Six Things To Do This Christmas

At Raintree’s Christmas Eve Candlelight, I wanted to give some really practical, brief suggestions about what to do this Christmas. Really, these are great things to consider year-round. Here they are, some really simple reminders, for myself included.   Six Things to do This Christmas (and Every Day).   Put the phone down (or turn…

A Word to Seasoned Christians

I want to spend a moment here to talk to those of you who have been following Jesus for a long time. This is really for all of us, but it seems especially relevant for those of you who’ve been at it a while. We know that Jonah, in the beginning of his life and…

The Past Does Not Define Us

Philippians 3:13- “Brother, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” How Paul writes this is rather abrupt. He’s writing and thinking about chasing after maturity, and even though he’s not perfectly mature yet at all—he…

Suffering = Assurance?

Philippians 1:29-30: “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.” What do these verses really mean? It means we’re Privileged to…

Sola Scriptura- Submitting Our Hearts

We submit our hearts to the Word of God. In the world of Christianity, what I sometimes call “pop-Christian culture,” it’s so easy to fall into the TRAP of thinking that God wants us to follow our hearts. I heard just recently an evangelical pastor say these words: “Wherever your heart is leading you; that’s…

“It is finished” and the Great Commission

We recently had our first annual Missions Week at Raintree, and I was privileged to preach on the Great Commission, from Matthew 28:18-20. The following is one of my favorite reflections on the GRAND truth that Christ’s authority is the very basis of our confidence in sharing the gospel with the people around us. Not only is his authority…

The Not-So-Secret Compromise-Repellant

In Daniel chapter 6, we have probably the best-known story of the book of Daniel: Daniel and the Lion’s Den. So often we see the deliverance from the lion’s den as the focal point of this story. And it is a big deal; I certainly don’t want to minimize that. BUT, I think the biggest…

Our Legacy vs. God’s Kingdom

We’re going through the book of Daniel at Raintree, and recently we looked in-depth at Daniel chapter 2. It records a dream that Nebuchadnezzar had, where he was a head of gold, and where other parts of the body were kingdoms that would come after him. The was one main point of this dream. Our…

Sunday’s Q&A- “God’s Sovereign Mercy”

God’s Sovereign Mercy What a neat week it was to look at both the most difficult theological topic in the Bible, as well as the most controversial chapter in the Bible for Christians! As we’ve been continuing through the Exodus narrative, a blaring question has been evident: What does it mean that God hardened Pharaoh’s…

Don’t Sound the Trumpet!

The Trumpet Matthew 6:2: “When you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others.” I don’t think they’re referring to an actual trumpet here, although that certainly could have happened. But it seems like Jesus is…

We Hate the World because We Forget

Not only is fear or anxiety a common response to everything happening in our culture, but there is another seemingly common response for Bible-believing Christians who watch a culture turn not only from Christ, specifically, but also turn away from Christian principles and foundations for society, something many of us may struggle with– What is this other…

No Christian Will Be Single Forever

For Christians, none of us will remain single forever. Did you know that? Revelation 19:6-8 says this: Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty…