Sermons by “Rev. John R. Larson”

Set!!

This is a sad day. Worship on Good Friday is quite dark. The hymns are somber. In this service we move toward a more reflective, emotional, even grief-stricken day. This isn’t Easter with the sweet smell of lilies, the joyous hymns of triumph, the choir and trumpets. Some people avoid this day and avoid this service because it is too sad and depressing. But it is the day that He owns and this day owns us. This is the day that allows us to “stand firm” and “let nothing move you.”

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Ready!

Ready? If you have a broken heart you are ready. If you have a contrite spirit you are ready. If you can see that this meal is a feast of Christ’s body and blood given for your eternal salvation, you are ready. If you know that this gift is not just for emergencies but it is the ongoing feeding of God for His children, for you, you are ready.

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The Grand Procession

Grand processions, for us, often mean death and sorrow and loss. In these next days a number of those 10 will have a grand procession from a church or mortuary to a cemetery. Others will join them to honor them and to share their sorrow. As believers in Jesus we are told to weep with those who weep, we are told to bear one another’s sorrows, we are commanded to love each other as we have been loved. Go with them, all of them, in their grief.

I pray that this procession that we make on this Sunday and then throughout the week is a journey with Christ. We experience joy, we learn of humility and suffering. We receive grace and forgiveness and we see His great triumph. This Grand Procession is His and it is yours.

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The God Who Loves Marriage

If you are married, or you are not, I want you to know that we have a God who loves marriage. If you are married and you have forgotten the foundation of your love, if you have forgotten the other person, if you need a new beginning, this would be a good day for it. Jesus is in the business of new beginnings. His forgiveness is for all of us who along the way forget that we are supposed to love marriage as much as God does. Confess your heart to your spouse and to God – forgiveness and love are good things to receive from them and to give to them.

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Build On Rock

Do what is wise. Build on Rock. Build on Jesus and His work for your salvation. There is a book, dedicated to wisdom, written in the Bible. It is the book of Proverbs. This is what it says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Listen to God’s Word and then apply it. First of all believe that Christ calls for our hearts to be repentant, broken, needy, looking to Him to make us well and healed. Believe that you need Him. Believe that Jesus came to forgive your sins, count you as one of His chosen and that you will live eternally in heaven. Have faith in Jesus. Trust Him. That is the foundation, He is the foundation that won’t be washed away

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The God Who Changes Us

Change? Necessary, but hard. Even when we desire a change more than anything else in the world, we fight our own will and weaknesses. I just looked at the title of my sermon and I just saw that I didn’t title it, “The God Who Can’t Change Us.” But I think I put, “The God Who Changes Us”. Ephesians 5:8 says, “For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.”

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The God Who Corrects Us

Our Father corrects us. He does this because He has not given up on us. In Hebrews 12 we read of this, “Endure hardship as discipline: God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone goes through discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.” (Hebrews 12:7-10)

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Do Not Worry

Look at what God gives us!! He is not miserly. Don’t you stand amazed at how God gives people the abilities to make their living. He has allowed some people the brilliance so that rovers can land on Mars!! He has given some the skills to create a vaccine that can save lives. He has given the heart in others to watch and teach and guide our children. He allows others the ability to fix an automobile so that life can keep on going. Look at what you do, how you earn your living, what services you offer to others – this all comes from God who tells you not to worry.

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The God Who Brings Us Together

So even on the hard days at church – the days when I’m at odds with a friend; when I’ve fought with my husband because we’re late once again; when I’ve walked in, bearing burdens heavier than my heart can handle, yet masking the pain with a smile on my face; when I’ve longed for a baby to hold, or fought back tears as the lyrics were sung; when I’ve walked back in, afraid and broken, after walking away; I’ll remember. He has never failed to meet me there.

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The God Who Prays For Us

When you want to get involved in somebody’s life, in a wonderful way, you pray for them. Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians is a deep prayer. It is a prayer of a pastor for their people. Listen to his heart and his words, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to all the measure of the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)

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