Welcome to Palmerston EMC!

Palmerston EMC is made up of people from various walks of life.  A somewhat traditional church, we reflect a small town personality with strong family ties.  Agriculture and agricultural related business employ a large portion of our congregation, while some of our people are self-employed or work in industry, service or government.  We are a practical, service oriented congregation with a heart to see God’s work in Palmerston move ahead. We have a strong desire to worship and serve God, to reach out to our community, to grow spiritually and to see new people come to faith in Jesus Christ.

You are welcome to join us!

Canadian Bible Engagement Study

read bibleIn 2013, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, in partnership with the Bible League of Canada, the Canadian Bible Society, The Gideons, Open Doors, Wycliffe and a few others, released the results of a survey that asked Canadians about their engagement with and belief in the Bible.

It is important for Canadian Christians to understand the results of this survey as it applies to our culture. But the results of this survey are also a wake-up call for Canadian Christians.

One line stood out above all of the others in the report of the survey. It is this line: “The Bible engagement of self-identified Christians as a whole is not very different from Bible engagement of Canadians generally.”

Brothers and sisters, this should not be so!

There are positives. People who read the Bible regularly are 6 times more likely to attend church regularly, and 10 times more likely to consider the Bible God’s Word.

13% of Canadians and 23% of Canadian Christians agree that the Bible is relevant to daily life.  That is encouraging! Those who believe that the Bible is relevant to daily life are over 10 times more likely to read the Bible frequently and are four times more likely to attend church weekly.

The Bible engages and changes lives! But we as Canadian Christians need to be setting the example and leading the conversation.

For more information about the survey, please go to: http://www.bibleengagementstudy.ca/

Here are the survey result files:
CBES Executive Summary
CBES Full Report

Let me encourage you my friends: be engaged with the Living and Active Word of God!

Fan or Follower: Interference

We all have things that interfere with our lives. A child’s cry at 3 am interferes with our sleep. A construction zone interferes with travel plans and arrival times. Snow storms interfere with school days and plane rides to southern climes. An unexpected death interferes with, well, life. The arrival of this blog post may also interfere in your life, especially if it lends itself to distracting you from work :). (Don’t worry, I’m guilty of that one too).

These types of interferences will often cause us to view any interference in a negative light. This past Sunday we explored the truth that following Jesus will interfere with our lives.

Principles of following:
1) Jesus is the only one worth following. 2) Following is essential to believing, just as believing is essential to following. 3) following means being a doulos (slave) to Jesus. 4) following means expecting Jesus to interfere with your life.

Sermon Big Idea: Following Jesus means being prepared for him to interfere with your life.

Sermon Points:

  • as you read the gospels, notice that Jesus interferes all over the place.
  • Jesus interferes with:
    • the rich young man’s priorities (Mark 10:17-21)
    • the rich young man’s religion (Mark 10:17-21)
    • James and John’s family (Matthew 4:18-22)
    • Matthew’s career (Matthew 9:9-13)
    • Nathanael’s point of view (John 1:43-49)
  • if following Jesus does not interfere with your life, it is likely that you are not really following Jesus.
  • being in a doulos relationship with Jesus means being ready and willing for him to interfere in your life.
  • deny yourself, take up your cross and daily follow Jesus: it has to be a daily thing, being willing for Jesus to interfere in your life on a daily basis.
  • Jesus interferences aren’t negative, and they bring rewards (Mark 10:28-31)
  • following Jesus means expecting him, waiting for him to interfere with your life, with your priorities, your religion, your family, your relationships, your career, your way of thinking and maybe even your very life.

Follow-up questions:
When was the last time you remember Jesus interfering with your life? How did you react to his interference? If you have never had God interfere with your life, is it possible that you have been blocking his influence in your life? What might that look like? Does the thought of Jesus interfering in your life scare you? Why?

Questions for families with young children:
The next time you get angry with your child for interrupting you (be honest, it happens), take a moment to talk to them about how not all interruptions are bad things. Ask them if they have ever felt like God wanted them to do or say something in a specific situation. Did they act or speak? Why or why not?

Fan or Follower: Doulos

Good morning my friends.

I hope and pray that your journey through the New Testament is going well, and that you are enjoying what John is laying out for you through his gospel. Again, let me encourage you to take time to really reflect on the readings and ponder what John is laying out for you about Jesus. Who he was and still is? What does he ask of us? What does he promise for us?

This past Sunday was our second Sunday exploring the question: Are you a follower of Jesus? In the first week of the series we explored that a follower of Jesus recognizes that there is no one else worth following (taken from Peter’s words at the end of John 6). This past Sunday we spent our time talking about one particular word used to identify Christ-followers in the New Testament. That is the word “doulos”.

Doulos, literally means bondslave, and talks about someone who is fully committed to serving their master. The big problem with this concept is that we are taught to be individuals, to be independent, self-sufficient, free-thinking, to take control of our own destiny. This concept from the Bible flies in the face of all of that.

Sermon big idea: Being a follower of Jesus means living out a slave relationship to him.

Sermon Points:

  • Being a Christian means both believing and following, they go hand-in-hand
  • New Testament word used to describe Christians is “doulos”
  • Doulos means bondslave:
  • Bond-slave: someone who was purchased at a price, who serves the master’s needs, is at the master’s beck and call every moment; someone who is devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests
  • A true bond-slave has no will of their own, but whose will is completely consumed by the will of the master
  • Slave not just to God, but to other Christians and to the world around us
  • Our slavery to God is lived out in our slavery to others
  • Pride and cultural sensitivity to this word can make us shy away from being identified as a slave
  • We must remember that Jesus was the first slave, he modeled slavery to us (Philippians 2:5-8)

Follow-up Questions:
Whose will is in control of your life, Jesus’ or yours? In what areas of your life do you still call the shots instead of letting Jesus call the shots? What is holding you back from more fully giving Jesus control? Are you at Jesus’ “beck and call”?

Questions for families with young children:
Take a moment next time your child is being will-full and talk to them about what it means to submit, to live obediently in relationship with those who have authority in their lives. Ask them how they should respond next time someone in authority (a teacher, bus-driver, parent) talks to them.

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Those are the closing words from Peter in John chapter 6. The words are spoken in response to a question by Jesus, the question was: “What about you? Are you going to leave too?”

On Sunday we explored the story of the feeding of the 5000 from John 6, a story that spans all 71 verses of this chapter, not just the first 15 that we often associate with the story. Jesus feeds the crowd, departs from them during the night (when he walks on water to get the disciples boat), and the crowd (or part of it) follows him across the sea the following day. When they find him, Jesus makes it plain that they were only looking for him because he had fed them.

Instead of offering them more food, Jesus offers them himself as the bread of life. John makes it clear that from that moment on, many people stopped following Jesus. So Jesus challenges the 12, asking if the would leave too. And we have Peter’s fantastic response. Who else can we go to? Only you have the words of eternal life.

Sunday began the start of a journey in answering the question: Are you a fan or follower? A fan follows Jesus based on what he can do for them, based on how he can meet their needs, based on how he can scratch their itch. A follower follows Jesus because he/she recognizes that it is all about Jesus; that there is no one else that gives life that lasts, not just fills their stomachs. In many ways, this is the first step in being a full follower of Jesus: recognizing that he is the ONE and ONLY Lord who brings life and gives us truth.

Follow up questions:
What was new about the story of the feeding of the 5000? Was anything shocking? Where do you see yourself in that story: like one of the crowd that went home or like one of the disciples? Do you follow Jesus because he is Lord or because he scratches your itch? Why do you follow Jesus?

Discussion for young families:
Take a few moments to talk with your kids about why you say grace before (or after) a meal. Talk about how Jesus meets more than just your physical needs as an adult and ask you kids what needs they have that Jesus can meet. Pray with them about the things they mention.

Challenge for the week: 
Spend time reflecting on why you follow Jesus.

New Blog Format

Good Friday afternoon my friends! We are beginning a couple of new journeys this year at PEMC. We launched the new Bible Challenge for 2015, a year-long journey through the New Testament. I mentioned already that I am not going to be blogging as much as I did last year, and the focus of these ramblings will be a bit different. I am going to blog Fridays and Tuesdays, and the focus of those blogs will be the message that I am going to bring Sunday morning. Fridays will give you an introduction to the themes and scriptures coming up on Sunday morning, with a question or two to get you thinking. Then Tuesdays blogs will be dedicated to reviewing the message’s main points and giving some questions for you to ponder or maybe journal about.

Before I go any further, I must say that this blogging format is not my brainchild. In fact, it is the format used by my friend Andrew Mills, who pastors the EMC church in Plattsville. So I give him kudos for that.

This Sunday we are beginning a new series called: Fan or Follower. This past year, I picked up a book by Kyle Idleman called Not a Fan, and in the book he draws some distinctions between what it means to be a follower of Jesus versus being just a fan of Jesus. That book really got me thinking, and that thinking has lead to this sermon series.

Over the whole of the series, I’m going to be challenging you to answer this question: Are you a fan or a follower of Jesus Christ? I know it’s a bit unfair to ask you that question out of the context of the series, but that question is the heart of what I’m going to be preaching on for the next 8 weeks or so. We will explore what it means to be a follower. We will explore the costs and the blessings of being a follower. We will talk about following in community, among many other things. Each week, I will draw a distinction between a fan and being a follower.

We will also be tying into something the EMCC has developed called: “The 7-fold way of following Jesus” (you can visit here for more information on that).

“Follow me”. Jesus uses those words about 20 times in the gospels. What do those words mean to you?

New Year, New Challenge

Alright, so our Bible Challenge for 2014 is completed. Let me congratulate all of you who journeyed with me through the entire Bible in 2014! Let me reiterate, the point of this challenge was not read every word in the Bible (if you did then well done indeed). The point was to get you reading your Bible more in 2014 than you did in 2013, or maybe more than you ever have in your whole life. The point was to whet your appetite for the Word of God.

On numerous occasions, Jesus tells people that he offers us food that will sate their hunger and quench their thirst. Accomplishing those things only happens when we are going deeper into our relationship with Jesus, and that only happens as we spend time with him, in prayer, meditation and, yes, reading the Bible.

Sometimes you don’t even know you are hungry for something until you get a taste for it. It is my prayer that as you took part in the challenge for 2014 that you appetite has been thoroughly whetted because of the taste that you got of God’s Word.

We are going to embark on another journey together for 2015, starting January 5th. The schedule will be posted under the “Bible Challenge” tab on the main page of this website. We’re going to slow things down for 2015 and take the year to journey through the New Testament together. That will mean a little bit lighter reading schedule, which I’m sure some of you will enjoy. Basically you will be reading a chapter a day, sometimes only part of a chapter.

This challenge is going to be less about quantity and more about quality. While there will be less reading to do each day, I hope you will take the time to dig deeper into each reading. Really ask the Holy Spirit to show you what he wants YOU to hear during each day’s reading. How does he want to continue transforming your life to better imitate Jesus? What actions does he want you to do in response to what you read? I don’t know about you, but I felt that we blasted through the New Testament in 2014’s challenge, and there is so much to unpack. It is my hope that by reading less, we will have room to respond and process more.

Another change for 2015 is that I will not be blogging as much. I’m sure many of you realize how much of a commitment it was for me to write as often as I did. It was my goal to write every day when we first began our challenge, but that soon whittled its way down to four or five times per week. My goal for this year will be to blog twice per week, once on Friday and once on Tuesday. The focus of my blogs will not be as much our Bible Challenge, although I will be commenting on it from time-to-time. The focus is going to be on what I am going to be speaking on during our Sunday morning gathering. Friday’s post will be some opening thoughts, scriptures to read and some questions to ponder going into Sunday, and Tuesday’s post will be some follow-up material about Sunday’s sermon.

Here’s a preview of how 2015 is shaping up regarding our 2015 Sunday gatherings. We’re going to start by spending some weeks exploring what the difference is between being a follower of Jesus, and being a fan of Jesus. Then we’re going to take some time looking at one of the outcomes of being a follower of Jesus: that we are “those who overcome”. This phrase shows up in Jesus’ letters to the churches in the book of Revelation. What does it mean to be an overcomer and what does Jesus say about those who overcome?

Then we’re going to take time between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to explore “The Art of Biblical Manliness”, and that will lead us into a walk through the book of Daniel through the summer months.

I want to encourage you to continue the pattern you started in 2014, and build on it in 2015. I know we have so much that demands our time, but there is nothing more important than our spiritual nourishment; and I have never heard anyone say that spending time with God is a waste. It takes away from other things, sure, but it is all a matter of priority and importance. Our time with God should take away from other things, because it is more important.

So thank you for journeying with me through the Bible in 2014, and I sincerely pray that God richly blessed you as you dedicated time to be in his Word. And I invite you to continue the journey withe me and with PEMC as we key in on the New Testament in 2015.

Happy Reading.

Revelation 19-22: The End

Our final reading for our Bible Challenge 2014! And what a way to end it, with the final chapters of Revelation. These last four chapters contain some of the greatest promises in the Bible and outline in pretty clear language the hope we have for an eternal life with Christ.

Really there is one main tone through these four chapters: victory. I realize that comment is not particularly enlightened and is certainly not new, but it is the very blatant truth of these last chapters of the Bible. Jesus is victorious. The war he began on Satan, sin & death when he rose from the dead will be finally completed, his victory will be won and the eternal destiny of those who live in the Kingdom of God will be secured.

I don’t know about you, but there are times when I need to be reminded of the victory that Jesus will eventually win. I need the reminder that we have hope beyond the tears, grief, sorrow and seemingly unrestrained evil that is in the world around us. I need to be reminded that, in the end, I will have a place in a Kingdom where there will be peace, wholesome love and complete selflessness. I can become very disheartened by the way individuals treat one another, by the decisions people make that are so questionable and by the hurt that is caused.

But one day all of that will pass away and the world will be perfected. Sometimes I can’t wait for that day.

Even as that thought passes from my mind into my fingers, I am reminded that there are people in my life who will not be in that Kingdom because they have not made a choice to have faith in Jesus. So as much as I can’t wait for that day to come, I am reminded that the work Jesus left for his church to do is not finished, and I have a part to play in that unfinished work.

Have you ever stopped to consider that although the Bible ends at Revelation chapter 22, God’s story does not? The story that we have been reading over 2014 has continued over these past 2000 years, and even as I writes words, God is writing new chapters in his story, chapters involving me and you, chapters that will involve my children and yours. Chapters full of spiritual greats, Kingdom victories, as well as personal failures. Chapters full of lessons God has taught us, is teaching us and will continue to teach us.

So while we have reached the end of our journey through the Bible, allow me to remind you that God’s story continues. God’s hand moves in the world TODAY through the Holy Spirit and as he acts in the lives of those who follow Jesus.

Happy reading

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
  • What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  • How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
  • What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Bible Reading Challenge 2015: The New Testament in a Year. Details tomorrow.

Revelation 12-18: At war

Almost there! We’re almost to the end my friends.

Unfortunately, this second to last reading gives us little in the way of a peaceful ending, and may leave you with more questions than it does answers.

We must remember that the book of Revelation is among the style of writing known as Apocalyptic literature, a style of writing used to describe the book of Daniel as well as sections of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel and Zechariah. Basically, apocalyptic writing refers to moments when God has chosen to reveal parts of the future to the author. We can make a couple of major mistakes when we read apocalyptic writings. First, we can forget that God has chosen to reveal only part of the picture to us. The very nature of these writings are mysterious and cryptic. Many people over many centuries have tried to interpret and fully understand everything that God has recorded in the apocalyptic sections of the Bible. The truth is, we are not meant to look at these sections in that way.

Second, we can forget that these writings were written in specific times for a specific audience. So while Daniel and Revelation speak about the end of all things as God revealed it, the imagery, titles, and settings of those writings were culturally influenced. Without an understanding of what was going on when these books were written, it can be very easy to jump to conclusions about what they mean.

Finally, we have to remember that these books are not intended to scare us. In fact, most of the apocalyptic sections I mentioned above were written during periods of persecution or difficulty, first for the nation of Israel and then for the early church. They were given by God as a means of encouraging believers to stay on track, to keep strong in their faith because they understood that God was in control of what was happening.

I hope you noticed as you have been reading that there are many sections where worship of God is the focus, and indeed the worship of God is a major component of the entire book. My New Testament professor at EBC did his doctoral thesis on worship in the book of Revelation, and he believes that the book is intended (at least in part) to be a manual for worship for the church. That is certainly a different perspective to think about.

One final comment specific to today’s reading. We have to recognize that the one thing that Revelation seems to make clear about the end times is that it will be a time of difficulty for the church. There will be Christian persecution the likes of which we have not seen since the days of the Roman Empire. The entire middle section of the book (chapters 4-20) describe the church at war. Whether you believe that “current” Christians will be taken to heaven pre- or post- tribulation doesn’t matter, either way there will be Christians on the earth during that time and they will be at war with the Antichrist and his minions.

We have known a lot of years of peace in North America. We as Christians have known a lot of years of plenty and comfort and contentment. I fear that those years have lulled us into a false sense of security and even belonging; that this is our home. We must remember that Paul makes it very clear to us that our citizenship is not here on earth but that it resides in heaven. We must be clear that we are strangers and foreigners in this land. I believe that is why Paul refers to our bodies repeatedly as “tents”, a reminder that these are only temporary dwellings for us.

If these chapters from Revelation scare you, challenge you, worry you, I would say that’s probably good. There is darkness ahead. But don’t lose sight of the fact that God’s victory is assured.

Happy reading

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
  • What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  • How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
  • What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Revelation 19-22

Hebrews 11-13: Endurance

It is unfortunate that the bulk of the book of Hebrews as landed on the days when I normally do not post a blog. There is so very much in this book, and so much of it can be kind of confusing. I wanted to make mention of that before I talk specifically about today’s reading.

One thing we have to be very careful to remember when reading this book is that it was written to Hebrews who had become Christians…hence the title of the book. Some of what the author talks about is very difficult for us to relate to, even after we’ve journeyed through the “Hebrew” scriptures in the Old Testament over this past year. Our reading through the Old Testament should help you understand Hebrews a bit more, especially in its conversation about sacrifices and the priests and how Jesus fulfills and perfects both of those. But there are cultural and religious references in Hebrews that are challenging, even with a fresh reading of the Old Testament under your belt.

One of the basic messages of Hebrews is that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law. He is the ultimate priest who ministers in heaven on our behalf, and he is the ultimate and final sacrifice that pays for the penalty of sin. It is in light of those two key truths that the author of Hebrews enters into this final section of the book. Of course Hebrews 11 is a categorical listing of some of the key personalities of the Hebrew faith, the superheroes of Jewish children. They key to chapter 11 is this understanding that they were working toward the fulfillment of the Law in Christ, a fulfillment none of them got to experience first hand; but a fulfillment they all believed God would be faithful in completing.

This understanding is important to the point I want to draw out from chapter 12. The author makes a point of reminding us at the beginning of chapter 12 to carry on this tradition of faithful service that these men and women from days past began. This striving toward something that we may never see fulfilled with our fleshly eyes but that have faith God will fulfill in his perfect timing. The word the book of Hebrews uses in this discussion is the word endurance. We are to endure in our faith, to push forward, to always be striving for what is to come (namely the second coming of Jesus and our arrival in our true home in heaven).

It can be tempting, as we live our lives, to forget that there is something greater we are called to be part of. We forget that there is something more important than our day jobs, our kids hockey games and what we are going to do with the next pay check. Hebrews 11 and 12 shows us what it looks like to spend our lives working for something that we may never actually get to see or experience on this side of eternity. That concept flies in the face of our “get it now”, immediate satisfaction society. I am suddenly reminded of that song by Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: “I want it now!”

The author of Hebrews makes a point of saying that those “greats” of the faith from chapter 11 were working for our benefit, fulfilling God’s plan for their lives knowing that they would never get to live out the reward that you and I have the privilege of living through Jesus. But in a lot of ways, our faith journey is exactly like theirs. While they were looking forward to Jesus’ first coming, not knowing if they would live to actually see it happen, you and I are looking forward to Jesus’ second coming, again not knowing if we will actually live to see it happen.

So you see, the stories of those men and women of faith from the Old Testament are not merely nice stories from God for us to learn in Sunday school, they are the pattern laid out for us that shows us how to live faithfully and work toward a goal we may not actually experience. The parallels are incredible; and I am thankful that God has given us these incredible mentors who have shown us how to walk in faith.

Happy reading

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
  • What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  • How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
  • What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: 2 Timothy

Titus: Always learning

I mentioned yesterday that Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus were not like his other letters, mainly because they were to individuals instead of a church family. But they are also different because they are to two church leaders whom Paul had left behind to complete the work that he began. In baseball circles, I guess you could consider these two guys Paul’s closers. We find in these letters then, not just the encouragement of a mentor to a mentee, but also some instructions with how to deal with different situations that arise within the Christian family and instructions on how to handle different kinds of people in the church.

This is especially true of the letter to Titus. Really, Paul spends the bulk of the letter telling Titus how to handle people and how to keep people pointed in the right direction.

If you will notice, there really aren’t any kinds of people that Paul leaves out of this letter. We have old men and young men. Old women and young women. Free people and slaves. Paul even touches briefly on the laziness of some people and how that is not glorifying to God.

I guess what stood out to me in the midst of all of that is that none of us are exempt from correction and further instruction…which means that we had better be open to the probability that there is something new for us to learn. Voltaire wrote: “The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.” Is that a self-deprecating statement? No, it is a person realizing that there is always something to learn, always something to grow in or into.

I have noticed that the characteristic of “teachability” has become more and more valued as of late. It shows up in performance reviews, it is a question asked of references during the hiring process, it even shows up as a characteristic in some personality profiles.

The sad reality is that most of us loose that teachable-ness to some degree as we get older. We get set in our ways, we start to think we have the answers instead of seeking out the answers. We stop asking questions. We get angry when someone tries to show us something new/improved/better than what we already know.

But Paul encourages Titus to be pretty lofty in his expectations of these folks under his care, and that would require them to be malleable and willing to be corrected and learn.

How willing are you to learn?

Happy reading

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
  • What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  • How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
  • What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Peter

1 Timothy: Wreckage

It struck me as I was re-reading 1 Timothy just how personal this letter is. Most of Paul’s letters are written to a specific congregation or a group of congregations within a given area. But these two letters to Timothy and Paul’s letters to Titus and Philemon are different.

The thing that I appreciate about Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus is that it gives us a very good look into how Paul viewed Christian leadership. Both of these letters are reminders in a lot of ways about what Paul had taught Timothy and Titus about leadership while they were with him. He had shown them how to lead, how to teach, how to address false doctrine and keep the church unified and in line. These letters give us insight into these teachings.

Specific to Timothy, Paul encourages him to be strong on a number of occasions, to remain faithful in the face of opposition, to not put up with people who would look down on him because of his age and to live a good example of the faith for those that he leads.

More than anything, Paul encourages Timothy to remain strong in his faith, to keep up the practices of prayer, to “train himself in godliness”. In the midst of all of this, Paul instructs Timothy in how to deal with some of the common things that come up in church…most of which still come up today.

If I were to mention just one thing from 1 Timothy, it would be from verses 18-20 of chapter 1. Paul encourages Timothy to engage strongly in battle through faith and a good conscience. I think that it is easy for all of us to forget that our engagement with our faith is a battle, if we are doing it right. Satan should be livid at us for how we are bringing glory to God in how we live our lives and cling to our faith. A great many people struggle with one or both of those issues. Either they are weak in their faith, or they have a rotten conscience.

By the way, just as a side note here. Do you know how you rot your conscience? By ignoring it. If you do something your conscience tells you is wrong long enough, your conscience will stop bothering you about it.

Our lives as Christians is a battle my friends and we must not be ignorant of that fact; because if we are ignorant of it, we are in danger of what Paul calls “suffering the shipwreck of our faith.” (1 Timothy 1:19). There are some verses that give me a chill every time I read them, and that verse is one of them. To shipwreck your faith, that thought makes me stop and take stock. Where is my faith? Am I heading for the rocks?

It also makes me sad to think that there are those, past and present, who fall into that category. My friends, let us make sure that we are not among the wreckage.

Happy reading

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
  • What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  • How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
  • What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Titus


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