Peace

Probably one of the most disturbing things in life, at least for a man, is the feeling of not being in control. And, there are plenty of situations in life which are beyond our control. For example, we can’t control the weather. We can take steps to minimize the effects of weather, but we don’t control it.

We can’t control the economy. A lot of people are suffering because of the melt-down in the home mortgage markets.

We can’t always control our health. There are several in the congregation who are facing very serious health problems.

Obedience

I’m sure that all of us here have a very high regard for Jesus. He is not only our savior but also God in the flesh. Scripture says that, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word...” (Hebrews 1:3 NIV) Other Scriptures talk about the fact that the universe was made through him (Hebrews 1:2) and that he is sinless (Hebrews 4:15).

Jesus is the Same

We live in an era of rapid change. For example, this year (2008) is the hundredth anniversary of the first powered flight by the Wright brothers at Kittyhawk. When you stop and think about it, that really isn’t so long ago. Many times I’ve heard my Dad reminisce about how as a small child an overflight by an airplane was a novel event. When a plane flew over they would run out in the yard and wave. The pilot would wave back from his open cockpit!

Hope

(A meditation given at Christmas time.)

It’s Christmas, and all over the world people are taking the time to at least pause for just a little while and think about the baby who was born in a livestock shed 2,000 years ago. It is appropriate to remember Christ’s birth for He is the Savior of the world. While people think about the child lying in the feeding trough, I hope that they also take the time to remember why He came – to redeem us all from sin. After all, even our custom of gift-giving is intended to remind us of the gift which Jesus gave, of reconciliation to God.

The Key to Greatness

There is a notion in our culture that greatness is achieved at the expense of others. In order to get ahead you’ve got to tear someone else down. This is ironic because in kindergarten children are taught to share and help one another. But somewhere between kindergarten and graduation the message changes. Our children are told that in order to succeed they must be better than others. The one with the higher test score wins. Sports teams must crush the opposition. Among girls the pecking order is determined by who is considered the most beautiful.

The Good Shepherd

(Note: This meditation was given on the occasion of appointing Elders.)

As we prepare to appoint men to shepherd this congregation, it would be well for us to consider both what it means to shepherd and to be in the care of a shepherd.

Fix Your Eyes on Jesus

We live in a violent and uncertain world. It’s virtually impossible to pick up the paper or turn on the radio without being confronted with some fresh atrocity or outbreak of unrest. War and terrorism are no longer things which just happen in distant places, but have the ability to touch us and our loved ones, personally. There are times when we feel like crying out like the prophet Jeremiah, “We looked for peace, but no good came; for a time of healing, but behold, terror.” (Jeremiah 8:15, NIV)

The New Covenant

Luke records that just prior to His arrest and crucifixion, Jesus ate a meal with His disciples. “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”” (Luke 22:19-20 NIV)

Authority

If we are honest with ourselves, most of us probably have a little trouble with authority. The truth is that we have a tendency to resent it. We’re an independent lot and we don’t like somebody telling us what to do. We like to be in charge and, quite frankly, we like to think that we know more and better than the other guy.

Why the Lord’s Supper?

Why do Christians celebrate the Lord’s Supper or Communion during their Sunday assemblies? In short, because Jesus asked us to. The emblems remind us of His sacrifice on our behalf and of the covenant relationship we share with Him. Elsewhere, I have suggested that the entire focus of our assemblies should be Christ, and Him crucified. When that is our focus, it is amazing how the cross of Christ, and the memorial meal He asked us to celebrate, illuminate everything else. It is fascinating to me how rich and multi-faceted the Communion becomes.

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