Money, Money, Money

In the last year…
People went “church shopping.”
Any subject became a potential argument.
Hybrid ministry was still not supported effectively.
Children’s and student ministry lost momentum.
People found other, more fun places to spend the funds they once gave to charity.

Matthew 6:21

What do we treasure?

Why do we give?
God requires it
It’s the right thing to do
I’m in partnership with God
My whole heart

This isn’t about trying to get more money into the church for the sake of the church. This is about trying to invest in the Kingdom so the needs of those struggling can be met and so more people will come to know Jesus!

“God is the only One who can take unrighteous mammon and turn it into souls.”

Robert Morris

Four blessings of Malachi 3:10-12
Food in the house!
Unhindered, overflow blessing
Rebuke of the devourer
Conspicuously blessed!

2020 was a different year!

Walk This Way

We require an external standard of right and wrong.

There is a right way to walk. To act. To treat others.

John 3:3
Those are Jesus’ words, not just some important man’s words.
There isn’t a common law provision in salvation.
The choice is new life! Not just forgiveness, not to just do better, but a new life!

Water Baptism in Romans 6:1-10 – the symbolism is death and new life

So we aren’t Christians because we do right. But when we become Christians, when we are born again, we have a new nature that wants to do right!

Romans 6:12-23 – Like parallel universes

Christianity is more than choosing to do better or to be nice. The choice is new life!

Have you ever watched a movie for the 2nd time, or even the 10th time, and found yourself hoping the characters would choose something better? Similar to Pontius Pilate in Luke 23.

Romans 8:13

Man In the Mirror – Father’s Day

Raising the perfect child is a myth.
The goal of Christian parenting is to raise Christ-followers.

Bruce Wilkinson has written that the journey of generational faith can look like this:
First generation Christian experiences faith (the best).
To the second generation, faith is an inheritance (a good thing).
To the third generation, faith is a convenience (a dangerous place).
And to the fourth generation, faith becomes a nuisance (disastrous).

Parents have great power

Luke 12:48

Proverbs 22:6

Parents have the great responsibility to lead

Parents are not just under the same roof as their kids. They are the leaders in the home, as ordained by God.

Parents do not lead children by consensus. Parents are the leaders. Walk in front of your children. Show them “the way” and a big part of “the way” is to be present in the community of other believers, your local church.

Dick Hardy

Parents have the constant responsibility to guide their children

While we want to be sensitive to the needs of our children, it is the role and responsibility of parents to guide their children to being responsible citizens and more importantly to becoming the Christ-followers. Children don’t get there accidently.

For example, parents have a hand in choosing their kids’ friends, either on purpose or by accident. Don’t forget that, nor neglect it!

Parents set spiritual priorities

Choose and display right spiritual priorities by physically being committed to Christian community with other believers.

Parents model

Parents may feel like they can do church online forever. But kids don’t have the foundation an adult Christian has. And online church cannot fulfill the necessity of gathering together.

Take advantage of teaching moments, family events, materials and online content from your church, and serve opportunities.

Whatever you hope to see in your kids’ lives when they are grown you have to model – now!

From an old sermon, over 8 years ago:
“My goal as a father should be that my family would be better in everything they are and everything they do because of their time spent with me. Everywhere you walk you make a footprint. Make sure you’re making footprints in the right direction because that’s the ones your children are going to follow. They’re not going to follow what you want them to do. They are going to follow what you DO! It’s your responsibility to bring them closer to God. That includes your spouse, too.”

A final note to heads of house: stay on the porch!
Exodus 12:22

Check out these articles!

10 Manly Things Every Dad Should Teach His Son How To Do

Your Kids Will Remember These 7 Things About You

Come Together – The Church

ekklesia – called together

Matthew 16:18

That is not a personal promise but a corporate one!

We are not called merely to follow Jesus but to follow Him together!

Romans 15:5

As the church, we are not called to prove what we know. God is truth, we aren’t, and His truth will always prove itself. We are called to unity.

We have been given the gift of one another.


Hebrews 10:25

Ephesians 5:18-19


James 5:14

Acts 1:14

see also Acts 2:42


Ephesians 1-16

Hebrews 10:24

see also 1 Corinthians 14:26, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, 2 Timothy 2:2, Hebrews 5:12


Acts 2:47

“The Way”Acts 9:2, 19:9, 19:23, 22:4, 24:14, 24:22

Matthew 5:13-16

Who Wrote the Book of Love?

History of the Bible

Where did the Bible come  from?

Contrary to authors such as Dan Brown (The DaVinci Code) and Voltaire, the Council of Nicene in 325 AD was not the meeting that once and for all decided Biblical canon, rather it was the work of teachers and scholars over many years. 

The “books” of the Bible were originally scrolls or letters on parchment or skins rather than what we think of as books. 

Non-canon books, such as those found in the Apocrypha and the pseudepigrapha were viewed as non canon for various reasons over the course of a few centuries.

Eusebius-  Christian historian from the 3rd century AD who provided one of the earliest “lists” of canonical books.

Why should I believe the Bible?

One of the arguments against the Bible is the belief that many of the books, especially the OT were passed down through oral tradition for hundreds of years before being written down. However, MOST ancient history was passed via oral tradition including Buddhist texts, Greek literature, and many traditions such as King Authur and Robin Hood.

Many people attack the veracity of the Bible because of lack of “historical” evidence.

Flavious Josephus “Antiquities of the Jews” 
– First century historian refers to Jesus and other biblical people
– Archeological and historical events that are actually found in the Bible

Is the Bible God’s word?

Scripture is its own endorsement.

Psalms 119:11 

The word is meant to challenge us.

2 Timothy 3:16  

Psalms 19:7  

John 8:31  


  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Trust, but verify! Not all sources hold up to scrutiny.

Jesus is The Baptizer

Matthew 3:11

The Holy Spirit is present throughout the Bible
Very obviously, from the second verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:2
Acts 2, we’ve been introduced to the Father, Jesus the Son, and now the Holy Spirit
See also 1 Corinthians 14:39, 14:1-5
Power for life, miracles, etc, 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
He seals us until the day of our redemption, Ephesians 1:13, 4:30
And helps us in our weaknesses and when we pray, Romans 8:26-27

The difference Jesus made…

Our goal is not to win the argument!

What about me – and you?

John 14:12-17

Jesus didn’t die so you could fit in. He died to make a difference! And He left us that commission as our mandate! (see also Matthew 28:18-20)

Some facts about Fire…
Fire changes things.
Fire grows exponentially.
Fire is not a thing but an event. It is not something you possess. Fire is something that must be tended!
Fire requires 3 components: oxygen, fuel, heat

Pray that God will give you this fire. But we must keep it going.
Fan the flame! Keep your tank full! Don’t let the spark go out!

Jesus is The Way and The Truth

But how do we get there? Is it automatic?

If we do right things we get there!

Jesus’ way is different. You are different! Jesus followers’ motivations are different, passions, goals, etc.
Look out for #1 – or – The first shall be last. Luke 22:26-27
Get all you can, can all you get – or – Give up your life. Matthew 10:39
Believe in yourself – or – Trust in God. Proverbs 3:5-6
Discover yourself – or – Deny yourself. Luke 9:23
Be true to you – or – Seek truth. John 8:31-32

Christianity is not a spectator sport.

Luke 9:62

Christianity is not a la carte

Here Am I, Send Me – Isaiah 6


Luke 20:20, Luke 7:30, Luke 20:21-26

When your opinion becomes part of your theology, you taint the message.

“Surround yourself with truth-speaking people.”

John Powell

Tempered: having the requisite degree of hardness or elasticity.

How do we find the Way? How do we know the Truth? Jesus gave us a “tool.”

John 14:6

Jesus Is The Life

John 14:6, John 1:4, 1 John 5:11-12, John 10:10, John 3:16

Happiness is not the goal.
– We aren’t designed to feel constant happiness.
– Happiness is an unrealistic metric for our lives.
– The pursuit of happiness is a sure recipe for unhappiness!

The blessed life is one of purpose and meaning!

The life Jesus gives produces love, joy, peace, contentment, gentleness, goodness, faith, humility, self-control. (see Galatians 5:22-23)

John 11:25

Yesterday ended last night.

Zig Ziglar

Jeremiah 29:11

God was not promising to overlook their past but to redeem it!
Plans – God has long been thinking and planning for you
Good – to establish a place for you, to settle things in your life.
Not disaster – He is against all attacking you
Future – for it isn’t over, you have a future,
Hope – no matter the circumstances!

Habakkuk 3:5-6 – God is no stranger to troubles and suffering! He is comfortably right in the midst of them!

Numbers 16:46-48 – Aaron the high priest of Israel ran into the midst of a deadly plague! Unafraid! Without hesitation! He literally stood between death and life!

Mark 1:40-41, Luke 7:12-15, Luke 8:51-55 – Jesus touched lepers, coffins and dead people! And a lot of other sick people, too.

So one more right question… Whose life have I made better this year?

Don’t just exist, don’t just get by, don’t just make it. LIVE for something!

Faith is not merely what we think or feel but what we live!

Asking the Right Questions

Asking the Right Questions blog article from 2017

Asking wrong questions…
Do Christians have to go to church?
Can I _______ and still get to heaven?
Can Christians watch R-rated movies?
Should Christians tithe on all increase?

Asking right questions…
What is the importance of the church?
How does ________ affect my testimony and my reliance on God?
What parameters, what protections have I set for my mind, for my heart?
What part of my finances do I want God’s blessing on?

No one is righteous— not even one. Romans 3:10

We are fallible, errant, imperfect, flawed, envious, resentful, vengeful, unforgiving, selfish, proud, weak people in need of this God who was willing to die for us and deliver us from ourselves!

We first must address our humanity, our carnality, our sinfulness, yes, our wickedness. I am a sinner. I need a Savior!

“Do good people go to hell?”
Who is good? What does a good person look like? What constitutes being good? I mean, is doing good things enough?

“Who is perfect?”
Maybe the right question isn’t how many evil acts did God allow last week but how many He prevented!

So let’s talk a little bit about hell. Matthew 25:41

So “why would an all-loving God send people to hell?” is the wrong question. Because He doesn’t! We either choose to change direction and get on the lifeboat or stay on the sinking ship.

So maybe the question of heaven and hell isn’t who is perfect or who commits sin. Perhaps the real question is:
Who does eternity belong to?
Honestly, what is my true personal moral character?
How do I choose to respond to the greatest love ever displayed on earth?

A couple quick stories from the Bible:

Jesus is willing to go out of His way to reach someone who is sincere and willing to listen!

  • Jesus even reaches out to those He knows will reject Him!

Every person must acknowledge their personal moral shortcomings,
realize Jesus is the only solution to sin,
and accept
His sacrifice as payment for our sin,
His grace as forgiveness of our sin and
His power for deliverance from our sin!