Sermon Archive

God’s Answers to Life’s Questions

This week, through various orders in our county and state, it was determined that we will not be open for Holy Week nor Easter.  Can you imagine that?  Easter is postponed!!  Mike Zehnder came up with quite a word to me a few days ago.  He said, “Lent is being forced upon the whole world, whether they want it or not.”  He’s right.  Lent, the time for quietness, repentance, change, reflection, thinking of things that truly matter, is being forced upon us.  We aren’t to go anywhere, we are to shelter in place.  This is the time for all to open their life to God.

View Sermon

The Dying Word

Isn’t that how it is with the life of faith? God seems so distant at times, especially those times of darkness and woe, those dark nights and days, and yet He stands ever near to embrace us in those strong, loving, fatherly arms. Jesus trusted His Father, and He did it on behalf of all of us. His trust is complete and unwavering. Though He dies, yet He trusts. Though He suffers, yet He trusts. Though the Father is silent and hidden, yet He trusts.

View Sermon

The Compassionate Word

He places us into family, into community. He gives us to one another that we may be sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, for one another. One time, when Mary and Jesus’ family wanted to take Him into protective custody, fearing that He had lost His mind, His disciples told Him, “Your mother and brothers are here for you.” Jesus looked at the people gathered in a circle around Him and said, “Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:50).

View Sermon

All Alone

Late this week we needed to change the church sign on the corner of our lot to let our community know that temporarily we won’t be having worship and other activities in our building. As the sign was being changed a young couple stopped and told us that they love reading what we had recently put up. In light of not being to get toilet paper anywhere, our sign read, “Toilet Paper in Every Stall; Gospel in Every Sermon.” When someone asked why that went up, I told them, “Ascension is a full-service church.”

View Sermon

The Faithful Word

This is, without a doubt, the most terrifying thing Jesus ever said. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” How in the world could God abandon his only-begotten Son? How could the Father forget about Christ? How could Jesus feel separated from God when he himself is divine? Were his words only for effect? Were they mere sentiment? Or was Jesus really, truly abandoned by God in that moment on the cross? And, if God could abandon Jesus, then what about you and me? Are we ever really safe if there is a possibility of God forsaking us?!

View Sermon

Simple and Certain

Simple and certain? No. Confusing and challenging. The exclusive statements and demands of Jesus can be hard to accept when we want to solve our spiritual needs by ourselves. It is pretty exclusive when Jesus says in John 14, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Verse 6) Peter would speak about the exclusive need for being born again and being born from above when he preached, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12). No other name. Exclusive.

View Sermon

The Forgiving Word

Yet most of the disciples who defended Jesus’ honor so vociferously were not to be seen or heard of at the crucifixion. The only ones at the cross were Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ mother Mary, and John. (At least one of the Thunder Boys had enough fire in his belly to brave the cruel public execution of Jesus). When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, all the apostles fled. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered…” (Zech. 13:7; cf. Matt. 26:31).

But Jesus didn’t hold that against them. If we were betrayed or abandoned like that, we would probably nurse our pride and brood bitterly on how bereft we are in this world. Jesus did not. Instead he prayed for them. He prayed for the Jewish priests who mocked him. He prayed for the Roman soldiers who nailed him to the cross. He prayed for us all. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

View Sermon

The Ongoing Battle

The battle is in us, around us and below us.  “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” (I Peter 5:8-9a) The devil has all types of names.  Devil = accuser. Satan= adversary. Destroyer. Thief. Prince of darkness. It says of him that “he comes only to steal, kill and destroy.”  (John 10:10) He is not on your side. Revelation says of him, and his ultimate demise, “For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.  They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” (Revelation 12:10-11)

View Sermon

The Promising Word

What sort of Man is this who promises Paradise to a dying thief who admits the guilt of crime? What sort of justice is this that speaks pardon to the unpardonable, that acquits the guilty, that saves those society deems unsalvageable and worthy of the cruelest form of death? This is the Savior of the world, the Redeemer of fallen mankind, the One who reconciles the enemy as enemy and justifies the sinner as sinner. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

“Today, you will be with Me in Paradise.” Hear that word of promise for yourself. Hear it now, and at the hour of your death, for none of us knows the day and the hour of our “Today” when Paradise is opened to us in our death.

View Sermon