In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Wicked Queen asks the mirror, “Magic mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” The answer, of course, until Snow White is 7 years old is that she is. But, there’s a deeper reality, we’ll dig in to at Crestview this coming Sunday, 3/26. When it comes to your soul, who is the fairest of them all? Is God? And, if God is good, what does that mean for your soul’s satisfaction (or where it’s finding satisfaction). This is where we’re headed. Join us this coming Sunday at 10:15AM as we explore God is Good in our 4 G’s series.
My 3/19/17AM sermon, God is Glorious, is now online. It continues a series that we’re in called The 4 G’s. This series is about taking high theological realities (like some characteristic about God) and showing what the implications are for our lives. To put it another way, there’s a gap between what we profess to believe and how we live. This series is seeking to shorten that gap.
In the God is Glorious sermon, we were helped to see how because God is glorious we don’t have to fear others. It really got at why we should fear God. I’m hoping it serves you well. Enjoy.
This coming Sunday, 3/19/17, I hope to continue preaching a short series entitled the 4 G’s (#t4gs). This particular Sunday, Lord willing, we’ll be looking at how God is glorious. Because He is glorious, we should fear Him, not man. There are all kinds of expressions of how we fear other people and can even be paralyzed by their opinions at times. The remedy isn’t to simply forsake this sin (although that is part of it). We should see that because God is glorious, we need not fear others. So, come this Sunday expecting God to reorient our lives around His amazing character. Hope to see you there.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “lesser” things that easily drift into priorities for many who claim to love the Gospel. I’m thinking of people who claim the Gospel is the priority for them getting caught up in Facebook arguments about political issues or a host of other things. We all have things that can easily turn us from our priorities (remember there’s warning in Hebrews 2:1-4 to not drift from our priorities). I really appreciated the wisdom unpacked by Ray Ortlund in his sermon from 3/12/16 entitled “Boldly Free” from Galatians 2:11-14. (You might remember that has to do with Peter and Paul disagreeing about Gospel application to a situation). Here’s what Ray says in 16:10-17:35 marks…
We’re seeing how the Apostle Paul thought about everything. When Paul was working through the issues of life, for him it wasn’t simply the question of right vs. wrong, or of wise vs. foolish, or of effective vs. inefficient and so forth. Those are all legitimate questions, they all have their place. But, Paul was simply thinking in a deeper way, in a different way. Here’s how Paul was thinking moment by moment: here I am poised at this decision, I’m at a fork in the road, I’m going to go one way or the other. How can this decision I’m going to make right now, whatever it’s about, align most clearly with the Gospel? What difference does justification by faith alone make in my life right now with this decision I am facing. So, Paul didn’t simply ask himself “What’s the right thing to do?” He certainly didn’t ask himself, “What’s the popular thing to do?” The real question for all Gospel people always is this: “what course of action is in the closest alignment with the grace of God and the purpose of the cross?” (Emphasis mine)
Get it? The question at the end here is the calibration for our decision about a situation: “what course of action is in the closest alignment with the grace of God and the purpose of the cross?” I hope you start thinking about your life, especially if you’re a believer, in this way. The world desperately needs a people set apart to this kind of reality. Will you showcase the grace of God and the purpose of the cross in your actions? Listen to Ray’s sermon for more insight into this.
My 3/12/17AM sermon, God Is Great, is now online. This sermon began a series on the 4 G’s (#t4gs) and will continue for four weeks. In the God is Great sermon, we explored that since God is great, we don’t have to be in control. I’m hoping it encourages you to relinquish your alleged “control” over life and trust in Him.
First off, don’t forget to adjust your clock before going to sleep tonight (and yes, your phone will automatically adjust)
Then, I’m excited to start a new series tomorrow on the The 4 G’s. #t4gs
The idea behind this series is to get after all the ways we don’t really believe in God. And, when we see Him as great, glorious, good, and gracious, then we will adjust our lives accordingly. I’m hoping this series is a good jump into practical theology – how what we believe affects how we live. Join us at 10:15AM for this.
Here the promise of Jesus: “Behold, I’m making all things new” (Revelation 21:5)
I’ve been thinking about this in Hutch, as the devastation of the fires is being realized…this isn’t the end of the story. But, the deeper hope and truth is that our lives can be made new. Spend some time today marveling at His creative, redemptive power being displayed in you.
I’m writing to collect some thoughts about our recent happenings in Hutchinson. As many local readers know, we been dealing with wildfires since the weekend. Unseasonably warm temps + low humidity + high winds = ripe conditions for this type of thing. But, locals have really never seen anything like what’s happened these past few days. 6800 acres gone. Remarkably, only 8 homes. No fatalities. We’ve experienced kindness from God through all of this. Here’s a photo that shows an aerial view of the fire (this was from Tuesday):
I would echo Jason Probst sentiments in Facing Adversity, Hutchinson Shines. It’s been amazing to see people not look out for their own interests, but also for the interests of others. My struggle as a pastor who cares for people in my care has been getting figured out who needs help and how I can help. By my count, we had 18 families who lived in the “evacuation zone”. Yes, these are real life families, many with kids, or widows for whom I needed to have an idea of what was happening so that I could pray and mobilize people to act. Not all of these were facing the active fire, but they were in a zone that meant for some anxiety and stress. And, as pastor to these people, I carried their burden with me.
On Tuesday, we sent out an early message on how people could serve emergency personnel. We, like many churches, have those with mercy gifts who were ready to step in and help in this situation. This initial outlet gave them expression for their merciful hearts. Then, we did a Noon Meal (with Papa John’s support) and followed that with a kid’s movie and popcorn. The heart behind this move was wanting to give a place of retreat for those who were displaced or overwhelmed. It helped families to have a place to go and not have to be going on to other places or things, as well as being able to connect with other adults while their kids were cared for. I think it encouraged a good many people. Tuesday night opened up some subdivisions and refined the evacuation.
Now, tonight (Wednesday) we’re continuing our Wed PM activities for children (6:30PM) but offering a meal at 5:30PM. This will be another way to bring people together to encourage them. This has been an amazing week here in Hutchinson. Thank you for many who have prayed for us. In the coming days further ways our community needs to come together will emerge. And, please continue to pray because our first responders (who have been amazing through all of this) who are still fighting the fire in Hutch.
My 3/5/17AM sermon, Worship Expressed from various texts, is now online. This sermon wrapped up a short series on Worship I gave at Crestview Bible Church. In particular, this sermon helped flesh out what “bending our lives to the reality that the Lord, He is God; we’re not” would look like. Some truths that I engaged were: our focus in worship, how worship should be free, how worship relates to family, and how it will be forever.
I hope this sermon helps you grow as a worshipper of Jesus.
My 2/19/17AM sermon, Worship Defined, from various NT texts is now online. In this sermon, I sought to drive to a Biblical definition of worship, after all definitions matter. The definition that emerged as we looked at the Biblical evidence was: “worship is a bending our lives to the reality that the Lord, He is God; we’re not.” I hope this sermon encourages you and provokes you to live a certain way.