Archive for March, 2011
“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay” (Matthew 28:6).
We are just weeks away from the celebration of the most pivotal event in history … the resurrection of Jesus Christ. With that Easter celebration comes one of the greatest opportunities to do as the angels did and invite others to “come and see.” (more…)
I’m preaching these days from the Psalms. Psalms are “Faith Songs.” They were composed by saints whose faith sang in the various seasons of life. And these songs have been sung by the people of God in every age, even to this day, to express our faith in our worship, in our praying, in our struggles. Today, “Faith Sings … When I’m in Trouble.” (more…)
Worshippers at our church have the opportunity each Sunday to share prayer requests and praise reports with us. The requests are prayed over by our staff each week. One of those prayer slips, submitted by a child, caught my attention. (more…)
This week all around the world people will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I never was much interested in it until I traveled to Ireland on a mission trip several years ago. Prior to the trip I decided to read up on Irish history, and was really taken with Patrick. (more…)
I want to talk to you today about those seasons in life when you feel like God is a million miles away. You know He’s there somewhere in the heavens, but that’s a million miles away. Right now He seems so far from you, and you long to feel His presence, His nearness. (more…)
Nearly two weeks ago it was announced that President Obama had ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the courts. DOMA was adopted in 1996 as a safeguard against one state requiring another state to recognize same-sex marriages. Throughout his two-year tenure as president Mr. Obama has made it clear that he is inclined to side with gay rights groups on this issue. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney stated that the President “has long opposed it (DOMA) as unnecessary and unfair.” Attorney General Eric Holder stated that “the proper course is to forego the defense of the statute.”
What this means is that the President and his administration are on a course to fully legalize same sex marriage. Apparently he feels that there is sufficient support among Americans for the move, and that to do so would not be politically risky for him. If the President is correct in his assessment of the American will on this matter the U.S. is in grave danger.
Like never before we must stand up in defense of marriage. No doctrine is more central to God’s creative order for the planet. He established marriage as the very first and foundational institution among humans. He stated its value in the Ten Commandments by prohibiting adultery, which weakens and often destroys the marriage relationship. The Lord Jesus affirmed the Old Testament teaching on marriage and added, “What God has joined together let no man pull apart.” The New Testament writers specifically taught how husbands and wives are to live together in a Christ-honoring, covenant relationship.
No man has the right to redefine what God has defined. To call a same-sex union a legally recognized marriage is as outrageous as saying that a dog is a cat.
The battle to defend marriage must be waged on at least two fronts. The first is in the church where the doctrines of creation and of marriage are faithfully and carefully taught. Apparently there is wavering commitment to traditional marriage among many so-called Christians. No doubt this is due, in part, to the lack of clear biblical teaching and preaching on the matter in churches. No clear reading and interpretation of Scripture can leave room for any position other than that it is a life-long union between a man and a woman.
The second front on which this battle must be fought is the political arena. God has ordered societies to be built upon the foundation of stable marriages. In marriage there is a unique connection between the church and the state. Marriage licenses are secured from a public official. Most marriages are performed by persons authorized (ordained or licensed) by a church to perform weddings. Because marriage is the foundational institution of a civilized society, government must do its part to protect it.
Believers must exhaust every possible means of influencing public officials on this matter. Again, the current administration is convinced that public opinion has shifted away from a conservative view of marriage. We must rise up as the Church, the pillar of truth, and let them know otherwise.
Open your Bibles with me to Psalm 51. When I first became a believer as a young teenager, someone gave me a Bible, and in the front of that Bible there was a list of helpful places in God’s Word. One said, “When you need wisdom, turn to this passage.” Another said, “When you need comfort, turn to this passage.” One of the first confusing things about being a new Christian was that I found that, though I was saved, I still sinned. This created a lot of confusion and guilt for me (more…)