Enjoying the Journey

Have you watched the news lately? At times it seems that the whole world has gone crazy. Logic has disappeared and common sense is at an all-time low. Some say it is a sign of the times, and, while I would agree, I would also say it is a sign of sin. There is a miserable insanity to sin. Sin at its core is a rejection of the God of all wisdom. When you reject the God of wisdom it naturally leads to foolishness. This is how Solomon could know so much and still do so much damage. In short – sin is stupid. Reject truth and you believe a lie. Turn from light and you open the door to…

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Long before I was a preacher I was a sinner. We would like to think that this changes over time, but I am still a sinner! One of God’s great preachers said it best: “O wretched man that I am!” (Romans 7:24). For sure, we should be sinning less but we are not sinless. Only Christ is that. Sometimes in the busyness of ministry, surrounded by so much religious context, we are prone to forget how wicked our hearts truly are. The flesh never gets better. It cannot be trusted. Deep within the most holy man is the unholy current of sin. There is in ALL of us a rebel heart. Sometimes it even comes out clothed in “preacher talk”…

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As I ran along the coast in a Florida community some time ago I saw one of the most vivid reminders of the dangers of life. The sun was shining bright and the skies were clear. People around me mingled in the park, walking their dogs and talking to one another. Expensive private boats floated along the pier. And there in the middle of all that beauty was the wreckage… No doubt, the boat had served some useful purpose. Perhaps a family had enjoyed wonderful days onboard. Now it sat at the bottom of the harbor. The only evidence that it existed was the mast still sticking out of the water. A severe storm had revealed some weakness in the…

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Over the last few months we have been clearing a fence row around our new home. The underbrush was thick and the work was slow going. Thanks to my dad’s tractor and my father-in-law’s chain saw some progress has been made, but the work continues! One afternoon, covered in brush and perspiration, the truth of it all came home to my heart. Jesus loved to teach in the outdoors. And He used whatever was at hand as an object lesson. He still does. The physical often reflects a deeper spiritual reality. As I stood looking at the thorns and briers, the Holy Spirit said, “This is your heart. It gets overgrown with the underbrush of life, the debris of this…

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My second year in college I enrolled in a Greek class. It met at 7:00 in the morning. Now, I don’t think English well before 8:00 a.m., much less Greek! Nevertheless, it was a required course and one for which I am now truly grateful. There are many technical things about Greek that I do not remember, but I will never forget the first “word study” I was assigned. It came from a most familiar verse, 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” What a verse! What a principle and a promise! I have had to obey it and claim it thousands…

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We all want to live in victory over sin.  The key to victory over sin is learning victory over temptation.  “Resist small beginnings”, a wise man once said.  Deal with the seed and you will not have to overcome a forest of sin’s consequences. Temptation is a fleshly assault by the enemy.  He appeals to our lust, our pride – our flesh.  It is impossible to combat fleshly temptation with the energy of the flesh.  Pastor Sexton has often said that you must deal, not only with the devil, but the devil’s friends!  He has a friend in me and in you.  Flesh is complicit with the temptation because we desire to please ourselves! The only way to meet fleshly…

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Recently I was in Vancouver, British Columbia for a meeting.  On Saturday night I had a little time alone at the hotel and decided to do the Christian (and Canadian) thing: walk across the street to Tim Horton’s for a cup of coffee and a donut.  It is good to immerse yourself in the culture when you are traveling!  (At least this was how I justified the donut.) It was a beautiful evening in downtown Vancouver and I enjoyed the walk.  As I waited at a crosswalk to return to my room, a distinguished looking man nearing seventy years of age came and stood beside me.  A conversation was initiated and very soon I realized that the Lord had given…

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