The Church: The City of the Great King

Text: Psalm 48
Stewart Bair

In today’s text, the psalmist describes several characteristics of the Church, beginning with the Church gathered on Mt. Zion from the times of the Old Testament, but extending to the contemporary Church, the new Mt. Zion which is wherever God’s people gather to worship. Despite the concerns we may have as we look at current conditions in our nation and the world, the future of the Church is secure because it is our God who firmly establishes it.

Implications of the Incarnation

Text: John 1:1-18
Mr. Brian Shirak

Christianity is about our relationship with a person, the Word made flesh, Jesus. That the transcendent God of the universe chose in love to dwell among us by his incarnation has tremendous implications for our lives. May we be moved to wonder, to lives of worship and to intentionally leave our places of comfort to share the gospel with those who are not like us.

Faith Full of Assurance

Text: Habakkuk 3:16-19
RE John Tittle

God loves us and is good to us even in the uncertainties and trials of life. When faced with such challenging circumstances, we are called to fasten our gaze upon God. In doing so, we will be awestruck by his goodness even while being honest about real difficulties. We are called to joyful living by faith in our God who is both Savior and Sovereign.

The Pharisee and the Prostitute

Text: Luke 7:36-50
Dr. Peter Green

In Jesus’ interactions at the home of Simon the Pharisee, Jesus reveals himself to be the truly divine prophet ushering in the year of the Lord’s favor (Isaiah 61:1-3). He is building a community centered around his forgiveness and love, one that welcomes repentant sinners. As a result, we have freedom to acknowledge our own sin and also to welcome the broken sinner into our midst.

Resurrection. Now What?

Text: Colossians 3:1-4
Rev. Mark Robinson

People hold various views on the historical reality of the Resurrection. For those who are in Christ, united with him, we are called to personal participation in his death and resurrection along with all of the benefits that ensue. In light of Easter, we are called to set our affections on things above and publicly proclaim the reign of our Savior who is already seated at the right hand of the Father to establish his eternal and universal kingdom, whether by mercy or by might.

The Steadfast Love of God

Text: Psalm 90
Mr. Brian Shirak

In this oldest of the Psalms, a Psalm of Moses, we are reminded of the transient nature of human life shown in stark relief against the eternal, steadfast love of God. May we seek wisdom by putting away everything else that competes for our affection and be deeply satisfied with making our dwelling place the only thing that will last forever, the hesed, steadfast love of God.

Faith Full of Assurance

Text: Habakkuk 3:1-15
RE John Tittle

In the midst of the ongoing trials and confusion that are an inevitable part of life, what should be our proper approach to God? Today the prophet instructs us that as we shift our perspective off of the confusion and onto God, our attitude will be transformed from confusion into humility and reverence. May we seek to become radically God-centered as that will enable us to live a life of steadfast faith.

Baptism of the Beloved Son

Text: Luke 3:1-3, 15-22
Dr. Peter Green

One of the deepest longings of the human heart is an answer to the question, “Am I loved?” In today’s text concerning the baptism of Jesus, we see God tear open the fabric of heaven to proclaim his love for his Son. Even more astonishing is the realization that, as Jesus identifies with us by his baptism, in our own baptism we are united to Christ. That means that what is true of Jesus is true of us, and we are marked as belonging to God and being loved by him.

Nothing Better Than This!

Text: John 17:20-26
Pastor Paul Karlberg

In today’s text we get to listen in on Jesus’ prayer for his disciples in the upper room just prior to his crucifixion. We hear his heart for unity despite the diversity of the earthly church, even as we look forward to the greater unity we will enjoy in heaven. The source for this unity is Christ himself as our union with him unites us to one another.

The Love of Jesus Should Stir Us to Action

Text: Mark 2:1-12
Mr. Brian Shirak

Titus 3 teaches us that the truth of Jesus’ eternal love for us (the indicative) compels us to action and excellent works (the imperative). In today’s text from Mark 2, as we put ourselves in the shoes of the paralytic and his friends, we understand that the most excellent work we can do — the only thing that will last forever — is to bring people to the feet of Jesus.