My 2/2/2020 AM sermon at Crestview entitled Consequences of Sin (2 Samuel 13) is now online. This might be one of the most difficult passages I’ve had to handle in my years of ministry. I handled it because we are committed to God’s Word and the assurance we have that all of Scripture is profitable. In particular, this passage helped unfold some consequences of David’s sin with Bathsheba. Being able to consider what this means for our lives, while at the same helping see how this section fits with the overall story of David and the Bible is how I tried to proceed. I hope there’s something here for your encouragement.
My 1/26/2020 AM sermon at Crestview, Restoring Grace (2 Samuel 12 and Psalm 51), is now online. This sermon dug into how God brought David back to Himself after the sin of 2 Samuel 11. Specifically, God’s grace expresses His displeasure of sin, causes us to own our sin, restores us to service, and provokes honest worship. I hope there’s some encouragement for you in these words.
I have a long history with and love for Billy and Cindy Foote. They are probably most known for songs like You Are My King and Sing To The King. In the early 2000s, we were privileged to do many camps with them. And, Billy’s latest project is straight fire and by that, I mean straight prophetic awesomeness about the mess the church has become in the West. From the focus on money to celebrity culture, to doing all kinds of things under the guise of “church,” Billy tries to use his music to help draw us back to a wiser, Biblical way.
This project has 6 tracks:
- All The Wolves
- The Church
- The Things He Could Have Done
- Sunday Morning Show
- World Burning Down
- Dear Ordinary Pastor
(Links are to some lyric videos so you can get a sense of the “heaviness” of this project)
Please check out and support this new project. I would highly recommend it.
My 1/19/20 AM sermon at Crestview Bible Church entitled Displeasing the Lord (2 Samuel 11) is now online. This sermon dug into the famous narrative of David and Bathsheba. Some call this David’s great sin. In this sermon, I tried to show how the downward spiral into sin happens. So, this was a heavy sermon (since we all sin). I hope this sermon provides some grace for you.
Like I mentioned last week, at Crestview, one of the helpful rhythms we have relates to starting the year with a Week of Prayer. On the heels of this week highlighting how we speak to God, we typically follow up with a sermon on how God speaks to us or the importance of the Bible. This is meant to rekindle joy and that some will engage in Bible intake with more regularity.
This year, my friend Kole Farney gave these two messages and they were so helpful. Yesterday, January 12, 2020, Kole’s sermon was entitled Red Letters Everywhere: Bible Reading As Listening to Jesus. He made the case from John’s Gospel that anytime we open up our Bibles and read, we are reading Jesus’ words. What a blessing to be able to start the year in this way. I hope you’ll engage with Kole’s sermon and find grace as you live this year.
Some resources Kole mentioned were:
The Dwell Bible App (the audio Bible app many use)
I love some Bible reading plans, too:
Each year, our church begins with a Week of Prayer. It’s our way of saying, there are some basics that we constantly need to be reminded of. It’s the equivalent of helping your teenager remember to tidy up their room. Prayer is so essential to the life of the church because the posture of prayer is the essence of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Prayer is saying, “I’m not God and I can’t fix this, help me.” So, each year, around the start of the year, we begin with this rhythm.
This year, I asked my friend, Kole Farney, to serve us with a sermon on prayer. He chose Psalm 130 as his text and help us understand something about how needy we are and who God is. I hope you’ll listen to his sermon Wait for the Lord.
Kole also wrote a week of prayer devotional for our body. It’s so encouraging. Why don’t you take some time this week and join us in admitting that we can’t fix anything and we need God? You’ll find Him ready to draw near to you as you draw near to Him.
My 12/29/19 AM sermon, On Kings and Kingdoms (Reviewing 2019), dug into many of the truths we looked at in 2019 and even back into the previous decade at Crestview. The sermon itself helped remind us how earthly leaders will often disappoint, they can be so promising, but only Jesus fulfills what we truly long for and deeply need. Therefore, we should labor to trust Him. I hope all of this encourages you as we wrap up this year.
My 12/22/19 AM sermon at Crestview, Fulfilled (Matthew 2:13-23), is now online. This sermon wrapped up a brief series I did through Advent covering Matthew 1-2. It focused on the Flight to Egypt, Bethlehem’s sorrow, and setting in Nazareth and how these things fulfilled God’s Word. I was personally challenged by Herod’s slaughter of the innocents and what this might mean for the holiday season. I hope this sermon encourages you.
On December 1, Burk Parsons tweeted out…
This got me curious, so I dug into some research on Advent Antiphons and learned this…
Each stanza highlights a title for the Messiah: O Sapientia (O Wisdom), O Adonai (O Lord), O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (O Key of David), O Oriens (O Rising Sun), O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations), and O Emmanuel. Each verse praises the coming of the Savior by a different name, and closes with petitions appropriate to the title. According to musical scholars, the arrangement was not accidental. It is called an acrostic, something known to puzzle fanatics. If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one – Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia – the Latin words ero cras are formed, translated as, “Tomorrow, I will be [there].”
So, when these are sung, they help express a longing for Jesus to come and each of these longings make an acrostic with a promise: “Tomorrow, I will be there.”
Now you may think, “I wish I could hear this song.” And, fortunately, you have probably heard it and maybe sung it already:
1 O come, O come, Immanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.
2 O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show
and teach us in its ways to go. Refrain
3 O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe. Refrain
4 O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave. Refrain
5 O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
and bar the way to death’s abode. Refrain
6 O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light. Refrain
7 O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace. Refrain
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) (O Come, O Come, Emmanuel on Hymnary)
May this season be one in which you reflect on the longing those first-century people had as the Christ came and may you long for the returning Lord, as well.
What a Sunday! We enjoyed an amazing Children’s Christmas Program (in spite of the weather!) at Crestview. The content, memory work, singing, and service of our children/students made for a great morning.
My sermon, Come and Worship (Matthew 2:1-12), sought to wrap up the program, continue our short series in Matthew 1 and 2, and unpack the story of the Wise Men and Herod. The sermon was only 15 minutes, so I’d love for you to connect to this content.
In the afternoon, we had an Open House for church family and friends. Again, in spite of the weather, we have so many show up and bring us joy this holiday season. We were so blessed.
Then, the day wrapped with our Small Group celebrating Advent together. We celebrated with readings from Isaiah, Psalms, Matthew, and James, as well as sang some great songs and lighted 3 candles (for week 3). We had some snacks/drinks and it proved a perfect wrap for this day. What a day!