Sermons by “Rev. John R. Larson”

Arise! Shine!

He has come to you.  Instead of captivity; we experience freedom.  Instead of violence and an unsettled life; we possess peace.  Instead of devastation; we have fullness and joy. Isaiah is the Messianic  Prophet, always pointing people to Jesus. In Jesus God has revealed Himself to us.  In Jesus, we who could just sit there in dust and shame, are told to rise. God’s light has come upon us.

View Sermon

A World Without Christmas

Living in a world with Christmas tells us that God has a heart of love toward us. She was eighteen and he was nineteen when they met. They fell in love, and one year later they were married. Some six years and three children later, she decided, while standing before the kitchen sink with a pile of dirty dishes and a pail of dirty diapers on the floor, that she just couldn’t stand it any more. She took off her apron and just walked out the door. Sometimes she would call home to check on the children, and on those occasions he would tell her how much he loved her, and he would ask her to come home. But each time she refused.

View Sermon

Common…And Not

He isn’t common.  You can’t talk about someone with words like: Savior; Christ; Lord and say that that person is just like us.  Savior – a rescuer. Do you remember the name that Joseph was told to call this little child? “You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  (Matthew 1:21)

He is called the Christ which is the same as the Messiah, or the Anointed One.  God had promised throughout the Old Testament that He would send a deliverer, one who would come to rescue people from sin and death, He would come to bring a true and lasting peace in soul and even forever.  This then was the moment!! But get this – The Savior, the Messiah is also the Lord – Adonai, the name of God used in the Old Testament. I know that when the Shepherds saw the angel they were terrified. I wonder if they were even more terrified when they were told who He was and what He would do.  They would go to see God’s answer for the world. Common…and not.

View Sermon

The Road No One Wants to Travel

Sometimes good people only have bad options.  And Joseph, for all the right reasons, is about to do the wrong thing.  That is, until God intervenes. “But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and says, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  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 1:20-21) He then is told that this child will be called, “Immanuel”, which means “God with us”.

View Sermon

Do You Still Have It?

But if you are someone who has it, you can’t keep it.  At least not just for yourself. Hope is not something to be greedy with.  We are just a few weeks away from Christmas and you’ll be hearing the song of the angels the night Christ was born a few times in these next 17 days, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”  (Luke 2:14 KJV) The news of God’s great revelation in Jesus is ours, we hold it in faith. And it also shows itself in good-will toward others. Hope is both held and shared.

View Sermon

A Thief or a Lord

Is Jesus a thief, or a Lord?  I guess He’s both. He is a thief.  He will surprise the entire world on the day when He returns.  For many people His return is unexpected. For those who have not repented of their sins, who have not looked inside to see how empty they are without God’s redemption in Jesus Christ, for those who haven’t looked in faith to Jesus and His death to cover all their sin, and His resurrection showing Him to be the Savior for eternity, they are unprepared.  The door is shut. The words, “I don’t know you” are spoken.

View Sermon

The Gifts of the Rich

In many ways we are rich.  In so many ways, materially, we have more than we need.  In every way, spiritually, we are rich. We are graced. We are cleansed.  We are filled. We have hope. And we are folks who are filled with gifts to be given to others.  “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous and willing to share.”

View Sermon

Options

We all have an option, will we live in faith, or not.  Israel answered it in the worst way. Paul, in the New Testament speaks of the option we are given, “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.  They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” (Galatians 5:17)

View Sermon

Only One Future

Right here, in the midst of chaos, Jesus says something that is quite amazing, “At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  When these things begin to take place, stand up, lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:27-28) Stand up? Lift up your heads? How about hiding?  How about running away? This is scary stuff, but Jesus promises that the future is going to be ok.

View Sermon