# 3 Mere Christianity: The Moral Law (Ch. 3-4)

Fish do what their Maker created them to do Birds do what their Maker created them to do F The sun does what its’ Maker created it to do W Wildflowers do what their Maker created them to do But man has a quarrel with His Maker   Many of you, and I myself, admit that Mere Christianity is challenging! So I find it fascinating that when Lewis was on the radio, amidst the horror of World War II, men and women who were educated and uneducated; rich and poor, and religious or irreligious listened with rapt attention. When Lewis would come on the radio, one who was there said they would say: Shut up blokes! Mr. Lewis in on! When God shakes our world, we often become desperate for Him, and cry out to Him, and He comes running to […]

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# 2 Chapter 2 of Mere Christianity: Objections

Remembering that these were originally radio broadcasts, Lewis has received some objections to his thesis that God puts a moral law within the souls of humans. I OBJECT! A good apologist knows how to handle objections. So in chapter 2, Lewis “wants to stop and make his foundation firm” before continuing. So he addresses these objections one by one. In this, Lewis shows us a wise apologist. He listens so carefully that he can repeat back to his objector his argument so clearly that the objector knows he has been heard — and then and only then does he attempt to dismantle the argument. Listen to just the first two minutes of this video, and then tell us the first two steps of overcoming objections. (Though the context is sales, this works for anything!) Sunday: 1. What stands out to you from […]

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# 1: Introducing Lewis and Chapter 1 of Mere Christianity.

Suffering softens hearts toward God, World War II had begun with unimaginable losses of human life. The scene was set for an apologist. It certainly seems C. S. Lewis was chosen for such a time as this. James Welch, a powerful man with the BBC, though he’d never heard Lewis speak, wrote and asked Lewis to do a series on the radio that millions would hear. Lewis’ reply is fascinating — as you will hear this week. It shows us the secret of why Lewis so impacts hearts and lives. On a sidenote — I was so pleased with all the book recommendations last week. Also, I had a computer crash and am working handicapped, so forgive the small print, and lack of colors!   Sunday 1. When you hear “C.S. Lewis’’ what comes to mind and why?   My […]

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SUMMER BOOK CLUB! GET READY, GET SET!

You are invited to Join us In A Summer Book Club! I read more in the summer, and I’m always looking for a good book. This week we’re going to get ready to read a good book together. What book, other than the Bible, has been applauded by Christians more than any other? What book brought sanity to the world in a time of Hitler’s insanity?  What book caused Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, to pull his car off to the side of the road and surrender his life to Christ? What book caused Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza, to stop building his dream house when it was 1/3 done? What book convinced me that I needed to take the claims of Jesus Christ seriously? Without looking ahead, can you give a guess? If you are new to […]

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Degrees of Happiness in Heaven (Final on Heaven)

We’ve learned that the New Heaven and the New Earth is not some ethereal place in the sky where we float, but tangible, exciting, and beautiful, like the best of earth. We will have resurrected bodies that can be recognized, that can be touched, and can eat — like that of our Lord’s.     We will be with God and we will be His people. He will rejoice in us, and we in Him. There will be a sense of community, of family, and we will fellowship around the table, loving the Lord and one another. There will be an animal kingdom, but they will not be at war with humans or one another. Our own Sharon took this photo. John Eldredge spoke of the scene after Jesus resurrection when he made a fire on the beach, and said, […]

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Homesick No More! (# 4 on Heaven) Jeremiah 31

Do you have a longing that nothing, not even the best things on earth, can satisfy? C. S. Lewis says that the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.   In All Things New, John Eldredge said many try to fill that God-given “longing for home” by building their Kingdom on earth, but it can’t be done. Not the top of a career, or the most fantastic dream home, will satisfy.   Solomon, who was the wealthiest and most powerful man on earth, did us the favor of rushing headlong into various pursuits “under the sun” and concluded: Our own Jackie sent me this video by Andrew Peterson and I am so excited for you to see it. Watch it until you can respond as the choir does, to Peterson’s scripture-infused lyrics. Sunday: 1. What stands […]

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Throw Away Your Bucket List! (Windows of Heaven # 3)

We can throw away our bucket list, for this earth is not our last chance at all! We don’t have to sail the isles of Greece, see the penguins of Antarctica,  or parachute from an airplane before we die (in case that is your heart’s desire) – we’ll experience it all, only better, at the “renewal of all things.” Grasping this life that awaits us will loosen our grasp on this world, helping us set our affections on things above, where our real life is hidden with Christ in God. We don’t have to spend these precious days chasing things under the sun, for it will all be there, only better, and we will be so thankful we lived for what truly mattered. This week we are to look at the New Heaven and New Earth through the window of Isaiah […]

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A Living Hope in A Dying World (Heaven Series: #2)

I’m with my daughter Annie this weekend on a mini get-a-way together. Shortly after I went to bed, she came into our bedroom and said: “Mom — we are bombing Syria.” I sat up, in shock. Then she asked, “Is this going to be World War III?” Our world is filled with sin, sorrow, and war. Both the letter of 1 Peter and the book of Revelation were written to believers facing persecution and death, to give them a living hope, so that they might persevere in the face of suffering, and not give up. “The new heaven and the new earth” is not a pie in the sky dream, and the pictures in Revelation are not crazy, they point to something that is really going to happen. Why, we should ask, did Peter use the phrase: “living hope?” We […]

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WINDOWS INTO HEAVEN (New Study)

This Spring I’m excited to look through the windows of Scripture into heaven. Though many books have been written by those who had near death experiences, I don’t know whom to believe and whom not to believe! But I know I can believe Scripture, and there’s more here than I realized. It is so different than I once thought, and SO MUCH MORE EXCITING. I’m keeping the lessons short, for spring is busy, and I’m hoping to keep many of you. We’ll go slowly, with growing excitement. I have found seeing the truth about heaven not only gives me hope, but loosens my grip on this world, and helps me overcome disappointment. For as Teresa of Avila said, Note: Because these lessons are shorter, if you want to share prayer requests here, feel free. I would ask you to write […]

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The Wonder of It All (Easter Week 2018)

    This is a film clip from John Eldredge based on his book: All Things New that will start off our week of wonder at the power of the cross. The same power that rose Jesus from the dead is going to make all things new. Imagine yourself as a little old lady who loves Jesus (some of us don’t have to imagine). Despite the aches and arthritis of old age, an aging body, and a simple room in a care center, you have found contentment because you know Him! One night God takes you in your sleep and in the morning… Easter Sunday: 1.What stands out to you from the above and why? 2. After church today, come and share one thing that was particularly meaningful to you and why. Monday-Tuesday: Message From Mike Reeves   3. Share […]

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Why Holy Week is Hard, Yet So Powerful For Us (Isaiah 53)

When I was a new Christian, I didn’t want to go to Good Friday services, for I felt it was so hard to think about the enormous suffering of Jesus.   Steve and I were in a little church in Oregon and Steve was coming alive to the Lord. He had been coming with me to church and Bible study from the beginning of my conversion three years earlier, and was in agreement with what he heard. It was when he was helping with the homeless in downtown Indianapolis and passing out blankets, food, and tracts (and reading them) that he realized he was going to hell and put his trust in Christ. Yet, still, I didn’t see a passion there. When we moved to Oregon, our pastor (who happened to be our own Sharon’s future father-in-law) took a special interest […]

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Behold Your God

What can transform our anxious hearts? Beholding our God, and Isaiah helps us to do this so well. What can help us release our idols? Beholding our God. That is because we can’t just say no, our hearts must be melted by His love and power, so that we can trust Him and wait upon Him. How many times have we given into temptation because we did not wait upon Him? This week, this last week before Holy Week, let us consider some of the beautiful word pictures in Isaiah, along with comments from Albert Motyer, to help us behold our God and melt our hearts of stone. I am often anxious, and worry is the idol I’m endeavoring to replace with trust in God. I often get very anxious about tech at a retreat, for it seems to often […]

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Comfort Ye, Comfort Ye My People

There is good news in Isaiah! After all the hard news, comes beautiful Isaiah 40, leading the way into much good news. Many of you are facing severe trials — even death. Some of you have the severe pain of division in your family. All of us have had times of feeling defeated by sin or by Satan. The words of comfort Isaiah spoke were not just for Judah, but for us, His children, as well.  This life, so often, is a battle. So often we fail and become discouraged. But one day our “warfare will be accomplished,” and there will be no more sin nor sorrow nor death. Let us soak in the tender words of God this week. As Albert Motyer says: At this darkest of moments, the call goes out to speak the word of comfort, (vs. […]

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The Purpose of Lent is to Experience Christ

We really do not comprehend just how serious sin is. One of the purposes of Lent is to help us see how our idolatry grieves a holy God, so that we might truly repent, remove the false lover and experience His filling. This week, as a preface to the second part of Isaiah, we are going to look at just how severely God judged His people for idolatry, sending them to be captives in Babylon for 70 years. Jerusalem was destroyed, their babies dashed upon the rocks, and they were taken captive by the cruel and hedonistic Babylonians. Psalm 137 is a lament, a song of their pain, and also an imprecatory psalm, so a most interesting psalm to ponder. I do not know the artist who captured Psalm 137 below, but I want you to see and hear the […]

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VARIATIONS ON A THEME

My “heart burns within me” when I see the gospel theme repeat throughout the Old and New Testaments. 66 books written over many centuries, by many men in many cultures. And yet, I keep hearing and seeing the same gospel, the same Savior — variations on one beautiful theme. One Seamless Story. One Gospel Thread Throughout. One Glorious Savior. We will see it this week in Isaiah! Tim Keller tells of being profoundly impacted by Alec Motyer, our expert in Isaiah, when Keller was a young man — before his seminary days. Keller tells of how, in his early twenties, he “had held the vague, unexamined impression that in the Old Testament people were saved through obeying a host of detailed laws but that today we were freely forgiven and accepted by faith.” But then he heard Old Testament scholar […]

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