Luke 8:4-15: The Parable of the Sower and the Four Soils

Sower and the Four Soils (610x351)

When we say, “The Bible is the Word of God,” we mean that it originates from God. After all, God the Holy Spirit inspired various writers of old to put words to parchment. And the Holy Spirit inspired His Church to copy, preserve, and collect those writings into what we, today, call the Bible. But […]

1 Corinthians, Lesson 7: Community, Holiness, and Covenant

THE GRADUATE [US 1967]DUSTIN HOFFMAN, ANNE BANCROFT

In the first four chapters, when dealing with sin, Paul dealt with division in the Corinthian congregation expressed by favoring one pastor over another. In chapter 5, Paul switches subjects: he is still dealing with sin but the sin is related to the gift of sexuality. How are Christians living in Christ to live out […]

Acts, Lesson 25: Paul’s Troubles Begin

Paul Speaking to fellow Jews in Jerusalem (610x350)

Paul finally arrived in Jerusalem, having completed his third missionary travels. He knew from repeated warnings that trouble awaited him, but “constrained by the Spirit,” he made his way to Jerusalem anyway (Acts 20:22).   But it’s more than those warnings that prepare us for what awaits Paul. In Jerusalem, Luke shows the change in how […]

The Church Choir

2004 General Conference

This is our pastor’s article for the February 2015 edition of The Shepherd’s Voice, our congregational newsletter.   At Shepherd of the Hills, our choir has been adding to our worship services long before I came here to serve as your pastor. But, I suppose, we can ask, “Why did churches have choirs in the […]

Confession of St. Peter: Petros or Petra?

Petros vs Petra (610x351)

Texts: Mathew 16:13-20, Mark 8:27-38, Acts 4:8-13, and 2 Peter 1:1-15   Each Christian congregation is to be a living embodiment, in a particular place and time, of the Church of Jesus Christ. And that just makes sense. After all, don’t Christians believe that the Jesus in heaven is the same Jesus who rose from […]

1 Corinthians, Lesson 6: Just as a Father Corrects a Son

Father correcting his son (610x351)

Paul just finished with words saying that “we” (that is, pastors such as Paul, Apollos, Cephas, and Sosthenes) are stewards of the mysteries of God. For that reason, the congregation at Corinth were not to judge them, at least that which “is now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart.” With […]

Acts, Lesson 24: Paul Makes His Way to Jerusalem, Despite the Troubles that Await

Mosaic of the Apostle Paul (610x350)

Paul is still on his third missionary journey, having met with pastors from Ephesus in Miletus. He and his traveling contingent now press on toward Jerusalem.   A short stay in Tyre Read Acts 21:1-6 In this section, we find Luke doing what he had earlier done in the book of Acts: he speeds up […]

Matthew 3:13-17: The Baptism of Our Lord

Early Church Baptismal Mosaic (610x352)

As Christians, we usually point to Jesus’ death on the cross and say, “That’s why I’m saved.”   And, yet, we often miss that we could just as easily point to Jesus in the water of the Jordan River and say the same: “There is my salvation, forgiveness, and life!” But how can we say that? […]

1 Corinthians, Lesson 5: The Role of Pastors and the Congregation

Shepherd and Flock2 (610x351)

Being God’s Temple Read 1 Corinthians 3:16 Scriptures teaches us that the body of an individual Christian is God’s Temple (1 Corinthians 6:19), the congregation when it gathers for worship is God’s Temple (1 Corinthians 3:17), as well as the entire Church (Ephesians 2:19-22). In these verses, the “you” is plural, referring not to the […]

Acts, Lesson 23: Paul Gives Godly Counsel to Fellow Pastors

Whole Counsel of God (610x351)

Paul is still on his third missionary journey. Having left Ephesus, his longest stay during his missionary travels, he makes a final sweep through Greece before going to Jerusalem. During this time, he was collecting donations to help “the poor among the saints in Jerusalem” (Romans 15:25-27, 2 Corinthians 8-9). Paul may also have traveled […]