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Archive for November, 2014

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This morning I had the privilege of preaching on John 2:18-22. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the ultimate proof of His identity and authority.

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Thanksgiving (the holiday) may be over, but the giving of thanks should never stop. David Murray is spot on with his statement that when we give thanks, the place to start is with God. He guides us through Psalm 104 in order to show us Who and what we gives thanks for. You can read it here.

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This came out a few weeks ago, but it’s still very relevant and important. What is the state of theology in the United States? Not very good. Read this study co-sponsored by Lifeway Research and Ligonier Ministries. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but it’s a tremendous opportunity!

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This morning I had the privilege of preaching on John 2:12-17. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Jesus displayed His holy, perfect zeal for God, His Father, when He cleansed the temple.

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Brian Najapfour provides six truths, drawn from the Word of God, about sickness. I highly recommend it! You can read it here. We need to think about these issues before we go through them.

(Note: Earlier, I mistakenly cited Don Whitney as the author of “Six Truths about Sickness.” The author is, in fact, Brian Najpfour. My apologies to Brian, and a reminder to me to be more thorough and attentive.)

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I had the privilege this morning of preaching on John 2:1-11 (the wedding at Cana in Galilee). Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: In His first sign – turning water into wine – Jesus displayed His active participation in life, His amazing power, and His extravagant provision.

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There are many of us that are willing to do great things for the Lord, but few of us are willing to do the little things.

D.L. Moody

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This morning I had the privilege of preaching on John 1:43-51. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Disciples of Jesus Christ know who He is, have had an experience with Him that completely reoriented their lives, and declare it to others.

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We are told that the Captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering, therefore we who are sinful, and who are far from being perfect, must not wonder if we are called to pass through suffering, too. Shall the head be crowned with thorns, and shall the members of the body be rocked upon the dirty lap of ease? Must Christ pass through seas of His own blood to win the crown, and are we to walk to heaven dry shod in silver slippers? No, our Master’s experience teaches us that suffering is necessary, and the true-born child of God must not, would not, escape if he might.”

Charles Spurgeon

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From the book Prone to Wander on the subject of our trials and how God uses them to sanctify us.

Guiding Father,

Forgive us for our lack of faith. As you called Abraham out of his country into unknown circumstances, so you often call us to walk through frightening, lonely, or unstable times. In response to trials of various kinds, we have certainly not counted them as joy. Like sheep, we are prone to wander at these times; we have turned—everyone one of us—to our own way. In moments of suffering, we have looked for wisdom from this world, comforting ourselves with man-made schemes to deal with our suffering or escaping into addictive patterns of numbing behavior. Our vision for what you are doing in our lives in the midst of suffering is blindingly clouded by fear and anger, and we have consistently settled for our own limited, self-centered vision as the final word of truth.

Yet in your immeasurable grace, the Good Shepherd has laid down his life for his selfish, wandering sheep. Holy Jesus, thank you for the life of doubtless faith that you lived on our behalf. You came from heaven to take on human flesh and live perfectly in the place of your children. In the midst of every kind of trial and temptation, you responded with utmost truth and faith in your Father’s will. Even as your Father turned his face away as you were crucified for our sin of unbelief, you remained faithful to your final breath, declaring your atoning work as finished. What vast, free, abounding grace!

Spirit of God, bind our wandering hearts to you as we walk through the paths that you have ordained for us. When we suffer, be our vision by teaching us to count this cost as joy and strengthening our belief that you always have redemptive purposes in the suffering of your children, as we see so clearly in the cross of Christ. Enable us to cry out for wisdom when we lack it, and humble us to see that we lack wisdom often. Grow our faith in the promise that you will not leave us as we pass through troubled waters, that we will not be burned when we are called to walk through fire, and that we do not need to fear, for you have called us by name; we are yours. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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