Sermons by “Rev. John R. Larson”

I Am Baptized

“I am baptized”. What importance is that to your life now? God saved you. He washed away all your sins. There is not one sin that wasn’t handled at the cross and through the resurrection. God’s baptism brings that to you. Baptism is pure grace. You didn’t do a single thing – God did it all. Titus 3 – if you don’t know this verse you’d better learn it – “But when the kindness and love of God appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ, our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7)

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Ignorant No More!

I have a New Year’s resolution for you – if you allow others to make resolutions for you – here it is – “Ignorant No More”. That is what we will be from this day forward. We will be ignorant no more. We will not be ignorant anymore of God’s clear message of salvation through Jesus. We will not be ignorant anymore of God’s great desires for our lives. We will leave the dark and hopeless places of life. Ignorant no more!!

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The Final Hours

The whole idea of living in the final hours, not just of one year to the next, but of all of life, is spoken of in the Scriptures. And when it speaks of living in the final hours it speaks of it in three ways. First, living in a strong conviction of God’s victory, that is, living with a great faith in Him. Second, giving God the adoration and praise He deserves. Finally, resolving to live in obedience to God’s will and word.

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A Life Changed: The Story From One Shepherd

The angel was telling us that His peace, the peace that came from this Christ was going to be a peace that would overtake our heart. Everything would be in His hands, our mind, our souls, today, tomorrow and even forever. I can see why he told us not to be afraid, why this was such good news and that we would be given a peace of heart.

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Comfort At Christmas

God’s light in Jesus brings us comfort. We are people who are in the light. Christ the light of the world has come and we are recipients of that light. The light? Faith in him. We trust that God has given us the fullness of His love when Jesus came to earth to be our Savior. Jesus paid the penalty for our sins. He restores us when we come with a repentant heart. We do not have the darkness of sin and guilt but the brilliance that we are cleansed and made new.

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Impossible!

Believe that this child is the Savior. You cannot see the cradle without seeing the cross and seeing the crown. Bethlehem leads to Calvary, which leads to the empty tomb. When the angel speaks to Joseph he gives these words, “She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) Every sin and foolish choice that would bring us pain and cause us to be far away from God has been forgiven by this baby Jesus. He rescues us from our sins that would destroy our life. It is a Christmas miracle that God would wash us clean and make us ready for eternity in heaven.

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Advent Expectation

The great stuff you want to ask of God? Do it!! When you are burdened with loss and grief and heartache, ask God to be present with you. He is Immanuel – God with us – in the flesh of Jesus. When you are under sin’s curse and feel that there is no new beginning in life – go to this God who lifts up the humble and gives comfort to the heart that hurts. When Jesus cleans us we are pure and whole. If you face the impossible in life, then look to the One who the Bible tells us did the impossible over and over. Jesus is Savior and Lord and God, we can look to Him for all things.

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Advent Silence

I think I remember a song from my former life that said, “Silence is Golden.” But here is the golden part in it – we are silent so we can hear. Zechariah was quiet so he could hear God’s word and promises and plan even better. When we take that time to be silent it allows us to hear the voice of God in our lives, as well. A parent will try to quiet a child who is in trouble, in distress or even in a panic, so they can tell them what is happening and how things can be. God does the same with us. Zephaniah, a little-known prophet in the Old Testament, speaks a gracious word, “He will quiet you with his love.” (3:17)

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Second String

When Jesus speaks over and over again the words, “Follow me”, isn’t it made clear that we are not in the lead, but He is? Recently I came across a hard situation that left me without an easy answer. The problem was bigger than me, and I felt hopeless. But then I was reminded by another, “God has this.”, “This is in His hands.” He is Savior. He has the answer for our souls, and our eternity in His hands. Jesus died for that purpose and He rose for it too. He has a grip on our everyday life, as well. Lord. Master. First Chair.

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Who Is King?

Do you know who does Christmas right? God does. Christmas is not complicated but it rather simple. Quite humble. Quiet. Micah the prophet speaks of His coming in this way, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (Micah 5:2) It is true that our Savior is King, He is the King of glory. And as King of glory every one bows to Him. But at His birth “she wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7) He is King of the humble and lowly and needy and of sinners. He comes to our level and experiences our sorrow and loss and pain and trouble. He is so much more than a King who is great and mighty, He is King who is compassionate and caring.

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