On the Value of Loving Rebuke

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I am convinced that one of the sweetest and most valuable expressions of God’s grace in the life of a Christian is that of good, godly, truthful friends. The second wisest man ever to have lived seemed to agree when he said: The sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel (Prov 27:9).

Some of the most beneficial conversations in my life have been the hardest conversations I have ever been a part of.  On many occasions throughout my life, it has taken the honest and loving rebuke of a good, godly, and truthful friend to help me see some way that I need to change; and nearly every time, what my friends have had to point out in my life have been things I would have never seen with my own two eyes.… Continue reading

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Back To The Basics: Bible Study You Can Do

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In the summer time, I like to take a break from my normal routine of teaching through a book of the Bible and have some more interaction with my students. Through the month of June, each Wednesday night I discussed the gospel: what is it, how to present it, and what are its effects. Throughout the month of July, I am taking my students through the basics of Bible study. This is profitable for me as I consider how I study the Bible, but maybe more profitable is discerning how to help others study the Scriptures who have not been to Bible College or seminary.… Continue reading

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The 10th Mark of a Healthy Church

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41Be-zFOs6L9 Marks of a Healthy Church is a great book. If you have never read it, I encourage you to read it. Dever’s work is a blessing to every local church. Dever’s nine marks provide the backbone to any biblically responsible church. This book prepares any church to honor Christ. As it stands now, 9 Marks is an excellent book.

So, let us pretend we can make a great book greater by adding one important chapter to the 9 Marks book. What is the missing chapter? The Worship Service.

I started going to church during the shift from traditional to contemporary music.… Continue reading

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Reflections On Philippians

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This Sunday, Lord willing, I’ll preach the last message in a verse by verse study of Paul’s letter to the Philippians that I began in January. (You can listen to the series here) And as is always the case, after spending many months and well over a thousand hours studying, thinking about, praying through, and preaching the book I have new insight into the letter. Perhaps more so than any other book of the Bible that I have preached, my understanding of Philippians has, if not changed, greatly deepened as I have worked through it. Here are a few of the insights I have gained.… Continue reading

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Putting Words in Your Mouth

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A few months ago I visited a wonderful church in America’s heartland. I had been asked to assist their music ministry and consult on what it means to have a Pastor over Worship. It was encouraging to share in what was going on at their church and I was sharpened by their great questions. Of course, coming from hot and dry California, it was especially rejuvenating to be surrounded by endless fields and beautiful, big blue skies, but there was joy greater in serving and worshipping with this Church, even though I had only known them for a few days. While I came to serve them, they encouraged my soul and reminded me of the sweet fellowship we have in our bonds of Christ.Continue reading

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