Showing posts from January, 2019

What exactly is meant by 'Gospel'?

What is the Gospel? In today’s culture, and sadly in many of our churches, the term Gospel means different things to different people.  This should not be the case, yet it is a glaring reality.  Let us first deal with what the Gospel is not. First of all, the Gospel is not simply believing in God .   Even the demons believe that God is God and that He is one just like the Jews do, yet look where the demons ended up (Jam. 2:19).    When asking an individual about their religious background or spiritual life, generally people will answer with something along the lines of having a belief in God, however loose of a belief that may be.   And to many in our world, this is sufficient for being right with that god.   This is simply not the case.   There is far more to the Gospel than a surface-level, even superficial, belief in God, a god, or in some “Higher Power.” Second, the Gospel is not about being a good person .   The most common answer I have experienced from people when witn

Days after the NY abortion ruling...

As we sit here in the fallout just days after the egregious NY State abortion ruling, it is hard to fathom how we as a nation have fallen so far from sanity.  The infamous Roe v. Wade ruling has led this spiral out of control and now we have reached the epitome of all that is inhumane - people were celebrating the "right" to kill a baby at the very point of birth.  What should be the safest place in all the world, a mother's womb, has been deemed a war zone for decades - a war zone that has cost millions upon millions of innocent lives.  And now, that war zone has spilled over outside the womb. Romans 1:24-30 illustrates in vivid detail the path a person and a nation takes when God is all out rejected.  Verse 28 tells us that, as a form of divine judgment, God allows those who continually reject Him and His calls to repent to be given over to a " debased mind ."  This is to say that they have become worthless-minded, corrupt, insane. The New York ruling th

Worshipful in UNworshipful times

" Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped ." - Job 1:20 If there were ever a book in the Bible where a vast majority of human beings could identify with, it would be Job.  Job wrestles with a lot of life's toughest questions.  Here you have a man, known in the east as "blameless and upright", meaning he had a Godly reputation and was well respected in his community.  He was wealthy and a lucrative businessman.  He had a large family that he celebrated and prayed for regularly; his "quiver was full."  Job had it all - until Satan attacked. This is a fascinating account because it not only gives us insight into human suffering and God's relationship to it, but it also shows us the unique interaction between Satan and God.  Satan certainly lurks about the earth as the "prince of the air" like a "roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour", but he is only able to do what God allow

Do we truly grasp what Jesus did?

As a pastor, I have tried to practice strategically planning what is called a "sermon calender" for the upcoming year.  I tried this for the first time this past year, 2018, and had so much success (and less stress) with it that I have decided to do the same this year in 2019. Our theme for the year here at Northside Garland, the local congregation I pastor, will be "Discipleship: Living out your faith one day at a time."  This theme will focus on personal Spiritual growth in the various disciplines of the Christian life, including but not limited to: Bible study, prayer, worship, tithing/giving, service, evangelism, and leadership.  I felt the best way to do this in the Sunday morning worship gathering was to take an expositional journey through the book of Romans.  We will go verse by verse, with the occasional break in between, and this study will be for the duration of 2019.  I'm excited to go on this journey! The first message will take place this Sunda

A prayer in the cave...

"A prayer when he [David] was in the cave."  - Psalm 142:1 I would like to share a simple thought about this title of Psalm 142, but before sharing mine, I would like to quote the late, great preacher Charles Spurgeon: "David did pray when he was in the cave.  If he had prayed half as much when he was in the palace as he did when he was in the cave, things would have been better for him.  But, alas, when he was king, we find him rising from his bed in the evening, looking from the roof of his house, and falling into temptation.  If he had been looking up to heaven, if his heart had been in communion with God, he might never have committed that great crime that has so deeply stained his whole character." (-C.H. Spurgeon, 'Spurgeon on Prayer & Spiritual Warfare', p.101) I wonder how often this is the case for us as we live our lives?  What would the percentage look like in your life and in mine if we were to compare the times we go to the Lord in pr