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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.

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...

If you were with us this morning you remember we began to think about the subject of revival. We have a Sunday between stewardship season and Thanksgiving and Advent, which begins next week, and so I thought we'd take time, morning and evening, to think about this important subject that's been a growing conviction of mine that true revival is the great and pressing need of the church...

You may know that Ezekiel 37 is written to the people of God in exile in Babylon. They’ve been in exile at least around twelve years or so and they are incredibly discouraged. Indeed, they feel hopeless. Everything seems to be lost; cut off is the expression used in our passage. And God, through the prophet in our text, is sending a word of hope and a promise...

We began considering these two verses last week and we saw there are four themes. The first two we looked at last time were the divine priority - that is to say, for Paul, God is first. He wants God to be first in the lives of the Ephesian Christians and he wants God to be first in our lives. So he's writing, "to Him, to Him be...

If you’ll look at the passage you’ll notice in verses 14 through 19, just prior to our text, Paul prays an extraordinary prayer; a prayer of such extravagant audacity that it really ought to take our breath away. Look at it with me for a moment. He prays that the Ephesians would be given strength and power through the Spirit that Christ may dwell in their hearts through...

Rooted

Do let me direct your attention to verses 8 through 10. One of the things you’ll notice immediately if you cast your eye over these three verses is that Paul is setting up a contrast. On the one hand, there’s what he calls the philosophy of certain teachers who have been introducing their message into the Colossian church, their philosophy. And that’s in contrast to Paul’s message focused...

Rooted

Peter O’Brien, one of the commentators on this letter, says that these two verses “are the heart of the letter.” They form sort of a hinge. The first part leading up to this point, Paul uses many of the same phrases, much of the vocabulary that has been at the very heart of his message thus far is used in these two verses so there’s sort of a...

Rooted

You may remember, if you were with us last time, that Paul at the end of chapter 1 has begun to defend his ministry. There were false teachers at Colossae undermining his message, but also assaulting and undermining his ministry. He’s defending himself; he’s continuing to defend his ministry in these first five verses of chapter 2 as well, only now he really seems to bear his heart...

Rooted

There were false teachers troubling the church at Colossae and they were actually pretty skilled politicians. They realized that if they were to be effective in poaching the Colossians from Paul, stealing them from Paul and making them followers of their new teaching, they had to do more than simply attack his message; they also had to attack his ministry. "If we can make the Colossian Christians question...

Rooted

As we continue to consider Paul’s message in this letter, we have come to chapter 1 at the twenty-first verse. Chapter 1:21-23  will be our focus this morning. In verses 15 through 20, we considered these verses when last we were together, we saw Paul probably quoting a hymn to Christ that was known amongst the churches with which Paul was associated in order to turn the diamond...

In 2 Corinthians 3, verse 18, Paul says that, “we all with unveiled faces beholding the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” Okay, so you see what he’s saying? Beholding the glory of God and being transformed into His likeness go together. To the degree that you behold His glory, to that same degree you are...

Rooted

And that means verses 15 through 20 are not a detour or a diversion from the main point of the letter. Instead, they are, if you like, the molten core of Paul’s message for the Colossian Christians and for us. Christ is preeminent. He is supreme. He is everything that your heart needs. Look no further for fullness than to Jesus Christ. All fullness, he will say, resides...

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