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Monday, June 29, 2020


This week, let's take time to slow down.

Life pulls us in every direction. Every direction, except to God. We always need to be busy, trying to keep up and keep our heads above water. There is always more to do, something to buy, something to build, something to clean. Yes, we have responsibilities and obligations but we also have a responsibility to be feeding our soul and feasting on the Word.

In all the rush and whirlwind of life, sometimes the best thing we can do is just take a deep breath and ponder on the word of God. I'm guilty of this, of being too busy with too many things that "gotta" get done I don't realize I've managed to neglect one of life's most important aspects. I need to listen.

Psalm 46:10 (NIV) "He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” "

"Be still, and know" -- I'm not very good a that. And it's not just from the coffee!

I've shared another quote in this post. This quote really got me thinking about the importance of slowing down. Am I also guilty of being more concerned with what I can get out of my study than I am with finding Jesus and hearing Him speak to me through these words? 

You see, if I want to know Jesus better and I want to be more Christlike, I can do that by reading about Him. But I can do it better by spending time with Him.

How much time are you spending with Jesus, not only in study but in prayer or in your Christian community?

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Foundations - Action

We are mistaken if we believe God's work has ceased. Jesus tells us in John 5:17 that just as God is always working, His work will also continue. We strive to imitate the work of God, but we simply cannot do this alone. We work together as God's children, in God's family, as the church of God so that we will be found working when He returns (Mat. 24:45-51).

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Foundations - Holiness

This week, we continue our series examining the divine attributes of God as we look at "holiness". Throughout Scripture, we see the holiness of God affirmed on nearly every page.

He created us, but our sin has totally separated from Him. In our earthly desires, we separate ourselves from God by following down paths He never intended for us. We chase pride, pleasure, lust, greed, ambition, and other desires. We find safety in the world we make for ourselves. But it is a false safety full of lies and danger. We are lost and wandering, alone and living in darkness. He is the light, but we hide from it (John 3:19) and try to keep our evil deeds hidden from the light (John 3:20).

Thankfully, God is not satisfied with this relationship (2 Peter 3:9). He takes it upon Himself to reconcile us back to Him, to redeem us (2 Corinthians 5:18). He reaches down from Heaven and forms a bond with us. He adopts us as His children (Ephesians 1:5) and guides on us paths of righteousness (Psalm 23:3).

Many people think the holiness of God means we can never be with Him. We can never be good enough. We can never do enough. When we study our Bibles, what we see instead, is that it is because of the very holiness of God and His love for His children that He "became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption," (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Has Christ become your wisdom? Is He now a natural part of your way of thinking? Do you consider His Name when you speak and act? Have you been redeemed and transformed? Have you been adopted into God's family?

If not, why not? What's holding you back from God's love? What keeps you from Him? I pray we do not love our sin more than our saviour. I pray that in our humility we turn and listen and hear. I pray we come out of this darkness we cling to and run to the light of life. I pray we finally find the peace He has prepared for us (Philippians 4:7).

Tuesday, June 16, 2020


If you've never confessed, it's impossibly hard. The strange thing about confession is that when you have a loving and supportive ear, you'll wonder why you waited so long. Like anything, you get better when you practice and oddly enough you may even find you could start needing to less as time goes on. Push through that awkward times in the middle and know that Jesus is listening.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Psalm 73

When the whirlwind of all that is going on in the world overwhelms, we see refuge in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who blesses us, and gives us the hope of a better future.

Combating Sin

This week's sermon examines sin. Sin stands in the way of our goal: Salvation. Sin brought us to our state: Lost, without Jesus. But Jesus breaks into our lives and gives us grace and wisdom (James 1:5, 3:17).

Through Jesus, we can be saved but through self we can find ourselves once again drowning in our sins. John encourages us to walk in the light so we can remain with Jesus (1 John 1:5-7), but sin doesn't give up so easily. Genesis 4 tells us:" sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” God's warning to Cain in Genesis 4 holds true to this day: sin desires to rule us, but we must be led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14) if we are to be rescued.

God is telling us that sin is coming for us, but we can master it. So, how do we do that? It begins with a proper understanding of what sin is. Sin is more than just mistakes, moments of weakness, or indulgences. Sin encompasses these things too, but ultimately we sin because we manage to arrange our life and our perspective on self instead of on God.

My sins are the result of my failure to see my desires for my life as lesser than God's desires for me. (Romans 7:19) I think I know what is best. I think I know what I should do. And I replace God's plan for my life with my plan. I even find ways to justify my sinful choices.

 To combat sin, we must build on our foundational understanding of God as our caring, loving, and compassionate Creator. From this base, we understand our purpose. Our purpose is to be like God in all we do: loving, caring, and compassionate. Our purpose is to bring glory to His name.

Sin turns this foundation upside down and leads me to glorify self, to see myself as ever greater and deserving of all praise and blessing. Sin attempts to place self in God's place. To combat sin we must stop centering our lives on us, and instead make life about Jesus.

To combat sin, we focus not on self but on others: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” " (Mathew 28:19-20)

Monday, June 8, 2020

Foundations - Accountability

Welcome back! Though hopefully many of us never left, we were separated in body but together in spirit. I am still praying for the end of the pandemic and for healing to all. I know that for some it is best to remain at home while we wait for the tide to turn. For others, we take precautions to keep one another healthy and safe. This morning, we will continue our series in "Foundations of Faith" as we examine what "Accountability" means. Just as we try to keep one another safe physically, accountability means that we will strive to keep one another safe spiritually. The last several lessons have dealt with the idea of God as our loving, caring, and compassionate Creator. Unfortunately, it is far too easy twist these ideas into something they are not. Paul fought against the idea that God's grace meant sin would be welcomed back. So did Jude. So did Peter as well. God being loving and forgiving does not mean that He expects we should remain in our sinful life. Instead, the loving relationship we have for our God who saved us from our sins and gives us every blessing should lead us to growth and change. What happens though when my sin is too great for me to even see it? What happens when I allow my sin to flourish and it starts affecting those around me? What happens when my sin impacts not only my relationship with Jesus but also with my fellow Christians? Today we will ask ourselves, are we humble enough to accept correction or are we instead asking others to accept our sin?

Wednesday, June 3, 2020


We are individuals. "So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God." Rom 14:12

But we are also a community of individuals. We are obligated to preach and teach the Gospel, to care for one another and to restore and correct one another, to love one another:

"It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? " 1 Cor 5.

Part of being an individual held accountable for the truth means we will be asked how we shared that truth with others, others who were drowning in their own sin and needed someone, anyone, to help them.

I'm not guilty for the sin of another, but what if I neglect an obligation to aid or to "save others by snatching them from the fire"? Jude 1.

Rom 14:13 "Therefore let us stop judging one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way"

Instead of judging one another, ask how we better encourage one another and lead one another away from sin and into grace and repentance.

Rom 15:2-3 "Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”"

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Starting Again

Wow! I needed this today. I need renewal. I need refreshing. I need Jesus!

Life is a roller coaster of the ups and downs. We have joy, we have sorrow. Our hearts go out to the suffering souls of this world that desperately need the love and compassion of Jesus. They need the light of the Word to shine through the darkness of these wordly troubles.

Sin creeps in and takes over. Some people don't even know it until a friend can show them. Worse still, some people even embrace sin and even seek it out. How can we be difference-makers? Don't get pulled in to the sin of others. Don't get caught up in something you are trying to rescue someone from. At the same time, don't let fear keep you from speaking the truth in love.

"But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen." Jude 1:20-25