THE PASTOR’S PEN

Christ Died FOR ME

In Galatians 2.20 Paul celebrated the fact that Jesus gave Himself as a ransom for sinners. Actually, Paul said that Jesus gave Himself “FOR ME.”

The magnitude of this simple prepositional phrase (“for me” – for those prepositionally challenged) could be easily underappreciated.


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Encouragers Needed

                One of my favorite biblical characters is Barnabas, and the reason I gravitate toward him is because of his shadowy, yet influential nature.The truth is we don’t know much about him except that he generously gave a large offering to the early church to help with the needs of the poor. We also know he was instrumental in introducing Paul to the disciples and helping establish Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles. Perhaps the most telling insight about Barnabas, however, is found in his name, or his nickname, if you will. You see Barnabas’ real name was Joseph, but he was given the nickname of Barnabas by the disciples. The name Barnabas means “son of encouragement,” which probably implies that Barnabas was an implicit encourager. No doubt he taught Paul the importance of encouragement, because Paul encouraged others to be encouragers (cf. 1 Thess. 5.11).

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The Ultimate Terrorist

Unfortunately, terrorism has become the norm in our world. Thirty years ago we Americans likely couldn’t call any terrorist by name, but now we recognize a handful of names that are flashed across the news on a regular basis. The ultimate terrorist is none other than the devil himself. In John 10.10 Jesus ominously declared that the thief (Satan) has come “to steal, to kill, and to destroy.”

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Who’s Finding Who

On a given occasion a four year old girl was lost in the mountains of Tennessee and her parents frantically looked for her. They reported her missing and an all-out search ensued to find the little girl as quickly as possible. As daylight faded into dark and the stars settled into the sky, they feverishly searched every square inch of the area. Meanwhile, the little girl found a soft spot under a tree and fell asleep with her stuffed bear in hand. As the sun rose the next morning, her father rounded a bend after searching all night and found the little girl just awaking. When she saw her father, she ran and jumped in his arms and declared, “oh good, Daddy, I found you!”

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The Invisible World

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6.12)

                Many scientists have pointed out that much of the matter in the world is invisible to the naked eye. We can’t readily see atoms or neutrons or protons. Without a microscope we’re oblivious to the miniscule organisms that are all around us every day. There is an unseen world of life and matter that is a proven reality even though it may not seem very real.

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Then and Now

Jesus promised the disciples that after His death the Father would send another counselor to be with them (cf. Jn. 16.7). After His resurrection, He reminded them of that promise in John 20.22 when He breathed on them and “said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.'”


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Who Do We Serve?

Recently, Robin, the boys, and I took some vacation time to visit our extended family. On one evening we all went to the country club for dinner. Now, I have rarely been to country clubs and did not know much of the protocol for a dinner at a country club. All I could think of was, “I’m glad I packed that collared shirt.” What we experienced was a meal that was fit for a king and service like no other. I found out that because my father-in-law is a due paying member in good standing with the country club, he and his guests can take advantage of a number of services that the club offers. That night, we had the best service of any meal I can remember eating. 

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The Real Supreme Court

The decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage is a deep disappointment!
 

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You’re Worth Something

I want to affirm that you are somebody!
 
This is true for at least two reasons. First, you were made by God, who, as one country preacher used to say, “don’t make no junk.” In fact, David asserted that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139.14).

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Aliens Do Exist

From the world of wierd news I read last week about a scientific discovery that almost changed everything. A group of scientists at Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia recently received a signal they thought came from intelligent life in outer space.


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