From the Pastor’s Pen

The Slavery of Loving One Another

The Slavery of Loving One Another

“But through love serve one another.”—Galatians 5:13c This is a very interesting statement.  In the context the Apostle is admonishing the believers not to be enslaved again to the various rites and rituals of the law.  He affirms that Christ has fulfilled the Law, that in Christ they have been set free from the Law, and that they are called to freedom. Immediately, however, he clarifies that this call to freedom is not an invitation to license.  They are not to use their freedom as an opportunity to indulge the sinful passions of the flesh.  Rather, he says, “Through love serve one...

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The Fear of the Lord is to Hope in His Mercy

The Fear of the Lord is to Hope in His Mercy

  “His delight is not in the strength of a horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” Psalm 147:10-11 The fear of the Lord is a multi-faceted concept in Scripture. In Psalm 147:10 the fear of the Lord is equated with hoping in the loving kindness, the mercy, the steadfast love of the Lord. This is in contrast to hoping or, to say it another way, trusting in our own strength to face the many and varied challenges that confront us in this life and want to turn us away from faithfulness to...

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Be Pressed into Christ’s Mold

Be Pressed into Christ’s Mold

  “Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind . . .” —Romans 12:2a In my desk, I have an embossing stamp that I use to mark my books and identify them as belonging to my library. It is a simple tool that has two matching plates, one is raised and the other is recessed, both having the identical inscription. To use it, you simply slide a page between the two plates and squeeze them together using the plyer-like handles. The paper is pressed into the mold of the plates, and the result is a page clearly embossed with the words, “from the library of R....

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He has Risen

He has Risen

    “He is not here, but has risen.”—Luke 24:6 These words, spoken by the angels to the women who came in the early dawn to visit Jesus’ tomb, are among the most significant words ever to fall on human ears. I would go further and say they are the most significant, in part, because of what they mean for lost and dying humanity. They are words of joy, words of love, and words of hope.They are words of joy because they convey the reality that death has been conquered, the penalty of sin has been paid, and the way to eternal life in relationship with God has been opened. What could...

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Give Thanks to The Lord

Give Thanks to The Lord

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His steadfast love endures forever.—Psalm 136:1 By Presidential proclamation our nation will gather this coming Thursday to give thanks. There will be much giving of thanks—expressions of gratitude, and rightly so, for we have much to be thankful for. What, ultimately, are we thankful for, and to whom are we thankful? Our text answers both questions. Ultimately our thanks is to God for His everlasting loving kindness because this is the source of all our good. We are blessed because God is a bless-ed God. He is perfect goodness. He is infinite love....

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Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith”—Hebrews 12:2a Having grown up in the country I was around farm animals quite a bit; cattle mostly, but horses too. Most of the time they were of the riding variety, but once in a while I got to see the big draft horses. They were always so impressive. In the last church that my dad pastored there was a couple, Glen and Marion Ferber, who raised Percheron work horses. These were big black beauties. One of them, a stallion, measured seventeen hands high at the shoulder. That’s nearly seventy inches. Big as they were they were well...

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