Prince of Peace
“Celebrating and Waiting”
Isaiah 9:1-7

We are in the Advent season. For those of you who didn’t grow up in church or for those who grew up in churches that didn’t observe the Advent season, I want to help you understand the importance of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. The word Advent comes from the Latin word, “adventus,” which means “coming or arrival.” The Latin Translation of the Bible in the fourth century, the Latin Vulgate, used the word “adventus” to describe the coming of the Son of God, both His coming as a baby born in a manger as well as His second coming. During this month we celebrate the coming of the Savior into our world and we are waiting for His arrival, His Second Coming. We are celebrating and yet we are waiting. This morning I want us to turn to a familiar section of God’s Word. If you will turn with me to Isaiah 9:1-7. Let’s read together. Continue reading “Prince of Peace
“Celebrating and Waiting”
Isaiah 9:1-7”

Playing Favorites
James 2:1-7

You know them. Oh, you may not know them, but you know their names, you read about them, hear about them, and are aware of who they are. They are powerful. Their presence turns heads. They walk the red carpet, are profiled in Fortune and People magazines, and are the talk of those who envy their TMZ lifestyles. Their wealth is the envy of the everyday man or woman. Their good looks, power, and deep pockets garner favors from those who desire to have a relationship with them. They’re given the private dining rooms at the best restaurants and others pick up the tab. They share photos on Instagram and Facebook from exotic places around the world. They are known for their yachts, Aston Martins, $1,000 bottles of wine, and gourmet foods which have never been tasted by folks like you and me. Money opens doors, creates opportunities, and can convince the wealthy that they are somehow different from everyone else. It’s not always the case, but we all know stories of how this is true. Continue reading “Playing Favorites
James 2:1-7”

True Religion
James 1:26-27

As we go back to our study of James this morning it is important for us to always remember, as we study James’ letter, that although James was Jesus younger, half-brother, he never believed in Jesus before Jesus was resurrected from the grave. James thought his brother was crazy, that He had lost His mind. That is fascinating to me because as I spend time each week studying what James has written I hear echoes of Jesus at every turn. It has led me to the conclusion that though James didn’t believe Jesus’ claims, he was most definitely listening to what Jesus said. Our lesson today is a great example. Continue reading “True Religion
James 1:26-27”

A Psalm for Giving Thanks
Psalm 100

The Sunday before Thanksgiving I always take a break from whatever we are studying so we can focus on some Scripture that will help stir thoughts of gratitude and thankfulness for who God is and what He has done in our lives. Focusing on gratitude is very important for me because I recognize that there is so much going on in so many of our lives that would seek to pull us down and cause us to lose sight of the gratitude that we all should have regardless of our circumstances or situation at this time. Continue reading “A Psalm for Giving Thanks
Psalm 100”

Do Not Merely Listen to The Word…
James 1:22-25

In John Bunyan’s classic, Pilgrim’s Progress, the traveling companions, Christian, and his friend Faithful run into a man named Mr. Talkative. Faithful is wowed by Mr. Talkative. He’s got the gift of gab, a quick wit, and an impressive knowledge of a wide variety of topics. Christian listens as his friend Faithful and Mr. Talkative talk about theology, doctrine, and the Christian life. Faithful is impressed, deeply impressed by Mr. Talkative’s spiritual knowledge. Faithful told Christian how impressed he was and then Christian spoke up. He said, “This fellow, with his tongue, will mislead those who do not know him.” Faithful said, “Do you know him, then?” “Know him! Yes, better than he knows himself” Christian answered. Faithful asked, “Pray, tell me what kind of person he is?” Christian said, Continue reading “Do Not Merely Listen to The Word…
James 1:22-25”

Listen and Learn
James 1:19-21

I will never forget the conversation. I was 29 years old and getting ready to move to Oklahoma City with my family to begin working here at Britton Christian Church. I had spent 5½ years working with Dr. Darnell at First Christian Church in Plano, TX. and David was passing on to me the things he had learned through years of serving the Lord. David didn’t hesitate in telling me that I must always keep teaching the Word of God as my first priority once I became a pastor. David’s advice to me was this: Don’t allow the demands of ministry to crowd out the time you spend with the Lord in His Word each day. To be able to teach the Word of God you must spend time with the Lord in His Word. Teaching and preaching are really nothing more than sharing with the people what God is teaching you. And then he said, “When you come to the Word of God humble yourself before the text and ask the Lord to teach you. Don’t come to the Word and read into it what you want it to say, but humble yourself before the text and allow the Lord to teach you.” Continue reading “Listen and Learn
James 1:19-21”

During Times of Temptation…Look Up!
James 1:13-18

Life is full of tests. The moment we are born we are given tests. Throughout our childhood there are all kinds of tests that we are given by our parents, doctors, teachers, little league coaches, piano teachers, dance instructors, and the list goes on and on. A really big test comes when we are sixteen and decide we want to drive a car. Before they will give us a driver’s license we must pass a test. To get a diploma from your high school you must pass a test. If you want to go to college following high school you must pass the test. If you want to apply for a job you are going to be tested before they ever hire you. If we were to write down all of the tests we have been given since the moment of our birth it would make our head spin. Continue reading “During Times of Temptation…Look Up!
James 1:13-18”

God’s Wisdom: Poverty and Prosperity
James 1:9-12

Our society is mesmerized by the lifestyles of the rich and famous. The wealthy grab headlines and are the subject of documentaries and entertainment pieces on television. We long to have access to piles of cash and Atlas-like power so that we too can experience the luxurious lifestyles of those who are paraded around like a superior species of humanity. The rich are sought out to write books, lecture at universities, speak at conferences, and impart to all of us their vast Google-like knowledge on everything under the sun…whether they have any knowledge about the subject or not. The rich are idolized because of their multiple homes located in beautiful places across the country. The rich are revered because of the power their money affords them. People treat those who are wealthy differently, they want to get to know them, and work to make them feel like they are someone special. The rich are admired because their deep pockets allow them to do what they want without having to think about what it will cost them. If only we were rich! Continue reading “God’s Wisdom: Poverty and Prosperity
James 1:9-12”

Wisdom For Life’s Troubles
James 1:5-8

There are three kinds of people in this room this morning. Some of you are in a trial. Others of you are coming out of a season of troubled waters, life has been difficult, but you are coming out of it, the seas are growing more calm. The third group of people who are among us this morning are getting ready to enter a trial and you have no idea that it is coming. Continue reading “Wisdom For Life’s Troubles
James 1:5-8”

James 1:2-4

Dr. John Feinberg’s life has been spent in large part wrestling with the problems of pain, suffering, God, and evil. Dr. Feinberg has been a professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School for many years, but in 1987 his studies concerning pain, suffering, evil, and God became much more personal. Dr. Feinberg’s wife, Pat, was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease on November 4, 1987. Pat was 28 years old. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Huntington’s disease, it is a genetically transmitted disease that gradually destroys physical and mental capabilities. Physical effects include a growing inability to control voluntary movements, a loss of balance, difficulty in swallowing, slurred speech, and twitches in various parts of the body. Psychological symptoms include memory loss, deterioration of mental function, depression, hallucinations, and eventually paranoid schizophrenia. It is a slow, but steady decline that ends in death. There is no cure. Pat is now confined to a wheelchair, she is being fed through a feeding tube, and she can’t communicate with John or anyone else. To make matters even worse, each of the Feinberg’s three children have a 50% chance of suffering from the same debilitating disease that they are watching take their mother’s life. Dr. Feinberg wrote, Continue reading “Consider
James 1:2-4”