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 ...
Just a Thought: Did Jesus really rise from the dead? And does it really even matter? The answer to both questions is an emphatic YES!
Just a Thought: God will have His way; His will, will be accomplished. If this is so, why do we need to bother to do anything? Why don't we just sit back and "let God?"
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.
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.
Just a Thought: Have you ever contemplated death? No, I don't mean causing death, just "death." Where did it come from? Why does it come? What hope do we have in light of God's truth: "…you are dust, and to the dust you will return" (Gen.3:19) "What man can live and not see death?" (Ps. 89:48a) It is appointed for men to die…(Heb. 9:27; James 4:14).
Just a Thought: Let the church rise up!
I just can't watch horror movies. I get too frustrated. You see, it bugs me that they always go through that door.
Do you have any features that look like your mom's or dad's? Maybe you have his eyes, her nose or some other characteristic. Do you have any of your heavenly Father's features? "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God…" (Rev.4:8) But what about His children? We are told throughout scripture that we are to be as He is; (Lev. 11:44a; 19:2; 20:7,26; 1 Peter 1;15; 1 John 1:7).
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.
Psalms 139 is the strongest, most undeniable argument for when "life" begins in the womb. This passage makes it very clear all life is divinely ordained by God, formed by God, and designed by and developed by God. Having said that, let's talk about our own life.
Ecclesiastes 3:9-14 (Contemporary English Version): "What do we gain by all of our hard work? I have seen what difficult things God demands of us. God makes everything happen at the right time.
We go through a lot to do "church". Think of the time and money and effort and energy put into making sure we've got a place to meet on Sundays, all the work that goes into the various events and traditions. People give up so much in the name of church, so today I ask you, "Why?" What's the point?"
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What do you do when the bottom falls out from beneath you? I don't know about you, but some people look up, others look around, and yet some jump up. By the end of Solomon's reign he was experiencing a great fall. He never does look up; he never does look around. In fact, he just keeps acting like this isn't really happening. But it did happen and it was Solomon's own fault. And at the risk of being brutally honest, most of the time, when it happens to us, it's our fault, too. Solomon ...
Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven!
Yesterday was Valentine's Day. Did you remember? Did you do something big?
Today is a big day. It might not seem like anything special, but let me let you in on a secret. Today, God is working. Our text is the story of one of Jesus' first sermons, in his hometown of Nazareth. Imagine the scene Luke 4 paints: The people were excited having heard rumors that he had made a pretty big splash on the rabbi scene in Jerusalem, and now he was back home to teach. He is given the honor of reading the Scripture in synagogue. He takes the seat of the teacher and opens his mouth.
You may have heard that I announced my resignation at First Baptist this past Sunday. Paige, Emery Anna and I are moving to Birmingham, Ala., as I have been called to pastor Valleydale Church. While we are excited about this move, we are very sad to leave a Covington community that we love very much. All of that to say, this will be my last column for The Covington News.
If the mildew appears a second time, the priest will come and say, "This house is unclean. It's covered with mildew that can't be removed." Then he will have the house torn down and every bit of wood, stone, and plaster hauled off to an unclean place outside the town.
Who's really raising our children? Christian psychologist James Dobson writes, "By the time the average preschooler reaches 14 years of age, he will have witnessed 18,000 murders on TV and countless hours of violence. Time magazine once wrote, the average viewer sees more than 9,000 scenes of suggested sexual intercourse or innuendo on prime time TV in one year. Most of our children have iPods loaded with music (mostly unchecked) that carry the messages of violence, the occult, sadomasochism, rebellion, drug abuse, promiscuity and homosexuality according to the U.S. News and World report. It is estimated ...
They say knowledge is power. That's true, isn't it? Knowledge is a powerful thing. It can prevent all sorts of problems and can provide all sorts of solutions, saving time, money...even your life. For instance, when you know not to use water on a grease fire, you avert disaster.
"Be glad in the Lord always!Again I say, be glad! Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people. The Lord is near. Don't be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.
The truth is, our problem is not exposure to wisdom, it is putting it into practice that's the hard part. Proverbs chapter one tells us that we not only have access to wisdom, but we often ignore it for various reasons. Verse 22 tells us the naive do this because they love simplicity. The scoffers do it because a scoffer always disagrees with anything that opposes their own ideas. And the fool does it (a fool is not one missing mentality - it is one who misuses their mental ability) because they hate knowledge. I pray we don't find ...
When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., once said, "It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is 11 o'clock on Sunday morning." Indeed his quote still holds true today. I would argue, however, that it is far worse. Not only are those who profess faith in Christ separated in most churches by the color of their skin, they are separated by much more. We are far quicker to tell you what denomination we are than to tell you of the Christ we follow.
Just reading a verse, or a chapter of the Bible a day won't keep the devil away anymore than an apple a day will really keep the doctor or dentist away. However, reading the word of God for the purpose of growth and understanding will greatly aid you in spiritual growth, wisdom and discernment, which will help you not buy into the lies and schemes of the devil.
When I look around me at church, I'm often struck by one thing about the people I see. They are different. I know that might not sound like that much of a compliment - but I see it as an amazing gift from God. Truly. The faces in our congregation range from young to old, the voices from weak to strong, the billfolds from thick to thin, the vigor from faint to healthy, the skin tone from black to white and everything in between. We are different.
"I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.