God, how have You loved us? (Malachi 1:1-5)

From the birth of Jacob and Esau we learn about God's sovereign will. In terms of tradition and heritage, Esau, as firstborn, would be the more honored son. But God decided beforehand that it would be the other way around. God decided to show a special love and grace to Jacob and his descendents. Jacob's descendents did not appreciate this love because they didn't understand it. I fear that many of us commit the same sin in our lives today. How do we notice and appreciate God's love for us? “The oracle of…continue reading →

Handling Questions and Objections (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)

One of the greatest fears Christians have about sharing their faith is that they are afraid they won't have all the answers. You might have a presentation of the gospel memorized perfectly. But what do you do when someone asks you a question? The Bible says “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). That sounds scary. But most people have the same kinds of questions, and as long as we answer gently and humbly God…continue reading →

The Eternal Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:11-14)

It's very difficult for me to imagine what eternity is like. Our lives have a definite beginning, and, in terms of our earthly life, a definite end. I think kids understand eternity better than I do when they have to wait a whole minute to do something that they want to do. The Holy Spirit, being God, is eternal. And He's inside of you if you trust in Christ. Though we think it finite ways, the infinite is living in and through us. How does this impact how we live our lives? “In…continue reading →

Now We Truly Live (1 Thessalonians 3:2-8)

Last summer, just before moving to Nokomis, I went on a mission trip to Joy, Illinois. We served several of the churches in that area, and every day we had done so much that we slept like little babies. But the whole week, I never heard a single complaint. Serving God is not burdensome, it's refreshing. And I thought, “Wow, this is true fellowship.” We were of one mind and purpose. How do we maximize our fellowship and make it as awesome as it can be? “We sent Timothy, who is our brother…continue reading →

Longing for a Better Country (1 Peter 2:13-17)

When I think about our nation, I have many mixed feelings. I love that we have freedom to practice our faith. I love that in a democracy the people have a voice. I love that our Declaration of Independence stated that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But I do not love all things about our nation. We are full of sinful people, of which I am one of them, and we're…continue reading →

The Gospel in 30 Seconds (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)

What method should we use when we share the gospel? Many methods have been used over the years. The Romans Road, FAITH, Evangelism Explosion, Share Jesus Without Fear, and many tracts have all been useful. Then there's always the old Relational versus Confrontational Evangelism discussion. Methods can and should vary, but the message of the gospel must always remain the same. Our specific words matter far less than the power of God working in and through us. “When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as…continue reading →

Freedom in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25)

Spiritual warfare is the unseen battle that occurs every moment in the life of every person in the world. It involves angels and demons, Satan and the Holy Spirit, our spirit and the spirit of this world. All of these things battle for our faithfulness to God. They battle not with swords in order to shed blood. They impress upon us, they urge us, they orchestrate events in our lives. But we ultimately have a choice to make. “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of…continue reading →

The Father Hears Our Cry (Galatians 4:6)

Calling God our “Father” today can lead to many misunderstandings. It's becoming more common for fathers to abandon their families. 43% of children grow up without a father in their home. Of the remaining 57% of children, the father is often disinterested and uninvolved. So when we speak of God being our Father, we have to clarify what we mean. Rather than compare God with earthly fathers, we have to contrast how He is different than stereotypical fathers today. God hears us when we cry out to Him. He makes time for us.…continue reading →

The Spirit Washed Us Clean (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

There's an ongoing debate within Christianity about sanctification. Sanctification is a word that simply refers to the idea that we are or are becoming more holy. Some say that once we come to believe in Christ, we are perfect and sinless. Others say that we may not be sinless the moment we come to faith, but we can attain perfection in this life through obedience. Still others say that there's something about our physical baptism that washes away our sins. What we believe about this has a huge impact on how we live.…continue reading →

Responding with the Reason (1 Peter 3:9-16)

I think most Christians want to share their faith. But out of fear they shy back from it. Yet once they get the conversation started, their fear is often removed completely. Tonight I want to talk about how to lessen the fear of evangelism, and direct conversations to the gospel. “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For "Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from…continue reading →