1 Corinthians 3:16, "Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?" 1 Corinthians 2:12, "Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God." Listen to the message: You may know that … Continue reading The Indwelling Spirit (Growing in Grace, Ch. 7)
This is chapter 6 in the Growing in Grace teaching series. Listen here: Our two memory passages are 1 John 5:13 and John 5:24. 1 John 5:13, "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life." John 5:24, "Truly, … Continue reading Assurance of Salvation
This is part 5 in our Growing in Grace series. Listen to the message: John 1:12, “Yet to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the … Continue reading To All Those Who Received Him
Today we continue with our Growing in Grace discipleship course with Part 4, which is titled “By Grace through Faith.” Our two memory passages on this subject from the Navigator’s Topical Memory System are Ephesians 2:8-9 and Titus 3:5. Ephesians 2:8-9, 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your … Continue reading By Grace Through Faith
Today we continue our Growing in Grace discipleship course with topic #3, which is atonement, one of the most central themes—and most important subjects—in the entire Bible. The two memory passages which speak to this topic are Romans 5:8 and 1 Peter 3:18. Romans 5:8, “God shows his love for us in that while we … Continue reading It’s Covered: Understanding the Atonement
Today we continue Growing in Grace with Topic #2 in Romans 6:23 and Hebrews 9:27 under the title, “The Necessity of Judgment.” Hebrews 9:27, “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life … Continue reading The Necessity of Judgment
This is Chapter 1 in Growing in Grace: a 36-Week Discipleship Course. Listen to the content as delivered to Creekstone Church in Dahlonega, GA: While some of us raise our own chickens for eggs, most of us buy our eggs at the grocery store. If you are like me, before you choose a carton to purchase, … Continue reading The “All-ness” of Sin
Monday night the Caston family went out for my 49th birthday dinner. Afterward, we toured a neighborhood in Cumming, GA that is known for its holiday lights. Here is our favorite that we proclaimed the “winner.” It’s not full-scale Griswold-esque, but it is still impressive. As we drove through the winding neighborhood with what seemed … Continue reading Light and the Beauty of Christmas
This is the final message in the Creekstone sermon series in James, The Gospel for Real Life. Listen: About four years ago, I was approached by three different members of the Creekstone staff about an issue that had them deeply concerned. They had not collaborated or discussed this issue with each other. Their concern wasn’t … Continue reading Intervention
This is message 11 in the Creekstone Church teaching series through James, The Gospel for Real Life. Listen to the audio: Georgia fans can almost taste it. With the Bulldogs in the FBS Playoff on January 1st, many UGA fans are looking for—praying for—the return of glory that took place in 1980, when an undefeated … Continue reading Living Between the Advents
This is message 10 in our series in James, The Gospel for Real Life. Listen: The American Dream has been alive and well since 1620, when the Pilgrims saw America as a dream of religious freedom. Over the next century, English speaking settlers would continue to arrive, largely with the same vision. In the 1840s … Continue reading The Danger of the American Dream
This is message #9 in the Creekstone sermon series in James, The Gospel for Real Life. Listen: An episode of the NPR radio program This American Life follows several people currently living what they call “Plan B.” As part of the show, host Ira Glass asked a room of hundred people to think back to the beginning … Continue reading Unconditional Surrender: The Key to Freedom, Peace, and Joy
This is part 8 in Creekstone's sermon series in James, The Gospel for Real Life. Listen here: Sometimes you get what you pay for. That is true of my fifteen-year-old, 250,000-mile Volvo V70 that I purchased a few years ago for less than 10% of its original sticker price. Pretty amazing deal! But sometimes … Continue reading Ruined and Restored
Listen: Before leaving for a meeting in Atlanta, I open my Waze app and type in the address of my destination. I’m not ashamed to say that usually I am in desperate need of navigational assistance when driving in the city 🙂 and I like Waze because of its real-time ability to re-route around problematic … Continue reading Six Things to Know About Wisdom
Listen: 500 years ago this coming Tuesday, on October 31, 1517, a Roman Catholic, Augustinian monk and university professor named Martin Luther nailed a list of 95 Theses to the front door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. These theses were 95 statements that not only challenged the authority of the Pope, but challenged … Continue reading “Open Doors into Paradise”
Listen: In 1998, Jewish Rabbi Joseph Telushkin published a book entitled, Words That Hurt, Words That Heal. His thesis is that words have inherent power and can be used for good or ill; to build up or tear down; to inspire the spirit or crush it. Words can put a baby to sleep or they … Continue reading “Words that Hurt, Words that Heal”
It is practically impossible to include everything you want to say in a sermon in a sermon. After upwards of 30 hours of research, reading, study, reflection, writing, and re-writing and re-writing and re-writing, there is a lot of material that gets left on the cutting room floor. And still, after so many hours of … Continue reading Sermon Follow-Up
Listen: This month, many Christians will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, which was unintentionally, but effectively launched on October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The protestant reformation was a rediscovery of grace, that reconciliation with God is … Continue reading What About Works?
This is message #4 in our Gospel for Real Life sermon series through the letter of James. Listen: As we look toward building a facility on our church property on Highway 60, one aspect of the project is the grading work required to level out the dirt for the foundation of the building. Grading is … Continue reading “Level Ground”
This is message #3 in our Gospel for Real Life sermon series through the letter of James. Listen: Those of you who are runners know how important good form is not only for enjoying running but for avoiding injury. Some of us have a tendency toward pronation or supination when running. Pronation is when your … Continue reading “Walk This Way”
Listen: This is message #2 in our expository series in James, The Gospel for Real Life. I like to fish. Admittedly, I’m not very good at it. But when I do catch a fish and proceed to remove the hook, I kind of feel sorry for the creature. He was hungry, thought he saw an … Continue reading “Resisting the Bait”
Listen: This is message #1 in our study through James, The Gospel for Real Life (TGFRL). I have a huge admiration for firefighters. While most of us instinctively run from fires, they run toward and into them. Totally counterintuitive. But in some ways, we all face fires. Not literal fires. But tests. James calls them … Continue reading “Facing the Fire”
Listen: This message comes with a “spoiler alert.” If you have ever read a movie review online, you have come across a “spoiler warning,” where the reviewer warns you that he is going to give the ending away. This morning, we are going to talk about the end. Not the end of a movie, but … Continue reading How Will History End?
Listen: Remember this? "Here is the church, here is the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people." What is wrong with it? Yeah, it gives the impression that the church is a building. But the church is not a building; it is a people. The church is not a Sunday event we go … Continue reading What is the Church?
Listen: When I was a young lad, I remember watching a TV game show with my grandmother called "To Tell the Truth." Here is how the game worked. Three celebrities would sit across from three contestants. The celebrities would have an opportunity to ask each of the contestants questions in order to figure out which … Continue reading What is the Gospel?