Thursday, December 18, 2014

"ReCovered" - an Advent message

Hello Friends,
Don't you just love the Christmas season? I do. I especially find meaningful the Advent emphasis of preparing for the celebration of our Savior's birth.
"Why Jesus Came" is our Advent theme at Royal Palm Church this season.  In this message, I invite you to open with me Isaiah 40:1-5 as I combine it with John 3:16-21 to remind us that Jesus came NOT to condemn the world but that the world might be "ReCovered."  In other words, Jesus came to make it possible for us to live, by faith, under the covering of our Heavenly Father.
The "Covering" is a highly important teaching from the Old Testament. In short, it provides believers with all of the privileges of being a child of our Eternal  Patriarch. With God's Covering we have no identity, no status. Without the Covering we are vulnerable.  I go into the teaching about the Covering in this message, but I get excited that Jesus came to give you and me, by his grace, this Covering.

Listen to what Holy Spirit will say to you in this message. And may God bless you as you respond to His Word.  And share this word if you find it helpful.

Merry Christmas, Kirk McCormick


Question:  Why did Jesus come? 

Answer: To Recover his own.

 ** To be “Recovered” =

Dictionary says:

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

"I'm Thankful for God" - a Thanksgiving Message

Hello friends,

Sometimes the simplest messages are the best.  Here is one that I think will bless you.

I am thankful for God. For far more than what he does for me, but simply for WHO he is.  Yet, because he is who he is, he is gracious and faithful to me in his actions toward me. To think about what life would be without God is one horrific thought.  I mean...imagine how our world would be different. (Setting aside the fact that our world would not exist apart from the existence of God.)

This is why I wrote this message.  I am thankful for God simply because of who he is.  And I hope that this simple message will be an encouragement to you. So as you listen, respond to the Lord with your own list of thanks.  He will love hearing from you...and you will be blessed just being in God's presence.

God bless, Kirk McCormick

“I am Thankful for God”

Thankful for God’s intervention.

1 Chronicles 16:23 – “Sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Tell of his salvation from day to day.”

Friday, November 21, 2014

Some Help for Parents

Hello Friends,

Is there a tougher job on Earth than being a parent?  Yet, also, is there a higher calling? 

I’m reminded of a story told to me by one of the moms in my church. She told me of a time when her 9-year old son was with her in the supermarket. He wanted some candy item and she told him, “No.” So like every normal child, he threw a huge tantrum, whaling at the top of his lungs about how much he “needed” that candy and how “unfair” it was that his older sister used to get candy but now he didn’t.  After some time he calmed down. Then came the zinger…

            Son: “Mom…I thought you just took a class at church on how to be a better mommy.”
            Mom: “That’s right, son, I did.”
            Son: “I have to tell…I don’t think it’s working.”

Somewhere between ages 2 and 25, in the opinion of most children, parents go from being complete idiots and dictators, filled with all sorts of sadistic and cruel motives that lead to power plays, to the wisest people in the world. In reality, parenting is a tough calling. There are some “manuals” one can read in preparation, but the fact is…it’s a “learn-as-you-go” profession. Since no two children are completely alike (even identical twins), no two children require the same parenting strategies. Yet, by the grace of God and some consistency in approach, our children usually do alright and become the persons God created them to be.

Families matter!...and the core of the family is (are) the parent(s).  The good news is that there is no perfect parent, so we don’t need to pretend we need to live up to that standard. The bad news is that there are no perfect children. After all, our children are by-products of our genes…so if we are not perfect, neither are they.  Yet God is able to overcome our shortcomings so that we might be a part of his marvelous process of raising the next generation of God-loving disciples. 

So what is God’s hope for those of us blessed to be parents or grandparents? After nearly 30 years of pastoral ministry and having raise (with my wife) three terrific children who are now adults walking with the Lord, I think I can summarize parenting in three basic rules (or goals):

Rule 1 – Love your children as God would love them.

That means sacrifice. It means expecting from them what God expects. It means sometimes saying, “yes” and sometimes saying, “no.” That means patience when they are trying us. It means being all of the things Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 13 simply because God says THAT is love.

Rule 2 – Train your child to be godly, not perfect.

Your child is NOT on earth to bring you glory, but to glorify God. So, keep your child’s life focused on godliness (which glorifies God) and not perfection (which glorifies YOU.) That means implementing a standard for living that God uses: the Bible. It means we (Christians) will be different from those who do not know or love God…and it means teaching them how to manage and embrace that difference. Thus, we teach our children God’s Word…and when using words is necessary, that works well, too. We teach them about “Law” and “Grace”…about fairness and responsibility…about forgiveness and confession.

Rule 3 – Never give up on God’s hopes and/or promises.

Even children can experience despair and disappointment.  Remind them day after day that God created them to be blessed with a future of “prosperity and hope.” (See Jeremiah 29:11).  That means giving our children a sense that their future is held in God’s hands. We place the hope of God’s promises deeply into their hearts so they will not only desire those blessings, but see us striving for them, too.

Parenting is, ultimately, not about “us.”  Parenting is all about Jesus Christ…who is IN us (as Godly parents), but also whom we know wants to use us to draw our children into his family.

My friends, though some believe February is the month we celebrate love, I believe May and June (i.e.: the months for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day) are the true “Love” months. As we celebrate mothers and fathers, we (hopefully) celebrate Love. For those blessed with godly parents, be thankful. For those who have blossoming children still at home…cultivate them well for God’s purposes. And remember what one wise 10-year old once said,

“You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it.
But if you mean it, you should say it a lot…People forget.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"Yours, Mine, Our" - A Message from Haggai to the Church Today

I am so grateful to Dr. Jim Farley, the man God used to open my eyes to the love of Jesus Christ.  When I was still a young college student, Jim taught me and others in our youth fellowship the value of Biblical stewardship.  Ever since, I have tried to be a faithful steward of my time, talents and treasure.

One of the greatest challenges facing individual believers is in the area of money management... "stewardship", in the Bible.  This is why the vast majority of churches struggle from month to month to pay its bills.  Thanks to Jim, it was easy to become a committed tither when I was making pennies compared to what I make now.  In the church, we have fallen into the practice of using what God has given us to manage for our own gain. More often than naught, Christians give the Lord a tip at the end of a month. This is why, statistically, the average "christian" home gives 2.5% of it's income to charities, of which the church is one.

My hope for you is that the Lord can speak to you a challenge that, when you trust him completely, will be a joy to you, helpful to the Kingdom, and pleasing to God as we return to faithful steward. Haggai presents some ageless principles that, when applied to stewardship, help us to accomplish the aforementioned.

I'm praying: as you listen, my Holy Spirit speak clearly. Then, that you would respond faithfully.  May God bless you as you take seriously his Word. And if you find this helpful, share it with others.  Thanks!

Peace, Kirk McCormick

Haggai’s Principles Applied to Personal Stewardship

Principle 1 – God owns everything.

Haggai 2:8 – “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of hosts.”

Randy Alcorn (The Treasure Principle) - “We may try to divorce our faith and our finances; but God sees them as

Monday, November 3, 2014

"Jonah Finally Understands" - a message from Jonah 4

Jonah's book may have the most abrupt ending of any in the Bible.  It feels like the last line should be, "To Be Continued".  Yet, upon further study, we see how God says all he needs to say to Jonah to get Jonah up to speed concerning what the Lord is doing vis a vis Nineveh.

If you have ever asked yourself (or God) the question, "What is God doing?" or thought, "I do not understand what God is doing", then you'll be blessed by this message.  I have to confess... I do NOT always understand what God is doing or allowing, particularly when a situation is confusing or hurtful.  If you've ever felt that way, then you and Jonah have a lot in common.

My prayer is that Jesus will use this message in your life, and the Holy Spirit will speak clearly to you. We may not always understand at a given moment what God is doing, but He still has a word for us, even in THOSE moments.

May God bless you as you listen and respond to His Word. - Kirk McCormick

In this passage…God is saying to Jonah…

…Let me be God.

Jonah 4:4 – “But the Lord replied, ‘Have you any right to be angry?’”

Point:  We may not understand what God is doing – though we may

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"Resent, Repent, Relent" - a message from Jonah 3

As we continue in our series from Jonah, God has just given Jonah a second chance.  (By the way, aren't you glad our God is so gracious and patient as to give second, third, fourth chances?!)  So Jonah accepts God's offer and makes his way to Ninevah. What happens then is marvelous.

In Jonah 3, we see Repentance revealed three ways.  It is revealed in Jonah's recommitment, Ninevah's regret and reversal of their ways, and in God's "relenting"...all three are rooted in the Biblical teaching on Repentance.

Below is an outline for this message. I hope Holy Spirit speaks to you through it. More importantly, I encourage you to respond as Holy Spirit leads.

God bless, Kirk McCormick

“Resent, Repent, Relent”
Jonah 3

** In Jonah 3, we see how Repentance is revealed Three Ways.

Way 1 – (Repentance Expressed when)
Jonah Recommits.

Point: Repentance is often a Change of priorities.

Jonah 3:3 – “Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh.”

Point: Repentance, when genuine, frees us to clean the slate so we can reconfigure our priorities according to God’s plan.

Way 2 – (Repentance Expressed when)
Nineveh Regrets and Reverses.

** Jonah recommits to God’s plan…he goes to Nineveh and preaches…

…the king hears the message (v. 6)

6 When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne,

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Word about the Election

Hello friends,

Let’s talk about the Election for a bit!…

…not the process by which we chose a new president or governmental official. Most of us are likely tired of that and all of the edifying commercials that go along with it.  No, I’m talking about THE Election…the one that matters most – where God chooses those who will forever be with him in eternity. The Election which cannot be earned, but is a gift from our Compassionate and Loving Lord.

There was a school-aged boy who was not very athletic. In fact, he was outright clumsy and awkward. The jocks called him such endearing terms as, “Dork”, “Nerd” or “NARP” (Non-athletic, retarded person). When teams were chosen during recess he was always the last to be chosen, and then reluctantly with, “I guess we’re stuck with him.” His contemporaries made fun of him because even the girls were chosen ahead of him…that is, until one day when the captain of the school football team, who was also the homecoming king, chose this boy first!  The contemporaries were shocked. Those who had ridiculed the boy were confronted with the reality that the greatest athlete in the school chose the clumsy and awkward one first. Regardless of the boy’s lack of athletic prowess, he was given a new esteem and status by the captain, though the choice made no earthly sense. Why was he chosen first by the best athlete and most popular boy of the school? Because they were brothers…and the picker loved his brother.

When God was choosing Israel to be his people, he didn’t choose them because they were the biggest nation or people who lived in the richest land and had the most powerful army. God chose out of his love for Israel.

“It was not because you were more numerous than any other people that the LORD set his heart on you and chose you – for you were the fewest of all peoples. It was because the LORD loved you.”
Deuteronomy 7:7-8 (NRSV)

Election…God’s sovereign right to chose whomever he chooses.  It has nothing to do with our ability to perform. Nor does it pertain to popularity. Nor is God impressed so much with our possessions that he wants to be close to us.  God loves us, so he chooses us before we are even born, even if others think we are losers; even if it makes no earthly sense.

A common question, when it comes to Election, is, “Why does God not allow anyone or everyone to enter his kingdom?” The short answer is, “We do not know.”  Yet, I do not believe, as some “double-predestination” advocates do, that God creates some with the purpose of sending them to Hell.  After all, 2 Peter 3:9b says, “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” No…the Bible does not enlighten us to all of the truths about predestination and Election. Perhaps someday we’ll know.

For now, though, what comfort there is in His Election for those who would say, “Yes” to God’s blessing of salvation. Paul reminds us in his letter to the believers in Ephesus (emphasis added) –

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and
without fault in his eyes.” (New Living Translation)

Election…how comforting to know that I belong to God simply because he selected me. Along with millions of others, yet out of millions of others God chose me!  And for what purpose did God choose me and you?  Jesus gives us insight in John 15:16 (emphasis added) –

“You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit,
fruit that won’t spoil.”  (The Message Translation)

In short, God choses us to be his people on earth as a preview of what we’ll be as his people in heaven. And too often we miss the blessings of being his people when we do not ask God for healings, wisdom, or any other “miracle” he would offer. While on earth, we “bear fruit”…we live in a way to have an impact on eternity.  We do this by living a “Kingdom Lifestyle” now.

The Kingdom of this world is become the Kingdom of our God and of his Christ.
And He shall reign forever and forever King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

So go the inspiring words of George Frideric Handel, in his familiar and epic offering, The Hallelujah Chorus. This tune, though, is far more than a Christmas favorite. It reminds us that the kingdom of God is here on earth because God is sovereign over all of his creation. It’s true, “He shall reign King of Kings and Lord of Lords” … yet, He already is!  Our privilege is to live it with him, asking Jesus to be the Lord of our daily lives. This is the privilege of the Elect.

“We love because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:19

“Election”…it’s not a bad word, and it doesn’t need to raise the hair on your neck. It’s God’s word that defines who we are as those who belong to God, never to be taken from him.  It gives us the assurance that “nothing can ever separate us from God’s love” (Romans 8:39.) 

So let's pray for the process of electing new government officials, yes.  But let’s also be the Elect, living the kingdom now! And let’s invite others to enjoy God with us, especially as Thanksgiving and Christmas approach. Discover anew his love for you and the kingdom power of his presence because you are in him.

God bless you, Kirk McCormick

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"The Storm before the Calm" - (Jonah 1:4-16

I'm excited about the new sermon series at Royal Palm.  Dr. Joe and I are preaching systematically from the book of Jonah.

Jonah...the only autobiographical book of the Bible wherein the author admits to his sin (disobedience, in Jonah's case), redemption, and outcome.  Such a relevant book!

Before listening to this message, ask yourself, "Am I an optimist, pessimist or a realist?"  When it comes to the "storms" of life, the optimist says, "God will keep me from the storm."  But everyone goes through trials, either self-imposed or not.  The pessimist says, "I'm in the Calm before the Storm," just waiting for the next trial to come.  But the realist says, "When the storm arises, God will lead me to the calm."

I hope this message will give you a Realist's perspective.  Even when the "storm" is self-imposed by our sin or poor choice, God can lead us into the Calm.  Listen for the Lord's voice and Holy Spirit will speak.

God bless, Kirk McCormick

“The Storm before the Calm”
Jonah 1:4-16

** After boarding a ship going to Tarshish (the opposite direction), we read -

4Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.

Point: God reminds Jonah through this storm, “I am in charge.”

5a All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.

Point: This story clearly proves… In a storm, false gods offer no relief.

5b But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell

Thursday, October 2, 2014

"Who are YOU?" - Psalm 139:13-17

Do you know who you really are or are you letting the world define according to its superficial agenda and value system?

One of my greatest hopes as a father has been to instill in my children the sense that it is God who defines who they really are...not their achievements, failures, where they live or who they know.  So I was blessed to share some thoughts through this message in three different settings last week:  at a university chapel service, at Royal Palm's traditional service (to mostly "mature" believers), and to those who come to The Well (RPC's contemporary service with students-grandparents participating.)  Each time people commented on how helpful God's Word was.

I hope this message will help you see yourself as God does.  God bless, Kirk McCormick

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"It's All about Control" - a message from James 5:1-6

I know...I know.  The church talks too much about money. But did you know that Jesus spoke more about money-related issues during his earthly ministry than he did about any other topic other than salvation/heaven/hell?  So, perhaps, the church actually needs to do a better job encouraging God's people to be faithful stewards. Well...that's what James does in this 5th chapter of his letter.

One thing is certain:  you will either control your wealth or it will control you. Money is subtle temptress...convincing us that we're in control when it actually is.  Thankfully, as we study James' word God speaks to us about the Warnings of being well as the blessings to controlling, as faithful stewards, the assets God has given to us.

I hope you'll listen to Holy Spirit as we consider God's Word from James 5:1-6. May God bless you as you respond, perhaps even change, according to these Biblical principles.

God bless, Kirk McCormick

William Wilberforce, Money in Christian History,

 “I continually find it necessary to guard against that natural love of wealth and grandeur which prompts us always to claim an exception.”

Note: By the way…the Bible never defines what constitutes being “Rich”…

…it only describes the “Rich” as those whose material wealth is more important to them than the teachings of God.

Application: So you can be middle income, and be “Rich”

Warning 1 - Woe to the Greedy.

James 5:1 - “Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"Flourishing in God's Generosity" (James 4:1-12)

I am constantly amazed at how relevant and timely God's Word is for those who honestly and genuinely engage it.  As we read the letter from our brother, James, how much more applicable can this message be?  James, in these few short verses, deals with:

  • How divisive the false teachers and gossips are in the church
  • The temptation every disciple faces to follow the world's approach to happiness 
  • God's view of us when we flirt with the world's temptations
Of course, the main point of the message is to highlight the insights from James on how we can flourish in God's Generosity.

Well...I hope you will be blessed by this message from James.  Let me know how Holy Spirit speaks to you!  I'd love to hear.  To help you follow, see the outline below.

God bless, Kirk McCormick

Flourishing in God’s Generosity
James 4:1-12

Habit 1 - Insatiable Addiction to things.

James 4:1 - “Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from?  Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you.”  (Note:  Verse 2 is much like 1) 

“You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder.  And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts.”

Proverbs 10:3 - “The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.”

Habit 2 - Unfaithful Flirting with the World.

James 4:4  - “Adulterers!  Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Israeli Guide Speaks at Royal Palm Church

Hello friends,

I'm sure you are interested in what is happening in the Holy Land. Having been to Israel seven times and the surrounding countries occasionally, and because I have (like you) a complete devotion to God's plan for His creation, I am concerned about Israel's security and the way the innocent people of Gaza are being abused by their leadership who put their own people in harms way. Of course, Israel gets blamed for the death of innocents, but who really is culpable for their deaths?  That lands squarely in the laps of Hamas and the leaders of Gaza.

It was a joy and pleasure to welcome Richard Frieden to RPC.  He became a friend a few years ago when he was the guide for a pilgrimage tour that I led.  Richard has a unique understanding of the goings-on of the region given his background as a Messianic believer following Yeshua (Jesus's Hebrew name), soldier (who continues to serve as a reservist), citizen (though American-born, Richard became an Israeli citizen in the early 1980's), professional guide, loving husband and father.

I hope you will take the time to listen attentively to Richard's insights. This is fascinating and helpful! If we believe the Bible as we say we do, then we will support Israel's right to live and flourish in the Holy Land since that right was given to them by Almighty God (See Genesis 15).  And we will pray that the innocent people of Gaza are protected from further harm.

Let me know what you think and/or what the Lord says to you.  God bless you, Kirk McCormick


Thursday, August 14, 2014

"T.A.M.E."ing the Tongue - James 3:1-12

We've all done it...said something that we regret.  Sometimes we call it "Foot-in-Mouth" disease, but the result is the same: disharmony and disappointment, perhaps even destruction. 

What if we could T.A.M.E. the tongue to encourage others?  What if we could use our speech to be a blessing?  James has a word for those who are honestly seeking to grow in one of the toughest aspects of life: controlling our tongues.

Listen to this message. As I speak, listen for Holy Spirit's voice. Then respond to what the Lord is saying.

May God bless you as you win people with kindness for Jesus by the Tongue.

- Kirk McCormick

Personal Notes – “T.A.M.E.”ing the Tongue

George Duncan, Every Day with Jesus,  “To say what is untrue, what is unkind, or to say it unkindly, constitutes failure in Christian living and Christian witness.”

“T”rain your tongue for God-speak.

James 3:3 – “If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies.”

“A”void outbursts.

James 3:5 – “How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!”

“M”aintain your bearing.

James 3:4 – “Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.”


James 3:10 – “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.  My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Every follower of Jesus, Jew and Gentile alike, has been concerned about the war in Israel.  As you may guess, I am a staunch supporter of Israel's right to defend herself as, I believe, this is a right from God. Not only is that Israel's right (as it would be for any people), but God has specifically given this land, according to his sovereignty, to the Jews.  Even more reason to protect and preserve it.

For those of you in South Florida, I am inviting you to a special night at Royal Palm Presbyterian Church where I serve as the Executive Pastor. Next Sunday (August 17) we are blessed to welcome Richard Frieden.  Richard and I met a few years ago when he was the guide for a group I was  leading on a pilgrimage in the Holy Land. We've remained friends and in touch. He is a sensitive, committed, and caring man who not only loves the Lord and his country, but has a vested interest, especially now, as his two children (son and daughter) serve in the Israeli army.

Richard will be speaking on the current situation in Israel. Then, following his message, we will have a Question and Answer dialog.  I hope you can come and experience the true reality of what is going on in the Holy Land, not the one the oft-biased media presents.

We serve dinner at The Well (our new contemporary worship service on Sunday nights). So if you would like to eat with us before the worship and message, let us know how many are coming by writing to

See the poster below. Print it and share it with others. Perhaps you can also display it at your church.

I hope to see you and your friends at An Evening with Richard Frieden this Sunday (5:00PM - Dinner, Program starts at 5:30PM; children have their Kids' Club, too) at Royal Palm Church.

God bless you!  Keep praying for Israel...keep praying for those who are innocent in Gaza... keep praying for the Lord's will to be done. - Kirk McCormick

Thursday, July 3, 2014

"The Conscience of America"

I am so grateful to have been given he blessing of being born in the United States of America. I have no doubt that this blessing was by God's grace, but it coincides with a purpose in God's plan for the salvation of the lost.  Not that I'm so special...I am no different than you if you are a believer who was born or lives in America.

Can there be any doubt that the ungodly are making philosophical and social changes that are causing the decay of the moral fabric of the USA?

For example...People (even formerly-faithful, turned apostate denominations) are redefining God's intent that marriage lived to his glory and according to his purpose is a covenant between a Man and a Woman - not "two people."  Or...another example...the majority of children (if they are allowed to be born) are born into "families" where mommy and daddy are not married even though they may live together (but usually not even that).

If we truly care about this country, then it is time for Believers to stand and speak for the Lord. Though the world tells us to sit down and shut up, calling us intolerant, bigoted hate-mongers, does this country have any hope apart from Believers being the voice of God today?

I hope this message will encourage you to see God's bigger purpose for America and how you, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, are called to be the Conscience of America.  Let me know what you think after listening.

May God bless you!  And as the politicians love to say and we truly pray, may God Bless America! - Kirk McCormick

Inspiration from our Founding Fathers

It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.
– John Adams

The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code; it contained many statutes . . . of universal application - laws essential to the existence of men in society, and most of which have been enacted by every nation which ever professed any code of laws. 
- John Quincy Adams

Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. 
– Benjamin Franklin

While just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion affords to government its surest support. 
 – George Washington