13May

A New Devotion on Cove’s Prayer Line - My Sister and I

Below is the podcast of a new devotion I just left on the Cove Presbyterian Church prayer line. You can find other devotions, sermons, essays, articles, and announcements on The Cove Community blog. You might also want to visit the congregational website (covepresbyterian.org) for more church information. 

 

If you find this meaningful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.

 

Colossians 3:12-17

 

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

My Sister and I

 

My mother had an enormous amount of patience. As I recall, there were few things that really threw her for a loop. But having said that, every now and then, my sister and I would push mom to the brink. You see, my sister and I were separated by gender, two years and an entirely different way of dealing with the world. For example, as I remember it, I was the one who was calm, logical and nearly always right, while my sister was emotional, erratic and nearly always wrong, that is, when her opinion differed from mine. At least, that’s how I remember it. Anyway, our differences resulted in more than a few knock down, drag outs. And sometimes, when I was calmly explaining my well-thought out position and my sister was going nuts, mom would come into the room and simply shout, “Why can’t you two get along.”

 

And I’ll tell you, sometimes I feel like saying the same thing myself, especially when I listen to folks with different political opinions go at it or when I watch husbands and wives argue over things that would probably resolve themselves if given a chance or when I have to deal with Christians who believe that theological minutia is more important than Jesus Christ. But when these battles erupt, I think there’s no better place for guidance than the verses I read from Colossians. Of course, there’s a lot in this passage, but I believe the bottom line is captured in the last verse: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” You see, if we focus on the one who loves us in spite of ourselves, then we might weather whatever difference might arise and actually do what my sister and I found so challenging to do.

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12May

Friday’s Essay - She Never Did Care for Pie

Below is the podcast of an essay that I sent to those on the Cove Presbyterian Church e-mailing list. You can find other essays, sermons, devotions, articles, and announcement on The Cove Community blog. You might also want to visit the congregational website (covepresbyterian.org) for more church information. 

 

If you find this meaningful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal

 

 

Image result for Mother's Day never did care for pieSunday is Mother’s Day. And so, this morning as I was looking for a graphic to put in the bulletin, I ran across a little saying by Tenneva Jordan. “A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” 

 

Now I don’t know about you, but I really found that to be a powerful statement. And even though I know that doesn’t apply to all mothers much less people, I was blessed that it does apply to my mom. You see, although she never announced it or sought praise for it, I now understand all that she sacrificed for my brother, sister and I. Over and over again she put herself second so that we might come first. And I’ll tell you, I see this same willingness to sacrifice in my wife’s relationship with our daughter. You see, they both focused their time and attention on their children. And they both considered the needs of another before their own wants. And they both took that precious and limited commodity called time, something they could have used for themselves, and they gave it to us. And they did it without seeking thanks or praise. Instead, they put us first, because they loved and love us, maybe even more than themselves. Now that’s what my mom did for me and my wife does for Maggie, and for that I’m truly thankful.

 

But having said that, it seems to me that this is really what Jesus calls us all to do. I mean, according to the Evangelist Mark, Jesus said to the crowd and to his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.” And a little later, he said, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” 

 

In other words, following Christ isn’t about getting; rather, it’s about giving. It’s not about clawing to become first; rather, it’s about putting ourselves last. And it certainly isn’t about making sacrifices so that in the end we’ll come out on top; rather, it’s about making sacrifices because that’s the right thing to do now. Somehow really good mothers understand this as they look toward their children. And maybe it’s something we can all include in our vision as we look toward the neighbors that God has called us to love.

 

In a few days, we’ll have the chance to remember our mothers. And like I said, I was both lucky and blessed, because I can not only remember, I can also celebrate two women who were and are examples of the kind of lives that we all have been called to live. But if I’m serious about this celebrating business, I can also make the decision to incorporate some of these sacrificial qualities in my own life and to apply them as I life with the human family with whom God has surrounded me. And then, who knows, when confronted with the chance to sacrifice for my brothers and sisters, I might also say that I never did care for pie.

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11May

A New Devotion on Cove’s Prayer Line - First Things First

Below is the podcast of a new devotion I just left on the Cove Presbyterian Church prayer line. You can find a recording of this devotion on the prayer line (1-304-748-7900). You can find other devotions, sermons, essays, articles, and announcements on The Cove Community blog. You might also want to visit the congregational website (covepresbyterian.org) for more church information. 

 

If you find this meaningful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.

 

Luke 6:39-42

 

He also told them a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.”

 

First Things First

 

Although it sounds like one of those “Dah” sayings, the idea of putting “first things first” is actually pretty challenging. I mean, it’s really easy to put other things before the stuff that actually should be most important and done first. For example, when I’m working on a sermon, it’s always tempting to do almost anything other than write. And even if what I’m tempted to do needs to be done, it’s certainly not the most important thing I need to accomplish. But if I choose to chase that rabbit when I really need to maintain my focus, well, the result generally isn’t good, because whether or not I acknowledge it’s immediate importance, that message still has to be written and delivered on Sunday morning. And so, after I’ve decided to back-up some messages or to check out the latest news on my phone, I’m still stuck with an unwritten sermon at 8:00 on Saturday evening, all because I forgot how important it is to put first things first.

 

And as Jesus reminds us, that same principle applies to our spiritual lives. You see, before we run around acting as though we have all the answers, we might want to listen to some folks who know more than us. And before we put ourselves up as judge and executor, we might want to look at our own lives and take seriously the structural integrity of our glass houses. In short, whether it involves doing a job we’re expected to do or responding to the call of Jesus Christ, I think it’s important to put first things first.

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9May

A New Devotion on Cove’s Prayer Line - An Uncomfortable Contrast

Below is a new devotion I just left on the Cove Presbyterian Church prayer line. You can find a recording of this devotion on the prayer line (1-304-748-7900). You can also find other devotions, sermons, essays, articles, and announcements on The Cove Community blog. You might also want to visit the congregational website (covepresbyterian.org) for more church information.

 

If you find this meaningful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.

 

Luke 6:17-26

 

He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.

 

Then he looked up at his disciples and said: 

     “Blessed are you who are poor, 

          for yours is the kingdom of God. 

     “Blessed are you who are hungry now, 

          for you will be filled. 

     “Blessed are you who weep now, 

          for you will laugh.

 

“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. 

      “But woe to you who are rich, 

          for you have received your consolation. 

      “Woe to you who are full now, 

          for you will be hungry. 

     “Woe to you who are laughing now, 

          for you will mourn and weep.

 

“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.”

 

An Uncomfortable Contrast

 

I’m not sure there’s a more dramatic contrast between the values of the world and the values of the Kingdom than the one sketched out by Jesus in these verses. I mean, he lays out a reality that’s different from anything I’ve seen before, one in which the burdened are considered blessed and the content are cursed. And even though that must offer peace to folks who are struggling through their very existence, it sure doesn’t offer much peace to me. I mean, give me a break, this is one uncomfortable contrast, especially for those of us who are a lot closer to rich, full and happy than poor, hungry and sad. My goodness, not only is it easier for us to identify with that end of the spectrum, as a society, we tend to admire and to reward those who are even more wealthy, full and happy than us. But the idea that Jesus doesn’t do the same kind of thing, man, this is just uncomfortable. And this probably explains why we try to spiritualize it the way we do, you know, so that we can see ourselves as people we’re not, and I’m talking about poor and hungry and sad. But we do it anyway, deceiving ourselves and discounting the folks for whom this applies.

 

And for that reason, I think we should learn to live with this uncomfortable contrast, I mean, instead of pretending that we’re burdened, maybe we should thank God that we’re not, even though we know that the time may come when he’ll balance the scales. But more than that, maybe we should take some of what we have and share it with those who don’t. In other words, rather than giving more to those who already have more than enough, maybe we should do a little scale balancing right here on earth. And even though that may not make this contrast comfortable, it may reduce some of the discomfort.

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8May

Cove Presbyterian Church Worship Service - May 7, 2017

Below is the podcast of the service I lead on Sunday, May 7, in Cove Presbyterian Church, Weirton, West Virginia.

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8May

Sunday’s Sermon - Walls and Gates

Below is the podcast of the sermon I preached on Sunday, May 7, in Cove Presbyterian Church, Weirton, West Virginia. You can find other sermons, devotions, essays, articles, and announcement on The Cove Community blog. You might also want to visit the congregational website (covepresbyterian.org) for more church information. 

 

If you find this sermon meaningful, please consider supporting this ministry by sending an offering to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.

 

Now, ever since Donald Trump started his successful run for the presidency, walls have suddenly become a big deal. I mean, I doubt that there’s anyone here this morning who hasn’t heard that the President’s plan to build not just a wall, but a great and impenetrable wall along the Mexican border. Now that’s what he’s promised, in fact as recent as last week. 

 

And without getting into whether or not this is good or even makes sense, the idea of a nation building a wall is hardly new or exciting. I mean, the history of the world is just full of walls. For example, there’s Hadrian’s Wall, built during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian across Great Britain. And then there’s the first Great Wall, you know, the one in China, finished during the Ming Dynasty, measuring 5,500 miles. And how can we forget the Berlin Wall, a concrete barrier build by the East Germans that completely isolated West Berlin from the rest of the country. And of course, for basketball fans among us, there’s John Wall of the Washington Wizards, who scored 24 points Thursday evening in leading his team over the Boston Celtics, but y’all already knew that. And so, I think I’m safe in saying, there are walls all over the place.

 

And with the exception of John, these walls all have the same purpose. You see, it doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about illegal immigrants from Mexico or blue-faced Picts from Scotland, nomadic tribes who wanted to conquer an ancient country or East Berliners who wanted to buy a modern washer/dryer, all these walls were built either to keep something or someone in or to keep something or someone out. 

 

But I’ll tell you, I don’t think this is unique just to these famous barriers. As a matter of fact, I really believe you could expand this purpose to all walls. That’s just want they’re suppose to do. But you know, even though that may be exactly what you want to see happen when you build it, this keeping in and keeping out business can really get you big trouble if you don’t also build into that wall at least one gate or door. I mean, no matter how great the wall is at fulfilling its purpose, there are probably some things that the folks on the inside want to send out, right along with stuff they want to get in. You see, if you don’t put in some kind of portal or entryway, you’ve got to live with what you’ve already got. And for that reason, I’ve never seen a wall that didn’t some kind of gate. 

 

Of course, right now I’m talking about physical walls; but let’s face it, those aren’t the only kinds of walls we build. For example, I think we’re constantly building emotional walls, you know, to separate ourselves from people we may not know and protecting ourselves from all the pain and disappointment that comes when we open ourselves to someone else. In fact, that’s one kind of wall a lot of us are really good at building. And then we also built walls that I think you could call intellectual, because we sure don’t want to expose our brains to any idea, to any thought, to any opinion that we don’t already have just like we don’t want to expose our ideas or thoughts and opinions to the scrutiny of folks who may know more than us. And so we build intellectually walls. But that’s not all. I think a lot of Christians also build walls that are spiritual, and they do it by defining their church and their faith and their relationship with God so narrowly that, if you aren’t willing to buy everything they’re selling, you will never find a home with them. I’m telling you, that’s a wall too. And so, even if we’re not stacking bricks or pouring concrete, we’re still building. 

 

And we’re still hoping that our emotional and intellectual and spiritual walls do exactly what walls are suppose to do: to keep things out and/or to keep things in. And even though that’s actually pretty understandable, I mean, give me a break, there’s a lot of crazy stuff going on in our world, when we build these of barriers, often we forget to put in that one thing every physical wall has, and I’m talking about a gate. You see, I think we can become so concerned about protecting what we feel and what we think and what we believe, we leave no access to anything different. We leave no portal or entryway to the world around us. And I’ll tell you, I believe we do it so well, in other words, we’re so successful separating ourselves from everyone and everything else, that we end up being left to live with only what we already have. And as a result, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually, we become stagnant, ignorant of anything that’s new and improved. And we become complacent, assuming that what we have is all there is. But maybe worst of all, we become isolated, which means that when we really need emotional support or when we’re forced to recognize that some of our assumptions are

wrong or when we realize that some of those beliefs we’ve carried with us from childhood just don’t make sense in an adult world, I’m telling you, when that happens, well, let’s just say, we’re in big trouble, if there are no gates in our walls.

 

And you know, for that reason, I think this passage from John is really important, because in it, Jesus was talking about walls and gates along with something else. Now, based on what happened right before these verses, Jesus was talking to this bunch of Pharisees, Jews who were so focused on the law that they couldn’t see anything else. I guess you could say this has become their wall. And as chapter ten begins, they were ticked off that Jesus had healed a man who’d been born blind, because he’d done it on the Sabbath, you know, their holy day, something that for them was much worst than cutting your grass on Sunday. Anyway, it was to them that Jesus said, “I tell you for certain that only thieves and robbers climb over the fence instead of going in through the gate to the sheep pen. But the gatekeeper opens the gate for the shepherd, and he goes in through it. The sheep know their shepherd’s voice. He calls each of them by name and leads them out. When he has led out all of his sheep, he walks in front of them, and they follow, because they know his voice. The sheep will not follow strangers. They don’t recognize a stranger’s voice, and they run away. [John 10:1-5] ...I tell you for certain that I am the gate for the sheep. Everyone who came before me was a thief or a robber, and the sheep did not listen to any of them. I am the gate. All who come in through me will be saved. Through me they will come and go and find pasture. A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest.” [John 10:7b-10] Now that was exactly what he told them.

 

And like I said just a little while ago, I think this has a lot to say about the kind of walls and gates we construct around ourselves. As a matter of fact, as we build our walls, particularly those that are emotional and intellectually and spiritual, I believe we need to remember two very important things about who Jesus was for them and is for us. I mean, first, remember that Jesus said that he was the gate, and for me, that’s a reminder that it’s important for us to open, open in our feelings and our thoughts and our beliefs and open to both receive and to send. And this is why I believe that’s true. You see, because Jesus is the gate, our gate, he must want us to be connected to the world around us. Remember he didn’t say he was the wall or fence, he said, “I am the gate.” And because of that, 

he couldn’t want us to crawl up and hide, stagnant and complacent and isolated, believing that being vulnerable is the same as being weak and that it’s dangerous to expose to others your feelings and thoughts and beliefs. Instead, because he’s our gate to the outside, he must want us to be open to folks that we might have ignored and to ideas that we might have avoided in the past. You see, at the very least, he must want us to crack the door just a little bit so that we can receive emotional support when we feel sad while at the same time we can offer it when someone else feels lonely and so that we can learn all kinds of things we don’t know while at the same time we can communicate to others a lot of stuff they may have never heard and so that we can have our beliefs shaped but also tested by ideas from the outside while at the same time we can share our message to those who are desperately looking for something they can trust. You see, Jesus must want the feelings and the emotions, the thoughts and the opinions, the beliefs and the values to flow in and out. And although it may seem a little scary, this is something we can do, because we know that Jesus is the gate; therefore, we can trust that we will be protected. You see, we can trust in him; therefore, we can believe that we will be safe. And I’ll tell you, that’s really what faith is all about. I mean, faith isn’t about being static and stagnant. It isn’t about being comfortable and complacent. And it sure isn’t about being alone and isolated. No, faith is about trusting that what Paul said to the Romans is true: “In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us. I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!” You see, we can open ourselves emotionally, intellectually and spiritually, because Jesus Christ is the gate. That’s one thing that we can see in this passage, but not the only thing.

 

You see, in this passage, Jesus not only said that he was the gate, he also said that he was the shepherd who leads the sheep out and who “...walks in front of them, and they follow, because they know his voice.” And I’ll tell you, because he’s the shepherd, I think we need to be ready to follow Christ out into the world. And that’s the second thing that this passage reminds us. You see, that’s what Jesus does for us; he leads us out: out from behind our walls, out from our little comfort zones, out from those safe places we’re often scared to leave. And he leads us out, so that we can see the world, a world that, according to Christ, God loves and sent him to save, but just as important, so that the world can see us. And you tell me that’s not important. I mean, isn’t the message of Jesus Christ something the world needs and needs right now? My gosh, even if it doesn’t result in everybody becoming a Christian and attending services and contributing to the church (which would be nice), don’t you think the world needs to hear that, in God’s sight, what’s most important isn’t about becoming powerful and it isn’t about indulging self and it isn’t about having the most? Rather, it’s about helping the least of these who are our brothers and sisters and sacrificing for others and remaining humble. Doing that is really what has the greatest value. I ask you, as we live in a world that seems to put such a huge emphasis on arrogance and acquisition and accumulation, don’t you think a lot of the issues we face would be reduced if we could factor a little love, a little compassion, a little mercy into the equation? And you know, isn’t that what we’re called to do, and I’m talking about as folks who sincerely love God? Remember, after his resurrection, Jesus was talking to Peter. And after asking Peter three times if he loved him and hearing the same answer, Jesus told him to do these three things. He told him to “feed my lambs” and then to “take care of my sheep” and then to “feed my sheep.” And this is something we can do physically and emotionally; we can do it intellectually and spiritually. But I’ll tell you, we can only do it, if we decide that we going to follow Jesus, our shepherd whose voice we know, through the gate, away from the walls, into the world. And for me, that’s the second thing we can see in this passage.

 

But of course, even if we do, that doesn’t mean that we’ll no longer need walls. No, walls really are important, because, for a variety of reasons, there are some things we may need to keep out just like there are some things we may need to keep in. And I think that’s true whether we’re dealing with stuff that’s physical or with feelings and thoughts and beliefs. But having said that, I think we also need to recognize that it’s probably a mistake to build a barrier without some kind of portal, doing that only leads to stagnation and complacency and isolation. In other words, every wall really needs a gate.

 

And here’s the good news. Since Jesus said that he is our gate, we can be open to the world, trusting that he’ll protect us. And since Jesus is also the shepherd who leads us flock out, we can decide to follow him out into the world, sharing who we are and what we believe by the words we use and the lives we live. And if we do, in my humble opinion, that would be making the very best use of both the walls and the gates.

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6May

A New Devotion on Cove’s Prayer Line - We’re All Under the Weather

Below is the podcast of a new devotion I just left on the Cove Presbyterian Church prayer line. You can find a recording of this devotion on the prayer line (1-304-748-7900). You can find other devotions, sermons, essays, articles and announcements of The Cove Community blog. You might also want to visit the congregational website (covepresbyterian.org) for more church information. 

 

If you find this meaningful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.

 

Luke 5:27-32

 

After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up, left everything, and followed him.

 

Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house; and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others sitting at the table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

 

We’re All Under the Weather

 

We’re experiencing some chilly and wet weather up here in the Northern Panhandle. And I guess that’s the reason it seems as everybody has been, is or will soon be sick. In other words, I think most of the folks I know are at least a little under the weather right now. And even if they don’t talk about what ails them, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that something is going around, what with all the coughing and sneezing. I’ll tell you, it makes you nervous shaking hands after church. You may go home with more than a warm welcome. And for those of us who have yet to be infected, man, that’s the last thing we need. You see, even though a lot of folks have been laid low by a virus, it hasn’t affected us all.

 

But I’ll tell you, there is a kind of sickness that we all carry around, one that impacts more than our lungs and nasal cavities. You see, we’re all sinners; therefore, sin infects us all. And this particular illness distorts our understanding of the world around us. It leads us to favor our wants over the needs of others. And it causes us to act as though we are both the center of the universe and the source of all knowledge. As Paul wrote, “We all sin and fall short of the glory of God.” Now that’s what we face, but there’s good news; we have the best possible doctor, one who did and does more than to tell us to drink a lot of fluids and to get plenty of bed rest. You see, our doctor is Jesus Christ, the one who has defeated and frees us from sin. And I’ll tell you, that’s something everyone of us needs, because as it relates to sin, we’re all under the weather.

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2May

A New Devotion on Cove’s Prayer Line - It’s Not Hard to Know

Below is the podcast of a new devotion I just left on the Cove Presbyterian Church prayer line. You can find a recording of this devotion on the prayer line (1-304-748-7900). You can find other devotions, sermons, essays, articles, and announcements on The Cove Community blog. You might also want to visit the congregational website (covepresbyterian.org) for more church information. 

 

If you find this meaningful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.

 

1 John 4:16b-21

 

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

 

It’s Not Hard to Know

 

You know, I’m fascinated by how frustrated some Christians become over salvation and their relationship with God. I mean, it seems as though they’re struggling over whether they’re done or said or felt the right things. And even if they have, they worry about whether they’ve done, said or felt enough to satisfy God. Of course, ministers and churches don’t help. My goodness, it seems as though every church has their own path to God, with their own idea about the actions God wants to see or the words he wants to hear or the emotions he wants us to experience. And since these gateways often vary from place to place, it’s a real challenge to know what’s right and what’s not as right. And for some Christians, well, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they worry.

 

And I’ll tell you, I think that’s a real shame, because our relationship with God seems governed by our willingness to do one thing that often isn’t part of many ecclesiastical equations. You see, we can know that God dwells in us by our willingness to love one another. That’s it. And the logic behind this is simple. Since God is love, when we choose to love, we demonstrate God’s presence in our lives. Of course, if we choose not to love, if we choose not to demonstrate compassion to those in need and if we choose not to sacrifice some of what we want for the other guy, then that may show a separation between ourselves and God. And both are true regardless of what else we do, say or feel. And so, when we wonder about our relationship with God, we may simply need to look within ourselves, because when you get right down to it, it’s really not hard to know.

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1May

Cove Presbyterian Church Worship Service - April 30, 2017

Below is the podcast of the service I lead on Sunday, April 30, in Cove Presbyterian Church, Weirton, West Virginia.

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1May

Two Ridge Presbyterian Church Worship Service - April 30, 2017

Below is the podcast of the service I lead on Sunday, April 30, in Two Ridges Presbyterian Church, Wintersville, Ohio.

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