Digging in Deeper: Psalm 139:13-16

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

There are two great truths that come out of this passage.  One of them is deeply personal and has been greatly encouraging to me for many years.  The other is prophetically cultural.  It speaks a word of truth into an area of cultural and political division in our country that is increasingly sharp in its contrast between the two sides. Read the rest…

Morning Musing: 1 Peter 2:20

“For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure?  But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Peter wrote to a group of believers who were facing unjust suffering.  He wrote to them to offer them encouragement to keep on in their faith in spite of the things they were enduring.  His message was and is so powerful that 1 Peter is still a favorite book of the Bible among people who are facing persecution today. Read the rest…

Morning Musing: James 5:7

“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord.  See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

James advises patience here until the coming of the Lord Jesus.  Now, many people think about patience as a mostly idle waiting for something to happen.  We want something to do while we wait.  We don’t really practice patience today anymore.  Instead, we practice being distracted by entertainment so we don’t have to think about the fact that we can’t have something else we want immediately. Read the rest…

An Absentee God

In this second-to-last part of our series, Reasons to Believe, we tackled what is perhaps the stiffest challenge to the Christian faith ever recorded: The problem of evil.  How do we who confess our belief in a God who is good account for all the evil in the world?  That’s perhaps a bigger question than we could answer over the course of a single sermon.  What we can do is talk about how to respond to those who are struggling with it personally.  That is exactly what we wrestled with in this message.  Keep reading to see what we discovered.

An Absentee God

I read a story a couple of weeks ago about a serial killer in Russia.  The man was convicted in 2015 and sentenced to life in prison for raping and murdering 22 women.  Recently he confessed to additional murders for which he had not been previously convicted.  Fifty-nine additional murders to be precise.  If you’re into math, that makes 81 people—mostly women—whom this monster raped, likely tortured, and murdered.  He was a police officer the whole time.  When he was off-duty, he would offer to give young women walking on the side of the road a lift home.  Over a span of more than twenty years, eighty-one times somebody’s daughter disappeared without any apparent trace.  Let’s just go ahead and ask the hard question: How, in a world presided over by a God whose goodness is affirmed over and over again by billions of His followers, is something like this allowed to go on for so long without recourse? Read the rest…