Leaving Laodicea
423 - The Breathtaking View of Christ

423 - The Breathtaking View of Christ

January 22, 2019

One of the major failures of the church today is to downplay the place of Christ when we come together to worship.  Yes, you heard right.  We, hopefully unknowingly, often relegate Christ to the back pew or the second chair.  And who do we elevate in His place?  Usually the pastor or, often, the worship leader.

And when we come together as a church we have a tendency to preach on the "what's" and "why's" of the Scripture and seldom the "how's".  Think about it.  We know we are commanded to "present our bodies as a living sacrifice" (Rom. 12:1-2), but are never told exactly how to do that.  Did you ever wonder why?

We are commanded to "walk according to the Spirit" (Gal. 5:16), yet are never instructed on how to do that.  We know what it means and why it's important.  But for some reason, our pastors fail to take our hands and show us exactly how to accomplish this command.  Why?

Is it because practical Christianity is not in vogue today?  Or could it be we have become a church made up of those who can tell us what to do but have never experienced it themselves?  Are we more like cowboys driving cattle from the rear than a shepherd leading from the front?

What are we to do?


Seven Things the Church Failed to Teach Me

Recently I was reading a blog that shared these seven things the author said the church never taught him.  And I couldn't agree more.  Consider the following:

  1.  How to practically live by the Christ who dwells inside me.
  2.  How to practically learn how to hear the Lord’s voice beyond “pray and read your Bible.”
  3.  That church-as-we-know-it is drastically different from church-as-God-would-have-it.
  4.  What the gospel of the kingdom is and how radically it can alter a human life.
  5.  How deep the tentacles of the world system go and how to break free from them.
  6.  That God’s presence is extremely subtle most of the time.
  7.  How to find Christ in the Scriptures, including the entire Old Testament.

So in 2019, I have committed to teach the church I pastor the "how's" of the Christian faith and to answer these, and other, practical questions about living for Him.  Will you join with me as we explore the breathtaking view of our Lord together?

The following is a study on the Breathtaking View of Christ found in Colossians 1:15-19 and 2 Colossians 2:9-10.

303 - Our Bonhoeffer Moment

303 - Our Bonhoeffer Moment

May 3, 2015
With our society and culture crumbling all around us it behooves the church to assess its commitment to Christ.  Are you hot or cold or lukewarm?  Is Christ on the outside of the church knocking, waiting, for us to open the door and allow Him into His church? (Rev. 3:20).

These are scary times.  But not unprecedented times.  

In fact, it's these very times that bring out the best in the church.  It's times like these where true men and women of God step forward to take their stand for truth.  

It's the time of Daniel, Elijah, John the Baptist and Gideon.

The following is a study on the call of Gideon.

293 - Credibility and Character

293 - Credibility and Character

February 23, 2015
What's the big deal with pastors today calling themselves apostles?  Why are they doing that and how can that be justified from Scripture?  

Or, better yet, what are the qualifications for the office of apostle?  And, once we determine the qualifications, do any of these pastors meet them?  Can anyone meet them today?  Anyone?

The lesson to be learned in all of this is that credibility is not communicated by titles or degrees.  Credibility is communicated by character.  True, God-like character.  And the fact we have men calling themselves apostles today shows us how much we still need to learn as a church, doesn't it?

The following is a study on Colossians 1:1-2.

261 - Down with the “D” Word!

261 - Down with the “D” Word!

September 21, 2014
In the latter half of Malachi 2 God employs some strong words to convey His feelings about His people and their attitude towards Him.  He uses treacherously five times in 8 verses.  We also find profane or profaning, abomination, and God saying He literally hates something.  

Those two words alone, God and hate, should get our attention.

But what does God hate?  Ah, that's where the "D" word comes in.  

Want to hear more?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Malachi 2:10-17.

259 - Believers with Dirty Faces

259 - Believers with Dirty Faces

September 15, 2014
One of the most sobering and frightening statements by God to the priests, clergy, and believers just like you and me is found in Malachi 2:3.  There God says:

“Behold, I will rebuke your descendants and spread refuse on your faces, the refuse of your solemn feasts; and one will take you away with it."

Just so you know, refuse means dung, fecal matter, excrement.  That's right.  God is saying He will spread or smear excrement on the faces of His priests or clergy or you and me.

Do you want to know why God would do something as drastic as this?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Malachi 2:1-9.

255 - Shut the Door!

255 - Shut the Door!

August 25, 2014
Some of the most scathing words spoken by the Lord to those who have committed their lives to Him, the priests, are found in the first chapter of Malachi.  And I mean scathing words.

But what God says in Malachi is not limited to the priests of Israel, but also to the church today.  These words speak to everyone of us.  They are not to be taken lightly.

Consider the following:  

“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, where is My honor?  And if I am a Master, where is My reverence?" says the Lord of hosts.

Want to know more?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Malachi 1:6-14.

246 - A Warning to the Shepherds of His Church

246 - A Warning to the Shepherds of His Church

June 30, 2014
Today we often forget the condemning indictment God levels against those shepherds of His flock, those pastors of His church, that have forsaken the call and left their first love and followed after the things of this world.  We forget God's anger against them, but we see this kind of church apostasy and defection all around us. 

So what does God say about a shepherd that cares not for the flock?  And, more important, what does God promise to do to those shepherds?

The answer is both chilling and frightening.  Keep listening to find out more.

This is a study on Zechariah 10 and Ezekiel 9.

230 - Win the Saved!

230 - Win the Saved!

February 24, 2014
Without a doubt, the church languishes as it does today because many, if not most, of professing believers in America are not even saved.  Does that sound harsh?  

Well, consider this: many today have bought into a mind set that allows them to live any way they want and still claim to "belong to Jesus."  

But John said, "If we claim to have fellowship with the light (to be a believer, a follower of Jesus, a Christian), and yet walk in darkness (to live like the world), we lie (in claiming to have fellowship with the light) and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:6).

Ouch.  Want to know more?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study of the Lost in the Church today.
215 - The Indescribable Love of God

215 - The Indescribable Love of God

August 29, 2013
1 John 2:5 says, "But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him.  By this we know that we are in Him." 

But there are just a few key questions that need to be asked.

Whose love is John focused on?  Is it the love of God from man to God?  Or is it the love of God from God to man?  If the love of God means our love for God, then we are the ones who make ourselves "perfected in Him." But, if the love of God means the love from God, then God alone brings us to be "perfected in Him."

The answer has to be one or the other.  Which one is it? 

The following is a study of 1 John 3:1-3.
119 - The Obedience God Honors

119 - The Obedience God Honors

June 8, 2010
What do you think happens when a 15 year old boy who has been forcefully taken from his home determines in his heart and mind that he will not compromise or acquiesce to the foreign, pagan culture that wants to rob him of his heritage, faith and future? 

What happens to a young man like that?  A brutal beating?  Years of unbearable imprisonment?  Painful torture?  Death?

Well, not if that young man is named Daniel and not if his God is the Lord Most High.

God has a way of honoring those who honor Him. 

Just like He did Daniel.

The following is a study on Daniel 1:8-21.