"Dearly Beloved…" That's the way I started out my last wedding sermon. I know it's a little bit of a throwback. We don't call too many people "beloved" anymore, but I hope you know what I mean. Today, I want to think about why that's a perfect way to greet one another…"beloved".
What a prison self consciousness can be. When I think of those "would be" Christians if they could just find someone to express the love of God and acceptance to them. In Luke 7, we read the story of a self-righteous Pharisee who invites Jesus to dinner and an encounter with a prostitute. (Odd mix I know) but it is kind of like Christians in the world with judgmental spirits or worse how sinners are made to feel (if) or when they walk into the church building. You have heard people say, "Well if I went to church the ceiling ...
"Dearly Beloved…" That's the way I started out my last wedding sermon. I know it's a little bit of a throwback. We don't call too many people "beloved" anymore, but I hope you know what I mean. Today, I want to think about why that's a perfect way to greet one another…"beloved."
Doubt happens to the best of us. I know we sometimes put people on a pedestal like famous preachers, authors or even mature Christians we know and then criticize ourselves with comparisons like "I bet they are too spiritually mature to doubt like me. I wish I was more like them." But the truth is, they do have times of doubt because we all do. We have times of doubt when tragedies strike for no reason or prayers go unanswered or we get mistreated for trying to do the right thing, etc. We wonder if anyone else struggles with the ...
You call yourself a Christian, right? You do realize that just by doing that, you are taking on a very specific job description. You are now "His witnesses". You are the "light of the world" and the "salt of the earth". You are "Christ's ambassadors", a "holy priesthood" you are to be "Declaring the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light". Do I have to go on? Realize it - you have a job, whether you like it or not, you are blessed to serve. There is no such thing as a part ...
Is the "Golden Rule" biblical? Yes, but not because it is a "golden rule" but rather because it is a "Kingdom principle." Many people miss the point here. They want to live by the golden rule (and that's fine), but not really according to the Kingdom rule. Ah yes, we are talking about the pickers and the choosers. Jesus asked it this way: "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" (Lk. 6:46) In other words; "Why do you call me Lord when in reality I am not your Lord?" or, "Why ...
The church is failing in a big way! Yes I am aware God has, and continues to use, the church to reach the lost and minister to the world in mighty ways. However, one of the greatest and most foundational tasks given to the church by Christ is one of the things the church is neglecting the most - "discipleship." I have often said, "We are outraged at the idea of someone abandoning a newborn and we should be, but yet the church does this everyday to those who are newly born again."
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This year marks the 400th anniversary of King James of England authorizing the translation of the Bible commonly known as the King James Version. He commissioned six committees (42 men, no women) to come up with a common translation of the Bible that would be the standard text of the realm. Their work began in 1604 and was completed in 1611.
So how long did your Easter high last? Do you know what I'm talking about - that rush of spirituality that just seems to be in the air around Easter - with all the special music and the attention to religion given - even on TV? It all comes together to get the Christian's heart burning with excitement, with love, with joy and hope.
Every year, Easter is such a high, singing hymns celebrating the victory Jesus has won for us. I pray you had a chance to get to church and enjoy the excitement of joining with others celebrating the gift of life we've been given.
I am Sue's husband. I am David's father, and Dorothy's son. I am Allen Memorial's pastor and Dan's friend.
I remember a tree house that my older brother and his friends once built overlooking the creek near our elementary school.
Last week, we noticed the difference between the soldiers (Jesus' enemies) and the women (Jesus' friends) at the tomb that first Easter Sunday morning. The soldiers fainted in fear. The women listened to God's word and found joy. Here's Matthew 28:5: "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay."
A great sigh of relief swept through our nation on Sunday night as President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been found and killed in a covert military raid.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt said that "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Yeah right. Try telling that to the man being mauled by a bear, or the woman about to be hit by a car, or anyone facing a life-threatening danger. Just telling them they don't have to fear it doesn't quite do the job.
"For Sale: one empty tomb, like new, sure to increase in value. Make offer."
Christian writer, preacher and teacher Tony Campolo famously tells a wonderful story of a "preach off" in which he competed with several pastors in his predominantly African-American church.
It's Good Friday, the pivotal date in world history.
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?"
What's your problem?
In 1998 the American Film institute listed the 100 greatest movies of all time. At the top of the list was Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane."
As childish as it sounds, you hear that refrain repeatedly in the Passion History, the story of Jesus' suffering and death that takes center stage during Lent.