Category Archives: Exhortation

Exhortation: The Church as Strange and Ordinary

Grace, Mercy, and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Church is strange and ordinary. She is strange because she offers a unique message. “She is strange because she is the creation of the … Continue reading

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Exhortation: The Incompatibility of Marriage

In the 1930’s Chesterton observed that Americans had loosened their divorce laws, so that divorce for “reasons of incompatibility” was now legal. Chesterton quipped: “If Americans can be divorced for “incompatibility of temper” I cannot conceive why they are not … Continue reading

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Heavenly Fellowship and the Pursuit of Life, Liberty, and Happiness

This is a great day for these United States. It is a time of joy and celebration. And we hope to bathe ourselves with one of America’s greatest inventions: hot dogs. But beyond all the fireworks, parades, and the good … Continue reading

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Exhortation: Worship is Hard

Worship is hard work. By the end of this hour you should feel the exhilaration of a runner, except magnified. Biblically, New Covenant worship is far simpler than Old Covenant Worship. Those detailed descriptions of worship in Leviticus are no … Continue reading

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A Father’s Day Exhortation: The Blessed Father

Blessings on you, and particular blessings be upon our fathers at Providence Church. The Bible is a covenantal book. It is all centered on this divine covenant made by the Father, Son, and Spirit. And that covenant relationship is then … Continue reading

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Exhortation: Exercising Truth

If truth is to be valued in our society, then we are to embody truth. We cannot believe truth apart from living it. And this is the center of our calling as Christians. The Early Church did not find Christian … Continue reading

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Exhortation: What is the Trinity?

I have often sat quietly as I heard people begin a sentence with these dreadful words: “The Trinity is like…” I have heard the Trinity being compared to eggs, ice, ancient three-headed gods, and to the “C” note on the … Continue reading

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Exhortation: A Rushing Wind

The Pentecost Season begins today. We start this season with a new salutation, a new confession of sin, and a new fire. The redness of our congregation is reflective of that. In case someone asks with great curiosity why we … Continue reading

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Exhortation: The Humanity of the Ascension

Where is Jesus now? The Ascension answers that question. We know that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father. He is ruling and reigning from his heavenly throne. He has given the Father the kingdom, and now he … Continue reading

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Exhortation: Robbing Death’s Glory

I mentioned last week that there is a form of glory-stealing taking place in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Jesus Christ took away the glory of death. Death’s glory is not the glory of God, but rather it … Continue reading

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Exhortation: Death and Resurrection

It is hard to read through the Bible and not come to the realization that God’s story is filled with death. It begins with the death of Adam and Eve and it continues with endless bloodshed through the prophets and … Continue reading

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Exhortation: The God who makes all things new

Is the resurrection of Christ neglected in the Church today? The truth is: many Christians fall into a false dichotomy. Some tend to give preeminence to the cross over the empty tomb. We too want a cross-centered gospel. The cross … Continue reading

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Exhortation: When we say…

Athanasius once said that the resurrection leaves traces everywhere. When we say every square inch of creation belongs to our Lord, when we say the world is being re-created, when we say the gospel is going forth to all the … Continue reading

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Exhortation: Cross before Crown

We celebrate today the coming of the King into Jerusalem. I think if Hollywood were to put Palm Sunday into a movie it would be as horrific as Prince Caspian. They probably would have Jesus coming in a military tank … Continue reading

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Exhortation: Feeding on the Word

C.S. Lewis observed in his Reflections on the Psalms that a Christian can’t always be defending the truth, sometimes he needs to feed on it. This is very appropriate for the people of God on the Lord’s Day. This is … Continue reading

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Exhortation: The Characteristics of a Worshiping People

The story in Numbers chapter 21 is one that will continue to be remembered in Israel’s history. The people of Israel are journeying to the Promised Land. Their travel has been hindered by acts of disobedience. This story is no … Continue reading

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Exhortation: The Ten Words

We are going to hear this morning a reading of the Ten Commandments, or more appropriately, The Ten Words. The Commandments have an appropriate place in the life of the Christian; especially in this Lenten Season. In Exodus, the Law … Continue reading

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Exhortation: Avoiding Worldly Delicacies

This is the Season of Lent. This Season brings us many opportunities to examine our lives in light of Scriptures. On these next five weeks we will draw out the implications of the ministry of our Lord, especially as he … Continue reading

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Baptismal Exhortation: Not an Accidental Picture

The Bible is a sacramental book. It is filled with strange occurrences to be sure; but it is also filled with the common. The Bible speaks about hair, love, axes, sickness, marriage, and wine. The Bible is anti-gnostic. And if … Continue reading

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Exhortation: God’s Way

When Elisha sent a messenger to Naaman, the leper, in II Kings 5, he said: “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.” Naaman could not humble himself to see … Continue reading

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Exhortation: Liturgy as Language

Liturgy is a language. The more we master that language the more common it is for us. Our families begin to speak that language at home and in other places. But like any language, liturgy demands practice. I have often … Continue reading

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Exhortation: God as Chief Listener

Dale Topp in his book Music in the Christian Community argues that God is the chief listener in worship music. Our music is to God. God delights and responds to our music. In I Samuel 16, when Saul was terrorized … Continue reading

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Exhortation: Sanctity of Life Sunday

This morning we have baby bottles available for you to take home. For many American Churches this is Sanctity of Life Sunday. One tangible way of fighting for the un- born is to help financially those who are gifted in … Continue reading

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Exhortation: Christ: Gift to the World

This is the first Sunday of Epiphany! Hope, growth, joy, and fulfillment are at the heart of this season. For some of us who did not grow up in liturgical traditions it will take a while to get used to … Continue reading

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Exhortation: The Feast of the Holy Innocents

We are in the final week of Christmas. We have sung Christmas Carols at home, nursing homes, at Church, and many of us will be whistling these carols for the next few weeks. This past Sunday we got a glimpse … Continue reading

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Exhortation: Prepare Him Room

Merry Christmas! The calendar is moving. Our final candle is lit. Christ has come! But he did not come the way it was expected by men; He came the way the Father ordained. And this is what we will see … Continue reading

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Exhortation: According to thy Word

In Luke 1, Mary discovers that she will bear the Son of God. Though the message was striking, Mary’s response is likewise striking: 38And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to … Continue reading

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Exhortation: Far as the Curse is Found

InIsaiah 61the prophet ends with these powerful words: For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up … Continue reading

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Exhortation: Examining our Lives

Today marks the first Sunday of Advent. It is the beginning of a rich season of anticipation and preparation. For centuries Christians have used the month prior to the celebration of Christ’s incarnation to ready their hearts and their homes … Continue reading

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Exhortation: Our Expectations

For the Church, the last Sunday of the year is not in late December, but today. This is the last Sunday of the Church Year. We have undergone a myriad of emotions in these last 12 months only to go … Continue reading

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