From time to time, we all need to reassess various areas of our lives. It is good to take a step back, take a breath, and re-assess a situation. We all need to do this in our own personal lives with Christ (2 Cor 13:5; Ps 19:14). And we all need to do this with our church life. We need to be very careful that the church we are actively involved in is still a faithful church; a church that Jesus sees as faithful. We need not to stay in a church simply because we grew up there nor because it is comfortable nor because we don’t want to mess with the hassle of finding a another church nor because “we have invested so much!” The church is a precious, vital part of your spiritual maturity in Christ.… Continue reading
Every time I preach I make sure to include one thing, an express presentation of the gospel. When I say I include an express presentation of the gospel what I mean is that I succinctly describe the incarnation, perfect life, sacrificial death and resurrection of Christ, and the implications of His birth, life, death and resurrection for both believers and unbelievers (often quoting Rom 10:9). I often use the exact same (or at least very similar) words. No one has ever complained to me, and even if they did, I wouldn’t change what I do. That every sermon contains a succinct presentation of the gospel is a nonnegotiable for me.… Continue reading
About six months ago, I stopped wearing a tie when I preach (at least at my home church). It was an intentional, considered decision. One that I made prayerfully with reverence and out of love for God and the people and church that I am privileged to serve. For me I feel that the most reverent thing I can do is not wear a tie when I preach.
Let me explain. The church I serve was recently seriously injured by someone who sought and was admitted into leadership, all the while (over a period of several years) expertly concealing that he functionally rejected sola scriptura in favor of “capital F” Fundamentalism.… Continue reading
When I was a kid, a good friend of mine had a hamster. I don’t remember his (or her?) name, or even what he looked like. All I remember about this hamster is what happened the first time I stayed overnight at my friend’s house. Sometime after midnight, I woke up to the sound of that little rodent running for his life on a big wheel in the middle of his cage. Despite having an elaborate system of tubes and tunnels to explore, that hamster spent the better part of the night (and every night, as I understand it) in a race to nowhere. … Continue reading
Two weeks ago I finished preaching through James at Piedmont Bible Church (you can listen here). For me, it is always a time of reflection after I finish preaching through a book of the Bible. When I am in the thick of a series my study is very focused, as I strive to learn everything I can about each passage I am preaching.
While before I start a new series, I spend a good bit of time studying the book I am about to preach as a whole, my knowledge of the book (or section of the book) is nothing compared to what it is after I have finished preaching through it.… Continue reading