Sin ambushes people sometimes—even people who are our brothers or sisters in Christ, our friends, our partners in ministry. It traps them under enemy fire so to speak and who’s going to help them get out to a place of spiritual safety if not you? Come to VotL tomorrow as I wrap up our series A Time For Heroes. Now is the time. Heroes help their friends get out.
Years ago, after I had received the call to plant the church that has become Victory of the Lamb, I had a dream (actually it was more like a nightmare!). I dreamed no one showed up for church. The place was empty. In my dream I kept watching the clock. The minutes passed. Then hours. I was all alone. It was awful. Thankfully, it was a dream (and hopefully you’ll all show up on Sunday!). But I’ll never forget that feeling—the fear of an empty church (it’s a pastor thing).
Now for you maybe it’s not an empty church that you fear, but rather an empty home. Or perhaps the intense feelings that stir when our most precious life relationships fall apart or those feelings that stir at the prospect of our most meaningful relationships fading away. Can anyone or anything fill those kind of deep, empty spaces in our souls? The good news is Jesus says, “I can!”
Please join me this Sunday at 9 or 10:45 as I wrap up our “Empty” series at church and we find out how!
This week I ran across an old grocery store bag in the corner of the garage. It was heavier than I expected it to be. That’s because there were a couple rocks in it. (What…you don’t keep a bag of rocks in your garage too!?)
Rocks like the one pictured above. And I was reminded of my shortcomings. You see, five people who weren’t able to attend our VotL groundbreaking ceremony in May of 2015 gave me their “prayer rocks” which I promised I was going to press into the concrete foundation of our ministry center building along with the hundred or so other prayer rocks that people made at the groundbreaking ceremony.
But these five rocks in the grocery store bag didn’t make it. I failed to put them in the foundation. They found their way instead into the corner of the parsonage garage. And I couldn’t help but wonder, How many other things have I failed to do over the years of serving as a pastor here? How many other things have I overlooked or in my weakness failed to say or …
The Grinch is a bitter, grouchy, cave-dwelling creature with a heart “two sizes too small” that tries to steal the Christmas joy from Whoville—home of the merry and warm-hearted Whos.
What’s trying to steal your Christmas joy… Stress? Worry? Fear? Bitterness? Anger? Grief?
For the people that the prophet Isaiah was writing to long ago, all these things were threatening to rob them of “Christmas” joy too. Would they ever find deliverance from being exiled in Babylon? Would they ever experience joy again? Would the promised Savior ever come?
Of course the answer to those questions was Yes!
Even more, it’s a resounding Yes for us as well because Christ has come! God has kept his promise of sending us a Deliverer—a stress, worry, fear, bitterness, anger, grief, SIN and DEATH deliverer! And because of what Jesus accomplished for us… “No matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory o…