November 16th, 2019

“But you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words, though briers and thorns are beside you and you live among scorpions. Don’t be afraid of their words or be discouraged by the look on their faces, for they are a rebellious house. But speak My words to them whether they listen or refuse to listen, for they are rebellious.” Ezekiel 2:6-7


If you are anything like me, I like being liked. It kills me when I think someone doesn’t like me! I know, I know… as I tell the students, the only person whose opinion of us truly matters is God’s. As we read about the prophet Ezekiel, we find a pretty eccentric and occasionally odd individual. Throughout the book, we will read of times that he didn’t hesitate to make a public spectacle of himself because God instructed him to do so. If such behavior at times seems unusual, it should remind us that a person totally committed to God will always run the risk of being labeled “strange.”


We see in these first few chapters God consistently commanding Ezekiel to tell the people exactly what He says to tell them regardless of whether they accept it or not. Christians, God’s mandate to us is to speak and live the Gospel to everyone, regardless of whether they listen or not. Regardless of whether they accept it or reject it. There are two reasons why this is so vital: 1) at least they will know that a word from God has been delivered to them. That is, hearers will have no excuse. In the future, if they have rejected Him, they cannot say that it was because no one ever told them (although Romans makes it clear that we all know anyway). 2) We can never know whether our words will take root. Maybe it is initially rejected, but some later time they may flower leading the individual to accept the message later in life. Faithfully proclaim the Good News whether they listen or refuse to listen!

In Christ,


November 6th, 2019


Hebrews 3:7-11

7 Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion on the day of testing in the wilderness,9 where your fathers tested me, tried me, and saw my works 10 for forty years. Therefore I was provoked to anger with that generation and said, “They always go astray in their hearts, and they have not known my ways.” 11 So I swore in my anger, “They will not enter my rest.
I have always been fascinated with history. I especially enjoy reading and studying world history. To think about societies and civilizations that lived and existed centuries ago; to learn how they lived in social structures, how they developed industry, how they overcame and accomplished difficulties – I find all of this fascinating. It causes you to think about everything we have today and so often don’t even think about. One of my favorite characters to read about is Martin Luther. You may be familiar with that name but incase you are not, he was the famous monk who nailed a list of 95 things that he saw wrong with the catholic church in that time frame (Luther is a fantastic character to read and study – I would highly recommend it!).
I recently read something interesting about Luther and really all people in that time period. It’s something that I’ve never really thought about before. However, after reading it, it makes total sense. So what is it that I read? Well you see Luther (and most others) went to bed wondering if they were going to wake up the next day. Have you ever done that? If you’re like me, probably not. I don’t know that I’ve ever had that thought in my head before I went to sleep. I’ve never consciously thought about the day that was ending being my last. In a world that we live in with modern medicine and technology advancements and such, the idea of life becomes pretty secure. We rest easy knowing there’s most likely a tomorrow. But for Luther, there was no guarantee at all. They didn’t have modern medicine, or hygienic standards, or advanced technology that would help them sustain life. It was not uncommon at all to lay your head down and not wake up the next day.

I suppose its a little cliche to think about (I believe there’s even a country song or two about it) but imagine if you knew that today was your last day. How would that information affect the way in which you live your life? What decisions would you make differently? What choices would shape that 24 hour window? Let me dig a little deeper – what would your relationship with the Lord look like? See one of the most agonizing thoughts for Martin Luther was did he live his life that day in a manner that was pleasing to the Lord? Did he, through his life that day, glorify the Lord? He felt the weight of God’s holiness and his own sin every day. So when Luther laid his head on his pillow that night, wondering and fearing if it was his last, what terrified him the most was the fear that he did not live a life that pursued holiness and righteousness that day. Because he may not get another one to “fix” it. There may not be another chance to live better. He may not have the choice to “start tomorrow”.

Look at our passage today in Hebrews 3. The author of Hebrews here is quoting Psalm 95 and is recalling a historical reference to the nation of Israel and their rebellion toward God. See the nation of Israel has a big sin problem. They had idolatrous hearts. They were constant seeking to please themselves and do what they wanted to do; live the life they wanted to live. God was always something they could do tomorrow. They could pursue Him tomorrow; they could follow Him with their lives tomorrow; they could trust Him tomorrow. This mentality didn’t change even after Jesus came and literally walked among them. God was literally with them and yet they still put it off. And you know what, even in 2019 today, we still have that same mentality. We can follow, trust, believe, hope in – God tomorrow; today it’s about me. Verses 7 and 8 here give us a clear message about the timing in which we should approach God. There is an urgency spoken here in the “today”. He tells us don’t wait until tomorrow, because tomorrow might be too late.

You see even with modern medicine and all of the fancy stuff we find in the world today, there is never a guarantee of life, but there certainly is a guarantee of death. We don’t know for certain if tomorrow will come, yet we live as if we still have time. Maybe you know the Lord but you’ve not walked closely with Him. Or maybe you’ve been on the fence about God and all this religious stuff. Please don’t wait anymore. Whatever decision you need to make, make it today, right now! Because tomorrow may not come.

So what if you don’t wake up tomorrow? Have you lived a life today that glorified the Lord. Have you taken your relationship with Him seriously? Have you told someone about Jesus and how he takes away their sins? Have you worshiped Him and praised Him for His goodness and mercy? We may not get tomorrow, so lets start doing these things now while we still can!

In Christ,

Sam Killman

October 22, 2019


1 Timothy 1:12-17

“I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because he considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry— 13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate his extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in him for eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only[b] God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Yesterday’s passage of 1 Timothy 1 in our Bible-In-A-Year reading has had me really stirring and thinking about my own story. In fact in this specific translation of the Bible the section heading says “Paul’s Testimony”. I’ve been thinking about my testimony. I’ve found myself deeply reflecting on who I was as a believer and who I am now having put my faith in Jesus Christ and seeking to follow after Him. I find myself thinking about sin and about the ways in which I still sometimes choose it over the righteousness and pursuit of God. As I read this passage I can so greatly identify with Pauls self described identity as “the worst of them…(regarding to sinners in v. 15)”. As I have reflected through this passage I think it has been incredibly healthy and good for my soul. Paul offers great encouragement in this section that I feel is helpful for all of us. Let me briefly break down some of the key parts that have really worked on my heart:

In verse 13 Paul says, “even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man.” If you recall in Philippians 3 Paul gives his personal pedigree and proves how, in that culture, he was a first class citizen. He possessed the best national heritage, he was born to a great family. He grew up in the best house, probably had the best clothes, went to the best schools. As an adult he had the best job, but not only that, he was the best at his job. Paul had it all. He then says that when compared to having a close and intimate relationship with Jesus, those things are like dung. They don’t matter at all. Look at how he describes himself here though: Pauls self description here is not one of confidence or esteem as in Philippians, it’s much lower than that. He calls himself a “blasphemer, a persecutor and an arrogant man…acting out of ignorance and unbelief.”

When I think about my life before Christ, I think Paul’s words register with me pretty well. I grew up in a Christian home. My mom was a believer, my grandmother was a believer. We went to church every time the doors were open. I went to a private Christian school. Literally every single day I heard the Bible taught and proclaimed. I was involved in every program and activity available. It is no exaggeration to say we practically lived at church. I knew the truth, I knew what the Bible said (as best a child can). I always gave the right answers in Sunday school and in Bible class at school. In spite of all of this though, my testimony is similar to Pauls. I knew the truth, yet chose to ignore it. I doubted God’s love. I lived my life in such a manner that assumed everything was ok on the surface, that I believed and followed God, but secretly in my heart I rejected the Lord. Enough had happened in my young life that caused me to want nothing to do with the Lord.

Can you identify with that? Think about the course of your life for a second. Now look what Paul says in this passage. “But I received mercy…the grace of God overflowed…Jesus is patient with us!” Isn’t it wonderful to know that God never gave up on you? And the WHOLE point is to show that God is a loving, caring, kind and patient God who never stops pursuing you! And even when we mess up and get it wrong, He still pursues us. Even when we wander away, He still chases after us.

What I find significant about this passage is the way in which Paul titles himself “the worst of [sinners]”. A flip through earlier pages of the Bible would reveal people who lived much worse lives than Paul did; people who’s lives were more deplorable than his. Charles Spurgeon commented on this passage saying:

“This godly sensitivity toward sin was associated in the apostles mind with an equally vivid sense of the freeness and richness of divine grace. That Christ died not for the righteous but for the guilty is the great thought that is on his mind, and he has no hesitancy in declaring it and in speaking most boldly concerning the exceedingly abundant grace of God in forgiving sin. The union of these two feelings in Paul is by no means an unusual occurrence among human minds, for you will generally find that the people who are most clear in their witness that salvation is by grace are also the people for whom sin is exceedingly sinful. Indeed all those who prize grace most are those who feel most sorrow concerting their transgressions.”

Finally, and I’ll wrap up here, look at Paul’s response in verse 17. He can’t help but praise God. He lifts a song of doxology as he remembers who he was and where he’s been and who and where he is now. Friends let me encourage you to think often of your life. And as you dwell on it, praise God often for the work he has done and continues to do.

God Bless!


October 18, 2019


“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration. 9 “For as heaven is higher than earth,
so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
Hopie and I have worked a few puzzles together over the years and I have to tell you, I love seeing how everything comes together. I especially love the big, complicated ones with thousands of pieces. Occasionally, we get toward completion and realize a piece is missing. Panic ensues because we have invested so much time and energy into this masterpiece and it’s not coming together! We know how it’s supposed to look in the end but what we have before us doesn’t look anything like the picture on the box. Thankfully, the piece was just wedged between the couch cushion and everything fit just as it should.
Life can seem like a puzzle, mixed up with big gaps of missing pieces. Many times, we wish the puzzle of our lives would all come together at once in our timeline of things. It’s easy to focus only on bits and pieces and fail to look toward the end result. Often, things don’t seem to come together and the gaps in the picture lead to confusion. Gradually, depression and anxiety creep in and steal away our joy and peace.
Thanks be to God that He holds all the pieces and will put them into place at His perfect time. He will make a beautiful picture out of even the messiest of circumstances. His thoughts and ways are so much greater than ours. His plan and purpose are much higher than anything you and I can comprehend. We have hope that one day He will slip that last piece into place and the picture of life will be complete. With God, there are no missing pieces!
In Christ,

October 16th, 2019


Isaiah 43


Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old. 19 Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming.

Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers[e] in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19


At this point in the history of God’s people, the nation has found themselves imprisoned, at the mercy of their captors, with no one powerful enough to rescue them. This had come about because the people had not listened to God’s instructions. Time and again, He had sent warnings for the people to remain true to Him but they turned a deaf ear. Chapter 43 starts with a promise to God’s people that even in exile they had no reason for fear. They could count on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, their Savior! Once God had delivered Israel from Egypt; now He was ready to give Egypt to the new world ruler, Cyrus of Persia, in exchange for the freedom of His people. What a huge ransom for a tiny nation!

What I love so much about this passage is the reminder of the entirely new thing God makes available for all who come to trust in Him. Many get hung up on the past. For the people of Israel, some got hung up on the “good ole days” and never moved on. All their stories revolved how good things used to be and why they couldn’t just go back to their glory days. Others were never able to move past the evil they had done in the eyes of God. Seeing themselves as totally unworthy, they lived in defeat feeling too sinful for God’s love.

These verses remind us to stop hanging on to the past. Stop dwelling on how things once were. Oh, if we could only see things from God’s perspective! If we could only climb on His shoulders to get a better view of the road ahead we would see the amazing things a-comin’! He has cleared the path ahead and has made all things new through Jesus Christ. May we forget what is behind and reach forward to what is ahead.

In Christ,


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