Reflections and Blog

Bible

The Remnant Principle

One of the statements that stuck out to me in Pastor Babij’s Sunday sermon is regarding how many people will end up holding fast to God’s truth. We might expect that, for most issues of truth in the world, the majority of people will be right and only a few people on the fringes will…

Don’t Let Your Guard Down

A few years ago I heard a sermon that I will never forget—but not for a good reason. A guest preacher was preaching a powerful sermon at a solid church about the danger of being led astray from Christ into sin and error. But then, as an aside, the preacher said, “But you all go…

Solomon’s False Eden

One idea I encountered in preparing last Sunday’s sermon was the connection between Solomon’s experiments and the pre-fall garden experience in Genesis 1-3. Solomon’s efforts to find lasting profit in this world through wisdom and joy were, in a way, an attempt to recreate the Garden of Eden. Consider some of the parallels between the…

Why Corporate Prayer?

In Pastor Babij’s Sunday sermon, he exhorted us to greater commitment to prayer, especially corporate prayer. But why corporate prayer and not just private prayer? At our Zoom prayer meeting a few weeks ago, we brainstormed some unique benefits of corporate prayer. I wanted to share that brief list with you all for your own…

Accepting Wisdom’s Limits

After preaching this past Sunday, one idea that I keep finding myself thinking about is the idea of acceptance. One of Solomon’s main goals in Ecclesiastes is to get us to accept life for what it is rather than what we want it to be. Only when we gratefully accept our lot, our assigned portion,…

Is God Disciplining Me?

One time my wife Ema and I were spending the night as guests at someone else’s house. After we woke up from a restful sleep, Ema asked if I could go downstairs and make her a cup of coffee. I went down and made the coffee just the way she liked and carefully brought it…

Man and His Contradictory Desires

“You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.” As I think about last Sunday’s sermon, I come back to this well-known phrase. The idea in the saying is simple enough: you cannot enjoy the prospect of having cake around to eat whenever you want at the same time as you enjoy actually eating the…

God Knows His Vine

Listening to Pastor Joe’s sermon on Sunday, I was struck by the richness of the pruning metaphor Jesus uses in John 15:2, especially in how the metaphor implies God’s great knowledge in pruning. Though I’m no expert grower, one basic truth I’ve learned about gardening is that not all plants can be cared for the…

Why You Should Have Strong Convictions

Some of you may remember the Emerging/Emergent church movement in America in the 1990s and 2000s. This movement, which continues but with less popularity today, sought to integrate elements of postmodernism with Christianity. The movement questioned the traditional ways of doing church and instead stressed humility, sincerity, and dialogue. Some Emerging/Emergent leaders went so far…

It’s Tradition!

As you continue to think through and apply the Sunday sermon, you may have noticed that many of the convictions we have on Christian liberty issues today—convictions over which we are tempted to judge others—come from one source: tradition, that is, from customs passed down to us from our familial, religious, or cultural heritage. To be clear,…