Today we witnessed an ancient rite of the Christian church: baptism. Some things in our experience seem to continue indefinitely, as if they always have been and always will be. I'm here to remind you most things do not continue indefinitely, and some things as we know them will soon be discontinued.
One day soon there will be no more baptisms. That's right; everyone will have decided where they stand morally. Somebody--maybe somebody who is now alive--will be the very last person on planet earth to be baptized.
Everyone gets to decide who they will be. We don't get to pick our eye color or our sex or our height. Those things are morally indifferent; they are situational. God has left it to us to choose who we will be. Will I be an unselfish person or something else?
While we aren't...Read more...
The Desire of God
And when the hour was come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. And He said to them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: for I say to you I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God shall come (Luke 22:14-17).
Talk to Me
Most people in America today have a cell phone. When I preached in Africa in 2016, cell phones were common. We are so connected, yet lonelier than ever before.
Some people insist that they can't find God. They look for God high and far away, but they might be having trouble finding Him precisely because they do not look low enough. He is very near.
How do you get to know God? You listen to Him. You talk to Him. In a world filled with alerts and notifications, ads and commercials, how do we draw near to the infinite One?
It's easy. He says just talk to Me.Read more...
The Cross before the Crown
Someone said the Cross comes before the crown, and they were right. Consider our Bible passage Mark 10:32-34:
They were on the road going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking on ahead of them; and they were amazed, and those who followed were fearful. Again He took the twelve aside and began to tell them what was going to happen to Him, saying, 'Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and will hand Him over to the gentiles. They will mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him, and three days later He will rise again.'
Overcoming with Jesus #1
Christians want to walk with Jesus. We want to live with Him, live like Him, conquer with Him, and love like Him. Scripture is filled with the history of God interacting with His people, working, saving, keeping, delivering.
Jesus' experience is rich with insight. He is our Substitute but also our Example. His sinless life stands in place of our damaged lives. When we receive Jesus as our Savior, His life stands in place of ours. It is as if we had not sinned.Read more...
In Company with the Outcasts
There are two kinds of outcast: those removed for acting wrongly, and those moved for acting in moral rightness. We experience being cast out when a person or group in authority seeks our removal from the group. Perhaps they feel threatened, or, maybe they are experiencing feelings of insecurity. Or, they may simply be asserting dominance. The result is, one person or group casts out another person or group.Read more...