77 results for tag: blog


Son of a Preacher Man – Greg Albrecht

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" —Matthew 16:24-26  The passage in Matthew that forms the basis of our message talks about losing your life so that you might gain it. At first it may seem to you that Jesus' assertion amounts to little more than theological double-talk. But this teaching begins to make profound spiritual sense when ...

The Pearl of Great Value – Greg Albrecht

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.—Matthew 13:45-46 We turn our attention to one of Jesus' parables about the kingdom of heaven. In the Authorized King James Version the parable is called The Pearl of Great Price. As I normally use the New International Version, we'll refer to it by the title given to it in that translation, The Pearl of Great Value. Here's the widely accepted Christian interpretation of this parable: The merchant is you or me. We decide to look for Christ, and finally, after much effort, we find him. ...

God and Jonah: Ships Passing in the Night

Many, even those unfamiliar with the Bible, have heard of Jonah. Most remember the story of Jonah as it is depicted in children's books—a man named Jonah who was swallowed by a big fish and lived to tell the tale. As we go a little deeper into the story (deeper even than the whale went with Jonah) we see that Jonah is yet another biblical example of how humans can completely misunderstand God. We can misunderstand God as Jonah did, and in terms of our relationship with God, be, as he was, like two Ships that Pass in the Night.    The book of Jonah begins with God telling Jonah to go to Nineveh, the capital city of the Assyrian empire. But Jonah ...

The Visitor – Greg Albrecht

The Visitor - Greg Albrecht       KEYNOTE SCRIPTURE: John 1:1-18   There are two biblical stories about the birth of Jesus. One is the factual story of who did what, when and where, given to us by Matthew and Luke. The other story occurs in our keynote passage.   The "other story" concerns itself with the profound significance of what happened at the intersection of time and eternity, when God in the person of Jesus came into our world to be one of us. The first 18 verses of the first chapter of the Gospel of John is powerful, majestic, and in some ways mysterious. As literature, this passage ranks among the most profoundly ...

What if God was one of us? – Greg Albrecht

"Stop Acting Like God. Start Acting Like Jesus." The message, on a poster being waved during a rally in support of a minority group, confronted and challenged me. It seemed to be directed at me and my fellow Christians. If they really knew Jesus, I thought, they would know that he is God and he was God in the flesh! I continued to ponder the poster until a free translation of its intended meaning occurred to me: "Jesus, save us from your followers who seem to be acting like our stereotype of the Old Testament God." It was obvious they had a vague notion that Jesus didn't hurt people, that Jesus didn't abuse people, and that Jesus ...

The Gift of Time – Greg Albrecht

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.—Isaiah 55:6Time is the enemy of teachers, speakers and preachers—we are always battling with the clock. In the context of formal church services, this battle goes back to the so-called olden days when preachers walked up and took their place behind the pulpit. At the beginning of the sermon an hour glass of sand was turned on its end. The passing of time was determined as small quantities of sand passed from the upper chamber, which at the beginning of the hour was full, to the lower chamber. When the last grains of sand filtered through the hour glass into the lower chamber, ...

Great Exchanges – Greg Albrecht

  Your first thought at this time of the year might be those frenzied crowds in shopping malls and department stores on the days immediately following Christmas. People exchanging and returning gifts they received that were the wrong size, wrong color—or just plain wrong! But there's another exchange we need to keep in mind. This great exchange is the reality of the cross of Christ. Jesus Christ took our sin and died for it, paying the debt that we could not pay. In exchange, God, because of his grace, gives us eternal life. Our sin for eternal life! The great spiritual exchange. Great exchanges characterize the month of December ...

Thankful For What? by Greg Albrecht

For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.  When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfi...

The Peace of God by Greg Albrecht

Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests" (Luke 2:14). The night seemed normal—nothing out of the ordinary. The shepherds were watching the sheep, just like they always did. But suddenly something abnormal happened—an angel appeared. The shepherds were terrified. After assuring the shepherds they had nothing to fear, the angel announced the coming of the Prince of Peace. Then God composed and arranged a musical anthem performed by a heavenly choir to emphasize the importance of the angel's message. The Bible uses a military term, host, to describe the angelic choir (Luke 2:13). A heavenly army ...

Finding Your Way Home – Greg Albrecht

By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!" How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy.—Psalm 137:1-6 One of our lifelong goals is to "find our way home." In the Gospel of John, Jesus assures his disciples, and by extension all those who would follow Jesus ...

Be Still – Greg Albrecht

  When in danger, when in doubt, Run in circles, scream and shout The British Navy has a strange custom, I am told. If a sudden disaster happens, "the still" is blown. If you live in certain parts of the United States you may think of a still as a place where bootleg whiskey is produced. The "still" in the British Navy, as I understand it, is a whistle which calls the crew of a ship to a moment of silence in a time of crisis. It's a moment of calm that allows everyone to collect their thoughts before they respond to an emergency. My wife, Karen, and I recently witnessed the results of failure to be still in the face of a ...

The Trouble with Halloween – Greg Albrecht

Q: In your opinion, is it wrong to dress up in costumes, have a party or give out candy to trick-or-treaters?   A:Some Christians see nothing wrong with Halloween as a time for families to take children, who love to dress up in costumes, into their immediate neighborhood, and, with careful supervision, receive goodies and treats as they go from house to house. Some of these parents avoid witch and ghost costumes for their children in favor of cowboys, action heroes, angels, clowns or Disney characters—because they don't want to glorify or encourage the grotesque or occult. Other Christians participate in Halloween by handing out not only ...