March 22, 2014
by Jason Williams
First, it must be stated clearly that the Lord in his sovereignty has used and will continue to use many different English translations to build up his church. This isnâ€™t to say that all translations are the same or that it doesnâ€™t matter which translation we use. Itâ€™s simply an acknowledgment that Godâ€™s Word is sufficiently communicated in many different translations in such a way that people can come to saving faith in Jesus Christ. So in switching the ESV, please do not hear us belittling the work the Lord has accomplished through many other English translations.
Second, there are millions of people in the world who still do not have the Scriptures in a language they can understand and millions more who do not have the Bible in their heart language. How fortunate are English speakers who not only have 500 years of Bible translation history to rely on, but can choose from more than a dozen modern translations. Ours is an embarrassment of riches. *Summary via Pastor Kevin DeYoung - ...Keep Reading
July 2, 2013
by Jason Williams
The scriptures for many seems random or haphazard. The Truth is that it is very consistent from beginning to end. This is clearly demonstrated by comparing/contrasting the first three chapters in the book of Genesis and the last three chapters in the book of Revelation. The Word of God is "Living and Active" and it's consistency is a work of beauty. Read it. Respond to it.
June 13, 2013
by Jason Williams
In Jesus' parable of the Two lost Sons -he eludes to a powerful reality we call "home". Deep within the heart of every person is a longing for home. Home carries with it a sense of peace, comfort and belonging. This longing for home powerfully impacted the younger son in Jesus' parable. We all have a longing in our hearts for something better, a better place, a place where we truly belong. No matter where you are in life's journeyâ€¦no matter how far you've wandered - it's time to come home....Keep Reading
July 12, 2012
by Jason Williams
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1
Summertime just has a different rhythm to it. It is a more relaxed pace for many including holidays, vacations and time spent with family and friends. The summertime can also be a great time to build "community" through relationships. Don't miss opportunities to have friends and neighbors over for a BBQ and deepen the natural relationships that God brings across your path.
Don't forget to invite Christ! ...Keep Reading
October 7, 2011
In February 2007 the chairman of Starbucks sent this now-famous memo to the CEO, noting that the proliferation of stores around the world had come at a cost--the loss of that wonderful Starbucks aroma. He wrote, "We achieved fresh roasted bagged coffee, but at what cost? The loss of aroma--perhaps the most powerful non-verbal signal we had in our stores; the loss of our people scooping fresh coffee from the bins and grinding it fresh in front of the customer, and once again stripping the store of tradition and our heritage."
The primary concern for these corporate leaders was the loss of a trademark aroma. As Starbucks stores continued to multiply and spread into different locations across the globe, they were able to reproduce the taste and feel of the original, but something was missing--they didn't smell like the original. So why does it matter so much? Well, as indicated in the memo, that fresh-coffee aroma was the most powerful nonverbal signal they possessed, a way of communicating that couldn't be replaced by flashy ads and marketing promotions. Even more, it represented a loss of tradition and heritage, a loss of identity for the brand, which was now something less than the original Starbucks experience....Keep Reading
September 8, 2011
2) Child of God
3) Having access to God
16) Redeemed - We have been purchased by the shed blood of Christ out of the slave market of sin and now set free to serve the living God. (Galations 5:1, Romans 3:24)
Webster's dictionary defines redemption as "to buy back and receive something in exchange." In both the Old and New Testament we have many beautiful pictures of God's unfailing love that redeems us from ourselves and our lot in life. Think of the book of Hosea, where God shows us how unfailing His love is towards His Bride.
This gift of redemption from God reminds us also of the picture in the Old Testament of a slave that is earmarked for his master. In Exodus 21:5-6 we read: But if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man.' Then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently." This is a beautiful picture of our relationship to the Father God who redeemed us from the position of slave to sin and has set us free. Yet, in gratefulness to God we can become God's permanent slave. One day in the future we will have the redemption of our bodies and be given a new glorious eternal body.
"God answers prayer on the ground of Redemption and no other ground. Let us never forget that our prayers are heard, not because we are in earnest, not because we suffer, but because Jesus suffered." ---Oswald Chambers...Keep Reading
August 26, 2011
The Bible describes a process of faith formation, one that integrally involves the Word at every step:
1. Hearing the Word initiates faith.
2. Speaking the Word activates faith.
3. Doing the Word demonstrates faith.
-Hearing the Word Initiates Faith-
Romans 10:17 says, "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."
There's only one place you can acquire faith: you've got to go to the Word of God. And in the pages of the Scriptures, as God's promises become personal to you, your faith potential is ignited. Hopefully that's what's been happening to you as you've been reading. Each biblical example of audacious faith should cause your own spiritual circuit board to light up. The same thing happens every time you go to church and hear a sermon from the Bible.
So to live by audacious faith, you're going to need to become very familiar with your Bible. You're going to need to saturate your mind with the Word of God. If your faith isn't rooted in God's promises, it's not scriptural faith. It's just wishful thinking....Keep Reading
July 14, 2011
I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed,
the die has been cast, I have stepped over the line,
the decision has been made--I'm a disciple of Christ!
I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense,
my future is secure! I'm finished and done with low living,
sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions,
worldly talk, cheap giving and dwarfed goals.
My face is set, my course is fast, my goal is heaven,
my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few,
my guide is reliable, my mission is clear.
I won't give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up,
stored up, prayed up for the cause of Jesus Christ.
I must go till he comes, give till I drop, preach till everyone knows,
work till he stops me and when he comes for his own;
He will have no trouble recognizing me because my banner will have been clear.
With this kind of resolve we will, with God's help,
have the strength to survive against our cultural stream,
or perhaps even reverse it.
Of course, we are a minority, but armed with the promises of God we can
have a spiritual impact that is greater than our numbers might suggest.
It may come down to a simple question: "Are we willing to pay the price?"...Keep Reading
June 10, 2011
"Know what's weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change,
But pretty soon, everything's different."
â€“â€“ Bill Watterson (Author of Calvin and Hobbes cartoon)
Normal infects our faith as well, both what we believe and how we live it out. When we consider how people relate to God, it's normal to either reject God altogether or believe in him while living as if he doesn't exist. In churches, normal is lukewarm Christianity, self-centered spiritual consumerism, and shallow, me-driven faith. God has become a means to an end, a tool in our toolbox to accomplish what we want. The majority of people claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him.
And all this is normal.
But normal isn't working....Keep Reading
May 19, 2011
I was surprised to learn that a group of buzzards waiting around together to feast on leftover carnage is called a committee. Just this one insight is worth the price of the whole book. This explains so much of what's going on in churches--a lot of committees waiting around to live off human carnage.
Groups of flamingos are called flamboyants, which for some reason reminds me of TV evangelists. And groups of the less glamorous owls are known as parliaments. They do seem sort of British.
But my favorite of all is the group designation for rhinos. You see, rhinos can run at thirty miles an hour, which is pretty fast when you consider how much weight they're pulling....Keep Reading