At Calvary – Episode 60 – A New/Old Ethic – Arbitrary Kindness

Have you heard about Roe vs Wade being overturned? Some people believe that this might be a turning point for our country. I truly want that. However, even if it is a turning point and even if it’s not; it is a revealing moment. It is revealing a new (some might say old) ethic that we have simply stopped challenging. It is the ethic of arbitrary kindness.

Looking for more? You can always find all of the episodes right here…

At Calvary – Episode 60 – A New/Old Ethic – Arbitrary Kindness At Calvary!

The Greatest of all possible beings. Sounds impressive, right? Yet, often the response to the greatest of all possible beings seems off. Either we shrug our shoulders like it barely matters, or we are so intimidated by the thought that we don’t really approach Him. Is that what God’s faithful people do in the Bible? Is that the way it’s supposed to be? Continue reading →
  1. At Calvary – Episode 60 – A New/Old Ethic – Arbitrary Kindness
  2. At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God
  3. At Calvary – Episode 58 – The Path to Righteousness
  4. At Calvary – Episode 57b – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us
  5. At Calvary – Episode 57a – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us

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Read God’s Word for Yourself – Do the Work and Let God Speak

I hate it when I miss the obvious. For example, I can look for a book on my shelves for what seems like hours and can’t find it. Then, when I start to believe that I’ve lost the book, my wife comes along and grabs it right from the center of the shelf that I was just looking at! Arrrgh! The same thing can happen with God’s Word. To understand it rightly I must not overlook the obvious – God’s Word explains itself!

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

In church history there was a time of awakening.  It is called the Reformation. It was a time when Christ’s church began to examine itself and came to this realization – the Bible was sufficient to understand the Bible! It seems so obvious now, but back then it was revolutionary! As our Scripture today declares, God has breathed into existence every single Scripture and made all of it useful for teaching us everything we need to know to be ready to be used by him.

I don’t write this to diminish the helpfulness of historical and linguistic and theological study. However, those studies do not replace the straight forward study of God’s Word. They simply are means by which we can shine light on scriptures that we might not understand as clearly because of the changes of time and culture. However, even for those of us who find theological books hard to read or full of even more confusing $50 words, God’s Word can still be clear. All it takes is three things:

  1. Time. We must spend time with God in his Word. No spiritual laziness can be tolerated if we are truly wanting to study and know him.
  2. Care. We must carefully study his Word and pay attention to the details. We must try to place ourselves back with Moses, David, and Paul. Why? Because these were real people. They aren’t just characters in a novel. They are real people with real struggles and real lives. The details are important because they explain why God worked through them the way he did. Their everyday lives can help us connect with what they wrote as they wrote for God.
  3. Openness. We must be open to change. Whatever culture we grew up in, it wasn’t perfect. All of us have skewed understandings of the things that the Bible speaks of. Love, hope, joy, trust, family, and faith are all words we use often. These words have meaning to us. The Bible uses these words too. Will we let the Bible tell us what those words really mean? Will we be open to what God is actually saying?

So, will you and I carefully study God’s Word? Or, will we give that task to “professional experts” who will tell us what it really means? I think that we lose something precious when we give our study of God’s Word to someone else. That is especially true when we realize that God gave us his Word specifically to make us what he created us to be! Let’s read His Word. Let’s read it carefully. Yes, let’s ask for help when something is confusing to us. But, let’s read God’s Word!

Something to think about

Pastor John

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At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God

The Greatest of all possible beings. Sounds impressive, right? Yet, often the response to the greatest of all possible beings seems off. Either we shrug our shoulders like it barely matters, or we are so intimidated by the thought that we don’t really approach Him. Is that what God’s faithful people do in the Bible? Is that the way it’s supposed to be?

Looking for more? You can always find all of the episodes right here…

At Calvary – Episode 60 – A New/Old Ethic – Arbitrary Kindness At Calvary!

The Greatest of all possible beings. Sounds impressive, right? Yet, often the response to the greatest of all possible beings seems off. Either we shrug our shoulders like it barely matters, or we are so intimidated by the thought that we don’t really approach Him. Is that what God’s faithful people do in the Bible? Is that the way it’s supposed to be? Continue reading →
  1. At Calvary – Episode 60 – A New/Old Ethic – Arbitrary Kindness
  2. At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God
  3. At Calvary – Episode 58 – The Path to Righteousness
  4. At Calvary – Episode 57b – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us
  5. At Calvary – Episode 57a – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us

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God’s Invitation to Us Comes Each Day

There is a sweet reality – God never sleeps. I do. He doesn’t. So, if I need Him at 2 AM, He is awake. If I wake before the sparrows, He is awake. If my day is packed, He is ready for me. If my day is free, He has all the time in the world.

David says in Psalm 143:8, “Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; for I trust in You; teach me the way in which I should walk; for to You I lift up my soul.”

I hear a great invitation in these verses. Do you? It is the invitation to come to God at the beginning of my day. It isn’t the only time I can come to Him, but the invitation is there: Come.

God says, “Come, because you need to hear how I love you.” “Come, because you trust that I have the answers.” “Come, because you need to hear about the path of life both for eternity and for your today.” “Come, because you can trust me with your very soul.” “Come…”

I  have all of these reasons and more to come when God invites. I do this for the people I love. I kiss my wife good morning (not absent-mindedly either!). I tell my children I love them with the same intentional purpose. I wish them a good day with that same desire. So, why wouldn’t I do the same with the lover of my soul? He invites me. Glory! He calls me so that I will know that I am not alone. I shouldn’t miss Him.

What about you? Do you hear the invitation? What will you do about it?

Something to think about,

Pastor John

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At Calvary – Episode 58 – The Path to Righteousness

 Holiness. We read in the Bible that it is an essential. Yet, there seems to be two competing paths to holiness described in religious literature. There is the path that creates a system to be followed. Then there is the path of following a person. Is one “easier” than another? Does one lead to actual righteousness?

Looking for more? You can always find all of the episodes right here…

At Calvary – Episode 60 – A New/Old Ethic – Arbitrary Kindness At Calvary!

The Greatest of all possible beings. Sounds impressive, right? Yet, often the response to the greatest of all possible beings seems off. Either we shrug our shoulders like it barely matters, or we are so intimidated by the thought that we don’t really approach Him. Is that what God’s faithful people do in the Bible? Is that the way it’s supposed to be? Continue reading →
  1. At Calvary – Episode 60 – A New/Old Ethic – Arbitrary Kindness
  2. At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God
  3. At Calvary – Episode 58 – The Path to Righteousness
  4. At Calvary – Episode 57b – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us
  5. At Calvary – Episode 57a – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us

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The Resurrection – A Challenge to Consider What The Bible Claims

Have you recently considered the claims of the Scripture? No, I don’t mean the claims of people who carry the Bible – they could have an agenda. I mean, have you really read what the New Testament claims about Jesus? It isn’t a message of morality. The New Testament does not have a simple respect for the man. The Scripture does not give us one of many possible ways to get to God.

The Scripture claims to be presenting the only way to God. Jesus is God. Jesus is the only way to life. Jesus is life. That isn’t a philosophy. That isn’t morality. That is a profoundly challenging claim.

Have you truly considered the claims of Jesus or merely patronized them? You know what it means to be patronized, right? It means to not be taken seriously, to be treated as inferior or childish, or to be ignored. Do we do that with the claims of Scripture? We accept Scripture as morally helpful. We accept Scripture as generally truthful. How can Scripture be good and truthful if we haven’t really considered its central claim?

No, it is dishonest to accept something halfway. So, with Easter just behind us, I would urge you to truly examine the claims of the Bible. Accept or reject, but don’t ignore. The Scripture declares that Jesus died for sinners. The Scripture declares that Jesus is the only way to God. The Scripture declares that without the resurrection we have no hope, no future, and no real life. Do you believe that? I know I do.

For us who declare that Jesus is our Savior, let us make sure that we are doing the same. If we say that we want the salvation Jesus has promised but we have little intention of listening deeper to what Jesus has said makes life real then aren’t we patronizing Him too? We all must truly consider the claims of Jesus. To do any less is dishonest. Let us all treat the claims of God’s Word as worth hearing and responding to. I pray that we will even do more than that. I pray that we will receive its claims as the very truth of our life!

Something to think about,

Pastor John

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At Calvary – Episode 57b – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us

Defects. We cover them up. We explain them away. We even act as if they aren’t really defects – they are beauty marks or unique quirks of our personality. Yet, we know what they are. God knows what they are. In the safety of God’s love and acceptance are we ready to be honest about our defects of character so that as God’s truth shows us we can grow?

Part 2 – Jeff, Ed, and John teach us about examining our defects honestly and without flinching.

Looking for more? You can always find all of the episodes right here…

At Calvary – Episode 60 – A New/Old Ethic – Arbitrary Kindness At Calvary!

The Greatest of all possible beings. Sounds impressive, right? Yet, often the response to the greatest of all possible beings seems off. Either we shrug our shoulders like it barely matters, or we are so intimidated by the thought that we don’t really approach Him. Is that what God’s faithful people do in the Bible? Is that the way it’s supposed to be? Continue reading →
  1. At Calvary – Episode 60 – A New/Old Ethic – Arbitrary Kindness
  2. At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God
  3. At Calvary – Episode 58 – The Path to Righteousness
  4. At Calvary – Episode 57b – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us
  5. At Calvary – Episode 57a – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us

Posted in podcast | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

At Calvary – Episode 57a – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us

Defects. We cover them up. We explain them away. We even act as if they aren’t really defects – they are beauty marks or unique quirks of our personality. Yet, we know what they are. God knows what they are. In the safety of God’s love and acceptance are we ready to be honest about our defects of character so that as God’s truth shows us we can grow?

Part 1 – Cross Contamination in concert AND leading us in worship!

Looking for more? You can always find all of the episodes right here…

At Calvary – Episode 60 – A New/Old Ethic – Arbitrary Kindness At Calvary!

The Greatest of all possible beings. Sounds impressive, right? Yet, often the response to the greatest of all possible beings seems off. Either we shrug our shoulders like it barely matters, or we are so intimidated by the thought that we don’t really approach Him. Is that what God’s faithful people do in the Bible? Is that the way it’s supposed to be? Continue reading →
  1. At Calvary – Episode 60 – A New/Old Ethic – Arbitrary Kindness
  2. At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God
  3. At Calvary – Episode 58 – The Path to Righteousness
  4. At Calvary – Episode 57b – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us
  5. At Calvary – Episode 57a – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us

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The Resurrection – A Hope That Does Not Disappoint

There are some who question the importance of Jesus’ literal resurrection.  They say, “Why do we hold onto these superstitious notions of a bodily resurrection?  It’s not needed.  It is enough that Jesus rose spiritually and lives in the hearts of his followers.  That is sufficient.”  Is it sufficient?  Not according to the followers of Jesus.  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:13-14, “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.”  The resurrection sounds pretty important to him, doesn’t it?

These days, people seem to suffer from the great disconnect.  They do not put the pieces together.  For example, a person who consistently makes unwise choices in their life (alcohol, drugs, bad relationships) seems surprised that those choices have consequences for themselves and their family.  Choices always have consequences.  The great disconnect with the resurrection of Jesus happens on two fronts: 1) The necessity of the resurrection to the early believers is not important to many today, and 2) If Jesus is God, doesn’t that mean something for us?

 Right now, since we just celebrated Easter, let’s tackle the first front: Is the physical resurrection of Jesus important to us?  The disciples sure thought so.  Paul says that if there is no resurrection then faith is futile.  What type of faith do we really want?  I get the impression that we seem happy with just a small hope, and so a faith only helps us be better people in this life is just fine with us.  This is our modern agnosticism.  In essence our world says, “Since we can’t really know about the afterlife and God, it doesn’t really matter what you believe as long as it gives you some comfort or hope.”  What a futile and fatalistic approach to life!

The Christian disciples did not believe Jesus had given them something that powerless.  They saw all around them bankrupt philosophies.  Paganism and Polytheism were obvious dead ends – the gods were worse than humans!  Judaism had become a political system where compromise reigned supreme.  I am sure that many true believers were disillusioned by their leaders and their willingness to give up the commands of God to keep the political landscape free from turmoil. 

In Jesus the disciples found something different.  This is why they felt such despair at the crucifixion.  It was all over.  It was just another pointless exercise in religion.  That is what Jesus was until the resurrection.  Suddenly there was a change.  A transformation had taken place.  It wasn’t a dead end road.  It wasn’t a political machine bent on maintaining the status quo.  Jesus was a real person, who really gave His life, and who really rose from the dead!  That’s why they would not settle for a mirage or spirit Jesus rising from the dead.  They had experienced the real thing.  They wanted everyone to know – a fake Jesus is no hope at all.  Only the real, living Jesus would do.  Only He could give hope.  Only He could give life.

What about you?  Have you experienced or are experiencing the Great Disconnect?  Have you accepted the modern form of agnosticism?  Would you like something better?  Would you like a truth is so significant that it matters if it is true?  That is what you find in the real Jesus.  He arose – that is our hope.  It is a powerful hope.  It is a hope that changes life.

Something to think about,

Pastor John

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At Calvary – Episode 56b – Revolution – Getting Real about Change

“Getting real” is an expression we use when we are truly ready to be honest or truly ready to act. Getting real with God is that point when we transition from talking about giving up our bad habits, unhealthy coping methods, and sinful choices to actually taking steps to give them up. This means we accept what God has said about our choices without excuses. It also means that we confess to ourselves, to God, and to another person who cares about us what we have done. It is time to get real.

Part 1 – Cross Contamination in concert AND leading us in worship!

Looking for more? You can always find all of the episodes right here…

At Calvary – Episode 60 – A New/Old Ethic – Arbitrary Kindness At Calvary!

The Greatest of all possible beings. Sounds impressive, right? Yet, often the response to the greatest of all possible beings seems off. Either we shrug our shoulders like it barely matters, or we are so intimidated by the thought that we don’t really approach Him. Is that what God’s faithful people do in the Bible? Is that the way it’s supposed to be? Continue reading →
  1. At Calvary – Episode 60 – A New/Old Ethic – Arbitrary Kindness
  2. At Calvary – Episode 59 – Adoring a Great God
  3. At Calvary – Episode 58 – The Path to Righteousness
  4. At Calvary – Episode 57b – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us
  5. At Calvary – Episode 57a – Revolution – Coming Back to Honesty… With Us

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