Author: Andrew Hicks

This Week For Sunday

In Jonah 4, we see that Jonah did not want God to have compassion for the city of Nineveh. In Jonah’s eyes, Nineveh was completely evil and undeserving of God’s mercy and forgiveness. I have always found it odd that Jonah felt this way. However, if I’m honest, I sometimes feel the same way. When I think of the evil some people have done, I don’t think they deserve of God’s mercy and forgiveness. I don’t want God to show them compassion. Yet He does. He extends His mercy and grace to everyone. Showing compassion to others is not always easy. However, if there is anyone that teaches and encompasses compassion well it is a mother. A mother’s heart is full of compassion, not only for her kids but for others as well. If a mother sees her child or any other child get hurt, she will immediately go to them. Even if it is completely the child’s fault that they got hurt, a mother will always be there for her child and show them compassion. …

This Week For Sunday

Doubt is defined as uncertainty. When used as a verb, doubt is defined as fear. Satan uses this fear against us to try to make us believe that what we believe to be true is actually false; that Jesus isn’t who He says He is or He can’t really change our lives.  If you continue to allow your mind to wallow in these doubts, they will start to sound like the truth. However, scripture teaches us how to combat these fears by telling us what the truth actually is. Scripture teaches us that community is vitally important in the fight against doubt. If we isolate ourselves, the most obvious of lies will start to sound like the truth. On the other hand, if we open up to others and tell them about our doubts, they can help us find the truth. Scripture also teaches us the truth about Jesus. When doubt starts to take over our mind, it is easy to start to believe that our hope and strength is found deep in ourselves. However, …

This Week For Sunday

Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary, use words. – Franciscan slogan If someone were to follow me around during the day, would they be able to see that I’m a Christian? Does my life preach the Gospel? After reading that quote, these questions were going through my mind. I can talk about Jesus and say the right things all day long, but it means nothing if my actions and my life don’t back up what I say. If anything, it does more harm than good. Around the same time I came across the Franciscan slogan I was reading The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. In it he made an interesting observation: “Even if the whole world believed in resurrection, little would change until we began to practice it. We can believe in CPR, but people will remain dead until someone breathes new life into them.” Now someone may argue, ‘Some people have faith; others have good deeds.’ But I say, ‘How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will …

This Week For Sunday

I’ve always found it interesting that in the English language the word good is only one letter different than the word God . This has served as a helpful reminder to me that God is the definition of good. His grace, love, mercy, and faithfulness are unending. He will never let us down. He is such a good God and a good Father. The goodness of God can be found in every aspect of our lives. One aspect in particular is during the darkness and storms of our lives. As Tim Hughes writes: When faith is shaken, when fears surround, my feet will stand on solid ground. In every season, my song will be, oh God, be here with me. In every breath, every joy and tear, every passing hour, let me know You’re near. In life, in death, for eternity, oh God, be here with me. In spite of our lack of faith or our unbelief that God is with us, He is always faithful. He is always there, even when we can’t see or feel …

This Week For Sunday

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all. – Paul, 2 Thessalonians 3:16 I can distinctly remember having peace in certain situations and at certain times. However, Paul says that God can give us peace at all times and in every situation. I didn’t understand this until I learned to truly put my hope and trust in God. When we put our hope and trust in the things of earth, we cannot have true peace. The kind of peace Paul is speaking of can only be found in and through God. When I understand that He is my provider, He is my comfort, and in Him I have all I need, then His peace comes into my life. No matter what trials, no matter what situation I find myself in, I have peace knowing that God is still God and my hope is in the Lord. Luke 6:45b says, “What you say flows from what is in your heart.” When we …

(The Rest of) This Week for Sunday

We live in a world and a media that is constantly trying to distance and separate the rich from the poor. And the more the distance grows between rich and poor, the harder it becomes to relate, and the harder it becomes to relate, the harder it becomes to love, and the harder it becomes to love, the harder it becomes to build relationships. And pretty soon it’s easy to judge and dismiss and, dare I say, think that we’re better. – songwriter Tim Hughes It is easy to think that we’re better than the homeless guy pushing his shopping cart of stuff down the alley.  But in 1 Samuel 16:7, the Lord said to Samuel, “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  Jesus teaches in Matthew 7:1-2, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be …

This Week For Sunday

Over the past couple of years, I have found myself in great need of what God alone can provide. I have needed healing, peace about a decision, grace in my selfishness, and so much more. At every point, He always provides everything I need at the right time. Recently I have been listening to the album Psalms by Sandra McCracken (I highly recommend checking it out). In the song Sweet Comfort, she writes: Whatever my God ordains is right He makes my feet to stand Though sorrow, need, or death be mine He holds me in his hand Sweet comfort, sweet comfort Yet shall fill my heart Sweet comfort, sweet comfort Sorrow shall depart He is my God though dark my road He holds me, I shall not fall Whatever my God ordains as right To him I leave it all. In everything that I have gone through in my life, I have learned that in Christ there is a sweet comfort that can be found no where else. He alone provides. He alone gives …

This Week For Sunday

Peace. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear that word? War? Hippies? A dove? A tranquil place? Rest? Quiet? There are so many things that the word peace can bring to mind. Because of this, it can be hard to understand what the Bible means when it talks about the peace of God. Paul writes: Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7 My family is going through some pretty big changes right now. There are a lot of details that need to happen in order for everything to work out. In all of this, it is really easy for me to worry about every little detail and how it is all going to work out. However, I have found that being anxious has never helped in any way. If …

This Week For Sunday

Whenever I hear the word victory, I immediately start singing in my head the old hymn “Victory In Jesus.” This might sound odd considering I’m only 30, but I grew up in a few different churches, and one of them was very traditional. I love when old hymns start going through my mind…  O victory in Jesus, My Savior, forever. He sought me and bought me With His redeeming blood; He loved me ere I knew Him And all my love is due Him, He plunged me to victory, Beneath the cleansing flood. Some of the lyrics are a bit different than what we say and sing today, but the message is still the same. Victory is found in and through Christ alone. He sought us and bought us with His redeeming blood. Therefore all our love is due him. I’ve always thought the story of David and Goliath was unbelievable. David’s courage has always blown me away. It wasn’t until I was older that I understood how David had the courage to face Goliath. He didn’t …

This Week For Sunday

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. – 1 Corinthians 15:22, ESV The beginning of the world is such a beautiful thing to imagine. The innocence, the beauty, the peacefulness of it all. Every time I think of it, it saddens me that it did not last. Through one man and one selfish act came death. Death. It is such a heavy word. The weight of which is felt throughout every generation and every part of the world, from war to hunger, genocide to selfishness. We feel it’s heaviness in so many ways; hopelessness, fear, darkness. And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the corse of this word, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children wrath, like the rest of mankind. …