Bible Note #21: Proverbs 14:31–The Heart of God and the Poor

“Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”  Proverbs 14:31 [NIV] We have here an antithetical parallelism.  The two halves of the couplet contrast with each other, and in that way the writer shows us one key truth by showing us both sides of the … Continue reading Bible Note #21: Proverbs 14:31–The Heart of God and the Poor

Quote #13 — God as He Is

"But how far removed from the idea of the New Testament are the insipid words of the hymn which says, 'He came sweet influence to impart, a gracious willing guest,' and goes on to say, 'and his that gentle voice we hear, soft as the breath of even, that checks each fault, that calms each … Continue reading Quote #13 — God as He Is

Prayer Note #48 — A Preachers Prayer to Be Used Rightly by the Word of God

[Yes, that's what I meant to say: "to be used rightly by the word of God."] Your word, Lord, is alive and powerful in the ears of faith. Grant me believing ears, so that I will hear your word clearly and welcome your word warmly into my mind, my heart, and my life. My calling … Continue reading Prayer Note #48 — A Preachers Prayer to Be Used Rightly by the Word of God

Pastor Note #51 — Here’s How I Do It: The Devotional Life of One Christian

Every so often people ask me about my devotional practices.  I don’t think I’ve ever written about that before, but it strikes me a something that some folks might find helpful.  I don’t share what follows as if to say that everyone should pattern their devotions after me.  In fact, my own pattern of devotional … Continue reading Pastor Note #51 — Here’s How I Do It: The Devotional Life of One Christian

Pastor Note #46 — Living in Time, Living with God, Part 2: The Past Tense of Faith

            Time flies.  Or, time drags.  But the unalterable reality of human life is time.  We live in time as fish live in water.  I have a past.  I am in the present.  And in some form I will have a future.  This time-orientedness is the fundamental framework of our lives.  Everything we do, everything … Continue reading Pastor Note #46 — Living in Time, Living with God, Part 2: The Past Tense of Faith

Sermon #28 — Getting Rooted and Grounded in “Forever”– 1 John 2:12-17

How we interact with the "world" is a theme that is regularly addressed in the Bible.  The apostle John digs into that matter here in this passage of his first letter.  I explore a little bit of how the term "world" is used in the Bible.  It is presented in both a positive and a … Continue reading Sermon #28 — Getting Rooted and Grounded in “Forever”– 1 John 2:12-17

Sermon #25–Light and Life–1 John 1:5-10

From start to finish, the Scriptures leave no doubt that human beings are fatally broken by sin and evil.  Genesis 6:5 lays out the state of affairs in stark and thorough fashion -- "every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."  Jesus doesn't depart from that assessment.  "And this is the … Continue reading Sermon #25–Light and Life–1 John 1:5-10

Sermon #24 — The God Who Makes Himself Known: 1 John 1:1-4

If "religion" is humanity's effort to know God, then Christianity is not a "religion."  The heart of the Christian faith is not our endeavor to know God, but rather God's determination to make himself known to us.  Here in 1 John 1, the apostle points us to the God who "reveals" himself, the God who … Continue reading Sermon #24 — The God Who Makes Himself Known: 1 John 1:1-4

Pastor Note #43 — Blood on the Pew (A day in March 2000)

It was Tuesday noontime.  I had gone into the big, dark Romanesque sanctuary of my church in downtown Columbus, Ohio for a weekly prayer meeting with a handful or so of people, mostly not members of my congregation but rather folks who worked downtown and constituted part of my weekday ancillary congregation. As I sat … Continue reading Pastor Note #43 — Blood on the Pew (A day in March 2000)

Pastor Note #39: A Statement of Faith

            God is not an idea or a concept but is rather a Personal Being of infinite power, beauty, and goodness.  He is a Being who desires to be known and reveals himself to us.  He makes himself known to us through the works of his creation and through direct experience of his Holy Spirit.  … Continue reading Pastor Note #39: A Statement of Faith