Who Me, “Ungodly”?

Many professed Christians tend to think of themselves as “pretty good church people” — but Romans 5:6 reminds us that genuine Christians were, at least once, very much otherwise: “For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly.” Those words, “while we were still helpless … the ungodly” need to be a wake-up call for numbers of us.  Continue reading

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It Takes Two: A Plumbing Parable of Marriage

(In honor both of our 33rd wedding anniversary, and our icemaker ;-)

Last week some workers discovered that there was a leak underneath our house, and they recommended that we call a plumber. Cheryl & I saw where the leak was coming from, and the “game” was on. We decided to try to fix it ourselves.  It would end up taking a big chunk of our Saturday, and it would also serve to remind us of an important lesson on the nature of marriage: it takes two, working together!

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Do We Need To Get “A Vision”?

One of the most frequently quoted verses in the Old Testament, is, sadly, often MIS-quoted.  Proverbs 29:18 reads: “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained (or “perish.)”

Typically someone quotes this verse and follows up with an admonition on how “you need to get a vision” or “people need a vision”.  Thus they call for you to “dream your dream” of what you want to accomplish, or encourage churches to find a leader who has “a vision” for where they should be going.  But the important thing for us to consider is: is this what this text really means?  Continue reading

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Be Thankful You Didn’t Say It!  

Sometimes after a confrontation with an annoying person we might be tempted to think: “I should have really let them have it”, but Proverbs 29:11 says otherwise: “A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.”   Continue reading

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The Model Prayer: Forgiveness (Matthew 6:12 sermon)

(Preached at Pleasant Ridge Baptist, 5-20-15)

I know that many of you, like me, grew up hearing soloists and others sing what became the “traditional” version of “The Lord’s Prayer.”  There is one part of the song that seems almost haunting to me: where it comes to the part of the prayer where it says; “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” — and then the soloist stops for a moment and the music echoes those words “as we forgive our debtors” — as if to say, stop and think about the somber nature of this request: we are asking God to forgive us now, in the same way that we forgive others.  It IS important, and both of these phrases should play an important role in our daily prayer time.

We have seen over the last weeks that Jesus gave us the Model Prayer not as a “script” to be recited, but as a Model to follow. He outlined for us in the prayer at least 6 categories of things that God wants us to talk with Him about when we pray — especially in the longer prayers that we pray to begin our day.  Tonight we come to the 5th Request, which deals with forgiveness:

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

There are two parts to this 5th request, both of which deal with forgiveness: the first, includes the forgiveness we RECEIVE from God, and the second, deals with the forgiveness which we are to GIVE to others:   Continue reading

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No Room For Boasting

“Where then is boasting? It is excluded.” (Romans 3:27)

A better word could not be said regarding true religion. There is NO room for personal boasting in genuine Christianity.   Continue reading

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A Convicting Trio Of Sins?  

Proverbs 23:19-21 warns us against three besetting sins — although in practice, many Christians seem to pay attention to only one of them: “Listen my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way. Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; for the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe one with rags.”

There is a very interesting, and perhaps convicting, combining of sins in these verses:

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