Pastor’s Notes

I often tell people that I’ve learned two great lessons in life. I can’t think of the first one right now but the second is that I have to start writing stuff down. The biggest lie I tell myself is that if I have an idea for a sermon illustration or a topic for a blog post I will remember it when I need to. That’s just not true. So I’ve decided going forward that if I have an idea, a clever thought for an illustration, even a single point that might become an outline, I’m going to go ahead and drop them here. Instead of waiting for posts to magically finish themselves I will share ideas that you might see again someday as a complete article.

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Josh Duggar: Biggest Hypocrite Ever?

Screenshot 2015-08-21 at 10.44.16 AMJosh Duggar has confessed to being “the biggest hypocrite ever.” Is he really the biggest hypocrite ever, or is this just his first honest assessment in a long time and admission that he, like all of us, will always fall short?

David was a man after God’s own heart that committed lust, adultery, murder and conspiracy. The Apostle Paul lamented that he did the thing he wanted not to do but left undone those things he should. When they brought Jesus a woman caught in the act of adultery in John 8, he suggested the one without sin should cast the first stone. One at a time they each walked away. A hypocrite in the Greek language of the New Testament was an actor. Is that not what we all do every day? From drinking coffee before work so we can act like we are not tired to smiling at others when we are not truly happy, we put on a public show every day. As Christians we should be the first to admit; confess; proclaim that we are not better than anybody else. We need to be honest with ourselves, before God and before others.

Perhaps admitting that we fall short – and we all all short compared to the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the perfection which God requires – perhaps admitting that we are not perfect and do not have to be will allow us to deal with issues instead of covering them up and keep us from getting to the point that Duggar and others sometimes come to. None is righteous, no not one. Acting like we are or can be leads lies, secrets and cover ups.

The Difference Between Saul and David

David has a bad day at work.

David has a bad day at work.

Saul was personally chosen by God himself to rule as king over Israel. He later rejected Saul and chose David. But we all know the story of David and Bathsheba; though once described as a man after God’s own heart, David committed adultery, engaged in a government orchestrated cover-up, and eventually resorted to murder. So why was Saul rejected but David restored? I suggest it all has to do with repentance. Continue reading

Mind Blown by Psalms

No matter how many times you read the Bible, no matter how much you think you know, there will always be new discoveries to make.  It’s an old story that never gets old.  And so it’s been with me here lately in the Book of Psalms.

Many people love the Psalms and Proverbs, even if they rarely enjoy other Old Testament books.  Our church has been studying through Psalms on Sunday nights.  For the first time in my life I have a pastor that is a few years younger than I am.  He often defers to me as an authority on the scriptures.  But I have to tell you this: Psalm 139 the other night – blew… my… mind. Continue reading

Look at Who God Uses

I like to build to a point, but I’m going to come right to it.  Through the Bible God calls people into his service that are, for lack of a better term, screwed up.  No one used by God in some great way has their act together.  Consider a few examples; there are many others.

In Genesis 15:6 Abraham becomes the first person of faith.  He believed God, and God counted it to him as righteousness.  He is lauded in Hebrews 11 for having the faith to offer his son Isaac.  But before Isaac was born he father Ishmael by the Egyptian servant Hagar.  He lied twice about his wife Sarah was his sister.  A role model of faithfulness, perhaps not so much for other things. Continue reading

Pursuing Wisdom

In the first Psalm, David contrasts the ways of the righteous and the wicked.  In the first chapter of Proverbs, Solomon does the same thing between the wise and the foolish.  He goes on to encourage his sons (and by extension all readers) to pursue wisdom.

David was a poet and a musician.  He not only wrote songs and played instruments, but he made trumpets for the temple musicians.  In Biblical times the Psalms were sung.  Think of this book as their hymnal.  Solomon was David’s son, and world renown for his wisdom.  The book of Proverbs is a collection of wisdom sayings, some perhaps written by Solomon himself and others collected.  In both cases, righteousness and wisdom must be pursued.  One must seek after them, like walking down a path.  There is more than one path, and we must think about which we are choosing. Continue reading

On the Other Hand (Jesus is God)

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—  for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.  Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.  And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.  For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.  -Romans 5: 12-17

In some ways, Jesus is like Adam. By one man’s transgression, sin entered the world.  And by one man’s righteousness, victory over sin entered the world.  Adam and Jesus are alike in that both are a type of “first man.”  At the same time, they are total opposites if you think about it.  Adam was the first man to sin; Jesus was the first man to live without sin.  Continue reading