December 2020

The Message of Full Salvation

I have fond memories of the church in Mozambique and the ways it shaped my life. The Church of the Nazarene in Mozambique invests a lot of time in teaching and preaching on holiness. A week or weeks of holiness revival were normal and intended to rekindle interest in, passion for, and practice of biblical holiness of both heart and life. Such revivals focused on three areas: prevenient grace, saving grace, and sanctifying grace.

Reflections on Sermon 40: “Christian Perfection”

Does a perfect, humanly drawn triangle or square measuring all sides impeccably down to the most micro-measurement exist? If it exists, is it replicable? Who is that person capable of producing such a feat? Is it possible that all humanity can achieve such perfect standards if the right pencil and ruler existed, given the most pristine sheet of paper without any blemish? Such questions ruin my day—I refuse to think about it. Our attempts at seeking infinite measures of perfection in a world wrought with human limitations would end up being failures.

Reflections on Sermon 17: “The Circumcision of the Heart”

I once heard a story of two cockroaches that came in to a feast on a filthy house. The kitchen sink was filled with leftovers on unattended dishes. Out of sheer excitement, the younger cockroach began to relate that he was starving for a few days because he had been trapped in a spotlessly clean house. He described the other house’s high sanitation standards to his older dining companion, who by then was gorging himself on the leftover bits of food. The older cockroach, hearing about how clean the other house had been, cleared his throat and stated: “Excuse me . . . do you mind?

Reflections on Sermon 64: “The New Creation”

I am not a fan of “relocation theology” as much as I am very keenly interested in thoughts about “restoration theology.” In other words, if you asked me if we are to be relocated to heaven, I would instead argue that the Bible addresses a rebuilding or restoration of the earth—a new earth. The idea that God is working to restore all creation to the fullness of the holiness and glory that He originally intended excites me.

Reflections on Sermon 6: “The Righteousness of Faith”

Acceptance and approval seem to be a pervasive disease in our 21st Century cultures. The advancement of technologies has tapped deep into the roots of the human psyche. Are we addicted to the ping of a mobile device in some conditioned ways? Do we suffer the disease of the need to be needed? People fill their hours doing more to be accepted more. Could it be that the rejection in the Garden of Eden cut through so profoundly into every particle of our humanness that still strive never to be rejected again?