2017 Sermon Messages by Theme
This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. Mat. 24:14
“Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Rom. 10:13-15
Jesus Said I Am...
Ths series examines the ‘I Am’ statements of Jesus as he reveals more and more about Himself.
In the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth - God becoming flesh - the shepherds caring for their flocks of sheep on the hillsides near Bethlehem figure prominently in the announcement of the holy birth. They come into to the presence of the newborn Savior of the world and are transformed from mere shepherds into earthly heralds of the Good News.
Later, during Jesus’ adult ministry, he made seven defining ‘’I AM’’ statements - in one of which he says, ‘’I am the Good Shepherd.’’ Being a good shepherd assumes there is a flock of sheep to take care of and while we don't like to think of ourselves as sheep, the truth is we need guidance, protection, and tender loving care. Yes, we need a shepherd and in Jesus we find we have a Good Shepherd in the most divine sense.
8-12 There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
13-14 At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:
Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.
15-18 As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.
19-20 Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told! ~Luke 2.8-20 [The Message]
11-13 “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary. A hired man is not a real shepherd. The sheep mean nothing to him. He sees a wolf come and runs for it, leaving the sheep to be ravaged and scattered by the wolf. He’s only in it for the money. The sheep don’t matter to him.
14-18 “I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary. You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They’ll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd. This is why the Father loves me: because I freely lay down my life. And so I am free to take it up again. No one takes it from me. I lay it down of my own free will. I have the right to lay it down; I also have the right to take it up again. I received this authority personally from my Father.” ~John 10.11-18 [The Message]
It’s Never been about the Bread
The crowds wanted life in the body.
Jesus came to give to them life eternal.
Don’t miss real life for just bread.
“Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.’” ~John 6:26-27
“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’” ~John 6:35
“But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.” ~John 6:36
“For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” ~John 6:33
Nothing takes Jesus by Surprise
The constant message of love and grace.
Jesus is the same and he keeps his word.
From beginning to end, Jesus brings life.
“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.’” ~Revelation 21:5-7
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so.” ~Hebrews 13:8-9
“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’” ~Revelation 1:8
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. ‘Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.’” ~Revelation 22:12-14
We All have our Part to Play
Jesus is the vine, we are the branches.
We are pruned so we will bear more.
The fruit we bear is not from us but God.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing… If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” ~John 15:5,7
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. ” ~John 15:1-2
“If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” ~John 15:6
“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” ~John 15:8
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” ~John 15:16
Shining light into the Darkness
The light of the world that brings life.
We too are the light of the world.
We can do greater things than Jesus.
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” ~John 8:12
“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” ~John 1:4-9
“While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” ~John 9:5
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:14-16
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” ~ John 14:12
Jesus Embodies Salvation
Jesus is the way the and the life.
Jesus is the only way to salvation.
How do we live out this Good News.
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” ~John 14:6
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” ~1 John 5:11-12
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” ~Acts 4:12
“For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile - the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call upon him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” ~Romans 10:12-13
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” ~Matthew 7:13-14
Lazarus and Resurrection
Why did Jesus raise him from the dead?
The promised resurrection is eternal.
We must live like, this is not our home.
“So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.’” ~John 11:41-42
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’” ~ John 11:24-25
“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality” ~1 Corinthians 15:51-52
“For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” ~Hebrews 13:14
Jesus Beyond Metaphors
Jesus confronts the arrogant Pharisees.
Jesus reveals Himself as eternal with God.
We must live with the confidence of Jesus.
“Jesus said to them, ‘if God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires.” ~John 8:42-44
“‘Very truly I tell you,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’ At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.” ~ John 11:58
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” ~John 1:1-4
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” ~Hebrews 4:16
Who is Jesus in your life?
Who is Jesus according to the people.
Who is Jesus according to His friends.
Jesus asks us, who do you say I am.
“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’” ~Matthew 16:13-14
“‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” ~Matthew 16:15-16
“Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.’” ~ ~Matthew 16:17
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” ~Romans 10:14-15
Amazing Love - Amazing Grace
Ths series examines God's amazing and unconditional love manifested in His Amazing Grace for us.
The Christian season of Lent is a time of self-examination and penitence as we prepare for the Easter celebration of our Savior’s resurrection. Our self-examination begins with our coming to grips with how fear creates a constant barrier to living on a rich and full relationship with God. The disciple Peter provides us with examples of how fear hinders our faith and how overcoming fear (by the power of the Holy Spirit) allows us to fully celebrate and glorify Christ Jesus on our lives.
15 Simon Peter was following Jesus, and so was another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, 16 but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter in. 17 Then the slave-girl who kept the door *said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He *said, “I am not.” 18 Now the slaves and the officers were standing there, having made a charcoal fire, for it was cold and they were warming themselves; and Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself. ~John 18: 15-18
25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?” He denied it, and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the slaves of the high priest, being a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off, *said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” 27 Peter then denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed. ~John 18: 25-27
Thomas has been given a bad wrap for doubting the resurrection of Jesus from the dead at first. As if doubt is always bad! Actually doubt can be a good thing if done for the right reasons.
1) Why did Thomas at first doubt the resurrection of Jesus? Mainly because he wasn't with the other disciples when Jesus appeared to them. Jesus more often appeared(s) to a group of disciples (the fellowship) than to single individuals.
2) Do we really want to believe? Many like the religious leaders of Jesus day did not and so Jesus did not appear to them. This is still true.
Only those who really want to believe in him will see or experience him. Thomas may have doubted at first but its evident that he really wanted to see the risen Lord; for when he had an opportunity a week later when Jesus appeared to the fellowship again he readily believed.
Honest doubt, rather than destroying our faith can strengthen it. It shows we are doing some serious thinking about Jesus and life.
3) Finally Thomas wanted to see the risen Lord for himself; it wasn't enough for him to simply believe what someone else told him. He wanted a firsthand experience of Jesus.
And why was it so important for Thomas to meet Jesus for himself. The chorus of a hymn written by the Gaithers spells it out well.
"Because He lives, I can face tomorrow; because He lives all fear is gone; because I know He holds the future; and life is worth the living just because He lives."
What was true for Thomas is equally true for us. Honest questions and doubt plus an unwillingness to simply accept what others say can aid us in having a faith that enables us to truly face the future.
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
26 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus *came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus *said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” ~John 20:24-29
Everyone has a Past
Before Paul he was Saul the Pharisee.
A personal encounter with Jesus.
Through Jesus we can be a new person.
“My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee.” ~Acts 23:6
“But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God… They all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.” ~Acts 7:55-58
“Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’” ~Acts 9:3-4
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” ~Ephesians 2:8-9
“Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’” ~John 3:3
Grace Above the Law
The woman was guilty under the Law.
Jesus looked past her guilt and offered grace.
The grace of Jesus is free, but it is not cheap.
“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.” ~John 8:3-6
“Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said. Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’” ~John 8:10-11
“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” ~Hebrews 10:26-27
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” ~Romans 6:1-2
Healing is Amazing Grace
He receive healing and compassion.
Jesus is the only one who heals.
Our healing needs are all different.
“Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’ So they called to the blind man, ‘Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.’ Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked him. The blind man said, ‘Rabbi, I want to see.’” ~ Mark 10:49-51
“‘He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’” ~1 Peter 2:-24
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’
declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” ~Isaiah 55:8-9
“Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” ~James 5:14-16
Grace is Given to the Masses
The crowds of people cheered Jesus as king.
The crowd call out for Jesus to be crucified.
Even at the end, Jesus showed them grace.
“When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’ Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’ ‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.’” ~Luke 19:37-40
“But the whole crowd shouted, ‘Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!’ (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.) Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’” ~Luke 23:18-21
“Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.’” ~Luke 23:34-35
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
24 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; 5 and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? 6 He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” 8 And they remembered His words, 9 and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles. 11 But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings [c]only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened.~Luke 24:1-12
Route 66, a road trip through the Bible
This series is an overview of the 66 books of the Bible as God's Word to us.
The Word of God for Us
The Law seems like a list of _don'ts_.
The Law is like the words of a loving _parent.
The Law brings the fulfillment of _grace_.
“You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal. “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” ~Exodus 20:13-17
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” ~Matthew 5:17-18
“We have all received one blessing after another. God’s grace is not limited. Moses gave us the law. Jesus Christ has given us grace and truth.” ~John 1:16-17
“For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!” ~Romans 6:14-15
The Servants of God
God’s servants are rarely perfect.
Why are the lifted up in the Bible.
You don’t have to be perfect to serve God.
“Then Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says:… Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.’” ~2 Samuel 12:7, 9
“Samson said to them, ‘This time I have a right to get even with the Philistines; I will really harm them.’ Samson said to them, ‘Since you’ve acted like this, I swear that I won’t stop until I get my revenge on you.’ He attacked them viciously and slaughtered many of them. Then he went down and stayed in a cave in the rock of Etam.” ~Judges 15:3, 7-8
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” ~2 Corinthians 4:7-9
Poetry is the language of the heart
The Bible speaks to ever part of us.
Hebrew poetry is meant for everyone.
God understand the cry of our heart.
“My enemies say of me in malice, ‘When will he die and his name perish?’ Whenever one comes to see me, he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander; then he goes out and spreads it abroad. All my enemies whisper together against me; they imagine the worst for me, saying, ‘A vile disease has beset him; he will never get up from the place where he lies.’” ~ Psalm 41:5-8
“Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night.” ~Psalm 1:1-2
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” ~Psalm 23:1-4
Prophets Speak for the Lord
Prophecy is more than telling the future.
People often disregard the prophets.
Prophets must Love the people.
“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,’ declares the Lord.” ~ Jeremiah 31:31-32
“Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them. So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’” ~Luke 11:47-49
“The LORD said to me, ‘Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes’” ~ Hosea 3:1
Gospel tell the Story of Jesus
The word Gospel mean Good News.
One story, four different points of view.
Gospel tell the story of salvation.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” ~John 1:1-4
“As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.” ~Mark 16:5
‘While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. ~Luke 24:4
‘The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.’” ~Matthew 28:5
“Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’” ~Luke 19:9-10
Most of the N.T. books are Letters
The Letters are written to specific people.
They are written to grow disciples.
They still instruct & encourage us today.
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” ~Ephesians 1:1-2
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” ~Ephesians. 2:8
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” ~James 2:14-17
“Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. ~Romans 3:23-25
“I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand, which is the distinguishing mark in all my letters. This is how I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.” 2 Thessalonians 3:17-18
The Ten(der) Commandments
This series takes a look at the Ten Commandments from God's perspective, not man's.
The Real Issue is Idolatry
In the O.T. this referred to false gods.
In the N.T. anything above the Lord.
What are the idols in your life today?
“And God spoke all these words: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. ‘You shall have no other gods before me.’” ~Exodus 20:1-3
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the there, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” ~Matthew 6:24
“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” ~Romans 1:25
“Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” ~Philippians 3:19-20
Images Distract from the Real Thing
We don’t need pale imitations to worship.
The Israelites heard the voice of God.
They traded a relationship for a golden calf.
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them…” ~Exodus 20:4-5
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” ~John 4:23
“Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.” ~Exodus 19:18-19
“Aaron answered them, ‘Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.’ So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’” ~Exodus 32:2-4
The Name Above all Names
The ways we can use the name .
There is no other name as Holy_.
We can only worship in the gap__.
“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” ~Exodus 20:7
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” ~Philippians 2:9-11
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” ~Proverbs 3:5-6
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” ~Isaiah 55:8-9
The Reason for the Sabbath
The Sabbath is for our rest.
Also to make room for God.
How does the Sabbath mean today?
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” ~Exodus 20:8-11
“‘There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the Lord.” ~ Leviticus 23:3
“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’” ~Psalm 46:10
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” ~Revelation 3:20
Honoring our Parents
Protect the bonds of the family.
This does not mean blind obedience.
God does not have grandchildren.
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” ~Exodus 20:12
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise — “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” ~ Ephesians 6:1-4
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” ~Joshua 24:15
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” ~Matthew 7:13-14
“Respecting Life Creates Community”
In the context of our conversation this morning concerning the sixth commandment (restated positively as "respect life") and why and how respecting life creates community, our quest for community is an extension of our longing to be connected with others – our desire for relationships in which we can express our love and be validated by the love others give us. We crave to be desired, to be delighted in, to be pursued. In Christians, that craving is fully satisfied by God and then by our families and friends. This longing to be loved is so integral to our identity that rejection or projected shame in a relationship becomes emotionally crippling – whether that relationship is with God or with family/friend.
9 In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 When they set out from Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness; and there Israel camped in front of the mountain. 3 Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. 5 Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”~ Exodus 19.1-6
3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.”~ Exodus 20-3
4 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5 “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the captives of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans. 6 For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them up and not overthrow them, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. 7 I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.” ~Jeremiah 24.4-7
The Issue is Faithfulness
Protect the bonds of the marriage.
Sexual intimacy is a powerful bond.
Faithfulness is an issue of the heart.
“You shall not commit adultery.” ~Exodus 20:14
“‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”” - Matthew 19:4-6
“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” ~1 Corinthians 6:18-20
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” ~Matthew 5:27-29
Taking what isn’t Yours
Nearly everyone agrees it is wrong.
Why do people steal for others?
We should let God meet our needs.
“You shall not steal.” ~Exodus 20:15
“Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” ~Ephesians 4:28
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” ~Philippians 4:12-13
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:19
How to Use Our Words
The ways we are give false testimony.
Is it ever acceptable to tell a lie?
We should strive to be encouragers.
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”~Exodus 20:16
“The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.” ~ Proverbs 12:22
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.” ~James 3:9-12
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” ~Proverbs 15;1-2
This series takes a look at the implications of key attributes of our God.
This morning we begin a new worship series that will invite us to think specifically about four attributes of God. The sermon titles are, as the video intro informs us: God Is Good…; God Is Loving…; God Is Forgiving…; and, God Is Powerful. Just as importantly, this worship series goes beyond simply naming some of God’s attributes and encourages each of us to think about our response(s) – our day-in and day-out responses – to knowing and accepting that God is good, loving, forgiving and powerful.
My approach to the statement, God is good…So what? will be less of a conversation about “what does it matter?” and more of an exploration of what our response might be to the absolute truth that God Is Good… The specific response we will examine is hospitality to all...radical hospitality that seeks to emulate Christ Jesus in all our relationships
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. ~Romans 12.1-13
“Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good? 14 Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it. 15 Yet on your fathers did the Lord set His affection to love them, and He chose their descendants after them, even you above all peoples, as it is this day. 16 So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer. 17 For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. 18 He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. 19 So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. 20 You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name. 21 He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen. 22 Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven. ~Deuteronomy 10.12-22
God loves the whole world.
God loves you no matter what.
God will never let go of you.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” ~John 3:16
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” ~Ephesians 2:8-9
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” ~James 4:8
“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?… For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~Romans 8:35-39
Forgiveness: For all - To all
Jesus paid a great price to forgive you.
We should never cheapen God’s grace.
Forgiving others reflects our forgiveness.
“Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. ~Romans 3:23-25a
“But don’t take any of this for granted. It was only yesterday that you outsiders to God’s ways had no idea of any of this, didn’t know the first thing about the way God works, hadn’t the faintest idea of Christ. You knew nothing of that rich history of God’s covenants and promises in Israel, hadn’t a clue about what God was doing in the world at large. Now because of Christ - dying that death, shedding that blood - you who were once out of it altogether are in on everything.” ~Ephesians 2:11-13
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” ~Matthew 18:21-22
Power Beyond Understanding
God is powerful and is on our side.
Can God be so good and so powerful?
Power greater than we can understand.
“And his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms. ~Ephesians 1:19-20
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.’” ~John 9:1-3
“Jesus answered, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.’” ~Luke 13:2-3
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone - while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” ~Job 38:4-7
This series takes a look at how we should fill those missing pieces in our lives.
We Have Many Relationships
Understanding the ones we love.
Showing love that will be received.
Godliness is about loving not winning.
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” ~1 Corinthians 13:1-3
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ~1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” ~1 Corinthians 13:8-13
Who is to benefit through our worship.
We can only worship God in the gap.
The more we give the more we receive.
“‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.’ ‘Woman,’ Jesus replied, ‘believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.’” ~John 4:19-24
“I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” ~Amos 5:21-24
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” ~Joel 2:28-29
See through the Eyes of Love
Our Community of love is vast.
Jesus instructs how to treat conflict.
You don’t need to agree to show love.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ~John 13: 34-35
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” ~Acts 1:8
“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” ~ Matthew 18:15-17
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” ~ Luke 6:35-36
More Like Jesus Christ
We study to grow our mind.
We trust and love to grow our soul.
Changing our behavior grows our hearts
“‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’” ~Matthew 22:36-40
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” ~Galatians 2:20
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” ~Ephesians 4:3-6
The Heart of a Servant
A believer is not the same a disciple.
The servant’s heart acts out of love.
A disciple gives themselves sacrificially.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.’” ~Matthew 7:21
“‘Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” ~Matthew 25:37-39
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” ~Proverbs 3:27
“If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” ~Matthew 5:46-48
Living with a Purpose
It’s not about us, but our mission.
God has given us a great purpose.
Your life without missing pieces.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’” ~Matthew 28:18-19
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” ~Romans 10:14-15
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” ~Acts 1:6-8
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’” ~Romans 1:16-17
A Contagious Life
This series takes a look at how we can live a life with meaning to draw others to Christ.
How well do we tell our faith story?
- My Life before Christ
- We are God's creation
- Marred by sin
- Without real purpose
- How we came to Christ (our conversion story)
- For some like St. Paul, it is dramatic
- For others like the twelve disciples, less dramatic--simply following Christ as he calls us
- Living in Christ
- Keeping faithful to Christ
- Evidence of his life (light) within
- Our spiritual growth
This is our story that must be shared by word and lifestyle!
1 The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. 3 To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. 4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. ~Acts 9: 1-6
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.
9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. ~John 1: 1-9
12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”~John 8:12
Many Front Doors
Talk about what is important.
You don’t need all the answers.
Inviting take loving persistence.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.” ~1 Peter 3:15-16
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” ~1 Peter 3:15-16
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” ~ Galatians 6:9
Be the Example of Jesus
Be the person that lives like Jesus.
Act and serve in Jesus’ name.
Why we do good is contagious
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” ~Matthew 25:37-40
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” ~Acts 2:12
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hillcannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:14-16
The Widows Offering
She gave the least, but offered the most.
Giving is Spiritual not financial.
A tale of two churches’s blessings.
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.’” ~Mark 12:41-44
“…From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” ~Luke 12:48
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each one should give what they have decided in their heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” ~2 Corinthians 9:6-7
Finding a Way to Share Jesus
Times have changed.
The Gospel is the same.
Showing love and grace.
“Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: ‘People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.’” ~Acts 17:22-23
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.” ~Acts 17:24-25
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ~Romans 5:6-8
This series takes a look at how we can relieve the stress of the Christmas season.
Giving is not about Spending
Stress about the perfect gift.
Amount spent does not equal affection.
Gifts can make a difference.
“When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” ~Matthew 2:10-11
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” ~Ephesians 2:8-9
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” ~Acts 20:35
What is the Celebration About?
The shepherds celebrated the Savior.
Today’s Christmas is missing Christ.
Where is Christ in your celebration?
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”~Matthew 2:10-11
“We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” ~Hebrews 2:1
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” ~Hebrews 12:2-3
What is the Perfect Christmas?
How do you feel when you fail?
Your worth is determined by God.
God makes us whole through grace.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” ~Romans 3:23-24
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ~Romans 5:6-8
“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” ~Romans 5:9-10