Heading out for vacation!

29 07 2006

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My family and I are headed out for a bit of a summer road trip. We are going to be driving down to Memphis and the Northern Mississippi area to visit family. It is always interesting when a Yankee heads down to the South, it is like a different world for me but I really appreciate the culture, and oh, it is a culture!! I emptied out my sermon illustration bag with intention on filling it while I’m there!

memphis-miss.gifLooking forward to some great time with my wife, some extended time with the kids, opportunities with my wife’s family to encourage and evangelize, should be a great time.

Posts will be limited in the meantime…talk to you when I get back!!

-erik-

2 Thess. 2.16-17

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Outward Manifestations of Inward Decay

28 07 2006

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Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Romans 7:24

 

 

And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:23

I have been thinking much of late over freedom from earth and its sinful stains (which I put here) as well as my own fleshly encumbrances that wage war against me. This battle is not external from me but internal as I await the redemption of my body. I cannot imagine what praise will be like without the presence of sin as we worship in the presence of the sinless One.

God has seen fit to give me what has regrettably become a bit of an annual reminder of my own fleshly vulnerabilities and the tenacity by which I should guard and war against my own flesh. Each year as the temperature increases so do the wild weeds and cursed trees of my lower backyard; apparently this soil is extremely conducive to producing everything but vegetables and fruit. Well two of my major deficiencies (among many) in life are home & auto repair (mechanical) and gardening. I honestly can say that I think I’d rather bake than mess around in a garden. The reason being, that every time I get around stuff that grows in patches I end up breaking out in patches. Read the rest of this entry »





Do you long for heaven?

27 07 2006

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2 Corinthians 5:2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,

 

 

 

 

Do we really groan in our bodies? Are we really longing for heaven? Obviously in the context of Paul’s writing the persecution is in full swing (ch.4.8-11) so he is reacting with earnest zeal in light of the great ministry that has been given him (ch.3.1-18) and the great life that has been given him (ch.4.1-6), even authenticating his ministry to the Corinthian doubters.

But he is clearly speaking for himself along with other Christians in this audible expression of discontentment with this current world and body while longing for the heavenly dwelling.

I think of all of the emphasis that is laid on this current life in the Christian circles, whether it be Your Best Life Now, or The Purpose Driven Life, or the name it and claim it folks, or even the pop evangelicals who may never even say the word sin, death or judgment when they evangelize, never mind holiness, the glory of Jesus and/or the eternal bliss of glorified worship. I wonder if we might be missing something.

I have often set and meditated on why I want to go to heaven. Is it the miserable option of hell that cinches it for me? Do I just want to go to heaven because I am petrified of hell and the notion of unquenchable wrath and unwavering justice mediated through eternal holiness, love and power. See this view does not make me long for heaven, but rather just hate hell.

Read the rest of this entry »





A Preacher’s Worst Nightmare Comes True

26 07 2006

If you have ever prepared to preach you know exactly what I’m about to write.

This past Sunday evening I arrived at the church at an admittedly late time of 530 for our 600 evening service. I still had to print my notes on the color printer (I usually bring about 30 ½ sheets of fully manuscripted work to the pulpit so highlighting and variant fonts are pivotal).

So when I got to the church I noticed that the whole administrative area complete with printers is disconnected as our computer guy was doing some work and installing some new hardware/software.

This did not leave me much time. I quickly evaluated the risk of driving home and printing off my notes vs. the risk of preaching without notes. In evaluating the two, the prospect of getting in an accident or getting a flat tire seemed less likely and far less damaging then me trying preach without notes.

So after advising our drummer of my intentions with the comforting and vague instructions, “Dude, tell the guys to just improvise..” (I later found out that they were going to keep singing “Just as I am” until I walked the aisle…)

Read the rest of this entry »





How to increase your blog’s traffic

25 07 2006

There is a whole arm of the technological industry dedicated to helping bloggers increase the traffic on their blogs. However, I think I may have found an option they have failed to identify.

In recent weeks I have taken the opportunity to interact with legalistic positions on alcohol, specifically within the Southern Baptist Convention, as a result this blog’s traffic has dramatically increased. (see the following posts and comments here, here and here)
So for all of the gadgets and toys that the experts say to add to your blog to make it more attractive let’s add another:

Jesus drinking and making wine and the Christians who think it is sinful to do so.

This seems to get folks excited and reading.

However, this site’s aim is not controversy, numbers, or traffic, but rather edification. My goal here is to spend time with Jesus and his Word and then share it with you. To fill my own heart with love and esteem and then live and interact with life while (hopefully) providing edification.

Therefore, I’m looking forward to getting back to affection stirring biblical devotion on this site. You know the kind of affectionate praise that causes your heart to beat faster and your eyes to water as you read and interact with the Word!! This is where its at for me. Thanks for joining me as I try to learn and love Jesus more.
by grace,

erik





Jesus According to Jesus (John 5)

25 07 2006

<<Below are sermon notes from a message I gave this past Sunday morning at Omaha Bible Church. Free downloads or listening are available>>

The focus of chapter five of John’s gospel centers on the vindication of the person and work of Jesus Christ. Specifically we see 3 Christological clarifications that serve to vindicate Jesus’ person and demonstrate his authority. OR if that is too wordy, three theological uppercuts that prove that Jesus is God and he can do and say whatever he wants.

The three clarifications in John chapter 5 are:

  1. Christ’s Special Relationship with the Father (5.19-23)
  2. Christ’s Sovereign Authority over humanity (5.24-30)
  3. Christ’s Sufficient Testimony of authenticity (5.31-47)

The theme of the book of John is expressed in the 20th chapter as we read these words: John 20:31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. So we see here that the Apostle John was writing to communicate the person of Jesus Christ to his audience with the expressed purpose of producing believe and life in Jesus.

In our context here Jesus heals a man who has been ailing for 38 years. And this serves to infuriate the Jews as the healing was accomplished on a Sabbath (for it was a feast day). They were mad at the lame man because he ‘carried’ his mat and aggravated with Jesus for healing him and telling him to carry his mat. Well What does Jesus say back? Joh 5:17 But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”

Basically Jesus says, “Me and My Father are just doing what we have always done…what is your problem?!” In so doing Jesus appeals to the activity of God and puts himself on the same page with God…even working in concert with him. God has enjoyed a Sabbath rest since the last day of Creation (Gen.2.2-3; Heb. 4.1, 3-5), but has still done good for men, even showing mercy on the Sabbath. Even the Rabbis of Jesus’ day would have concluded that God could not break the Sabbath, for God is active all the time (Sabbath or not) and Jesus, himself being God incarnate, is just doing what he has always done.

The Jews were furious. Because in there minds there is one thing worse than breaking the Sabbath, and that is blasphemy…speaking untruth about God, and they understood Jesus as saying that he was indeed God. This infuriated them! Notice that Jesus does not correct them. Instead he proceeds to, for the rest of the chapter, explain the special relationship that he has with the Father. And in an ironic way the Jews here are telling Jesus that he is committing the supreme sin (making himself God)…the irony is that they are disagreeing with God incarnate, rejecting him and so therefore rejecting God…so in an ironic twist the Jews’ charge of Blasphemy against Jesus is itself Blasphemy!!

What follows in verses 19-47 is Christ’s detailed explanation as to who he is and what he is doing and what ensues is a thorough theological spanking by the Savior for the religious leaders’ persistent perversion of truth in the name of their tradition. And so we have Jesus pivot on this emotionally charged situation to vindicate his character, this while indicting the Jews for their devastating sin of rejecting God.

Read the rest of this entry »





Biblical Perspective on Alcohol (resource)

24 07 2006

In light of all of the discussion surrounding alcohol and the Bible I wanted to make some resources available. Included here is a helpful series done by my Senior Pastor Patrick Abendroth of Omaha Bible Church during a sermon series last July.

This is a thoughtful and distinctly biblical study as we as chruch worked through the issues. Pat deals with topics ranging from wine in the Old Testament, at the time of Jesus and for usage in the church for communion. Additionally Pat deals with the issue of the ‘weaker brother’ in accordance with Romans 14-15.

Enjoy this helpful resource!! And if you want to argue, email Pat…just kidding! I’ll put on the headgear and take the lumps…

wine-or-welchs-album.jpgWine or Welch’s Part 1

<Listen> <Download>

Wine or Welch’s Part 2

<Listen> <Download>

Relating to the Spiritually Weak

<Listen> <Download>