February 28, 2008
I was thinking this morning about my Lenten “fast.” I reflected on how ironic the term “fast” is! There is nothing fast about a “fast”. Now that I am about at the half-way point, I confess I find myself wandering, at times, how long I must keep doing this. It seems like my “fast” is taking an eternity. My “fast” needs to hurry up and be over! I catch myself longing to participate in my temporarily forbidden activities. My “fast” sure seems slow!
It is a good reminder for me though. “Good things come to those who wait!” “Patience is a virtue!” These common sayings seem trite, but they are true nonetheless. Character does not come fast; wisdom does not come fast; Christ-likeness does not come fast! The most valued aspects of life are slow-developing. So, while I participate in my Lenten “fast”, I will remember that this discipline slows me down enough to reflect on God’s goodness and my need for Him, and it helps me focus on that slow process of becoming more like Christ and appreciating more deeply what He has done and does for me.
February 25, 2008
Part four of our new series Authenticity has been posted. Saturday’s sermon topic was “Pure Imitation,” based on Ephesians 5:1. Listen to “Pure Imitation” here or direct download it here (right-click the link and select “save target as…”).
As always, feedback is welcome.
February 23, 2008
Tonight at EXP, we heard part 4 of Authenticity, our Lenten sermon series. Tonight’s topic: “Pure Imitation,” about the two sides of holiness (purification and imitation).
We want your feedback! Give us your thoughts about anything related to EXP tonight, from the sermon to the music to the part with the High School Musical dance instruction. Thanks!
February 23, 2008
God With Us (MercyMe/All That is Within Me)
Mighty to Save (Hillsong/Mighty to Save)
Holy is the Lord (Chris Tomlin/Arriving)
Overcome (Desperation Band/Everyone Overcome)
Take My Life (Holiness) (Scott Underwood/Take My Life)
I Will Boast (Paul Baloche/A Greater Song)
February 20, 2008
Psalm 51:16-17 says, “You (God) do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you (God) do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
During Lent, many decide to offer a “sacrifice” by giving up something they love. However, God is not impressed by our “sacrifice.” There is no virtue in simply giving up something. The virtue is in why! Broken and contrite both mean crushed. The psalmist’s idea is to stress the intent and condition of the heart and spirit of the sacrificer.
The despised sacrifice is one that comes from a heart of arrogance and pride. It says look at me! Look how holy I am! Look at what I am doing for God! The focus is on what “I” am doing. The delightful sacrifice is one that comes from a broken and contrite heart. It says, thank you Lord for what you have done! I am nothing without you! I am totally dependent on you! The focus is God! It is birthed from humility.
As you “sacrifice” during Lent, be sure your offering is delightful to God and not despised by God. Keep the focus on Him, what He has done and what He is doing. Keep it off of yourself and what you are doing.
February 18, 2008
Part three of our new series Authenticity has been posted. Saturday’s sermon topic was “Love Hurts,” based on 1 John 4:7-21. Listen to “Love Hurts” here or direct download it here (right-click the link and select “save target as…”). As always, feedback is welcome.
February 16, 2008
Tonight at EXP, we heard part 3 of Authenticity, our new sermon series during the season of Lent. Tonight’s topic: “Love Hurts.” We want your feedback! Give us your thoughts about anything related to EXP tonight, from the sermon to the music to the format. Thanks!