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”
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”
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”
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”
I love memories! I love collecting experiences like a stamp collector proudly fills sleeve after sleeve with his little inch-by-inch treasures. I can go through the hallways of my mind and see snapshots of the treasures God has allowed me to experience throughout my life. I can think of memories from the past year all the way back to when I was a little kid. Some of my fondest memories of my childhood were spending Christmas with my family. We would always spend Christmas morning at our house enjoying all of the toys that Santa had left while we were sleeping, but then we would load up the station wagon (did you ever have one of those?), and head to Wynnewood where we would spend the day with my grandparents. I don’t remember the gifts my grandparents gave me as much as I remember spending time with them. Continue reading “God’s Gifts Get Better with Time Christmas Eve”
Our understanding of things oftentimes is based upon our relation to the event taking place, the information being shared, and our own perspective. We can watch the first quarter of a Thunder game and be thoroughly convinced who the winner will be, only to be proven wrong if we walk away before the final buzzer sounds. We can watch a short video clip being shown on the evening news and never gain a correct understanding of what truly took place. We can “overhear” a conversation taking place and walk away never having really understood what was being shared. We can read one verse of God’s Word, out of context, be thoroughly convinced about what we think it means, and yet be thoroughly wrong.
There is a story of a little girl who lived across the street from a cemetery. She would often listen from a distance to the ministers speak the words of committal at the graveside services. One day, she decided to have a funeral of her own in her backyard. She thought she would bury her teddy bear. After digging a grave, she solemnly lowered the toy bear into the ground. Then she said the words that she thought she heard the preachers say again and again across the street at the cemetery. As she lowered her deceased teddy bear into the ground she said, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and in the hole you goes.” I don’t remember ever having said those words, but that’s what she thought she heard. Continue reading “Draw Near James 4:8”