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Resources by David Strain

Dr. David Strain was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He holds degrees from Duncan Jordanstone College of Art, Trinity College Glasgow/School of Divinity, the Free Church of Scotland College in Edinburgh, and Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson. He was ordained to the gospel ministry in the Free Church of Scotland in September 2003, and has held pastoral charges in London, England, and Columbus, MS. Since May 2013, David has served on the pastoral staff of First Presbyterian Church in Jackson and was installed as Senior Minister in May 2014. He was awarded a Doctor of Ministry degree from Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson) in 2016.

The Gospel of Mark

Jesus has been teaching all day long. We've been working through some of the records of Jesus' preaching and teaching in the parables prior to this account earlier in chapter 4. He's been teaching all day long on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Back in verse 1 of chapter 4, we noticed that the crowds that have gathered to sit under Jesus' preaching ministry were so...

Rooted

We’re going to be focused on the words of verses 12 through 14. Paul, really since the end of chapter 2, has begun explaining the practical implications for our Christian lives of the great truth of the believer’s union with Jesus Christ. And as we saw when last we were in Colossians in verses 5 through 11 of chapter 3, Paul has begun first with the negative implications...

The Gospel of Mark

This is the last in a short series of parables that Jesus was teaching the crowds who have gathered around His ministry in Galilee and as verse 34 explains, these were public parables for the crowds that He would then explain and interpret privately to the disciples afterwards. The first twenty verses provide as an example of both the parable, the parable of the sower, and the private...

The Gospel of Mark

Now if you know the gospels well - I’m not presupposing that you do - but if you do, as we read these two little parables in verses 21 through 25 together you might hear some phrases that are very familiar. You may remember that Jesus uses the rather silly image of hiding a lamp under a basket elsewhere - Matthew chapter 5 verse 15. In that context...

Rooted

Before we read it a little, let me quickly say a word of thanks. Ed and Emily Hartman, I think, are taking a few days well deserved to recover from the busyness of Mission Conference but we do owe them a great debt, as well as Beth Archer and the Missions Conference Committee and all of you who were involved, some of you in unrecognized ways behind the...

Rooted

On Sunday mornings we have slowly been making our way through Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae. Our teaching theme, you may remember, this year is “Rooted” - learning to live from our union with Christ. And you will perhaps, at least I hope, have begun to see that’s actually a pretty good summary of the central concern of the letter of Paul to the Colossians. He...

Rooted

But the truth is, the fullness of what you need, verses 9 and 10, is in Jesus Christ. You find it in Christ. In verses 11 and 12, as we saw a few weeks ago, it seems part of the false teaching was an insistence on the need for circumcision. To really follow Jesus, they said you need to be circumcised. But Paul said, “No, no. You have...

Rooted

Pilots talk about the three axes of flight. So a plane, an airplane has three axes along which it must travel. There's roll - so the plane can move that way (front to back). There's pitch - so it can move that way (side to side). And there's yaw - so it can move that way (vertical). And a pilot needs to pay attention to the instruments in...

Rooted

Paul's great concern, his burden, is to help strengthen the faith of the Colossians. The Colossians have been under some pressure from false teaching that has crept into their church. And so in verse 6, you'll see he urges them to, having received Christ, to "walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him, established in the faith, just as they had been taught." He wants them to...

This is now the fourth Sunday in Advent, and if you’ll look at verse 6 for a moment, you’ll see four titles given by the prophet Isaiah to the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Each is a double-barreled title and our pattern has been over these four weeks to take each title in turn and look at each of the two parts of each title. So far...

There were certain traditions that were staples of our family Christmas celebrations when I was a boy growing up in the east end of Glasgow, Scotland. One of the worst was the annual Christmas sweater. My aunt would always buy my brother and me a woolen sweater. Now, these were not comedy sweaters, you understand, with silly Santas and the like on them. I could have coped with...

Now you will have noticed as we read verse 6 that each of the four titles given has two parts to it. As we’ve considered them together, we’ve simply taken each part of each title in turn which means as we think about the third title today, Everlasting Father, we’ll think first about what it means that Jesus is said to be Everlasting. What are we saying here...

Now it's been my experience that Christmas has an often unexpected way of exposing our vulnerabilities. As we work so very hard to make all our days merry and bright, the inconvenient limitations of our natures keep showing up, sometimes all the more starkly against the mandatory cheerfulness of the season. We feel less permission, don't we, than usual to mourn absent loved ones. And yet their absence...

Well, be that as it may, when news reached Joseph that Mary, his fiancee, was pregnant, there really was no possibility that the Bethlehem & District Hospital had made a mistake that day. In fact, poor Joseph was facing a nightmare scenario, wasn't he? In those days and in that culture, betrothal was about as serious and as inviolable as marriage itself, which is why verse 19 makes...

So what's in a name? A whole lot as it turns out. Names actually get me in trouble around here all the time. Let me give you an example. A few Sundays ago, I was preaching and I wanted to emphasize the fact that a previous generation here in our church has left a legacy for a new generation to follow. And so I spoke about the passing...

Wonderful Counselor. Wonderful is a word we use a lot at Christmas time. “It’s A Wonderful Life” will doubtless air for the thousandth time. “The most wonderful time of the year” will play in every cafe in the land. On the radio this week I heard a hardware store that has, “A wonder-inducing array of Christmas trees for sale.” Wonder. And then there’s the word, Counselor. Wonderful Counselor...

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