Wednesday, September 30, 2009
In Romans 5.10 it says: "For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will be saved by his life." Paul is saying that we were at one time enemies of God and then through the death of Jesus we were reconciled to God. Can you look back on your life and see times where you were doing the very things that put you at enmity with God? It says later on in the letter of Romans in chapter 8.7: "For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God." Is this where the true battle field is ----- that our minds have not been transformed and as a result of that we are hostile to God with our thoughts? Have you found ways to take your thoughts captive?
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
This coming Sunday I will be preaching from Romans 5.1-11. What portion of this that really stuck out to me is verse 9 that says: "Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God." It seems like we hear so little about the wrath of God, and instead we hear about God's love and kindness. Since I have heard so little about God's wrath, I am wondering what exactly God's wrath it is that we are saved from? What do you all think? What is the wrath of God we are saved from?
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
So, my last post about sin was leading up to what Tisha (please read Tisha's comment by clicking this link) is talking about ----- that Romans 3.23 says: "since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." But, one thing I want to get at is it is easy for us to see the sin that is so apparent in society ----- hence my reference to the MTV Video Music Awards ----- but, is it as easy to see the sin in our own lives. So often we try to justify things that we know are sins by saying things like: "well I am not as bad as some people." Have you ever caught yourself comparing your sin to other people's sin? And, once you make that comparison do you ever go on doing the same things you were doing because you aren't really "that bad" of a person?
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
So, we are coming up on that part of Romans where Paul talks about sin ---- and he spends a long time talking about sin. And he talks about all kinds of sins. Paul talks about the sins of the Jews and also the sins of the Gentiles ---- that we all are sinners. Now, we don't like to talk about sin in modern day America because we are tired of some old televangelist with slicked back hair yelling about how we are going to hell and that we are a bunch of sinners (while at the same time make your tax deductible contribution). But, I have heard it said before that universal sin is the one Christian doctrine that all people can agree with ---- because we look everywhere and we see a bunch of sin. That is one reason I put the MTV music video award picture above, because that seems like it has been the hype all week. That there was just some flat out crazy stuff going on on stage. Even Jack Black lead the "congregation" in a prayer to Satan that started: "Dear Dark Lord Satan", while everyone held hands. But, what do you all think? Do you all think that it is really easy to see that there is sin in this world? If that is the case, then can you try to define what sin is? Let me know what you think.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Now another important question in preparation for Sunday has to do with the power of salvation. I left us in the last blog post saying: "Do you think that the gospel is really the power of God for your salvation?" How about we make that a little broader ----- is the gospel the power of God for your neighbor's salvation? or maybe your neighborhood? or maybe your county? or maybe even the whole world? Is the gospel really that powerful? And if it is, then are we really acknowledging that we are ashamed of the gospel by not living out our faith boldly and enthusiastically? This is the very power of God we are talking about.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Now that we have finished going through a large amount of the letter to the Ephesians we are now going to begin a new venture ----- the letter to the Romans. This has been one of my favorite books of the Bible for a very long time ----- ever since I tried for a number of months to memorize all of chapter 8 (even though it was unsuccessful). But, as I have been diving into this letter I have realized how little I really know about it. This is a letter that is very deep in its theological analysis and also very broad in its use of the Old Testament. As a result of that I am really looking forward to a greater knowledge of what God has to teach us and transform us with this letter to the Roman church. We will be beginning this Sunday on Romans 1.8-17. I encourage you to read along with me as we dive into this passage ----- and the passages that come up. Romans 1.16 says: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Have you ever been ashamed of the gospel? Do you think that the gospel is really the power of God for your salvation?
Monday, September 7, 2009
I did want to put this picture up and thank the Praise Band for all of their hard work leading up to Personality Festival. There was a wonderful turnout and I was so pleased to see Warren's Grove folks and other Roxboro folks there to support the band. Thank you all for your hard work. We are proud of you and this wonderful accomplishment.
I had a big weekend this last weekend. The reason for that is I was honored to be able to perform the wedding ceremony of Devon and Mandy Raisch. This is a dear couple that I have gotten to be very close to. They traveled from out of town to come to Warren's Grove so I could be a part of that special day. I wish them all the best and a fruitful marriage. At times during the ceremony I got really choked up ----- I was able to make it through though ----- just barely. But, God's grace is sufficient.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I have one more announcement about Softball ----- and this is quite an announcement to end the season with. We went to the World Softball Tournament and came in third!!! That is so awesome and I am so proud of our guys that represented Warren's Grove so well. You all did great. Thank you also to all of the fans that have supported the team as they have traveled and as they have been at home. You all are truly a blessing and an inspiration. I haven't received a picture yet of the team ----- so if anyone has one shoot me one through email. As soon as I get it I will post it for you all.