Morning Musing: Genesis 3:15

“I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Jesus came to save sinners. That was His basic purpose in a nutshell. I mean, sure, there’s the whole thing about announcing the inauguration of the kingdom of God, but the growth of God’s kingdom happens as sinners are saved and enter into it. So, Jesus came to save sinners. What’s even better about this is that, as Paul wrote in Romans 5:8, He undertook this whole effort when we were still living in open rebellion against Him. That is, we weren’t particularly interested in being saved if it meant giving up our sin, but He came anyway because we didn’t really understand how bad off we were. His love for us was that great. This program of saving sinners, though, wasn’t something that came out of nowhere. It wasn’t like God finally got tired of our being separated from Him and suddenly threw a plan into action. It was the bringing to fruition of something He had been planning for a very long time. This morning, let’s take a quick look together at the first time that plan was announced.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: John 1:1-3,14

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. . .The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

This morning we are making a transition. For the next few weeks, we are going to use this time to focus our attention on the season of Advent. For most folks generally and even most followers of Jesus, what follows the celebration of Thanksgiving (at least in this country) is the Christmas season. But in the historical church calendar, what we enter into at the beginning of December is the season of Advent. Advent is from a Latin word that means arrival. In the season of Advent, we are focusing our attention on preparing to celebrate the arrival of Jesus into the world. Of course, we aren’t awaiting His first coming like our ancient forebears were. Rather, we are looking forward with hopeful expectation to His second coming when He will finally make all things right. This is something we should be living our lives toward all the time, but during the season of Advent, we give it special attention with Jesus’ first coming in mind. All this month we are going to do just that through the lens of several passages throughout the Scriptures that will help us prepare in heart and mind for His arrival in our lives and in our world, and to get us ready to celebrate Christmas when it finally comes with special joy and excitement.

Read the rest…

RSVP

This past Sunday kicks off the season of Advent. We can officially start getting ready for Christmas now. As we move forward in this season, we are going to be exploring the story of Jesus’ birth in the Gospel of Luke. As you read that story something that becomes clear is that in sending Jesus to earth, God was turning the world on its head. Over the next few weeks, we are going to explore together just how He was planning to do that and what the results of it have been. Tune in each week as we work through this incredible set of stories to see how God turned the world upside down.

RSVP

Let me pull back the curtain for you just a bit this morning on the process of doing what I do up here each week. Coming up with the title for a sermon can be an interesting exercise. Some pastors really don’t put much thought into it, but like a good title for a book draws you in before you’ve read it, a good title for a sermon will draw the listener in before she’s heard it. The same thing goes when trying to construct a title for a whole series. Now, different preachers take different approaches in their preaching. For some, they can simply make the title of the book they are preaching through the title of the series and walk away. In that sense, I could have called this series, Luke 1:4-2:40. Even if you’re a full-on Bible nerd, though, that doesn’t sound very exciting. It sounds like a verse reference…which is because it is. 

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Romans 1:21

“For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I recently had the chance to visit a traveling exhibit about Auschwitz, the most infamous of the Nazi concentration camps. The exhibit was powerful and moving. It did not shy away from any of the grisliest details of what happened there. And what happened there was the systematic extermination of more than a million Jews and others the Nazi leadership believed to be unfit for life in the Third Reich. This kind of sobering encounter with the absolute worst of human evil ever unleashed on the world is something everyone should experience. That being said, the exhibit was not without its problems. Allow me to highlight one that kept it from being fully what it could have been.

Continue reading “Digging in Deeper: Romans 1:21”

Morning Musing: Ephesians 5:20

“…giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (CSB – Read the chapter)

This is a day for giving thanks. It is Thanksgiving, after all. At least it is in the United States. If you are one of the many folks reading somewhere else in the world today is probably just Thursday where you are. A few other nations around the world have some sort of national day set aside for giving thanks, but not very many. There is a reason for this. As you pause for a moment in your busy preparations for food and family (and probably football) later today, let’s talk for just a moment about why we give thanks.

Continue reading “Morning Musing: Ephesians 5:20”