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Showing posts from August, 2016

Compelled to Preach the Gospel!

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“For if I preach the Gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16). Brothers in the Office of the Holy Ministry: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! About ten years ago, my daughter Katie asked: “Dad, why did you decide to become a pastor?” I could’ve gone into a long discussion of the doctrine of the call, vocation, and other related things. But fortunately, I kept quiet long enough to hear what she really wanted to know. She was trying to figure out what to do with her life, and she wanted a little insight into how I was led to become a pastor.  But it did get me thinking: “Why did I become a pastor?” Why did I become a pastor? I’m sure that every pastor struggles with this question at some point in his life. If you haven’t yet, you will. I know during the nearly three years that I was without a call, I asked myself that q…

Humble Yourself; Exalt Your Neighbor

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“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11). Grace and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ! Aimee and I went to a concert at the Denny Sanford Premier Center a couple of weeks ago. The tickets were a gift and we got really nice seats on the floor only a few rows back. During the concert there was a little commotion as a security person followed a couple up toward the front. The security person spoke to the couple who were seated, looked at their tickets, said a couple of words, and then they got up and sheepishly made their way to the nosebleed section that they were supposed to sit in. I imagined the irritation of the couple who needed to have someone from security open up their seats. But even more, I thought of how embarrassing it would be to be caught in seats that were obviously much better than the ones you had paid for. Now consider this scene: You’re still out…

Godly Discipline Yields the Peaceful Fruit of Righteousness

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“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 12:11). Grace and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ! Over the last three weeks, the author of Hebrews has been hard at work building us up in the faith. Two weeks ago he held before us the example of Abraham and the other patriarchs, and urged us to imitate their faith, a faith that does not receive the things promised in this life, but looks expectantly to them in the eternal life to come. Last week he encouraged us to look in faith to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, that we may run with endurance the race of faith set ahead for us. Today he encourages us to not grow weary or fainthearted in the midst of suffering and persecution for our Christian faith. The discipline of the Lord is proof of our sonship, not of God’s disfavor. And the author pr…

Living in Tents, Looking to the City with Foundations

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“By faith [Abraham] went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:15-16). Grace and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ! Next weekend, my family and I will go camping near the Missouri River. We’re going to bring our tents, sleeping bags, fishing rods, coolers, camp stoves, lanterns, and all the things that it takes to “rough it in the great outdoors.” Hopefully the weather will be as nice as we’ve had this week. But just in case, we have a backup plan. Logan and Samantha have a big 5th wheel camper with air conditioning and shower parked in their back yard, all hooked up and ready to go. Two or three days in a tent… that’s about enough for me before my sense of adventure is satisfied. The threshold for my wife is much lower. But Abraham…