HAPPY IS THE MAN...

HAPPY IS THE MAN...

Does God care about our happiness?Yes, and Psalm 1 proves it. 

Psalm 1 is not only a suitable introduction to the Psalter, but to the rest of the biblical genre of wisdom literature as a whole (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, even Job). This is because, packed within its potent 6 verses is a surprisingly balanced treatment of the life, the loves, and the fate of those who would walk according to the law of God. In summary, what this inaugural Psalm succinctly teaches us is that the way of God is the way, the only way, of true happiness and eternal life

I AM THIRD

I AM THIRD

You’re probably familiar with the popular testimonial ministry of “I Am Second,” where Christians sit in white leather chairs and tell how they live for the Lord and no more for themselves. As I understand it, this is to say that they are no longer the lord of their own life, but that God has taken the throne. They’re no longer first; God is, and they are second.

While this is accurate theologically with regard to salvation, the Christian life is not that simple. Upon salvation, we are then instructed (by the new Lord of our life) how we are to live – not only in relationship to God, but in relationship to everyone else in our lives. The truth is, we are not second, but third. This Christian truth is seen in what Christ considers the two greatest commandments… 

SUFFICIENCY OF CHRIST

SUFFICIENCY OF CHRIST

Simplicity.

It is the key to Apple’s success and a good steak. There is something right about keeping the main thing the main thing, and not being distracted with complications. There is something beautiful about things that needs no supplementation or extras.  

Simplicity is also the key to the Christian life. Simply-put, the Christian life is all about Christ. Some have gone even farther to say Christianity isChrist; all that it means to know God and to acknowledge Jesus as Savior and Lord is wrapped up in whoJesus is – His very nature.  

DISCERNMENT

DISCERNMENT

 I sense the need to add something to my sermon and go one step farther in equipping us to handle false teaching. Our passage this morning (Colossians 2:1-15) was all about being completely satisfied in Christ in such a way that allows us to detect and reject teaching that leaves us dependent on persuasive or super-spiritual teachers, and not Christ.

WHERE WAS GOD WHEN...?

WHERE WAS GOD WHEN...?

“Where was God when... (enter catastrophic event here)?” 

 This question says as much as it asks. It suggests that the god who canprevent something awful, willalways do so. This question is often asked critically to prove god is either incapable and/or unwilling to prevent evil. This, of course, calls into question the worship, obedience, and trust in such a god. But, notice the change in tone when we ask one another the same kind of question. “Where were you when JFK was assassinated?” or “Where were you on 9/11?”We do not expect fellow finite beings to have been present, much less to have had the means by which to foil these evil-doers’ plans.God is not let off the hook so easily; we tend to expect more of Him. But His power and His concern are not so easily disproven. According to Scripture, God is simultaneously transcendent and imminent. That is, He is above all and yet near, enthroned in heaven (Psalm 2:4) while remaining providentially involved in the smallest details of human life (Col. 1:17).

CHURCH SUPPLIES

CHURCH SUPPLIES

10 to 12. 

 That’s how many dozens of baseballs are used in an average 9-inning MLB game. Once a baseball is taken out of play, it simply will not return. It may, however, be demoted to a practice ball or be sent down to the minor league system, where it will have a similar life-expectancy. Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame curve-ball pitcher, Bert Blyleven said, “We used to be fined if we threw a ball in the stands; [baseballs] were like a piece of jewelry. The game has changed.” Nowadays, it is rare for a baseball to be used for an entire at-bat, disqualified by the slightest imperfection. This is a far cry from my Little League baseball experience where snow-cone tickets incentivized the immediate return of a foul ball, without a second thought about the scuffs it received from the concrete walkways or rough red-brick walls of the concession stand. 

BIBLE STUDY & DENTAL HYGIENE

BIBLE STUDY & DENTAL HYGIENE

So, you’re at the dentist. And if you’re like me, you’ve postponed the appointment at least once, and now the plan is to simply survive the scraping, scratching and stretching, and get on with your day (full disclosure: I do enjoy picking the toothpaste flavor and receiving the little blue gift bag). But I realized something recently: I can avoid most of the pain and discomfort by taking better care of my teeth between visits. What a novel idea! This conclusion is nothing new. It’s not news-worthy or surprising. So why did it take so long for so many of us to realize this? It’s not because we didn’t know better. It’s because being disciplined is hard, and if we are honest, it just wasn’t worth it before.