ARBC Worship: Will You Stay Strong When Your Flesh is Weak? (Jonah 3:1-10)

This morning, we are back in Jonah where the third chapter shows Jonah’s second opportunity to give the Ninevites their first opportunity. Think about the times you were given a second opportunity at something. Whether it was a restoration of a relationship or getting your job back after you were laid off. Over Christmas, I watched “A Christmas Carol.” My favorite is the 1984 version with George C. Scott. The reason we love this is because Scrooge’s reclamation gives us all hope of second opportunities.

Jonah is both a hopeful and cautionary book. Chapters 1 and 2 show how God is sovereign over all things. Jonah realizes that running from God (a seemingly good idea at the time, he believed) was futile. Obedience was the only option. Yet, Jonah’s heart—that’s the question. Outward obedience looks so good—we even celebrate it. But we must hear the lesson God told Samuel: “For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Yes, Jonah’s flesh was weak. As we read Jonah 4, you see that his heart was not up to the mark at all. Even preachers need preaching to! Yet, God strengthened Jonah, for that’s where our strength comes from.


For the Least of These: Jesus Among the Vulnerable (Matthew 25:31-46)

You will find no command in Scripture to observe Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. The first time our country observed this day was in 1984 by the proclamation of then-President Ronald Reagan. While we find no command of this observance in Scripture, we do find themes of how God values the human life He created, for humans bear His image (Genesis 1:26-27) and are fearfully and wonderfully made in our mothers’ wombs (Psalm 139:13-14). So valuable and loved are we that God sent His Son Jesus into the world to rescue His image-bearers from their sin and brokenness. He also restored them to His meaning and purpose through the cross. Take time to read engage the Scriptures to go deeper into the text you heard from Sunday morning. Use this time to meet with others to help strengthen each other in the faith. Sanctity of (all) human life Sunday (and every day)!

Narrow Gospel, Expanded Box: ARBC Worship Ramp-Up (1.17.2021)

Good morning, everyone! I’m so grateful that we get to worship King Jesus this morning. This is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. In the midst of preparing for a sermon on Matthew 25:31-46, God led me to a passage in Mark 9. Our gospel needs to stay narrow (no adding or taking away from it), but our “box” needs to be expanding. Huh? Well, let’s talk about that.