Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 5:11-14

“We have a great deal to say about this, and it is difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand. Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature – for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Did you ever have a bad teacher when you were in school? I don’t just mean a teacher you didn’t like or who wasn’t particularly kind. I’m talking about a teacher who was genuinely not good at teaching. He stood there and lectured endlessly about things no one really understood and never really explained them or entertained questions. He tried so hard to be cool that he never really got around to the teaching part of his job, but then tested you anyway. He covered a difficult subject that he never quite unpacked sufficiently that anyone was following along with him. Bad teachers are frustrating. But sometimes our lack of understanding isn’t a teacher’s fault…it’s ours. We just don’t want to own it, so we blame someone else. The author of Hebrews has been covering some tough stuff so far. He’d like to go further with it, but he knows his audience won’t understand because they’re just average students. He challenges them on this here and leaves us with something to think about in our own lives. Let’s take a minute this morning to do that.

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Growth Is Mandatory

This week we are continuing our series, Generations. Last week we focused our attention on Generation Z and talked about the importance of following. This week the Millennials are in the docket. What is it that Millennials most need to hear in order to get their faith right in the season of life they are in? Read on to find out.

Growth Is Mandatory

I’ve talked before about our gardening exploits. The little garden spot we use does weird things. Last year, for instance, while we had three tomato plants from Jim, only one of them actually produced a tomato. It made its grand appearance in June, grew to about the size of a grape, and stayed that way until about October when it finally turned red. With all of that in mind, this year we tried to get smarter. We have put all of our plants in the same area of the yard, but we put them all in pots. Six plants. Six pots. Easy to maintain and water and weed and the like. What could go wrong? We even have tomatoes on both of our plants. I took a picture of two of them just to document the evidence. And we have blossoms on the squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. Lots of them. But would you believe we still don’t have any produce? We got one little zucchini about the size of my pinky finger (which disappeared before it ever got any bigger), and that’s it. Oh, at the boys’ request, we planted a whole bunch of two different types of sunflowers including one variety that’s supposed to get up to 12-feet tall. About a quarter of those have popped up including just three of the twenty or so seeds we planted in the actual planter box. I’m starting to think there’s something weird about that whole side of our house. Or maybe it’s just us. 

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Morning Musing: 1 Corinthians 4:15

“For you may have countless instructors in Christ, but you don’t have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

When was the last time you got advice from someone else? I suspect it was fairly recently. Oh, it may have not come directly from a person – we tend to be far too isolated from one another these days for that to happen – but if you engage with any form of media (especially social media) you’ve probably received some advice. We live in a world in which there is no shortage of people waiting to tell us how we should live our lives (including, I suppose, this very blog). Some of the advice is general, some of it is very specific, but it is all looking for an opportunity to be given to us. And for all this advice, how are we doing as a people? Are we healthier, wealthier, and wiser? Maybe what we need is not more advice. Maybe Paul is onto something here in what otherwise seems like a stray observation. Let’s explore this a bit together this morning.

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Get Your Head on Right

Is faith all we need to be useful to Jesus? That’s not as easy a question to answer as it might seem. Certainly faith is all we need to enter into a relationship with Him, but being useful goes beyond that. As we continue our series, Being Useful, we talk about something that has to go with our faith if we’re going to hit that mark. Keep reading to find out what it is.

Get Your Head on Right

I grew up in a hymn-singing church.  Every single Sunday morning we sang hymns.  As a result, the great hymns of the faith are like a warm, familiar embrace for me.  I suspect that in this room, I’m not alone in that sentiment either.  I suspect there are many of you who grew up with the hymns and have a genuine love in your heart for them.  Now, I love worshiping by singing more contemporary praise music too, but just like anything that was a regular—and positive—feature of your childhood just feels good, the hymns are that for me. 

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Digging in Deeper: Psalm 81:8

“Hear, O my people, while I admonish you!  O Israel, if you would but listen to me!”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Do you listen to God?  I don’t know about you, but I can pretty easily find myself in a rut of talking to God a lot, but not stopping to listen very often.  I can get into a pattern of reading God’s word every day because I’m supposed to (especially as a pastor!), but not paying very close attention to what He might want to say to me through it.  Let’s just call it what it is: Listening to God is tough. Read the rest…