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“Recognizing False and Unhealthy Teachers”

2 Peter 2_10

Dear CrossPointe,A few weeks ago I noted that Martyn Lloyd-Jones said 2 Peter 2 was the most terrible and terrifying chapter in the Bible. I think he must have been thinking specifically about the verses we'll look at this week, 2 Peter 2:10b20. This part of the chapter is a further elaboration on the characteristics of the false teachers troubling the church. It's vivid, ...

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“The Lord Knows How to Rescue”

2 Peter 2_9

Dear CrossPointe,I'm excited about our text this week, 2 Peter 2:410, because I think it will help us see how the Bible fits together as one grand, cohesive story of redemption. The context of our passage is Peter wanting to remind his readers that the false teachers plaguing the church will surely be judged by the Lord. To do that, he points them back to three scenes from...

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“False Teachers and Discernment”

2 Peter 2_1

Dear CrossPointe,This Sunday we get into 2 Peter 2:13 and the real heart of Peter's concernfalse teachers who were secretly bringing destructive heresies into the church. It was a problem then and it is certainly a problem now. Thus, one of the greatest needs of God's people through the ages is that of discernment. Peter writes this chapter to help the church discern and i...

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“The Freedom of Being Dispensable”

1Kings19_11-12

Dear CrossPointe,We'll take a break from our series on 2 Peter this Sunday and consider a familiar story in 1 Kings 19:118, the story of Elijah's flight from Jezebel. If you recall, just a chapter earlier Elijah is seen boldly defeating (and slaughtering) the prophets of Baal. In a mighty display of God's sheer power, he calls down fire from heaven and incinerates an offer...

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“The Word More Fully Confirmed” (Part II)

2 Peter 1_21

Dear CrossPointe,It's been wonderful to see more and more of you these past few weeks! Thankful! We'll be back in 2 Peter 1:1621 again this Sunday. Last week our goal was to understand the point of the textthat God has given us his word more fully confirmed through men who spoke as the Holy Spirit led them. This Sunday, our aim is to understand the doctrine of Scripture an...

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“The Word More Fully Confirmed”

2 Peter 1_19

Beloved,This Sunday we begin what will likely be a few weeks in 2 Peter 1:1621. It's a very important part of the letter and a central passage in the New Testament that helps us understand and formulate our doctrine of Scripture. In this paragraph, Peter speaks of his experience as an eye-witness of Jesus' Transfiguration, while calling the prophetic word more fully confir...

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“The Heart of Ministry”

2 Peter 1_12-15

Beloved,I mention often that we all suffer from this dreaded condition of "gospel amnesia." We are prone to forget, prone to wander, prone to leave the God we love. Of course, the Lord knows this about his people, and that's a large part of why he inspired Peter to write his second letterto remind them of things they already know.Our text this week, 2 Peter 1:1215, is quit...

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“Be Diligent to Confirm Your Calling”

Copy of 2 Peter 1_5–7

Dear CrossPointe,I don't think I have to convince you that we live in an anxious age. We're insecure peoplenot just worried about the future and the state of our culturebut many believers are racked with worry about God's love for them, about their standing in him, and whether or not he will bring them all the way home.Our text this Sunday, 2 Peter 1:811, is written for th...

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“Make Every Effort”

Dear CrossPointe,Gospel grace fuels the grit required for godliness.That's Peter's point in our text this Sunday, 2 Peter 1:57. He's just given us the good news of all that God has done for us in verses 34, and now he turns his attention to our responsibility by calling us to "make every effort" to add to our faith.As I read this text, it makes me aware of how prone we are...

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“Everything We Need”

Dear Church,Our text this Sunday, 2 Peter 1:34, is one of the main reasons I wanted to preach through this book in this particular cultural moment. In times of stress and anxiety, even redeemed hearts are prone to wonder, prone to leave the God we love and cling to worldly ideologies and philosophies to get us through. But Peter reminds us that God, in his grace to us, has...

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New series on 2 Peter begins Sunday!

Dear CrossPointe,A few years ago we studied 1 Peter, but for reasons I can't recall we chose not to study 2 Peter immediately afterward. I'm glad it fell out that way, because I believe the themes of 2 Peter will prove to be a word in season for us as a church in these days we're experiencing.It's a short book, only three chapters. Interestingly, it's one of the more negle...

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“Great Lessons in Great Storms”

Dear CrossPointe,This Sunday we are going to dig into a very familiar story, the account of Jesus walking on the water in Matthew 14:2233. One of my hopes is that we would all come to this familiar passage with fresh eyes! That's not to say none of us have correctly understood this story in the past, for I'm sure many of us have, but I do believe as we comb through this te...

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“Wait Expectations”

Dear CrossPointe,I'm eager to see many of you in-person and online this Sunday as we look to the Lord together once againfor comfort and correction, nourishment and strength. In challenging days like these, the world is quick to offer hope by rallying people around common causes and interests, but as God's people, citizens of his kingdom, we have one Banner and a lasting o...

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“The Wanderer”

Dear Church,This Sunday, we are concluding our study of James with a look at the last two verses. It's an unusual way to end a letter. James doesn't spend any time tying up loose ends or saying goodbye. He simply and directly exhorts them to be on the lookout for anyone in the church who may be wandering or drifting from the Lord. He urges them to care for that person's so...

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“The Prayer of Faith”

Dear CrossPointe,We come to our second-to-last message in James and one of the more well-known sections in the letter, James 5:1318. It's a concluding summons to prayer and a way of living together as believers in a local church that runs completely contrary to an individualistic culture. In short, it's a clarion call to be responsible for one another and to help one anoth...

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“The Work of Patience”

Dear CrossPointe,Patience takes work. Lots of it. Our text this Sunday, James 5:712, is an exhortation to patience in the face of oppression and injustice. It comes on the heels of James' rebuke of the unbelieving rich who oppress people with their indulgence and self-absorption in the precedingverses. Now, he turns his attention to believers who have suffered as a result ...

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“Rotten Riches”

Dear CrossPointe,Remember way back before the pandemic when we were studying James? Well this Sunday we're finally diving back in as we look at James 5:16. These verses are a fastball high and tight aimed at the greed and selfishness that dominates much of the world. In short, it's an indictment of the selfish, wasteful rich who hoard their wealth and don't use it for the ...

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“Act Like Men”

Dear CrossPointe,I'm looking forward to this Sunday. Lord willing, it will be our last stand alone message for a while before we get back into James. And, being Father's Day, I think it is fitting for us to consider what manhood looks like from a biblical perspective. To help us think along these lines, we'll consider this exhortation from 1 Corinthians 16:1314: "Be watchf...

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What does it mean to be great?

Dear CrossPointe,It was such a joy to see so many of you last week! This Sunday will be the same schedule as lasttwo identical servicesone at 10:30am and another at 5:00pm. If you haven't yet registered for a service this Sunday, please do that today.It's essential as we seek to maintain adequate social distancing.This Sunday our text is Mark 10:3545, and we will consider ...

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“I Will Seek Your Good”

Dear CrossPointe,I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord!" That is the first verse of our text this Sunday, Psalm 122. It will be our first in-person service since March 8. What a few months it has been and continues to be.This psalm is about what it means to come together and be God's people, the church. Oh how deeply our culture and this worl...

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“The Household of God”

Dear CrossPointe,It's been a long couple of months meeting online only, and, Lord-willing, this will be our last Sunday of exclusively streaming our services. As I hope you're aware, our plan is to re-gather the church on Sunday, June 7.This re-gathering won't be an immediate return to normal, but it's a step in the right direction! Be on the lookout for an informational e...

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A Survey + Preparing for Sunday

survey

Dear CrossPointe,This Sunday we'll be in Mark 5:120, looking at the story of a man possessed by demonic spirits. It's a highly-detailed and lengthy narrative for Mark's Gospel and one that perfectly encapsulates the power of salvation found only in Christ.While the story is remarkable for a lot of reasons, it's particularly notable for its ending. After being freed from de...

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“The Comfort of Our Calling”

Dear CrossPointe,During this time of COVID-19, we have been anchoring ourselves to the glorious biblical truth of God's good providence toward his people. We can be sure that he works all things together for our good. This is one of the greatest promises in the Bible for God's people.But I want to make sure we are rooting this comforting truth in the logic of the scripture...

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A Pastoral Word + Sunday’s Sermon

Dear CrossPointe,I hope and trust you are all continuing to lean on the Lord as this pandemic continues. If you're feeling a little fatigued and frayed, know that you are not alone. Keep pressing on and trusting the Lord, dear ones! His promises are true and he is working for the good of his people.This Mother's Day Sunday, I thought it would be helpful to consider the bea...

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This Sunday: “The Heart of Christ”

Dear CrossPointe,I've long loved the letter to the Hebrews. It's rich and beautiful in its Christology and helps us understand how the whole Bible fits together as God's one unified plan of redemption. Someday I hope to preach through this majestic book.But for now, this Sunday we will consider just one verse, Hebrews 4:15, which says, "For we do not have a high priest who...

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This Sunday: 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12

Dear CrossPointe,I love how Paul prayed for the churches he planted and the people he loved. His prayers are so full of faith in God's goodness and affection for his brothers and sisters. They are saturated in confidence that God will bring about his good work in his people.One thing I hope God will deepen in me and in us is during this pandemic is more of this type of pra...

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“Dealing with Despair”

Beloved,Our text this Sunday is Psalm 77, a kind of spiritual manual for dealing with despair. In his notes on this chapter, Charles Spurgeon said that in order to understand this psalm "it is needful to have done business on the great waters, and weathered many an Atlantic gale." In other words, Old Uncle Chuck is saying that to get what this psalm is saying, you need to ...

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“Raised for Our Justification”

Dear CrossPointe, Praise the Lord! He is Risen! While we celebrate the work of Christ every Sunday at CrossPointe, I'm particularly looking forward to exalting the life, death, and resurrection of our King this weekend. In the Lord's strange providence, during this time when we can't physically gather together, there's a good possibility that more people, not less, will h...

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“Fighting Fear with Fear”

Dear CrossPointe,I've been thinking a good bit about anxiety and fear the past couple of weeks since our world has come to a standstill. And, I confess, I've been a bit anxious about what the future holds. Will anyone I know and love get the virus? Will my aging parents be okay? Will friends and church members who own small businesses make it through this on their feet? Wi...

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“His Grace Is Sufficient”

Dear CrossPointe,Praise the Lord! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Isolating may be a bit of drag, but it's come to us from the good hand of our Heavenly Father who works all things together for our good! In that we can rejoicein fact, we are commanded to!As I mentioned last Sunday, we are pausing our series in James until we can physically gather together a...

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“Life Is a Mist”

It's remarkable how easy it can be to forget the gospel and the bigness of God and live like we are the center of the universe and in charge of things. Of course, we know the opposite is truebut how easy it is to forget!In our text this week, James 4:1317, is a reminder that we are small, life is short, and God is in total control. This is such an important word for people...

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“Sitting in God’s Seat”

We will consider just two verses this Sunday (James 4:1112), returning to the theme of the destructive power of our tongues. James exhorts us not to speak evil of one another. When we do, we not only tear down a brother or sister, butmore importantlywe play the role of final authority and thus sit in judgment over the law and ultimately God, the Law-giver. What a terrible ...

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“What a Humble Life Looks Like”

I mentioned last week that James 4 is one of the most important chapters in the Bible when it comes to understanding our sanctification and the Christian life. Our text this Sunday, James 4:712, is a clear andsimplebarrage of commands and descriptions about what humility should look like in the life of a believer.In fact, it's so clear and straightforward that we have to b...

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“Our Jealous God”

I was thoroughly blessed by Tyler's message last Sunday on Jonah. If you missed it, be sure to listen to or watch ithere.This Sunday we pick back up in James 4 with a look at verses 16. The issue at hand is the fractured relationships that result from selfishness and sinful passions. James lowers the boom and tells us the real problem is our spiritual adultery. He warns us...

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“Lessons from Jonah”

This Sunday we'll look at one of the well-known stories of the Bible, the story of Jonah. Believers and unbelievers alike have heard of Jonah and the "whale" God sent to swallow him up. But is that the whole story? If you've read the book of Jonah you know that it's not, but you might still find yourself wondering what this book is all about. Jonah is actually a complex ...

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“Two Types of Wisdom”

Our text this Sunday, James 3:1318, can be described as a tale of two cities. One city draws on worldly wisdom that is marked by jealousy, deception, and strife that leads to a life of chaos. The other is built on wisdom from God that is marked by purity, mercy, and good fruit that leads to a life of peace. Which city will we live in? Will we live in the city built by godl...

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“The Tongue Is a Fire”

At the end of chapter one, James briefly mentioned the importance of controlling our tongues. Now here in James 3:112, he goes all in. These verses are packed with vivid illustrations which James uses to impress upon us just how powerful our tongues are. It's a small muscle in our mouths, but it can set a life or a family or a church ablazefor either good or bad. Let's rol...

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“Faith Apart From Works Is Dead”

This Sunday we arrive at James 2:1426 and what is probably the heart of the letter and one of the more debated and discussed passages in the New Testament. The reason this passage is so well known is because on the surface it sounds like James may be contradicting one of the main tenets of gospel doctrinethat we are justified by faith and not works. The doctrine of justi...

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“Show No Partiality”

I'm really looking forward to digging into James 2:113 with you this week. It's a convicting but sculpting passage. Although the truth in it might sting, it can also shape the life and culture of a local church. That's how the Word worksit breaks us down to build us up. The issue at hand is partiality. James tells us not to fawn over the rich person and brush off the po...

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“True Religion”

On this first Sunday of 2020, we'll dive back into James and consider the last two verses of chapter one. Remember, James has been exhorting us to not merely hear the word but to actually do it. That's the heart of James' concernthat the authenticity of our salvation be validated by the obedience that flows from our faith. And in James 1:2627, he sketches out a brief summa...

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“The Authority of Jesus”

Merry Christmas, CrossPointe! I hope you've had an enjoyable holiday. As we conclude 2019 and look ahead to 2020, I want to turn our attention to Matthew 8:513. It's the story of a man who knows all about authoritya Roman centurion in charge of 100 menapproaching Jesus to request his help. His servant is experiencing incredible suffering, but the centurion knows that only ...

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“Born in the Likeness of Men”

On this last Sunday before Christmas, we'll pause our series in James until January and consider a classic passage about the incarnation of Christ. In Philippians 2:511 we read a beautiful description of how Jesus took on human form in order to secure our redemption and is now highly exalted above the heavens.I'm looking forward to dwelling on these glorious truths togethe...

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“Doers of the Word”

We come this Sunday to James 1:2225 and what may be the heart of the letter. James exhorts us to not only hear God's word, but to do it, obey it, live it out, and be changed by it. To not do so is as ridiculous as a man who looks at his disheveled face in a mirror and does nothing to change his appearance.This is in large part a synopsis of the whole epistletrue saving fai...

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This Sunday: James 1:18-21

I trust you all had a blessed Thanksgiving! If you were out of town last Sunday, be sure to take some time tolisten to Tyler's excellent message on David and Goliath from 1 Samuel 17. It was superb!This Sunday we pick back up with James 1:1821 and consider the power and ministry of God's Word. These short verses are packed with truth and practical implications for the Chri...

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“David & Goliath”

This Sunday we'll dig into one of the most popular stories in all of the Bible, the account of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. With any popular story, the more it is told the more likely it is that there will be a vast number of interpretations. This certainly rings true for our story! The phrase "David and Goliath" is famously used to refer to an underdog that defeats w...

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“Understanding Temptation”

Last week we took a broad look at James 1:1218 and established the important truths that God does not tempt his people but rather is the giver of all good giftsmost notably his Son Jesus. These truths are so important for us to remember as we dive deeper into James 1:1315 this week. In these three verses, James describes the process of temptation, sin, and spiritual death....

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“Trials, Temptations, and the Goodness of God”

This Sunday we begin what will likely be a couple of weeks in James 1:1218. This is such a crucial text for the Christian life and understanding the difference between trials and temptations. In short, trials are things that God uses, in his goodness, to prove and mature his children. Temptations, on the other hand, do not come from God but from our own sinful desires that...

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“Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation”

Our text this Sunday, James 1:911, is short and penetrating. It's the first of several times throughout the letter that James will visit the topic of poverty and riches and the effect wealth can have on our hearts. He warns us not to get caught up in worldly pursuits that most certainly will perish like the temporary beauty of a flower. Now, we may be prone to write oursel...

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“If any of you lacks wisdom...”

The inevitable trials we meet along the way blur our vision. They make life confusing and threaten to fill us with doubt. The Lord knows this, and that's why he inspired James to exhort us to ask him for wisdom.That's what our text this Sunday, James 1:58, is all about. We lack wisdom, every single one of us. Even the strongest and most intelligent Christians can make ridi...

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A New Series on James

I'm so eager for this Sunday as we begin our series through the letter of James. It's a magnificent part of the New Testamentso full of practical wisdom and exhortation for the Christian life.While James has been beloved by the laity of the church through the centuries, it has caused much debate among scholars because of a supposed contradiction between the "works" emphasi...

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“The Lord Is My Portion”

In a couple of weeks our plan is to start a new series on the letter of James, and I'm looking forward to working through this immensely practical book that touches on so much of the Christian life. This week, however, we'll turn our attention to a single message on Lamentations 3. This is one of the more well-known chapters in the Old Testament in which Jeremiah laments t...

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“Judgment Day”

This Sunday we conclude our Malachi series with one of the great promises of the Old Testament. It is a promise of the great and awesome day of the Lord when he will come to judge the wicked and heal and save those who fear his name. Clearly, Malachi is pointing God’s people to the coming Messiah who will come first as a Lamb and again as a Lion. This text gives us the o...

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“The Difference Between the Righteous and the Wicked”

What's the difference between the righteous and the wicked? A lot could be said, but our text this Sunday, Malachi 3:1318, boils it all down to one thingthe fear of the Lord. The wicked did not fear him and even went so far as to say it was vain to serve God! But others, the righteous, heard his rebuke and feared and esteemed his name. Then Malachi tells us that the Lord "...

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“Robbing God”

Let's just put it out there:Some Christians have an allergic reaction to sermons about giving. And if you've ever sat through a manipulative building-campaign plea or tuned in to a prosperity preacher, you can understand why!Well, our text this week is kind of about money and giving, but really it's about our hearts. In Malachi 3:612, God rebukes Israel for their stingines...

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“The Refiner’s Fire”

We all understand the debilitating feelings of disappointment. It drains our energy, saps us of motivation, and skews our perspective. That's the scene in Malachi 2:17, where Israel expresses their disappointment in God. They think he's failed them, and they let him know about it.The promises of anIsrael restored to its former glory have not come to pass and the people put...

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“The Importance of Marriage”

Getting straight to the point, our text this Sunday is an important one. Malachi 2:1016 is an indictment against Israel for profaning the covenant of marriage. The problem was twofoldsome of God'speople were marrying pagans who worshiped false gods and others were faithless to their spouses and divorcing them. And then, they had the audacity to weep and whine to God for no...

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“The Necessity of Samaria”

This Sunday we'll be looking at a well-known story from John 4, Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. Often this passage of Scripture has been used as a model of how to "do" evangelism. To be clear, there are certainly things we can learn from how Jesus interacts with this woman, even things we can implement in our own evangelistic efforts. The main point ...

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“Worthy Worship”

Our text this week, Malachi 1:614, is a stinging indictment of the priests and people of Israel for their careless worship. They're offering him "polluted worship"in the form of lame animals and diseased fruit. It's so bad that God says he wishes someone would just shut the doors and pull the plug on the whole deal. In other words, God tells them their services are so bad ...

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New series on Malachi begins Sunday!

I'm excited about this Sunday as we begin a short series through the Old Testament book of Malachi. Now Malachi is one of those more obscure Old Testament prophets that might be more unfamiliar to you. It's one of 12 minor prophets (called 'minor' not because the message is less important, but due to its shorter length) that is probably most well-known for being the last b...

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“There arose another generation...”

I've always wanted to preach from Judges, and this Sunday I'll get the chance! (If you haven't studied this OT book before, you're missing out.) The book has two introductions essentiallyone that gives the reader a sense of Israel's geopolitical status and another that looks at Israel's spiritual state. We'll be looking at the latter this week in a standalone sermon on Jud...

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