Sun, Dec 04, 2022
Duration: 49 mins 39 secs
Zechariah responds to an earnest question about fasting with four words from the LORD. He warns his people against simply going through the motions. Rather than faking their faith, they should show sincerity, practice justice, keep building, and seek God. Fasting had become an automated response, rather than a sign of real remorse. Moreover, fasting robbed them of the joyful anticipation of God's return. Whether we fasting or feasting, the people of God must keep moving forward.
Sun, Mar 28, 2021
Duration: 43 mins 53 secs
Several Psalms point toward the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Psalm 118 plays a pivotal role in Jesus's Passion Week. The crowd sings it when he enters Jerusalem. He quotes when he tells a story. The disciples sing it after the Passover meal. This Psalm provides three dominant metaphors for God's people. We are exiles, pilgrims, and rejects. This describes the experience of many Christians in our secular age. Fortunately, these images do not get the last word. We are also redeemed by the rejected Savior. In this we rejoice.
Sun, Dec 20, 2020
Life is perilous. Every day we face dangers. Some we can predict and prepare for; others hit us unaware. Fortunately, Scripture teaches God is our rock, refuge, helper, and defender. He directs us in a way that protects us. His directions may come in the clear form of moral teaching or the curious niggling of our conscience. We do well to listen for his voice and heed his direction. The second chapter in Matthew shows the diverse paths of Herod, the Magi, and Jesus's family. The former lives by his own jealous creed. The latter two follow God's direction and experience his protection. Which path will you take?
Sun, Dec 03, 2017
Duration: 45 mins 36 secs
God welcomes us back to Him when we drift. He is our refuge, our hiding place, our home. People in Hosea's day needed this reminder as they faced exile (by Assyria). They had lost their bearings. Their relationship with God had thinned. But He welcomed them back. He always welcomes a come back.
Sun, Jan 08, 2017
Duration: 40 mins 44 secs
We belong to God. This truth has special appeal to followers of Jesus who do not fit into the surrounding world. Peter wrote to a band of misfits and exiles, but called them elect and beloved. He assured them they belonged to God even though they faced hardship. Indeed, belonging to God is the most exceptional thing about a Christian.
Sun, Oct 30, 2016
Duration: 41 mins 30 secs
God calls us to kill the bitter root growing within our hearts (not kill our enemies). We all have traces of bitterness, whether directed toward politicians, celebrities, or people who have slighted us in our past. This emotion is not foreign to the Bible. In fact, God's people felt bitter rage in a foreign land. "By the streams of Babylon, I sat down and wept," beings one of the rawest psalms. It moves from bitter weeping to nostalgia to rage. God hears our rage, and asks us to hand it to Him.