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What is the Church?

If we are going to live in a certain way as the church, then we need to know what the church is. So: What is the church? One popular belief is that the church is a building. Even though that belief is false, the building in which you attend church is not the house of…

Jesus the True and Better Prophet, Priest, and King

One of my hobbies is photography. While my iPhone does a good job, the Digital SLR I have takes much better pictures. If you aren’t familiar with the lingo, it is one of those cameras that allows you to can change the lens. Being able to change the lens is important because each lens offers…

Bible Reading Tips

I understand that reading the Bible can be a difficult and intimidating endeavor, so let me give you some tips to help you get started. (1) Get a Translation You Can Read I know some of you grew up reading the King James Version and the Early Modern English doesn’t bother you, but I also know…

Who Should Receive Our Prayers?

Prayer is something all Christians are called to do. We pray for a lot of different people, but have you ever thought about who should receive our prayers? Paul, writing to Timothy, answers that question for us. Let’s see what he has to say. We Are to Pray for All People’s At the end of…

Preach the Gospel for a Changed Nation

“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.” (Ps 24:1–2) The Sovereignty of God The Psalmist tells us that God is sovereign over all creation. God’s sovereignty stems from His ownership. The heavens,…

How Should Christians Work? – Part 2

Work, it’s something we do a lot of. I am not sure if you have ever figured it up, but on a 40 hour work week, you will spend over 2,000 hours a year working. Over 30 years that amounts to roughly 62,000 hours or 2,600 straight days at work. I think it is safe to say that…

How Should Christians Work? – Part 1

Work, it’s something we do a lot of. I am not sure if you have ever figured it up, but on a 40 hour work week, you will spend over 2,000 hours a year working. Over 30 years that amounts to roughly 62,000 hours or 2,600 straight days at work. I think it is safe to say that…

Jesus is Enough

In Colossians, Paul is dealing with false teachers. Focusing on the big picture, what we see is that these false teachers were adding something to the gospel. They required the Colossians to do more than believe in Jesus in order to be saved. Here is the thing, however, when we add something to the gospel, we are really subtracting…

Apologetics: A Reasonable Defense

Ask most church goers what it means to do apologetics and you will most likely be met with blank stares, an explanation about how we are to apologize to others, or tales of boredom as they tried sitting through a lecture or trudging through a book full of philosophical arguments. While the study of Apologetics…

How to Worship the Lord Daily in 2016 – Part 2

In my last post, we learned that we can worship the Lord daily by living according to His Word. Doing that, however, takes us sacrificing our will and desires for God’s. Sacrifice is where we run into a problem because as my father-in-law likes to say, “Living sacrifices have a habit of crawling off the altar”. How…

How to Worship the Lord Daily in 2016 – Part 1

If there is one thing we all share in common, it is that we all make New Year’s resolutions. We make these resolutions as a way to motivate ourselves to start working out, eating better, spending more time with family, take a vacation, read a book or whatever else you may come up with. Many of us…

How to Win the Battle for Your Heart

Christians are in a battle with the world. A battle that rages continually as we are confronted with promises of pleasure, joy, and satisfaction at every turn. These messages are often subtle, chipping away at our defenses little by little. A billboard on our commute to work, prompting us to book a bliss filled spur…

Why Aren’t Christians Growing?

Why aren’t Christians growing? More specifically, why do Christians become stagnant in Christ-like growth? What Occurs in Salvation? If we think about some of what occurs in salvation, this question becomes even more urgent. When we come to Christ, we are: Delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Christ, releasing us from…

Are You Prepared for Persecution?

Christian persecution is not something new to us in the 21st Century. Throughout church history, believers have suffered persecution. “They have been beaten, ridiculed, defrocked, and defamed. They have suffered poverty, isolation, betrayal, and disgrace. They have been hounded, harassed, and murdered” [1]. Persecution Should Not Surprise Us Persecution should come as no surprise to…

3 Practices to Help Deacons Fulfill Their Role

This past Sunday, our church ordained three additional men to the office of Deacon. The service, and time afterward, was filled with an air of celebration for what the Lord is doing in our church. The sanctuary was packed and fellowship hall was full of home cooked meals and dessert (we’re Baptist). While last Sunday was…

The Gospel Cycle that Kills Sin

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2) Called to An Upward Gaze In these verses, Paul calls Christians…

10 Ways to Get More Out of Your Daily Devotions

Every Wednesday, our church hosts a prayer meeting and Bible Study. During the Bible study portion, I usually throw out a question for discussion. This week the question had to do with our daily devotionals. Here is what we came up with as a group. 10 Ways to Get More Out of Your Daily Devotions (1) Do Them –…

Eat the Word For Breakfast

Every Friday morning at 6:30am for the last two years I have gathered with a group of men at IHOP for breakfast and Bible study. The Plan – One Chapter When we get together, our plan is to cover one chapter in God’s Word. As we cover that chapter, we work to understand what it…

11 Things to Pray for a Deeper Prayer Life

We all know we should pray regularly, but we often don’t. There are numerous reasons for why we don’t pray on a regular basis. Why We Don’t Pray Life gets busy — We haven’t set aside the time, and a prayerless morning turns into a prayerless week. We think God doesn’t have the time — Our needs…

Eat the Word for Breakfast

Every Friday morning at 6:30am for the last two years our men’s group has gathered at IHOP for breakfast and Bible study. The Plan – One Chapter When we get together, our plan is to cover one chapter in God’s Word. As we cover that chapter, we work to understand what it means and how…

On Being Apart of God's Grand Drama

The Reformer’s Cry

Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda, secundum verbum Dei – The church reformed and always being reformed according to God’s Word. Question for Reflection Do you realize God’s Word and Spirit are always reforming His church by renewing, transforming, and changing us? Resource Image

On Being Apart of God's Grand Drama

Jesus’ Call to Return

Church discipline is not just “clearing the membership roll” as if the point were primarily accuracy in bookkeeping. Neither is church discipline designed to be a punishment, as if the church were saying, “We don’t want your kind around here.” Yes, the church speaks of this stage of discipline as the delivering of one to…

Are You Using God?

Every week, I meet with a group of guys at IHOP for breakfast, coffee, and Bible study. For the last year, we have been working chapter by chapter through the Minor Prophets. It has been a fruitful study! We are currently in the book of Zechariah, so we are almost finished. When we came together this…

On Being Apart of God's Grand Drama

Guilty but Forgiven Sinners

As guilty but forgiven sinners, what the powers and principalities of this age say to us is true. But we’ve already been accused; we’ve already been indicted; we’ve been arrested; we’ve been dressed in purple and beaten; we’ve been stapled to a Roman cross; we’ve had the wrath of God poured out upon us; we’ve…

God Will Build With Your Inadequacies

We just finished a series over the Genesis 1-12. In the last chapter — Genesis 12 — we encountered Abram (Abraham). He is a great example of someone who had to trust that God would use him. Abraham’s Hindrance Remember the promise God made Abraham — to make him into a great nation. That is a great promise…

Leave Everything and Go Wherever

Abraham is a prime example of someone whom God asked to leave everything and go wherever. In Genesis 12:1, we read, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” (Gen. 12:1b) Leave Everything God asks Abraham to leave behind all he has ever known – his idol…

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4 Stumbling Blocks to Everyday Evangelism – Part 1

In my last post, I talked about the need for us to model Paul’s method of evangelism in Athens — reach out, build relationships with folks, and then engage them with the gospel where they are on a daily basis. But often we don’t do what Paul models for us. We don’t engage people where they are…

How are We to Love Others? – Part 3

As disciples, our love should imitate Jesus loves for us. But what exactly does that look like. In other words, how are we to love others as an imitation of Jesus’ love? How are We to Love Others As an Imitation of Jesus’ Love? (3) Jesus’ Love is Continual It’s not temporary. He doesn’t love us for…

How are We to Love Others? – Part 2

As disciples, our love should imitate Jesus loves for us. But what exactly does that look like. In other words, how are we to love others as an imitation of Jesus’ love? How are We to Love Others As an Imitation of Jesus’ Love? (2) Jesus’ love is unconditional We know Jesus’ love is unconditional because…

How are We to Love Others? – Part 1

As disciples, our love should imitate Jesus loves for us. But what exactly does that look like. In other words, how are we to love others as an imitation of Jesus’ love? How are We to Love Others As an Imitation of Jesus’ Love? (1) Jesus’ Love is Self-Sacrificial Smack dab in the middle of the…

How Should Christians Live in the In-Between?

A perfect future kingdom awaits those who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. A kingdom with no sickness, death, disease, injustice, war, oppression, etc – a perfect kingdom. Now, however, we live in the already/not yet. The period where we can taste victory, but we can’t fully enjoy it because Jesus’ hasn’t yet…

Everyday Evangelism

Every other year I try to go to a conference hosted by Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY — Together for the Gospel. Not only is a great time to hear the Word preached and fellowship with folks I haven’t seen in years, but it is a great opportunity to pick up a lot of books. Every year…

Why Do People Deny the Existence of God?

The Theory of Evolution is fraught with errors, our world screams designer, and other theories for life’s existence are far fetched and scientifically untenable – a comet or aliens bringing life, multiple universes, a cyclical universe that continually “Bangs” and “Crunches”. Why do people deny the existence of God? An Ulterior Motive I believe folks…

What is a Disciple?

What are the Barriers to Making Disciples?

Even though we are commanded to make disciples and Jesus gives us a simple three step method to follow, we have trouble following His command. We have trouble because we encounter barriers. The list of barriers we encounter can be a mile long. There are a lot of things that hinder us from making disciples. I can’t cover…

On Being Apart of God's Grand Drama

On the Christian Message

Christians proclaim the unthinkable. We believe that God became a man, the man Jesus Christ.God, who cannot suffer and die, becomes a man so that he can do the incomprehensible: the God-man dies. In his Son Jesus Christ, the God of life and holiness faces the reality of death and sin. What kind of God…

What is a Disciple?

How Do We Make Disciples?

A lot of folks think making disciples is a complicated and difficult task. One that requires a lot of training and time. But that is not true. Training is helpful, but you don’t have to have a PHD in Biblical Studies to start making disciples. Jesus didn’t set it up that way. Instead Jesus gave…

What is a Disciple?

What is a Disciple?

Since the beginning of the year, I have been participating in a discipleship process with Gerry Lewis from the Harvest Baptist Association – Dangerous Pastors. Part of the process was to come up with a definition of a disciples. For the last nine months or so I have been thinking about my definition. What I…

Where Do We Find Wisdom?

Where Do We Find Wisdom?

Man is always searching. Searching for happiness, understanding, knowledge, wisdom. Sadly, for most, their search will never end. That’s because they are looking in the wrong place – the world. You see, the things of this world can’t provide us with ultimate satisfaction, understanding, knowledge, or wisdom. Job Speaks Up Thankfully, someone who understands that…

On Being Apart of God's Grand Drama

On Being Apart of God’s Grand Drama

The Word of God invites us into the unfolding cosmic drama of which we have always played a part, even without being aware of it. Our childhood experiences, triumphs, and tragedies are all part of God’s shaping of our lives, which are, more importantly, about the shaping of His story. When we understand that our…

On Being Apart of God's Grand Drama

On Contending with God

If one wished to contend with him (God), one could not answer him once in a thousand times. He is wise in heart and mighty in strength —who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded?— he who removes mountains, and they know it not, when he overturns them in his anger, who shakes the earth…

On Being Apart of God's Grand Drama

On Prayer: The Chief Exercise of Faith

Over the years I’ve found much of what I’ve read about prayer to be unhelpful. Here’s why: Prayer is usually considered under the heaving of ‘spiritual disciplines’ which makes it the spiritual equivalent of running on a treadmill or flossing your teeth, neither of which are attractive to me. Viewing prayer purely as a discipline…

How Should We Handle Distressing Situations?

How Should We Handle Distressing Situations?

What should we do when we are troubled? When we are distressed? When our emotions are running out of control? I believe we should do what Jesus did. We should pray, ask others to pray for us, and rest in God’s will. Jesus’ Enlists Others to Pray for Him In the Garden of Gethsemane, feeling…

Tell Others How You Feel

Tell Others How You Feel

Before Jesus was arrested and put on trial, He retired to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray with His disciples. When He enters the garden, He takes three disciples with Him further into the garden to watch and pray. Jesus Shares His Feelings As they are leaving the others, Jesus’ soul becomes sorrowful and troubled.…