2 Corinthians 4:16-18 – Keeping Our Focus Rather Than Giving Up

December 4, 2021

Ministry involves struggle, wounds, and hardships. Yet, Paul refuses to lose heart; he won’t give up. What drives this perseverance? It is because he keeps his eyes fixed on what is unseen rather than on what is seen. He keeps his eyes on eternal glory rather than temporary affliction. He keeps his focus on the […]


2 Corinthians 4:7-15 — Hardships and the Spirit of Faith

November 20, 2021

If the ministry of the new covenant mediates the glory of God in the face of Jesus the Messiah, why is Paul’s ministry so filled with suffering? The gospel, epitomized in the death and resurrection of Jesus, calls its ministers—all believers—to give themselves for the sake of others. When we follow Jesus into his ministry, […]


2 Corinthians 3:7-18 – We are Confident Because We are Hopeful

November 6, 2021

Paul’s “new covenant” ministry is life-giving, hopeful, and glorious. This contrasts with the glory of Moses’ “old covenant” ministry which was hidden to Israel in the wilderness but is fully revealed in Christ. The movement from “old covenant” to “new covenant” is not so much an abolition of the “old covenant,” or a sense that […]


Romans 5:1-5 — Boasting in Suffering

August 3, 2017

This is the link to my recent lesson on Romans 5:1-5 at Lipscomb University’s “Summer Celebration.” What does it mean to boast in our sufferings, and what does suffering produce in our lives? Suffering has meaning; suffering has purpose…because we know suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. Without peace, afflictions […]


Unto Us A Child is Born: Hope in the Darkness (Isaiah 9:1-7)

November 28, 2015

[Listen or watch the sermon on Isaiah 9 here.] Isaiah spoke into a world analogous to our own, one soaked in darkness. When  night descended upon Judah, people saw only “distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish” (Isaiah 8:22). Uncertain of where to turn, people sought guidance in all the wrong places, including false gods, […]


1 Peter 1:13-21 — Identity: Children of God

June 11, 2015

This salvation, for which we bless God, in which we rejoice, and which fills prophets and angels with wonder (1 Peter 1:3-12), is the foundation and ground for everything else Peter writes in 1 Peter 1:13-2:10. “Therefore” (1 Peter 1:13) introduces the first section of the letter’s main body and roots it in God’s saving […]


On Reading the Prophet Joel: A Lament Liturgy

April 2, 2014

The prophet Joel, whose name means “Yahweh is God,” taught Judah to lament and hope. His message announces the coming “day of the Lord,” which entails both judgment–for the impenitent among God’s people and among the nations–and the renewal of God’s vision for the reign of God in the world. Lament and hope. No one […]


A Lament Homily

October 7, 2013

Last week Lipscomb grieved through a student’s death on campus. The University responded wonderfully and in every way. I was asked to speak in chapel last Tuesday. Here is the link if you wish to hear it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMc39Go6d7Q


“We Awake In the Night in the Womb of the World”

May 14, 2013

The above title is the first line in the refrain of Andrew Peterson’s “Come Back Soon.” On Sunday my old and dear friend Dean Barham, in his morning sermon at Woodmont Hills, alerted me to Peterson’s music and particularly this line. It has stuck with me for a few days now. Yesterday I read Keith Brenton’s funeral […]


Can These Bones Live? Ezekiel 37:1-14

January 22, 2013

The twentieth century is too familiar with valleys of dry bones. The images of stacked bodies from Nazi concentration camps, churches filled with the bones of those who sought sanctuary in Rwanda, or the killing fields of Cambodia. Unfortunately, with the help of media and the horrific inhumanity of recent times, we can all too […]