Digging in Deeper: Matthew 5:8

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever seen a movie that didn’t know what it was trying to be? That can be a frustrating experience. You want to enjoy the film, but you only want to enjoy one film, not three or four at the same time. Writing a story (or much of anything for that matter) can be tough. I can speak to this rather personally as I write a few thousand words every week. Not many of those words are for the purpose of telling a story, but writing a sermon requires the same kind of discipline. Too many potentially good sermons have fallen victim to the curse of not knowing what they are trying to be. The preacher starts out making one point, but then just can’t quite restrain himself from making two or three others. The jumbled mess that results from this may feel very inspiring in a moment, but doesn’t often stick beyond that. I recently finished watching a movie that suffers from this very thing. It’s too bad too, because I really wanted it to be good. Let’s talk this morning about the latest offering from the wizarding world of Harry Potter: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

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Morning Musing: Genesis 3:1a

“Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman…” (CSB – Read the chapter)

So far in the creation story things have been at least believable. I mean, depending on where you stand on the existence of the supernatural it may sound pretty far-fetched, but if there is a God powerful enough to create the world and everything in it, it’s conceivable at least that He spoke it into existence. We can even get our minds around the more intimate picture of the creation of the man and the woman in chapter 2. This, however, is where things run off the rails.

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Morning Musing: 2 Samuel 16:3

“And the king said, ‘And where is your master’s son?’ Ziba said to the king, ‘Behold, he remains in Jerusalem, for he said, “Today the house of Israel will give me back the kingdom of my father.”’”  (CSB – Read the chapter) ‬‬

Mephibosheth was delusional. It perhaps wasn’t obvious to anyone who saw him or interacted with him on a daily basis, but there was a delusion in his heart all the same. As long as it stayed there things were pretty good for him, but now that it had shown itself, the walls of reality were going to come crashing in on him. Hard.  

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A Final Word on Reality

In this final part of the teaching series, A Word on Reality, we at last wrap up John’s masterful letter.  In the end we find a strong reaffirmation of God’s testimony about Jesus and a final call to live comfortably within the borders of reality.  It is only there that we will find the life for which we most long.  Keep reading for more.


A Final Word on Reality

Well, we have finally reached the end of our journey through 1 John.  And what a journey it has been!  We have come a long way and have covered a lot of ground since the beginning of July.  Some of it has been very encouraging and some has been pretty hard-hitting.  What I have tried my best to do, though, throughout this series is to leave you with a clear outline of the boundaries of reality.  Surely not all of this life is black and white, but life according to the law of the kingdom is a simple thing.  It’s not easy, but it is simple: believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God and act in the light of that belief in every circumstance of your life.  Piece of cake, right?  Let’s be real here—that is, after all, what all of this has been about.  Reality is rarely a breeze, but it is always right.  And the call of not only this letter, but of our entire lives is to live in God’s reality, not the world’s fantasy.  Before finishing out the letter this morning, let’s look back over where we’ve been so everything is fresh. Read the rest…

Love Flows Out

Yesterday morning in our journey through 1 John we finally got to the point of defining love.  What is love and what are the five implications for getting it right in our lives that John outlines?  Keep reading to find out.


Love Flows Out

Near the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus looked at the crowd gathered around Him and said this: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Read the rest…