Quote of Note #98: In Life and in Death We Belong to God

Question #1:  What is your only comfort in life and in death? Answer:  That I am not my own, but belong--body and soul, in life and in death--to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.  He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the … Continue reading Quote of Note #98: In Life and in Death We Belong to God

Pastor Note #94: Safety and Love of Neighbor — Risk and Following Jesus

Safety is a high priority for Americans.  And you might well be asking me right now, “What’s wrong with that?”  Well, I would say, “Nothing . . . . And everything.”  It depends on what sort of safety we’re insisting on. The right view of safety aims to avoid needless harm.  The wrong view of … Continue reading Pastor Note #94: Safety and Love of Neighbor — Risk and Following Jesus

Quote of Note #95: The Cross-Shaped Life

"Jesus's cross-shaped life and death modeled the cruciform life that is our calling.  Like Him, we do not overcome imperial powers through earthly means.  Instead, we embody His 'revolutionary way of being revolutionary.'  Whether the world receives or rejects us will hold little weight if we are incarnating his way of being and doing, for … Continue reading Quote of Note #95: The Cross-Shaped Life

Pastor Note #93: Religious Liberty, Privileged Christianity, and the Art of the Deal

Religious liberty, if it is pure and principled, is a beautiful and precious thing.  It can also become a desperately dangerous concept if allowed to become conditional, qualified, or contingent in any way.  And that’s where this gets very tricky right away.  Everybody who wants to live in a humane and civilized society agrees that … Continue reading Pastor Note #93: Religious Liberty, Privileged Christianity, and the Art of the Deal

Quote of Note #90: Grace for Neighbors. . . and Enemies

"To be people of amazing grace is to see ourselves as recipients of kindness and understanding not owed to us, and if we really believe it's been lavished upon us undeservedly, maybe we can lavish a little upon the people we find ourselves least inclined to view generously.  If we're showering only the people we … Continue reading Quote of Note #90: Grace for Neighbors. . . and Enemies

Pastor Note #89: God’s Love–Undeserved and Uncomfortable

The love of God is a rich, warm, comforting promise that he assures us of in his word repeatedly.  For example, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ESV)  What makes that promise of his love … Continue reading Pastor Note #89: God’s Love–Undeserved and Uncomfortable

Quote of Note #89: Christian Discipleship as Love

"Being a disciple of Jesus is not primarily a matter of getting the right ideas and doctrines and beliefs into our heads in order to guarantee proper behavior; rather, it's a matter of being the kind of person who loves rightly -- who loves God and neighbor and is oriented to the world by the … Continue reading Quote of Note #89: Christian Discipleship as Love

Quote of Note #54 — Getting First Things First

"Today, O Lord -- let me put right before interest; let me put others before self; let me put the things of the spirit before the things of the body; let me put the attainment of noble ends above the enjoyment of present pleasures; let me put principle above reputation; let me put Thee before … Continue reading Quote of Note #54 — Getting First Things First

Bible Note #36 — Obeying God — Numbers 9:15-23

Numbers 9:15-23 Here we have one of the classic summary passages describing how God led the Israelites through the wilderness.  There is a certain drama in the process, because the means of God’s leading was grand and very public.  There was no indication that discerning God’s leading in this process was at all difficult.  The … Continue reading Bible Note #36 — Obeying God — Numbers 9:15-23