or even speaking healing to Lazarus from a distance, which He had done before to others - Matt. 15, Luke 7, John 4 ). When Jesus finally arrived, Lazarus had been dead in the grave four days ( v.39 ).... On the surface, this is just as puzzling to us as it was to them.  Why did Jesus wait?  Why didn't He heal right away when they pleaded with Him to do so?  Why did He refrain from answering the prayers of those Scripture claims He loved? We know this scenario in our world all too well, unfortunately.  In the midst of stories of miraculous healing and a


“…All authority I will give you, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give to whomever I wish.   Therefore, if you will worship before me, all will be yours.”   - Luke 4:6-7 Wow!   What an uplifting passage of Scripture! Context.   Context.   Context.   This simple word was pounded into my cranium from, what seemed, “dawn ‘til dusk” during my years at the BMA Theological Seminary.   It didn’t matter whether my colleagues and I were in a church history course, a preaching course, pastoral ministry course, or systematic theology, “CONTEXT” was the underlying theme built upon the foundation of coming to know and love our Savior, Jesus Christ, and His Word even more intimately than before. I can’t tell you how much this simple word means to me now, especially in light of the trends in our culture and churches today.             We live in an environment now, and likely for the remainder of human history, where information is simply a click away.  

Never too far gone...

“And [Manasseh] did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel.” - 2 Kings 21:2 Have you ever known someone that just seemed ‘too far gone?’   You’ve tried everything to get through to them.   All of your efforts and prayers seem to come up empty.   Perhaps you may feel this way about yourself…. The truth of the matter is, Scripture makes clear that there is still hope.   There is no one too sinful or 'too far gone' for the Lord's Spirit to go to work and regenerate them; to make them new by giving them a new heart with new desires to serve Him.   Salvation is for all who call on the name of Jesus in repe ntance and faith ( Rom. 10:13 ). The Lord can save anyone. If there's still doubt in your mind about this, look no further than 2 Kings 21 and/or the parallel account in 2 Chronicles 33 . In these historical accounts we come across a wicked king o