“Take Time to Be Holy”

In the final sermon of the “Stand-Out Church” series, I preached through Ephesians 1:3-14. In verses 3, 4, Paul tells us that God is blessed or ought to be praised for choosing the faithful in Christ “to be holy and blameless in his sight” (NIV 1984). In other words, God is blessed when we are … [Read more…]

Not Optional

First, these thoughts are not original with me; I’ve been prompted to respond to something I read recently. So giving credit where credit is due, I’ve been reading The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges (NavPress, 1978); it’s a “modern classic” of Christian writing about discipleship, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants … [Read more…]

About the Worship Service…

As I have been preaching through this series of messages about worship, I have emphasized that worship is not simply what we say and do on Sunday mornings in the church building. My concern is that we must not reduce our appropriate response to who God is and what he has done to mere rituals … [Read more…]

Made Holy

Holiness is hard. When we talk about holiness, we know that God is the standard; God defines holiness. As we consider the ways in which God is holy – in purity, in truth, in power, in righteousness, in justice, in mercy, and more – we become acutely aware that we are not like God in … [Read more…]

God’s Grace Reveals His Holiness

While preparing and preaching a sermon from Ezekiel, I recently found myself fixated on this verse: “You will know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for my name’s sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, O house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD” (Ezekiel 20:44, NIV … [Read more…]

God’s Sweet, Sustaining Word

With Valentine’s Day approaching, the greeting card industry reminds us of the value of having the right words when you’re trying to communicate an important message, especially to the ones you love. Not to be left out, the confectionery industry reminds us that one of the quickest ways to a sweetheart’s heart is through the … [Read more…]

Wholly Holy

Of all of God’s attributes, holiness seems to be the ultimate, overarching descriptor of who God is by his very nature. In their visions of God’s splendor both Isaiah and John have recorded the angels praising God saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty” (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8). Nowhere else in the Scriptures … [Read more…]

Disciples Rejoice

One of my favorite Christmas carols is one we don’t often sing, “How Great Our Joy!” It’s an old German carol that’s fun to sing, especially a cappella. The song retells that part of the story of Christ’s birth that we read in Luke 2:8-11: And there were shepherds   living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch … [Read more…]

Disciples Give

Thank you! Thank you for your continued faithfulness in giving. Whether you give a traditional tithe of 10 percent of your income or more than that or less than that in cheerful offerings, your giving is evidence of faith. I am humbled and inspired by your generosity. While our monthly giving records show that we … [Read more…]

Disciples Love the World

Disciples of Jesus must love the world. No, I’m not saying that we must love the things of the world, the sin of the world, the brokenness of the world. I’m saying Christians must love the people of the world – sinners, the lost, “those people.” It’s important to make this distinction because far too … [Read more…]