Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Glory of God's Word in Psalm 119

Earlier in the week, I wanted to spend the morning talking about a rationale for doing what we’re doing in the current series. Right now, we’re going through the Ten Commandments. We’re studying the Law of God. That is so basic. It answers a few very important questions: How has God ordered the universe? What is it that God requires of us? How does he want us to live in relation to him and in relation to one another? Another question our study on the law answers—and this is perhaps more central—is who is this God we worship, anyway? That’s really what Gordon has been wanting us to focus on when he points out the covenant and how God is not only our Lord, he’s also our husband, in that sense. So that’s the central question we’re answering. What is God’s character?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a Garden

Here we are. This is advent week three. We have one more week of advent after this one, then Christmas. Can you believe it’s almost here? I feel like week three of any month can go one of two ways. If you’re looking forward to something coming up, like Christmas, then week three can be so slow. When will it end? When will we get there? It’s like you’re a kid on a road trip. “Dad are we any closer?” I remember a few times when I was a child, my family drove to visit relatives in Jacksonville or on up to Atlanta. To an eight-year-old, eight hours in a car is excruciating. Who am I kidding? Eight hours in a car is excruciating no matter how old you are.

On the other hand, if the thing you’re waiting for is something you’re not quite ready for (like a writing deadline) it seems like time rushes ahead at breakneck speed. I sit at my computer to type. I notice my desk needs cleaning, and before I know it the deadline is already here? What happened to the time?

I’m curious about how you’re experiencing Advent this year? Have you had a chance to slow down at all? Have you found the Advent devotional to be helpful?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Characteristics of Christ’s Coming Kingdom

I’d like to direct your attention to Isaiah 9. We’re going to read verses 2 through 7. Verses 2 through 7.

This is the second week in our Advent series. As we said last week, Advent is a time of preparation for Christmas. We prepare by our scripture readings and by the songs we sing, and the devotions we do, and so on. And we prepare for Christmas morning—for the birth of Jesus. We remember the people who, as Pastor Jay reminded us, had been waiting to hear from God for about four hundred years since Malachi’s prophecy. We want to build in ourselves that kind of joyful anticipation for the coming of Christ. And now, even though for us, Christ has already come the first time, we can still identify with the longing they experienced before Jesus was born. Jesus promises us in his word that he’s coming back soon. This very second, he’s preparing a place for us.