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Sermons on Christian Life

And before we jump in and read, something to orient us to our text tonight. The New York Times bestseller, The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, is the story of the rowing team at the University of Washington in Seattle and their quest for gold at the 1936 Olympics, which took place in Berlin, Germany. And it’s these college guys from working and middle-class families, the sons of loggers...

Do Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly

We began to consider the message of Micah a few weeks ago. We turn now to these two chapters were Micah continues his oracle, his message of rebuke and discipline on wayward Israel. Israel is divided into two kingdoms - the northern kingdom takes the name “Israel,” the southern kingdom the name, “Judah,” but they are God’s people. Micah has an oracle of warning and judgment for them...

How People Change

There is a scene that takes place toward the end, the very end of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, towards the very end of the third book, The Return of the King. And it’s during this great battle and there is this unlikely warrior, a girl named Eowyn, who sneaks onto the battlefield. And as she is there, she finds her king, the King of Rohan, and he’s wounded on...

Affliction in Verse

Now if you would take a Bible and turn with me to the book of Job as we continue our overview of the teaching of the book of Job. You remember the situation. Job is suffering terribly and his three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, have showed up and after seven days of sitting in silence, they've begun to offer their point of view, their perspective, to try...

One of the more memorable graduation speeches from recent years was given by David McCullough Jr. to the Wellesley High School graduating class of 2012. Wellesley is a prestigious high school in New England. But McCullough told the graduating class that day these words. He said, "Contrary to what your U-9 soccer trophies suggest, what your glowing seventh-grade report card said, despite every assurance of Barney the dinosaur...

Entering the Crucible of Unbelief

And so first, what is happening here? What is the story of John chapter 20? Let’s look together at the text; a couple of things. Beginning in chapter 20, Jesus, we see this, He’s been crucified, buried. We see at the beginning of chapter 20, resurrected. We see then that He’s appeared to His disciples and His friends. And sometime in the week following Jesus’ resurrection, this conversation...

Entering the Crucible of Unbelief

A few months ago I finished a Wendell Berry novel that split me open. The book is entitled, Remembering, and in it, Berry chronicles the life of a farmer named Andy Catlett. Andy Catlett lives and farms in Port William, Kentucky with his wife and his children and his parents. And one October at daybreak, as harvest was almost over, the field was almost finished, Andy was trying to...

Entering the Crucible of Unbelief

C. S. Lewis, in his book, The Great Divorce, tells the story of a group of people who are standing between heaven and hell. And towards the end of the book, Lewis describes a man who is limping and he has a lizard on his shoulder. And the lizard’s words captivate the man, and yet they also leave him weak, chained to a life he hates. And the lizard...

I need to set just a little bit of a stage here as we’re looking into this thought-provoking, relatively familiar passage for many of us. It’s a somewhat amusing section of Scripture in some ways as well. This comes in the last days of our Lord’s ministry on earth. You see in verse 1, Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart out of the world and...

Rewire

Paul has been talking about the nature and the boundary, the limits, of Christian freedom. The Corinthians had written to him asking for advice about a particular problem that was especially pressing in the culture in which they lived. Food, meat was often sold in the market as surplus to requirements after having first been used in the sacrifices of the pagan temples in the city of Corinth. And so...

Let’s look briefly at Ahab’s faith because it does help us understand more clearly Obadiah’s faith. It provides a backdrop or a foil for it. Ahab’s faith is simple to understand. It’s faith in Ahab. It’s faith in Ahab. Ahab has been faced with the man of God speaking the Word of God, “There’s no more rain until I say,” and he knows why – because he has...

The Gospel for the Rest of Us

Chuck Swindoll tells the story of a young man in Long Beach, California who decided to go by his favorite fried chicken place one day – never a bad idea! – to get some lunch for him and his date and he got the bag and he went out to meet his date and he opened up the bag and it turned out that the employee who was...

The Gospel for the Rest of Us

We moved to Mississippi about a year-and-a-half ago and after being here just a short time we really can’t imagine living anywhere else, but one of the things we miss about where we used to live in Raleigh, North Carolina, is that our family lived about five to ten minutes from my older brother and his family. And so it was not uncommon on weekends that we’d get...

The Gospel for the Rest of Us

Some of y’all may remember the name Jim Fixx. He quite literally wrote the book on running in the 1970s. It was published in 1978. It was called, The Complete Guide to Running. He was world renown for his expertise on not only his times but also how he ran and how he taught people to run. But one day he was out jogging on a road near his home...

I invite you to take your Bible and turn with me to Psalm 31. If you’re using the pew Bible in front of you, it’s on page 461. This is a longer psalm, but a powerful psalm in that it not only shows us the rescue of God, but it shows us what we need to be rescued from in ways that we don’t normally think...

How to Live in the Last Days

As you’re being seated, please turn in your Bibles to Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, 1 Thessalonians chapter 3, and we’ll be studying verses 6 through 13 this evening; that’s found on page 987 if you’re using a pew Bible. Before we listen to God’s Word, let us pray and ask His blessing on it.

Our Father in heaven, we would...

How to Live in the Last Days

As you’re being seated, please turn with me in your Bibles to Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, 1 Thessalonians. You’ll find it on page 986 if you’re using a pew Bible. Again, Happy New Year to you! In the next couple of months we’ll be preaching through this entire book of 1 Thessalonians. Tonight we will study chapter 1 together and the title of this...

Stories that Stick

As you’re being seated, please turn to Matthew chapter 13, the gospel of Matthew that’s the first book in the New Testament. It’s on pages 818 and 819, the section we’ll be studying this evening in the pew Bibles. Matthew 13, verses 24 through 30, and then 36 through 43. Before we read God’s Word together, let us go to Him in prayer.

O...

New Community

If you would take a copy of God’s Word in your hands and turn with me again to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, chapter 5. If you’re using one of our church Bibles you’ll find that on page 978. Once you have the Scriptures open before you, would you bow your heads with me as we pray together? Let’s pray.

Lord, our prayer as...

It is indeed a great privilege and joy for me to stand in this pulpit and bring the Word of God to you. First Presbyterian Church has been a home to me and to my wife. We were married at Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church but this was the church I was attending and my first son was born here and it has been a great delight to move...

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