The Case for Belief

  • Friday, April 30, 2010
  • "Eternity is a long time to be wrong!"

    This sign at a church on 84th Street is a sobering reminder. What IF Jesus is God, and what IF His work on the cross paid it all, and what IF eternal destinations are determined by belief or disbelief in Him, and what IF you decided that "all roads lead to heaven" so you would just follow your own self-designated path, and what IF you were to die while hanging on to your own self-sufficient righteousness, and what IF you awakened on the other side of your grave to find out you were wrong? Eternity IS a long time to be wrong!

    We have to know. We cannot be satisfied simply to assume. We cannot find peace just by hoping we are right. What if we are wrong? We have to know because eternity is a long time to be wrong!

    Breakfast on the Beach

  • Tuesday, April 27, 2010

  • "After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples. Simon Peter said to them, 'I am going fishing.' They said to him, 'We will also come with you.' They went out, and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing. 

    But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus therefore said to them, 'Children, you do not have any fish, do you?' They answered Him, 'No.' And He said to them, 'Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you will find a catch.' They cast therefore, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish. That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved said to Peter, 'It is the Lord.' And so when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea." John 21:1-7

    Breakfast on the Beach

  • Friday, April 23, 2010

  • "The dads are thinking w's and l's. The kids are thinking grape or strawberry!" One of my favorite billboards reminding us that it is the parents and not the children who often need to be reminded to keep things in perspective.

    The competitive drive of men often pushes them ( over the line of sensibility where we quickly lose sight of the things that really matter. We have to win! To lose is to fail, and if we are going to lose, rather than go down giving it our best effort, we would often chose not to even start the game. To lose is to fail.

    "Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, 'Children, do you have any fish?' They answered Him, 'No.'" John 21:4-5

    Resurrection Reality

  • Tuesday, April 20, 2010
  • "And so she (Mary Magdalene) ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, 'They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.'" John 20:2

    Jesus had been betrayed, been beaten, been mocked by the very crowds that only a week earlier had cheered Him while riding on a donkey. He had been nailed to a cross and hung there enduring excruciating agony. The sky had turned black as even God had turned His face away from His Son.

    Then Jesus gave up His spirit and died. He had been buried in a tomb with a massive stone rolled in front to seal the dead in and the living out.

    It was that next morning that we read that Mary Magdalene had come to the tomb. She was not going to see an open grave. She did not expect to see anyone. She expected to grieve over the death and burial of Her Lord.

    Resurrection Realities

  • Friday, April 16, 2010
  • Demons do vicious things to those they possess. That is, until Jesus speaks!

    They blamed it on the "golf gods." He is a professional and a six foot putt for birdie was virtually a "gimme." That is, until out of nowhere a twig from a distant tree fluttered down to rest directly in his line. He had studied it...he had followed his disciplined routine...he was focused on his ball...he pulled his club into its back-swing...and out of nowhere a twig fluttered and rested directly in his line. Phil Mickelson walked off the second green of the 2010 Masters PGA with a par penciled on his scorecard and a silly grin fixed on his face. And the commentators blamed it on the "golf gods"!

    Demons do vicious things to those they possess.

    He Kept His Painful Promise

  • Tuesday, April 13, 2010
  • God keeps His promises, even when doing so causes Him great personal pain.

    Psalms 22:1-2 "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. O my God, I cry by day, but Thou dost not answer; and by night, but I have no rest."

    Mark 15:33-34 "And when the sixth hour had come, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' which is translated, 'My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?'"

    He Kept His Painful Promise

  • Friday, April 9, 2010

  • God keeps His promises, even when keeping His word brings Him great pain!

    "Promises were made to be broken" - Aesop, ancient fabulist and author of Greek fables.

    I love pithy statements...those insightful declarations that get right to the point, communicate a message and do it with an economy of words. (I know, you wonder why I don't apply this passion to my Sunday sermons!) The kind of things often associated with Yogi Berra. "There is a steakhouse in Dallas no one goes to anymore, because they are always full." Actually, on an interview on one of the news programs, I heard Yogi say, "Most of the things I said, I never said." In other words, if people wanted their pithy lines to be remembered, they would attach his name to them as the wordsmith, but in reality he probably never said it!

    Living Proof

  • Wednesday, April 7, 2010
  • Parthenon on Acropolis
    "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead." Acts 17:30-31

    He is risen! He is risen indeed! As we celebrated Easter Sunday, we declared God's call to repentance through the Man (spoken about by Paul in Acts chapter 17) whom God raised from the dead!

    Paul is in Athens, and he cannot help but be "provoked in spirit" by the more than 30,000 idols strewn throughout the city.