Monthly Archives: July 2022

Why God Wants People to Believe in Him

Most religions have some concept of salvation. This salvation might be expressed as life after death, heaven, enlightenment, Nirvana, or union with God. The way to salvation varies by the religion. In some, the way to salvation runs through good … Continue reading

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A Different Way to Pray (Romans 8:26-27)

Prayer is not the private, highly individual thing we thought it was. There is a work crew that assembles when we pray. Or, say rather, a dream team: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God invites us –in all our weakness – to join his team.

Prayer, as Paul thought of it, is more like basketball than archery. It’s done as a team. We don’t stand alone aiming at a target. Instead, we work the prayer down the court toward the goal. It doesn’t all depends on us—and we should never think it does. That would be like playing in a three-on-three basketball tournament with teammates LeBron James, Stephan Curry, and Nikalo Jokic, and thinking that it all rests on me! We need the team as we pray. Without God’s help, we’ll never move our prayers toward the target. Continue reading

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Abortion Is an Important, but not an Ultimate, Issue

With humans displaced from God (and, therefore, from each other), secondary errors are unavoidable. In the absence of God, humans invest penultimate things – many good and necessary in themselves – with ultimate standing, to their own detriment. As G. K. Chesterton noted long ago, “When a man stops believing in God, he doesn’t then believe in nothing; he believes anything.” Continue reading

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Unanswered Prayers: The Rest of the Story (2 Cor. 12:6-10)

Here is the thesis of this message: When God says no, he does so because of love. When he says no, it is because saying yes would be unhelpful in the long run to you and to others. When he says no, it is to preclude some evil that would happen or to promote some good that would not happen had he said yes.

The evil that must be precluded and that good that must be promoted may not be apparent right now. They may not even be apparent in our lifetimes. That good or evil might be four generations away or twenty. We cannot see it, think it, or even imagine it – our minds are too limited; we are still babes in the infancy of humanity. There is so much we don’t know. Continue reading

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What Do You Think of Church People?

Another church person trope, as prevalent as the hypocrite, is the stuffed shirt, the religious bore. Unchurched people believe that their churched counterparts are prigs. Unchurched intellectuals presume they are dolts. Church people are straight arrows, stuffy, and prudish. Fifteen minutes in their presence feels like an eternity. Continue reading

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Prayer: The Heart of the Matter

In this message on 1 John 3:18-22, we learn what role the heart plays in prayer and how it can sometimes hinder our prayers from being answered. Yet, there is hope, for “God is greater than our hearts.”

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The Prayer We Repeat Over and Over

In the church circles in which I have moved, and lived, and had my being, people sometimes speak of “a life of prayer.” They have in mind a person who prays more frequently than others. But beyond a life of … Continue reading

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Getting Married This Summer? You Need to Know This

When I was a kid, I hated to go to the doctor’s office. My doctor was a tall man who always wore a white coat and seemed to have an affinity for hypodermic needles. The only redeeming value I could … Continue reading

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