Sermon Archive

Always Enough

You know what He gives us enough of? Faith. It took faith for that woman to give Elijah stuff to eat. There was only a little flour. There was only a little oil. But it never went empty – God provided. But the thought of always having enough is not just having enough money or food or drink, it is having a conviction in God’s goodness on our behalf.

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Blessed?

So, what makes the hard moments the good moments? God. When we acknowledge that we are spiritually poor and empty, that we have no answer for our troubles and our sin and guilt, then we are in a good place. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Something had to happen between the poverty of having no answers to having God’s reign and rule, His grace, in our life. It is God. Having God, trusting in Him, resting in Him is what makes such poverty in things of soul so blessed.

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Re-formation

Here, then, I want to address a great heresy, a great false teaching that has infected much of Christendom. It is a simple idea, a simple statement that many people make. It is often made to a person who is struggling with guilt and it is usually made with good intentions but it is nonetheless a false statement. It totally misses the truth that fueled the Reformation. It is this statement, “You have to forgive yourself.”

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The Best Thing About Money

But for each of us, there is something that keeps us captive, makes us slaves, takes away the fullness of life. Jesus, the greatest treasure, desires us to know His grace, the richness of His love and calls us daily to follow Him. He seeks to destroy the false gods so the rule of the true God, the only God, can reign in us.

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Ugly and Beautiful

Jesus is the burden bearer. He was a magnet for all the sins we have committed, the sins of silence, or the sins when we should have been silent, the sins we have committed and the sin of failing to have the strength to do what was right. The burden bearer, Jesus, makes us holy, pure, cleansed, whole, right. We are restored and completed by the death of Jesus and by His resurrection

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Gift Shop First

I urge you to go to the gift shop. Trust in Jesus. Receive His gifts. Let Him be extravagant to you. Take it all in. AND, then, be the gift shop. Freely receive, freely give. The disciples were recipients and givers. That must be us too. In the epistle for today Paul says, “We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thessalonians 1:2-3)

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Powerful and Effective

Prayer is powerful and effective because God is powerful and effective. We pray with the faith that God will give us. We pray asking that God will provide His best and wisest answer in His best and wisest time. Prayer is powerful and effective because it grows our faith in a wonderful God who cares for us. It teaches us to wait and believe and trust. It allows us to say with ultimate confidence, “Lord, Thy will be done.”

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The Final Word

Who has the final word? God does. Now, we fight that. So often we want to make every decision. We want things our way. Remember what we read, “{It} is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” Let’s not let our self determine how we live, how we make decisions, how life will be. Let God do that. Let God have the final word. We call that trust. We call that faith. James says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

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The Best; The Worst

Words can cut and hurt and kill. But words can make people alive. Jesus, on the cross, gave words of life, as He was dying. “Father, forgive them.” “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” His words heal us. And words, our words, can change the lives of others. You can speak a word of grace and forgiveness to someone who doesn’t deserve such words but needs them. You can encourage, build up, make someone strong with words.

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Living Faith

Many years ago a lady from outside my congregation came to see me to confess a sin that had burdened her for decades. She did not want her pastor to know of it, it was too painful and too personal. She knew she had not followed the will of God for her life. Did she need James 2 or Ephesians 2? Did she need a pointing finger or an embrace? She needed Gospel. She needed forgiveness. She needed to know that her sin was no more. That is what she heard. That is what she received. That is what God gave her by the grace of Jesus Christ.

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