“In All Your Ways”

August 4, 2018

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:6

“Straight paths” are a result of acknowledging Him in all our ways. In the context of Solomon teaching his son wisdom, perhaps he had in mind going to war without consulting God as future kings would do. Maybe he had in mind the tough decisions of being a king, matters of judgment, taxes, or managing the finances of the kingdom. Whatever he had in mind, he included the possibility of everything: “in all your ways, acknowledge Him.” The wise person acknowledges the Lord in all their ways- because when they do, He makes their paths straight.

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Trust God, Not Yourself

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.” –Proverbs 3:5-6

These often-quoted verses are very encouraging. However, there is a risk of them becoming too familiar that we fail to see the point and power in them. Continue reading “Trust God, Not Yourself”

God’s Faithfulness to Restore

When the builders had laid the foundation of the Lord’s temple, the priests, dressed in their robes and holding trumpets, and the Levites descended from Asaph, holding cymbals, took their positions to praise the Lord…they sang with praise and thanksgiving to the Lord: “For He is good; His faithful love to Israel endures forever.”   -Ezra 3:8-11

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Discipleshift: Jim Putnam, Bobby Harrington, and Robert Coleman

discipleshiftDiscipleshift is a ministry altering book, especially for anyone who is looking to align their ministry with the Great Commission: making disciples who make disciples. This book reminds the reader of the importance of disciple-making as the primary work of the church. Throughout, Putnam gives practical insight  into how make disciples in a local church context. Many other discipleship books stress the importance of discipleship but fail to give an answer to the question of “how do we do this in a local church?” Discipleshift answers that question.

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Are Black People Cursed? An Analysis of the Use of “Ham’s Curse” as a Justification for African Slavery

Are black people cursed? The question was raised this Sunday as our church concluded its first part of a three part series on racial reconciliation. What about “The Curse of Ham?” What about the white Southerners that used the story in Genesis 9 as a justification for slavery? I was asked to do some digging that we might appropriately respond to this question. Here are my results and conclusions:

The “Curse of Ham” comes a story from Genesis 9, where Noah, after surviving the flood, gets drunk and lays naked in his tent (quote shocking, I must agree, for the righteous man who just watched God unleash his wrath upon the world and save his family). One of Noah’s three sons, Ham, sees his father naked and tells his two brothers, Shem and Japheth . Since Ham’s actions are considered sinful enough to receive a curse, we must assume that he shared this information that was in some way dishonoring to his father. Contrary to Ham, Shem and Japheth honorably drape a garment over their father without looking at him. When Noah wakes up, he places a curse on Ham’s son, Canaan: “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers” (Gen. 9:24-25) for his dishonorable act. He goes on: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth…and let Canaan be his servant” (Gen. 9:26-27).

Continue reading “Are Black People Cursed? An Analysis of the Use of “Ham’s Curse” as a Justification for African Slavery”

A Glimpse Inside God’s Heart: Hosea 11:1-12

[Sermon Transcript]

Here at Living Hope Church we have been looking at the book of Hosea, and studying the incredible truth that our relationship with God is like a marriage. Every other analogy of how God relates to us: king to subjects, potter to clay, even father to child, falls short of describing what He is after in a relationship with us.

However, sometimes our relationship is more like a bad marriage than a good one, and so it was with Israel. But we have seen over and over again, that any deficiencies in our marriage with Him are always caused by us, yet He continues to pursue us, woo us, and shower us with His love. We saw earlier in the sermon series that God conveys this truth to us by commanding the prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute and remain faithful to her even in her unfaithfulness to Him, and thus demonstrate God’s faithful love to us.

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A Type Of The One To Come: Seeing Jesus in the Story of Adam & Eve

What is the Bible really about? Is it about us-what we should do, how we should act, laws we should obey? The Bible isn’t about us. It’s all about Jesus-even the Old Testament. Join us as we  identify the amazing symbols, themes, and types of Jesus and salvation in the Old Testament. If you’ve grown up thinking the Old Testament is boring, buckle up and be prepared to see the Scriptures come to life.The

True Christian Conviction

What is true conviction? Is it necessary for salvation? How can we feel it? What are we to do with it?

Last week, we discussed with our college group that Christian faith has three essential parts: understanding, conviction, and commitment. This week we looked at the conviction piece, and how understanding it leads us in our pursuit of holiness, sanctification, a much deeper walk with Jesus. If we misunderstand this essential aspect of faith, we will seriously hinder our own walk with God, fellowship with others, and witness to the world. But if we do understand it, it will open the door for a vibrant, free, and exciting life in God.

 

 

Faith As Understanding

 

Hebrews 11 tells us that “by faith we understand…” A paraphrase might say, “by faith we THINK.”  But the modern perception is that Christian’s don’t think, that they would rather just accept what they are told and blindly believe. In this message we discuss the fact that not only is being a Christian compatible with thinking, but it requires, demands, and constitutes the most profound thinking in the world. We discuss that thinking leads to faith, how thinking leads to faith, and why thinking leads to faith, all of which will always lead us to Jesus Christ.

 

The Ministry of the Mundane

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Do you ever feel like your days run endlessly together? Wake up, go to work, come home to innumerable chores, go to bed, repeat. Where is the abundant life God promised? Are you missing it? Is it possible to find purpose in the predictable and meaning in the mundane?

I (Jarrett) found this article earlier in the week, and I had to rewrite and repost it, because I think that every believer will be built up and edified through it!

If we are followers of Christ, the answer to the above questions are “yes,” for nothing done in surrendered obedience is ever wasted. At each moment, God uses our mundane, earthly experiences to train and equip us for something greater, to center our thoughts on the eternal, and to be active participants in his outpouring of love and grace. Living God’s great adventure is not a matter of location or vocation, but rather, a continual process of heart and mind transformation.

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