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Church Blog

Bless the Lord!

Psalm 103:1 is an emphatic and imperative call to praise the Lord. The command implies affection and a sense of gratitude as well as effort and energy. To bless the Lord with all that is within me involves my entire being. Someone may casually remark that they do not get much out of worship. As this passage reveals, that is the case when one does not put enough into worship. The remainder of the psalm identifies a number of reasons…

God Among the Nations – Steven Lloyd

A theme that is repeated in the books of Kings, some of the Psalms, and in some of the prophets is the justice and righteousness of God. These are described as being the foundation of God’s throne. Because our Lord is considered infinite in these qualities, He cannot, with a wave of the hand, dismiss unjust behavior from His own people. When Israel went astray after other gods, the Lord chastised them. On a broader scale, the Lord would use…

The Friend of God – Bill Burk

Man was created for community. All of us need good friends whom we may trust and count on. Probably each one of us can see in his mind’s eye someone whose friendship you hold near and dear. The Bible says “a friend loves at all times but a brother is born for adversity” (Pro. 17:17). If there is any being about whom we can truly say He loves us at all times in both good times and bad it would…

Unless the Lord Builds the House… – Cody Westbrook

The Latin motto Nisi Dominus Frusta has adorned the coat of arms of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland since 1647. The meaning is “Without the Lord, frustration,” and it is taken from the first line of Psalm 127:1– “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” The sentiment accurately portrays the outcome of one who seeks to navigate this life apart from his Creator. The emphasis of this Psalm, however, is not on the individual…

Deadly Desires – John Haffner

When Peter wrote to Christians scattered and suffering persecution, he impressed upon them the importance of continuing to desire the word of God. He noted its purity and called on the church to long for its truth as newborns desire milk (1 Pet. 2:2). Peter followed up on the command with good reasoning. Christians should know the value of seeking God’s word because they have experienced the Lord’s gracious provision (1 Pet. 2:3). Everything we need is supplied by our…

Blessed Assurance

Many things in life are unsure. Few are guaranteed. Life can be difficult to manage with so many uncertainties, but Christians possess a precious blessing that those outside of Christ cannot have–assurance. Romans 5:1-5 Paul identifies 5 blessings of justification. Five blessings that belong only to those who have submitted themselves to the will of God and have been washed in the blood of Christ Jesus that they may stand holy in His sight. These blessings are given to point…

The Suffering Savior

In Acts chapter eight, we learn of the evangelist Philip’s interaction with an Ethiopian man whose curiosity was sparked by Isaiah’s writings about the silent sufferer in Isaiah 53. Beginning from this Scripture, Philip “preached unto him Jesus” (Acts 8:35). First, Isaiah revealed that the word that best describes the man of Isaiah 53 is “insignificant.” Humanity was unimpressed as they beheld this “tender plant,” “a root out of a dry ground,” one who had “no form or comeliness” and…

Some Reasons for Bible Study

In Psalm 119:33-40 the psalmist eloquently expresses his desire to learn more of God’s Word. Note the imperatives in each verse: teach me (33), give me (34), make me (35) incline (36), turn (37), establish (38), turn (39), and revive (40). While this section of scripture describes both the desire to learn and the reasons for learning, it is only one context which emphasizes these two points. As we reflect on Psalm 119:33-40, note some other passages of scripture which…

The High Price of a Bowl of Soup

One of Satan’s deadliest methods is convincing a person to be shortsighted. He dangles the “passing pleasures of sin” before us and convinces us to choose what feels good now at the expense of the pain to come later (Heb. 11:25). Esau fell into this trap. Genesis 25 records the occasion on which Esau begged Jacob for a bowl of stew. Jacob was willing but he drove a hard bargain. The price was Esau’s birthright, which he willingly paid–a decision…

Competing Voices

What should have been an overwhelming victory turned into a terrible tragedy. God’s command to king Saul was simple—“utterly destroy” the Amalekites (1 Sam. 15:1-3)—but he did not heed the voice of the Lord (1 Sam. 15:1; 19-20; 22). Instead, he listened to his own voice (1 Sam. 15:17), and that of the people (1 Sam. 15:24). He left king Agag alive, along with other spoils of war, which he claimed were to be sacrificed to the Lord (1 Sam.…

Nice Guys Don’t Finish Last

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Though society advances at a rapid pace, the fundamental issues of life are constant. Among those is the troubling phenomenon of the success of the wicked. From the beginning, God’s faithful have pondered this reality and asked God “why?”. Psalm 37 is David’s inspired account of pondering this difficulty. In a world where nice guys always finish last, what are the righteous to do? Psalm 37:1 commands, “Do not fret…

“In the World, Not of the World” – Andy Baker

The fundamental question of Christianity can be boiled down to this: Do I belong to God and serve Him faithfully or do I belong to the world and serve its lusts faithfully? It is not in dispute that a person cannot serve both (Matt. 6:24), but many in the religious world and even in the church look more like the world and its lusts than we care to admit. Is there a stark contrast between Christians who are “chosen out…