Quotes of Note #6 — Humility, Self-Examination, and the Grace of God

“It is only our exaggerated sense of self-righteousness that prevents us from looking honestly at ourselves.  As Christians we know that the Holy Spirit dwells within us, but we must also become aware of where we are tolerating sin if we will be successful in our war against the devil.  Therefore, be specific when you … Continue reading

Prayer Note #50 — Wandering

O my Lord and Father, I long for you. Year after year I have wandered after other food for my soul. But it was no food.  It was poison.  I could see that very clearly. I could see how it always diminished me. I withered. Yet, I persisted. But so did you.  You persisted with … 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

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 #46 — “Our Pilgrimage to Grace: Looking for Home” — Luke 15:11-32, Pt. 4

“Is it not the very essence of the Christian hope,  that we shall be changed from much bad to all good?” George MacDonald, 19th century Scottish Preacher and Writer. By taking upon himself the painful, humiliating consequences of our sin, God breaks our self-centered pride, plants the true humility of repentance in us, ans so … Continue reading

Sermon #45 — Our Pilgrimage to Grace: In the Valley of Despair — Luke 15:11-32, Pt. 3

  “Full often the most advantageous place for our manhood is that which is surrounded with splendid difficulties.” Charles H. Spurgeon When we attempt to live for ourselves and by means of ourselves, our lives become twisted and ruined, because God has designed us to live for him and by means of him, which is … Continue reading

Sermon #43 — Our Pilgrimage to Grace: Itching for Something Else — Luke 15:11-32

“Nearly everyone who wrestles seriously with this [parable of the “Prodigal Son”] ends up with a sense of awe at its inexhaustible content.”  Kenneth Bailey Who is the Father that Jesus talks so much about?  What is he like and what does that mean for us?  This is the first of a series of sermons … Continue reading

Sermon #33 — Loving our Brothers and Sisters — 1 John 3:11-18

  Love is freedom.  Love is like laying down a burden that we really can’t carry in the first place.  That burden is our own self.  Cain was a man gnawed by fear.  He was afraid that he wouldn’t get is due (as he saw it).  He lived with a desperate need to fulfill his … Continue reading

Sermon #19 — Forgiven Forgivers — Matthew 18:21-35 & Colossians 3:12-17

  Forgiving is at the very core of the Christian faith.  Apart from the forgiveness of God, there would be not Christian faith.  But, as we see in this parable from Matthew 18, forgiving is not only something that God does.  It is something that Jesus expects to mark the character of his forgiving people. … Continue reading

Pastor Note #32 — “Forgive Me!”

Forgive Me!   Forgiving is not one of the easier parts of the Christian faith.  In fact, it’s something that I myself struggle with from time to time.             I know, I know.  You’re saying, “Not you!  Surely not you!  You are such a nice guy, such a nice, easy-tempered guy.  I simply can’t believe … Continue reading