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Last Sunday Morning Print E-mail

RENEWED COMMITMENT TO THE KING
1 Samuel 11-12

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When I was growing up in church, the idea of rededication to the Lord was very popular. After big youth events, all the teens would swarm the altars for rededication. During revivals, those not coming for salvation would be coming to rededicate themselves. It was a common occurrence in the services that I grew up attending. Unfortunately, it became kind of trendy among evangelicals. And it was true in my own life as well. I remember being stirred at the youth events and revivals. I remember feeling distant from the Lord. I remember wanting more than what I was experiencing in my relationship with God. And so I rededicated myself to following after Jesus. Looking back, I see some real problems with my experiences of rededication (the high frequency perhaps being the biggest), but I also understand the value in a renewed commitment to the Lord..

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 May 2017 )
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1 Samuel 8-10: Who Is Your King? Print E-mail

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History has taught us that people like to have a leader. Humans will follow the person in charge. Even the movements that rebel against authority are normally still led by someone, or at least a body of leaders. Pure democracy, where everyone makes every decision is difficult to sustain. Thus, normally the people select some leaders to handle certain responsibilities. You may call the person in charge the director, the leader, the king, or in our country the president, but they all serve a similar purpose: lead the people. On a smaller scale, most human institutions have someone in charge. Schools have principals. Boards have chairmen. Businesses have owners. Large and small groups of people normally have someone to lead them in some capacity.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 May 2017 )
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1 Samuel 4-7: From Ichabod to Ebenezer Print E-mail

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In the final scene of “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark,” the characters have a fictional encounter with the ark of Israel. The Nazis have captured the ark to help them conquer the world (apparently they were unfamiliar with our passage this morning). They find a spot out in the desert and decide to see what is in it. While it is being opened, Indiana Jones hurriedly tells his lady friend to close her eyes, which they both do. Meanwhile, the Nazis are all killed for looking at the ark, which frees up Professor Jones who then somehow crates the ark up and hides it in some unknown location. The hero wins, the bad guys lose, and the ark is left in mystery.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 May 2017 )
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1 Samuel 1-3: A Barren Woman, A Half-Blind Priest, and A Favored Son Print E-mail

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The prayer of Jesus found in John 17 has rightly been called “the most important prayer offered in the entire history of the world.”1 It is often referred to as ‘The High Priestly Prayer’ because of Jesus’ intercession on behalf of the apostles and all those who would come to believe in Him through their witness. It can be broken up into three sections: Jesus’ prayer for Himself (v. 1-5), for the apostles (v. 6-19), and for the Church (v. 20-26). Since the last section involves a specific prayer of Jesus for us, we might be tempted to skip all that comes before it. But that would be a mistake. So for the next four weeks we will be walking through these three sections (spending two weeks on the second section) and asking the Lord to teach us from this most important prayer.

Last Updated ( Friday, 05 May 2017 )
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John 20-21: Believe and Bear Witness Print E-mail

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Mark Johnston in his study through the gospel of John writes: “‘Faith’ must be one of the most vacuous and slippery terms in the vocabulary of religion.”1 What he means is that we throw the term ‘faith’ around a lot without much meaning or significance. We have ‘faith’ in all sorts of things: our cars to get us to work, our retirement funds to be enough, our favorite sports’ team to win the Series. But Johnston says that we even do this when it comes to religion. We put our ‘faith’ in our favorite preacher or author, our favorite church or organization, even faith itself at times. Often faith is very broad: ‘I just believe in God,’ or ‘in a Higher Power.’ So let me ask you a question this morning about your religious faith: what do you believe? Where does your faith rest?

Last Updated ( Friday, 28 April 2017 )
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John 17:20-26: A Prayer for Unity Print E-mail
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It is remarkable to think that Jesus was praying for us the night before He was crucified on the cross. We should be awed and humbled by that fact. As we noted a few weeks ago, the idea that Jesus thought of us ‘above all’ on the cross is not true. Even in His prayer in John 17, we see that He begins with the glory of God (see v. 1-5). Yet, that does not mean that Jesus was unaware of or unconcerned about His future followers. His passion for His glory and His love for His people go together. His glorification is tied to our salvation. Thus, His glory and our good are both parts of the High Priestly prayer.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 22 April 2017 )
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