Pastor's Blog

Pastor's Blog

Archive for the 'Biblical Principles' Category

Will You Be Salt and Light?

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught us that we should be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). Just as salt flavors food and as light dispels darkness, we are to influence our world – primarily through our witness and through our good works. In our current context, another specific way that we can influence the overall character of our culture is when we cast our vote. Our choices at the ballot box allow us to support values that honor God and lead to human flourishing. So,...

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Ten Practical Steps to Honor God in the Crisis

Here are ten practical, put-it-into-action steps to take as we love God, love others, and follow Jesus during the COVID-19 crisis. . Engage with God through Scripture and prayer every day. Join with hundreds of us as we read God’s word “a chapter a day” (text the word Chapter to 22828 or sign up online here).  Jesus said: “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples” (John 8:31b, ESV).  By God’s grace, deep spiritual roots will enable us to weather any...

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Faithful in a Crisis

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis unfolds around us, it’s good to be reminded that God is sovereign and he “is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1, ESV). As we trust and follow Jesus, he will give us the wisdom, hope, strength, and encouragement that we need no matter what tomorrow may bring. So, here are five practical steps you can take to walk faithfully with the Lord during these uncertain days. ... First, engage with God through...

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Healthy Processes, Healthy Results

Not many of us get pumped up about processes, policies, and procedures.  Yet, most of us do care deeply about outcomes and results.  The truth is that the two are usually connected—even in the life of a church! Listen to the wisdom of the writer of the biblical book of Ecclesiastes: “The wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter.” (Ecclesiastes 8:5b-6a, NIV84) Eugene Peterson captures the spirit of this...

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Want to Go Deeper?

If you want to go deeper, I hope you will join me for our Bible Conference on Sunday afternoon, February 9, at 4:00 p.m. Who is our speaker?  Dr. Tom Schreiner is a professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at my alma mater, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Schreiner is a prolific author.  His works include the volume on 1, 2 Peter & Jude in the New American Commentary series.  He is also a devoted churchman, serving as an elder at...

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Standing for Life

My wife, Beverly, and I plan to be among those who gather in the public square in Macon tomorrow to say:  “We are on the side of life!”  I hope you will join us. The rally is Friday, January 24, at noon in Rosa Parks Square (the corner of First and Poplar; just in front of the Government Center).  Reverend Chip Miller, the Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Church, will be the keynote speaker. Then, at 12:30 p.m. the Silent March will occur – from Rosa Parks Square to The...

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Going with the Gospel

God expects every follower of Jesus Christ to be involved in going with the gospel. Before he ascended to heaven, Jesus said: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, ESV). Similarly, in Acts 1:8, Jesus said: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has...

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Where Is the Line?

For every faithful follower of Jesus there is a line over which you cannot and will not step . . . no matter the cost. Often the line becomes clear when those in power attempt to coerce the conscience, convictions, and religious practices of those who follow Christ. For instance, early in the book of Acts, the authorities in Jerusalem commanded the apostles to cease speaking in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:18). But the apostles could not and would not be silent.  Though threatened,...

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Is There a Place for Me?

Whenever newcomers check out a church, virtually all are asking some form of the same question: “Is there a place for me?” And for years our short answer at Ingleside has been, “Yes!” Our answer reflects the spirit of Romans 15:7, which says: “Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God” (ESV). Of course, the specific questions newcomers may ask are often more detailed, nuanced, and personalized. Consider these possibilities: ...

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How Growth and Transformation Happen

Have you thought much about how significant growth and transformation occur?  I have. Words often attributed to Samuel Smiles (1812-1904) state the proven process succinctly: Sow a thought, and you reap an act; Sow an act, and you reap a habit; Sow a habit, and you reap a character; Sow a character, and you reap a destiny. Sowing and reaping.  It’s no accident that the primary metaphor for growth here is an agricultural one.  This is often true in Scripture as well (cf....

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