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Showing posts from December, 2018

Christ Died For Our Sins

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures
(1 Corinthians 15:3)
The truth of the gospel includes this important phrase: Christ died for our sins.

You've probably heard it before. Many times.

Sometimes familiarity leads to a diminished sense of importance. The more you hear about something the more ordinary it may seem. Common. Ho-hum. Boring.

But this truth is anything but common.

Another difficulty arises with this truth. Beyond being common. It may happen in your ears without you even realizing it.

When the truth is declared that Christ died for our sins, you may think you hear the truth. But what you really hear is a diminished version. A partial truth.

Instead of hearing that Christ died for our sins you may hear a slightly different version of this truth. You might hear this: Jesus died for your sins.

Do you see the difference? You should.


These statements are similar. Both may very well be true…

Winning the War, Losing the Home Front

Let me introduce you to my friend. We’ll call him Al. Al’s a great guy. The type of person who is naturally good at just about everything.

Handsome. Athletic. Great at his job.

He brings positivity, excitement, and excellence to everything he does. He even professes to be a Christian. By all appearances he takes his faith seriously. He goes to church. Participates regularly in a Bible study at work. He even took a leadership position at his local church. On the surface, Al is a successful guy. He has his stuff together. But that’s only part of the story.

This morning, as I was walking away from Al's desk I dropped a casual compliment.

"Good luck, Al. I know you'll make this project better. Everything is better when you've worked on it."

His response stopped me dead in my tracks.

"I wish that were true with my kids. They just seem to be getting worse."

I only know a little of Al’s family story. What I do know has me concerned. I know he’s been struggling …

Hallowed Be Thy Name

Growing up, I said the Our Father prayer a lot.

A lot. Multiple times a day.It was part of my religious tradition. Most of the time, I mumbled it as quickly as I could.

For what it's worth, my Dad tried to help me understand that mumbling the prayer without understanding what it really meant wasn't the goal. He wanted me to understand it. He wanted me to mean it.

I remember sitting with him in the car one afternoon while we went through every phrase. He did his best to explain to me what the terms meant. Why we would say these things. Why it mattered.

It didn't take.

Although I became better equipped to describe the meaning of the phrases, I still mumbled them as fast as I could so I could move on to the next part of my day.

Fast forward many years. After being born-again by the grace of God I started to read my Bible. I desired to know God and His Word. I remember when I stumbled upon Jesus teaching the disciples to pray the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6. I was both excit…

Five Truths For The Ministry of Sowing

"He who has ears to hear, let him hear." (Mark 4:9) I pay a lot of attention to how the gospel is preached. I listen carefully to invitations to accept Christ. I compare the things I hear to Scripture. I compare them to how Jesus, the Apostles, and other Christians in the New Testament preached.

Much of what I hear today doesn't sound like what I read.

My desire is to make my own proclamation and gospel testimony sound more like the example of Christ. More like the Apostles. Less like a salesman.

How about you?

If we want to understand the ministry of sowing, we can find no better teacher than Jesus. This is His teaching:

"Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it wither…