March 28, 2013 Leave a comment
March 28, 2013 Leave a comment
Part 4 of 6 Jesus and the Cross Holy Week Reflections
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
The paying of a ransom creates an interesting picture in our minds. We think of a kidnapper leaving a ransom note or a plane being high-jacked and the assailants delivering their ransom demands. Some form of payment must be made for the child or the passengers to be freed.
Sin has kidnapped us. Sin has high-jacked our lives away from God. Therefore a ransom had to be paid. Something had to be exchanged to ultimately deal with our sin-filled soul. Yet there is nothing we could ever payback for our wickedness. Our lives are tainted with ongoing sin and our hearts are wildly corrupt.
So God paid the ransom. He gave one life to be the ransom for all who believe. The perfect given for the imperfect. The sinless savior given for sinful humanity. The death of God’s one and only Son was a ransom paid in full for those who trust Him by faith.
That happen on the cross. But how? You shall see in verse 5.
March 27, 2013 Leave a comment
Part 3 of 6 Jesus and the Cross Holy Week Reflections
John 1:14 And the Word [God the Son] became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
God had dealt with the sin of humankind time and time again throughout the Old Testament. Making animal coverings for Adam and Eve in the garden. Cleansing and remaking the world with Noah’s flood. God gave the 10 commandments and the 613 laws to Moses to govern the people and when the people broke the laws (as God knew they would), He provided an annual Day of Atonement, or day of forgiveness, to cleanse their hearts.
But these dealings with sin were all shadows, or mere pictures, of the ultimate means by which sin would have to be dealt with.
God the Father choose to deal with sin personally. He did so by sending God the Son to dwell among men in human form. In sending His only Son Jesus, we not only witness God in the flesh, but we also see in him in his fullest glory. Jesus said, “If you have known me, you have known my Father also.” (John 14:7)
Jesus was sent to deal with sin. The price to be paid for sin, however, would be costly. But that is for verse 4.
March 26, 2013 Leave a comment
Part 2 of 6 Jesus and the Cross Holy Week Reflections
Romans 3:10-12 As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
In a world where we constantly prop each other up with our words and admiration, making mini-celebrities out of everyone. In a day and age when we constantly quote mantas from self-esteem gurus and self-help books relying on our own self-sufficiency and pride to make us feel better about our choices. It is quite counter-cultural to think that each and every human being on the face of the earth is a desperate, wicked, corrupt sinner.
I don’t have to call you a sinner for it to be true. But you can call me one any time you like, because I know it is true. It is what the Bible says I am; it is what I know I am. There is none righteous, no, not one.
We often say, “nobody’s perfect” to dismiss our sinful nature and feel better about our shortcomings. But perfection is the standard of Heaven. Remember God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. There can’t be any darkness in His Heaven.
In order for heaven to be reached, sin must be dealt with by a righteous, holy, just God. And sin will be dealt with, just not by you or me.
March 26, 2013 Leave a comment
Part 1 of 6 Jesus and the Cross Holy Week Reflections
1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
God is not like us. We are nothing like Him. He is altogether, entirely different from anything we see, know or experience. While we are made in His image, we only vaguely reflect the attributes of God such as love and forgiveness.
God is holy. God is completely just and fair. God is righteous being completely without sin or fault. God is infinite having no beginning or ending. God is creator and sustainer of all things. God is all glorious, all good, all perfect, there is no darkness in Him at all.
The complete story of the Cross and Resurrection begins with God creating the world, including us, for perfect fellowship with him, but that changed because of sin.
March 23, 2013 1 Comment
On April 14 (4 weeks away), I will be concluding interim pastorate no. 4 at Living Grace Church here in Campbellsville. I served Living Grace Church as interim pastor back in 2008-09 during a previous pastor search process and again this time around for the past 9 months.
The people of Living Grace Church are wonderful. They have been so kind and gracious to let me learn alongside of them what it means to be a church that is intergenerational, inter-denominational, multiracial and from every socioeconomic level in our community.
I have been stretched in my understanding of the primary Christian doctrines, built up in my belief in the sufficiency of God’s Word, and saw how stabilizing church administration is essential for a 10-year old church plant.
I give thanks to the previous pastors of Living Grace Church: Pastor Phillip Kelley and Pastor Jason Fox. The time between my first interim and my second showed how much leadership, blood, sweat, and tears these men invested in LGC. Thank you my dear brothers for giving your hearts (and probably lots of nights of sleep) to this people.
I also give thanks for my worship leader for the first 6 months Mr. Benson Sexton and his dear wife Kristin, our church media guru. These two leaders have been invaluable friends to me and my family and diligent co-laborers in the Gospel ministry.
I give thanks to our youth minister Mr. Mike Humphress who has a tender heart before the Lord and a true passion to develop leaders who love students. I am also thankful for Mrs. Anne Sanders who leads the children’s ministry. I have been impressed time and time again with her organization and vision for our GraceKids. Ms. Debbie Ruggles, the church secretary, has been my helper, encourager, and faithful supporter through thick and thin. She has been a peace-giving force in my life.
I will miss seeing the smiling faces on Sunday mornings. I will miss the warm hugs from those ladies (and a few fellas) who gave me a hug every week no matter what was going on. I will miss watching the children of LGC run all over the place after worship. I will miss being called “pastor” which is a term of endearment and devotion, which blessed me every time. And “step-pastor” by one dear friend which always made me smile and laugh.
But unlike other interim pastorates which have been in other towns, when this one concludes I will still get the chance to see the people of LGC out and about in our little community, which will always be a treat.
March 19, 2013 1 Comment
Back in 2011 I wrote this post about fashion on Easter Sunday. This year I will be wearing my SHOW HOPE t-shirt on Resurrection Sunday in support of orphan around the world as part of the “Forget the Frock” movement. Not that I would be wearing a frock, but supporting orphans by wearing a t-shirt sounds likes a good thing to me.
The clothing people wear to church, especially on Resurrection Sunday, says something about what they believe about church and the worship of the Risen Lord. Dressing up for church (or wearing your Sunday Best) is done to show respect, honor and reverence to God. Most folks who wear a creme-colored suit or a lilac dress and sweater set believe their clothing helps them focus on God who is holy, almighty, divine, and awesome. They want their exterior appearance to match their interior gratitude.
There are others who differ in their views on clothing at church. People in the more casual church community ask the question, “What did Jesus wear to church?” Their answer: “He wore the clothes he had been wearing all week. Jesus didn’t have church clothes because there was no church.” Therefore sandals, shorts, street clothes and shoes are reasonable and appropriate. They hold firmly to the “come-just-as-you-are” mentality. Wear whatever you feel comfortable in. If you want to dress up, okay. If you want to dress down, that is okay as well. They believe their exterior appearance has no relevance on their interior affection for Christ.
But even for the casual-lovin’ church member put away the Jesus sandals and Hawaiian shirts on Resurrection Sunday. They are exchanged for something more fitting for the solemn occasion of the Holy Week and the joyful celebration on Resurrection Sunday.
So here’s my question: What will you be wearing Resurrection Sunday? Jesus Sandals or Sunday Best?