From Crown of Thorns to Crown of Glory

We gather on  Easter morning to celebrate Jesus – the Creator of the universe, the one who came into this world as a baby in a manger, the one who performed miracles and spoke the truth of God, the one who was crucified for the sins of the world, the one who supernaturally rose from the dead, the one who ascended back into heaven and sits on His sovereign throne, and the one who one day will return as the King of kings and the Lord of lords!

Easter 2014 - blog photo


Early on Sunday morning, as the sun was rising, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to visit the tomb of Jesus. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! And an angel came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone that was in front of the tomb, and sat on it. His face was shining like lightning and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw the angel, and they fell into a dead faint. Then the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here! For He has risen from the dead, just as he said He would … Now, go and tell the disciples … And the women ran from the tomb. They were frightened but also filled with joy … And along the way, they saw Jesus! He greeted them. And they fell before Him, grasped His feet, and worshiped Him.” (Matthew 28:1-6, paraphrased)

Over the next 40 days, Jesus appeared multiple times to multiple people. He even appeared to 500 people at one time. There were hundreds of eyewitnesses of the resurrection of Jesus. After those 40 days, Jesus ascended to heaven and took His seat by His Father, from which He watches and reigns over the world as the King of kings and Lord of lords.

The Apostle John was allowed a peek into heaven to see and hear what is going on around the throne of God. And John heard all the creatures of heaven singing, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive honor and glory and praise forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:12-13).

Jesus is worthy to be praised because the first time He came, He wore the crown of thorns. But the next time He comes, He will be wearing the crown of glory. Jesus is coming back to reign as the King of kings and Lord of lords.[i] This morning, I want to speak less as a teacher and more as an artist. My hope is that every word I speak will be like a brush stroke in painting a glorious portrait of Jesus Christ as the King of kings.


In the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, the Apostle John was allowed a glimpse into heaven and a preview of what is to come. And our understanding of human history is incomplete unless we realize what is really going on. The real story, the grander story, is that Jesus Christ is alive and one day will return to this earth as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

This is how John described it.

“I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.’ … Again they shouted: ‘Hallelujah!’ … and all the creatures of heaven fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried out, ‘Amen, Hallelujah!’ Then a voice came from the throne, summoning all the creatures of heaven, ‘Praise our God, all His servants, all who fear him, both small and great’ Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting, ‘Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come’” (Revelation 19:1-7, paraphrased).[ii]

John heard all of heaven shout “Hallelujah.” This is the first time this word appears in the New Testament. It’s as if “Hallelujah” is reserved for this moment, for this climax in history.

George Handel was in poor health and facing bankruptcy. His creditors threatened to throw him in jail and his musical career was almost over. In deep despair, Handel isolated himself to seek God’s help. He withdrew to his music as a refuge. He wasn’t looking to compose anything; he was looking to survive. Yet in that isolation, his famous masterpiece was born. Handel wrote the “Messiah” in 23 days. He was so immersed in his work that his food was left untouched for days. Handel said of those days, “I could see all Heaven before me, and the great God Himself.” When the “Messiah” was first performed in London, in 1743, at the singing of the “Hallelujah Chorus,” the King of England stood to his feet. And of course, the rest of the audience stood too. The King of England realized there was a greater king, and that night he honored the King of kings. To this day, everyone stands at the singing of the “Hallelujah Chorus.” But one day, the entire earth will stand and sing “Hallelujah” when the real King of kings returns.

This is not fiction. This is not some mythical tale like The Lord of the Rings. This is really going to happen.

John described this preview of the future. “I saw heaven opened and before me was a white horse” (Revelation 19:11). When Roman generals returned from battle in victory, they rode a white horse leading their armies in a parade before Caesar. One day, Jesus will return riding a white horse of victory.

Verse 11 calls Him “Faithful and True.” Verse 12 says, “He has a name written on Him that no one knows but He himself.” And verse 13 says, “His name is the Word of God.” He is truth and every word He speaks is true.

“With righteousness He judges and makes war. And His eyes are like blazing fire” (Revelation 19:11-12). He is coming with fury and justice, to judge and destroy all wickedness and rebellion, and to right every wrong. Jesus will judge every sin, every abuse, and every crime.

Following Him will be “the armies of heaven … riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty” (Revelation 19:14-15). Jesus with blazing eyes and a sword coming out of his mouth. Not your typical children’s bedtime story is it?

And He will be “dressed in a robe dipped in blood” (Revelation 19:13). This is either a reference to His crucifixion, the shedding of His blood to pay the penalty for our sin, or a reference to a prophecy of Isaiah, about the blood of His enemies splattering on His garments.[iii] Either way, the idea is victory.

“And on His head are many crowns” (Revelation 19:12). And “on His robe and on His thigh He has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16, NIV). Jesus is superior, supreme, and sovereign. He is the highest king. He is the greatest king. He is the most powerful king. He is the most righteous king. He is the most loving king. He is the King of kings.

The point is to realize that the central character of the real story of the universe is Jesus Christ. And what really matters is what you think about Him. Jesus rose the dead proving to be the Son of God, proving that He is the King of kings, and He is coming back! That’s why we celebrate Him this morning.


The concept of a king doesn’t sit too well with us as Americans. America was founded to escape the tyranny of a monarchy. When George Washington became president, the new government wanted to honor the general who led the victory in the Revolutionary War. It was suggested that Washington be called “His High Mightiness, the President.” But Washington felt it smacked of royalty and insisted that he simply be called “Mr. President.” Americans don’t like royalty. And around the world, there have been plenty of monarchs who became dictators, who were driven by greed and power, and who become oppressive and unjust.

But Jesus is not like that.[iv] Listen to what Jesus is like and why He deserves to be worshiped as the King of kings.

Jesus is the King of kings because He is the Creator of all that is. “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17, NIV).

He is the King of kings because He is eternal. He is “the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come” (Revelation 1:8, NAS). Therefore we say, “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever” (1 Timothy 1:17, NIV).

He is the King of kings because He is sovereign. Jesus sits on His throne overseeing and governing all that happens in the world. “O Lord … you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you!” (2 Chronicles 20:6, NLT).[v]

Jesus deserves to be called the King of kings because He is perfect and holy. He deserves to be called the King of kings because He is righteous and just.

Jesus was believed to be the King of kings from the moment of His birth. The wise men heard about the birth of the Jewish Messiah and they traveled a thousand miles to Jerusalem to find him. “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him” (Matthew 2:2, NIV).

Jesus is the King of kings because He proved He is the Son of God.[vi] He claimed to be the Son of God, and that’s why the religious leaders wanted to kill Him. But His miracles proved that He was more than a man. “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness” (Matthew 9:35, NIV).

Jesus deserves to be called the King of kings because He sacrificed His life for us.[vii] The Bible says that Jesus “bore our sins in His body on the cross” (1 Peter 2:24, NAS). Jesus did not just take out sins and nail them to the cross. He absorbed our sin, became our sin, and nailed Himself to the cross. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends, and you are My friends” (John 15:13-14, NAS).[viii] That’s why we join all of heaven singing, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive honor and glory and blessing” (Revelation 5:12).

Jesus proves He is the King of kings because He supernaturally rose from the dead.[ix] What did the angel say to the women that early morning? “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying” (Matthew 28:6, NAS). The tomb is empty. That’s the story of Easter. And when His disciples saw Him alive again, “they worshiped Him” (Matthew 28:17).

Jesus is the King of kings because He offers grace to those who do not deserve it. You can be forgiven of everything you’ve ever done wrong. It’s a gift of His grace.[x] The Bible says, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1, NIV). “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12, NIV). And God promises, “I will remember (your sins) no more” (Hebrews 10:17).

Jesus is the King of kings because He is the only way to salvation and eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV). Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6, NIV). The Bible says, “There is salvation in no one else” (Acts 4:12, NAS).

We honor Jesus as the King of kings because of all the blessings He bestows on us. The Bible says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV). No more guilt. No more shame. He makes us brand new. He blesses us with peace. He comforts us. He strengthens us. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). He walks with us and we enjoy His presence. He fills us with joy. He gives us hope.

That’s why we love Him. That’s why we adore Him and worship Him.

Listen very closely to what the Bible declares. “Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead and seated in the place of honor at the right hand of God in heaven. He is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else – not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made Him head over all things” (Ephesians 1:20-22).

No other king measures up. No king or queen, no czar or caesar, no sheik or chief, no president or prime minister. Not even Queen Elizabeth, who has reigned over Great Britain for 62 years. She reigns over 16 countries. Her official title is – “Her Majesty, Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.” No one can compare to Jesus.

The Bible says, “The nations are like a drop from a bucket, (like) a speck of dust on the scales … All the nations are nothing before Him … He sits above the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers … He who reduces rulers to nothing, and makes the judges of the earth meaningless” (Isaiah 40:15, 17, 22-23).

It doesn’t matter who was president 20 years ago or who was the king of England 200 years ago. But what does matter is what you think about Jesus! Because the Bible says, “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11-12, NIV).

We set aside this special day to honor the one who gave His life for us and who has given us new life and eternal life. As Peter said, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8, NIV).[xi]


Jesus is our God, our Savior, and our King. He is great, He is good, and He is gracious. If you’re a Christian, aren’t you glad you know Him and have a King like that? And if you’re not a Christian at this point in your life, wouldn’t you like to know Him and have a personal relationship with a God like that?

Jesus came from heaven into this world to pay the price for your sin. He died for you. That’s how much He loves you. In spite of who you are or what you’ve done, you can be forgiven of everything you’ve ever done wrong. You can experience peace with God and peace within. You can receive the promise of eternal life, to live forever with Jesus in a place He called Paradise. All you have to do is bow your heart before Jesus and ask Him to forgive you. All you have to do is believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sin and supernaturally rose the dead proving to be the Son of God.

On Easter, we worship the King of kings. So to quote Peter one more time. “Praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Who, in His great mercy, has given us new birth and a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead … Though we have not seen him, we love him; and even though we do not see him now, we believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:3, 8).


[i] We are to endure in our faith, hold on to our convictions, and live in purity and obedience, “until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ … who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and the Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:14-15).

[ii] Anne Graham Lotz explains the marriage supper of the Lamb. “The bride is every person since the cross, resurrection, and the ascension of Jesus Christ. Who has confessed his or her sin, asked for forgiveness, claimed the blood of Jesus Christ to make atonement for sin, invited Christ into his or her life as Savior and Lord, and is therefore indwelt by the Holy Spirit of the Living God. The bride is you and me!” [Anne Graham Lotz, The Vision of His Glory (Dallas, TX: Word Publishing, 1996, 1997), page 189.]

[iii] Ibid., page 193.

[iv] When Jesus was arrested, the Roman governor Pilate asked Him, “Are you a king?” And Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world, but yes, I am a king. For this I have been born and come into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:33-37).

[v] See Daniel 4:35, Acts 17:28.

[vi] See Colossians 2:9.

[vii] See John 1:29.

[viii] The Bible says, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NAS). At our worst, Jesus died for us.

[ix] Jesus “was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4, NAS).

[x] See Romans 3:24, Ephesians 1:7.

[xi] “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!” (Revelation 19:7, NIV).

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The Beauty of the Gospel – Matt McMichen

I am happy to post a guest blog from my friend Matt McMichen. Matt and I were talking over lunch one day and he used the phrase “the beauty of the gospel.” I asked Matt why he specifically used the word “beauty” to describe the gospel, and here’s what he said. Enjoy Matt’s heart for “the beauty of the gospel.” Matt attends our church and is an accountant in Austin. Here’s a great picture of Matt and his wife Paige.


Christians use a myriad of words to describe the gospel, and considering the magnitude of the gospel this is no surprise. But if asked to sum up the gospel with one word, I wouldn’t hesitate in replying with … beautiful.

A popular cliché tells us that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” which suggests that beauty is a subjective, touchy-feely descriptor. What’s beautiful to one person may not be beautiful to another person. While it’s true that beauty is subjective in some superficial instances, beauty cannot be subjective only.

A husband of 50 years sacrifices all to care for his wife who has Alzheimer’s and who doesn’t even recognize him anymore – that’s beautiful. A married couple who has attempted for years to conceive finally give birth to a healthy baby girl – that’s beautiful. These examples are living, real, and manifest, and they prove that beauty can be objective.

Still, you may find it strange to hear the gospel described as beautiful. How can a story with the gruesome and horrific details of the crucifixion, the hideous murder of the Son of God, be beautiful? And if one dare describe such an event as beautiful, surely it would only be a subjective opinion, right?

On the contrary, I believe the gospel is objectively beautiful. And to appreciate its beauty we must recognize that an infinitely wise God created the world in its entirety and then created us in His image. He alone is completely holy, completely pure, completely good, and completely righteous. He is the very definition and embodiment of goodness. And from His love for us, He chose to create humanity so that we would glorify Him by enjoying Him forever.

Since He is the One who shaped our being with His own hands and breathed the very life into our nostrils, He alone is our ultimate source of joy and goodness, and the only one worthy of our praise. As His image bearers, we exist to magnify and exalt His name – to accurately reflect His glory and goodness. This command from God, far from egotistical, is ultimately for our highest joy and goodwill, because no source outside of our creator-God can satisfy our souls. We were made to worship Him above everything. And when we do, we experience true satisfaction and fulfillment.

But you know the rest of the story. Instead of obeying Him, mankind rebelled and sought its own fame and pleasure outside of God’s bounds. Instead of portraying God’s image and reflecting His glory, we all turned aside and pursued our own power and renown. We traded God’s offer of everlasting joy for the perceived happiness we could find in ourselves. Therefore, we have brought rightful condemnation upon our own heads – an everlasting punishment for our rebellion.

But many object at this point and say, “If God is good and so full of love, He would never punish me eternally for my sin.” The unfortunate irony about such a statement is that it’s mostly true. God is full of love, and He is a good God – so good in fact that He must, without exception, punish sin.

To illustrate this, consider a horrendous crime committed against another human being. Use your imagination and think about a crime of the worst extreme, a crime for which the very thought makes your insides recoil and your blood boil. Now consider that the man was caught in the act with numerous eyewitnesses and sufficient evidence to prove his guilt in court. And, consider that this case was assigned to a judge recognized as the most righteous and just of all. I think I’m right in speaking for most everyone when I say we would expect the judge to find the man guilty and punish him for his crime. But, what if … what if instead of declaring him guilty, the judge declared him innocent and set him free? Would we not be outraged and declare the judge unjust and incompetent? Deep within, we know that justice demands payment for wrong.

In order to address the claim that God is too good and loving to punish sin, we must  see our rebellion for what it is. Our sin is a gross offense to God. It is the ultimate treason to our maker and King. This is not hyperbole. We don’t fully grasp the seriousness of our sin and its offense to God. He created us to mirror His image and reflect His glory. He created us to obey commands for our ultimate good and joy, but we ran in the opposite direction. Therefore, it’s no exaggeration to say we’ve committed a crime more gross and detestable than the guilty man’s crime you imagined earlier. And God, being the righteous, just Judge, demands payment for our sins. God would be unjust to require anything less than total payment for our wrongs, and if God is unjust then He is not only a bad judge, but He is not God.

What a desperate situation in which we find ourselves.

God’s justice demands payment for our sins, a payment we are incapable of making. We are therefore faced with the most terrible punishment imaginable, eternal separation from God Himself. It’s no secret we all live with an insatiable desire for something more. We are constantly longing for something that will truly satisfy our souls, and one day we will come before God and finally get it. We’ll finally see that our deepest craving has always been for God. He is the only one who could truly complete us. And yet, to finally come before our ultimate Joy and Satisfaction, only to be told, “I never knew you; depart from Me” – that would be the greatest tragedy of all. Eternal separation from God is the worst imaginable sentence, yet it’s the sentence we’re all under apart from Christ.

But, that’s where the beauty of the gospel begins.

God does not leave us under that hopeless sentence. The Bible tells us that God is both the just Judge and the Justifier. He is what the critics can’t seem to understand – both loving and just. And it’s not that He simply forgets about our sins. Payment is demanded. It’s that, for those that place their faith in Christ, the penalty is paid by Jesus Himself. God, in His infinite love, offered His own Son to be the sacrifice for our sins, to pay our penalty. On Jesus was laid all of our sins, and God poured out the wrath we deserved onto His Son, therefore satisfying His justice and offering us forgiveness at the same time.

That is the beauty of the gospel! Justice and love at the same time. Oh the richness and depth of His love and wisdom! And oh, the beauty!

The dictionary defines beauty as “possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, and think about.”

What could give more pleasure to hear and think about than this gospel? When we understand the length to which God pursued us, when we grasp the depth of His love, and when we see how desperate our situation really was and is apart from Christ, then we will see the true beauty of the gospel.

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25 Ways You Can and Must Stand Firm

1 Peter - Stand Firm - theme

It is undeniable that our culture has shifted, and more and more we are going to feel opposition to our faith. But . . . God is greater, the gospel is true, and victory is certain. Peter was convinced of that. “I have written to you briefly, encouraging and assuring you that this (gospel) is the true grace of God. So, stand firm in it!” (1 Peter 5:12).

I spent a lot of time last week thinking about what it means to stand firm, and what it really looks like. I want to share some of those thoughts with you. And, an exercise you might consider is praying through these 25 ways in which you can stand firm in your faith.

So, what does it mean to stand firm and what does it look like?

  1. stand firm, proud to say that you love Jesus, unashamed to be called a Christian, even if being a Christian is a negative stereotype in our culture
  2. stand firm even though you may be in the minority, even though you are outnumbered and feel intimidated
  3. stand firm when you are insulted or opposed, not shrinking back, not retreating into the shadows, but being a light and pointing people to Jesus
  4. stand firm, no matter what others say about you or what others do to you
  5. stand firm in your convictions, as Paul said to Timothy, “I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced”
  6. stand firm on Jesus Christ as the foundation and cornerstone of your life, as your Savior and Lord, and as the one who shapes your worldview, your beliefs, and your values
  7. stand firm, never wavering in your belief that the Bible is the very word of God; trusting it, submitting to it, and obeying it
  8. stand firm when you have doubts, going back to the roots of your faith and remembering the greatness and trustworthiness of God
  9. stand firm when you’re hurting, knowing that God cares about you, and leaning on the goodness and comfort of God
  10. stand firm in faith when you’re confused, trusting that God is in control, and that He is working all things for the good of those who love Him
  11. stand firm in your character, committed to integrity and holiness, being conformed to the image of Christ, and truly desiring to look like Jesus and live like Jesus
  12. stand firm, resisting temptation, saying no to anything that would disappoint God, and dreading the thought of dishonoring Him
  13. stand firm when you are alone, when no one else is looking
  14. stand firm, refusing to make an idol of anything in this world, nor finding your security in anything in this world
  15. stand firm by discerning the error in the prevailing secular opinion of our day, never drifting from the truth of God
  16. stand firm in who you are in Christ, as “chosen” by God, you His child and He your Father, experiencing a personal, intimate, day by day, moment by moment relationship with Him
  17. stand firm in His grace, never forgetting that He has forgiven you of everything you’ve ever done wrong, never forgetting that He did not treat you as you deserved, but instead was merciful and granted you grace
  18. stand firm at the foot of the cross, with humility remembering the sacrifice and suffering of Jesus, always grateful that He paid the penalty for your sin, that He died for you
  19. stand firm, convinced of the supernatural resurrection of Jesus, proving that He is the Son of God and proving that everything He ever said is true
  20. stand firm in obedience, doing all that God has commanded you to do as a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ
  21. stand firm at school
  22. stand firm at work
  23. stand firm in your neighborhood
  24. stand firm in the certainly of your salvation, knowing that one day you will see Jesus face to face and spend eternity with Him in heaven, in a place He called Paradise
  25. stand firm with joy, yes life may be difficult, but live with joy because of the certainty of your ultimate victory in Christ

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Atheists Respond to Why I Believe

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about defending our faith and the need to know why we believe what we believe. The introduction to the message was a video of tough questions by Hemant Mehta, known as the “friendly atheist.” Well, Hemant posted my sermon video on his website and asked his audience to respond. Over 800 people watched the sermon and 70 posted their comments on the Friendly Atheist website. Here are some of the responses from atheists to my sermon, in which I explained why we believe Christianity is true.

  • “I watched for 37 minutes and couldn’t take it anymore. This guy just regurgitated the brainwashing sales pitch for God … I find it so entertaining to watch snake oil salesmen pitch an invisible product. It’s sad that so many fall for their BS.”
  • “Once again my allergy to BS overcame my ability to watch the whole thing.”
  • “There’s no point in listening to a word he says.”
  • “Well, that was a whole lotta nothing.”
  • “Christians are so deliberately ignorant.”
  • “Danger of overdose! Aspirin!”
  • “I watched a good bit of this, and would agree that the pastor has got an engaging schtick and appears to earnestly believe what he claims … But if Watson’s presentation is the best wisdom Christian thinking can produce, surely we’re not going to be arguing over this stuff much longer!”
  • “Dear preacher dude, you a liar con artist. I’m not going to watch anymore of the video of you BSing everyone because it’s too stupid. You’re an idiot thick-headed rich preacher dude with the vested interest in playing stupid.”

One friend reminded me that sometimes angry responses are result past hurt. Maybe he’s right. The church is not perfect, and no one in it. So, I can see how some people could be wounded from past circumstances and now so angry that they  totally reject God.

But one post surprised me. A regular reader of the Friendly Atheist, said, “Just something I’ve been pondering lately. Can you share your beliefs and explanations as to how by one lucky roll of the cosmic dice we as humans feel right and wrong? How do we have a written moral code that we all live by and agree on, for the most part? We all mostly agree that murder, affairs, and child abuse are wrong across all different belief systems? Why does seeing a baby dying of an irreversible health condition break our hearts? In fact, what is a ‘heart’ outside of the literal meaning? What is our conscience and where does it come from?” I was encouraged that one person started to wonder and question atheism’s inability to explain morality from an evolutionary perspective. So maybe there was one who was open to the Christian answer.

Here’s a link to the sermon from the Stand Firm series that got so much attention.


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Life @ Work

Here is a graphic summarizes the six ingredients to making work … work. It might be helpful to print this out and put somewhere you can see it throughout your workday.

Life@work handout 2013

Your work is a calling. And it honors God when you reflect His character in the way you do your job. And He wants you to enjoy your job and to have a passion about doing what you do best. And thank Him for your job, for giving you a way to provide for your family. And as you make money, remember the needy, and remember His Kingdom’s work as you invest in what will last for eternity. And certainly remember that your job is your mission field. You are not just a teacher or salesman or executive, you are a missionary.

Psalm 90 is a prayer written by Moses because he believed that work mattered to God. “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” (Psalm 90:17, ESV). The word “establish” means stabilize, as in laying the foundation of a building. It also refers to sinking deep roots, to ensure fruitfulness. It means giving favor and making successful. So another version reads, “May the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!” (Psalm 90:17, NLT).

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