Archive for June, 2021

Sermon 06-20-2021: “The Victory that Overcomes the World”

June 22, 2021

Scripture: 1 John 5:1-5

This won’t come as a shock to those of you who’ve been married for a while, but you and your spouse don’t have to share all the same interests or hobbies in order to have a happy and successful marriage. But… I do think it’s important for married people to support their spouse’s interests and hobbies. For example, I absolutely cannot stand jigsaw puzzles. Lisa, in the their hand, adores them. But I love purchasing these puzzles for her whenever special occasions come around… You know how you can get family photos turned into jigsaw puzzles. I like doing that, even if I don’t enjoy these puzzles.

But here’s the thing: I do enjoy solving some other kinds of puzzles—especially puzzles in the Bible… which is good because today’s scripture presents a puzzle that we need to solve in order to understand what John is saying in today’s scripture.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sermon 06-13-2021: “The Love Chapter”

June 15, 2021

Scripture: 1 John 4:7-21

If I asked you, “What is the ‘Love Chapter’ of the Bible?” I know what many of you would say—it’s okay if you don’t even have a guess at all, but I’m referring to those of you who do. Hint: It’s the chapter of scripture that is read at most weddings. And if, like me, you’re a fan of the show The Office, it was even read on prime-time television, unforgettably, in an episode during which Jim and Pam are going through a rough patch in their marriage.

I’m talking about 1 Corinthians 13. “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal…” In addition to being God’s holy Word, 1 Corinthians 13 is a masterpiece of ancient literature!

Read the rest of this entry »

Sermon 06-08-2021: “In Between Christ and Cain”

June 8, 2021

Scripture: 1 John 3:11-24

When I preached a series on 1 Peter last year, it was easy enough to compare and contrast Peter in the four gospels and the Book of Acts with the words that Peter wrote later in his letters. It’s harder to do that with John because John plays a much less prominent role in the gospels than Peter—Peter was so outspoken and impulsive. 

But still… John is one of the Big Three disciples, alongside Peter and John’s brother James. The two brothers are sons of a man named Zebedee, but the they also have a nickname: the “Sons of Thunder,”1 which sounds like the name of a professional wrestling duo. But the nickname makes me think that neither James nor John was exactly a shrinking violet!

Read the rest of this entry »

Sermon 05-30-2021: “Abiding in Christ as the Cure for Sin”

June 2, 2021

Scripture: 1 John 2:28-3:10

I want to tell you about one of the best things I’ve discovered, or rediscovered, in the Bible during my quiet times recently. As you know, I do “Bible journaling.” I learned this practice from my daughter four years ago. I have a journaling Bible, which has a blank page between every page of scripture, which enables me to take notes, right down thoughts and reflections and prayers… It has been a great blessing. So I started journaling through Song of Solomon recently. 

The Song of Solomon, in case you don’t know, is a breathtakingly beautiful and passionate poem that celebrates the love between a new bride and her husband—the poem is all about romantic love, about falling in love, about being in love. It captures those feelings so perfectly.

Read the rest of this entry »