Perseverance

Perseverance

Does God Still Reign?

At the beginning of 2015, I preached a sermon (which you can find here) titled “God Reigns in 2015.” I argued that despite all the uncertainty in the world, God still reigns. In the sermon I used the following examples of uncertainty in our world: Robin Williams death by suicide, the Ebola crisis in West Africa, and Malaysian Flight 370 vanishing during a routine flight. Not to diminish any of these uncertainties, but Covid-19, stock market crash, and political and…

Five Reasons for Obeying God

We bark the command to our children: “You need to obey mom and dad,” based on Ephesians 6:1. While this command is often given, in the heat of the moment we seldom give the reason, motivation, or benefit for obeying mom and dad. But your kids need to see the reasons and benefits of obedience. And so do we! You need reason, motivation, and benefit for obedience to God. Why should you obey God? Seventeenth century pastor, Richard Baxter (1615-1691), recognizes…

Providential Interruptions

In our culture, we plan to the max: our calendars are full, our checklists are long, and our goals are polished. Yet sometimes we are interrupted from our plans, checklists, and goals. The whole world has been interrupted by the virus we call COVID-19. Even as the pandemic rages, we experience small interruptions like our children’s mishaps, cancelled appointments, and technology that does not function when we need it to. So, how should we respond to interruptions in our lives?…

How Long, O Lord?

Recently, I have been asking myself the question, as I’m sure you have too: “How long, O Lord,” will this social distancing/shelter-in-place order last? At this point, we do not know. And not knowing is driving us crazy! Of course, if you have read the last paragraph with attentiveness, and if you’re familiar with the Bible, particularly the Psalms, you know that I made an allusion to an often repeated line: “How long, O Lord” (Psalm 13:1; 79:5; 89:46). Take,…

Bearing Burdens

Bill Withers, writer of the famous song ‘Lean on Me,’ died Monday March 30th at the age of 81.  I had just referenced a specific lyric of this song (we all need somebody to lean on) the day before in a sermon on bearing one another’s burdens from Galatians 6:2-5. In this passage, Christians are called to bear the burdens of others because they have a biblical view about self. To bear the burdens of others, a Christian must look…

Life Is Fragile

Three years ago on Easter Sunday 2017, I was so sick that I could not get out of bed. The day before I was in full health; on Easter Sunday morning, I was hardly able to move. I can only recall two other times in my entire life being so sick. More recently, due to a herniated disc, I have been on my back more in the last few weeks than I have ever been. Both sickness and injury have…

Five Reasons God May Delay in Answering Your Prayer

God always answers prayer. Period. Yet, he does not always answer in the way we would like. Sometimes he answers with a “yes” or “yes and even better.” Sometimes, however, he answers with a “no,” or “not yet.” Why does God answer with a “not yet?” Why does he delay in answering prayer? Puritan Richard Sibbes helped me to see four reasons God may delay in answering prayer. I’ve added a fifth. To try your faith. Like the Canaanite woman…

I Got Saved Every Sunday

More than once I have heard a conversion story that basically stated, “I got saved every Sunday.” We sometimes dismiss this kind of story as stemming from bad theology or manipulative practices.  And while that may be true, in dismissing it, we swing to the other extreme, which is, “I am already a Christian; this sermon doesn’t apply to me.” But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.  In reality there is truth to “I got saved…