Christmas Past, Present, and Future

Merry Christmas

I love Christmas.

You probably wouldn’t know it by observing my activities.

I don’t decorate my house. I couldn’t care less about having a Christmas tree. I’m pretty sure I haven’t gone Christmas shopping in over a decade. I don’t dream of a white Christmas. Sugar plum fairies don’t dance in my head.

We don’t play Santa, Elf on the shelf, or any other reindeer games.

Bah. Humbug.

I will admit that I eat my fair share of Christmas cookies. Otherwise, Christmas for me is pretty much like any other time of year.

So why do I love Christmas? Continue reading

Will Jesus Find Faith?

I’m not the first person to ask this question.

Jesus asked it Himself.

Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? (Luke 18:8b, NET)

Jesus wasn’t having a crisis of faith. He wasn’t experiencing doubt in His identity or mission. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? (Luke 18:8b, NET)

Jesus wasn’t asking if He would find faith internally. Jesus asked if He will find faith objectively and externally to Himself on earth. So, will He?

What exactly is Jesus looking for? Continue reading

New Teaching Series

Gospel of Luke.jpg

Starting Sunday, July 24, we will be starting a new teaching series through the Gospel of Luke. It was a blessing to teach through Revelation and view Jesus in His heavenly glory. I am anticipating a similar blessing as we look together at our Lord’s earthly ministry!

Luke’s Gospel is the most unique of the so-called “synoptics” (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) which all contain many of the same events. Synoptic means that they share a common view. Although there are parallels between them more than half  of Luke’s Gospel (59%) contains material not found in any other.

Luke was a physician by training and a ministry partner of the Apostle Paul. He is mentioned by name in three of Paul’s letters (Col. 4:14; 2 Tim. 4:11; Philem. 1:24). You can see where he joined Paul’s team in Acts (also written by Luke). You can tell because he stops writing “they” when describing Paul’s travels (e.g., Acts 16:6-8) and starts writing “we” (e.g. Acts 16:11).

Luke was not an eye-witness to the resurrection of Christ or His earthly ministry. He made careful investigation into the life and ministry of Jesus. It is through his investigation that his material was collected and recorded.

This Gospel was likely completed around A.D. 58-60. This is seven to ten years before Paul’s death (c. A.D. 67-68).

Luke’s perspective focuses on Jesus as the Son of Man – which was Christ’s own preferred designation for Himself. Jesus referred to Himself directly or through citing passages about Himself as the Son of Man about 80 times in the Gospels.

Others referred to Jesus as the Son of God quite regularly. Rightly so. However, of the approximately 25 verses that refer to Jesus as the Son of God in the Gospels only a handful (less than five) are from Jesus’s own lips about Himself. Most of these few are contained in John’s Gospel – the Gospel that most emphasizes Jesus’ divinity.

Although all of the Gospels include Jesus’ divinity AND humanity it is fair to say that Luke focuses our attention on the Man, Christ Jesus. It would be wrong to think that Jesus’ divinity is hidden or denied by Luke, however. The only occurrence in all of the synoptic Gospels from Jesus’ own lips calling Himself the Son of God also happens to be in Luke’s Gospel (Luke 22:70-71) where Jesus plainly answers the question, “Are You the Son of God, then?” with a direct, “Yes I am.”

Luke wrote his Gospel primarily for a Gentile audience. They would not have been as familiar with the Jewish history, Law, and prophecies. Luke’s Gospel is the most directly written with the Gentile perspective in mind. Since we live in a non-Jewish culture this Gospel is perhaps most directly written for people like us who are not fully familiar with Jewish custom and expectation of the Messiah.

I am looking forward to spending time getting to know Jesus better through the Gospel of Luke. We would love for you to join us Sundays at 9:30am to join in praise and worship of our great God and Savior!

Growing in Prayer

Personal and corporate prayer is an area that I always want to be growing in. I hope the same is true for you.

Over the years I have encountered a few good resources that have helped me move in this direction. I’ve encountered many others that were not so good. For me, anyway.

I’ve suggested previously that one of the best ways to grow in prayer is simply by praying. The more time we spend in prayer the easier and more natural it becomes.

This is not only true of private prayer. It is also true of praying with others. The more we pray together the more natural it becomes.

I especially enjoy praying with others who have been walking with the Lord longer than I have and who I know have spent a lot of time in prayer themselves. I am encouraged to hear what they pray about. Often, the content of their prayers causes me to grow. Usually the Lord has put some different things on their heart and mind than He has put on mine. When we pray together our perspective is increased.

In addition to praying alone and praying together I wanted to recommend three resources that have been a great blessing and encouragement to me with the hopes that they will be an encouragement to you in your prayer life. I would also like to invite you to let me know any resources that have blessed you in the area of prayer. Continue reading



As a father of six children (so far) that is a familiar sound for me. It is especially joyous to hear the excited shouts each time I come home. No matter how difficult the day may have been it lifts my heart to know that my children are happy that I am home. They are excited to see my face. They want to spend some time with me.

It is also a humbling experience. It strikes me that this joy may not last forever. My children are still young. The likelihood that they will express such exuberant joy at my returning home into their teenage and young adult years is doubtful.

Another reason this is humbling is because I see the excitement that my children have to see me, their earthly father, but I know that God’s children are not always this excited to spend time with their heavenly Father. I don’t need to look any further than in the mirror to know this is true.

Why should it be that we lose the excitement of knowing that God has reconciled us to Himself through Christ? Why should we lose the awe in knowing that our heavenly Father loves us and paid a tremendous price so that we could have the privilege of boldly entering into His presence and spending time with Him in prayer? How can this ever get old?

As I’ve been in ministry these past seven years I’ve learned two things again and again:

  1. Prayer is important and necessary.
  2. Prayer is easy to drift from.

Maybe you can’t relate. Perhaps you exemplify the scriptural command to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17).

I wish I did. But I don’t.

Studying the Scriptures comes easily to me. It’s how I’m wired. Most people who know me know that some of my best relationships are with books!

However, I know I should never settle for simply knowing about God when He has so graciously invited me to know Him. Don’t get me wrong – reading the Bible is a wonderful blessing. It is a blessing that directs us to the Living God Himself. Knowing the Scriptures should enrich our prayer lives. But it can’t replace it.

Fortunately, the Lord consistently draws me back to Himself. Recently, I have been enjoying a renewed sense of urgency and joy in spending time with our Father in prayer.

Are you?

If not, there is no better time than today to get started. It has been said well and often that the best way to learn how to pray is by praying. There are many methods and models of prayer. Let me suggest that the best way to pray is in line with who you are. Pray in a way that comes relatively naturally to you.

If you hate to write, then journaling is probably not for you even if this is a great method for others. Attempting to pray in ways that are completely contrary to the way you are built is a good recipe for disappointment. It’s a surefire way to ensure that your season of devoted prayer will be short-lived.

All of my children want to spend time with me. They don’t all want to spend it with me in the same ways. If you are a Christian then your heavenly Father made it possible for you to enjoy Him both in this life and the life to come. For me, spending quiet time alone and praying while walking provide great times of fellowship with me and our Father.

There are many biblical examples of how others have prayed. The most important thing to realize is not how they prayed but that they prayed.

Let that lift your spirit and encourage you to take full advantage of your opportunity today. Then, again tomorrow. Learn to pray by praying. If you already are a prayer warrior, then consider encouraging others you know by sharing how the Lord has worked in your life to bring you where you are today.

Feel free to share encouragements and thoughts on prayer in the comments. Be blessed as you walk with the living God today!

1873 N. Eager Rd.
Howell, MI 48855

Worship Services on Sundays @ 9:30am

Joe Kohler (248) 563-5195
Aaron Hathaway (586) 292-6938