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


 

 

Wednesday
Aug142019

No Sovereign

“We serve no sovereign here.”

1 Samuel 20:12 ESV

“When I have sounded out my father,”

The American value of personal autonomy is coming home to roost. The independent streak of Americanism has found fertile soil in the hearts of modern man desiring to reject all sovereignty but their own. As our founders rejected the sovereignty of the King of England, they replaced it with the revolutionary idea that we would govern ourselves. In more recent days this has mutated into the abhorrent theology of “I will be sovereign over myself” governing all aspects of my life, from my gender to my death bed.

This personal sovereignty over death itself has caused much debate and recently many states have chosen to agree that man is sovereign over his death. In so doing, I am curious how many follow this to its final conclusion. Even as they paint the picture of pained and dying individuals wanting to end their suffering, we see “mental trauma” being used as justification for Physician assisted suicide in Europe. As millions in this country declare that they have sovereignty over life and death, even over the life and death of others who have not been born. Yet, I wonder about the young men recently in the news, the shooters in Dayton and El Paso. I do not know all the facts, I have heard that racism and hatred played major rolls in the latest shootings, but I have to wonder if they had any hope of survival? I find it difficult to believe that they started these endeavors with hope of survival, this rightly being a suicide mission, like the vast majority of these events that have, like meteors, briefly lit the sky of public awareness.

Christians rightly condemn these men for what they have done, but what of those who demand Choice and personal sovereignty? These men suffering mental/emotional trauma have elected to end their lives in the same way they have re-enacted multiple times on their video games, and scene in movies. They take the lives of others in so doing, yet, if it is their choice to die in an adrenaline rush and pool of blood can a godless society really reject their choice? The idea that the cancer patient, or Alzheimer’s patient, doesn’t harm anyone in choosing to end their lives rejects the web of connections that exist and makes the bolder claim that they are aware of what the future holds. Only one who is sovereign could rightly know who is “harmed” by any action and the full scope of the ripples on the water.

Jonathan sought to plum the depths of his fathers’ heart on a particular issue. He found anger, pride, and death, and he only scratched the surface of one who thought himself sovereign. As Americans try and grapple with the evil that is coming out of young men in droves, we must wonder is it not a struggle over who is sovereign? John Guest noted the Revolutionary slogan “We serve no sovereign here” and wondered how he could preach God’s Kingdom to such a people. I hear of such a thing and I wonder how can we survive? Only in God’s sovereign choice do we have assurance and hope for the future. Only in God’s sovereign hand do I know that somehow “all things work to good, for those that love him”. Only in God’s sovereign judgment can I declare evil, evil, and that stands for both the invalid and the youth, who wish to make themselves “like God”, sovereign.

Coram Deo

Tuesday
Jul302019

Languishing

1 Samuel 2:26

Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with God and also with man.

The dreadful plateau, Bunyan’s “Enchanted Ground”, all cry out to me to beware. The godless masculinity of Eli’s sons is all the more abhorrent when placed next to the dutiful service of a young boy in a linen rob simply serving and growing. Maturing physically and spiritually he soon outstrips the “men” in his life. Yet, even in the strength of this start he finds himself completely unable to raise godly men as he becomes a father.

As Eli’s sons have found themselves in complete control of the worship of God. Worship is an activity that they control and that is quite lucrative for them. They have no need for “God” only the trappings that come from those poor saps trying to scratch a religious itch. The repeated pleas of their father are dutifully relegated to insignificance as an old man who doesn’t know how life really works. God allows them to gain in authority and to misuse their position. How many fell into spiritual apathy and ambivalence because of what they endured and witnessed at the hands of these “priests”.  Then simply to watch as the high priest, turned a blind eye unwilling to do anything of consequence to save God’s people.

How do we fall away from “growing in stature and in favor” to languishing in the Slough of Despond, and sleeping on Enchanted Ground? Not growing or drawing near the celestial city but simply content with the status que of our spiritual walk. No longer pursuing God, but turning from the pursuit and simply “enjoying the journey.” We are not called to perpetual childishness in our faith but perpetual growth. Into a full maturity in our faith. Not faltering and finding our current strength and prowess enough but one that seeks greater usefulness and service in the kingdom of God.

As the perpetual adolescence of our society is beginning to take it’s toll, I have to wonder if that is not true of our churches as well. How many of those who have been Christians for decades are content with marginal effort in their walk? A verse a day, and memorized John 3:16 and Psalm 23, is all they desire of effort? Worse still is that all I desire? Pastoral standards are higher but am I simply meeting a height goal so I can ride the ride or am I pursuing continued growth?

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you might obtain it”. 1 Cor 9:24

CORAM DEO

Monday
Jul222019

In Pursuit

1 Corinthians 14:1

Pursue Love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.

The day was hot windy by 10 am, and a full day of disc golf was on the agenda. Playing two rounds of doubles with a good friend. Not having these opportunities to get together with, even the heat could not dampen the day. We had our hole assignments and card mates and were waiting for the day to start. Chatting with the other members of the card, I learned that one of them was a senior at K-State. Then the fateful question came out of my mouth, “What are you majoring in?” It is an interesting question, a more aged version of, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” He answered and the horn sounded and the round began. How often do we meet with people and we look to the building blocks of their life rather than the blueprint?

The question rightly worded applies to everyone and yet the answer is profound and thought provoking no matter who answers it. What are you pursuing? Is a question that is far more revelatory to the heart of a man or woman than “What is your major?” Are you pursuing life and liberty, or eternity? Since God has put us in diverse places with diverse gifts, the course looks different for all of his children, but the course could look very similar for the unbeliever for a time. In the passage at hand Paul has just finished the “Love chapter” or the “Wedding chapter” in his book concluding chapter 13 with the statement that “the greatest of these is love” and then he continues with a course that Christians and non-Christians would agree with, “Pursue Love”, but he doesn’t leave it there. He starts the game plan.

We had walked by the store, actually we had walked by three stores, all selling what we were looking for, but we had not gone in. Not sure about Kelly, but I was nervous as all get out. We were going ring shopping, I then told Kelly “I need a game plan”. Both of us liked the idea of “ring shopping” but the actual act, I needed fleshed out or I might just walk by all three jewelers in the mall again! I think this is why Paul after telling us “the greatest of these is Love” then goes on to flesh out what that is to look like in the life of the church. He gives them a goal as well as a Game Plan to achieving that goal, all while not micromanaging the situation, as some parents do.

Pursue Love, and how is that done? It is done in the midst of a local church. It is done in building others up. It is done in convicting others of sin! Notice that in verse contrasting Prophecy with speaking in tongues, Paul makes the statement in verse twenty-four that if everyone prophesied then a visitor would be convicted. Meaning that the gift of prophecy was not a gift of seeing the future but rather of applying God’s word to the lives of men so that they are convicted of Sin and desire to repent. Even in the Old Testament the insight into the future was not the goal of the prophet! His goal was the people repenting of sin and the sign of his authority was that of a future event as yet unrealized. Pursuing Love means not wanting people to be happy now, but rather sad now, if they are in sin, and overwhelmed by joy in eternity! Love abides because it is the pursuit of eternity, rather than the present. Was that young man pursuing eternity in his degree choice or simply a way to pay the bills? Are you pursuing eternity in what you have chosen to do today or simply “getting along”? The actions you take may look the same today, but the course you set will lead to different places, depending on that question.

CORAM DEO

Thursday
Jul182019

Nobility

Isaiah 32:8 ESV

But he who is noble plans noble things, and on noble things he stands.

Listening to the radio, the nostalgia of a mechanical echo could not hide the charisma and passion of the speaker. This week marks fifty years since the cumulation of a decade of fierce and focused effort brought on by that speaker. John Fitzgerald Kennedy gave this speech at Rice University. In listening to a recording of it I am captured by the vision, the grandeur, and my failure. He grounds the necessity of this grand endeavor on the reality of a communist threat and the reality of American nature. Saying we are and have always been a nation that does hard things simply because they are a measure worthy of our effort.

Thousands of failures awaited the crown of this goal. Many times, having to come back to “square one” and try again. Looking at the vision and seeing the need for technology and alloys that did not exist meant watching as efforts were met with failure time and again. This then meets me square in the face. I hate failing. The idea of falling short time and again is so unnerving I regularly only do those things I know I will succeed at. In this I find that the fallen sinful vision and understanding of President Kennedy a slap in the face. “Why does Rice play Texas” was one of the lines from his speech, the idea being not because it is easy but because it is hard, because it is a challenge worthy of sacrifice and effort. A goal so audacious that failure time and again is worth enduring that victory might be won.

Christ gave his people a similar goal. One of such breadth and size that it was impossible from any Earthly perspective. Conquering the WORLD. Not even the Roman Empire, but a vision so vast and encompassing that the men who received it did not even know its true size, or the level of audacity on which they were embarking. Yet, they were given a helper, that made them more than human. That did not give them a fair chance but one who guaranteed victory. They were more than human, and those in opposition were merely human.

As Dr Lloyd-Jones has reiterated time and again we too are more than human, and we too are given the same bold commission. Conquer the world with the knowledge of Christ, and him crucified and coming again. Fail multiple times in all your stepping stone goals that victory might be one. Read your bible time-in-a-year time and again, fail and start where you left off. Memorize a psalm, fail and keep working at it. Tell your neighbor about Christ, and that he is coming again, dolling out vengeance and gifts on those he has designated, watch as they reject, then do it again. Try to help a child through foster-care, fail and try again. Christ’s church is one that fails regularly and often. From personal holiness to corporate worship, and everywhere in between. We fail to be all that we were created to be, and yet Christ’s bride is one that dwells secure knowing who she is. She is his. Let us fail a million times in our evangelist goals. Only to watch as the day is one and our community is full of the knowledge of him.

“But he who is noble plans noble things, and on noble things he stands.”

CRUCE, DUM SPIRO, FIDO

Tuesday
Jun112019

Commission

Deuteronomy 27:26 ESV

’Cursed be anyone who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

Going by the track early in the morning, I turn and there they are, young men dressed in shorts and helmets. Suddenly I am taken back with vivid clarity, as if suddenly taking a ride on Well’s Time Machine. Remembering the workouts and the coaches. The heavy dew waiting, waiting for the moment you were commanded to sit to stretch. One specific lesson stands out above the rest, commission. Coach would go on and on about it. He would signal men out who chose the sin of omission rather than that of commission. He was always looking and desiring men that if they were going to do something wrong let it be because they were DOING something. Yes, he would rather you always do it right but knowing sin would happen he would rather you be aggressive in committing it!

Perhaps this lesson clings to me, simply because it is a tremendous struggle. Fearing to doing of something wrong I choose to do nothing instead. It is a constant reminder of my weakness and my failures. Yet, even in this the reality of God’s law points the finger with a firmer and heavier hand. God would have the entire nation of Israel stand and recite the curses of the law. The last is pointed. ‘Cursed be ANYONE who does not confirm the law by DOING them.’ God has set the standard not at verbal accent, nor at intellectual affirmation, but rather at doing! He desires his people to be a people who are doing. He is not lessoning doctrine, nor does he belittle the preaching of his word. But this specific curse is set before us to remind us that we must, as James says, “show our faith by our works”. Call it momentum verse inertia if you will, but God recognizes that sin is in inertia as much as it is in momentum.

The Apostle Paul is an interesting example of this. God did not choose Gamaliel, his teacher, who took and indifferent approach, a wait and see strategy, but rather he called Paul. Paul who was going ninety miles an hour in the wrong direction. Paul who was chief among sinners. Christ speaks to his church in Laodicea telling them “would that you were either cold or hot!... because you are lukewarm…I will spit you out…”(Revelation 3:15,16). Christ desires those who pursue him with passion and vigor even if they make messes and need cleaned up after.

Let us not join with the sluggard, but let us join with the saints of God. Let us seek and pursue our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us rejoice in the knowledge that no matter how bad we screw up, “for those who love God all things work together for good.” Praise God, weather I succeed or fail in my  current endeavor, God is glorified! Win, win!

CRUCE, DUM SPIRO, FIDO