SUNDAY
Sunday School
9:30 - 10:15 am

Worship Service
10:30 - 11:45 am

Teens for Christ - at Crist's Home
7:00 pm


Church Address

319 S. 4th

Lincoln, KS 67455

Email: lincolncommunitychurch@gmail.com

Phone: (785)422-6464


Wednsday 
AWANA- at the Christian Community Center
6:30 - 8:00 pm


 

 

Friday
Jan112019

Walking with Giants

Genesis 11:4 ESV

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”

It doesn’t take long. Driving down the road with my kids in the back, through the normal iterations of conversation, the topic of homes comes up. Probably due the expanding and growing nature of my family, my thoughts often turn to the need for more space. The moment I bring up my dream of building my house, the next line is quick upon the lips of all who hear. Even my children have begun the familiar chant, this time from the back seat, “The wolf will get you” is the line. We had just driven by a very nice brick home, but my dream is one of straw. I have a folder full of the technical data on the advantages of straw bale construction dating back to the 1950s, but it seems a short tale of three pigs trumps all scientific research!

The men of Babel had just come to new technology, bricks and mortar. With this they would “make a name for themselves”. Wanting everyone to know who they were. For all peoples to recognize that they were really something. To make a name of rebellion, as God had told them to fill the earth, they had chosen to stay. As the chief end of man is to glorify God, they desired glory for themselves. And so, they make a tower, apparently tall buildings with your name on it is not a new idea.

In the popular Disney movie “Mary Poppins” the father, George Banks, is “making it” in the world and when it all crashes down he sings a line that never fails to touch something inside me. “A man has dreams, of walking with Giants, to carve his niche in the edifice of time.” Longing to be someone, to make something of ourselves, not content with glorifying God, our name must be attached in letters as big or bigger, maybe even with top billing. Yet, when mid-life strikes, and the realization that no niche will be carved, what do we do? Such is the crisis of mid-life.

Looking to our lives, realize this, that the things that stand the test of time, are the immortals you live with, work with, and talk with, every day. The ones that annoy you, the ones who lie to you, the ones, that honor you, the ones that care for you. These are the only things of this earth that will last into the next. How are you building in them? Ephesians tells us our words are to “build up” grace in others, are your words?

Coming back to the text, note that in all of the paragraph concerning the tower of Babel something is missing. A name. No, in their quest to “make a name” not a single name is remembered. They failed and made it worse for everyone. Such is the life lived for one’s self and one’s own glory. Die to self. God has called us to replenish the earth with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As servants of God and slaves to his will, let us not rebel, and try making a name for ourselves. That everyone might stand up and call us nice. Let us lift up the name of Christ, that all might fall down and worship! Are we content to have a name that we and God alone know (Rev 2:17)?

CORAM DEO

Monday
Dec312018

It’s Not Luck

Proverbs 16:33

The Lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.

Esther 9:24

For Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur (that is, cast lots), to crush and to destroy them.

Just another normal Holiday season, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. All working in synergistic union to provide every delicacy I can remember and a few more new ones. Literally brining the weight of years of joy down onto cold reality of my bathroom scale. Gathering over the Thanksgiving meal, praising God for the blessings he has showered on us over the last year, taking the next month to focus those blessings on the pivotal event in personal and human history, the birth of Christ. Now we come to the New Year. Celebrating the turning of the page and looking forward to, and celebrating, what God will do with us and through us in this next year.

It is no accident that these holidays, or “feast days”, build on one another and, for the Christian, center around Christ. Even as many attempt to make these holidays about family and friends, the Christian knows that we Give Thanks to God, we celebrate Christ, and we have a future only through the sacrifice of Christ. We feast and celebrate Christ in all these things, we join with the elect throughout time to celebrate what he has and will do for us.

The bible reading plan I use to guarantee I do not unwittingly skip any of the counsel of God, came to a conclusion in the book of Esther. The conclusion of the book tells us how the Feast of Purim came to be and what it is celebrating. As the Jews have been given a great victory over their enemies, they do not want to forget what God has done. They head the command of scripture, written over and over, to “remember” and like all of us they need something to remind them. Recognizing that our minds are not what they used to be and that sin often crowds out what God has done, they choose my favorite memory device a party combined with a play on words!

Believing in a sovereign God they do not hold chance to be a possibility. It was not chance that pushed Haman’s date out to the end of the year, nor was it chance that took Esther from her cousin’s home and installed her as queen. Chance and luck to not play a role in the plans of a sovereign God, as the Proverb says “the lot is cast in the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord”. So, the name their holiday in Purim, because God is sovereign even over “luck” and “chance”.

As you look forward to the new year, do not forget to look back at the old. As you look back do not fail to see the hand of God guiding and confounding you. Then do not fail to declare to those who have not heard, what God has done with you, through you, and to you this last year.

“To God be the glory, great things he hath done…”

 

CRUCE, DUM SPIRO, FIDO

Monday
Dec242018

Soli Deo Gloria

Matthew 1:19 ESV

And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.

Matthew 13:55 ESV

Is not this the carpenter’s son?...

Walking to church on the morning of Christmas Eve, I noticed something peculiar as I turned the corner from the alley to the street to go up to church. The trash cans were at the side of the street. This made me reflect that my normal trash day is Tuesday (Christmas this year). Looking down the street a little further I noticed most had trash next to the curb. The reality of my situation preparing for more Christmas related trash than I wanted to deal with all week, I quickly chose to thank God for his provision of mindful neighbors drop my bag at church and walk home to put my trash to the curb. I have always been impressed with the diligence of the garbage men/women in Lincoln, often being completely shocked that they didn’t “take the day” after Christmas or another holiday when it fell on the weekend.

                Even though I have very fond memories, as a child, of loading up the truck with my dad and brother and going out to the dump and throwing the trash over the side into the pit, it is a great blessing to me, as an adult, to not have to worry about taking my trash out to the transfer station. I do not know the heart of those that pick up my trash, yet I know that “what ever you do, do it as unto the lord” also applies to the removal of trash from the curb. As the reformers noted that even the most menial of jobs when done to the Lord is transformed into the greatest acts of worship. How many of us really believe this? That there is no hierarchy of Labor in the kingdom. God has given to each of us varying gifts and abilities that he knows and no other, can judge, but to which we are accountable to use for his glory, even when helping our neighbors with a dirty smelly job, that isn’t appreciated.

                Turn the pages of scripture to the day of Christmas we meet an unheralded man. Joseph, a simple carpenter, with a wife and family. As the response from his neighbors at Nazareth notes, he wasn’t anything to which they expected greatness to come from. He was a simple good man. He worked hard and let God get the glory. Since, after the birth story we hear nothing from him or about him, we must assume that he wasn’t even given life to watch the events that would lead to the salvation of Israel and all the world. He was a man who God deemed worthy to raise God’s only son as his own for a short time, an honor no other man received. It was simple life fleeing from tyrants and trying to scrape out a living for a budding young family to live on. Done to the glory of God, it was the highest act of worship. It is easy for us to fall into the satanic trap of “collecting a paycheck”. In the Christian life there is no such thing as “just” anything. Living a simple life, doing jobs other can’t or don’t want to, raising a family, with no hope of earthly acclaim or reward, is the testimony of the man whom God gave his son to raise. Can we do these things like him? For the glory of God, let us worship the king, raised in a carpenter’s home, as we do, whatever we do, “to the glory of God”.

 

Coram Deo

Wednesday
Dec192018

Only God

Nehemiah 6:16 ESV

“And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.”

As I was driving to and from Emporia yesterday, I was given a significant portion of time to think. With a back seat alternating between yelling, giggling, laughter, and sleeping (afternoon nap) my contemplations turned to education and the raising of children. We had just left a woman crying. She had chosen to agree with the state that she was not a good mom and would not be able to be one for her kids. She kissed them and hugged them one last time, with no hope of seeing them again. Then she turned to us and thanked us for loving her kids and, with tears streaming down her face, how she was confident that with our “teachings” they would grow into smart loving children. With tears still streaming down her face she turned and went inside to get her things and we drove off.

Thinking of what I am teaching the children she brought into this world, and what, Lord willing, I will teach them in the future dominated much of my thoughts on the return home. As all my children transition from children to adults, what challenges do they need to be equipped to meet? Even as an Engineer I must admit that our countries current infatuation with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is unhealthy and has led to a resurgent socialist communism and a generation without the ability to withstand it. Thinking back to my education of Animal Farm, 1984, Brave New World, and The Giver, as well as History I must wonder if we are teaching children to make things without giving them the wisdom to discern if they should make them, and if they should use them.  

Then, this morning, in walks the Holy Spirit bringing light and conviction of sin in his wake. It is easy to point to education as the reason for our need to “Make America Great Again” but it is every bit as flawed as saying that capitalistic and economic policies will be needed to “Make America Great Again”. If we wish to be Great, again or for the first time, in what should we hope? Neither STEM, Social Sciences, or Literature, will be able to deliver the hope we need. The Catechism answers it rightly that “our only hope, in life and death, is that we are not our own but belong body and soul, both in life and death, to God and to our savior Jesus Christ”. As Chinese Christians meet in a park after their church has been overrun by communist police, Elders and Pastors imprisoned, as well as numerous members, the remnant meet together and recite this question and truth, reminding themselves of what reality is.

It was not Education, nor was it economics, that made America exceptional, it was the hand of God himself. The founders attempted something that only God could accomplish and only God could sustain. Nehemiah, similarly, set himself to attempt something that only God could accomplish. God entered into the moment and provided the wisdom, courage, ability, and providence necessary to build a wall in a mere 52 days. A feat that required everyone watching to admit that God had to be with them. The raising of Godly children is like this, is it not? You can read all the right books, do the right sports, teach the right catechism and in the end, God is required and when it is done, we can lie to ourselves and say look what I have done or acknowledge that God has been gracious. Yes, we work night and day, and carry our sword but we know the task is too great, only God could have done this. Weather it be countries, children, or simply the sermon on Sunday, the hard work of prayer, to the God Most High, is necessary to accomplish this. Will you fall on your knees in prayer and fight as an army together, or persist to attempt to fight a war alone?

CRUCE, DUM SPIRO, FIDO

Tuesday
Dec112018

Lethargic

Revelation 3:17 ESV

For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

As the alarm goes off and I once again struggle to get out of bed the words of the proverb echo in my head, “as the door turns on its hinges, so does the sluggard on his bed.” (Prov. 26:14) Yet, this cry of scripture only convicts me as I turn the alarm off and roll back over, eventually the echo of scripture in my heart pushes the covers back. It is a sluggish beginning, and a poor start, but how we finish is the measure not how we begin. The story of a young man at Charles Spurgeon’s school preaching comes to mind. He was young and brash ready to show what he had learned. He bounded up the steps to the pulpit with his notes. He began to show what he had learned and then it happened he looked around and the enmity of it hit him, in the moment he knocked his notes on the ground, getting down to pickup his message got back up with a message mangled together. Realizing it he eventually ended disheartened, his last word coming out more a sheepish plea than anything else. Spurgeon then commented to the young man, “if you had gone up like you came down, you could have come down like you went up.”

As political cycle turns and another turn of the page of history comes to an end. Time marches on and more battles await. The constant beat of drums goes through our hearts and heads. When will the battle be over? When will peace and prosperity reign? These are not new questions, watching as the churches of John’s Revelation are put to it from every side, with Christ promising the spoils of war to those who “endure to the end”, “the one who conquers”, and those who are “faithful unto death”. (Rev. 2 & 3) Such battles do not end until we are called home or Christ brings home to us. Yet, how does that help me to jump out of bed to start the day with joy knowing that this is the day the Lord has made and not a simply another call to the grind of Life and War for the kingdom?

As I sit down to read the scripture next to a child that has finally settled down to sleep from a night of crying God enters in and warns in his letter to the Church in Laodicea. He highlights their lukewarm works as a sign of their lukewarm hearts. They are neither cold or hot, having no passion for the battle, as if they are a child asking what is “good enough”. What is the minimum I must do to make sure I am good, and not going to hell? The church is so lost it doesn’t even know that the Savior is on the outside knocking to get in! What was the cure for the lethargy of these believers, what was the prescription for the lukewarm?

Recognize your state, do night lie to yourself, you are not okay, come to God for clothing, salve, and discipline! The Cry of Christ for his church come to me and “be zealous and repent”.  Just as Christ was zealous for the house of God, so we are to be zealous for the temple of God. Yet, his house is now with men, where is our zeal to see the house built up and “shinning like an army with banners”! The command for his church has not changed, we are to be zealous and repentant. We come begging God to change our hearts and then stand knowing that this was in his will and nothing we ask in his will, will be denied! We are commanded to conquer the lethargy in our souls, to be fervent in well doing, to be zealous to repent. Turn from our wicked way and let the fire of God burn hot that we, like the Samson’s foxes, would spread the blaze and none could put it out. Will you be zealous for his name or will you “turn on your bed” and wait for another day? Rise and run the race God has given you to run.  Conquer and endure tell the end that you might sit with him on his throne! (Revelation 3:21)

CRUCE, DUM SPIRO, FIDO