I did not know Ravi Zacharias. I certainly knew of him and I have a couple of his books on apologetics, though I never read them. I never attended a conference where he spoke, though I have had conversations with several people who were helped by his ministry of speaking and writing. I heard of […]Read More When we sin in terrible ways
Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled, “Finding Hope When Everything Feels Hopeless.” The thesis of the post was that people today feel hopeless and need hope. But hope “feels increasingly elusive,” with COVID, the election, winter, and more weighing on people’s minds. Author Elizabeth Bernstein suggests that hope “guards against anxiety […]Read More Think hopefully, not wishfully
Peace and Courage in a Troubled World John 16:32-33 March 22, 2020 This is an odd morning. I have preached to this church body almost 1400 times, by my count. I have never preached with music recorded by our musicians ahead of time, and I have never preached to an empty auditorium. There have been […]Read More Sermon: Peace and Courage in a Troubled World
Hope in God Psalm 42 March 3, 2019 John Bunyan is one of the most well-known believers in Christ. He wrote numerous books, including the still-in-print, Pilgrim’s Progress. A bold pastor in a difficult time in the church, he was imprisoned for 12 years for preaching the gospel, yet he did not always exude confidence […]Read More Sermon: Hope in God
“The Blessings of Justification” Pt. 4 Romans 5:9-11 August 27, 2017 One pastor decided to take his family, including his four children on vacation — “We’re going to Junction City, Kansas,” he said. “It’s where my dad used to pastor a church, and we can have lots of fun there — they have playgrounds, and […]Read More Sermon: The Blessings of Justification, Pt 4
Jason Helopoulos writes about a common relational circumstance and then offers a hopeful encouragement: Many of us have friends, sons, daughters, wives, and husbands who we struggle to keep hope alive for. They are resistant to the Gospel. Their lives are not only filled with sin, but dominated and controlled by it. Some of the […]Read More The sinners in our lives
Reading a book like Revelation can leave one overwhelmed by the relentless onslaught of God’s wrath. Chapter after chapter devastating destruction pours from God’s throne. It is grievous and wearying. Will it ever stop? Will God’s wrath relent? Will suffering cease? Revelation 10-11 provide some hope for the end of God’s wrath and God’s provision […]Read More Will God’s wrath relent?
The Old Testament can sometimes seem obscure and difficult to understand. There are all the laws, sacrifices, and festivals in the Pentateuch that often seem quite disconnected from where and how we live, then there are some weird stories in the historical books (e.g., Judges 19 and 21), and it all culminates in the prophets […]Read More An example and a hope
John Owen, “The Grace and Duty of Being Spiritually Minded:” Suppose sundry persons engaged in a voyage unto a most remote country, wherein all of them have an apprehension that there is a place of rest and an inheritance provided for them. Under this apprehension they all put themselves upon their voyage, to possess what […]Read More Think much on heaven’s hope
Here is a new song by Aaron Shust: “My Hope is in You.” The song is a powerful testimony in itself. But its testimony is amplified when one knows that the video was produced by Vinegar Hill, a company founded by Ian Murphy, husband of Larissa. Watch and listen:Read More My Hope Is In You, Lord
Believers live in a place that is not their home. It is often all-to-clear that this is not our permanent abode. And yet there are also so many manifestations of God’s grace and kindness even while living amidst fallenness: Wrestling is to Iowa as football is to Texas. So when high school student Joel Northrup […]Read More Grab Bag
“But Daaa-dddddy” ranks as one of the all-time great whines. “But God” ranks as the all-time great hope. Think about it. Can you conceive any dilemma for which there is no possibility of intervention from God? Can you conjure up the image of any burden that God is inadequate to carry for you? Can you […]Read More But God…
Pride is sneaky and subtle. When a man is humbled and broken, pride raises a small voice that whispers, “you are doing well to be so humbled. How good you are…” When a heart is weak, pride suggests, “You are strong and able…” When an obvious grace from God has been received, pride ponders, “how […]Read More Pondering David and Paul, pride and hope
In Ephesians 2:12, Paul notes that prior to their salvation, the Gentile Ephesians had “no hope.” Which God me to wondering. Just how hopeless is hopeless? Just what will one who has no hope say about his life? Now not all men will recognize their hopelessness, and even if they do, not all will verbalize […]Read More How hopeless is hopeless?