Resource Library

Resources from 2014

November

I watched some footage recently of people from all over the world who were blind but who through various medical techniques were enabled to see again – surgery for cataracts or retinal implants or other medical techniques. In one scene, the camera focused in on the faces of children, many of whom have been blind their whole lives, on that moment when after cataract surgery the bandages were...

December

The Word Became Flesh

I invite you to take your Bible and turn with me to Matthew’s gospel, chapter 20.  Would you bow with me as we ask God’s blessing on our time together in His Word?

Holy Spirit, would You please open our eyes, open our hearts, open our lives, that we may behold, that we may treasure, and that we may celebrate wonderful things that You...

Sermon on Dec 28, 2014

Psalm 92

If you have your Bibles with you or perhaps one there in the pew pockets in front of you, turn with me if you would now, to Psalm 92.  Psalm 92.  You can find it there on page 498 in your pew Bible.  As you’re turning there, allow me to say what an honor it is to stand before you and open God’s Word with you tonight.  As...

The Word Became Flesh

Well, it’s almost here!  For some of you the excitement is at fever pitch; for others of you you’re holding on until the day after.  There’s still a lot of cooking and a lot of preparation and in-laws are descending upon you and yet it’s almost here, with all the joys that it brings.  You’ve watched the piles of presents under the tree grow over the last few...

The Word Became Flesh

Now would you please take a Bible from the pockets in the pews in front of you or turn in your own copy of God’s Word to the gospel according to John, chapter 1.  John’s gospel, chapter 1.  If you are using one of our church Bibles you’ll find that on page 886.  Before we read, it is our custom to pray and ask for God to help...

The Servant

Now if you would please take your copies of God’s holy Word in your hands and turn with me to Isaiah 52 at verse 13, which you’ll find on page 613.  We are concluding a series of sermons meditating on the great Song of the Suffering Servant found in 52:13 through 53 [verse] 12.  So once you have your Bibles open there, let’s bow our heads as we...

The Word Became Flesh

Now if you would please take a copy of the Scriptures in your hands and turn with me to the Gospel according to John, chapter 1.  John chapter 1; page 886 in the church Bibles.  Christmas for very many of us is a season of brightness and relief - tinsel and Christmas decorations and lights on a tree in the midst of the gathering gloom of winter.  But...

The Word Became Flesh

This morning we are taking a short break from our ongoing studies in the book of Exodus to capitalize on the opportunity afforded by the Advent season and together to think in a sustained and concentrated way about the significance of the first coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  And this year, our thinking will be directed by the prologue to the gospel according to John. ...

The Servant

Now if you would please take a copy of God’s own holy Word in your hands.  As the children make their way to their children’s church this evening, turn with me to the prophecy of Isaiah, chapter 52, on page 613.  Isaiah 52.  We’re going to read from the thirteenth verse through the end of chapter 53.  Before we do, would you bow your heads with me as...

Colossians: The Preeminence of Christ

Well if you have your Bibles we can turn together to Colossians chapter 4.  We’ll be in verses 2 through 6 tonight.  This is the last section of the body of this letter to the Colossians before we get to some personal remarks from Paul next week.  I had a member of the church, Vic Clark, told me once of his nephew who works for Rolex and he...

This evening I’d like to think a bit, though I’m not a merchant, I’d like to think a bit about Christmas.  I know you don’t like to think about Christmas right now, but it’s upon us.  And pardon the expression, but I’d like to not see us belly-flop into Christmas.  You know how to belly-flop into Christmas?  All of a sudden Christmas Day is upon you and you...

God Remembers

Sermon on Nov 30, 2014

Exodus 6:1-9

Now let me invite you to take your own copy of God’s holy Word in your hands or turn with me in one of the church Bibles to page 48.  Exodus chapter 6; Exodus chapter 6.  We’re going to be reading the first nine verses together.  Before we do that, would you bow your heads with me as we go to God and ask Him to help us...

Now if you would please take your copies of God’s Word and turn with me to Psalm 136.  We read it together earlier responsively; we’ll not read it again now, but if you would open your Bibles to Psalm 136.  In the church Bibles you’ll find that on page 520.  Psalm 136.

The Object and the Ultimate Reason for our Thankfulness

...

As you’re seated, if you would turn with me in your Bibles to Proverbs chapter 17.  It’s found on page 540 in your pew Bibles.  And we’re going to look at one proverb tonight - verse 22 of chapter 17.  It’s a proverb which contrasts a joyful heart and a crushed spirit.  We’re in a season of the year that is associated with thanksgiving and joy.  There’s time...

Please turn with me in your Bibles to Genesis chapter 27.  Genesis chapter 27.  It begins on page 21 in the church Bible.  And before we read, something to consider.  This passage we are about to read, it may feel very distant from us.  This is a strange passage.  Someone after the eight-thirty service said, “That was a strange passage for Thanksgiving week.”  It’s a strange passage, but...

Colossians: The Preeminence of Christ

If you would, open up your Bibles to Colossians chapter 3.  We have some Bibles in the back of the room if you need one of those; help yourself.  Colossians chapter 3.  Well obviously we must not have advertised as well this week as we did last week for Tim Keller or else I’m sure the crowd would have been just the same!  Not that my feelings are...

God Remembers

Now if you would take your Bibles and turn with me to Exodus chapter 5 or if you’re using one of the church Bibles turn with me to page number 48.  Exodus chapter 5.  Before we read, it is our custom to ask for God to help us understand and believe His holy Word.  Would you bow your heads with me then as we turn to God in...

The Servant

If you would now take your own copies of the Scriptures or turn with me in one of the church Bibles.  If you’re using a church Bible, page 613.  We’re reading Isaiah 52 at verse 13 through the end of the fifty-third chapter.  Isaiah 52 verse 13.  Before we read, would you bow your heads with me as we pray together?

Lord Jesus, You...

Sermon on Nov 12, 2014

2 Kings 5:1-19

The last time I was at First Presbyterian Jackson - I was in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church Jackson, Mississippi was in September of 1975!  And I promise to be back in thirty-nine and a half years for another visit!  And I know that I’m probably belaboring the obvious but this place looks a lot different.  Did something happen between 1975?  I remember it pretty well but...

Pastor's Perspective on Nov 12, 2014

Breathe on Me, Breath of God: Meditations on the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit  A Person We Need to Know Part 2

This week we continue our discussion on the Holy Spirit. You may recall that last week we addressed the Spirit as a person who says “me” and “I.” He speaks, sets apart, and he calls. The Spirit of God...

The Servant

Now if you would take your copies of God’s holy Word in your hands or you’ll find a copy of the Scriptures in the pocket in the pew in front of you, do take one and turn to page 613 to Isaiah chapter 52 at verse 13.  Isaiah 52 at verse 13.  Before we read, would you bow your heads with me as we ask for God to...

God Remembers

Now let me invite you please to take your own copy of God’s holy Word our turn in one of the church Bibles to the book of Exodus, chapter 4; Exodus chapter 4.  We’re going to be reading from the eighteenth verse which you will find on page 47 if you are using a church Bible.  Once you have your Bibles open before you, would you join me...

Breathe on Me, Breath of God: Meditations on the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

A Person We Need to Know

Judged by the standards of modern marketing techniques, the Holy Spirit has a PR problem. The idea of God the Father and of God the Son is one to which we can relate. We have analogies and parallels that help...

Colossians: The Preeminence of Christ

I was telling Billy earlier that I feel like him tonight.  My throat is, I feel like, leaving me; my voice might leave me while I’m preaching so bear with me.  If you will open your Bibles up to Colossians chapter 3 that’s where we’re going to be tonight.  And before we get to the passage, just by way of introduction, I wanted to talk about etiquette.  Some...

Now if you would please take a copy of the holy Scriptures in your hands and turn with me to Matthew’s gospel, chapter 10.  Matthew chapter 10, page 814 in the church Bibles.  The words of our theme for our stewardship season you will find in the second half of verse 8.  In our translation is reads, “You received without paying; give without pay.”  In the New International...

The Servant

Now if you would please take your own copy of God’s Word or turn in one of the church Bibles to the prophecy according to Isaiah chapter 52 at verse 13.  You’ll find that on page 613 in the church Bibles; Isaiah 52 at verse 13.  Before we read, let’s bow our heads and ask for God’s help as we pray.  Let us pray.

...

October

Colossians: The Preeminence of Christ

Good evening.  It’s my pleasure to bring God’s Word this evening.  Today we are going to be in Colossians 3 so if you have your Bibles would you turn with me there?  To Colossians 3 - and we’re going to look at verses 1 through 11 as we continue our study.  Now before we read God’s Word let’s go to Him in prayer.

Our...

Pastor's Perspective on Oct 29, 2014

This coming Sunday will be our stewardship Sunday for our 2015 budget. To discover what the Bible says about stewardship, the best place to start is with the very first verse of the Bible, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” As the Creator, God has absolute rights of ownership over all things. Nothing else in the Bible, including the principle of stewardship, will make...

It is a privilege to be here again this morning, to open God’s Word with you.  If you have your Bibles if you’d turn to the Gospel of God according to Mark, to chapter 5. 

The Context of Mark’s Gospel

Someone has called Mark, “the gospel for guys,” which I happen to like - action-packed, rapid fire snapshots of Jesus...

It’s a great pleasure to be with you this evening.  It’s a great honor to be asked to do this.  I don’t know if David Strain really knew what he was doing when he asked me to do this because I have a tendency to embarrass those who are very dear to me.  You can just ask my wife about that!  Many of you may not know that...

Pastor's Perspective on Oct 22, 2014

Breathe on Me, Breath of God:  Meditations on the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

There are a number of reasons why we ought to give renewed attention to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. First, and supremely, we ought to attend with care to His person and work because he is, as the Creed reminds us, “the Lord and giver of...

Colossians: The Preeminence of Christ

Sermon on Oct 22, 2014

Wednesday Evening Prayer Meeting

 

October 22, 2014

 

The Preeminence of Christ

“No Living in the Shadows”

Colossians 2:16-23

 

The Reverend Mr. Billy Dempsey

Good evening folks.  Let me ask you to open your Bibles if you would to Colossians chapter 2.  I’ll read verses 16...

Please turn with me in your Bibles to John chapter 6, John chapter 6.  It begins in the church Bible on page 891.

Starving Souls and Hungry Hearts

 And before we read, something to consider.  My wife could tell you that sometimes, especially when I am hungry, that I can be pretty forgetful.  Sometimes, especially when I am hungry, I...

God Remembers

Now if you would, please take your Bibles and turn to Exodus chapter 4.  Exodus 4, page 47 in the church Bibles.  Once you have them open before you let’s bow our heads as we pray.

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer, in Jesus’ name,...

Colossians: The Preeminence of Christ

If you’re using one of the church’s Bibles you’ll want to turn to page 984.  We are, like Sean said earlier, continuing our series on the book of Colossians and the theme that we’re pulling out is “The Preeminence of Christ.”  And so tonight we’re going to be looking at chapter 2 beginning in verse 6 all the way through verse 15.  And just a little background just...

Pastor's Perspective on Oct 15, 2014

New Life in Christ: The Beatitudes for Today 9 

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets...

God Remembers

Do please turn with me in your copies of the Holy Scriptures to the book of Exodus, chapter 3, page 46 if you’re using one of our church Bibles.  Exodus chapter 3.  When you have your Scriptures open before you, would you bow your heads with me as we pray?  Let’s pray together.

Lord, You came and confronted Moses on the mountain long ago...

Found: When Ordinary People Meet Jesus

We are so very glad to welcome you all here this evening, particularly if you’ve come along at the invitation of a friend.  We have designed these six Sunday evening sermons especially for you if you’re a visitor. Tonight as we come to the last in the series of sermons, I want us to go to the climactic moment in Jesus’ earthly ministry.  We’ve been looking in each...

New Life in Christ: The Beatitudes for Today VIII -“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”(Matt. 5:9) When anger flares up inside us, more often than not we trace its cause to the fault of others. They would not listen! They wronged me! It’s their problem, not mine! But James has a different perspective: “What causes quarrels and what causes fights...

God Remembers

Now if you would please take your copies of God’s holy Word in your hands and turn with me to Exodus chapter 3.  Exodus chapter 3, which you will find on page 46 if you’re reading in one of our church Bibles.  Once you have the Scriptures open before you, would you join with me as we turn to God and ask for His help as we seek...

Found: When Ordinary People Meet Jesus

Now let me say once again how pleased we are that you’re here with us this evening, especially if you’re here at the invitation of a friend.  As you may know, we’ve been thinking on these Sunday nights about encounters between Jesus and some of the ordinary people that He meets in the Gospel records.  Last week we looked together at the account of Jesus meeting with the...

New Life in Christ: The Beatitudes for Today VII - “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”(Matt. 5:4)

What will heaven be like? It’s a good question that almost every Christian asks at some point or another. In the sixth beatitude, Jesus gives his answer. Heaven will be the beatific vision of God opened to the eyes of redeemed and purified...

Colossians: The Preeminence of Christ

Please turn with me in your Bibles to Colossians chapter 1.  Colossians chapter 1 beginning in verse 24.  We are in the midst of a series on Paul’s letter to the Colossian church and the title of this series is “The Preeminence of Christ.”  This is our Fall, midweek series, and this is a letter written by the apostle Paul to encourage a relatively young church that was...

September

Found: When Ordinary People Meet Jesus

Each week over the last several Sunday evenings we’ve been looking at some of the encounters between Jesus and ordinary people in the Gospel stories.  These people come from different backgrounds, different ethnicities even.  Their problems, as we’ve begun to see, are complex; they are varied.  But in each case so far, they leave their meeting with Jesus changed forever.  Tonight we’re going to be thinking about what...

God Remembers

Now if you would please take your copies of the Bible in your hands and turn to Exodus chapter 2, Exodus chapter 2, which you will find on page 45 of our church Bibles.  We’re going to read from the eleventh verse through the end of the chapter.  Before we do that let’s look to God together for His help.  Let us all pray.

...

Pastor's Perspective on Sep 24, 2014

New Life in Christ: The Beatitudes for Today V -  “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

Calvin famously said, “Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves.”1 The Westminster Shorter Catechism echoes that conviction when its third question asks, “What...

Colossians: The Preeminence of Christ

I’m glad everyone found us here tonight.  If you need a Bible, we have Bibles available over here, so feel free in the beginning here to slip up and grab some so you can follow along. We’re continuing our series on Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae. “Colossians - The Preeminence of Christ.”  That’s what we’re calling this Fall, midweek series.  And Paul, throughout this letter, is...

God Remembers

Sermon on Sep 21, 2014

Exodus 2:1-10

Now would you take your copies of the Scriptures in your hands please and turn with me to the book of Exodus, chapter 2?  Exodus chapter 2; if you’re using one of our church Bibles you’ll find it on page 45.  We’re going to be thinking about the first ten verses of chapter 2 together.  Before we read the Scriptures, let’s bow our heads as we pray.

...
Pastor's Perspective on Sep 17, 2014

New Life in Christ: The Beatitudes for Today V - “Blessed are the those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matt. 5:6)

Knowing what we do not have is vitally important to the welfare of our souls. That has been the point of the first three beatitudes. Poverty of spirit (v. 3), mourning for sin (v. 4), meekness...

Colossians: The Preeminence of Christ

If you brought your Bibles, please turn with me to Colossians 1:15-20.  We had had Bibles here in the weeks past but they disappeared tonight, so we’ll hopefully have those back next week.  

How has your week been?  Maybe you’ve had a long week.  Maybe you’ve been taking care of a sick child or an aging parent.  Maybe you’ve been pushing up against...

Found: When Ordinary People Meet Jesus

Sermon on Sep 14, 2014

Luke 19:1-10

Over the last few weeks we’ve been inviting our friends to church on Sunday night and if you’re here for the first time or if you’ve come along at the invitation of a friend, we do want you to know how glad we are that you are with us.  Each week we’ve been thinking about a different episode from the Biblical records of Jesus’ life in which His...

God Remembers

Now would you please take your copies of God’s Word in your hands and turn with me to the book of Exodus, chapter 1.  You’ll find that on page 44 in the church Bibles.  Before we read, a word of preface.  We’re beginning a new series in Exodus, a foundational book if we’re to understand the history of God’s dealings with His people.  It is of course more...

Colossians: The Preeminence of Christ

Well good evening.  Good to be with you all here once again tonight.  If you have your Bibles handy, turn with me to Colossians chapter 1; Colossians chapter 1.  It’s also printed there for you on the back of your prayer bulletin.  We’ll be looking at verses 9 through 14 tonight.  So let’s read this section of God’s Word and before we do so let’s pray together and...

Pastor's Perspective on Sep 10, 2014

Notice, too, that there is a certain logical progression in the beatitudes. Poverty of spirit (Matt. 5:3) is a clear sight of our personal bankruptcy apart from Jesus, so essential to the beginning and progress of the Christian life. It is an attitude that in turn requires and issues in spiritual mourning. As we see how much we need, we mourn for our sin and poverty, for our...

Found: When Ordinary People Meet Jesus

Well let me say as we begin how very glad we are to have you here with us, especially if you’ve come along at the invitation of a friend.  As you may well know, we are looking on these Sunday evenings at six episodes from the Biblical accounts of Jesus’ life in which He meets with ordinary people who are really not so very unlike you and me...

Side By Side: Gospel Partnership in Philippians

Now let me invite you to turn with me in your own copy of God’s Word or take one of the church Bibles and turn with me to Paul’s letter to the Philippians.  We’ve come this morning to our concluding sermon as we’ve worked through Paul’s letter.  Pray for me as we begin to turn our attention to the next series, the book of Exodus, which we shall...

Colossians: The Preeminence of Christ

I don’t know to what I owe the privilege of preaching two Wednesday nights in a row.  There’s either a short list or a short memory somewhere, but that’s alright!  I’m glad to get to preach tonight.  I’m always glad to open God’s Word for you fine folks.  Let me ask you to turn to chapter 1 of Colossians.  I’m supposed to preach verses 1 through 8; I...

New Life in Christ: The Beatitudes for Today III -“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”(Matt. 5:4)

Two weeks ago we began to consider the second Beatitude, pronouncing blessing on those who mourn. We noted what this mourning isn’t: it isn’t joyless sorrow; it isn’t the sorrow of bereavement; and it isn’t superficial regret. But if we are to begin to live...

August

Found: When Ordinary People Meet Jesus

Let me begin by thanking you again for coming to our evening service, especially if you are here at the invitation of a friend.  We’re so very glad that you are here.  In the pockets in the pews in front of you, you will find copies of the Bible.  If you would, please take one in your hands and turn with me to page 887 to John’s gospel...

Side By Side: Gospel Partnership in Philippians

Now if you would, take a copy of God’s Word in your hands and turn in it with me to Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter 3.  Philippians chapter 3.  We’re going to read from verse 12 through verse 9 of chapter 4.  You’ll find that on page 981.  Once you have your Bibles spread before you, let’s bow before God as we ask Him for help in...

We have been horrified as we read news weekly of persecution on an unprecedented scale,  unprecedented in our day, in the Middle East as ISIS fighters make their advance across Syria and Iraq.  And I thought it might be wise for us to take a moment tonight and just look at what God does with our enemy’s efforts and draw some encouragement, not just for the crisis of...

Life Toward God

On this episode of Life Toward God, David Strain, Sean Morris, and Kevin Phipps sit down to have a conversation about evangelism, and discuss what it looks like for a local church to bring the gospel their community. 

Side By Side: Gospel Partnership in Philippians

Now let me invite you to take your copies of God’s holy Word in your hands and turn with me to Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter 3.  We are going to read from verse 8 through verse 1 of chapter 4 and you’ll find that on page 981 in the church Bibles.  Before we read together, let’s bow our heads as we turn to the Lord for...

Salvation Belongs to the Lord

Sermon on Aug 24, 2014

Jonah 4

Now take your Bibles in hand please and turn to Jonah chapter 4, page 775 in our church Bibles.  Jonah chapter 4.  Before we read let’s turn to God together as we pray.  Let’s pray.

O Lord, You have given to us this treasure in earthen vessels, this Gospel - precious, wonderful, arresting, glorious, good news for the world.  We confess to You, our...

Please turn with me in your Bibles to Genesis chapter 12.  Genesis chapter 12.  It’s also printed on the prayer sheet.  We are in between a summer series and a fall series; I think the fall series will start two weeks from today and our time’s going to be tonight in Genesis chapter 12 verses 1 through 9. 

Genesis 12 and the DNA of...

Pastor's Perspective on Aug 20, 2014

New Life in Christ: The Beatitudes for Today 2 -“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”(Matt. 5:4)  

In this second beatitude the radically counter cultural ethic that governs life in Christ’s kingdom stands out in sharpest relief.  

“Our civilization is devoted to fun. The ideal life, it seems, is one continual party. Drink hard, play hard...

Salvation Belongs to the Lord

Now turn with me in your copies of God’s Word to the book of Jonah, chapter 3.  Jonah chapter 3 - page 775 in the church Bibles.  Before we read let’s turn to the Lord in prayer.  Let’s pray.

O Lord our God, we come confessing how low the fires of devotion and zeal for Your glory in our hearts are often allowed to...

Side By Side: Gospel Partnership in Philippians

Now let me invite you please to take your copies of God’s Word and turn with me to Philippians chapter 3.  Philippians chapter 3 - page 981 in the church Bibles.  We’ll be reading the first eleven verses.  Before we do, let’s bow our heads before the Lord as we pray.  Let’s pray together.

O Lord, may the words of my mouth and the...

Sermon on Aug 13, 2014

Psalm 48

Well good evening.  It’s good to be with you all tonight.  If you have your Bibles handy turn with me to Psalm 48.  It’s also printed on the back of your bulletin, I believe there, for you.  I love to get to sing the psalms together, especially when it works well with our text, so it’s always enjoyable to get to sing the text of Scripture that we’ll...

Pastor's Perspective on Aug 13, 2014

New Life in Christ: The Beatitudes for Today 2 -“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”(Matt. 5:3)

In Luke’s account of the Beatitudes Jesus is recorded as having said, “Blessed are the poor” (Luke 6:20). Matthew’s account (5:3) makes Jesus’ meaning clear. The poor in view are those whose poverty of spirit demonstrates their blessed status. The blessed are the...

Side By Side: Gospel Partnership in Philippians

Now if you would, take your Bibles in your hands and turn with me to Paul’s letter to the Philippians chapter 3.  If you’re using one of the church Bibles you’ll find that on page 981.  Philippians chapter 3.  We’re reading the first eleven verses together though our attention this morning will be on verses 1 through 3 of Philippians chapter 3.  Before we read, let’s turn our...

Salvation Belongs to the Lord

Now let me invite you to take your copies of God’s holy Word in your hands and turn with me to the prophecy of Jonah.  We’re going to read from chapter 1 verse 17 through the end of the second chapter.  You’ll find that on page 774 in our church Bibles.  Before we read, as always, let’s go to God together as we pray.  Let’s pray.

...

New Life in Christ: the Beatitudes for Today Part 1

Today we begin a short series looking at the Beatitudes. In an age when there are a multitude of voices claiming our attention and offering us ‘wisdom’, we badly need clear direction in the way we should go. How shall we live in our world in a manner that is both pleasing to God and good...

Salvation Belongs to the Lord

Sermon on Aug 3, 2014

Jonah 1:1-16

Now if you would, take your copies of God’s holy Word in your hands and turn to the prophecy of Jonah, Jonah chapter 1.  You’ll find that on page 774 in the church Bibles.  Jonah chapter 1.  Before we read the Word of God together let’s pray.

The grass withers and the flowers fade but the Word of the Lord endures forever.  We believe...

Side By Side: Gospel Partnership in Philippians

Now if you would please take your copies of God’s Word in your hands and turn with me to Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter 2.  Philippians chapter 2.  We’re going to read from the fourteenth verse.  You’ll find that on page 981 if you’re using one of our church Bibles.  Before we read the scriptures together would you bow your heads with me as we pray.  Let’s...

July

Pastor's Perspective on Jul 30, 2014

Dear Friends,

“Salvation belongs to the LORD!” These are the climactic words of Jonah’s famous prayer from the belly of the fish (Jonah 2:9). Standing at the very heart of the book, they rise, like a mountain peak, above every other theme in the landscape of the story, driving home the big idea: God, the sovereign Lord, alone saves sinners! These words of a runaway prophet are...

Gospel Pattern: Old Testament Stories & The Grace of God

Sermon on Jul 30, 2014

Daniel 6

If you would turn with me to Daniel chapter 6 or you can look there on your handouts.  Martin Lloyd-Jones once said that “everything we do in the Christian life is easier than prayer.”  Everything we do in the Christian life is easier than prayer, and yet prayer is a vital component of the Christian life.  It’s a vital component of how God works in us and nurtures...

Side By Side: Gospel Partnership in Philippians

Now would you take your copies of the Scriptures in your hands and turn with me to Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter 2.  Philippians chapter 2.  We’re going to read from verse 5 through verse 18.  You’ll find that on page 980 in God’s Word.  Before we read, let’s turn to Him together as we pray.  Let’s pray together.

To whom else can...

Zechariah Part 2: The Coming King

Now if you would please take your copies of God’s Word in your hands and turn to the Old Testament scriptures to the prophecy of Zechariah, chapter 14.  Zechariah chapter 14.  You’ll find that on page 800 if you’re using one of the church Bibles.  Before we read God’s Word let’s turn to Him together as we pray.  Let’s pray.

O Lord, this world,...

Pastor's Perspective on Jul 23, 2014

Dear Friends, 

In Philippians 4:4 we read Paul’s famous exhortation, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” There are three things worth considering here. First notice that it is a command. Paul here commands joy. The word for joy, or one of its cognates, is used some sixteen times in the letter to the Philippians. It is a major emphasis of the apostle’s message...

Gospel Pattern: Old Testament Stories & The Grace of God

For our Bible study portion tonight we are continuing our summer series on Wednesday nights called “Gospel Pattern:  Old Testament Stories and the Grace of God.”  And we continue the series tonight by diving into one of the more well-known sections of Ezekiel, Ezekiel chapter 37.  So if you have your Bible you can go ahead and turn there or you can look on the back of the...

Zechariah Part 2: The Coming King

Now if you would, take your copy of God’s Word and turn to Zechariah chapter 14.  At one point last Lord’s Day Evening I think when we were looking at the very last verse of chapter 13 where God said, “Call on My name and I’ll answer you,” I made the comment that there are many complex portions of Scripture, not least among them in the book of...

Side By Side: Gospel Partnership in Philippians

Now if you would take your Bibles and turn with me to Paul’s letter to the Philippians.  We return to the extraordinary treatment of Christ’s person and work we began to consider last Lord’s Day in Philippians chapter 2.  You will find that on page 980 and we’re going to read from verse 5.  Before we do, let’s bow our heads together as we pray.  Let’s pray.

...
Pastor's Perspective on Jul 16, 2014

Dear friends,

There is currently a debate within the Reformed community on the great doctrine of sanctification. It’s an important discussion with far-reaching implications for our Christian lives, and it’s worth taking a few moments to consider it together. It should immediately be said that the issue under discussion is not whether Christians are called to be holy. Thankfully, on this all agree. Rather, the issue...

Side By Side: Gospel Partnership in Philippians

Now let me invite you please to take your copies of God’s holy Word in your hands and turn to Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter 2.  Philippians chapter 2.  If you’re using one of our church Bibles you’ll find that on page 980. Before we read the Word of God together let’s bow our heads and ask for the help of the Holy Spirit as we pray. ...

Zechariah Part 2: The Coming King

Now let me invite you please to turn in your Bibles to the prophecy of Zechariah, chapter 13.  Zechariah chapter 13.  We’ll read verses 7 through 9 together.  You’ll find it on page 799 in the church Bibles.  Before we do, let’s again bow our heads as we pray.

O Lord, You have the words of eternal life.  To whom else can we turn...

Gospel Pattern: Old Testament Stories & The Grace of God

We are continuing tonight our series, “Gospel Pattern - Old Testament Stories and the Grace of God.”  And what we’re trying to do on Wednesday nights this summer is to look at the famous, popular Old Testament stories and see the pattern of God’s grace and how they point us to the Gospel.  Last week, Kelly Jackson, our college coordinator, preached from 1 Samuel 17 about David and...

I’d invite you to open your copy of the Scriptures to Matthew chapter 17. We’ll read verses 1 to 9 this morning.  We want to look at the transfiguration.  It’s not always a passage we go to or one we think about much.  We read it and we think, “Hmm, I wonder what’s going on there?” and often pass along to other things that seem more plain to...

Please turn with me in your Bibles to 1 Samuel chapter 16.  1 Samuel chapter 16; it begins on page 238 in your church Bible.  And just before we read, something to consider. 

Seeking Significance in the External Things of this World

Many of you know this, but I have a three month old son named Marshall and since Marshall’s...

June

If you would turn in your Bibles to the book of Mark, chapter 8.  We find Jesus asking a profoundly important question in this passage.  We may have many questions that are deep and searching.  The first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism gives us one.  What is man’s chief end?  What is the purpose of life?  And perhaps you’ve asked, “Why does God allow suffering?”  Maybe you...

If you would, open your Bibles to John chapter 21, John chapter 21.  If you’re using one of our pew Bibles that reading can be found on page 906.  John chapter 21.  I’ll remind you that our senior minister David Strain is on vacation and so this would be a good time to remind you to be praying for him.  He works hard and he’s earned a good...

Gospel Pattern: Old Testament Stories & The Grace of God

Kelly has prayed for us so we will go right to the reading of God's Word. Numbers chapter 20 beginning with verse 1.   

And the people of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. And Miriam died there and was buried there.

Now there was no water...

Zechariah Part 2: The Coming King

Amen. Please be seated. Now if you would, take your copies of God’s Word in your hands and turn with me, once again, to the prophecy of Zechariah chapter 12 reading from the first verse. You’ll find that on page 798 if you’re reading along with us in the church Bibles. Zechariah chapter 12. Before we read God’s Word let’s turn with him together for his assistance as...

Side By Side: Gospel Partnership in Philippians

Now, if you would, take your copies of the Holy Scriptures in your hands and turn with me to Paul’s letter to the Philippians. We’re reading the first eleven verses of the second chapter. Though our attention will be on verses 1 to 5 this morning. Page 980 if you’re following along in one of the church Bibles. Philippians 2. Before we read the Word of God, let’s...

Gospel Pattern: Old Testament Stories & The Grace of God

Good evening everyone. It’s really great to be with you. And I’d like to invite you to turn with me in your Bibles to Genesis 28. Genesis 28. As we’re going to read from verses 10 through to verses 22. It’s a very well-known passage of Scripture. And of course it’s part of the summer series: Great Old Testament Stories and the Gospel of Grace. And it’s a...

Thank you, pastor, for the warm welcome, and thank you for having me here tonight to preach God’s Word. You have such wonderful students preparing for ministry in your congregation. I know you are all enriched by their labors in your midst. Turn with me, please, to Acts, the twenty-fourth chapter. And I will begin reading at verse 10. This is a trial and everything that takes place to...

Side By Side: Gospel Partnership in Philippians

Now let me invite you, please, to take your copies of the Scriptures in your hands and turn with me to Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Chapter 1. Philippians chapter 1. We’ll read from verse 18 to the end of the chapter, though our focus will be on the words of verses 27 through 30. Before we read, would you bow your heads with me as we ask...

Pastor's Perspective on Jun 11, 2014

Some Advice on Evangelism (Part 2)

This is part two of  the Pastor’s Perspective. Part one of “Some Advice on Evangelism” ran in the June 4 issue of The First Epistle.

Don’t tell them everything at once. It takes a whole gospel to make a whole Christian, as the saying goes. But if you are sharing that gospel in the context of a relationship, you do...

Gospel Pattern: Old Testament Stories & The Grace of God

You may be seated. If you have a Bible please turn with me to Genesis chapter 22. Tonight we are starting a new series. We’re going to take a little tour this summer through the Old Testament. Before we read, to introduce this series, just consider this with me.

A Tale of Superlatives

Something that I’ve noticed about myself, I’ve...

Side By Side: Gospel Partnership in Philippians

Now, would you please take your copies of Holy Scripture in your hands and turn with me to Paul’s letter to the Philippians chapter 1. Philippians chapter 1. We’ve been working our way through the book of Philippians. We’ve come to the second half of verse 18 and we’ll read from there to the end of the chapter, though we’ll be focusing on verses 18 to 26 in...

Zechariah Part 2: The Coming King

Please be seated. Would you take your copies of the Holy Scriptures in your hands and turn with me to the prophecy of Zechariah chapter eleven. Page 798 in the church Bibles.  Before we read God’s Word would you bow your heads with me as we pray?

Oh Lord, how we are in need of a fresh word from your mouth. How prone we...

Life Toward God

Podcast Episode on Jun 4, 2014

This episode is the recording of a Question and Answer event with our Senior Minister, David Strain. Members from the church submitted questions concerning theology, culture, and the church. Some of the subjects that came up included homosexuality, assurance, and sanctification. 

Some Advice on Evangelism

This is part one of a two-part Pastor's Perspective. Look for part two in next week's First Epistle.

All Christians ought to share the gospel with those around them, if for no other reason than that we are called to love our neighbors, and what kind of love is it that helps with lesser, temporal needs while assiduously ignoring the greatest...

Side By Side: Gospel Partnership in Philippians

Now let me invite you please your copies of God’s Word and turn with me to Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter one—Philippians one.  Our attention will be on the words of verses 12-18, but we’ll read from verse 12 to the end of the chapter just to give us some context, and see the flow of the argument as Paul develops it in these opening sections of...

Zechariah Part 2: The Coming King

Amen. Please be seated. Now if you would, take your copies of God’s Word in your hands and turn with me to the prophecy of Zechariah chapter 10. We will read the second half of the chapter from verse six through verse twelve. You’ll find that on page 798. Before we read, let’s bow our heads and pray.

Lord, like the disciples responding to...

May

Take your copies of God’s Word and turn to Matthew chapter nine. We’ll be looking at verses 35 through 39. If you don’t have a Bible with you the passage is on the back of this evening’s prayer guide. Before we read God’s Word, let’s pray again.

Our heavenly Father, we asked that we would be gripped by the truth of this passage. We...

Pastor's Perspective on May 28, 2014

Dear Friends,

As I’ve studied the epistle to the Philippians I was once again struck by the attitude of the apostle Paul when, in the wake of his incarceration, the churches found new boldness to preach the gospel. “Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry” he wrote, “but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here...

Side By Side: Gospel Partnership in Philippians

Now let me invite you to take your copies of God’s Word in your hands, and turn with me to the letter to the letter of the Philippians, please, chapter one. If you’re using one of the church Bible’s, you’ll find that on page nine hundred and eighty.  Our attention will be on the words of verses 9-11.  We’re going to read some of the context.  We’ll read...

Zechariah Part 2: The Coming King

Sermon on May 25, 2014

Zechariah 10:1-5

You may be seated. Now if you would please take your copies of God’s holy Word in your hands. Let’s turn to the prophecy of Zechariah chapter 10. You’ll find that on 797 in the church bibles. Zechariah chapter 10. Before we read God’s Word, let’s turn to him ask and ask him for the help of his Spirit. Let us pray.

Our Father,...

Let me get you to either turn over to the back side of your evening bulletin or open your copy of the scriptures to Psalm 13. That will be the text that we’ll use this evening. And before we begin to read it, let’s go again to the Lord in prayer.

Father, thank you that you know us and you know that we are...

Pastor's Perspective on May 21, 2014

What a glorious night we had here at First Presbyterian Jackson this past Lord’s Day evening. It was an evening designed to bring praise and worship to our Lord Jesus Christ. It was an evening designed to celebrate together God’s gracious provision of a new Senior Minister. Celebrating and worshipping were exactly what we did as we installed David Strain to his new office of Senior Minister.

...

Life Toward God

On this installment of Life Twoard God, the  Rev. Dr. Jon D. Payne discusses plant a church committed to the ordinary means of grace. Jon is the organizing pastor of Christ Church Presbyterian. Until recently, Rev. Payne served for ten years as the senior pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Douglasville, Georgia, near Atlanta (2003-2013).

Sermon on May 18, 2014

This is a great, historic moment in the life of this congregation.  Now, David, you’ll be installed as the eighth pastor of this church since 1857.  And to my knowledge, never at any worship service, or any other time, have three living pastors of this church ever been together in a service.  This is a historic moment.  And David, you will become the human leader of this church. ...

Side By Side: Gospel Partnership in Philippians

Now let me invite you to take your copies of God’s Word in your hands and turn with me to the book of Philippians, chapter one: Philippians chapter one.  If you’re using one of the church bibles you’ll find that on page nine hundred and eighty. Before we read God’s Word together, let’s pray.

Lord Jesus, You are the Good Shepherd of the sheep,...

Beloved, I invite you to take your Bibles and turn with me to Colossians chapter 1. Colossians chapter 1 verses 24 through 29. And, as you’re turning there, I do want to give you a word of greeting from your sister church in Charleston, South Carolina. This morning, Pastor David preached on the partnership that the apostle Paul had with the Philippians and the partnership in ministry which...

Sermon on May 14, 2014

Psalm 1

Well, it is a joy to be with you once again.  If you have your Bibles handy I invite you to turn with me now to Psalm 1, Psalm 1.  And it’s also printed for you in the prayer bulletin.  I’m very glad to be with you again.  It’s my privilege to teach and open God’s Word for us tonight.  We just sang that beautiful, metrical rendering of...

Pastor's Perspective on May 14, 2014

This is part two of a two-part Pastor’s Perspective on how to benefit from preaching. Part one ran in the May 7 issue of The First Epistle.   2.   Commit! We live in a day of constant busyness and activity. The kids have sporting events and extracurricular activities that demand our time, often over weekends. Work requires us to be away sometimes. And on top of that...

Side By Side: Gospel Partnership in Philippians

Now let me invite you to take your copies of God’s Word in your hands and turn with me please to Paul’s letter to the Philippians, Philippians chapter 1.  If you are using one of the church Bibles you’ll find that on page 980 - Philippians 1, page 980.  Before we read let’s turn to the Lord together in prayer and ask for His help.  Let us pray.

...

Zechariah Part 2: The Coming King

Now would you take your copies of the Scriptures in your hands and turn with me to the prophecy of Zechariah, chapter 9; Zechariah chapter 9.  You can find that on page 796 in the church Bibles.  Before we read it together, let’s turn together towards the Lord and ask Him for His help as we pray.  Let’s pray.

Lord, we live in a...

This is part one of a two-part Pastor’s Perspective.  Look for part two in next week’s First Epistle.   Having taken time to address the priority of prayer in the life of the church in general, and the importance of the prayer meeting in particular, last time, I thought it might be useful to think about the centrality of preaching this time.  My interest here is...

Good evening.  Glad to be with y’all.  We’re looking at Daniel chapter 5 tonight.  In 1957, at the Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, Johnny Cash recorded a song he wrote about this passage, about this chapter that we’re going to read tonight.  In it he sang these lyrics, “He had concubines and wives; he called Babylon paradise.  On his throne he drank and ate, but for Belshazzar it...

Training for Kingdom Living

Please take your copies of God’s Word in your hands and turn with me to Matthew’s gospel, chapter 13.  Matthew’s gospel chapter 13 - page 819 in the church Bibles.  We are going to be turning our attention to the words of verses 47 through 50.  Before we do that, let me invite you to join with me as we go to God in prayer.  Let’s pray together.

...

Zechariah Part 1: The Coming Kingdom

Now if you would, take your copies of God’s Word in your hands and turn with me to the book of Zechariah, chapter 8, page 796 in the church Bible.  Zechariah chapter 8.  We’re going to be reading and considering the whole chapter together.  Before we do that, would you join me as we turn to God for His help in prayer.  Let us all pray.

...

April

Pastor's Perspective on Apr 30, 2014

One of the great highlights on my calendar every year is the Twin Lakes Fellowship. The Fellowship is an annual pastors’ fraternal, offered free to pastors and elders, church planters and missionaries from around the country. It is one of the best ministries of our church, impacting many thousands for the kingdom through your generosity. This year was a wonderful time of worship and study, reflection and fellowship...

Zechariah Part 1: The Coming Kingdom

Now take your Bibles please and turn with me in them to the prophecy of Zechariah, chapter 7.  Zechariah chapter 7.  We’re looking at the whole chapter together.  You’ll find it on page 794 if you’re using one of the church Bibles.  Before we read God’s Word would you please bow your heads with me as we ask for His help?  Let’s pray.

With...

Let me encourage you to take your Bibles and turn with me to the second letter to Timothy, chapter 4.  And when you have found it, let us pray together.

Our great and gracious God and Father, we thank You for the high privilege You give us of having before us the living and enduring Word of God.  And as we come to it,...

Blog Entry on Apr 24, 2014

Over the next few months, thousands of students in the Jackson area will graduate from high school and start the rest of their lives. Are they prepared? Can they flourish? Can we say that Christian men and women are leaving our churches and ministries equipped for life after high school? I’m not specifically talking about graduates being prepared for difficult professors and stressful job interviews. But the question...

Pastor's Perspective on Apr 23, 2014

Dear Friends,

It has been a strange season in the life of First Presbyterian Church. Over the last week or so, there have been glorious highpoints and sweet seasons of grace, and there have been times of deep sorrow and grief. We’ve had the joy of Easter Sunday, where, amidst a packed sanctuary, we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord from the grave. This...

Glad to be here with you tonight to open God’s Word.  If you would, take your copies of God’s Word and turn to Psalm 67, or you can look on the back of the prayer guide; it will be printed on there.  Psalm 67.  And before we read God’s Word let’s go to Him in prayer and ask for His help.

Our Lord and...

Zechariah Part 1: The Coming Kingdom

Now if you would, take your Bibles and turn with me to the prophecy of Zechariah, chapter 6.  Zechariah chapter 6 on page 795 in the church Bibles. We’re going to be looking at verses 9 through the end of the chapter.  Before we do that, we do need to ask for God’s help, so would you bow your heads with me as we pray?

...

Please turn with me in your copies of God’s Word to Psalm 22, the twenty-second Psalm, page 457 in the church Bibles.  Once you have your copies of the Scriptures open would you bow your heads with me as we pray together?

Our Father, we want to see more of Christ today.  He lives and reigns, having bled and died for sinners like us. ...

Blog Entry on Apr 17, 2014

The thrust of Haggai is essentially this: The restoration of the Lord’s house by the people of God will mediate God’s presence. After the Exile, the Lord is renewing his promises to his people and calls on them to finish rebuilding the temple so that he might be with them and fulfill his promises to bless the whole world through them (2:9), particularly through the Messiah from the...

It’s always a pleasure to open God’s Word; it’s always a pleasure to open God’s Word at times of the year like this.  Every Lord’s Day is the first day of the week.  Every Lord’s Day we gather to worship we celebrate the resurrection and we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection in particular, and yet the calendar drives us to some degree.  We pay particular attention to the Lord’s resurrection...

Part 2: The Qualifications for and Work of Elders and Deacons

For those incoming Officer Nominees who have not yet taken the Officers Training Course.

Classes and Training on Apr 13, 2014

For those incoming Officer Nominees who have not yet taken the Officers Training Course.

Zechariah Part 1: The Coming Kingdom

Take your Bibles, please, and turn with me in them to the Old Testament Scriptures and to the prophecy of Zechariah chapter 6.  Zechariah chapter 6 on page 795 in the church Bibles.  Before we read God’s Word let’s turn to Him in prayer.  Let us pray together.

Lord Jesus, there is no one else to whom we may turn.  You have the words...

Training for Kingdom Living

Now let me invite you please to take your copies of God’s Word in your hands and turn with me to the gospel according to Matthew, chapter 13.  Matthew 13.  We are looking at verses 44 through 46 today and you’ll find that on page 819 if you’re using one of the church Bibles.  Before we read God’s Word together would you turn with me to Him as...

Part 1: The Nature of the Offices of Deacon and Elder

For those incoming Officer Nominees who have not yet taken the Officers Training Course.

Classes and Training on Apr 13, 2014

For those incoming Officer Nominees who have not yet taken the Officers Training Course.

Officer Training 2014 Refresher Course

For those who have already completed the Officer Training Course in 2011

Classes and Training on Apr 13, 2014

For those who have already completed the Officer Training Course in 2011.

I’d invite you to turn in your Bibles or look on your prayer sheets to Galatians chapter 5.  Louis Armstrong is widely considered to be the greatest trumpet player in the history of Jazz.  When his professional career was really taking off in the years around 1920, nobody had ever heard anybody play the trumpet like him before or he was probably playing the cornet more at that...

Training for Kingdom Living

Now if you would please take your copies of God’s Word in your hands and turn with me to the gospel according to Matthew chapter 13, Matthew chapter 13.  Our attention this morning will be on the words of verses 31 through 35 and you’ll find that on page 819 if you’re using one of the church Bibles.  Before we read together let’s turn to God for His...

Zechariah Part 1: The Coming Kingdom

Now let me invite you again to take your copies of God’s Word in hand and turn with me this time to the prophecy of Zechariah chapter 5.  Zechariah chapter 5 - you’ll find it on page 794 if you’re using one of the church Bibles.  Zechariah chapter 5, page 794.  Before we read the Word of God let’s ask for God to help us understand it and...

Life Toward God

Podcast Episode on Apr 2, 2014

Rev. David Strain, Senior Minister Elect, shares about his conversion and discusses his approach to ministry in the church. 

Scandalous Grace: Jesus' Meals with Sinners

I’m going to preach from one of the Bible’s most controversial books.  Thank you, Reverend Strain!  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Lots of phone calls coming tomorrow, Ralph, just to tell you.  Stay by that phone tomorrow!  Let’s go to the Lord in prayer.

Father, open our hearts; open our minds.  Help us think Your thoughts after You as we look at Your...

March

Training for Kingdom Living

Now let me invite you please to take your copies of God’s Word in your hands and turn with me to the gospel according to Matthew, chapter 13.  Matthew chapter 13, which you’ll find on page 818 and 819 in the church Bibles.  Before we read, let’s go to God together in prayer.  Let’s pray together.

Father, would You please help us to understand...

It is such a privilege and an honor to be invited here tonight to be a part of this time, a new chapter beginning in this church.  And I just first want to thank the Pearl Singers.  Thank you for coming and being a part of our worship.  That was wonderful and it added so much.  Thank you for being here.  And guys, I’m jealous of the ties...

Training for Kingdom Living

Now let me invite you please to take your copies of God’s Word in your hands and turn with me to the gospel according to Matthew, chapter 13.  Matthew’s gospel chapter 13.  If you’re using one of the church Bibles you’ll find that on page 818.  Before we read God’s Word together, let’s bow our heads and ask for His help as we pray.  Let us all pray.

...

Zechariah Part 1: The Coming Kingdom

Now if you would, please take your copies of God’s Word and turn once again with me to the prophecy of Zechariah, Zechariah chapter 4.  If you’re using one of the church Bibles you’ll find that on page 794.  Zechariah chapter 4.  Before we read let’s go to God and ask for His help.  Let’s pray together.

Our Father, we believe that the Lord...

Blog Entry on Mar 19, 2014

To the Congregation of First Presbyterian Church

I am writing on behalf of the nine-person Pulpit Search Committee: Ned Currie, Beverly Harmon, Paul Hurst, Laura Husband, Ben Roberson, Jerry Shivers, Bill Stone, Danny Story and myself. The Committee is very excited about our unanimous recommendation to you to call David Strain as the next senior minister of First Presbyterian Church.

Continue Reading

...

Scandalous Grace: Jesus' Meals with Sinners

Sermon on Mar 19, 2014

John 21:1-23

Good evening.  It’s a pleasure to be with you all this evening.  I usually am downstairs with the junior high students where I do enjoy being and I’m grateful to have been down there almost eight years, so thank you for the opportunity of getting to pour into the lives of these junior high and senior high students.  And every now and then folks will ask, “How can...

Zechariah Part 1: The Coming Kingdom

Now if you would please take your copies of God’s Word and turn with me to the prophecy of Zechariah chapter 3, Zechariah chapter 3, which you will find on page 794 if you’re reading with me in one of the church Bibles.  Before we read, let me remind you a little bit about the context and then we’ll pray and then we’ll read the Word of God...

Training for Kingdom Living

Now let me invite you please to take your copies of God’s Word in hand and turn with me to the gospel according to Matthew, chapter 13.  Matthew chapter 13 - on page 819 if you’re using one of the church Bibles.  We’re going to be reading from the forty-fourth verse through verse fifty-two.  Before we do that, let’s turn to the Lord together for His help as...

Pastor's Perspective on Mar 12, 2014

I am so pleased with the announcement that David Strain has been unanimously nominated by our Pulpit Committee to be our next Senior Minister at First Presbyterian Church. This will now be put to a vote by the congregation on March 30 and is subject to Presbytery approval on May 6. I am absolutely confident the Pulpit Committee worked hard and reached the correct decision. The following was...

Scandalous Grace: Jesus' Meals with Sinners

Unrecognized Beauty

Please turn with me in your Bibles to Luke 24.  Luke 24.  And before we read, something to consider.  If any of you know any names associated with classical music you probably have heard the name, Joshua Bell.  Joshua Bell was actually in concert in Jackson just, I believe, it’s been in the last month or two.  Joshua Bell is one of the best...

Blog Entry on Mar 12, 2014

The thrust of Zechariah is essentially this: After the discipline of the Exile, Zechariah declares that God is renewing his commitment to restore Judah as his treasured people.

Continue Reading

Please turn with me in your Bibles to Romans chapter 5.  It’s on page 942 in your pew Bible; Romans chapter 5.  And before we read, something to consider - I shared this story a few months ago, but last April, my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and she now comes to Jackson every three weeks and she does her treatment at St. Dominic’s Hospital.  And when...

Let’s go together to the Lord in prayer.

Father, open our hearts now to Your Word and would what You say be uppermost in our hearts and our minds.  May we hear from You; may we hear Your voice and Your Word. Feed our souls, O Good Shepherd of the sheep.  We make our prayer in Jesus’ name and for His sake.  Amen.

...
Blog Entry on Mar 7, 2014

On Thursday, February 27th, David Robertson and Ted Ammon debated the question of whether or not someone can be morally good without God.  From the Christian perspective, it was a treat to see Robertson, a fellow believer, using the opportunity to major on man’s sin, which ultimately pointed those of us in the room to the need for a gracious God to provide a Savior.

Continue...

Article on Mar 5, 2014

BE IT RESOLVED by the Congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, Mississippi, that:

The Congregation elect twenty (20) additional Deacons, the election to be held in the sanctuary of the church after the regular 8:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 6:00 p.m. worship services on Sunday, September 14, 2014, and each Sunday thereafter, after the regular 8:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 6:00 p.m. worship services...

Scandalous Grace: Jesus' Meals with Sinners

Well after a week break from the Mission Conference we’re picking up The Scandalous Grace series as David has already told you this evening.  Last time we were here together for this meeting Ralph Kelley looked at the meal that Jesus shared with Zacchaeus, who was a short, despised tax-collector, a notorious sinner, and we saw the grace of God in that narrative.  Tonight we’re going to look...

It’s my privilege to be here, also my wife Annabel, she’s delighted to be here.  We thank you for your kindness and hospitality to us.  We’ve been here many times and it’s encouraging to see some of the things that are going on.  It’s kind of strange having David Strain here.  I don’t mean for you; for me, he is one of our students.  I think the first...

It is my privilege to be here and to hear you guys as well.  I’m quite worried that you’re sitting behind me, so just be careful with those bows and things!  Alright?  But it’s great to be here with every single one of you.  I want to look at God’s Word at Philippians chapter 1 and we’re going to look at just a few verses there, verse 19...

February

Blog Entry on Feb 28, 2014

Going on a mission trip for the first time can be daunting, especially if it is to a foreign field where you don't know the language or customs. Just thinking of the strange food you'll eat, strange bed you'll be sleeping in, the cultural faux pas you might make, or even the dangers that you may face, can be enough to give you serious doubts about going. The...

Blog Entry on Feb 28, 2014

The following posts are part of the blog series "The Harvest is Plentiful", and was done in conjunction with 2014 Mission Conference at FPC Jackson. Clink on the links below to read the entire series.

Pt. 1 "First Month of Ministry at RUF Belhaven" by Rev. Seth Starkey, RUF Belhaven

Pt. 2 "Am I Missionary?" by Rev. David Strain, Minister of Teaching and Mission, FPC Jackson...

Blog Entry on Feb 27, 2014

My mom tells me that when I was born she would hide my face in public. True story! She couldn't handle the grimacing looks people gave when they saw me. Apparently, I was so hideous that she took very few pictures of me as an infant. This was mostly due to a massive stork bite that rested right between my eyes. I know you're thinking, "O bless his...

Sermon on Feb 26, 2014

Isaiah 6:1-9

Good evening.  Let me first thank the Missions Committee, the Session, and the Reverend Mr. Strain for this invitation.  Indeed not one I take lightly.  It’s a privilege to stand in this pulpit. As you all know, Second Pres. Greenville is Dr. Duncan’s home church so I felt connected to this place for years before I ever actually saw the church, so we’ve been loving for y’all and...

Article on Feb 26, 2014

BE IT RESOLVED by the Congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, Mississippi, that:

The Congregation elect eight (8) additional Ruling Elders, the election to be held in the sanctuary of the church after the regular 8:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 6:00 p.m. worship services on Sunday, August 3, 2014, and each Sunday thereafter, after the regular 8:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 6:00 p.m....

Blog Entry on Feb 25, 2014

Am I a missionary?

The typical image of a missionary involves intrepid westerners venturing into unexplored territory, risking life and limb in the cause of reaching distant tribes in exotic locations. The names of the missionary heroes of the past immediately come to mind: William Carey in India, Adoniram Judson in Burma, David Livingstone in Africa, Hudson Taylor in China, Jim Elliot in Ecuador. Praise God...

Blog Entry on Feb 24, 2014

Editors' note: The following post from Rev. Seth Starkey is part of a  blog series in conjunction with 2014 Mission Conference at FPC Jackson. 

2014 is off to the races for the Starkey family. This has been, without a doubt, the craziest 2 months of our lives. I arrived in Jackson on Monday, December 30 with all (well, nearly all) of my earthly possessions but without my pregnant...

Now let me invite you to turn with me in your Bibles to the gospel according to Matthew, chapter 11. Matthew’s gospel chapter 11.  We’re going to be focusing our attention on the last section of the chapter, verses 25 to the end; you’ll find that on page 816 of the New Testament sections of your Bibles.  Before we read God’s Word, we’re going to bow our heads...

Now would you please turn with me in your copies of God’s Word to the book of Romans, chapter 15?  You’ll find it there on page 949 if you’re using one of the church Bibles.  Romans chapter 15.  We’re going to be reading from verse 8 through verse 13.  Before we do, let me pray first of all and then there will be a brief word by way...

Scandalous Grace: Jesus' Meals with Sinners

If you would, either open your Bibles or look on that sheet that’s on the back table and we’re going to turn to Luke 19.  And we’re going to look at the first ten verses of Luke 19.  As you’re turning there, let me just set the stage for you a little bit.  Jesus is in Jericho.  He’s about an eight hour walk away from Jerusalem, so just...

After Exile

In tandem with our sermon series from the Book of Zechariah on Lord’s Day Evenings, we will be doing a series of short blog posts on the Post-Exilic Prophets, giving a brief introduction to some of their themes and messages. But for now, how about a brief introduction to this obscure little section of the Old Testament called the Post-Exilic Prophets? For starters, what in the world do...

Well thank you.  It is a real joy and a privilege to be with you this morning.  I bring the greetings of the church I serve in west London, IPC Ealing, and we are very grateful to this congregation.  Last year your missions committee gave a very generous gift which has enabled us to employ apprentices, employ apprentices, and we’re so grateful for that.  And I want to...

Well let me congratulate you, those who have resisted the evils of Downton Abbey, and have come to evening worship which is far, far better than a terrible British export.  I’d love you to turn if you would to 1 Corinthians 15; it’s on page 961.  And while you’re turning there, let me say thank you very much.  You are a warm congregation and it has been...

Life Toward God

Paul Levy, a Welshman, has been at International Presbyterian Church (IPC) of Ealing, London, since 2003.

Pastor's Perspective on Feb 13, 2014

Though being without a Senior Minister is not ideal, one of the blessings we have had lately is the presence of some very fine men filling the pulpit for us here at First Presbyterian Jackson. I have been thankful and blessed by every sermon here in 2014. This coming week is no exception. We are delighted to welcome The Reverend Paul Levy to our pulpit starting...

Sermon on Feb 8, 2014

John 20:19-31

I am grateful for the opportunity again to open the Word of God and to be with you under it.  As we turn to the gospel according to John, we’re reading a portion of the twentieth chapter.  If you are using the pew Bibles, which are in the racks before you, you may find the Scripture printed beginning on page 906 and continuing to page 907.  The late...

Zechariah Part 1: The Coming Kingdom

Now if you would please turn with me in your copies of God’s Word to the book of Zechariah, chapter 2.  If you’re using one of the church Bibles you’ll find that on page 793.  A good way to find Zechariah, remember, is to start with the gospel of Matthew and work backwards - Matthew, Malachi, then Zechariah.  Zechariah chapter 2.  And we’re going to read God’s Word...

Blog Entry on Feb 7, 2014

Every year during the month-long break between the fall and spring semesters, I try to read a biography or two (Admittedly, my default response when presented with extra leisure time is to fill it with more reading). This year, I am finishing up a short little biography on the English Presbyterian Matthew Henry (1662-1714). Most well-known for his Commentary on the Whole Bible and Method for Prayer, this short little biography...

Article on Feb 4, 2014

Filemon S.

Working in student ministries in Eastern Europe, Filemon seeks to introduce the gospel to students in the local university. In his country, which is 95% Roman Catholic, he prays for good soil in the hearts of the students in which the gospel may take root. He hopes to see a new church planted in the next year in the area he has...

Scandalous Grace: Jesus' Meals with Sinners

Turn with my in your copy of God’s Word to Luke chapter 10 verses 38 to 42 - Jesus in the home of Mary and Martha.  It’s a passage we know well.  It’s a passage in which we identify quite easily with one of these sisters and perhaps not quite so easily with the other.  It’s a passage that we’ve looked at both in Bible studies and worship...

Good morning to you.  I’ve told folks last night and this morning that our having sent you Molly and Wiley Lowry and their three cute kids, you owe us big time for that!  I’m delighted to be here.  It was a joy to be here this weekend for the Men’s Rally, something that Jim Baird and some others of you started twenty-nine years ago.  It’s a great tradition. ...

Zechariah Part 1: The Coming Kingdom

Now let me invite you to turn with me in your copy of God’s Word to the book of Zechariah chapter 1.  Zechariah chapter 1.  You will find that on page 793 if you’re using the church Bible.  We’re going to be reading verses 7 through the end of the first chapter.  Before we do, let me invite you to turn with me to God for His help...

Blog Entry on Feb 1, 2014

Last night, First Presbyterian Church of Jackson hosted the 29th Annual Mid-South Men’s Rally. With just under 1000 men from all over Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, and beyond,  it was a great night full of biblical preaching,  thunderous hymn-singing, and warm fellowship. Most significantly, we were treated to two stirring expositions from God’s Word by the Rev. Sandy Willson, Senior Minister of Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, TN.

...

January

Blog Entry on Jan 30, 2014

The theme for our Women in the Church this year has been, “His Love is the Theme of Our Song,” and it was inspired by the verses from Ephesians 3:16-19, “I pray that you…may have power…to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses all knowledge.”  All of our Bible studies, Circle Studies, programs, and...

Pastor's Perspective on Jan 29, 2014

Though it is true our dear friend Ligon Duncan is no longer our senior minister, I wanted to tell you something very exciting about his ministry to us. We have been working a long time getting the entire catalog of his preaching ministry during Ligon’s tenure as our senior minister available online. This project involves converting sermons stored on audio cassettes to a digital format. So far this...

Scandalous Grace: Jesus' Meals with Sinners

Sermon on Jan 28, 2014

Luke 9:10-17

If you have your Bibles, I’d invite you to turn with me now to Luke chapter 9.  It’s also printed there in the prayer bulletin for you.  And I want to begin by saying what a privilege it is to stand before you as we study God’s Word together tonight.  Yes, yes, yes - I know everybody has said that and you’re supposed to say that but it...

Sermon on Jan 25, 2014

John 6:16-21

Now let me invite you please to take your copies of God’s Word in your hands and turn with me to the gospel according to John, chapter 6.  John’s gospel chapter 6.  You will find that on page 891 if you’re reading from one of the church Bibles.  We’re going to be focusing our attention this morning on the words of verses 16 to 21.  Before we read...

Zechariah Part 1: The Coming Kingdom

Sermon on Jan 25, 2014

Zechariah 1:1-6

Now let me invite you once again to take your copies of God’s Word in hand and turn with me this time to the Old Testament Scriptures and to the prophecy of Zechariah.  You need to find Zechariah, actually start with the gospel of Matthew and then work backwards.  Matthew, Malachi, Zechariah.  I say that because if you’re like me, Zechariah is one of those books, one of...

Pastor's Perspective on Jan 22, 2014

As you are well aware, we have had several changes in staffing around here since January 1st. Along with Ligon leaving, we had to say goodbye to Billy Joseph last week. I wrote to you recently about Gary Sinclair joining the staff, and I am looking forward to you getting to know Gary and his family. Another change the New Year brought us here at First Presbyterian Church...

Scandalous Grace: Jesus' Meals with Sinners

Sermon on Jan 21, 2014

Luke 7:36-50

Turn in your Bibles to Luke chapter or you can look on your bulletin there; you can find it there as well.  We’re in the third part of our series, “Scandalous Grace:  Jesus’ Meals with Sinners,” and we’re here where Jesus encounters a sinful woman.  F. W. Boreham, he was a 19th century pastor and writer, he once wrote that “life is largely a matter of luggage.”  He...

Life Toward God

Podcast Episode on Jan 21, 2014

David Strain discusses upcoming Sunday evening sermon series on the book of Zechariah.

Sermon on Jan 18, 2014

Psalm 48:1-14

Please take your copy of God’s Word and turn with me to Psalm 48.  Psalm 48.  As you are turning, I just want to say it’s a great privilege to be with you, a great privilege to come and talk a little bit about Blessed Zion and explain why I titled the history of First Pres. Blessed Zion.  I hope what we’ll find as we come to God’s...

Sermon on Jan 18, 2014

John 8:1-11

A little commercial please.  Number one, you need to pray for Ligon.  He has great responsibilities as he leaves you to become chancellor of Reformed Theological Seminary.  And I know you will continue to pray for him and thank God for the great ministry that he’s had here.  Number two, you need to be thankful for this staff here.  I’ve gotten to know them better and better just...

Pastor's Perspective on Jan 15, 2014

In October of 2002, after 21 years of serving with Reformed University Ministries, Billy Joseph joined the staff of First Presbyterian Jackson. For the last 11 years, Billy has faithfully served our church as the minister of congregational care.  For those members who decided to join First Presbyterian by way of the Inquirers class, Billy has been one of the first pastors here whom you have gotten to...

Sermon on Jan 11, 2014

Acts 20:32

If you have your Bibles, I’d like you to turn with me to Acts chapter 20 verse 32.  My heart is filled with many very specific thanks and if I get started on those thanks I would leave someone out and so as much as I want to do that I am going to restrain myself.  I do think that I need to publically thank Anne and Sarah...

Sermon on Jan 11, 2014

2 Samuel 9:1-13

Please turn with me in your Bibles to 2 Samuel chapter 9.  2 Samuel chapter 9; it begins on page 260 in your pew Bible.  And just before we read, something to consider - when I was a junior in high school I was living in Fayetteville, Arkansas; it was 2001 and my dad is a football coach but he was out of coaching for a few years...

One thing Ligon has impressed on us as he has prepared us for his leaving is that we at First Presbyterian Church have always been and will always be Word centered people.  So, with that in mind, I thought I would take this opportunity to let you know what the teaching schedule looks like for the upcoming weeks.

We got our new year off to a...

Scandalous Grace: Jesus' Meals with Sinners

Sermon on Jan 7, 2014

John 2:1-10

If you would, take your copies of God’s Word or turn in your bulletin to the back of the bulletin where you’ll find our passage for this evening - John’s gospel chapter 2 and the first eleven verses; John 2:1-11.  

At the Table with Jesus

Who you eat with says a very great deal about you.  Who is welcome at your table speaks...

Sermon on Jan 4, 2014

Isaiah 61:1-11

Please be seated.  David’s welcomed visitors; I also extend a warm welcome to Belhaven students I see several of out here tonight.  We’re glad you’re here. It’s a big night for all of us.  It’s a big night for RUF Belhaven.  We appreciate you being here this evening. Seth’s installation tonight as RUF campus minister at Belhaven University gives us an opportunity to think together about what the...

Sermon on Jan 4, 2014

John 19:16-30

Now please turn in your Scripture to the Gospel according to John.    If you’re using the pew Bibles that are in the racks for you, you may find our Scripture printed beginning on page 905, in the middle of the nineteenth chapter.  I do count it a privilege to open the Word of God, to worship with you this morning, this, of course, the first Lord’s Day...

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