Preserving love (even when we’re little snots)

  Jonah, the negative example of how our relationship with God should work Our story so far: Called to go to Nineveh, one of Israel’s great enemies, and warn them of God’s coming wrath Ran away and took a boat headed for Tarshish, in Spain, the farthest point west that known to Israel Great storm Sailors pray to their gods, and Jonah slept The captain calls Jonah to the prayer meeting, but there’s no evidence he prays Jonah says they should throw him overboard, because he is the reason God has brought this storm The sailors do so only after … Continue reading Preserving love (even when we’re little snots)

Reconciled and assured

  Delivered April 23, 2017 I want you to think for a moment about a time when someone hurt you very badly, when someone did something incredibly unjust to you. Don’t say it out loud, but consider how you responded. There is a range of responses that we might have in such a situation. Let’s take a look at some of them here: Retaliation: The author Hunter Thompson wrote the following about the Hell’s Angels biker gang — “When you’re asked to stay out of a bar you don’t just punch the owner–you come back with your army and tear the … Continue reading Reconciled and assured

The Day of the Lord

  March 26, 2017 Last week, we talked briefly about the concept of God actively bringing pain into the lives of His people. You might remember that I asked whether God ALLOWS pain in the lives of His people. Everyone in the room nodded and said, Yes. But then I asked whether God ever BRINGS suffering into the lives of those who are His. I think I would describe your assent to that idea as muted, at best. Scripture tells us that God is good, that He loves us and that every good thing we have comes from Him. I … Continue reading The Day of the Lord

Go bear fruit

  March 19, 2017 Before we get into the meat of today’s lesson, I want to start with a couple of questions I was pondering while I studied. If you have your Bibles, turn with me to John 13:23. We’ll be just a couple of pages further along in today’s text, so you’ll want to keep your Bibles open to the Book of John. Read John 13:23 Now turn to John 19:26. Read Now, look at John 21:7. Read Christian tradition and most current church scholars agree that John was identifying himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” in these … Continue reading Go bear fruit

A seat at the table

  March 12, 2017 Coloring outside the lines again… Ephesians 2:1-10 – A favorite Let’s read it. OK, I preached on this a few weeks ago, and I could do so again today, but I want to show you how beautiful God’s story is, how wonderfully connected and interwoven. Has anyone ever said to you that the Bible is just a bunch of made-up stories? As a writer, here’s the thing that doesn’t make sense about that: All of the “made-up stories” fit together so perfectly. So many different writers working separately across more than a thousand years of time … Continue reading A seat at the table

What is love?

  March 5, 2017 outline Overwhelming topic From Dr. David Jeremiah Love is what’s in the room at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen. If you want to learn to love better, you should start with someone you hate. Love is a like little old woman and a little old man who are still friends, even after they know each other very well. Dictionary: an intense feeling of deep affection. a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone. About a thousand other definitions Scripture: Four words for love Eros — Physical, sensual love (not used in the Bible); … Continue reading What is love?

There oughta be a law…

  February 12, 2017 Last week, I asked a question, somewhat tongue in cheek: What makes us so righteous? Can someone briefly describe the answer? Right. Our righteousness comes from Christ. We are clothed in Him. And being clothed in Christ means that we should look and act like Him. But the life of someone who is seeking to be Christlike is not an easy one. Jesus said, in Matthew, Chapter 7: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the … Continue reading There oughta be a law…

Heirs of God

  February 5, 2017 Last week, I asked a question to start things off. Anyone remember what it was?             Why are we here? Anyone remember the answer?             To bring God glory. I want to start this week’s lesson with another question and a warning. First the warning: Once again, I’m veering away from the text of the lesson, though perhaps not as widely as I did last week. I imagine Pastor Chris or someone from the Education Committee is going to come in with a shepherd’s crook some Sunday and drag me out of here. Until then…. So … Continue reading Heirs of God

Glorify God

  January 29,2017 Why are you here? Not just about Sunday School. Not just about church. Though it’s a good idea to remind ourselves from week to week why we really do these things — or why we should. Why do we exist? It’s a question that has been the province of poets and philosophers for thousands of years. Indeed, it’s a question that’s at the very root of art, music, literature and, yes, even Scripture. Why are we here? Hallelujah! There’s your answer. Plain and simple. One word in English. Two in the Hebrew from which it originates. Halllu … Continue reading Glorify God