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Pastor Jay's Blog

This blog is Pastor Jay's weekly musings about God's Word, God's world, and God's call to our culture.  We hope they encourage, challenge, and inform you.  Sign up to recieve them in your email. 

Posts Tagged with "CHRISTIAN LIVING"

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The Symbiotic Relationship of The Church and The Individual

Symbiotic relationships are absolutely fascinating to me. God has made his creation to have systems and entities within it that are dependent upon other systems and entities in direct ways. I say direct ways because we all recognize that everything within creation is dependent in some ways. Only God is self-existent. But there are things in creation that are dependent in w...

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Two Ways Sin Gets Into Your Life

30 seconds sounds like nothing in the scheme of things. But have you ever been in a teaching setting with a group of people and tried sitting silent for 30 seconds? I'll tell you what will happen. Your awkward-ometer will redline after about 10 seconds. Another version of this is the old saying "The watched pot never boils." What is happening in these situations? What is h...

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Prioritize Which? Church or Family

One of the regular issues that arises in busy families is keeping all of the proverbial plates spinning. The schedule is full, the laundry needs to get done, soccer practice is starting, kids are fussing about something, and guess what? The dishwasher just started leaking. In the middle of all of this comes church. And not just Sunday Services but bible studies, kids clubs...

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Sanctification is Hard

One thing you can dismiss out of hand is the all-too-common promises of quick growth, easy growth or silver-bullet growth (doing one special thing guaranteed to work). That is simply not how spiritual growth happens. That is not to say that the Spirit of God does not at times do a dramatic work in a person's life. That does happen sometimes as a sovereign work of God. That...

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Risk and Expectation

Last week we were talking once again about our supported missionaries in Ukraine. There is a lot of international drama playing out there right now and things certainly look serious. This led us into thinking about safety and risk. How does the Christians consider such things? There are a few things I would like for us to think about. First, I think it is good to say that...

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Worship-Level Thankfulness

Thanks is supposed to be an everyday kind of thing for the Christian. But we sinners can mess up just about anything. For this reason, Thanksgiving is an immensely helpful holiday to reorient ourselves. One of the points of having traditions is to remind us of important things that we too easily forget. But let's grant that you haven't forgotten about thanks. You still giv...

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Why I Don’t Watch Shows Like “The Chosen”

It seems that Christendom is starting to be delivered from the cheesy movies that seemed ubiquitous a few decades ago. The production quality and acting are getting to a level that can at least be stomached. This is a good and blessed thing. While excellence and faithfulness are not a necessary pairing, there should be a desire for excellence, and a pursuit for it should...

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How Should We Think About 2020?

One of the most common things you heard in the last days of 2020 was the glee of being done with that horrid year. 2020 wasa trip. But was it really? When you are thinking about something you have to work hard to think about it rightly;thinking can go wrong on so many levels. You can think about things with the wrong information or with a lack of information. You can thi...

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Good Fear, Bad Fear

A global pandemic is a good time for a refresher on fear. During the Great Depression, the newly elected Franklin D. Roosevelt said that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." That makes for good speech writing, but not good biblical thinking. As a Christian, your impulse might be to blurt out God's command to not fear. Yes, God commands this, but that is not a...

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The Amazing Multi-tasking Tool of Thankfulness

While normally I can only accomplish one thing at a time, I do enjoy the killing of two birds with one stone. It makes me happy when I can turn one errand into the accomplishment of three or four. It doesn't always work like that, but it is nice when it does. The magnificent smart phone has given us a help with this. It has made listening to books or sermons while we jog...

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Filled By and Filled With

This last Sunday I preached from Ephesians 5:15-18. It is the fourth "therefore" (4:25; 5:1,7,15) and the fourth instance of "walk" (4:17; 5:2,8,15) that has been driving our sermons since 4:17. The climatic command in the passage this week is wonderfully important: "be filled with the Spirit". However, in my studies I saw something I had not seen before. It involved the...

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The Moral Bumble of the Grumble

Grumbling is everywhere and probably because it is one of those habits that often gets a pass. I mean, when you think about it, grumblers could be characterized as perceptive people. They are quick to recognize problems and quick to air why those problems are problematic. You can't really deny there are problems. This is a broken world after all. Sin really has ravaged...

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You Have Never Disappointed God

When it comes to relational failures, being disappointed is bad but being a disappointment is even worse. Failing to come through when people are counting on you is one of the deepest kinds of shame a person can feel. Our very worth is brought into question because now people will regard us as having some degree of evil or incompetence. This can result in a lingering...

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Sin Will Find You Out

Safety is valuable because life is valuable. We all value our lives and therefore we try to insulate ourselves from danger. The only problem is that safety is an illusion. There is no fortress where pain and death cannot crawl through the cracks. As Proverbs 30:28 says "A lizard you may grasp with the hands, yet it is in King's palaces." Pain and death are like that li...

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Sifting Out Feeling and Believing

It is time to send our language through the sifter on a particular issue. Feelings are one thing, and beliefs are another thing. They are not the same thing. But for too long we have used them interchangeably and muddied the water of what it is to walk by faith. Sifting Belief from Feeling Belief is not something you feel. Belief is embracing someone's word about reali...

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What To Do With That Idea You Have

This weekend we are doing something as a church that we have not done before. We will be doing some evangelistic Christmas caroling. Why are we doing this? There are a number of reasons why we are doing this, but the first reason, the reason that got it all in motion, was one of our members brought the idea to our attention and explained the benefits. Do you know what...

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Counting promises is better than counting blessings

Worry is a disease. It can eat at you relentlessly and steal your joy, your focus, and your health. Such a terrible disease needs a powerful antidote and God has not left us empty handed. In fact, he has filled our hand with a glorious book that will deal a decisive blow to the scourge of worry. But, like all medications, you must take it as prescribed. Poor applicatio...

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Can an Unbeliever Be Patient?

People used to think the single cell was pretty basic, like an old car you could work on if you had some know-how. Turns out we simply weren't looking close enough. Instead of comparing it to an Oldsmobile, the cell is more like a galaxy of function and information. The same is true with some of the most famous and beloved Bible verses. We love them because of the powerf...

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A Nail In The Coffin of Reason

God is inescapable. It doesn't matter what you think, say, or do, you are forever locked into God's creation. The greatest proof of God's existence a person can have is when God gives new life to his dead soul (1 John 5:9, 11). Next to this experience of life in Christ, the greatest testimony to God's existence is the inescapable fact that without God you cannot prove an...

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I Can Do Incompetence Through Christ Who Strengthens Me

Is this a joke? Has someone hacked the blog and messed with the title? Those who know their Bibles, and probably even those who don't know their Bibles, will most likely recognize the verse that the title is drawn from. Philippians 4:13 reads, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." It stands there so inspiring, so uplifting. No wonder it is the go-to verse...

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The Engine of Application

One of the dreaded features of buying a car is the reality that you have to know something about the engine. Most people are not mechanics. Yet, if you are going to buy a car, someway, somehow, you have to know enough about the engine to know that your purchase will be a wise one. Without that engine, you will only have a leather-interior paper weight. Even after your pu...

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Understanding and Bearing Spiritual Fruit, Part 3

Today we are looking at the third and final category of spiritual fruit. The first was the general category dealing with the nature of spiritual fruit. The second addressed spiritual fruit that is internal to the believer and primarily connected to the believer's own life. In working through those first two categories we developed this definition: Spiritual fruit is a ...

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Understanding and Bearing Spiritual Fruit, Part 2

Last week I began this blog series by describing three different categories of spiritual fruit. First is the general category that primarily speaks to the nature of spiritual fruit. Second is a specific category of spiritual fruit that is internal to the believer and primarily connected to the believer's own life. Third is the specific category of spiritual fruit that is...

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Understanding and Bearing Spiritual Fruit, Pt. 1

I am fascinated by fruit. Sometimes I catch myself staring at an apple. In my hand is a perfectly portioned meal, containing wonderful nutrients, sealed in its own protective skin, carrying seeds for propagation, and to top it off it is delightfully tasty. What a wonderful gift God has designed for us. But even more wonderful is spiritual fruit. I have been thinking a lo...

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Another Resolution

In case you need reminding, 2014 is halfway gone. That's right. It will never be repeated, ever. It is a memory that will fade into oblivion. At least that is what popular culture tells us. But actually, the first half of 2014 will come back when the books are opened in judgment. Hopefully, you are now thinking of commands you broke and callings you neglected in those mo...

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Devotional Mice And The Cheese Factory

You were created to love God and enjoy Him forever. To love someone is to know them, and to love them more means knowing them more. This should be what every child of God is striving for. Therefore, every Christian who wants to follow Jesus will be reading the words of Jesus: the Bible. But sometimes, when reading the Bible, we find ourselves reading something that seems...

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