On this Labor Day, we look forward to an extra day off from our every-day labor - a day for some extra rest and relaxation. The holiday should include a third "R" in the R & R of the break from our labor: reflection with our rest and relaxation - reflection on the value of our labor. We Christians should find value in our work beyond both the personal and public quality of life we can afford and invest in. We should find value in our work in the calling of our Lord.
The future of this nation is not hopeless because the wicked cannot kill Jesus nor erase His gospel. Under His continuing authority, if the gospel is still the power of God for salvation of even one neighbor, then it is still the power of God for salvation of an entire nation.
How are we to bring faith to bear on fighting for the sanctity of the life of the unborn--fighting for the unborn's right to live--standing against abortion as an industry, abortion as an agenda, and abortion as an option? I intend to show you how in this message on the faith we see in Moses' parents. In faith, they hid Moses to save him. In faith, they hid Moses for what they saw in him. And in faith, they hid Moses in being stalwart for him.
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The majority of Americans believe there is no moral difference between getting married and moving in together. More troubling than that, over half of professing Christians are convinced that God does not care about cohabitation. For the Christian, what is right and wrong on this issue comes down to this one question: Does God care? And this one verse in His Word shows that He does.
God has resolved what the new year holds for us, down to every last detail of what will happen to every last numbered hair (Matthew 10:30). He has revealed some broad principles of what He has resolved. These principles of God's resolutions stand as pillars of reality year after year. From these two verses in Proverbs, we are going to look at what the new year holds for two groups of people, you and I being among one or the other. For these two groups, these two verses state truths that will stand through all that befalls them. What the new year holds for them is what the new year holds for us as we are included among them.
Over the years of my ministry, I have lost count of how many times I have been asked, as a minister/pastor, to say a special prayer for someone. Well, Jesus is the One that truly has the special place with the Father to offer a special prayer for all of us. One of the most precious and powerful truths of Scripture is that Jesus is always interceding for us that belong to Him, and we can have an idea of what He is praying by looking at what He has prayed in His high priestly prayer in John 17. In this message, we look at one part of His prayer - His prayer for our sanctification. We look at what it means for the Father to sanctify us, and the means by which the Father sanctifies us.
The big picture of all that is going on in the world is distressing and can be confusing. Through all the media outlets, there is a non-stop stream of discussion on what is going on with all the nations, between the nations. However, for true clarity, we need to have more discussion on what is going on between the nations and God. In Psalm 2, King David gives us a general, broad picture of the interaction between the nations and God. And the picture is not a good one. But the psalm is a good word. Psalm 2 begins on a disturbing note and ends on a delightful note. In looking at this psalm, we see the insanity of the nations, the indignation of the Lord, the inheritance of the Son, and the invitation to the nations.
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In these uncertain times, we Christians should be standing on and speaking out about a certainty that does not swing with public opinion and political elections. For our certainty, we are not ultimately looking to the occupant of any public office - even the Oval Office. For our certainty, we are looking to the Occupant of a throne that will never be up for election. In Hebrews 1:8-9, we see what God the Father declares to be true to and about God the Son, in the rock-solid permanence of His rule, the righteous perfection of His rule, and the refreshing pleasure of His rule.
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What are we to do about the evil that evil people do? If evil people bring their evil to where we live, are we allowed by God to take any action against them? There are professing Christians on polar opposite extremes in answer to that question. This topic could be covered in a lengthy series, so, today’s message is not intended to be exhaustive, but overarching. The message comes from Romans 12:9-13:7, not exhausting the passage, but hitting the high points of the passage on how we are to respond to evil. The structure of particular actions must be built on foundational principles, and we find those principles in this passage. First, we must expel evil for good. Second, we must engage evil with good. Third, we must expect evil to be avenged by God’s servant for good.
A note of clarification: In the message, I make reference to John Piper's position on using force to prevent evil acts. Looking back on it, it seems to me that I was a bit too simplistic in stating his position, even though I disagree with him. Therefore, in fairness to him, here is a link to an article he wrote on this issue: "Should Christians Be Encouraged to Arm Themselves?"