No doubt about it, Resurrection Sunday is a highlight of the year. I thank God for the opportunity it provides many churches for extended outreach and gospel preaching, and I praise Him for every soul saved around the world this weekend.
It is always a blessing to me to watch our church family invest extra time and energy to share the gospel in the days leading up to Easter. (In the two weeks preceding Easter, our church family went to every home in our community with a gospel invitation.) And it is, of course, a joy to see people saved in the services as fruit of this labor. Another blessing of the weekend is receiving texts from other pastors and seeing reports on Twitter of people saved in other churches. I love hearing how God is working through local churches around the world.
If you’re like me, however, on the day after Resurrection Sunday, you are exhausted, and your mind is spinning. There is so much to rejoice in…and so much to do as follow up. And coupled with physical and emotional exhaustion, it’s easy to lose focus. It is easy for your mind to go to the guests who didn’t come, the goals you didn’t reach, or the part of your sermon that you don’t think came out clearly. (more…)
At Lancaster Baptist Church, we typically observe the Lord’s Table several times throughout the year. One of those times is the Sunday before we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection. I am thankful for how this focuses our hearts on Jesus’ sacrifice and the events leading into His crucifixion and resurrection.
Before we observed the Lord’s Table this past Sunday, I preached a message titled “3 Lessons from the Lord’s Table” from 1 Corinthians 10. In this passage, we see that the Lord’s Table is not only a reminder of the sacrifice of the cross, but it is also a reminder that Christ deserves our exclusive love and loyalty. And, as Paul pointed out to the Corinthian church, our separation from anything that competes with or replaces Christ.
In this message, we looked at how the Lord uses this time of examination to teach us the priority of loyalty to Him, separation from idols, and, in a local church context, ecclesiastical separation from false worship.
I trust this message will be an encouragement to you to renew your love and loyalty to Christ as we celebrate His sacrifice for us and His defeat over sin and death.
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One of Terrie’s early, unspoken expectations of marriage was that I would help around the house. Shortly after we were married, we had invited company over for dinner. I noticed she was stressed with the preparations and offered to help. I was pleased with how delighted she was at my offer and silently congratulated myself on my sensitivity and kindness.
Then I rolled up my sleeves and tackled what looked to me like the biggest project—alphabetizing the bookshelf.
Although we both laugh at that incident now, it didn’t strike Terrie funny then. But it was one of our early discoveries of how easily expectations collide in marriage.
It is expectations and misunderstandings like these that set couples up for an ongoing stream of disappointment. In marriage counseling, we almost always find that marital disappointment comes from unrealistic, and often unspoken, expectations spouses have one of another. (more…)
Words cannot express how thankful I am that the Lord brought Dr. Don Sisk into my life over twenty-five years ago.
I will never forget the day I met him at a pastor’s fellowship in Atlanta, Georgia. The meeting turned out to be non-edifying and issue-orientated, and before it was over, I found myself seated on the back row in a session, wondering why I had even come.
Minutes later, a white-haired man with a big smile sat down next to me and introduced himself as Don Sisk. Learning I was a pastor, he gave me his recent book, Joyful Giving.
Dr. Sisk and I look back on that meeting and chuckle. During the meeting, we both (separately) wondered why we had come. Today, both of us realize that God led us there for the very simple reason of meeting each other.
Over the years, Dr. Sisk has become one of my dearest friends and most-trusted mentors. He loves the Lord, loves God’s people, and loves the lost like no other man I know. (more…)
We know that a biblical perspective on our finances is based in the awareness that God is the ultimate owner of everything and has entrusted resources to us to steward, or manage, for Him. Our job, then, is to be faithful stewards.
It’s easy to talk about faithfulness and to assume we are faithful just because we have the desire to be. But what does faithful stewardship look like in terms of our day-to-day lives?
Over the years, I have observed five habits consistently present in those who wisely handle finances. (more…)