Reflections and Blog

Bible

The Naïve Intoxication of Youth

In preparation for this last week’s sermon on Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:8, I came across a work by the nineteenth century English essayist, William Hazlitt. Hazlitt was not a Christian but a child of the Enlightenment and its belief in the power of human reason and progress. Nevertheless, Hazlitt’s essay, On the Feeling of Immortality in Youth,…

Try Using Your Spiritual Gifts

You may have noticed that the last two Sunday messages have a lot to do with each other. In God’s providence, Pastor Babij preached from 1 Corinthians 12 about using spiritual gifts, and then I preached last week from Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 about taking wise but bold action while you still can. Truly, one of the…

A Pleasure to Serve

Chick-fil-A is one of the most successful fast food franchises in America; one 2020 report noted that a Chick-fil-A restaurant is, on average, considerably more profitable than a KFC or even a McDonald’s. Though surely there are many reasons for Chick-fil-A’s success, customers often note the restaurant chain’s emphasis on service. Epitomizing Chick-fil-A’s approach, an…

When You Want to Quit

In my last two years of public high school, I was a zealous witness of Jesus Christ. I was always looking to give and stand up for the gospel, whether it was in class when the teacher spoke about evolution, at lunch when talking with friends, or at the cast party when I finished performing…

Fools Hate Work

Looking back over Ecclesiastes 10:1-20, the passage of the Sunday sermon, you may notice that there is a common theme in all the self-destructive characteristics of foolishness. What do promoting the unqualified, failing to prepare, being full of useless words, and going after pleasure all have in common? A fundamental contempt for and avoidance of…

Take Time to Read the Instructions

Earlier this week, I put together a new piece of Ikea furniture, a shoe dresser. I started by unpacking all the different pieces and opening the assembly instruction booklet to step one. I then proceeded to put the pieces together, constantly consulting the booklet for what I was supposed to do next. Even with the…

The Right Way to Evangelize

It was very exciting to hear our kingdom workers this past Sunday talk about how the Lord is at work in their country to save souls. Our kingdom workers also repeatedly challenged us regarding our own mission field, “God is already at work. The question is: will we join him?” As Pastor Babij has been…

Motivation for Evangelism: Guilt versus Glory

I remember once hearing a pastor say, “There are two sermon topics that are almost sure to make Christians feel guilty: prayer and evangelism.” This past Sunday, Pastor Babij finished preaching on the very evangelism-centered passage of 2 Corinthians 5:1-21. While a wonderful explanation of the glorious gospel ministry we have received from God himself,…

Be a Faithful Ambassador While You Can

Thinking more about Pastor Babij’s sermon on Sunday, I am struck by the connection between 2 Corinthians 5:1-20 and Ecclesiastes 9:10. In Ecclesiastes, Solomon exhorts those who fear God to make the most of their lives while they can, including by working hard. Though Solomon’s admonition applies to all kinds of labor, the NT clarifies…

Do You Need Your Body?

“You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” The above quotation or some version of it is frequently attributed to C. S. Lewis, the famed 20th century Christian writer. However, C. S. Lewis never actually said this. In fact, as Christian as the above statement sounds, it has more in…