Where is the Kingdom?

Luke LIV: Lk. 17:20-37 Introduction This text is about what the Kingdom of God is like and therefore how Christians are to go about seeking it and building it. The Text: Having rebuked the Pharisees for prizing the wrong things (Lk. 16:15), the Pharisees ask Jesus when the kingdom of God will come (Lk. 17:20)….

Repent or Perish

Luke XLVII: Luke 13:1-17 Introduction Jesus gives three teachings in this portion of the gospel, all centered around the glorious call to repentance. Repentance & Calamities Jesus has just finished charging his followers to read the signs of the times and warned them about petty disputes (Lk. 12:54-59). It’s at “that very time” when some…

Pink Hair & Boys Wearing Girls’ Underwear

Friends, we need to talk about this latest hair-dying fad. You know, the greens and the purples and oranges and pinks. And I’m not talking primarily about the obviously angry and bitter women out there in the world, I’m actually talking about otherwise sweet, gracious Christian women showing up with all manner of bright colors…

Peter Pan & Palm Sunday

Mt. 21:1-16 Introduction “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” cried the people as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on that first triumphal entry (Mt. 21:9). “Hosanna to the son of David!” cheered the children as Jesus drove out those who were buying and selling in the temple and healed the blind…

An Armory for Modern Christians #11

Do Not Despise Discipline Introduction Perhaps one of the greatest dangers for Christians is thinking they know better than God. Of course we don’t say that or consciously think that (usually), but that is precisely how we often live. And we justify it by claiming that we get the same results. This happens liturgically when…

New York vs. Mount Zion

The Book of Revelation is a behind the scenes look at what happens in worship. The Bible teaches that all true worship happens in heaven. We have been raised into the heavenly places in Christ Jesus by the Spirit, and when we gather together, when we say Lift up your hearts/we lift them up to…

No Secrets: No Fear

Luke XLIV: Lk. 12:1-12 Introduction Leaven is the principle of growth. Jesus says here to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy (Lk. 12:1). Hypocrisy is the way of the City of Man, but the Kingdom of God is built on the power and truth of the Spirit. No secrets: no fear….

Sin, Trauma, & God’s Grace for Parenting

[These are my notes from my talk for the 2016 TRC Parenting Conference] Introduction When I was sixteen years old, the summer before my senior year in high school, I worked during the days for my high school grounds keeper doing manual labor from 7am to 3pm. Then, most days, I drove 45 minutes south…

Jesus and Our Demons

Luke XLI: Lk. 11:14-28 [Audio here] Introduction Perhaps C.S. Lewis put it best when he said that people tend toward two opposite dangers when it comes to demons: unbelief on the one hand and unhealthy obsession on the other. Lewis said he thought the devils were equally pleased with both errors and “hail a materialist…

Facing the Future like a Christian

1 Sam. 2:1-10, Heb. 11:32-12:2, Jn. 14:1-17 Introduction Fall is a busy time of new beginnings: new school years, new seasons of life, new living situations. Add to this the regular (but significant) transitions of new marriages, welcoming new children into your home, sending children off to college, or various goodbyes, and then of course…