Morning Musing: Mark 13:11

“So when they arrest you and hand you over, don’t worry beforehand what you will say, but say whatever is given to you at that time, for it isn’t you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been put on the spot to speak? Some people thrive in that kind of an environment. I’m not generally one of those. I’m the kind of guy who wants to have everything written out ahead of time. I’m much better on paper than in person. I’d rather put in the effort to memorize a sermon entirely than to walk into the pulpit with nothing more than an outline. In fact, I’ve done that. In seminary, our preaching classes all pushed us in the direction of preaching without notes. They wanted us to learn how to think from an outline. I refused to play ball. I wrote my sermons, memorized them word for word, and dutifully delivered them without notes. The thought of being expected to deliver more than a few words without some sort of heads up makes my stomach churn. Sometimes, though, you don’t get that chance. Sometimes you don’t get that chance and the words you’re expected to deliver are a defense of the Gospel in a pressure situation. Jesus here offers some hope for those situations.

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Morning Musing: Acts 17:25

“nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.”
– ‭‭Acts‬ ‭17:25‬‬ (ESV – Read the chapter

Have you ever done someone else a favor? I suspect so. That’s not an uncommon thing to do. It’s a basic cultural courtesy in most human cultures. Someone needs something, we are able to do it for them without cost, and so we do. And, while we don’t often cash in on this right away, there’s usually an unspoken understanding that once this favor has been given, a favor is now deserved. In most cases, this whole system keeps society running smoothly. But, what about the times when it doesn’t work? Paul touches on one here. 

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Morning Musing: Matthew 10:19-20

“When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.  For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

This is a really encouraging verse, but an often misunderstood one. Jesus is promising to have our back when we put ourselves on the line for His sake and find ourselves in the hot seat because of it. He is not telling us that we can be lazy when it comes to preparing for the possibility that we might find ourselves there. Read the rest…

The One Thing

This Sunday I focused my attention specifically on the graduates we were honoring.  If you’ve got a graduate in your life, this is a great message to share with them.  Even if you’re not a graduate, though, this is a message you need to hear.  In what follows I offer an answer to the question of how we can be prepared to give a reason for the hope we have in an increasingly non-Christian context.  Thanks for reading.

The One Thing

I don’t know about you, but new things always make me at least a little bit nervous.  I thrive in environments that are stable and consistent.  I can tolerate a little bit of change…a very little bit of change…but it’s got to be within preset limits.  Beyond that, I’m outside my comfort zone.  Perhaps the most nervous I have gotten at various points in my life is when I have started a new job.  I remember starting work at OfficeMax in seminary.  The first week was nice because I got to sit in the back office and take training courses on the computer.  They were functionally meaningless since I didn’t remember any of them once I left the room and in any event I learned everything I needed to know while I was actually doing it, but I did get to spend the whole first week hiding out.  Once I hit the floor, that’s when things got scary. Read the rest…

Morning Musing: 1 Peter 3:15

“…but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

This is perhaps the chief theme verse for the discipline of apologetics.  Apologetics is, of course, the discipline of making arguments in defense of the Christian faith.  Much has been written about this verse.  Let me make three observations here. Read the rest…