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


 

 

Tuesday
Mar192019

All to Him I Owe

Psalm 87:7 ESV

Singers and dancers alike say,

                “All my springs are in you.”

As our the intellectual and entertainment industries have become the major sources of cultural change it is interesting to see how God has used the root of these American industries in the course of History. To rightly understand it we look to how he has used these skills previously and what he has chosen to record for us in the text of scripture? The Harvards and Hollywoods of this world have sought power and control and found corruption and the praise of man that they long for. Into this the Psalmist cries out in praise, wonder, and joy for The City of God.

The Psalm begins with the Love of God for his city. We see Jesus declaring his love for the city as he weeps over the city he is about to enter (Luke 19:41) he then pronounces its destruction as he is leaving a few chapters later (Luke 21). He cries because he loves it and longs for it to repent and turn but his righteous justice will not be denied its destruction is sure. The Psalms are fulfilled in Christ. The Psalmist tells of the wonder of this City of God. The end tells us that the entertainers recognize that ALL their “springs are in you.”   To have all that makes the heart leap for and long for be bound to God himself!

How often does my heart fall short? Not only taking joy where it should not be found but, even when it is a place where joy should be found, I do not ascribe the source of that joy to him who has graciously given every good and perfect gift! I join the Israelites in the Exodus and the Northern Kingdom of Israel in choosing to think it is because of my ability and wisdom that victories have come. When in reality, it is because of his great name!

Jerusalem was not a great and majestic city, because David chose to centralize his government. It was not beautiful because Solomon chose to spend the wealth of an arms dealer on its walls. Nor was the Temple Holy because Herod chose to garner the peoples favor by endowing it with multiple building projects. God used all these means to accomplish what he desired, but the reason Jerusalem is Holy ground, and above all other cities is because it is the place that he chose to put his name. Because God chose to build a new Jerusalem to outshine its earthly predecessor.

To this city every right minded “artist” must recognize his creativity and skill are given him. Springing forth from the author of life, the champion of peace, the joy of man. Even as he gave to Bezalel and Oholiab the skill to build his temple (Exodus 31:1-3), he fills skilled craftsman today with the abilities they have. Even as many in our modern entertainment industry choose to use those gifts to corrupt and pervert what God desires, they must do so through the gifts he has given them. Even as they deliver their message, they must tip their hat to him who created all things.

The spring of water was the ancient source of life, blessing, prosperity, a future and a hope. Our spring is truly and rightly grounded in God himself.

“In Christ Alone my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song.”

Coram Deo

Tuesday
Mar052019

The Faithful

Exodus 24:1 ESV

Then he said to Moses, “Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship from afar.

“Past performance is the best predictor of future results” is a mantra I learned while working. The idea was that if the process didn’t work the first time or the second time, we shouldn’t expect it to work the third. Weather that be people or machinery. This has flowed into my parenting I am afraid.  In trying to help one of my children understand why I won’t allow them to do things that the others get to do. It recently comes down to a familiar mantra “but I won’t do _______” to which I must refer back to two minutes previous when said action had just taken place. Then I am told “but I won’t do ______” and my response is “its not that you won’t its that you already did.” It still hasn’t sunk in so the circle continues until I simply say no.

This quickly moves me to my own short comings. How often do I long for those blessings that I have already shown I don’t have the ability to manage, by how I have used the small things? Recognizing that “he who is faithful with little” (Luke 16:10) applies to me is a terrible reality I don’t often enjoy thinking about. I desire a newer car, bigger house, more kids, more discs… the list is as large as my own depravity. The lack of contentment is palpable and odious. Then the question is laid before me, have I been faithful with those things I have? Have I kept GOD’S cars, house, and children to the level that more would be reasonable? Am I using the house such that a bigger one would grow the kingdom or just my status?

Then comes the scripture. The flash of light and brilliance of God’s word strikes deep at the heart of my sin. Seeing my self in the scripture instead of God is a fault laid bare time and time again. Yes, conviction of sin is there to be found, but the text is not about me nor is it about you. Reading of God’s call to Moses and the elders struck me by who is allowed to come up. The seventy elders are not listed by name but Aaron’s sons are. Nadab and Abihu go down in infamy a few pages from this point. Desiring to worship God in the wrong way, and they are sentenced to death and consumed by the fire of God (Leviticus 10).

“Does God know all things?” Is one of the questions we work on with our children. The answer being, “Nothing can be hidden from God”, applies in this instance. God knows that these two priests will disobey him. That they will leave their positions to Eleazar and Ithamar. Yet, he calls them up to him. As we have worked our way through the scriptures on Sunday morning, we are often confronted with the command to remember or be reminded about something. Looking at scripture we must remember that God is faithful and merciful to those who are least deserving. He walks with Judas for three years knowing what will transpire. He weeps of Jerusalem, knowing they would reject their salvation. He calls us up to fellowship with him, knowing we will fall short over and over. He calls us to dine at his table, on his body and blood, knowing that we have lightly esteemed it and we will go out lightly esteeming it. Yet, he does it anyway. Not because we are faithful, but because he is faithful. The faithful is a singular term.

CRUCE, DUM SPIRO, FIDO

Wednesday
Feb272019

Piety

Matthew 23:5-6 ESV

They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place f honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues…

The brisk air on my face, breath crystalizing in the starlit night, a shovel in my hand, not the way I normally start Sunday morning. While shoveling eight to fifteen inches of snow, depending on the drift, an individual is given a great amount of time to pontificate. The Wednesday previous I had noted how beautiful the snow was and God’s grace to humanity in that, something that did not exist before the flood, and therefore before the fall, God would mercifully be both beautiful and fun to play in.

This morning my thoughts were consumed with a different question, “Why?” It is an interesting question that I am asked to tedium by my children. I had already cleared my drive to the street the previous night and now was faced with clearing from my drive to the path that the faithful city workers had labored until three in the morning, to clear in the road. I had already been asked multiple times if church was going to be canceled. I had been informed by numerous people they wouldn’t be able to make it, and been faithfully informed of other churches that had chosen to close. To all this I simply took the information, and continued in the same direction I had planned, for those unaware one of my many faults is that I don’t change course well, even when it would be prudent to do so.

So, I woke up extra early and started shoveling, with the brisk nights air as my soul companion. Yet, the question that persisted to invade my thoughts demanding an articulate answer was, brief and forceful, “Why?” It had been a long night with a sick kid and a fussy baby, the warm bed was excruciating to leave in exchange for the bibs and a shovel. My body, and mind wanted to know, why they had forsaken such creature comforts. The arguments were well thought and aptly made. “Going to church does not make you more saved. Would you put others in danger to be seen as more faithful than the other pastors or churches? Is this your way of showing you actually work for a living?” The relentless scrape of the shovel matched scoop for scoop with demands for, “Why?”

The answer actually comes in the form of a question, in true Christ following style, “Why do we go to church?” The weather is inconsequential to the answer to that question. If we go to church simply that others might see us as pious and faithful, then that is why we must go even if two feet of snow is on the ground. If our church must be the most dedicated then it MUST remain open at all costs. If I go to church simply because it is my job and I am a hard worker, then to maintain my identity I must be in church on Sunday. The answer to the question, has as many answers as churches have attenders, but only one answer matters. Why does the bible say we attend church? The bible is clear that the church has always assembled, for the breaking of bread, teaching of Gods word, and fellowship. Christ rose on the first day and the Spirit fell, on the first day (Lev 23:15-16, Acts 2:1), it was also early on both those days. The Church has always gathered on the first day in a special way to worship, even as they gather through out the week as well.

Yet, the bible paints a picture of people gathering not out of compulsion but out of joy and desire to draw near to God and one another. Much as a bride groom needs not command to inform him what actions are desirable on his wedding night so to do Christians desire fellowship on Sunday. Yes, circumstances make what I desire unattainable at times, but I dare say a young man waking a couple hours early to scoop snow a great providential hindrance in light of Christian endurance and love for this day through the churches two millennia of Christian history.  Church is not an act of piety, but rather an act of desire, a longing for fellowship with the bride of Christ. A knowledge that something special was missed and an opportunity lost if not attended.

I have heard many good and right reasons why God, in his providence, hindered his saints from gathering Sunday morning. I do wonder if those same reasons hold for Sunday evening. If the church does not meet at one building what hindered it from meeting at some other time through out the day in smaller numbers at houses doted throughout our communities. Gathering saints from different theological ilk to fellowship and read his word. Often, I am convicted, it is mere lack of desire.

So, why didn’t this particular pastor cancel “church”? Simply, I thought I would see more of the Church this way. Scared that if I canceled, I wouldn’t see any of Christ’s bride that day, and perhaps not until the following Sunday.

CRUCE, DUM SPIRO, FIDO

Wednesday
Feb202019

Boldness to Speak

Acts 3:19 ESV

And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding not way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened.

Have you ever noticed that threats often work? Lacking any ability at the moment to accomplish what is desired the threat is used to create change that is otherwise unworkable. Weather it is the persistent threat of the American Civil Liberties Union or the National Riffle Association. The bluster and strut of the roster yields the desired end, “don’t tread on me”. This allows millions to be cooed and brought in line by those unable to accomplish it through any other means.

As I come to Peter and James, I am ashamed and brought low. How often have I let the strutting cock win the day? How often have I checked my action because a broken branch, uprooted, and twice dead was swaying in the wind. A few weeks after rejecting Jesus and having him slain on the cross, the rulers and elders and scribes gather to talk and judge men. Peter and James answer the questions boldly and directly. Not hiding behind turn of phrase, half-truths, or fifth amendments. Recognizing that they were commanded to speak this good news to this audience precisely because they were free to do so! The Jesus YOU crucified and rejected, by his name we do this, and by his name and NO OTHER must we be saved!

When commanded to not speak anymore, they do not simply walk out and speak anyway, no they make it plain to all they will continue because the command not to speak was back by an inferior sovereign! No strutting government would stop them from preforming the commandment given to them to “GO and make disciples”, to declare the name of Christ to all nations.

Who commands your tongue? When the Spirit prompts and you feel that uncomfortable thought breaks loose that “you should say something”, what drives you away from opening your mouth? Is it the fear that someone will sue? Maybe you will lose your job? Or perhaps you fear others thinking you stupid, backwards, or uneducated? Which is your sovereign, O’ Christian? The same spirit that rushed upon the prophets, resides in the heart of every Christian. The same spirit that allowed Peter and James to continue to preach until they were martyred. That spirit is in the heart of every Christian. Weather it be the Internal Revenue Service, the School Board, or any plethora of strutting peacocks, let us recognize who is really sovereign and whom we should fear, and it is not those who stand before you now, but him who you will stand before!

“I would not say such things if I were you” are the words of a sniveling prince who can’t control the tongue of a slip of girl who spoke truth into his life, and he has not idea how to silence her. Speak truth into the darkness and let the devil try and figure out how to stop it.

Coram deo

Monday
Feb112019

Only the Beginning

Genesis 50:20 ESV

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

Joseph’s response to his brothers, is always convicting, challenging, and inspiring. To have those who have robbed you of so much, have taken so many years of blessing from you, is the dream of every sinful man who has been wronged. He attributes his slavery, false accusations, prison, and all the hardships he has endured, to one being. Recognizing that the men before him were the means, and God brought it about, that “all things” work for the good of those who love him, including all the evil that is endured, by him and by his father.

The blessing of reading from different sections of scripture as you read through it is that you start to make connections that would not normally appear to you or manifest themselves in your thoughts. Coming to the end of the Gospel according to Mathew, we find the taunt of the people “He trusts in God” (Matthew 27:43). This taunt rang loudly in my ears this morning. Partly because of the message given on Sunday, looking at how the people of Israel did not trust God, to provide for them when things got difficult. Jude reminded us that although God had saved them, they were not his people, they were destined for destruction. They spent forty years complaining that God was not good, he could not be trusted to take care of them. They would rather trust their Egyptian masters. Christ refused to use his power to make bread for himself while fasting in the desert. He would trust God for his provision and care.

Trusting in God for his care and provision lead to death on the cross. Betrayed and abandoned by those he had trained and loved for the last three years. How quickly I want to judge the pages of time. Watching as wave after wave of scandal plague this person or that corporate body, as if justice is being served on earth. If there is one truth every Christian should know it is that Justice is not served on earth. Yes, we should seek it but we will fall short, every time. Full justice is served on the last day when you stand before the throne of God. When the wicked are judged for their crimes and the righteous appeal to the greatest earthly injustice, and say that was the justice I deserved.

Jesus trusted God to the point of death. Even his mockers bear witness that they do not think God is worth trusting. Such are all those who think that earthly pain and pleasure are the goals of God and man. Even as I bemoan my lack and rejoice in my abundance, I give evidence of my lack of faith, and my heart of stone that my God wants me to be happy hear, now, and in the hear after. Let us trust in God and rejoice in our affliction that we might join the tide of Christian experience, and Christ himself, declaring that God is good… and All the time…

CRUCE, DUM SPIRO, FIDO