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Showing posts from 2008

Strange Fire

Leviticus 10:1-3 Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said to Aaron, "It is what the Lord spoke, saying, "By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored."

The sons of Aaron offered "strange fire" to God. That phrase struck me this morning as I was reading this passage in Leviticus. It got me to thinking about what we offer as strange fire these days. No longer do we have the tent of meeting and burnt offerings to God like in the time of the Israelites. No, we now have the perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ and so we don't have to make atonement for our sins according to the laws of the Old Testament.
Now, my initial question was "What were …

The Ultimate Bailout Plan

God laughs in the face of $700 Billion.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21


For the past two months or more the talk of bailouts has become the new chic conversation piece. It started with the banking industry, or the credit industry, or was it the real estate industry? Who knows! In any event the federal government has been inundated with bailout...excuse me, "rescue" plans, packages and those wanting a piece of the proverbial pie. Of course, just like every other problem we have in this modern age, the solution is to throw inordinate amounts of money at it in the hopes of drowning the problem in cash. It seems a little bit like the person who wishes to drown their troubles in alcohol only to end up with a splitting headache, a pickled liver and no memory of how it all …

Was Jerimiah and American Pt. II

This is a follow up to the other post by the same name. Specifically, I want to let the scripture do most of the talking this time. I think it can bring much heavier conviction than I ever could.

Jeremiah 2:13
for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns that can hold no water.

18:7-10, 12
If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does what is evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it...But they say, "That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart."…

Total War

Sermon given 11-2-08

This not actually how it came out but this is what I was working from for the actual sermon.


Have you ever heard the phrase “We’ve won the battle but not the war”? For instance, the Confederates won several battles during the Civil War but ultimately lost the war. The Germans and Japanese and Italians won many battles in World War Two but they ultimately lost the war. The same goes for nearly every conflict that has ever taken place in the history of mankind, even the losers win once in a while. I believe the same thing happens to Christians many, many times. We claim victory over death and Hell but we don’t claim the same victory over this life. It is as if we don’t seem to understand that Christ came to give us, not only salvation, but a “new life” in Him. That is, a total transformation of every part of our life. It’s not just that we get to go to Heaven now but that He has won us victory over the everyday stuff. I don’t know if this type of victory is something …

The Deep Dark Woods

A man was walking in the woods one day. As he walked further and further he started to notice that the wood was darker and darker. Soon very little light was able to penetrate through the dense canopy of limbs and leaves. The trail was plenty wide for him to walk and had a nice downward pitch. Not so steep that it was hard on his joints but just enough so that he was helped along by gravity. He wasn't really sure where the trail lead but he decided to push on because even though it was dark the way was fairly easy.
There were signs along the way but they were too badly damaged to be read and some of them seemed charred as with fire. He tried to make them out but it was no use. After a while longer he found himself at a place where another path merged with his own and he could see footprints of someone who had gone on before him. There was no other sign of the other person just their footprints leading him onward.
The next thing the man came across was a small stream of runni…

"Draw Close to Me"

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus Philippians 2:5

I would like to take just a brief moment and share something that the Lord brought to my attention this morning in my quiet time. I was meditating on some quotes from Charles Spurgeon and John Wesley about the nature of revival and evangelism and I found myself asking God for that compassionate heart that hurts for the lost. Now, I don't want to see people go to Hell but these great men of faith seem to have had an exceptional passion for the lost and this is where I want my own heart to be. So I found myself asking God for that kind of heart. As He so often does, and I so often forget, the Lord reminded me that if I draw near to Him and seek His face then a deep compassion for the lost will follow (I have preached this before and still I manage to forget).
The Bible is filled with this very same advice. The passage at the beginning of this entry from Philippians, your attitude should be the same as that …

Does God's pencil have an eraser?

Can someone loose their salvation?

From the sixth grade until my graduation from High School I attended a Christian school. This was a fantastic experience for which I am very grateful to my parents. Now, in that I did not attend a public school during this time I am not certain as to what sort of things were debated around the proverbial water cooler. However, at this fine Christian institution I often witnessed debates amongst perfectly qualified middle-schoolers as to whether or not someone might become unsaved. Truthfully the question never bothered me. I thought it was perfectly logical that if one could become saved then it was equally possible for them to reverse the situation. Now, in my twenty-seventh year of life, and for some time leading up to it, I have changed my position and would like to offer some reasons why. Please note that much more learned men than myself have exhausted themselves over this subject so please don't think this is definitive, nor is it comprehen…

Does unpopular = wrong?

Also Titled: "Cough Syrup tastes bad...suck it up!"

So I was listening to the radio this morning and over the past few days I have been rapt with the punditry over Sen. McCain's choice for VP candidate, Sarah Palin. As some of you may or may not know, I received a minor in Political Science from Western Carolina (evidently a major in History was not sufficient and they required a minor). Well, I also abhor politics, strange I know. Well this whole business about Palin has reignited my interest in politics but this is not what I'm going to address here. In listening to the radio the war in Iraq invariably comes up. As I listened I couldn't help but hear the words "unpopular war in Iraq" echoing in my ears. Then this thought entered into my mind, if something is unpopular does that automatically qualify it as wrong?
This is where a culture driven by moral relativism has brought us. You see, the flip side is that if it is popular then it must be right. This …

My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter?

Have you ever seen that bumper sticker? The one that says "My boss is a Jewish carpenter." I certainly have and generally when I see it I quietly agree with the driver and take the encouragement that comes with seeing a fellow soldier in the Lord's army. Just this evening, though, I had a thought as I was driving home from Bible study. "Should Jesus be my boss?" Now before you go casting judgment on the thought let me explain what I mean. I propose that instead if being a "boss" we should be looking at God and Christ as "Master." I'll explain by looking at some differences in the idea of boss and master.

Difference #1: Why were you hired?

When an individual is hired for a job by an employer it is for a specific reason. Perhaps a particular skill, talent or level of education qualifies someone for a particular job. The employer hires the person that is the most qualified to fulfill the task. Granted, this is the way it is supposed to work. …

Was Jeremiah an American?

Over the past month or so my Thursday morning Bible reading has taken me through the book of Jeremiah. As I read the indicting words that He penned for God in this prophetic book I can't help but see more than a little bit of America in them. For instance, just today I was reading in chapter 35 and ran across the story of the Sons of Jonadab. Here was a family, or tribe, or clan that had been given a directive by their forefather not to drink wine;

"But they answered, 'We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, 'You shall drink no wine, neither you nor your sons forever."

Now, before you think I'm getting ready to go off on an anti-alcohol tangent let me explain. What we discover later in the chapter is that it was not because they abstained from wine that they received blessings from God, it was because they were faithful to the command of their father. God tells Jeremiah that He is going to unleash His wrath on Israel bec…

Quenched But Not Satisfied

Quenched but not satisfied. Anyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. John 4:13-14


I have come to realize lately that once one tastes of the water that Jesus is speaking of in this passage there may in fact no longer be a thirst for salvation or eternal life but the thirst takes on a different tone. In the 42nd Psalm the author relates to us how they thirst for the presence of God, the living God. I do not believe this to be the contradiction that it appears to be. It would be very easy to look at these two verses and come to the conclusion that the Psalmist was not saved or otherwise secure, eternally speaking. However, I think we are dealing with two different kinds of thirst or at the least, two different needs being met. Jesus is clearly speaking of salvation when He addresses the woman at the well…