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What If?

April 21, 2017
This week, as the wonder of Jesus’ Resurrection Victory reverberates through our hearts and minds, I’m gripped by the Apostle Paul’s “if-then” argument in 1 Corinthians 15.  He explores a monu­mental IF:  What IF Jesus Christ had never been raised from the dead? And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied (15:17-19). It would be hard to exaggerate ...

He’s Alive!

April 13, 2017
Peter Nelson
You simply can’t overstate the bedrock importance for Christianity of Jesus rising from the dead.  The resurrection is the key­stone at the very center of God’s grand arch spanning from history to eternity, bridging over the chasm of sin and death:  without it, the whole structure of salvation comes tumbling down. This, of course, means the resurrection—Christ’s historical, physical return from death to life—is not one of those peripheral points or secondary issues on which believers may feel free to disagree.  No, it’s pivotal and ...

The Cross of Christ

April 13, 2017
Peter Nelson
In 1804, Thomas Kelly, an Irish pastor, wrote a hymn that helps us step back and process what really took place 2,000 years ago on the cross of Christ:  “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted.” Of course, as a church we gladly join together in upbeat, celebrative songs of praise to our all-glorious God.  It’s fitting to call out to the Lord with shouts of joy as his beloved children.  But it’s appropriate as well—and even more than that, it’s urgent—to enter into songs that are sobering and solemn:  worship music that helps us grasp, and feel, ...

Meditation on Good Friday

April 13, 2017
David Thomas
In the third chapter of Zechariah, Joshua the High Priest appears in filthy garments.  He sees his own dirtiness, and knows that he is unable to make himself clean.  The fourth verse says: "And the angel said to those who were standing before [Joshua], “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to [Joshua] he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” It is impossible for us to remove our own filth.  God does the cleaning at the cross.  In an act that demonstrates humility more t ...

Children's Sunday School Summary April 9, 2017

April 13, 2017
Lori Herson
The Sunday before Easter is Palm Sunday—the day Jesus entered Jerusalem as the King of kings the week of Passover. Many of God’s people traveled to Jerusalem for Passover. Jesus and His disciples traveled to Jerusalem as well. Near Bethphage (BETH fayj) and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples ahead into a village to bring a donkey to Him. Jesus made a spectacular entrance into the city. He rode the donkey, and people laid branches and their robes on the ground in front of Him. The people welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem ...

The Way of Escape

April 06, 2017
Peter Nelson
If you come to Scripture looking for words of comfort and affirmation and reassurance, you’ll find them, for sure.  But if your eyes are wide open, you’ll also see other kinds of good words:  messages of warning and correction and rebuke.  And that’s because God loves us. Take 1 Corinthians 10.  Verse 13 is a “famous” promise:  “No tempta­tion has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be ...

Children's Sunday School Summary April 2, 2017

April 05, 2017
Lori Herson
Zechariah’s son, John, grew up in the wilderness. John’s ministry began when God’s word came to him, and he began preaching near the Jordan River. John worked to get the people ready for the coming of Jesus, fulfilling the Old Testament prophecy, “A voice of one crying out: Prepare the way of the Lord in the wilderness” (Isa. 40:3). John called the people to repent of their sins, and he baptized them in the Jordan River. John also instructed the people on right living. (See Luke 3:10-14.) Some of the people suspected that John might be the ...

Dear Emmy

March 31, 2017
Katy Manni
Katy Manni is a mother of four children and married to our Associate Minister, Pete Manni. She recently started writing her own blog, Dear Emmy, to express her personal experiences of being a mother of a special needs child. As a result, Katy has connected with many moms dealing with the same struggles and anxieties and Katy (and Emmy) have been an encouragement to so many. The Manni’s are on a journey with their youngest daughter Emmy that is unchartered territory but God is providing each step of the way. Emmy has Williams Syndrome-  a ...

All Things To All People

March 31, 2017
Peter Nelson
It seems that the phrase, “All things to all people,” has taken on a life of its own in contemporary English.  Dictionary.com says, “Today it often appears in a political context, but phrased negatively, as in He wants to be a good school committee member, but he can’t be all things to all people.”  After all, who can satisfy everyone completely? Of course, the phrase comes from Scripture, and the Apostle Paul gave it a profoundly positive sense:  “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some” (1 Corinthians ...

Pray Big!

March 24, 2017
Peter Nelson
Have you ever seen the movie, “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”?  It’s the story of a mad-scientist dad who accidentally reduces his teenage son and daughter and their two friends to the size of insects.  A wild plot unfolds with parents seeking “lost” children, and four micro-people desperately trying to make themselves known.  All good humor. But not so funny when we shrink spiritual realities that are truly grand and immense.  I’m thinking of prayer—after Jim Rhodes’s reminder last Sunday from Ephesians 3, and how Paul prayed for believers, t ...

An Interview with Lori Herson

March 23, 2017
We’re excited to continue our Goshen Baptist Church staff interviews with our Director of Children’s Ministries, Lori Herson. We spent a couple minutes catching up with Lori as she shared her heart for ministry, the important role parents play, and her diverse music preferences. We’re very thankful for her and her leadership at GBC. Goshen Baptist Church (GBC): Lori thanks for being our latest Goshen staff interviewee! How long have you been at Goshen Baptist Church? Lori: I’ve attended for 17 years. GBC: How did you first come ...

Children's Sunday School Summary March 19, 2017

March 20, 2017
Lori Herson
Do you think it was just by chance that Caesar Augustus called for a census? Did it just so happen that Mary and Joseph were traveling to Bethlehem—the very place the Messiah was prophesied to be born? (Micah 5:2) God is in control of all things, which He showed by using a pagan emperor to bring about His plan.  After Jesus was born, Mary laid Him in a manger. A king in a manger! It was so unlikely. But Jesus was no ordinary baby. He was God’s Son, sent in the most humble of positions, “not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ...

Love Builds Up

March 17, 2017
Peter Nelson
Last Sunday we explored the Corinthian controversy about eating food offered to idols (1 Cor 8).  Here’s the issue:  since Christians knew that Apollo was no real god, was there any harm in continuing in the local custom of feasting in Apollo’s temple?  Or should they withdraw from the culture and say no to sacred meals associated with false gods? Many believers asserted their freedom:  All foods are clean, it’s just meat, idols are nothing, and we have the right to eat. But others, seeing these bold, liberated Christians dining in pagan ...

Children's Sunday School Summary March 12, 2017

March 15, 2017
Lori Herson
God’s people had not heard a clear message from God for hundreds of years. Then one day, Gabriel—an angel of the Lord—told a man that his wife, Elizabeth, was going to have a baby. The baby's name would be John. Then the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would have a baby, and her baby would be God's Son. Mary and Elizabeth were relatives. Elizabeth was old and barren; she and her husband, Zechariah, had no children. Mary was a young girl—likely in her early teens. She was a virgin, engaged to be married to Joseph. T ...

Trusting God in Joy and Sorrow

March 10, 2017
Peter Nelson
I’ve been exploring the Psalms lately, and I’m seeing how David (who wrote many of these songs) calls out to God from just about every spot along the spectrum of human emotion.  He shouts with joy and wails in grief—and everything in between.  Let me point to a few examples and then ask:  Does your faith take this range of expressions? Psalm 6:  David is languishing; he floods his bed with tears, crying to God, “How long?”  Yet he hopes in God’s future deliverance. Psalm 13:  David’s heart is writhing in sorrow; it feels like God has ...

Children's Sunday School Summary March 5, 2017

March 07, 2017
Lori Herson
The prophecies concerning Jesus’ birth are numerous, and many of them refer to Jesus’ lineage. Old Testament prophecies tell of the promised Messiah being born from the seed of a woman (Gen. 3:15); from the seed of Abraham (Gen. 22:18), Isaac (Gen. 21:12), and Jacob (Num. 24:17); from the tribe of Judah (Micah 5:2); from the line of Jesse (Isa. 11:1); and from the house of David (Jer. 23:5). The prophecies said He would be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14) and would be the Son of God (1 Chr. 17:13-14; Ps. 2:7). Jesus fulfilled all of these ...

Parenting as God’s Ambassadors

March 03, 2017
Peter Nelson
Parenting is an adventure that changes every time you turn around.  Our grown children now range in ages from 28 to 24 to 22—how did that happen?  It was just yesterday we were all gathered around the cassette tape player singing “Baby Beluga” along with Raffi (go google it—you’ll love this song!)  And now they’re all 20-something? At thegospelcoalition.org, Melissa Kruger interviews Paul Tripp about his new book, Parenting:  14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family.  Our children grow and change, and we live in swiftly ...

Children's Sunday School Summary February 26, 2017

February 28, 2017
Lori Herson
This week was our final week in the Old Testament as we looked at the Book of Malachi. After many years living as prisoners in Babylon, God’s people had returned to Judah. They had worked hard and overcome opposition to rebuild the temple and the walls around Jerusalem. Surely God would restore them … finally! But nothing happened. As they waited, they faced drought and economic uncertainty. God’s people probably didn’t feel like God had blessed them at all. “It is useless to serve God,” they said. “What have we gained by keeping His ...

On Balance

February 24, 2017
Peter Nelson
The old table prayer strikes a vital balance:  “God is great and God is good…”  A careful, wise reading of Scripture upholds this theological equilibrium.  Giving too much attention to God’s love and mercy leaves his holiness and majesty at the margins; and too much emphasis on God’s glory and power sidelines his heart of compassion and grace. In our Prayer Gathering this week we saw how Psalms 111 and 113 express this crucial theological balance.  We prayed in response to God’s Word, exalting the Lord in his transcendent splendor and ...

Children's Sunday School Summary February 19, 2017

February 21, 2017
Lori Herson
Ezra traveled to Jerusalem with a purpose. God’s people had spent 70 years in exile, and they needed to be reminded how to live. As a scribe, Ezra was an expert on the law of Moses, and he had “determined in his heart to study the law of the Lord, obey it, and teach its statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7:10).  Under Nehemiah’s leadership, the people had rebuilt Jerusalem’s walls. They gathered together at the Water Gate to hear the law of Moses. Men, women, and children—anyone who could understand—came to listen to the reading of ...

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