Does it matter that God is holy and just?

This teaching from Habakkuk is a call to praise the God who is not like us and has no tolerance for evil. Let us be holy like he is holy—uncommon in our world but not disconnected. Let us also take an inventory to see how much evil we tolerate in our own lives so that we can bring that to him in humility and repentance.

What God Can’t See

“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.” (Habakkuk 1:13) A few questions for reflection: What does this scripture teach about God’s character? What is your initial response? How does this make you feel? Does this verse raise any questions or confusion?

Who Will Rescue Us?

“So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me… What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” (Romans 7:21-24) In this world, on this side of eternity, life is difficult and draining. Every failure creates conflicting feelings that are hollow …

Meet The Controllers

They fear the unknown and hate the unknowable. They answer questions without questioning answers. Greet you with a plastic face, Face their life with an iron fist, Fractured heart with empty joy. Predictable is comfortable is predictable. Cage the dragons, vanish the chaos! Make life safe like a roller coaster. Lock it down! Label it right! Get it figured out tonight! …

Two Responses to Conflict

Let’s face it, no one likes conflict. However, conflict is inevitable. It’s never a question of IF a conflict might occur, it’s a question of WHEN. If a conflict is handled with maturity, it can lead to tremendous growth. We can grow closer to God, others, and even develop personal insight. Conflict creates unique opportunity. There are two common responses …

Who Is God? He is jealous.

“Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exodus 34:14) Why is God’s name Jealous? Because he wants the hearts of all people to love and worship him. Why not use a different word? Because God’s desire for us is strong, intense. No single word can accurately describe God–in fact, not …

How to make an impact, a brief look at Romans 15:14

I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. (Romans 15:14) Paul’s encouragement to the church in Rome is clear: Goodness—Impacting others begins on the inside because it takes the integrity to consistently make good decisions. This doesn’t mean perfect, it means influencing others requires …

His Name is Jealous

“Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exodus 34:14) Jealously is the intense demand for exclusive possession and/or devotion. In the original language of the Old Testament (Hebrew), the word for “jealous” ranges in meaning from “be zealous for” to “be envious of.” Human jealously is not the same as …

No Other Gods

Some thoughts for your personal reflection:   “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:2-3) In your own words, write a definition of worship. Read Exodus 6:6–8. What promises did God make to the Israelites? How did God help Israel? …

Fear, not Faith

32 [Jesus] said to [the demons], “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole …

Bible Study: Galatians 3:1-4:7

Getting Started with Galatians 3:1-4:7 Begin with prayer: Ask God to make your heart pure, soft, and undivided. Confess your sins so you can receive his mercy and grace. Humble yourself so you can hear his voice. Release your worries so you can rest in his presence. First read: Read without pausing, to get an overall sense of the chapter. Second …

Bible Study: Galatians chapter 2

Getting Started with Galatians 2 Begin with prayer: Ask God to make your heart pure, soft, and undivided. Confess your sins so you can receive his mercy and grace. Humble yourself so you can hear his voice. Release your worries so you can rest in his presence. First read: read without pausing, to get an overall sense of the chapter. …

Who is Jesus?

He is God The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. Matthew 26:63-64 He became a person The Word [Jesus] became flesh and made his dwelling among us. John 1:14 He taught with authority …

Three principles from Jesus for every mission

Jesus said: These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust …

Bible Study: Galatians chapter 1

Getting Started with Galatians 1 Begin with prayer: Ask God to make your heart pure, soft, and undivided. Confess your sins so you can receive his mercy and grace. Humble yourself so you can hear his voice. Release your worries so you can rest in his presence. First read: read without pausing, to get an overall sense of the chapter. …

Surviving the Sting of Rejection [updated]

No one likes rejection. It’s sting is so painful because it’s personal. Get a black eye from an injustice and it’s because the world isn’t fair….rage against the world! Get knocked down from a rejection and it’s because I’m not good enough….you can try to rage against the world, but you always end up attacking yourself. How do you respond when …

Bible Study: Psalm 23

One of our small groups recently used the Psalms Bible study (download here for free) and decided to also study Psalm 23. I wrote the following to help guide their personal reflection and group discussion.   Psalm 23 The twenty-third Psalm is a classic! The imagery is simple, yet powerful and profound. It is easy to read for the first …

Elements of Effective Evaluation

It’s hard to look back and learn from the past, especially when we’re looking forward to the next thing. Here are a few habits that I believe are essential for an effective debrief: HONESTY: Evaluation isn’t helpful if it’s not true. It’s great to be an optimist, but not at the expense of facing the hard truths. Actually, that’s not …

SERMON: how to go deeper with your words

Most of the time, we talk to make conversation. Instead, what if we talked to make a difference? This sermon highlights what the Bible says about going deeper with our words. DOWNLOAD FILES (PDF and Word files with notes, blanks, teaching notes)

Three Warnings From Jesus

Jesus taught the crowd: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” (Luke 12:1) A little yeast, when worked through the entire dough, radically transforms the bread. The yeast of the Pharisees was hypocrisy. Some of the things they said weren’t true, they lacked a consistency believers ought to have. Presumably they had a “Do …