Graduation

“As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” – John 17:18 One of the great characteristics of the church universal is that we are a sent people. No man, woman, boy, or girl was ever saved by Christ to remain in the comfort of their ordinary life. We have all been sent, set out on a mission, not for career, nor fortune, nor family, but to expand the boundaries of God’s glory throughout all of creation. We are to bear witness of His goodness to the ends of the … [Read more...]

Only Easter?

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” ­– Luke 9:23–24 Faithful church-goers often get frustrated with Christians who only attend services a couple of times a year, usually Christmas and Easter. I get it. When someone claims to love Jesus but neglects the very thing He died for, the church, you wonder what kind of game he or she is … [Read more...]

Encouragement

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,” ~Hebrews 10:24 Since I arrived at Eastern Hills almost eight months ago (can you believe it’s been eight months!) I have received a lot of encouragement from you all. Believe me when I say that encouragement is invaluable to a pastor. I appreciate it very much. I’m also aware that encouragement goes both ways. You, the members of Eastern Hills, need to be uplifted and spurred on in your good deeds as well, so I … [Read more...]

Religion vs. the Gospel

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15 If you hang around Christians long enough, you might hear a phrase like this, “We don’t have religion, we have the gospel.” This statement (or some iteration of it) is often repeated by the church, but what does it really mean? Why do we insist that Christianity is not just a religion? Pastor Tim Keller put together a chart that sheds light on the differences between religion and the … [Read more...]

Discipleship

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”– Matthew 28:19–20 “But, everything we do is discipleship.” I’ll never forget these words of a dear elderly brother when I tried explaining to him the need for intentional, reproducible discipleship at my first church in Athens, GA. His sentiments … [Read more...]