Cherishing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Posts by Dave York

Let Truth Win Our Hearts

So, one of my prayers for our nation is a prayer I have for our church (which is who this blog post is for), is this:  that we would be respectful, grace-filled people, who treat others who disagree with us with gentleness and kindness, and we commit ourselves to let truth win our hearts.  It’s a big ask for the nation, but it’s not a big prayer for our church.  

A Rich Sunday

Sunday was a rich day with our church.  I knew going into Sunday that it would be one of those days that I would look back on fondly.  The main reason was the text and sermon series we were beginning.  Romans 5-8 are some of the most theological encouraging chapters in the entire Bible.

An Emotional Week

Now, with this crazy week, I decided not to preach on 1 Timothy but to preach on “The Functional Centrality of the Gospel.”  It really is the most important lesson of my life.  And like I said Sunday, “if I were to preach the last sermon of my life, this would be it.”  Lord willing, this wasn’t my last one, but it’s sure an important message.  

Hard But Joyful

the church that pastor and I love the people that I get to serve alongside.  I have told the Lord many times that I just can’t believe that I get to do what I get to do.  Yes, pastoring is hard.  But it’s joyful labor.  And the church I pastor makes it that way.  

Handling Benevolence

I had a few of you ask on Sunday about how the Good Samaritan story would fit into the sermon on Sunday.  It’s a great question.  But here’s a very brief summary with an explanation:  The Good Samaritan story was taught by Jesus to the Jewish people about their lack of love for anyone who wasn’t Jewish.  1 Timothy 6 was written to a pastor regarding how the church should care for those in their church who were truly in need. 

Being a Pastor

It’s always a daunting task to teach about the role of pastors while being a pastor. I never want a sermon like that to come off as “we have it so hard” or “you just don’t know what we go through.” My hope in Sunday’s sermon through 1 Timothy 4:6-16 is the joy, gratitude, and wonder I have in being a pastor.

Complex False Teaching

It’s funny how our background affects the way we see things.  As I grew up in ministry, one of the things that always bothered me was the “glitz” of ministry.  Don’t get me wrong…I was drawn to it.  And at times, even pursued it.  But it always bothered me.  I have never liked the idea that the church needs to “keep up with the world” (or, using a common phrase, “keep up with the Joneses). 

Do Your Job

Our last two weeks, previous to Sunday, were incredible Sundays at CLF.  One of the challenges of church ministry is to fight the urge to hit home runs every week.  Jeffrey Jo, being with us…home run.  Easter Sunday…home run.  Someone asked me last week:  “How do we follow Easter?”  My reply was that we keep doing what we’ve always tried to do…be faithful to God and His word.

What Do You Have That You Did Not Receive?

I usually park in our new parking lot south of our church building.  As I walk to the church building, I spend time praying.  Last Sunday, I marveled at God’s kindness to our church and me as the pastor.  I prayed for our Easter gathering and just marveled….”God, You have been kind to us.”  

Mission Work

We see it in Paul and Barnaba’s missions in Acts.  And we see it in history.  But that is pioneering work. They are going where the gospel has not gone before, preaching it and planting new churches.  But what happens when there’s a church established or disciples are made?  What happens when people of THAT nation trust in Jesus and start churches?  Well, in my mind, that’s the goal!  

A Mirror, Not a Reflection

demonstration (life) and declaration (lips), rather than a reflection of the world.  What I fear, at times, is that the church attempts to placate to the world on issues of gender, sexuality, marriage, parenting, purity, etc., and in doing so, ruins a gospel witness with the power of transformed lives. 

Misapplied Truth

repeating.  One of the major issues with the truths of God’s word, like authority and submission, is that it has been misapplied so often that it’s hard to believe the truth.  But what I said Sunday was that a truth that is misapplied, does not mean the truth is an error.  It means the application is in error.  We must be careful to not allow bad application to cause us to discredit biblical truth.  

Strong Women

God has created our genders in such a way that they are to complement one another.  And when each person is playing their role in their God-given gender, it honors and strengthens the other gender.  It doesn’t take away from the other gender but enhances it.

History and the Gospel

when the gospel is preached, believed, and submitted to, it does transformative work in people, nations, and cultures.  I hope you noticed the brief tracing I did through history about this.  We can get lied to by our media about how bad we have it.  We can get lied to by our culture that we don’t have enough “love” or “rights” for others.  But, if you look at cultures/nations that have Christian underpinnings, you will find that advances in science, medicine, education, and human flourishing are prevalent everywhere.

A Deep Bench

The servants at CLF humble me.  So many gifts on display…givers, gifts of hospitality, mercy, compassion, teaching, discernment…the list could go on and on.  But what makes the gifts function so well at CLF right now is the posture people have toward Christ and one another.  This is something never to take for granted and something that only the Lord has done.  Praise God!

False Doctrine = Wrong Doctrine

I thought about this Sunday afternoon. One way to look at false doctrine is as wrong doctrine. It just teaches us the wrong way to be made right with God and one another. That might make it more clear when trying to explain it. 

Hard Work With Heaven’s Hope

Rightfully so, Christians get frustrated and disillusioned by conflict. And many will say, “this isn’t how it’s supposed to be” or “this isn’t right.” But few Christians are willing to apply what God has taught us in His word to deal with conflict. The reason why God gave us instructions on how to be peacemakers…is because there is going to be conflict.

Maturity and Conflict

I picked out two of the most common sins that create division in the church: gossip and slander. I could’ve done more, but those are sadly the most common sins. Scripture gives us clear guidance on handling such things, but it does take courage and God’s power to deal with something like this.  

The Best Lesson Learned

When I began to believe that God loved me more than I could ever imagine because of Jesus, I stopped living for others’ approval because I didn’t “need” it anymore. Rather, in Christ, I had all the love I could ever want/need, and I had a reservoir of love to give out. Further, when I began to believe that God had judged me more than I could ever imagine because Jesus’ death for my sin reveals this, I stopped being crushed by others’ judgments of me because their judgments were not nearly as critical as God’s already was. In Christ, I was truly free.

Trust Over Time

The fact that there are two types of forgiveness listed in the Bible was new information for some of us. But when there is no confession of sin, there should not be spoken forgiveness to the sinner. Reasons for this are many, but we see this in the Bible. We are not granted forgiveness of our sins until we confess we’re sinners and believe in Jesus.

Plug Into the Gospel

Here’s the point:  for Christians, we’re the only people in the universe who have the power of Christ at our disposal to pursue peace and reconciliation.  Yet, most of the time, the issue is that we don’t plug into that power by humbly and obediently doing what Christ has commanded us and leaving the results in His hands.  Instead, we never try.  We avoid; we isolate, run, and stay in conflict. 

Sin’s Effects and Christ’s Role

As we noticed Sunday, God came to us in the person of Jesus. His coming to us shows us how reconciliation works. The offended party goes, ready to forgive. In reality, Christ came to us to reconcile us to God and then empowered us to be reconciled to one another. We cannot be peacemakers, without the power of THE PEACEMAKER, within us.

Hard Conversations

These comments are reminders that this series is more like preventative medicine. Our church has enjoyed a wonderful season of unity, joy, and care. The Lord has been very kind to us. And this series is one of the ways that God’s word will protect us in the future.  

Christmas Weekend

and see how redemptive history plays out, leading up to Jesus’ coming. Personally, I was freshly affected by this series. I was reminded of great truths of God’s love for us in Christ, of the wonderful thought that we can experience the joy and peace that’s in the Godhead, and how Jesus really is the Genesis 3 Champion. It was a great privilege to walk through this with our church.  

Love God and Love Others

But there is a severe issue with this “love myself first” strategy. Namely, it is not the way that God created us. God created us to love God and love others, with the same type of “others-focus, sacrifice” that we find in the Godhead. So, the question is, what did Jesus mean by “love your neighbor as yourself”? Did He mean, “love yourself first, then you can love others like you’re loving yourself”? Or did He mean something else?  

Joy and Happiness

One of the challenges for me in preaching on the theme of “Joy” is the amount of time that I’ve heard sermons on this subject attempt to define the difference between joy and happiness. Most of the time, this is done because of statements like “I don’t care what I believe, as long as I’m happy;” or “It doesn’t matter how I live, as long as I’m happy.” So, to be fair, preachers attempt to redefine an unwise humanistic use of the word ‘happy’ and then contrast happiness with biblical joy.  

Jesus Is Our Peace

I’ve got to admit, these Advent sermons are growing on me:). I’ve really enjoyed the sermon prep, and I’ve been deeply affected by what I’m learning again. Thinking through big themes, like hope and peace, in the Bible has been a delight to my soul.

Christmas Is Here

I must admit that I’ve always been a bit of a non-traditionalist when it comes to the church history calendar.  I cannot explain it except for my youthful zeal.  Honestly, I’ve watched churches and people observe traditions, without any connect to the gospel, heart-transformation, or life-adjustments and I just haven’t had any flavor for it.  So, I’ve rejected some really good things, like Advent, because I “threw the baby out with the bathwater”. 

Musings From The Weekend

Here’s what I desire for CLF:  I want us to be courageous to make decisions that we have prayed about, researched, and we believe are best for us and our families, without the fear of being criticized or falsely accused.  Further, I want us to be a church that can have openness of dialogue on very hard issues, be able to disagree, yet not hold one another at “arms length”.  

Verse 29 and More

In Sunday’s text, we ran into 1 Corinthians 15:29 that’s just really hard to translate.  So, without giving you hundreds of different approaches/interpretations of this, let me just offer two of them that I think are the most plausible.

Posture in the Gospel

In both sermons I thought, “with the treasure that I have in Christ, why do I not read God’s word more and pray more often?”  My prayer is that I will apply the things I’ve heard from these two wonderful men.  

After the Ballpark

Sunday was amazing.  When we go to the baseball field, I get the unique privilege being in the 1st base dugout until it’s time to preach.  The viewpoint from down there is awesome.  I can hear the crowd singing, see the entirety of the group, and watch.

Enough

I literally can allow situations to dominate my thinking, my time, and my headspace.  (Anyone else?) And, because I’m naturally persuaded by my own arguments or ideas (which is pride), I have a tendency to not listen very well to another perspective.  Or to put it in the above metaphor, when the Lord tries to pull the binoculars away from my face to correct how I look through them, I anxiously pull them back to the way I like them.  

God’s Final Word

When we recognize that Jesus is God’s final revelation about His character and how to be right with Him, we can stop wrestling in our souls. Here’s what I mean: so often, we feel like we need to be in the “center” of God’s will. We need to have some clear, discernible, ‘word’ from God about our lives. And if we don’t, we’re missing out on “God’s best”.

The Wisdom of God

It’s crazy to think that the last time we were all together in 1 service was March 15, 2020. Our church has responded very well to the changes in the past year. Together, we have served each other, worked to make changes in our church services possible, and we have grown in grace and in number. Sunday was another expression of God’s grace among us.

Love the Gathering

One of the verses that I’ve kept at the forefront of my thinking has been Psalm 115:1, which says, “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!” The Lord has been kind to give us wisdom, to help us resolve conflicts, add/subtract ministries, and given us the courage to share the gospel.

All Things Done in Order

Well…we safely made it through 1 Corinthians 14! There was no food fight in the cafeteria and we came out the other side with no one hanging from the rafters or doing cartwheels down the aisles! Seriously, it has been a very good time for our church as we studied 1 Corinthians 11-14.

The Preeminence of Love

I think it’s very interesting how Paul put 1 Corinthians 13 right before his discussion about prophecy and tongues in chapter 14. Those two gifts, especially tongues, seemed to cause the most issue in Corinth. And…they’re still an issue today. That’s why we need the love chapter so desperately.

True Christianity

One challenge with preaching on a familiar text, like 1 Corinthians 13, is that it’s…familiar. When a text is so widely known, the danger for me is to try to be cute or “original”. You know what I mean…try to do something no one else has done. Well, with true biblical preaching, that’s a very serious danger.

One Spirit, Many Gifts

One of the things that I’ve been particularly burdened about as a pastor is to take the ‘weirdness’ out of spiritual gifts and if I can be frank here, take the ‘weirdness’ out of being a Christian. By that, I acknowledge that there will be times when being a Christian or God doing something miraculous will seem ‘weird’.

Covenant Loyalty

In my years in the ministry, I have found that people like to put on fronts, like to protect their reputations, and are afraid of being exposed. I’ve said often, “everyone wants accountability until they get it.” It’s true. We’ll ask off-the-wall questions, make untrue accusations, and even remember things that never happened…all for the sake of the cover-up.

The Church

There is so much to be said about the Church. I really wanted to help all of us see how the Church benefits to our souls. The combo of “drawing near to God” and “drawing near to one another” was challenging for us. Especially in the independent and isolated Northwest. My hope was that we would see how valuable and precious the family gatherings are to us and that we should make them a priority in our lives and calendars.

Dying Daily

For a long time in my Christian life, I found myself on the “tread mill”. Things seemed to always be a big deal or worse or better than they actually were; I didn’t find much traction; or I was up and down spiritually. It was frustrating, to be honest. Then I spent more time in Romans 5-8.

God With Us

I love preaching at CLF. I love my “home field” and I am eager each week to see the “upturned faces” and m hope each week is to turn those faces to their Savior and King, who is the best Shepherd and pastor.

Free to Surrender

There are so many various directions that a text like 1 Corinthians 9:1-18 can take you, that’s it’s tough to stay on track. My hope from Sunday was to make sure that we noticed/remembered the context of 1 Corinthians 8 because it plays itself out in 1 Corinthians 9.

Present Distress

The texts from 1 Corinthians 7 have been incredibly challenging to interpret and then make clear. Much of the dilemma is cultural, but the syntax, grammar, and language also made these sections really hard. So, my prayer is that throughout this chapter, it has been clear and hopefully, encouraging and helpful.

Marriage & Divorce

Marriages that represent Jesus and His church are desperately needed and the Lord has given us everything we need to serve Him faithfully in our marriages: the power to change; the grace to forgive; the church to mentor, counsel, & help; and His word to direct.

Train Yourslef

As I prepared for this week, I was very mindful of so many of the “ironic” cultural moments. I mentioned several of them in the sermon: abortion clinics being open and churches being closed; gathering to worship Jesus is deemed a public hazard, while gathering in a protest is deemed honorable…but to be honest, there’s so many of these ironic issues that it literally makes your head spin.

Thoughts While Away

The past couple of weeks have allowed me some needed time off.  As a general rule, the elders have asked that I am in the pulpit at least 44 out of 52 Sundays. This allows for our church to benefit from the wide-range of other men, who can preach God’s word to us.  One of the joyful challenges we’re currently facing is that we…

How Majestic is Your Name – Morning Musing

One of the challenges of doing multiple services is that it really doesn’t matter what you try, no 2 services are the same.  One feel rushed, the other feels too slow.  One feels forced, the other feels free-flowing.  One feels like there’s a time crunch, the other feels like there’s no clock.  However, this past Sunday was different…both services were the same.  They had the same pacing,…

A Contrite Heart – Morning Musings

This past Sunday was a unique one for me.  I was able to take the Sunday off, be a church member, and sit with my family.  It was amazing.  I really enjoyed being part of the crowd and not having any responsibilities, except to fellowship, sing, pray, listen and heed God’s word being preached, and pray for all involved.  It really was a joy.  Sitting with my…

Hearing God Speak – Morning Musings

Well, it’s been a few weeks since I sent out my musings.  Lots has happened.  Doesn’t it feel like the world is changing every few hours?  I look up from my desk or head out the field and it seems like something new has been recommended, required, or ordered.  I’ve literally had to keep my “head on a swivel”… Since our last time, we had our…

Gospel Power – Morning Musings

For the first time since starting 3 services, I finally “hit the wall” in the 12:00 service yesterday.  I preached about 10-15 minutes shorter and when I got done, I thought that I might’ve left something out!  So, if you were in that service and you felt gypped ?, get the video/audio from the website tomorrow.  But man, was I tired.  Not sure what happened.   Now, onto…

Bought With A Price – Morning Musings

Well, Sunday with 90/service went off without a hitch.  Amazing Sunday!  I’m very grateful for the way you have navigated through this season.  CLF, you continue to amaze me with your gratitude, generosity, and eagerness.  Thank you.   Here are several things from Sunday’s sermon that I didn’t cover: Christian Freedoms with food/drink: One of the issues in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 that we didn’t cover was how…

Shame On You – Morning Musings

There’s a ton to get to after Sunday’s message, so let me say a few things at the outset: This is a little longer post than normal, so I’ve tried to highlight the various sections so you can skip to things that might interest you more.   I will be putting something this week about the President’s comments on Friday about churches and…

Lessons in the Pandemic – Morning Musings

A full day of services, preaching 3 services, and hearing other voices in the church building…let the musings begin. Sunday’s services: I cannot tell you how excited I was (and am) about Sunday’s services.  It’s the first time since March 15th that we had an in-person church service.  I didn’t sleep well (more on that in a moment) but I was full of faith…

Dealing with a Christian’s Sin

There’s quite a bit that I want to say about Sunday’s sermon, so let’s just get right to it.   Sunday’s sermon: Let’s start with things that need some clarification: In one point of my sermon, I mentioned that some believe this COVID-19 thing is a hoax.  That needs to be cleaned up a bit.  Here’s my concern and here’s what I meant to say…regardless…

Remove This One – Morning Musings

Sunday’s sermon was challenging on a few levels.  One, the text was challenging.  Two, not having people in the building to look at, to insure that the concepts were coming across clearly, was challenging.  Three, there is so much more to say on this text.  So, what I hope to do in this edition of ‘musings’ is to explain a little more.    Sunday’s sermon: One…

How to Not Divide the Church – Morning Musings

In the weirdness of our times, I really cannot thank you guys enough.  Our church has been so encouraging and helpful throughout this time.  I’ve heard from many of you, expressing your gratitude, as well as giving us areas of improvement.  The gracious critiques, as well as the encouraging words from you have been amazing.  Thank you!   Also, coming up in the coming weeks, after hearing…

He is Not Here, He is Risen – Morning Musings

As we set out to plan the Easter series, our hope was to give you online content that would encourage you and prepare you for Easter Sunday.  We really cannot thank you enough for the notes of appreciation and how this series helped you.  I’ve said this a number of times, but I’m very grateful for Perry’s work in recording, editing, coaching me along,…

Hosanna in the Highest – Morning Musings

These are just some ramblings about a variety of things that I hope will give some thought and insight into what we’re thinking during this really odd time in our country.  Not to mention, I hope it will give you some thoughts on what we’re learning (CLF Staff anyway) through all of this.   Thoughts on Sunday’s sermon and “Easter in Real Time” video…

Follow the “Fool” – Morning Musings

Well, the odd new normal, at least for a few more weeks, is upon us.  Doing live-stream wasn’t as weird as last week and working hard to speaking into the camera, isn’t as difficult.  However, I don’t know about you, but “doing” church in an empty building, makes me long for the days when we’re all together again.  After watching the President’s news briefing on…

Think Charitably – Morning Musings

Well, where to begin…I really have no idea, but off the top of my head, let me start with this past Sunday.   Thoughts on Sunday and Sunday’s sermon (I’m just going to randomly put ideas that have come up and these are in no particular order):   My wife has always told me that she can tell when I’m feeling awkward or a…

Updates – Regarding Upcoming Sundays, Groups, and Classes

CLF Family, As I mentioned in my letter last week to you, these are unprecedented times for us.  I think I’ve said, texted, and emailed words like: “unreal”, “shock”, “unimaginable”, more than I have at any other time in my life.  Those words really describe my emotions.  It certainly seems like there are some days where things ratchet up and go at…

Don’t Deceive Yourselves – Morning Musings

Well, a ton happened this past week and I wasn’t able to get musings out last week, so I’ll try to keep this post just on some recent happenings.  I hope this gives you some insight into how some decisions are made at CLF and why they’re made.   A deep bench: First, I think it’s important to highlight an important thing that’s happened…

Acting Human – Morning Musings

There are times when I feel my weakness while preaching more than others.  Sunday was one of those and these are days that are like milestones or stand out days that remind me of God’s faithfulness to His people, over and over.  There were a couple of reasons for this:  1)  This was the longest manuscript I had taken to the pulpit in quite a long…

Demonstration of Spirit & Power – Morning Musings

Restraint…that was what I had to tell myself this past week as I prepared for Sunday’s sermon.  This text has literally been a guardrail for what I have sought to do.  While not perfect, it has been desire each week to honor the Lord by “knowing nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”   Overriding thoughts: When I ‘cut my teeth’ on ministry,…

The Foolishness of God – Morning Musings

A clarifications/improvement:  Like I do many times, I wish I would’ve said some things differently on Sunday.  Here’s one from yesterday: There are times when I’m writing my manuscript and reviewing it, that I get a “check” in my mind about a statement.  Many times, I’ve learned to listen to this and change what I’ve written. But yesterday, I didn’t and I should have.  It came…

Danger of Division-Morning Musings

Several weeks ago, I made a snarky comment from the pulpit about us singing some songs that even I don’t like.  Well, let me say this…”Only a Holy God” is not one of those!  Introducing that song to our church was something I’ve been eagerly looking forward to. And our team did a great job with that.  In that same vein of thought, this is…

Much To Be Thankful For – Morning Musings

Sunday’s text is one of my favorites because of the leadership lessons it’s taught me through the years.  Further, it’s one of my favorites because of how much God and Jesus are mentioned, with regards to the Corinthian church’s gifts and abilities.  Studying that text and then teaching on it, was a lot of fun.  Convicting, challenging, and enjoyable.   From the cutting room floor:  For…

Intro to 1 Corinthians -Morning Musings

Morning Musings Well, I’ve got to admit…I got lost in the holiday season.  I took a couple of weeks off from my normal routines and I found that it was much more difficult to get back in the groove again.  So, let’s give this a shot and try to give you a few thoughts from this past Sunday.    The last 2 sermons have…

Household & Work – Morning Musings

Let’s jump right into Sunday’s sermon stuff because there are several things that I’d like to say about it. Overarching theme: As I jumped into the study for Colossians 3:18-4:1, I was struck by the overarching theme of Colossians, which is Jesus is superior over all things and all people.  And what struck me (powerfully, I might add) was the posture that Jesus…

Shadows & Substance – Morning Musings

There are times when writing a sermon that questions pop up in my mind that I feel the urgency to answer.  Many times those questions are for me, personally.  But there are times when the questions I’m wrestling with are ones that the church needs answered as well.  Such was the case in Sunday’s sermon on Colossians 2:16-23.  The question that has been lingering in my…

Delivered & Transferred – Morning Musings

This past week, I had more extra-local phone calls that normal, but I thought one call would be one that you’d enjoy hearing about.  About once/month, I get to talk with Luis Castellanos, pastor at Taproot Church in Burien, WA.  Most of you know Luis, but for those that don’t:  Luis faithfully served at CLF for about 5 years as our administrator and youth pastor.  He…