This Sunday we begin a sermon series from the book of Isaiah: "Holy, Wholly, Holy." The prophet Isaiah is the Shakespeare of the Bible. He covers the heights and depths of human experience, takes us from the cesspool of our depravity to the very glory of the presence of God, and calls us from his first words to his last to be wholly God's. Our tendency is to be immersed in our own lives and to dabble in the things of God. Isaiah beckons us to stop and consider the King who gave us the breath....
It is fitting that our sermon on Mother's Day happened to be on the grace of God. There's nothing a mom needs more than that. And both prove to be very different than we at first expected.
A tired, older ex-convict once sent a letter to a younger minister of the gospel. The two had worked together for years, and now the younger minister was venturing off on his own. The older man had traveled extensively for the sake of the gospel and wanted his younger protege to do well in the face of significant challenges. He would need guidance on some critical areas, courage to face the inevitable challenges to gospel ministry in a hostile land, and a heavy dose of reminders about the grace of God. We call this writing, "The Letter of Paul to Titus."
This summer we have been thinking about Personal Reformation in our sermons. The first series was on change—How Can I Change? The second series, Scandalous Mercy, challenged us in many ways through the Minor Prophet Jonah. The third series of the summer, How Firm a Foundation, will focus on the Bible.
To think rightly and live rightly as Christians we have to think rightly about the Bible. If we get off here, we don't just get off a little bit. We create Grand Canyon-sized gaps in our thinking and living. Before long we will be…
There aren't many Bible stories that can claim a recent Bruce Springsteen song and a Veggie Tales movie, but Jonah can. And it makes sense. The story offers everything we love: a villainous hero (or is he a heroic villain?), fast-paced action, profound insights about the human condition, and a mesmerizing look at God's scandalous mercy. It is one of the few Old Testament books that seems to speak to everyone—scholar or preschooler, the specialist in Hebrew syntax or one who barely knows English (and it's your mother tongue!).
Of course, the best way…
As much as I still prefer a Bible with pages, a cover, space to write in, and the whole pre-modern deal, I appreciate the benefits of a good Bible app. Here are some recommended by various people at SGC.
Last Sunday I looked at John 8 in the sermon and made some comments on 7:53-8:11. I wanted to follow up with a few more details on this issue, because some things about it are a little complex to bring into a Sunday morning. My view here is not the only one, but I'll lay it out for your consideration.
It seems that one of the cultural phenomenon of our day is the "selfie." In fact, it's amazing the internet doesn't simply collapse under the weight of billions of selfies added to it on a daily basis. But what about your "spiritual selfie"?
It was Christmas Eve in Decatur, Georgia, and my brothers and I had been tucked into bed. In the darkness of my room I opened the curtains on the window next to my bed and peered out into the dark night, my eyes scanning the skies expectantly. But I wasn’t looking for a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. I was hoping to see the star of Bethlehem appear.
For the Advent season this year we are doing something special. First, we are providing a set of Bible readings to go along with each day of Advent (December 1-25). Second, someone from the church will be providing a reflection on each day's reading. Our intention is to have these posted first thing each morning, maybe even the night before if things go extremely well. Here are the readings and authors for each day of Advent.