When threatened with persecution

Injustice, suffering, and persecution are normal and will happen in this world. That doesn’t mean persecution is right; but it does mean that nothing unusual has happened when someone is ostracized, condemned, persecuted, or even martyred for having faith in Christ. To be a follower of Christ is to live with the expectation that one […]

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Sermon: Choosing to Live by Faith

Choosing to Live by FaithHebrews 11:23-26May 29, 2022 In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz tells of a trip to his local moderately sized grocery store. He found 285 varieties of cookies, 13 sports drinks, 65 box drinks, 85 kids’ juices, 75 iced teas, 95 types of chips and pretzels, 15 kinds of bottled water, […]

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Sermon: Blessings and Dying Words

Blessings and Dying WordsHebrews 11:20-22May 8, 2022 The legacy of people’s final words is fascinating.  What were the final words and thoughts on people’s minds as they departed this life for eternal life (or eternal death)?  These words are significant because death is the ultimate enemy of all men.  There are more harsh and less […]

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Sermon: A Test of Faith

A Test of FaithHebrews 11:17-19May 1, 2022   More than 30 years ago, I walked out of a classroom and building, and crossed the street to head to the school-owned apartment in which Raye Jeanne and I lived.  It was a pleasant early May day, with bright sunshine and moderate temperature.  As I crossed the […]

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God is a rewarder

I always enjoyed school and learning — I suppose in large part because I have also always been curious about just about everything.  “How does that work?” is still a common question from me in conversations. But the year I was in fourth or fifth grade, I was particularly motivated to do well.  My parents […]

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Sermon: Living to Please God, Pt. 2

Living to Please God, Pt. 2Hebrews 11:4-6March 20, 2022 A generation ago, Charles Schultz helped us identify the nature of happiness: Happiness is a thumb and a blanket (Linus) Happiness is an umbrella and a new raincoat (Lucy) Happiness is having a friend (Charlie Brown and Snoopy) Happiness is sharing (Linus and Snoopy) Happiness is […]

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Sermon: Living to Please God

Living to Please GodHebrews 11:4-6March 13, 2022 A year ago, Sirin Kale, a journalist for the British newspaper The Guardian, wrote: In the past fortnight, I have bought the following items online: a hideous cat tree that takes up most of my living room, a lavender pillow spray, two scarves, a pair of gloves, two […]

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Sermon: Living…by faith

Living…By FaithHebrews 11:1-3March 6, 202 We live in an unjust world. This is the hospitality center for Slavic Gospel Association in Irpin, Ukraine, where I stayed two years ago.  And this is now one of the roads that leads to that house. The war against Ukraine has grieved many of you; it provokes me to […]

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How important is Sola Fide?

For 1-1/2 chapters at the beginning of Romans, Paul repeatedly emphasizes the doctrine of justification by grace alone (3:24) through faith alone (3:25, 28). Justification is not received through any kind of good works (4:1-8), though circumcision or physical heritage (4:9-12), or through obedience to the Law (4:13-16). It is by grace alone and through […]

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