Category Archives: Feature Articles


The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.  But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.        1 Timothy 1:15-16 (ESV)

Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to stop the teaching of “any different doctrine” v. 3.  What needed to be taught was sound doctrine that would lead to love from a pure heart, a clean conscience, and a sincere faith v. 5.  This could only come about through the clear proclamation of the “glorious gospel of the blessed God” v. 11.

Paul then uses himself as the ultimate example of the power of this “glorious good news of the blessed God” to transform lives.  Saul, as Paul was also known, was a very religious man, but a man consumed with arrogant pride, blasphemy, and persecution of the true children of God.  He was going down the road to Damascus breathing threats and murder against those wretched Christians who were still insisting that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah who had risen from the dead after being crucified dead and buried.  His encounter with Jesus on that road transformed his life from the greatest persecutor of Jesus and His followers, to the greatest proclaimer of Jesus.

Paul gets to the bottom line in verse 15: “Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”  This trustworthy fact should give hope to every living person.  Hey, I’m a sinner.  Jesus came into the world to save me!  What glorious good news.  What a hope that we also can be transformed from our life in darkness apart from God, into a joyful walk of faith in the light.

Paul gives even more reason for hope.  He was formerly the “foremost sinner.” The absolute worst because all his energy was spent trying to keep anyone from believing in Jesus.  But he became the “foremost example” of Jesus’ perfect patience with sinners.  Jesus reached out to, and received, the worst sinner to show that no one is beyond hope.

Oh sinner, quit running.  Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  Be reconciled to God.  Believe in Jesus for eternal life.  Amen.

Come to Jesus

There are times in our lives when things get real.  We can go through long periods of time when the distractions of day to day life, or the pursuit of our desires, can keep us from facing some momentous truths.  Sometimes we can go for months or years plowing on with our heads down ignoring the looming mountain in our path.   Fundamental truths cannot be ignored forever.  Ultimately there must come a time of reckoning.

We have a phrase in our culture called having a “come-to-Jesus” moment.  A “come to Jesus” moment has several definitions, but all refer to a point in time when things get real.  The mundane and superficial are stripped away and ultimate reality is exposed.  This could be a life-changing event, or a frank, often painful discussion about something that needs to be faced which has long been avoided.

The ultimate “come-to-Jesus” moment is when a person frankly considers the person of Jesus Christ and decides what they are going to do about Him.  A Christian would describe their “come-to-Jesus” moment as the time when they came to Jesus and believed in Him as the Son of God who died for their sins and was raised from the dead, and having thus believed, were saved.

The Book of Revelation describes the time when this world will have its own “come-to-Jesus” moment, as God pours out His wrath for sin in ever escalating horrendous judgments.  It is incomprehensible how bad things will be because God hates sin so much.

In the last chapter of Revelation Jesus tells us three times that He is coming quickly.  He wants us to totally get the point that He is coming again.  Revelation 22:12 is the second of the reminders that He is coming.

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”  Revelation 22:12-13 (NKJV)

He is the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, the inclusion of every letter of every word.  There will be no avoiding the necessity of facing Him.  He is the ultimate mountain looming in every man’s path. When He comes will you be friend or foe?

Two positions: Two Destinies.

Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.  Revelation 22:14 (NKJV)

But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.  Revelation 22:15 (NKJV)

Inside the New Jerusalem are those who love and practice God’s righteous truth.  Outside are those who ignore or reject it.  Inside is blessing.  Outside is an awful place full of regret.

God is not hiding this truth.

He wants everyone to know it.  The problem is men hiding from it or ignoring it, not God hiding it from them.

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”  Revelation 22:16 (NKJV)

Jesus wants every one of His servants to know what is coming.  He wants us to know it so that we know that He wins, and we win with Him.  He also wants us to know so that we are powerfully motivated to let everyone else know what is coming.  It will be awful for the many people who have ignored or rejected Jesus.  But God offers blessing to all who will embrace a “come-to-Jesus” moment and believe that He is the Annointed One sent by the Father to be the Savior of all who believe.

And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.  Revelation 22:17 (NKJV)


Put your life on hold for the time it takes for you to have your “come-to-Jesus” moment.  Please, Please, Please – Believe on Him today.

Come to Jesus!

Eternity is Forever

Reflect on the title for a few moments. “Eternity is Forever.” These three words SHOULD have a profound impact on your life.

For the ungodly these words will provoke fear, denial, or a mixture of the two, depending upon how honest they are, and how well they have buried the reality of sin, righteous, and the judgment to come of which the Holy Spirit convicts them (John 16:18).

Fear SHOULD be the reality in light of the fact that those who fail to measure up to God’s perfect standard, and also reject the free gift of forgiveness and mercy through Jesus, will spend forever receiving punishment for their sins. Hell will not be a place of parties, but a lake of fire. Having been briefly trapped in a fire, I can tell you that it is not a pleasant place to be. Being trapped in a fire forever should be avoided at all cost.

In fact, as Jesus speaks he offers this advice:
“If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than [having] two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than [having] two eyes, to be cast into hell fire. (Matthew 18:8-9 NKJV)

The reality is that is not our hands, feet, or eyes that cause us to sin. It is the sin which has infected our hearts. Jesus is not calling for dismemberment of our extremities. This will not solve the problem. His statement does make perfectly clear just how serious our sin problem is. We should do anything necessary to avoid the everlasting fire and the associated torment.

We need a new heart! We need a heart that is free of sin. You don’t have to ascend in to heaven to find this new heart. God is wanting to give it to you. God has provided a way to give it to you, a way with which He can be both just, and the justifier of the one who has faith in Christ.

Listen to the simplicity of how to receive the gift of life:
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:8-10 NKJV)

Think back to the title again: “Eternity is Forever.” Reflect on Jesus’ illustration of just how important it is to avoid everlasting fire. You should be willing to do ANYTHING to avoid such a fate! The good news is that freedom from such a fate is a free gift for anyone who is willing to bow before Jesus and confess Him as Lord.

As imperative as it is for the ungodly to face the reality of their peril, these three words are good for all of us to reflect on. “Eternity is Forever.: This really puts the distractions of this life into perspective. The things that we often spend so much time and energy on will soon pass away. How well are you spending the precious days of your life in light of this eternal truth?

Marriage: God’s Plan from the Beginning

Even in its current fallen state we see a marvelous beauty and design in God’s creation.  When we look to the heavens, we see the artistry, the perfect timing and spacing of stars and moon hurtling through space, yet unveiling a beautiful choreograph of days, months, and seasons.  If we take a microscope we see the marvelous hand of our Creator in the smallest details of even the simplest organism.  When God does it, He does it right!

In Genesis Chapter 2, which recaps in greater detail the sixth day of creation, we find God unveiling His perfect plan for man.  We know that it is His perfect plan because this is before the world was marred by the fall.   Everything that God made was good, and this is no exception.

God provided a powerful lesson for the first man, Adam.  God first said: “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a helper comparable to him.”  He brought every creature before Adam and let him name them.  At the end of this process we read:

Genesis 2:20 (NKJV) So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.

Out of all the multitude of marvelous creatures that God had made, there was not one that was the perfect companion for Adam.  After revealing to Adam that none of the other creatures completed him, God then provided that missing perfect companion for Adam.

Genesis 2:21-24 (NKJV) And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

And Adam said:
"This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man."

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Here is the perfect lifelong companion for Adam.  From his very side was made woman.  She is distinct, and yet part of him.  Adam did not “leave his father and mother,” but states what God’s plan is to be for all future men.  They are to find in a woman, their perfect lifelong companion and helpmate.  They are distinct and yet would become “one flesh.”

The fall did not change this perfect initial plan of God.  Our sinful selfishness makes it harder to live out that “one flesh” relationship, but countless peoples and cultures have shown that this is the only plan that works and is blessed by God.

Here’s praying that you find that perfect person to be your lifelong soul mate as you glorify God by joining together, one man and one woman, for a lifetime “one flesh” relationship in marriage.

Busyness, Busybodies, and Worship


This is a call to not be deterred from the simplicity and joy of worshipping Jesus.

Busy, busy, busy. These words could easily describe the twenty-first century. Running to and fro, with lists, texts, and pedal to the metal. In such a fast-paced life how does one find a way to slow down and recharge your soul with the peace of worship.

Bossy, overbearing, and grating . Unfortunately, such a description fits a few people in every church. How do you take your attention away from such busybodies and the distractions that they cause. How do we move beyond the dread of the next disruptive remark, to satisfy our longing for the peace of worship?

Here are seven steps that will help us back to sincere and joyful worship.

1. Acknowledge that excuses abound. It may be impossible to completely step back from the stress and pace of our frenetic world. But if there is a way to calm ourselves for sincere worship, it starts with realizing that we need to get there. There are innumerable excuses that we could use to keep us away. For now, list the things that have you going so fast that you can’t stop for worship.

2. Realize that obstacles exist. There are things and people that can derail our best intentions to worship. Walking into the front door of the church and immediately encountering a caustic comment, can easily destroy a carefully cultivated peace in preparation for worship. Acknowledge that there will always be such situations. Since you will never be able to totally eliminate or avoid them, come prepared to shed them as quickly as you encounter them.

3. Jesus is Worth it! Here is the key to sincere and joyful worship. It is not about us. It is about Him. God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die in our place. Jesus loved us so much that He left the beauty and joys of heaven to walk in this world of excuses. He experienced the worst of people, so that He could open the way, for the worst of sinners into the joys of His kingdom. He is so worth it! He is so worthy! Keep your focus on Him. Prepare to give Him the worship that He deserves.

4. Clear the clutter. Remember that list of excuses? Now that we have focused on the preciousness of Jesus and His worthiness of worship, take that list and evaluate it in light of His glory and grace. How can we let anything stand between us and pure worship of His majesty. Turn off the phone. Clear the calendar. Kill the TV. Shutdown the computer. Prepare to worship the Master. Try starting the evening before. The Sabbath started at sundown. Maybe our day of worship needs to have a head start as well.

5. Pray for the obstacles. Remember those unavoidable obstacles we talked about. The only effective way to shed them is to pray for them. Yes, we should be polite and gracious in our words and actions to abrasive and disruptive people, but ultimately you can’t change them. Only God can change people! Just as He changed you, He can change others. When you hear the caustic comment, pray for God’s blessing to be so abundant and bountiful that they would not be able to contain the joy that flows from God through them. Will this happen in every case? Does it matter? You have done all you can do. We pray and wish for them the best. The rest is between them and God. Ours should be peace to worship.

6. Serve and Worship Him. When it comes right down to the time of worship in a church, it is all about God. Worship means worth + ship and He is so worth it. Take your mind off what happened yesterday, the cares of tomorrow, the incident just encountered, and focus on Him. Take a moment to calm your spirit, breath His air, and say a few words of thanks and praise. It is time to worship the One who is worthy of all our love!

7. Let His peace calm your troubled soul. The beauty of worship is that if we get to a place where we truly encounter Jesus, it is the most rewarding and soul deep satisfying of encounters. He has EVERYTHING under control. His blood covers yesterday, His presence will sustain tomorrow, and every knee shall bow before Him. Worship Him. Rest in Him. Let no excuse or obstacle deter you from the simplicity and joy of worshipping Jesus.