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Showing posts from March, 2019

While Still a Long Way Off

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“And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! There was a man who had two sons. The younger one demands his father give him his inheritance now. Amazingly, the father honors this brash request, and divides his property between his two sons. Not many days later, the younger son gathers up everything he now has and takes a journey to a far country. There he squanders it all in reckless living, whatever that might be. A famine arises, and the life of a penniless foreigner is especially difficult when there is little food around. It gets so bad he hires himself out to a pig farmer. He’s so hungry that the pig slop starts to look appetizing. Finally, he comes to his senses. He realizes that his father’s hired servants have it a lot better than he does. They have m…

Holy Ground: The Holy God & His Holy Things

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When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
One of the most famous speeches in American history is Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The occasion was the dedication of a cemetery where those who had been killed in the Civil War battle were buried. It was, Lincoln said, “altogether fitting and proper” that they would do this.
But, Lincoln went on, in a larger sense, those who had come to set apart that ground could not “dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground.” The brave men who had struggled there had already hallowed it “far beyond our poor power to add or detract.” It was those who had died for their country at Gettysburg that made holy the land on which they were …

Take Heed Lest You Fall

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“Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. “You’re only three Sundays away from never going to church again.” I told my own children that many times. They thought I was exaggerating. Or I was just saying that because I’m a pastor, and it would look bad if they didn’t go to church. But I’m serious. Any one of us here may be only three Sundays away from never going to church again. And that includes you five who are being confirmed today. Statistically speaking, you are especially vulnerable. The names of formerly active members who are no longer in attendance at worship on Sunday morning are scattered on…

Why Do Bad Things Happen?

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Holy Destruction: Holy God & His Holy Things

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Click here to listen to this sermon. “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. Now therefore mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the Lord your God, and the Lord will relent of the disaster that He has pronounced against you” (Jeremiah 26:12-13).
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Last week we continued our series, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” by remembering that God has set us Christians apart as His holy nation. Now, it would be nice to believe that we are immune to every danger, protected from every threat. Too bad. It’s not so. In fact, in our text today, we discover that God’s holy things, including His holy people, may face not only danger, but total destruction.
Set apart for destruction? What’s holy about that? Well, as always, God, who sets apart for holy purposes, has a holy purpose. That’s true even of “holy destruction,” because God’s destruction of holy things is always for salvation…

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem

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Click here to listen to this sermon. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Luke 13:34). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! I bet you can relate. You’ve heard it yourself. That drawn-out repeating of your name. Maybe accompanied with the sad shaking of a head. Preceded by a little sigh. “Robert, Robert” You understand instantly that you’ve probably disappointed someone. Or maybe you’ve heard this variation. A little more drawn out, higher pitched, increasing in volume. “Robert! Robert!” Your mind is wandering, or you are otherwise distracted and someone needs to catch your attention. We don’t see this happen very often in Scriptures, but when we do, it catches our attention, as it highlights a sense of urgency, true concern, or deep-felt emotion. Especially when it is used b…

Holy Nation: Holy God & His Holy Things

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Click here to listen to this sermon. “And you shall make response before the Lord your God, ‘A wandering Aramean was my father. And he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. And the Egyptians treated us harshly and humiliated us and laid on us hard labor. Then we cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror, with signs and wonders. And He brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. And behold, now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground, which You, O Lord, have given me.’ And you shall set it down before the Lord your God and worship before the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 26:5-10).
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Tonight, we continue our seri…