Sermons by “Rev. John R. Larson”

You Have My Word

A word can do powerful things. They can harm others or they can do things that will empower and make them strong and alive. I, too often, have hurt people with my words. I regret when I say something that can just take the breath away from someone. But I’ve done it. Maybe, you too? But, at times, I’ve spoken words that make a person alive and thriving. God, also, can kill with His words and He can make us alive with them. Jesus came to bring words of life and hope to all of us. Later in this chapter, the contrast between Moses and his words, and Jesus with His, is given, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17) When Jesus says “You have my word” we can believe it because He is the Word of God, in the flesh.

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A Lament or a Hymn?

Either life can be a lament or it can be a hymn. Which one is it for you? There can be no escaping that life, at times, sometimes for long periods, can be a lament. But I know a God who allows our laments to be transformed into hymns. And these hymns are the greatest ones that have ever been sung and lived. You may remember that in the middle of the book of sorrow, the book of Lamentations, this hymn of hope is recorded, “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:19-23)

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Taken for Granted?

Taken for granted!! God is taken for granted. God’s great miracles become common. We don’t give a second thought to the air we breathe, that water we drink or the sun that shines. Yet God had to think long and hard as to how they would all work. We take for granted the places He gives us to live and the abilities He gives us to make a living and the ordinary things that make up life.

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Royal Shepherding

Do you know why a shepherd would take the choice sheep of his flock and destroy them? It is so they could come back alive. Look at what God is doing in us, right now. In so many ways we were sleek, fat, capable, and had life in a right order. But for many of us now, right now, that is not the case. These last 9 months have been brutal on many, in many ways.

Now is the time to lose our control and let God take over. Now it is the time to be broken so that God can put us together. This is the time to repent of pride and self so that Jesus can be the King who will shepherd us.

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How Well Do You Know Jesus?

If God is not part of your life, if the choices you are making are making a mess of everything, if your faith is inadequate and you don’t know the joy of the master, today is the day to know something better, to know Someone better – it is the day to know Jesus.

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Is God Angry?

God’s anger over sin came on a day that was filled with darkness, not light. It happened just about 2,000 years ago. The day of darkness was on Good Friday. For three hours the sky went dark, though it should have had light. That was the day of the Lord. The day of judgment. Jesus became judged for sin. He received God’s anger. Jesus spoke, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Then, after death, came brilliant light on that Sunday morning. The appearance of the angels who made the proclamation that God’s new day had come, were as bright as lightning. God’s anger over a fallen world was answered by Jesus. Good Friday was completed by Easter.

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Flawed

Do you know where flawed people must go? They must seek God. They have a broken heart. They ask God to give them a new beginning. Flawed people repent of sin and believe in God’s reception of them and their brokenness.

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I Am the Lord

But there is a solution to a world where uncertainty rules about what comes next. There is a solution to a world where darkness and light battle. There is a solution to lives where the temptation to be destroyed seems so delectable. The solution is God. Into every hopeless situation and cunning deception, God shows Himself present.

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Let’s Talk

You are treasured and cherished. The heart of God in the sending of Jesus, His great sacrifice and complete victory, tells us that we are never an afterthought. His love doesn’t come to us when it is convenient for Him or He’ll get to us when He can fit in the time. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” is first seen in what Jesus has done for us.

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Taking Hold

Take hold of Christ. He gives you a new identity. In faith He makes you whole. Paul says, “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” (II Corinthians 3:5) In our reading, Paul says, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12b) Grab His death and know that by that death your life is new and clean and restored. Lay hold of His resurrection. Just as Jesus lives forever so you too will live forever. You have a new identity. You are His.

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