Cherishing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Combatting Our Culture

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There are so many directions that a teacher could take on Genesis 12:10-20.  The amount of preparation for Sunday’s sermon and the differences in commentators was interesting.  It was a wonderful study, and I learned a ton.  I like hard texts like this, and I enjoy exegeting the text for interpretation and our congregation for application.  

From the Cutting Room Floor

There were several things that I had to cut out of Sunday’s sermon. Here’s a sampling of those:

  • Ladies…what a guy, this Abram…how would a wife feel if her husband said, “Tell these guys that you’re my sister so it’ll save my neck!”  I know how my wife would’ve responded.  
  • Proverbs 13:22:  “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.”  In both situations, Abram and the people of Israel in Exodus, the “sinner’s weather is laid up for the righteous.”  It’s interesting how God uses pagan wealth to pay for His kingdom’s work.  
  • But there’s something else about Pharaoh’s money given to Abram.  It’s an inheritance that wasn’t Abram’s.  He didn’t work for it or earn it.  It was given to him.  Does this show us that God has an inheritance for His people that they didn’t earn or work for?  The covenant of grace at work.  
  • There is a deep motivation that comes from the covenant of grace.  Abram was a changed man after this situation.  In Genesis 22, God called him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac.  According to Hebrews 11:19, “He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.”  Think how different that is from his response to Pharaoh, and we’ll see it again in Genesis 20.  Here’s my point: Grace saves us, and grace also overcomes some of our stupid, sinful decisions.  But grace changes us.  If grace isn’t changing us, then we have to ask if we’re believing in saving grace.  
  • “Out of Egypt” is a phrase you’ll read in the Bible.  We see it in our Father of Faith, Abram.  We’ll see it in Exodus.  And we’ll see it in Jesus’ life as a baby.  

The Sexualization of the Culture and Our Kids

It doesn’t take you long to see this all over our culture.  It’s not new, but it is pervasive.  Here are some things that Jill and I have done through the years with our kids to help fight this culture:

  • We’ve tried to make Christ and our love for our kids be the ‘air’ of our home.  More than family devotions (which we encourage), we’ve tried to have regular conversations with them about Jesus’ love for them and our love for them.  We want ‘air’ our home to feel like Jesus resides with us.  
  • We’ve also had very open conversations with our kids about the culture and the world around them.  We’ve talked about sexual issues in our world with them (when age appropriate), and when we see it in a movie or in the world, we don’t make it weird.  We talk about it.  The main reason for discussing these things is that we want them to know that there’s no point of discussion that is off-limits with us, and we want to be some of the first people they’ll talk to.   
  • We have not been shocked when they (or others) confess sin to us.  Rather, we thank them, and we thank God with them that they’ve talked with us.  And this could be in any area, not just in sexual challenges from the culture.  We want to be people that our kids recognize as brothers and sisters in Christ, co-laboring with them in this world.  And it’s a tough world to live in, at times.  So, when they want to talk about issues in their heart, we want to give them the time.  
  • We have not shied away from pausing media (TV, music, movies, etc.) in order to teach our kids about lyrics, worldviews, or other things.  One year we decided to watch the hit show “The Voice” together, and when they interviewed a homosexual or discussed sexual choices, we talked about that with our kids.  Our theory has always been that we can’t isolate our kids from the world, but we can insulate their hearts with the gospel. We felt like discussing this as a family has made it easier for our kids to discuss this stuff with us.   

What are some ways that you’re teaching and protecting your kids in these areas?  I’d love to hear from you about this.  

Completely Separate Note

I thought you might enjoy this little read about what God is doing in Sovereign Grace Churches:


This Sunday, April 23rd, we will study Genesis 13 and look at Biblical Peacemaking as seen in the lives of Abram and Lot.  Our service will be at 10:00 a.m. at Jacoby Auditorium on the campus of Umpqua Community College.  

From the Cheap Seats

  • Watch this play from the end of the Rays and Jays game:
  • I know many of you are fans…but I cannot watch the NBA.  
  • SEC Baseball is unreal.  There are 5 teams in the top 10.  
  • It sure seems that Arsenal is feeling the pressure…
  • And listen, if you’re a fan of our community and kids from our community, you’ve got to enjoy Roseburg’s Jace Stoffal pitching for Oregon (I’m not a Duck fan, but I enjoyed coaching Jace).  His line last week against the Beavers:  7 innings, 1 hit, 3 walks, and 9 strikeouts.  Then against #7 Stanford: complete game, 3 hits, 1 walk, and 8 strikeouts.  He was the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week last week, and I’m sure he’s up for it again this week.  Great job, Jace!  

To watch or listen to the sermon described in this post, please click here.

Have a great week!

In Christ, 

Dave York

More To Explore

Thoughts on Jealousy and Selfish Ambition

As I have said over these past few weeks, each sermon has had a very personal feel to it. Sunday’s was no different.  Only this time, it wasn’t just targeting my heart. It was targeting ‘our’ heart as a church.  Last year, during my sermon planning, discussing jealousy and selfish ambition seemed like an excellent follow-up to Sarai and Hagar.  But I didn’t envision what God was about to do in our church and how quickly things were changing in CLF. So this sermon not only ‘felt’ right, it felt like prophetic guardrails around the ‘soul’ of our church.


Lessons from Sarai and Hagar

I don’t know if enough attention gets drawn to the idols of our hearts.  Idols are generally not evil or sinful things. Usually, they are good things that we want too much and want now.  They move from desires to needs.  They become things we crave and think we cannot live without.  And they dominate our thinking.  

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