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Articles By Author - Jonathan E. Scharf


A death to redeem us

On Christmas Eve, we talked about a child who was born to save us. We talked about his purpose. Tonight, we see that baby, now grown, fulfill it. And I have to warn you - it's not pretty. No longer a cuddly little baby in swaddling clothes, this grown man had been beaten, stripped, mocked, whipped, and could barely physically drag his pulp of a body out to this hill for the climax of this cruelty. It is not pretty. Yet this Friday is Good, precisely because it is Him doing what He came for. In order to save us ...

April 17, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


In the Shadow of the Cross

I was blind for an hour. And that was enough. Granted, I paid for the privilege when that exhibit "Dialogue in the Dark" was in Atlantic Station. It gave you the chance to experience life blind for a short time. I'll just say it was an eye-opening experience. I don't know how truly blind people do it.

April 03, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


See sin for what it is —

Last week, we started looking at Genesis 3, that story of the first sin, to try to understand why we do some of the things we do. We compared it to the victims in a horror movie opening the door that we know so much danger is behind. Like helpless moviegoers, we watched Adam and Eve walk through that door. We saw how dangerous Satan's lies are to lead us to sin.

March 20, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: See sin for what it is

I just can't watch horror movies. I get too frustrated. You see, it bugs me that they always go through that door.

March 13, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: The Son shines proof

Last Wednesday, at about midnight, one guy shoved something up my dad's nose, another person shoved something down his throat, and then the kicker – this guy took a knife and cut my dad's midsection wide open. And we thanked him for it.

March 06, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Thoughts from the road

Dear readers: For the last 10 years, I have been the guy on call to be there for people when they're going through tragedy. I've tried to comfort them with God's Word as they mourn the loss of a loved one, face uncertain surgeries, and deal with pain in so many different ways.

February 27, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | RELIGION


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Archive By Author - Jonathan E. Scharf


Grace Notes: See the place where God dwells

I rejoiced with drunkenness those who said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord" (Psalm 122:1).

November 19, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: You’ve Been Marked

War leaves a mark. Yesterday, on Veterans Day, we honored those who have that mark from physical war. But even more serious is the ultimate battle we are all in, a spiritual battle against sin. And on this Sunday in the Church Year (Last Judgment Sunday) we talk about its end.

November 11, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: To seek and to save the lost

Who do you love?

November 04, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: Trick or Treat

"Trick or Treat." Are you ready to hear it? Chances are, you'll hear it a few times this weekend. This is the one time a year that when someone asks a child, "What do you say?" the correct answer is not "Please" or "Thank you!"

October 29, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: Let faith decide

Why do you do what you do? Has it ever happened where you do something even though every rational thought and logical sense would tell you not to? Maybe you give the person a second chance. Maybe you do without so that someone else doesn't have to. Why do yo do those things that don't really seem to benefit you in any way?

October 24, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: A Bold Future

It's always an emotional time when you leave someplace: when the child goes away to college, when the family leaves its home because they're moving to a new one, when the baby of the family moves out on her own. It's emotional, even when you know the move is what you wanted and for your good.

October 15, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: Pray persistently

We're getting down to the wire here. The final inspections on our building should be taking place next week, and, God-willing, we'll be able to move in on Oct. 17 with a service that starts at the school we've been using and ends at the new place. Just about everything is done, or well on its way. You can probably guess the last item on the to-do list. It's the same as the first item was: Pray.

October 08, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: The comfort of Revelation

What do you think of when you think of the book of Revelation? Try describing it in one word. I asked that question to begin our new Bible study series on that last book of the Bible last week. And you can probably guess some of the answers I got: "Scary"... "Confusing"... "Destruction"... "Difficult." Then one person said - "Comforting."

That answer is almost shocking compared to all the other ones, but when you think about why the book was written, why God gave us this record of this vision, "comforting" is right on the money.

October 01, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: The story of the lost lamb

The recognition of Sept. 11 has come and gone - and all those images of violence and hatred were revived in our minds…again.

September 24, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: Let the gospel fly

Are you familiar with North Carolina's vehicle license plates? There's a sketch of an antique airplane in the background and this slogan on top: "First in Flight." That's a pretty bold claim, isn't it? Sure, I'm familiar with the Wright brothers and Kitty Hawk and Dec. 17, 1903, but that wasn't the first thing ever to fly.

September 17, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: Be a hero

Nine years ago tomorrow, one of the most significant events in United States history occurred. "9/11" is now much more than a date on the calendar between 9/10 and 9/12. Just hearing that string of digits now fills us with emotion.

September 10, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: Does he know you?

If you've ever been asked the question "Do I know you?" You know how devastating that can be. Whether it's someone you've had several conversations with that you thought you had made a connection to or someone you haven't seen in a while, it is tough when you find out your relationship isn't what you thought it was.

September 03, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: Put on the full armor of God

You are at war. I know, you probably didn't have to swerve to miss any IED's on the road today, and I'm sure you weren't dodging any heat-seeking missiles when you went to get the paper. Nevertheless, you are at war. That's the way God's Word describes your life here on this earth: War.

August 27, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: Your treasure, your heart

Have you ever had that feeling like you're spinning your wheels? Does it ever seem like you work work and work and don't seem to get anywhere? You know you make as much as a bunch of people, but it just doesn't seem like you can ever get ahead? God's Word for us today in Haggai 1 explains why that happens.

August 20, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: Be joyful always

"Be joyful always." That's what the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to tell us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16. Now, if you're looking for a verse of the Bible to memorize, that is one of the easiest, right alongside the classic "Jesus wept." Actually, did you know there is a shorter verse in the NIV translation? Job 3:2 is just "He said." But I digress. I was saying that "Be joyful always" is a real easy thing to say, and almost as easy to memorize… but how hard is it to do?

August 13, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


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