Quotes of Note #12 — To Be Filled With the Holy Spirit

“I believe firmly that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and self-seeking, and everything that is contrary to God’s law, the Holy Spirit will come and fill every corner of our hearts.  But if we are full of pride and conceit, ambition and self-seeking, pleasure and the world, there … Continue reading

Prayer Note #53 — A Lenten Prayer

A Lenten Prayer of a Busy Christian “Transcribed” by Pastor Gary A. Chorpenning What do you want me to do, Lord? Isn’t that what I’m supposed to ask you in this season of Lent? I don’t mean to be rude to you, God, but I have to confess that my life is already really busy. … Continue reading

Prayer Note #52 — To the God of Light

Lord, you are all glorious, and the light of your presence pierces the deepest darkness of sin, sorrow, evil, despair. There is no darkness so thick, so impenetrable, so oily that the Light, Life, Love of your Being cannot invade and evaporate it. That is the truth of who you are. And so I ask … Continue reading

Sermon #53–The Fullness of God: Alive in Christ

The Core Idea Behind this Sermon:  Because Jesus Christ is “the fullness of God in bodily form,” and because we are “in Christ,” the transforming power of Christ’s presence and identity is applied to our lives, making us genuinely new beings, who are forgiven in Christ, made alive in Christ, and who triumph in Christ … Continue reading

Pastor Note #58 — One Pastor’s Annual Report to his Congregation in Pursuit of God’s Presence

WHO ARE WE? As I mentioned in a recent sermon, I have been listening to a recording of a series of lectures given by one of my former seminary professors, Dr. Gordon Fee, who has written a great number of wonderfully helpful and insightful books and articles, especially on the New Testament.  In one of … Continue reading

Prayer Note #49 — A Prayer for Those Who Know Their Sins Well

Without your mercy, I will die. Apart from your forgiveness, you will consume me in the fires of your holy judgment. How can I live apart from you? I would be lost entirely! Yet, how can I live in your presence? I should be devoured by your holy wrath! I will hide in Jesus. In … Continue reading

Sermon #52–The People of the Presence of God

  “The People of the Presence of God: a Christmas Sermon” Human beings are made for God.  That isn’t a widely acknowledged truth.  It certainly isn’t the mainstream view in Western culture, but it’s the truth just the same.  We’re designed for relationship with God, and that truth is nowhere more clearly expressed than in … Continue reading

Pastor Note #53 — Jesus at the Door

“Sometimes the only way the good Lord can get into some hearts is to break them.” – Bishop Fulton Sheen   It is far better to keep the door to your heart unbolted and open. Otherwise, God will do one of two things. He may choose to kick it in, and that can really hurt. … Continue reading

Bible Note #17 — Matthew 6:25-34 — God’s Orientation Toward Us

Some of the great truths of Scripture are not so much great doctrinal concepts as they are simple relational realities concerning God’s orientation toward us.  What Calvin says of the Lord’s Supper can, I’m convinced, be applied to this whole category of truth.  “I rather experience than understand it.” [Inst. IV. xvii. 32]  Grasping these … Continue reading

Sermon #39 — Words from the Beloved Apostle: Living through Jesus — 1 John 4:1-6

The confession of faith, “Jesus is Lord!”, is a life-giving affirmation.  The faith that is reflected in that a statement is the pathway to life, because the faith that lies at the root of that declaration opens the way into a life-giving communion with the living God of heaven and earth.  The Christian faith is … Continue reading