Morning Musings: Colossians 3:17

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to the God the Father through him.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Have you ever wondered what it is you need to do in order to honor Christ?  Here Paul gives us a very simple test to know whether or not we’re on track.  Is it done in the name of Jesus out of a grateful heart?  If so, it is going to be honoring of Him.  If not, it won’t be.  Simple, right? Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Colossians 3:5

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you; sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

This is tough language here.  Paul seems to soften a bit a couple of verses later, but that’s just an appearance.  This is what Paul really means.  When it comes to the fruits of sin in our lives–and they are manifold well beyond the list Paul offers here–it is not enough to put them aside or turn our backs to them or knock them off their perch or anything else like that.  We must actively put them to death.  We must kill them completely and not allow for even the slightest chance that they will get up again. Read the rest…

A Crazy Idea

This past Sunday we began a brand-new teaching series at First Baptist, Oakboro, called God Moved into the Neighborhood.  Over the course of the next few weeks leading up to Christmas, we are going to unpack the marvelous truth that when our world was broken nearly beyond repair, God moved into the neighborhood in the person of Jesus Christ in order to transform it from the inside out.  With the help of some unexpected passages of Scripture for this time of year, we will unpack just how amazing this truth is, how the process of transformation unfolds, and how we should respond to it.  Don’t miss a single part of this powerful story.

A Crazy Idea

Have you ever had the opportunity to drive through an old neighborhood and thought, “Why haven’t they just bulldozed this whole place?  This is a mess!  This is an eyesore!  The people still living here should get a medal.”  You may have heard about the challenges facing the city of Detroit over the past few years.  World Magazine did a feature story on one neighborhood in the city a couple of years ago as a way of giving some perspective on how things really are.  Because of the city’s well-publicized problems, the neighborhood had been pretty much forgotten.  One in three homes had been abandoned.  Street lights didn’t have power going to them anymore.  There was no police coverage for the neighborhood due to budget restrictions.  There are no good grocery stores nearby.  Jobs are scarce.  Folks in the neighborhood have started doing basically some urban farming in order to provide food for themselves and their neighbors.  They raise a variety of produce as well as chickens and goats.  And when asked whether or not all this was legal within city limits they essentially said, “We’ll worry about forgiveness if we ever get caught…in the meantime, we’ve got to survive.”  Closer to home, though, some of you have perhaps driven through some of the more run-down neighborhoods of Charlotte or even Albemarle; neighborhoods where you didn’t really feel safe even driving down the street.  How do we respond to a place like this? Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Colossians 2:8

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Our world is awash in philosophies.  Everyone seems to have one.  They are everywhere we look.  If you don’t like the one you have now, you can easily trade it out for another that looks about the same, or even another that looks totally different.  Philosophies are a dime a dozen.  There are many different doors all calling us to enter through them.  Truth, though, is something more elusive. Read the rest…