Sun, Oct 27, 2019
We get stuck in loops. When they're good, we call them grooves. When they're bad, we call them ruts. As creatures of habit, we cannot help but gravitate toward the predictable. This ancient problem is most tragically illustrated in the book of Judges. Generation after generation in Israel does evil, gets oppressed, cries out, receives a deliverer from God, experiences short-lived peace, and then repeats the cycle. Fortunately, God can help us break bad cycles and replace them with good ones.
Sun, Sep 29, 2019
Duration: 49 mins 24 secs
Long before JFK wrote Profiles of Courage, biblical authors recounted stories of faithful men and women: Moses, Joshua, Rahab, and Ruth. They describe a courage rooted in God's character, contrasting with today's self-discovered, reckless, stand-alone courage. In fact, Joshua begins his new role as Israel's leader responding to the fivefold refrain: Be strong and courageous. God and others speak courage into him. And because of our ongoing fears today, we need God and others to speak courage into us.
Sun, Jun 23, 2019
During our early years of following Jesus, we commonly experience giant leaps in our spiritual growth. We share our faith. We read the Word. Several vices lose their grip on our hearts. These life changes feel so affirming. And then we hit a plateau, dry spell, relapse, or dark phase. Growth stalls. Doubts surface. Old habits die hard. For most of us, spiritual growth is long, hard, and slow to progress. The Corinthian church will help us understand why (and what to do about it).
Sun, Jun 07, 2015
The fear of failure likely affects more people than the fear of success. But the dark side of success touches many of us. Those who have tasted success, or watch others experience it, have noted themes that emerge from Gideon's life. After gaining confidence from God of certain victory over the Midianites (Judges 6:11-7:23), Gideon gives chase to his enemies. In the following narrative (Judges 7:24-8:35), we find three reasons to fear success: it breeds critics, feeds conceit, and leads to change/corruption. While we cannot control our critics (and we better not be one), we can fight conceit and resist corruption, so that our work retains its virtue. For true success is leveraging our work for God's glory, not ours (Psalm 115:1).