Jul 24, 2012
This is a second printing of the book, originally published in 2004 as Stop Dating the Church. Joshua Harris has provided us a a solid, Biblical theology of what the church is, it’s purpose, and a person’s relationship to it. He stresses a need for commitment and membership in the local church. It is a brief book and written in a straight-forward, easy-to-read style. He provides practical steps in how to choose a good church, how to prepare for Sunday morning, and how to benefit from the Sunday service in the coming week. Helpful discussion questions are provided in the end. This is an appropriate book as a gift for visitors or an intro/new members class as well as pastors and experienced church-goers looking to grow and have a deeper experience from church on Sunday.
You can learn more about the author at his website.
You can preview chapter one of the book at this website.
This book was provided to me at no cost by Waterbrook Multnomah Books for the purpose of review. I was not required to write a positive review.
Jul 3, 2012
I have been thinking alot about 1 Peter 1:13, “set your heart fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” I came across this verse as I was reading a blogpost by Michael McKinley and it’s just been at the forefront of my mind and heart.
Some things I observe:
1. Setting is an active verb, something I am to do, I choose to do this, it is an act of my will and heart and mind – woe to me if I am slothful in this, letting my heart drift aimlessly
2. I am to set my heart - not the organ here, but who I am, my soul and spirit and affections
3. I set my heart fully, not 50% or 95% but 100%
4. My focus of setting my heart is on the grace brought to me - I have already received grace as a born-again believer and follower but more grace will come
5. When will this happen? at the revelation of Jesus Christ, on the day and time of his glorious return
I don’t set my hope on court decisions or people or government leaders or stuff; the grace of Jesus Christ that will be brought to me is enough, this is what I need to consume me and fill me and direct my life.
May 15, 2012
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What happens when a brother or sister in the church does wrong by you and causes you pain? This was an issue Paul faced with the Corinthians. He handled it in a godly way, according to 2 Corinthians 2:5-11.
I preached this sermon on May 13, 2012.
Apr 10, 2012
I read this post by Nancy Guthrie and I have been challenged with the place of prayer and suffering, God’s will and our will. I am concluding it is a tension that we live with and experience in our lifetimes, as part of the “now and not yet” aspects of the kingdom. I am thankful for a stretching post that helps me grow in my prayer life.
Apr 3, 2012
Pastor Mark Buchanan’s newest book, Your Church is too Safe, is part of the genre concerning church growth-renewal-revitalization. Pastor Buchanan is an experienced pastor who begins with the premise that church is boring and stagnant and needs to be shook up. Throughout the book he focuses on biblical passages and personal stories to show how he started something new and radical, for his church to be more like the kingdom. Topics he covers include love, take risks, discipleship, get messy with messy people, and preach Jesus and be His hands and feet. It is an inspiring book that can be read by pastors, leaders, and all the church who is hungry for something more than “churchianity” on Sunday mornings. The book is 18 chapters, 240 pages, and notes are in the back.
This book was provided to me by Amazon Vine at no cost for the purpose of review. I was not required to write a positive review.
Mar 28, 2012
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Romans 5:15-21 ESV)
Five contrasts between Adam and Christ
1. Many died through Adam’s sin, but much more have the grace of God and the free gift by grace through Jesus.
2. Adam’s trespass brought judgment, but the free gift through Jesus brought justification.
3. Death reigned through Adam, but many reign in life through Jesus.
4. Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but Jesus’ act of righteousness leads to justification and life.
5. By Adam’s sin many were made sinners, but by Jesus’ obedience many are made righteous.
There is fullness of life and freedom and hope in Christ. In Christ we have grace, justification, life, and righteousness. This is cause to praise God and give Him glory. This is cause to fight against sin. This is cause to boldly go and proclaim the name of Jesus to the world.
Mar 27, 2012
On Sunday, Ed shared a message on “giving thanks” from Luke 17:11-19.
He focused on the one leper who was healed and gave thanks and the nine who were healed and walked away. It’s important for us to give thanks, always, for all things, even if it’s hard sometimes.
I was reminded of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 where Paul says to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances, because this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus. Again, it’s hard for us to give thanks sometimes, in our flesh, but because it’s God’s will for us, and He works in us to will for his good pleasure, we are able to give thanks, even in the midst of diabetes, cancer, or hard economies. Thank God we are in process and can learn to give thanks, as he teaches and leads us. We humble ourselves to learn and acknowledge His goodness and sovereignty in giving thanks.
Ed’s application was simple = grow and learn to live in an attitude of giving thanks to God, always.
Feb 29, 2012
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Jesus told us to pray for our spiritual health in Matthew 6:13, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”
This is my sermon given on February 26.
Feb 24, 2012
1 Peter 2:25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Jesus is our shepherd. In John 10 he is the good shepherd. In Psalm 23 he makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us in paths of righteousness, for the sake of His name. No problems is too small or big to bring to him. He is a caring and loving shepherd who knows the numbers of hairs on our head and provides for us better than lilies of the field or the birds of the air.
Do not stray from the Shepherd. Stop wandering and trying to lead yourself. Walk back under his guidance. Let him lead you through the hard times.
Feb 8, 2012
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When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, one item He said was, “Give us this day our daily bread.” These seven words reflect on your relationship with God and what you can ask Him for.
This is my sermon from Matthew 6:11 given on February 5, 2012.