"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."
Page 1 of 1
"Or don't you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don't you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don't belong to yourselves?"
Solomon's humble spirit and request of the Lord resulted in God making him great (2 Chronicles 1:1, 7-12) He stood high above all others and had no peers who could compare. However, while God (and his walk with God) made him great, something happened, something that took this great man down.
"So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust and evil desires. Don't be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming.
Have you ever thought about how silly worship seems? And I could go through so many of the goofy seeming things that we do in the ritual of worship, but I just want to cut to the chase. Think about how crazy it seems that we give offerings. We go out of our way to get to church and then just give up significant proportions of our income...for free. Why? Why on earth would we go to church and take our time and give our money?
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.