Showing posts from May, 2013

Is the Gospel Worth It? (Random Thoughts on Friday)

WHAT I'M PREPARING FOR SUNDAY When Paul writes Ephesians 3 his life is not at peace.  He is suffering for the gospel.  The gospel is the story of God's redemption of mankind for His glory.  Through His son God has not only paid the penalty of sin, but He is calling unto Himself a people who through repentance and faith, live for Christ in the final season of redemptive history.  After rehearsing the implications of the gospel story for his readers, Paul makes a simple request of them: "So I ask you do not lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory (Eph. 3:13)."  In this simple request there are some deep considerations for us about the gospel. The gospel requires suffering.  Even though it is an amazing story, it is met with great resistance. This will require some degree of suffering from every person who receives the gospel. The suffering required by the gospel will cause some to lose heart.  Whether it seems unfair or unfitting that

Put Your Heart to Your Road

Haggai is a very small, relatively unknown book of the Old Testament.  Many people think Hezekiah is an Old Testament book, but have no idea that Haggai actually is.  Haggai is one of the prophets God used to motivate the people to rebuild the Temple after the Jews returned from Babylonian captivity.  Though there are only 38 verses in the book, Haggai carries a weighty message.  Here are two key themes from the book. The way the people treat the Temple says a lot about how the people relate to the Lord.  In the New Testament context we understand that our bodies and the Church are the Temple of the Lord.  The way we behave morally in our bodies and the way we relate to God’s church are tangible displays of our relationship with God.  A person may claim to know the Lord, but if we have no consideration for His Temple (our bodies and His people) we are deceiving ourselves.  Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 6 and 2 Corinthians 6 are very much the message of Haggai for our time.   Si

Revival Hangover, Where Do We Go From Here?

This weekend our church ( Liberty Baptist in Dalton, GA ) hosted Francois Carr from Heartcry Ministries of South Africa.  His topic for the Sunday morning was cultivating a relationship with God patterned after the example of Moses.  Moses and his brother Aaron were each chosen by God to deliver Israel from Egypt.  Together they witnessed the mighty miracles of God in the Exodus.  But somewhere along the way, between the giving of the covenant and the golden calf Aaron lost his way.  The difference, Carr argued, was that Moses fostered a relationship with God, still seeking new manifestations of God's glory, while Aaron was content only to enjoy the memories of miracles past and to approach God but once a year as high priest in the tabernacle. On Sunday night Francois preached on "Bridging the Gap" from Psalm 1.  How do we live a life that is pleasing to God in a world so corrupted by sin?  The key to success is found in Psalm 1:2, the righteous man meditates on the

Why You Shouldn't Skip Church When There is a Guest Speaker

In my years of being a pastor I have noticed many fickle behaviors amongst God's sheep. Sheep do not like rain. The adage is that it takes a tub full of water to get a Baptist in, but it takes only a drop to get him out.  True!  Sheep will go to a ball game on Saturday even if they have an arm barely hanging on at the elbow. Yet, they will not get out of bed on Sunday morning due to the vicious pain of a hangnail.  If Jr. has a low grade temp below 103 we will send him to school on Monday, but if Jr. sneezes on a Sunday morning the whole family needs to stay home. Such is sheep.  Another fickle fixture of sheep is that when the pastor's away, well, the sheep "do" play. No pastor = No go. I have also noticed that for some this applies to any service in which there is a guest preacher whether the pastor is present or not. Yo sheep, this should not be.  No matter who is preaching on a particular Sunday, God's people should never compromise faithfulness.