Enjoying the Journey

Beyond Bethlehem

I do love Christmas. While there are so many enjoyable aspects to this time of year, we must never forget that, for a Christian, every holiday should be a holy day and every celebration an opportunity to worship. You see, the reality is: I do love Christ. He has changed my life and eternal destiny! There is a danger in being detoured by the secularization of the season, but there is also a pitfall in getting bogged down in only one part of the story. The manger, the stable, the star, the shepherds…all of this is just the beginning. In the words of the iconic radio commentator Paul Harvey, you have to get “the rest of the story.” We must…

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Do You Have A Favorite Book Of The Bible?

As many of you know, my favorite book of the Bible is the New Testament book of Philippians. But, like one of my college professors, I too would have to say that my favorite book of the Bible is whichever one I am studying at the time! “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable…” The gospel records receive a great deal of attention at this particular time of year because of the emphasis on the birth of Christ. However, our attention on the life, ministry, and lasting work of the Lord Jesus should not be limited to one season! We need to walk closely with our Savior every day. For several years I have tried to…

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In our day of cheap facades, strange additives, and generic substitutes it is appealing when anyone offers something that is completely natural. Entire brands are now built on the idea of being “all natural.” But in this fallen world of ours even that which is “natural” is so often tainted by sin and the curse. This was not the case with Christ. He was the most natural person to have ever lived, and yet the most supernatural. The Lord Jesus was all man and all God at the same time – deity clothed with humanity. As surely as His deity was perfect deity, His humanity was perfect humanity. The “second Adam” was the perfect Man. I have been reflecting recently…

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Tuesday’s Thanksgiving Thought: “God’s Greatest Provision”

gospel icon cross

Over the last few days we have been building a list in our home. We live by lists! Grocery lists, to do lists, special event lists. This one is different. It is a “thanks list.” Every week this month each of us have written down one thing for which we are grateful to God. The list hangs in our kitchen where every one can see it and be reminded of the Lord’s goodness to us. A wide variety of items and people are on our list this year. No doubt many of you have made such a list or will sometime this week. (To download the Thanksgiving list template we are using with our family click here.) It is a…

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My Morning Meditation

Quote there is nothing wrong in this world that the Gospel cannot fix

Christ’s greatest work was not done in a Temple or a synagogue. It was not accomplished through discussion with religious leaders or debate with skeptics. His work was done outside the city where the lepers lived. At the side of the road where the beggar sat. In the fields where the poor gathered to hear something from God. The work of Jesus was on full display next to a well in Samaria and in a cemetery where broken hearts wailed and wept. Christ’s work was not to reform Rome or deliver Israel from severe taxation. It was to set common people free from the bondage of sin. His associates were not the religious elite and politically correct. They were rough…

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I Only Have One Message

Scott Pauley Bible Preaching Slide

Dr. Tom Malone used to joke about having five sermons and five hundred titles. My pastor challenged me years ago to work constantly at preparing new Bible messages. That counsel has been of inestimable value to me. It is easy to let your soul grow stale when the Bible is so fresh! As I have labored to study and prepare new messages I have come back to one essential. It was one of the first homiletics lessons I ever received. As a teenage preacher, struggling over what to preach in a certain meeting, my dad extended to me a priceless truth. He said, “When you don’t know what to preach, just preach Jesus.” Then he added, “And when you think…

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His Name Is Not A Swear Word!

Have you noticed it? I heard it sitting in a restaurant last week. It was muttered by someone who passed me in an airport recently. Yesterday it was spoken across a hotel lobby. Jesus. No, they were not speaking to Him or about Him. They were just using His name for their own ends. It is interesting to me that those who speak the name of “Jesus” or “Jesus Christ” so flippantly never say, “Lord Jesus Christ.” You cannot call Him Lord and use His name as your servant. When Jesus is Lord His name is Master. The third commandment is, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain” (Ex. 20:7a). Dr. Frank Sells taught us…

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Our Daily Bread

This week a fine young man sent me a message asking how to keep his mind fixed on Christ while surrounded by so many distractions.  It is not an easy question to answer because it is not an easy task to fulfill.  It is the battle that all of us fight every day! My response to him was brief.  I am more convinced every day that God intended His children to meet Him in the morning.  The devotional time is not limited to a few minutes alone.  We enter the presence of God so that we may live in His presence all day.  The great goal of prayer and meditation in the Word of God is to know God in a…

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Another trip.  I am sitting in a hotel room in Fort Worth, Texas tonight.  Tomorrow we host an Open House at Crown Southwest and begin a Regional Youth Congress.  I have no complaints, only gratitude.  Traveling is a privilege and an opportunity to grow.  I learn something on every journey and, with Christ, it is the adventure of a lifetime. Many travels have caused me to realize an aspect of our Lord’s earthly life that I never truly considered.  Jesus Christ was the ultimate Traveler.  For 33 1/2 years He was away from home.  At night He had no place to lay His head.  Scripture tells us that when others went to their own houses Jesus went to the Mount…

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Kind People in a Mean World

There once was a school that had but one rule.  (Oh, what a wonderful place that would be!)  It is now known as Washington and Lee University and Robert E. Lee was at one time the headmaster of this institution.  During his tenure the story is told that only one rule was enforced. It was simply: Be kind. This world of sinners can be a cruel place to live.  Churches full of sinners are often no less cruel.  Meanness abounds.  Because of this, it is always refreshing when you cross paths with someone who exhibits true kindness. Kindness is not a sentiment.  It is an action.  It is the action of our loving Father and it should be the action…

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