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No Other Gods - Exodus 20:3 - May 31, 1992 - 714

We live in strange times, don’t we? A recent Gallup Poll revealed that 84% of Americans believe that the Ten Commandments are a valid guide to life. That’s encouraging until you realize that another survey revealed that only 30% of those polled could name even 3 of the Commandments. S ... More

Forever Children - Exodus 20:12 - Jun 28, 1992 - 717

We have two problems with this Commandment, and perhaps a third: 1. Many of us have negative memories associated with this Commandment. 2. It seems to be meant mostly for children. 3. It seems to describe a family situation many of us never experienced.The last one is the kicker. How do you obey ... More

God in My Mouth; The Devil in My Heart - Exodus 20:7 - Jun 14, 1992 - 715

Every Commandment has its problems. Some are difficult to understand, others are difficult to interpret, and some are difficult to apply. The Third Commandment presents us with a unique problem: We understand it all too well. We think this is the commandment against swearing. We tend to think t ... More

Take Time for God - Exodus 20:8-11 - Jun 21, 1992 - 716

Let’s begin with three observations on the Fourth Commandment: 1. This is the longest of the Ten Commandments. 2. It is also the most difficult to properly interpret. 3. The Fourth Commandment remains a source of perennial interest.On that last point I call your attention to a survey conduc ... More

No Graven Images - Exodus 20:4-6 - Jun 7, 1992 - 718

"Idols? You must be kidding.”“That’s what they have in Africa, right?” “Me? An idol-worshiper? What do you take me for? A pagan?”“The only thing I worship is my brand-new car.” What is an idol anyway? The dictionary offers this definition: &ldq ... More

Adultery in My Heart - Exodus 20:14 - Jul 12, 1992 - 719

This is easily the most difficult sermon to preach in this series. It is also the hardest Commandment to deal with fairly. Perhaps I can illustrate. A few years ago a writer introduced a chapter entitled “The Devil and Sex” with these words: “To the adolescents among my readers ... More

Murder in My Mouth - Exodus 20:13 - Jul 5, 1992 - 722

They had only been married 11 days when she had him killed. It all started when Louie Weber met Eva Garcia. Louie was 41 and she was 17 and a senior in high school. A romance blossomed and they were married in November 1988. Six days after getting married Eva learned that she had won a scholarsh ... More

The Sin No One Will Admit - Exodus 20:17 - Aug 16, 1992 - 723

We begin the final message in this series with the text of the Tenth Commandment: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” The key w ... More

Stop, Thief! - Exodus 20:15 - Jul 19, 1992 - 720

Although it is not a matter of any particular importance, this is not the first time I have preached on the Ten Commandments. About 12 years ago I preached through the Ten Commandments at the church I pastored in Downey, California. After I finished that series of messages, I put my sermon notes i ... More

Truth or Consequences - Exodus 20:16 - Jul 26, 1992 - 721

When I was growing up my mother had a little rhyme she often repeated to her four sons. You probably heard it many times while you were growing up: Sticks and stones may break my bones But words will never hurt me.As much as I hate to admit it, my mother (who wasn’t wrong about many thing ... More

The Miserable Millionaire: Christ Speak to the Problem of Misplaced Priorities - Matthew 19:16-26 - Feb 18, 2001 - 116

It has been almost ten years since I last preached on the story of the Rich Young Ruler. That fact wouldn’t matter except that in 1991 I started my sermon with the story of a man named Lee Atwater. In the estimation of many people, he was the man most responsible for electing George Bush presi ... More

Homemade Gods: A Warning Against Modern-Day Baal Worship - Acts 17:29 - Jul 19, 1998 - 243

"Idols? You must be kidding.”“That’s what they have in Africa, right?”“Me? An idol-worshiper? What do you take me for? A pagan?”“The only thing I worship is my brand-new car.”What is an idol anyway? The dictionary offers this definition: “an imag ... More

Are We All Hindus Now? - Exodus 20:1 - Sep 5, 2009 - 1212

Recently Newsweek magazine published an article by Lisa Miller with the provocative title We Are All Hindus Now. It begins this way: America is not a Christian nation. We are, it is true, a nation founded by Christians, and according to a 2008 survey, 76 percent of us continue to identify as Christi ... More

God's Freedom - Romans 9:6-18 - Jun 25, 2006 - 425

While studying Romans 9, I was struck by Paul’s question in verse 14: “Is God unjust?” In our hearts we already know the answer. God is not unjust. But oftentimes he seems inconsistent. The very examples Paul chooses seem to uphold that inconsistency.He chooses Isaac over Ishmael.H ... More

The Woman Caught in the Act: Christ Speaks to the Problem of a Judgmental Spirit - John 8:1-11 - Apr 22, 2001 - 124

"It is a terrible thing for a sinner to fall into the hands of his fellow sinners.” F. B. MeyerThis is the story of Jesus and the woman taken in adultery. It is so popular that even those who rarely read the Bible know about it. Clarence McCartney comments that the great museums of Europe alwa ... More

The God We Hardly Know - Sep 22, 2006

David Mains caught me off guard with his question. “If you had to grade your congregation on their knowledge of the Holy Spirit, what grade would you give them?”Up until that moment, the interview had gone well. David and his daughter Melissa had thrown me fast pitches right over the cen ... More

The End of the Beginning - I Samuel 31 - II Samuel 1 - Nov 19, 2000 - 342

The year was 1943. Slowly the Allied forces were squeezing the Germans out of North Africa. From the east Field Marshall Bernard Law Montgomery’s British forces sent Rommel’s Nazi tanks reeling in retreat across the Libyan desert. From the west a little-known American general named Eisen ... More

The First Law: He's God and We're Not - Feb 10, 2002

This is the first sermon in a new series called “The Seven Laws of the Spiritual Life.” For the last few years I have been thinking about putting together a short list of the basic principles of the Christian life. What are those truths that every believer needs to know in order to have ... More

The Second Law: God Doesn't Need Us But We Desperately Need Him - Feb 17, 2002

Last Sunday we started a new sermon series called The Seven Laws of the Spiritual Life. In this series we are discovering the basic principles of the Christian life that meet us where we are and take us all the way to heaven. The First Law teaches us a fundamental truth: He’s God and We’ ... More

God's Freedom - Romans 9:6-18 - Apr 26, 2006 - 761

While studying Romans 9, I was struck by Paul’s question in verse 14: “Is God unjust?” In our hearts we already know the answer. God is not unjust. But oftentimes he seems inconsistent. The very examples Paul chooses seem to uphold that inconsistency.He chooses Isaac over Ishmael.H ... More

Taking God Seriously - Matthew 6:9 - Oct 5, 2009 - 1218

“Hallowed be your name.” Matthew 6:9 Before we begin: What does the word “hallowed” mean? What does God’s name represent and why does it matter so much? It was late on Wednesday afternoon and my three sons and I had just arrived at a motel in Page, Arizona.  Looki ... More

The Mysterious Doctrine of the Trinity - Acticle B: The True God - Various - Feb 16, 1992 - 747

My introduction to the doctrine of the Trinity came at a very young age. I first learned it through the music we sang at the First Baptist Church. The great hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy” was number one in the Baptist Hymnal. Over the years the words “God in three persons, Blessed Trin ... More

The God We Hardly Know: Why I Believe in the Holy Spirit - Various - Oct 29, 1995 - 793

David Mains caught me off guard with his question. “If you had to grade your congregation on their knowledge of the Holy Spirit, what grade would you give them?” The interview, broadcast nationally on the program You Need to Know, centered around my book Names of the Holy Spirit. I g ... More

Fact or Fable in Genesis: Was the World Really Created in Six Days? - Genesis 1:1-2:3 - Apr 28, 2002 - 221

These are exciting days to study the book of Genesis. A great deal has been written on this book in the last few years and there has been much new research in the area of science and the Bible. It’s always a good thing to focus on issues that really matter. Sometimes in the church we spend too ... More

Babbling for Jesus: Speaking Truth to Highly Intelligent People - Acts 17:18-21 - Jun 7, 1998 - 242

I’d like to begin by telling you about a new mission statement that has just been approved by the elders of the church. Several months ago the pastoral staff and the elders began working together to write a new mission statement for our church. Although we’ve done this several times in t ... More

Do You Have the Courage to be Happy? - Matthew 5:3-12 - Nov 10, 1991 - 787

It started on a Friday night 17 years ago in Lansing, Michigan when a young sophomore came off the bench to lead Everett High School to victory. He scored 36 points, had 18 rebounds, 16 assists and 10 steals. It was the most remarkable high school performance Fred Stabley had ever seen. As he wro ... More

Giving God Your Best - Malachi 1:6-14 - May 5, 2003 - 1257

After listening restlessly to a long and tedious sermon, a 6-year-old boy asked his father what the preacher did the rest of the week. “Oh, he’s a very busy man,” the father replied. “He takes care of church business, visits the sick, works on his sermon, counsels people&hell ... More

Chariots of Fire - 2 Kings 2 - Mar 8, 2006 - 193

What would you do if you knew that you were going to die today? What if you knew with absolute certainty that today was going to be your last day on earth? Suppose you had less than 24 hours to live. What would you do? Where would you go? How would you spend your last few hours on planet earth? If y ... More

The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon - Parents - Jul 31, 2012

To Every Generation: - Psalm 100:5 - Jun 27, 1999 - 684

“Every experience God gives us, every person he puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only he can see.” Corrie Ten Boom Ten years ago today I was sitting in my home in Garland, Texas wondering and waiting. Our family had just returned from our candidating weeken ... More


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