Sermon Archive

Last Things = First Things

All around us we are given notice that there will come a day when the world will end and Christ will return to judge the living and the dead.  There will be signs in nature, “There will be earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.”  (Luke 21:11) There will signs about how people act with each other. People will become increasingly selfish, proud, abusive, disobedient, slanderous and the like.  (See II Timothy 3:1-9) And the signs of His return will be seen within the church. There will be false prophets, false teachings, false lives, and within the church the love of many will grow cold.

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Of A Country But Not Of This World

You are not of this world. This world does not direct your life. You have a higher calling; you have a greater purpose. In John’s first letter he contrasts the believer with the one who isn’t, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” (I John 2:15-17)

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Reality Realized

Here is the reality of the cross realized in the life of a man.  Here is the reality of the Gospel realized in the life of a man. Here is the reality of life, the very life of Christ, realized in the life of a man.  The herdsmen realized that something amazing had happened and they fled and told everyone. The people who heard what the herdsmen proclaimed realized that a change had taken place in the life of the man.  He was no longer naked. He was no longer being influenced by the demons. He was not the same man who lived like an animal. The one who was the life came to him and set Him free!

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Families Really Matter

This is also the day to be forgiven and to give forgiveness.  A family has to be a place of grace. We offer to others what has not been earned.  We receive from others what we have no right to ask. Grace. Forgiveness. What a great gift to give to your own flesh and blood.  No more grudges. No more bitterness. Love, forgiveness, kindness are offered instead. We receive forgiveness freely from Jesus and we share it freely with others.

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What About Women?

Beauty isn’t found in that person who only has the perfect smile, the perfect face, the perfect shape.  Look for beauty that goes to her bones, that lives in her soul. In that section from Proverbs 31 it tells us, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”  (Proverbs 31:30)

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Our Namesake

“There’s work to be done!!” That is what the angels were saying to them. The Ascension tells us that the church of Jesus has a purpose to life. You have a purpose. I have a purpose. This church has a purpose. Rick Warren, a pastor in California, wrote the book The Purpose Driven Life, and his question throughout the book is ‘Why in the world am I here?’ That’s a question that every person, and especially every person who caries this namesake of the Ascension, must answer.

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Good Questions

Never tire of seeking God.  Never think you know everything about Him.  Have a passion for knowing more and more of God’s truth.  Jesus says this about spiritual growth, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.  But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.  He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking what is mine and making it known to you.”  (John 16:12-14)

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Sheep or Goats?

Sheep listen.  They trust.  They follow.  They take Jesus, the Good Shepherd, at His word.  But goats don’t.  They live in unbelief.  They do not pay attention to what God says.  They don’t trust, nor do they follow God.  When the crowd ganged up on Jesus and said, “How long will you keep us in suspense?  If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”  Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe.  The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.”  (John 10:24-26)

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The Spoken Revelation

“But he laid his right hand on me.” Did you catch that? John did not need to touch the hand of God because God laid His right hand on him! This is God revealed. God does not expect us to reach out and touch Him. Rather, God, the God who created the heavens and the earth, reaches down to touch you and me. And He says, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”
Today, you cannot touch the mark of the nails but you can taste the very body of Christ. You cannot put your hand in His side but you can partake of the very blood that flowed from it. No. it doesn’t seem logical or even reasonable but the God who spoke the universe into being says, “Take eat, this is my body.” “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood.” (Matthew 26:26-28) The spoken Revelation declares, “You are forgiven.” Now you can touch it and taste it for yourselves. Amen.

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