Archives For Pastor J.D.

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This weekend’s message covered a lot of ground, but we recognize that it also has the potential to lead to some confusion. The following resources (most of which I mentioned during the message) should help fill out what I couldn’t get to in my “brief” 40 minutes of preaching.

Christian Marriage, Gender Roles, and Abuse

  • Follow Up Resources for a Sermon on Headship and Submission, Brad Hambrick. Our Pastor of Counseling links to some of his excellent Gospel-Centered Marriage material here, showing how Christian marriage is more than gender roles. He also shares a bunch of helpful material to address different aspects of how to respond to abusive relationships.

Parenting

Work

  • Work as Worship, RightNow Media. (Note: You’ll need a RightNow log-in to access this material. If you haven’t logged in already, ask your small group leader or campus pastor.)
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God Chose Us Anyway

Posted by Pastor J.D. on March 16, 2017
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When Jesus began his ministry, he fulfilled all the requirements for rabbis who possessed what the Jews called semikhah, which translates as “authority.” He knew the Torah so well that he had instructed the teachers of the law in the temple by age 12. The people who heard him speak were amazed at his authority, and he even performed miracles.

So, of course, when Jesus called Peter and Andrew to follow him (Matthew 4:18-22), they got up and left their nets behind. Jesus, who was just oozing with semikhah, chose two fishermen to follow him and become like him, to know what he knew, to do what he did, and to be filled with his power. Fishermen didn’t usually—as in, ever—get called up to the big leagues like that.

Can you relate to Peter and Andrew? Do you ever feel too ordinary or unprepared to follow the Son of God? There are two things to notice in this passage about what it means to be Jesus’ disciple that will help us see why Jesus called us, even when, like Jesus’ first disciples, we lack potential or personal power.

1. God doesn’t choose the best. He chooses the willing.

When Jesus called his disciples, he didn’t choose religious experts or great scholars. He chose a bunch of fishermen, an IRS agent, and a former terrorist. It wasn’t a promising crew. But Jesus chose them anyway.

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As a pastor, I often struggle with knowing when and how to speak about politics. On one hand, the Christian worldview has ramifications for how we see everything in our lives, which certainly includes which approaches to governing people are the most just and helpful. Furthermore, Christian obedience requires that we stand up for truth, justice, and compassion, so when we see groups in our society suffering unjustly, we have to speak out.

On the other hand, we know that the church has been given a specific mission, and getting mired in the secondary questions of politics can divert our mission and mute our witness.

I am asked often to make public statements or sign specific petitions regarding political policies. The requests sometimes come from the left, sometimes from the right. And the issues constantly change. We never back away from teaching truth, of course, but when should the church make overtly political statements in response to current events?

Let me suggest two biblical truths we must hold in tension, and then suggest two questions that can serve as a guide for when to speak.

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