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”

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”

God of All Nations: The Story Continues
Colossians 3:11-14

We live in a society that is divided, terribly divided, and the divisions seem to be multiplying. There are racial divides. A variety of leaders are calling for you and me to huddle up and side with our “own kind,” the only ones who can be trusted. There are socio-economic divisions with hostilities oozing from those that want to pit the poor against the rich and the rich against the poor. We’ve not learned that money, or the lack thereof, is no indicator of integrity, honesty, or generosity. Political parties have become more polarized than OSU and OU fans. Political policies have become America’s new church dogma. Instead of the titles of “Republican” and “Democrat,” their zealots prefer “saints and sinners,” depending on whose side you are on. There are gender and sexual orientation battles being waged by the LGBTQA community and women who march and fight against the oppressive perils of a patriarchal society. And in the Church, among the followers of Jesus, there are religious divides as wide as the Grand Canyon as conservatives, evangelicals, and progressives lob theological molotov cocktails over the pews at one another. The list of divisions in our society keeps growing and new dividing lines seem to be added each and every day. Continue reading “God of All Nations: The Story Continues
Colossians 3:11-14”

God of The Nations
Acts 17:19-27

As the people of our nation become less and less familiar with the Bible we are seeing more and more instances of a total misrepresentation of the Christian faith, God, Jesus, and the Bible. We’ve come to the place today where many Americans view Christianity as the product of white Republicans. Because we’ve lost an understanding of history, specifically the history of God’s dealings with His people going back to Abraham, we have many people of color believing that Jesus is the white man’s Messiah. You can hear this message today and you will hear it more and more as we continue to witness the fragmentation of our culture and society. Continue reading “God of The Nations
Acts 17:19-27”

“Follow Me!”
John 21:15-25

It’s hard to believe, but today we will finish our study of the Gospel of John. Our very first study, the introduction to the Gospel of John, was on Sunday, March 10, 2013. That’s just crazy isn’t it?! It has taken us almost 4.5 years to get through our study, but I have to tell you that I’ve never learned more or been more amazed, and in awe, of Jesus. I’ve never been more convinced that Jesus is who He claimed to be, that His saving grace is for all who will trust in Him, and that He calls us to follow Him with absolute commitment into a broken world to share His story of reconciliation and saving power. I sincerely hope that you have learned, grown in your walk with the Lord, and had your faith deepened as we’ve studied God’s Word together. Continue reading ““Follow Me!”
John 21:15-25”