• Impact

    Faith is a journey!

    Genesis 15:7-21 Time: Between 2081–2080 b.c. Place: Canaan   Lesson Aim: To recognize that faith is a journey with God.   Introduction   Bob remembers traveling as a child with his father, a regional salesman, to visit accounts throughout southern Illinois. “On those trips, my dad relied as much on his datebook as he did his map,” Bob says. (This was decades before the arrival of smartphones and tablet devices.)   The book was filled with the names and addresses of his customers, directions to their businesses, their purchasing history, and of course, the date of their next appointment. “Without that book,” Bob says, “my dad would have been out…

  • Engage

    Social Gospel or Gospel with Social Ramifications?

      Before I became a Christian, I attended churches where I heard the “social gospel.” That is, I learned all about doing good works, but I didn’t actually know how to have peace with God through Christ. I thought good works were the way to such peace. But grace means that works follow salvation, not the other way around. Unfortunately, since becoming a Christian, I have often encountered an equally distorted view at the other extreme. Christians who know how to have peace with God through Christ often view pretty much everyone committed to feeding the poor and clothing the naked as preaching a “social gospel.” Often such believers see…

  • Divided Highway

    Spiritually Bipolar

    Here’s another confession. I’m bi-polar when it comes to my spiritual life. On the one hand I can be very self-condemning: I’m a rotten worthless sinner who can’t do anything right. I wrote a song once called Failure the lyrics to which expressed how I often feel: I confess that I’m a failure This sober truth, it haunts my life Decisions made that were unwise I’ve messed up my own, and others’ lives Too many times… Yes, I beat myself up a lot. And, yes, I know Jesus loves me, but I have often asked, “But does He like me?” I fail time and time and time and time and…