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Christ Redeemer Church exists to honor God by fostering a movement of Christ's Kingdom through the proclamation and practice of the gospel that serves and transforms the Upper Valley, and through the Upper Valley, the world. Find out more about our church at www.christredeemerchurch.org

Christ Redeemer Church


    • Sep 18, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
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    Latest episodes from Christ Redeemer Church » Sermons

    A Love to the End

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 18, 2022 52:43


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “To show mercy is the peculiar attribute of God, who by mercy is able to save.” ~Irenaeus “One who has been touched by grace will no longer look on those who stray as ‘those evil people' or ‘those poor people who need our help.' Nor must we search for signs of ‘loveworthiness.' Grace teaches us that God loves because of who God is, not because of who we are.” ~Philip Brooks “The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as the roof of a sunhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the son shines on it.” ~C.S. Lewis “God bestows His blessings without discrimination. The followers of Jesus are children of God, and they should manifest the family likeness by doing good to all, even to those who deserve the opposite.” ~F.F. Bruce “Thousands are deceived into supposing that they have ‘accepted Christ' as their ‘personal Saviour,' who have not first received Him as their Lord. The Son of God did not come here to save His people in their sin, but ‘from their sins' (Matt. 1:21). To he saved from sins, is to be saved from ignoring and despising the authority of God, it is to abandon the course of self-will and self-pleasing, it is to ‘forsake our way' (Isa. 55:7). It is to surrender to God's authority, to yield to His dominion, to give ourselves over to be ruled by Him.” ~A. W. Pink “Surely none of us can decide to make Him Lord. Jesus is Lord regardless of what you or I decide. The Bible is clear that one day ‘every knee [will] bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue [will] confess that Jesus Christ is Lord' (Philippians 2:10). The question is not whether we will make Jesus Lord. The real question is whether you or I will submit to His lordship, and this is the essence of conversion.” ~David Platt SERMON PASSAGE John 13:1-17 (ESV) 1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.” 12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.' 19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

    Two Men, Two Prayers, Two Outcomes

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 11, 2022 32:25


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “Your virtues can be a bigger barrier to your relationship with God than your vices.” ~Rankin Wilbourne, American pastor and author “Sin and evil are self-centeredness and pride that lead to oppression against others, but there are two forms of this. One form is being very bad and breaking all the rules, and the other form is being very good and keeping all the rules and becoming self-righteous. There are two ways to be your own Savior and Lord. The first is by saying, ‘I am going to live my life the way I want.' The second is described by Flannery O'Connor, who wrote about one of her characters, Hazel Motes, that ‘he knew that the best way to avoid Jesus was to avoid sin.' If you are avoiding sin and living morally so that God will have to bless and save you, then ironically, you may be looking to Jesus as a teacher, model, and helper but you are avoiding him as Savior. You are trusting in your own goodness rather than in Jesus for your standing with God. You are trying to save yourself by following Jesus.” ~Timothy Keller, American pastor and author, from his book The Reason For God “It is not the parts of the Bible that I don't understand that bother me; it is the parts that I do understand.” ~Mark Twain, American author and humorist “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.” ~Isaiah 53:11-12 (ESV) SERMON PASSAGE Luke 18:9-14 (ESV) 9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.' 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

    Resting with God

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 4, 2022 39:25


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “Most people mistakenly believe that all you have to do to stop working is not work. The inventors of the Sabbath understood that it was a much more complicated undertaking. You cannot downshift casually and easily, the way you might slip into bed at the end of a long day.” ~Judith Shulevitz, “Bring Back the Sabbath” from The New York Times “If the devil cannot make us bad, he will make us busy.” ~Corrie ten Boom “Work is so foundational to our makeup that it is one of the few things we can take in significant doses without harm. Indeed, the Bible does not say we should work one day and rest six or that work and rest should be balanced evenly but directs us to the opposite ratio. Leisure and pleasure are great goods, but we can take only so much of them.” ~Timothy Keller, Every Good Endeavor “When you're working for self it will always be endlessly draining…It is a slower, or in some cases, a quick march towards a death of soul, a death of life, a death of rhythm of life… And in a similar way, rest for self is ultimately a path towards death… So, in the same way that work for self kills and rest for self kills, there's an opposing reality that kingdom rest, Christ-driven, Christ-centered, gospel-deep, whatever word you want to use, rest, is different. There's this wonderful freedom to it.” ~Alasdair Groves, “Rest,” CCEF Pocast: Where Life and Scripture Meet (2020) “That's why Sabbath is an expression of faith. Faith that there is a Creator and he's good. We are his creation. This is his world. We live under his roof, drink his water, eat his food, breathe his oxygen. So, on the Sabbath… We give him all our fear and anxiety and stress and worry. We let go. We stop ruling and subduing and we just be. We ‘remember' our place in the universe, so that we never forget . . . There is a God, and I'm not him.” ~John Mark Comer, Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human SERMON PASSAGE Mark 2:23-28, Genesis 2:1-3, Matthew 11:28-30, Hebrews 4:9-11 (ESV) Mark 2 23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” Genesis 2 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. Matthew 11 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Hebrews 4 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. 11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

    A Crisis of Identity

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 28, 2022 42:39


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “The ministry of the church in contemporary America is distorted because the cultural lives of many Christians, including their deep assumptions about reality, the practice and activities that they pursue guided by those assumptions, have been decisively shaped more by modern, western culture than by the church's own account of reality as outlined in the Scriptures. This is in part because the church has too often abandoned its necessary and prophetic task of being involved in cultural formation, in favor of a more readily acceptable task of being chaplain to the cultural status quo.” ~Ken Myers of Mars Hill Audio in After Evangelism “It is not the business of the church to adapt Christ to men, but men to Christ.” ~Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957), English writer “If the inner psychological life of the individual is sovereign, then identity becomes as potentially unlimited as the human imagination.” ~Carl Trueman in The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self “The love of God does not find, but creates, that which is pleasing to it.” ~Martin Luther in the Heidelberg Disputation (1518) “We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become.” ~St. Clare of Assisi (1194-1253), one of the first followers of St. Francis of Assisi “When I discover who I am, I'll be free.” ~Ralph Ellison (1913-1994) in Invisible Man “Coming close to death you begin to know what life means, and what it means is gratitude” ~Roger Scruton (1944-2020), English philosopher and writer SERMON PASSAGE Colossians 3:1-17 (ESV) 1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

    Walking with God...in Forgiveness

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 21, 2022 40:40


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “Bitterness is poison dipped in honey. It tastes sweet going down, then it kills us from the inside out. In this way, bitterness is the poster child for the deceitfulness of sin. Whenever we love something that brings death to us, the devil has us right where he wants us.” ~Blake Glosson, pastor “…not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” ~Anne Lamott, novelist “Remember that pride is the worst viper that is in the heart, the greatest disturber of the soul's peace and sweet communion with Christ; it was the first sin that ever was, and lies lowest in the foundation of Satan's whole building, and is the most difficultly rooted out, and is the most hidden, secret and deceitful of all lusts, and often creeps in, insensibly, into the midst of religion and sometimes under the disguise of humility.” ~From Jonathan Edwards' (1703-1758) Letter to Deborah Hatheway (1741) “Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don't use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don't stay angry. Don't go to bed angry. Don't give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.” ~Eugene Peterson's paraphrase of Ephesians 4:26-27 (The Message) “[Satan] is a very laborious, unwearied preacher. He has been in the ministry almost six thousand years, and yet his zeal is not in the least abated….” ~Lemuel Haynes (1753-1833), minister and writer “There is tremendous relief in knowing that His love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion Him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench His determination to bless me.” ~J.I. Packer (1926-2020), English-born theologian in Knowing God SERMON PASSAGE Ephesians 4:25-32 (ESV) Ephesians 4 1I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace…. 17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Romans 12 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    Walking with God in Weakness

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 14, 2022 38:08


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “Believing in himself is one of the commonest signs of a rotter. Actors who can't act believe in themselves; and debtors who won't pay. It would be much truer to say that a man will certainly fail, because he believes in himself. Complete self-confidence is not merely a sin; complete self-confidence is a weakness. Believing utterly in one's self is a hysterical and superstitious belief…” ~ G.K. Chesteron, Orthodoxy “According to Jesus, acknowledging our neediness opens the door to genuine and lasting happiness. Religions usually talk about what a person has to ‘do', but Jesus talks about what we ‘can't do'. He says that our weakness, not our power or what we bring to God, enables us to know God.” ~ Paul Miller, Love Walked Among Us: Learning to Love Like Jesus “After conversion we need bruising so that we might remember that we are reeds and not oaks. Even reeds need bruising because of the remaining pride in our nature and to show us that we live by mercy. Such bruising may help weaker Christians not to be too much discouraged when they see stronger ones shaken and bruised. Thus Peter was bruised when he wept bitterly (Matt. 26:75). This reed, until he met with this bruise, had more wind in him than heart when he said, ‘Though all forsake you, I will not' (Matt. 26:33). The people of God cannot be without these examples. The heroic deeds of great saints do not comfort the church as much as their falls and bruises do.” ~ Richard Sibbes, The Bruised Reed SERMON PASSAGE Psalm 102 (ESV) A Prayer of one afflicted, when he is faint and pours out his complaint before the LORD. 1 Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry come to you! 2 Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress! Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call! 3 For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace. 4 My heart is struck down like grass and has withered; I forget to eat my bread. 5 Because of my loud groaning my bones cling to my flesh. 6 I am like a desert owl of the wilderness, like an owl of the waste places; 7 I lie awake; I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop. 8 All the day my enemies taunt me; those who deride me use my name for a curse. 9 For I eat ashes like bread and mingle tears with my drink, 10 because of your indignation and anger; for you have taken me up and thrown me down. 11 My days are like an evening shadow; I wither away like grass. 12 But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever; you are remembered throughout all generations. 13 You will arise and have pity on Zion; it is the time to favor her; the appointed time has come. 14 For your servants hold her stones dear and have pity on her dust. 15 Nations will fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth will fear your glory. 16 For the LORD builds up Zion; he appears in his glory; 17 he regards the prayer of the destitute and does not despise their prayer. 18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD: 19 that he looked down from his holy height; from heaven the LORD looked at the earth, 20 to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die, 21 that they may declare in Zion the name of the LORD, and in Jerusalem his praise, 22 when peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to worship the LORD. 23 He has broken my strength in midcourse; he has shortened my days. 24 “O my God,” I say, “take me not away in the midst of my days— you whose years endure throughout all generations!” 25 Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 26 They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, 27 but you are the same, and your years have no end. 28 The children of your servants shall dwell secure; their offspring shall be established before you.

    Walking with God…in the Ordinariness of Life

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 7, 2022 39:44


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “What we say about other people, says more about who we are than they are.” “…the world you see outside of you is a reflection of what you have inside of you, and if you're one of those people who only sees darkness, despair, that's all there's ever gonna be. But if you see hope, opportunity, if you're stubborn enough to, every time you open your eyes, see love and the face of God, then you can be a change agent…. Then you can make a difference.” ~Virginia Jones, as quoted by U.S. Senator Cory Booker “People hear your words, but they feel your attitude.” ~John Maxwell, author, speaker, and pastor “Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” ~Lou Holtz, football player, coach, and analyst “We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.” ~Chuck Swindoll, author, and pastor “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” ~Colin Powell (1937-2021), former U.S. Secretary of State “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances….” ~Viktor E. Frankl (1909-1997), Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor “Bad attitudes will ruin your team.” ~Terry Bradshaw, former quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers “Attitude is everything.” ~Diane von Furstenberg, Belgian fashion designer SERMON PASSAGE selected passages from Ephesians 4-6 (ESV) Ephesians 4 1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace…. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear…. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 5 1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God… 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise… 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord…. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…. 33 …let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 6 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord…. 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. 5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. 9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him. 1 Thessalonians 4 9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

    Walking with God…as Children and Parents – Part 2

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 31, 2022 37:22


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “According to [Dr. Jean] Twenge [a co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic and professor of psychology at San Diego State University], indicators of self-esteem have risen consistently since the 1980s…. But, she says, what starts off as healthy self-esteem can quickly morph into an inflated view of oneself—a self-absorption and sense of entitlement that looks a lot like narcissism….” ~“How to Land Your Kid in Therapy” by Lori Gottlieb in The Atlantic Monthly “The trouble with human nature is that we are born with a heart that loves ourselves over and above everything else in this world, including God. In short, we are born slaves to the lust for self-gratification, i.e., concupiscence. That's why, if left to ourselves, we will always love those things that make us feel good about ourselves, even as we depart more and more from God and his ways. Therefore, God must intervene in our lives in order to bring salvation.” ~Dr. Ashley Null, resident scholar at Humboldt University in Berlin in his work “Thomas Cranmer's Doctrine of Repentance: Renewing the Power of Love” “When we are securely rooted in personal intimacy with the source of life, it will be possible to remain flexible without being relativistic, convinced without being rigid, willing to confront without being offensive, gentle and forgiving without being soft, and true witnesses without being manipulative.” ~Henri Nouwen (1932-1996), priest, professor, and writer “Don't worry that your children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” ~Robert Fulghum, American author “One of my mom's favorite sayings: ‘Behind every successful child is an astonished parent.'” ~Cory Booker, attorney and U.S. Senator SERMON PASSAGE Ephesians 6:1-4 (ESV) Ephesians 5 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 6 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Deuteronomy 6 4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

    Walking with God in Persecution

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 24, 2022 39:24


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “Faith is not being certain of the outcome of a situation. Faith is being certain of the God whom we serve.” ~Dr. Michael G. McKelvey “If a Christian is not having tribulation in the world, there's something wrong!” ~Leonard Ravenhill “Persecution is simply the clash between two irreconcilable value-systems.” ~John Stott “Persecution is one way to drive believers away and create a carnal comfort zone.” ~John Hagee “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~Romans 8:3,35-39 “How did Jesus expect His disciples to react under persecution? (In Matthew 5:12 He said), ‘Rejoice and be glad!' We are not to retaliate like an unbeliever, nor sulk like a child, nor lick our wound in self-pity like a dog, nor just grin a bear it like a Stoic, still less pretend we enjoy it like a masochist. What then? We are to rejoice as a Christian should and even ‘leap for joy' (Lk. 6:23).” ~John Stott “The kind of love that led Christ to a cross and kept Paul unembittered amid the angry torrents of persecution is not soft, anemic, and sentimental. Such love confronts evil without flinching and shows in our popular parlance an infinite capacity ‘to take it.' Such love overcomes the world even from a rough hewn cross against the skyline.” ~Martin Luther King Jr. SERMON PASSAGE Daniel 3 (ESV) 1 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. 2 Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up… 4 And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, 5 that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.” 7 Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 8 Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews… 12 There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” 13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” 19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. 22 Because the king's order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace. 24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” 25 He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. 27 And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king's counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. 28 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.”

    Walking with God…as Children and Parents

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 17, 2022 38:12


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children.” ~Edward, Duke of Windsor (1894-1972) “The first half of our life is ruined by our parents and the second half by our children.” ~Clarence Darrow (1857-1938), famous American lawyer “To understand your parents' love you must raise children yourself.” “Respect for one's parents is the highest duty of civil life.” ~Chinese Proverbs “The ministry of the church in contemporary America is distorted because the cultural lives of many Christians, including their deep assumptions about reality, the practice and activities that they pursue guided by those assumptions, have been decisively shaped more by modern, western culture than by the church's own account of reality as outlined in the Scriptures. This is in part because the church has too often abandoned its necessary and prophetic task of being involved in cultural formation, in favor of a more readily acceptable task of being chaplain to the cultural status quo.” ~Ken Myers, After Evangelism “Culture is the root of politics, and religion is the root of culture.” ~Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009), Canadian born cleric and writer “It is not the business of the church to adapt Christ to men, but men to Christ.” ~Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957), English writer “The words of human beings are unstable things. But not so the words of God. They stand forever…. Nothing can annul God's eternal truth.” ~J.I. Packer (1926-2020), taken from his book Knowing God SERMON PASSAGE Ephesians 5:15-21, 6:1-4 (ESV) Ephesians 5 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 6 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

    Walking with God…at Work

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 10, 2022 39:38


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “There is no work better than another to please God: to pour water, to wash dishes, to be a [cobbler], or an apostle, all is one; to wash dishes and to preach is all one, as touching the deed, to please God.” ~William Tyndale (c. 1492-1536), English scholar and reformer “There is no sphere of existence over which Jesus is not sovereign, in virtue of his role both in creation (Col. 1:16-17) and in reconciliation (Col. 1:18-20). There can be no dualistic division between some areas in which he rules and others which he does not…. The logic of this message requires that those who announce it should be seeking to bring Christ's Lordship to bear on every area of human and worldly existence.” ~N.T. Wright, Anglican theologian “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.” ~Steve Jobs (1955-2011), entrepreneur “The only Christian work is good work well done.” “A society in which consumption has to be artificially stimulated in order to keep production going is a society founded on trash and waste, for such a society is a house built upon sand.” “It is not the business of the church to adapt Christ to men, but men to Christ.” ~Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957), English writer “There are few dangers threatening the religious future more serious than the slow shallowing of the religious mind. Our safety is in the deep. The lazy cry for simplicity is a great danger. It indicates a frame of mind which is only appalled at the great things of God and a senility of faith which fears that which is high. And if so, it means much for the future of religion and much which is ominous, and the poverty of our worship, its lack of solemnity, is the fatal index of the peril.” ~P.T. Forsythe (1848-1921), Scottish theologian SERMON PASSAGE selected passages (ESV) Ephesians 4 1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.... 25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Genesis 2 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. Acts 4 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet. 1 Timothy 6 17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. Jeremiah 9 4 Let everyone beware of his neighbor, and put no trust in any brother, for every brother is a deceiver, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer. 5 Everyone deceives his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity. 6 Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit, they refuse to know me, declares the Lord.

    The Requirement of a Walk With God

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 3, 2022 32:00


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “Walking with God doesn't lead to God's favor; God's favor leads to walking with God.” ~Tullian Tchividjian “Whoever says ‘I know him' but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” ~1 John 2:4-6 “Christianity is not about our disciplined pursuit of God, but about God's relentless pursuit of us–to the point of dying on a cross for us that we might become friends.” ~Peter Scazzero “Jesus did not come so that we might live a life of superficial religion. He came so that we might receive new life through supernatural regeneration.” ~David Platt “Our reconciliation to God is permanent and eternal. Because Christ accomplished it for us, there is no possibility it can ever be undone. Though we continue, even as believers, to do those things that in themselves deserve God's displeasure, we can never revert to a state of divine alienation. For the sake of Christ, God will always accept us. And even when God deems it necessary to discipline us for persistent disobedience, He always does so out of love to restore us to the way of obedience.” ~Jerry Bridges “The will of God for your life is simply that you submit yourself to Him each day and say, ‘Father, Your will for today is mine. Your pleasure for today is mine. Your work for today is mine. I trust You to be God. You lead me today and I will follow.'” ~Kay Arthur “True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” ~Martin Luther King Jr. “Happy are those whose self-centered lives have been crushed and reshaped by the Master's hand to be full of mercy.” ~John Hagee SERMON PASSAGE Micah 6:1-8 (ESV) 1 Hear what the LORD says: Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. 2 Hear, you mountains, the indictment of the LORD, and you enduring foundations of the earth, for the LORD has an indictment against his people, and he will contend with Israel. 3 “O my people, what have I done to you? How have I wearied you? Answer me! 4 For I brought you up from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. 5 O my people, remember what Balak king of Moab devised, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him, and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD.” 6 “With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” 8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

    Walking with God…in Times of Confusion

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 26, 2022 33:39


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “No matter how much individuals do through their own efforts, they cannot actively purify themselves enough to be disposed in the least degree for the divine union of the perfection of love. God must take over…” ~St. John of the Cross, Roman Catholic priest, 1542-1591 “After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us toward is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again. For however important chastity (or courage, or truthfulness, or any other virtue) may be, this process trains us in habits of the soul which are more important still. It cures our illusions about ourselves and teaches us to depend on God. We learn, on the one hand, that we cannot trust ourselves even in our best moments, and, on the other, that we need not despair even in our worst, for our failures are forgiven.” ~C.S. Lewis, Academic and Theologian, 1898-1963 “Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it. God's saving love in Christ, however, is marked by both radical truthfulness about who we are and yet also radical, unconditional commitment to us. The merciful commitment strengthens us to see the truth about ourselves and repent. The conviction and repentance moves us to cling to and rest in God's mercy and grace.” ~Tim Keller, American pastor “And I can't be running back and forth forever between grief and high delight.” ~J.D. Salinger, American author, 1919-2010 “The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.” ~Shannon Adler, American author and therapist “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” ~Deuteronomy 31:8 SERMON PASSAGE Psalm 4 (NIV) For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David. 1 Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. 2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? 3 Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. 4 Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. 5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD. 6 Many, LORD, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us. 7 Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. 8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.

    Walking with God…in Good Communication

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 19, 2022 39:56


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “We spend our evenings and weekends…staring at our little screens…. [W]e keep our doors locked tight, and we feel all safe and sound. But we've completely cut ourselves off from people outside our little self-protective world. We may feel comfortable and safe and independent and entertained. But also, we feel completely sad.” ~Jenny Allen in her new book Finding Your People: Building Deep Community in a Lonely World “Words: So innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” ~Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), novelist and short story writer “Speech has power. Words do not fade. What starts out as a sound, ends in a deed.” ~Abraham Joshua Herschel (1907-1972), rabbi and one of the leading Jewish theologians of the 20th century “Sins of the tongue—such as gossip, sarcasm, and other unkind words to or about another person—cannot thrive in awareness that God hears every word we speak…. We don't think of living every moment of our lives in the presence of an all-seeing, all-hearing God.” ~Jerry Bridges (1929-2016), author and teacher “Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.” ~Anonymous “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” ~Proverbs 12:18 (NASB95) “It were a good [contest] amongst Christians, one to labor to give no offence, and the other to labor to take none. The best men are severe to themselves, tender over others.” ~Richard Sibbes (1577-1635), English theologian “God cannot be Word-less, for the Word is God…. Since God cannot be without this Word, he simply could not ever be reclusive.” ~Michael Reeves, president of Union School of Theology (Oxford) SERMON PASSAGE Ephesians 4:11-16, 25-32 (NIV) Ephesians 4 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. 25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 5 1 Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 1 Corinthians 13 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

    Walking with God…in the Community of Truth

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 12, 2022 40:23


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “The popular mind has grown so confused that it is no longer able to receive any statement of fact except as an expression of personal feeling.” “The heaviest restriction upon…freedom…is not the official censorship of the Press, but the unofficial censorship by a Press which exists not so much to express opinion as to manufacture it.” ~Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957), writer and literary critic “…political correctness can be a form of linguistic fascism, and it sends shivers down the spine of my generation who went to war against fascism.” ~P. D. [Phyllis Dorothy] James (1920-2014), English novelist Solzhenitsyn “asserted that the ideological Lie was worse than violence and physical brutality, ultimately more destructive of the integrity of the human soul.” ~Daniel J. Mahoney, college professor and author “Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant; then it tries to silence good.” ~Charles J. Chaput, former bishop, member of the Potawatomi Nation “The trick is not to be isolated…. In fact, the whole tradition of popular control has been…to keep people isolated, because if you can keep them isolated enough, you can get them to believe anything.” ~Noam Chomsky, linguist, philosopher, and professor at M.I.T. “If the church is to prosper and mature, she will need faithful men to lead and care for her…men who are sound in doctrine, whose lives are guided by the Word of God, and who are willing to defend the truth. The church will need to hold up as its ideal those who model fidelity and love toward God, men who will pour themselves out for the benefit of the Lord's sheep. Men of this mold are gifts to the church from her Lord.” ~Lemuel Haynes (1753-1833), first black person to be ordained a minister in the United States and 30-year pastor in Rutland, VT “The church is always more than a school. But the church cannot be less than a school.” ~Jaroslav Pelikan (1923-2006), scholar and professor at Yale SERMON PASSAGE Ephesians 1:3-23, Ephesians 4:1-16 (ESV) Ephesians 1 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. 15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. Ephesians 4 1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” 9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

    The Call to Walk with God…in Community

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 5, 2022 44:28


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us…. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, ‘I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” ~1 John 3:23, 4:19-21 (NASB95) “He who wants more than what Christ has established, does not want Christian brotherhood. He is looking for some extraordinary social experience…." “He who loves his dream of a community more than Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter, even though his personal intentions may be ever so honest and earnest and sacrificial.” ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), pastor-theologian executed for his opposition to the Nazis, in his book Life Together “The astonishing paradox of Christ's teaching and of Christian experience is this: if we lose ourselves in following Christ, we actually find ourselves. True self-denial is self-discovery. To live for ourselves is insanity and suicide; to live for God and for [others] is wisdom and life indeed. We do not begin to find ourselves until we have become willing to lose ourselves in the service of Christ and of our fellows.” ~John R.W. Stott (1921-2011), pastor and theologian, in his book Basic Christianity SERMON PASSAGE selections from Ephesians (ESV) Ephesians 1 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. Ephesians 3 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 4 1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” 9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. 17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.

    Whatever!

    Play Episode Listen Later May 29, 2022 38:22


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION English Reformer William Tyndale wrote “that if our desire is to please God, pouring water, washing dishes, cobbling shoes, and preaching the Word ‘is all one.'” “If all that a believer does grows out of faith and is done for the glory of God, then all dualistic distinctions are demolished.” ~Os Guinness in his book The Call “The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him.... The one aim of the call of God is the satisfaction of God, not a call to do something for Him.” ~Oswald Chambers (1874-1917), Scottish minister and writer “The astonishing paradox of Christ's teaching and of Christian experience is this: if we lose ourselves in following Christ, we actually find ourselves. True self-denial is self-discovery. To live for ourselves is insanity and suicide; to live for God and for [others] is wisdom and life indeed. We do not begin to find ourselves until we have become willing to lose ourselves in the service of Christ and of our fellows.” ~John R.W. Stott (1921-2011), pastor and theologian in Basic Christianity “We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become.” ~St. Clare of Assisi (1194-1253), one of the first followers of St. Francis of Assisi SERMON PASSAGES Ephesians 2 1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 1 Corinthians 7 17 Only let each person lead the life that the lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. Colossians 3 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through Him…. 22 Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality. Philippians 1 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 if I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.

    Walk in the Light

    Play Episode Listen Later May 22, 2022 37:19


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “The cross is not simply something that happened to Jesus, the cross is who God is.” ~Rankin Wilbourne, American Pastor and Author “For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” ~Thessalonians 5:2 (ESV) “It has been charged that this doctrine [the atonement] represents the Son as winning over the incensed Father to clemency and love, a supposition wholly inconsistent with the fact that the love of God is the very fount from which the atonement springs.” ~John Murray, Scottish Theologian “There are none so blind as those that will not see.” ~Ancient Proverb “Blessed is the one that fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.” ~Proverbs 28:14 ESV SERMON PASSAGE John 12:36-50 (ESV) 36 “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. 37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” 41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. 42 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. 44 And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”

    The Hour Has Come

    Play Episode Listen Later May 15, 2022 39:34


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “Saving us is the greatest and most concrete demonstration of God's love, the definitive display of His grace throughout time and eternity.” ~David Jeremiah “Oh, how precious is time, and how it pains me to see it slide away, while I do so little to any good purpose.” ~David Brainerd “God hath given to man a short time here upon earth, and yet upon this short time eternity depends.” ~Jeremy Taylor “The present is the only time in which any duty may be done or grace received.” ~C.S. Lewis “The cross is the center of the world's history; the incarnation of Christ and the crucifixion of our Lord are the pivot round which all the events of the ages revolve. The testimony of Christ was the spirit of prophecy, and the growing power of Jesus is the spirit of history.” ~Alexander MacLaren “Nothing but encouragement can come to us as we dwell upon the faithful dealing of our Heavenly Father in centuries gone by. Faith in God has not saved people from hardships and trials, but it has enabled them to bear tribulations courageously and to emerge victoriously.” ~Lee Roberson “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit'— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.' As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” ~James 4:13-17 SERMON PASSAGE John 12:19-36 (ESV) 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.” 20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. 27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour'? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. 34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.

    The Devotion of a True Disciple

    Play Episode Listen Later May 8, 2022 37:16


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become.” ~St. Clare of Assisi (1194-1253), one of the first followers of St. Francis of Assisi “The astonishing paradox of Christ's teaching and of Christian experience is this: if we lose ourselves in following Christ, we actually find ourselves. True self-denial is self-discovery. To live for ourselves is insanity and suicide; to live for God and for [others] is wisdom and life indeed. We do not begin to find ourselves until we have become willing to lose ourselves in the service of Christ and of our fellows.” ~John R.W. Stott (1921-2011), pastor and theologian in Basic Christianity “Jesus Christ is God's everything for man's total need.” “Jesus Christ said more about money than about any other single thing because, when it comes to a man's real nature, money is of first importance. Money is an exact index to a man's true character. All through Scripture there is an intimate correlation between the development of a man's character and how he handles his money.” ~Richard C. Halverson (1916-1995), chaplain of the United States Senate “You can have all of the money and all of the success in the world, but you can still have…insecurities, and…can still be, in some sense, broken.” ~Esau McCaulley, professor and contributing writer at the New York Times “…the reason why I play golf is because…I'm trying to glorify God…. So, for me, my identity isn't a golf score.” ~Scottie Scheffler, professional golfer, 2022 Masters Tournament Champion, and World Number 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking SERMON PASSAGE John 12:1-11 (ESV) John 11 45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, 46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. 50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death. 54 Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples. 55 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. 56 They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast at all?” 57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him. John 12 1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. 3 Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.” 9 When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

    The Plot to Kill Jesus

    Play Episode Listen Later May 1, 2022 39:23


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “As far as Jesus is concerned, everyone will ultimately ‘take a side.' Yet Jesus gave so much of his time, attention, and love to people who did not side with him. A journey through the Gospels shows that he was especially tender toward people who did not believe in him or follow him.” ~Scott Sauls, contemporary author and pastor “When I use the word ‘providence'…I mean that wonderful, strange, mysterious, unguessable way Yahweh has of ruling His world and sustaining His people, and His doing it, frequently, over, under, around, through, or in spite of the most common stuff of our lives or even the bias of our wills.” ~Dale Ralph Davis, American pastor and professor “God often lays the sum of His amazing providences in very dismal afflictions; as the limner (painter) first puts on the dusky colors, on which he intends to draw the portraiture of some illustrious beauty.” ~Stephen Charnock (1628-1680), English minister “Most Christians salute the sovereignty of God but believe in the sovereignty of man.” ~R.C. Sproul (1939-2017), author and reformed theologian “The way to open our hearts to others is by receiving afresh the grace of God and appreciating what it means: seeing our own need of Christ; coming to receive His mercy; sensing how undeserved His love for us is; remembering how He has also opened His heart to those whose hearts are closed against us.” ~Sinclair Ferguson (1948-present), Scottish minister, theologian, professor and author SERMON PASSAGE John 11:38-57 (ESV) 38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” 45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, 46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. 50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death. 54 Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples. 55 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. 56 They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast at all?” 57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.

    Jesus and Grief

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 24, 2022 43:33


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “When Jesus wept with Mary, the Word of God stood silent.” ~Makoto Fujimura, American artist “Each person's grief is as unique as their fingerprint. But what everyone has in common is that no matter how they grieve, they share a need for their grief to be witnessed… The need is for someone to be fully present to the magnitude of their loss without trying to point out the silver lining.” ~David Kessler in Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief “Sorrow… turns out to be not a state but a process. It needs not a map but a history.” ~C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), in A Grief Observed “Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” ~Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), Russian novelist and moral philosopher “We can make the right answer sound old hat, but I guarantee this: God will surprise you. He will make you stop. You will struggle. He will bring you up short. You will hurt. He will take his time. You will grow in faith and in love. He will deeply delight you. You will find the process harder than you ever imagined—and better.” ~ David A. Powlison (1949-2019) in God's Grace in Your Suffering “Christianity teaches that, contra fatalism, suffering is overwhelming; contra Buddhism, suffering is real; contra karma, suffering is often unfair; but contra secularism, suffering is meaningful. There is a purpose to it, and if faced rightly, it can drive us like a nail deep into the love of God and into more stability and spiritual power than you can imagine.” ~Tim Keller in Walking With God through Pain and Suffering “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth… And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be … He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.'” ~Revelation 21:1-5 SERMON PASSAGE John 11:1-7, 11-17, 20-28, 32-37 (ESV) 1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” 17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days... 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” 28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply move in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”

    The Easter Principle: I am the Resurrection and the Life

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 17, 2022 40:33


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “All the money you earn, all the stocks you buy, all the mutual funds you trade–all of that is mostly smoke and mirrors. It's still going to be a quarter-past late whether you tell the time on a Timex or a Rolex. …[S]ooner or later things will begin to go wrong with the only three things you have that you can really call your own: your body, your spirit, and your mind.” ~Stephen King (1947-present), American novelist and short-story writer “The human being is only a reed, the most feeble in nature; but he is a thinking reed. It isn't necessary for the entire universe…to crush him; a whiff of vapor, a taste of water, suffices…. But when the universe crushes him, the human being becomes still more noble than that which kills him, because he knows that he is dying…. The universe, it does not have a clue.” ~Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French mathematician “I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross. The only God I believe in is the One Nietzsche ridiculed as ‘God on the cross.' In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it…. I have turned…to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in Godforsaken darkness. That is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us.” ~John Stott (1921-2011), English theologian and cleric “Human beings may be instinctively addicted to always having to prove their worth, but the cross of Christ shatters that lie. Human beings may fear they can never make the changes in their lives that are expected of Christians, but the Resurrection of Christ conclusively testifies to his power to make all things new. Human beings may feel rootless and estranged, but Christ has promised to prepare an eternal home for his people, even as he prepares them for it.” ~Ashley Null, scholar at Humboldt University of Berlin “What do we find God ‘doing about'…sin and evil? ...God did not abolish…evil; He transformed it. He did not stop the Crucifixion; He rose from the dead.” ~Dorothy L. Sayers in “The Triumph of Easter” (1938) SERMON PASSAGE 1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” 17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” 28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?” 38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” 45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, 46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. 50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.

    The King Delivered

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 15, 2022 17:36


    SERMON PASSAGE Luke 23:1-34, Mark 15:25-39 (ESV) Luke 23 1 Then the whole company of them arose and brought him before Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.” 3 And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” 4 Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.” 5 But they were urgent, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.” 6 When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7 And when he learned that he belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. 8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. 9 So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11 And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. 12 And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other. 13 Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15 Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. 16 I will therefore punish and release him.” 18 But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”— 19 a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. 20 Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, 21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” 22 A third time he said to them, “Why? What evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.” 23 But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will. 26 And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. 27 And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. 28 But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!' 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,' and to the hills, ‘Cover us.' 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” 32 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. Mark 15 25 And it was the third hour when they crucified him. 26 And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” 27 And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. 29 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31 So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him. 33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” 36 And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

    Behold, Your King is Coming!

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 10, 2022 39:31


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “You must not imagine that all those who strewed the branches in the way and cried ‘Hosanna' cared about Christ as a spiritual prince. No, they thought that he was to be a temporal deliverer, and when they found out afterwards that they were mistaken, they hated him just as much as they had loved him, and ‘Crucify him, crucify him,' was as loud and vehement a cry as ‘Hosanna, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.'” ~Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892), famed London preacher “The American Jesus is more a pawn than a king, pushed around in a complex game of cultural (and countercultural) chess, sacrificed here for this cause and there for another.” ~Dr. Stephen Prothero, professor at Boston University Solzhenitsyn believed the Soviets “paid Christianity the ultimate compliment by trying to kill it, while Americans have offered it the ultimate insult by seeking to domesticate it.” ~Ralph Wood in Solzhenitsyn and American Culture “Jesus the King of Kings came first in submission to the Father which required submission that led to a Roman cross. His hands did not come grasping a crown but were stretched out to be pierced with nails by those He came to save.” ~Source Unknown “A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.” ~Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), Indian lawyer and activist “Lord, be Thou my King this day! Reign more absolutely in me than ever before. Let the increase of Thy government be continual and mighty in me, so that Thy name may be glorified in me now and forever.” ~Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879) British author, poet, and hymn writer SERMON PASSAGE John 12:12-26 (ESV) John 12 12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, 15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!” 16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.” 20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” Zechariah 9 9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall speak peace to the nations; his rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.

    Safe and Secure in the Shepherd's Hand

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 3, 2022 39:12


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “The Greek word for good used in John 10 is kalos, and it means more than ‘good' as opposed to ‘bad.' It has the idea of ‘beautiful' as well as ‘good.' So a classical Greek scholar, E.V. Rieu, translated the statement of Christ as, “I am the shepherd, the Shepherd Beautiful.” ~Ajith Fernando, Sri Lankan Christian leader “If the church is to prosper and mature, she will need faithful men to lead and care for her. The church will need men who are sound in doctrine, whose lives are guided by the Word of God, and who are willing to defend the truth. The church will need to hold up as its ideal those who model fidelity and love toward God, men who will pour themselves out for the benefit of the Lord's sheep. Men of this mold are gifts to the church from her Lord.” ~Lemuel Haynes (1753-1833), first black person to be ordained a minister in the United States and 30-year pastor in Rutland, VT “‘My sheep know my voice' (John 10:4). Christ's faithful lambs know His voice because they are used to the sound of it. Because they commune with Him often and hunger for the words that fall from His lips, they recognize the tone and rhythm of His precious words. They can tell at once whether He or a stranger is declaring peace. They know His voice because it speaks good to their souls. His word of peace humbles souls, cleanses from guilt, transforms lives, melts their hearts, and endears Christ to them. ~Kris Lundgaard, author and missionary “The messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time. They will be blamed for all the division which rend cities and homes. Jesus and his disciples will be condemned on all sides for undermining family life, and for leading the nation astray; they will be called crazy fanatics and disturbers of the peace. The disciples will be sorely tempted to desert their Lord. But the end is also near, and they must hold on and persevere until it comes. Only he will be blessed who remains loyal to Jesus and his word until the end.” “It is only because he became like us that we can become like him.” ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) in The Cost of Discipleship SERMON PASSAGE John 10 (ESV) 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep…. 22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” 31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods'? 35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— 36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,' because I said, ‘I am the Son of God'? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands. Psalm 82 1 God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: 2 “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. 4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” 5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. 6 I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; 7 nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.” 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations! Ezekiel 34 7 “Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 As I live, declares the Lord God, surely because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep, 9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them. 11 For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out.”

    Believe the Works

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 27, 2022 41:14


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “How quickly we forget God's great deliverances in our lives. How easily we take for granted the miracles he performed in our past.” ~David Wilkerson “It is not the objective proof of God's existence that we want but the experience of God's presence. That is the miracle we are really after, and that is also, I think, the miracle that we really get.” ~Frederick Buechner The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.' I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” ~John 1:29-31 “Infinite, and an infant. Eternal, and yet born of a woman. Almighty, and yet hanging on a woman's breast. Supporting a universe, and yet needing to be carried in a mother's arms. King of angels, and yet the reputed son of Joseph. Heir of all things, and yet the carpenter's despised son.” ~Charles Spurgeon “The name Emmanuel takes in the whole mystery. Jesus is ‘God with us.' He had a nature like our own in all things, sin only excepted. But though Jesus was ‘with us' in human flesh and blood, He was at the same time very God.” ~J.C. Ryle “In the Christian view, the ultimate evidence for the existence of God is Jesus Christ. If there is a God, we characters in his play have to hope that he put some information about himself in the play. But Christians believe he did more than give us information. He wrote himself into the play as the main character in history, when Jesus was born in a manger and rose from the dead.” ~Tim Keller “Our Good Shepherd has become the model for under-shepherds. His great concern is the good of the sheep. A good shepherd gives himself to the sheep. A thief comes to get something form the flock - wool or mutton. Jesus our Lord made every personal claim subservient to the blessing of his flock; even to giving His life that they might live.” ~Walter J. Chantry SERMON PASSAGE John 10:22-42 (ESV) 22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” 31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods'? 35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— 36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,' because I said, ‘I am the Son of God'? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands. 40 He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. 41 And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” 42 And many believed in him there.

    The Good Shepherd

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 20, 2022 35:17


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “...Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them.” ~Ezekiel 34:2-4 (ESV) “Our good Shepherd has in His flock a variety of experiences, some are strong in the Lord, and others are weak in faith, but He is impartial in His care for all His sheep, and the weakest lamb is as dear to Him as the most advanced of the flock. Lambs are wont to lag behind, prone to wander, and apt to grow weary, but from all the danger of these infirmities the Shepherd protects them with His arm of power. He finds new-born souls, like young lambs, ready to perish—He nourishes them till life becomes vigorous; He finds weak minds ready to faint and die—He consoles them and renews their strength.” ~Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), Preacher “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” ~Psalm 23:1-4 (ESV) “Remember that when you walk into the valley of the shadow of death, it is Jesus, the Shepherd, who has led you there. He has comfort to give you and ways to strengthen, deepen, and grow you that would be otherwise impossible. So give thanks for his presence, refuse self-pity, and seek him in prayer even when you don't feel him present (because he is). Jesus himself walked into death, solitary and rejected by everyone (Matt. 27:46) so when we face the death of loved ones or even our own, we will never be alone.” ~Tim Keller (1950-present), Pastor and Writer SERMON PASSAGE John 10:1-21 (ESV) 1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. 7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” 19 There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

    A Case Study in Discipleship: Do You Also Want to Become His Disciples?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 13, 2022 42:56


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “We must not be frightened nor cajoled into accepting evil as deliverance from evil. We must go on struggling to be human, though monsters of abstractions police and threaten us.” ~Robert Hayden (1913-1980), poet, essayist, and educator “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die….” “Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are….” “How would you expect to find community while you intentionally withdraw from it at some point? The disobedient cannot believe; only the obedient believe….” “Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance…. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate. “Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him. “Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ‘Ye were bought at a price', and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.” ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) in The Cost of Discipleship SERMON PASSAGE John 9 (ESV) 1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing… 13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” …17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”… 24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses…. 34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 2 Corinthians 4 (NASB95) 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

    Seeing is Believing

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 6, 2022 39:45


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), U.S. first lady, diplomat, and activist “If you think that moral reasoning is something we do to figure out the truth, you'll be constantly frustrated by how foolish, biased, and illogical people become when they disagree with you.” “Our moral thinking is much more like a politician searching for votes than a scientist searching for truth.” “People bind themselves into political teams that share moral narratives. Once they accept a particular narrative, they become blind….” ~Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist and NYU professor “…what the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies. The mind doesn't direct the will. The mind is actually captive to what the will wants, and the will itself, in turn, is captive to what the heart wants.” ~Dr. Ashley Null, scholar at the Humboldt University of Berlin “Pharisees are not an extinct breed. Whenever we find ourselves valuing the letter of God's law above its spirit; whenever we find ourselves unable to rejoice in the saving and renewing of lives simply because the instrument used was not someone who dots all the i's and crosses all the t's of our…group; whenever we lose the daily, hourly sense of joy in the grace of God…, then we need to be beware. ‘Lord, is it I?' The only security against Pharisaism is grace, which is perhaps the reason the Lord may from time to time permit us to stumble in our Christian walk so that we may have opportunity to rediscover it. Luther's observation, ‘there is no cure for spiritual pride like a little over-eating, over-sleeping or over-drinking' is to the point…..” ~Bruce Milne, pastor and professor “We must not be frightened nor cajoled into accepting evil as deliverance from evil. We must go on struggling to be human, though monsters of abstractions police and threaten us.” ~Robert Hayden (1913-1980), poet, essayist, and educator SERMON PASSAGE John 9:1-41 (ESV) 1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. 8 The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.' So I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.” 13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” 18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” 24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,' your guilt remains.”

    Keep and Be Kept

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 27, 2022 35:19


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, ‘Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.' He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.” ~Hebrews 11:17-19 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” ~Psalm 119:105 “The primary purpose of reading the Bible is not to know the Bible but to know God.” ~James Merritt “Jesus was God spelling himself out in language humanity could understand.” ~S.D. Gordon “Not only do we not know God except through Jesus Christ; We do not even know ourselves except through Jesus Christ.” ~Blaise Pascal “He came the first time to die; He is coming again to raise the dead. When He came the first time, they questioned whether He was King; the next time the world will know that He is King of kings and Lord of lords. The first time He wore a crown of thorns; the next time He will be wearing a crown of glory. The first time He came in poverty; the next time He is coming in power. The first time He had an escort of angels; the next time He will come with ten thousands of His saints. The first time He came in meekness; He is coming again in majesty.” ~Adrian Rogers “Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever?” ~C.S. Lewis “God's commands are designed to guide you to life's very best. You will not obey Him, if you do not believe Him and trust Him. You cannot believe Him if you do not love Him. You cannot love Him unless you know Him.” ~Henry Blackaby “It is Christ who is to be exalted, not our feelings. We will know Him by obedience, not by emotions. Our love will be shown by obedience, not by how good we feel about God at a given moment.” ~Elisabeth Elliot SERMON PASSAGE John 8:31-59 (ESV) 31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free'?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.” 39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” 48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.' 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.' 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

    The Truth Will Set You Free

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 20, 2022 35:49


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” ~Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (1788 – 1860) “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and will never be.” ~Thomas Jefferson “To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he's doing is good, or else that it's a well-considered act in conformity with natural law… Ideology – that is what gives evil doing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes, so that he won't hear reproaches and curses but will receive praise and honors.” ~Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” ~Abraham Lincoln “He may have been your father, boy, but he wasn't your daddy.” ~Yondu, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 “The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.” ~David Foster Wallace SERMON PASSAGE John 8:31-47 (ESV) 31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free'?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.” 39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

    The Light of the World

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 13, 2022 36:13


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “The final and full revelation of God is…a person. Jesus Christ.” ~Desmond Tutu (1931-2021) South African bishop and theologian “Since science is essentially objective, involving the study of how things actually are, ‘materialism' would therefore seem to be its antithesis, since its starting point is the desire to impose upon the natural world a particular and limited way of looking at it.” ~Melanie Phillips, British journalist, author and public commentator “The degree to which we are willing to give Jesus access to what is deeply beneath the surface in our lives is the degree to which we will experience freedom in Him.” ~Peter Scazzero, pastor and author “The marker of those who understand the gospel of Jesus Christ is that, when they stumble and fall… they run to God and not from him, because they clearly understand that their acceptance before God is not predicated upon their behavior but on the righteous life of Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death.” ~Matt Chandler, pastor and author “No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart…” ~Alan Watts (1915-1973), British philosopher and writer “... So those who are raised from spiritual death and made partakers of spiritual life, should… busy themselves with devout thanks for the gift, and in earnest efforts to make the most of their life for the glory of the gracious Giver.” ~Charles Octavius Boothe (1845-1924), pastor and theologian SERMON PASSAGE John 8:12-30 (ESV) John 8 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13 So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” 19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come. 21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come'?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him. 1 John 1 5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    The Trap Deconstructed by the Truth of the Gospel

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 6, 2022 34:04


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “If the church is to prosper and mature, she will need faithful men to lead and care for her. The church will need men who are sound in doctrine, whose lives are guided by the Word of God, and who are willing to defend the truth. The church will need to hold up as its ideal those who model fidelity and love toward God, men who will pour themselves out for the benefit of the Lord's sheep. Men of this mold are gifts to the church from her Lord.” ~Lemuel Haynes (1753-1833), first black person to be ordained a minister in the United States and 30-year pastor in Rutland, VT “Let us never assume that if we live good lives we will be without sin; our lives should be praised only when we continue to beg for pardon. But men are hopeless creatures, and the less they concentrate on their own sins, the more interested they become in the sins of others. They seek to criticize, not to correct. Unable to excuse themselves, they are ready to accuse others.” ~Augustine (354-430), bishop in North Africa “Jesus didn't wait until we got better to die for us. He died when we were in our most unlovely state. The person who doesn't deserve love actually needs love more, not less. If you know someone unworthy of love, that's great! You now have a chance to emulate Christ, because the essence of His love is unconditional.” ~Tony Evans, pastor and author “Freedom in Christ allows you to control the desires that once controlled you.” ~Lecrae, singer, songwriter and entrepreneur “I do not at all understand the mystery of grace—only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” ~Anne Lamott, American writer SERMON PASSAGE John 7:53-8:11 (ESV) 53 [[They went each to his own house, 1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”]]

    No One Ever Spoke Like This Man

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 30, 2022 37:01


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” ~Hebrews 1:1-2 “There are two sorts of hypocrites: ones that are deceived with their outward morality and external religion; and the others are those that are deceived with false discoveries and elevation; which often cry down works, and men's own righteousness.” ~Jonathan Edwards “Unless we examine what we believe and why we believe it, we can easily be deceived and not know it.” ~Pamela Christian “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.' And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.” ~Deuteronomy 18:15-19 “Human beings are poor examiners, subject to superstition, bias, prejudice, and a profound tendency to see what they want to see rather than what is really there.” ~M. Scott Peck “Believers should acknowledge and wrestle with doubts… It is no longer sufficient to hold beliefs just because you inherited them.” “If a group believes God favors them because of their particularly true doctrine, ways of worship, and ethical behavior, their attitude toward those without these things can be hostile.” ~Tim Keller  SERMON PASSAGE John 7:32-52 (ESV) 32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. 33 Jesus then said, “I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. 34 You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.” 35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36 What does he mean by saying, ‘You will seek me and you will not find me,' and, ‘Where I am you cannot come'?” 37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. 40 When they heard these words, some of the people said, “This really is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” 43 So there was a division among the people over him. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. 45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” 46 The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!” 47 The Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? 48 Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” 52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

    Thirsty? Come!

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 23, 2022 31:51


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “Everybody's got a hungry heart Everybody's got a hungry heart Lay down your money and you play your part Everybody's got a hungry heart.” ~Bruce Springsteen, singer, songwriter, and musician “The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty – it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There's a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.” ~Mother Teresa (1910-1997), nun and missionary “It's obvious humanity is craving…. People aren't feeling fulfilled by how many cars they own or the size of their stock portfolio. Even the addicts are saying, ‘It doesn't matter how many drugs I take, I'm not fulfilled. This isn't satisfying.' There's a spiritual hunger going on. Everybody feels it. If you don't feel it now, you will. Trust me. You will.” ~Alice Cooper, infamous rock star persona “God will fill the hungry because He Himself has stirred up the hunger. As in the case of prayer, when God prepares the heart to pray, He prepares His ear to hear (Ps. 10:17). So in the case of spiritual hunger, when God prepares the heart to hunger, He will prepare His hand to fill.” ~Thomas Watson (c. 1620-1686), English preacher and author “We are made for loving. If we don't love, we will be like plants without water.” ~Desmond Tutu (1931-2021), South African bishop and theologian “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” ~Jesus in Matthew 5:6 SERMON PASSAGE John 7:30-46 (ESV) 30 So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?” 32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. 33 Jesus then said, “I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. 34 You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.” 35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36 What does he mean by saying, ‘You will seek me and you will not find me,' and, ‘Where I am you cannot come'?” 37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. 40 When they heard these words, some of the people said, “This really is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” 43 So there was a division among the people over him. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. 45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” 46 The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!"

    Appearances, Opinions and Identity

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 16, 2022 34:45


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “…everyone thinks [my] life is great, I have success, everything is perfect. Well, first of all, no one is perfect, and I definitely am not.” ~Lindsay Vonn, Olympic skier, opening up about her struggles with depression “All of us experience fear, but when we confront and acknowledge it, we are able to turn it into courage. Being courageous does not mean never being scared; it means acting as you know you must even though you are undeniably afraid.” ~Desmond Tutu (1931-2021), South African bishop and theologian “It was almost funny. Life seemed downright accidental in its brevity, and death a punch line to a lousy joke.” ~Maureen Johnson, author “Christ pervades all scripture, as salt all waters of the sea, as light the brightest day, as fragrance the garden of choice flowers.” ~Henry Law (1797-1884), in the preface to his book Christ is All “To believe is to have been brought to the place where one knows that one has to rely completely on Jesus, and on Jesus alone.” ~Leslie Newbigin (1909-1998), British missionary and theologian “The degree to which we are willing to give Jesus access to what is deeply beneath the surface in our lives is the degree to which we will experience freedom in Him.” ~Peter Scazzero, pastor and author “Pastoral training is not an optional extra. It is an essential part of every church's ministry if it is to participate responsibly in the Great Commission that Jesus left the church.” ~Conrad Mbewe, pastor in Lusaka, Zambia SERMON PASSAGE John 7:1-31 (ESV) 1 After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him. 2 Now the Jews' Feast of Booths was at hand. 3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4 For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For not even his brothers believed in him. 6 Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. 8 You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After saying this, he remained in Galilee. 10 But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, “Where is he?” 12 And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.” 13 Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him. 14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” 16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?” 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?” 21 Jesus answered them, “I did one work, and you all marvel at it. 22 Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man's whole body well? 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” 25 Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? 26 And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? 27 But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” 28 So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. 29 I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” 30 So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”

    Remember His Unfailing Love

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 9, 2022 31:56


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “Though our feelings come and go, God's love for us does not.” ~C.S. Lewis “God's unfailing love for us is an objective fact affirmed over and over in the Scriptures. It is true whether we believe it or not. Our doubts do not destroy God's love, nor does our faith create it. It originates in the very nature of God, who is love, and it flows to us through our union with His beloved Son.” ~Jerry Bridges “The sin underneath all our sins is to trust the lie of the serpent that we cannot trust the love and grace of Christ and must take matters into our own hands.” ~Martin Luther “One of the greatest evidences of God's love to those that love him is to send them afflictions, with grace to bear them.” ~John Wesley “God's love does not keep us from trials, but sees us through them.” ~John Piper “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” ~Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV) SERMON PASSAGE Psalm 107 (ESV) 1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! 2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble 3 and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. “The Desert” 4 Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in; 5 hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. 6 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 7 He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. 8 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 9 For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. “The Prison” 10 Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and in irons, 11 for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High. 12 So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor; they fell down, with none to help. 13 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart. 15 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 16 For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron. “The Hospital” 17 Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction; 18 they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. 19 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 20 He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. 21 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 22 And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy! “The Storm” 23 Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; 24 they saw the deeds of the LORD, his wondrous works in the deep. 25 For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. 26 They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; 27 they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits' end. 28 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 29 He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. 30 Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. 31 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 32 Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. 33 He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, 34 a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the evil of its inhabitants. 35 He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. 36 And there he lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in; 37 they sow fields and plant vineyards and get a fruitful yield. 38 By his blessing they multiply greatly, and he does not let their livestock diminish. 39 When they are diminished and brought low through oppression, evil, and sorrow, 40 he pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes; 41 but he raises up the needy out of affliction and makes their families like flocks. 42 The upright see it and are glad, and all wickedness shuts its mouth. 43 Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.

    What Child is This?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 2, 2022 31:51


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “The situation would surely have been hopeless had the very majesty of God not descended to us, since it was not in our power to ascend to him. Hence, it was necessary for the son of God to become for us ‘Immanuel, that is, God with us.'” ~John Calvin, 16th Century pastor & theologian “He looked round again and could hardly believe his eyes. There was the blue sky overhead, and grassy country spreading as far as he could see in every direction, and his new friends all round him laughing. ‘It seems, then,' said Tirian, smiling himself, ‘that the stable seen from within and the stable seen from without are two different places.' ‘Yes,' said the Lord Digory. ‘Its inside is bigger than its outside.' ‘Yes,' said Queen Lucy. ‘In our world too, a stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world.'” ~C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle “Let us remember that our God put on our flesh, and all that comes with that. He put on growing pains and hunger, not to mention nerve endings that register the pain of burns, bruises, fevers, and every other pain. He did not keep himself from all of our hurt, but fully entered into our suffering in order to rescue us.” ~Luke Paiva, writer for Rooted Ministry “The reason that Jesus is in such close solidarity with us is that the difficult path we are on is not unique to us. He has journeyed on it himself. It is not only that Jesus can relieve us from our troubles, like a doctor prescribing medicine; it is also that, before any relief comes, he is with us in our troubles, like a doctor who has endured the same disease.” ~Dane Ortlund, Gentle & Lowly “The justified realize God would have been just to punish them. They know their best efforts to keep the law would have fallen far short. It's as if the biggest Christmas gifts belonged to the children who knew they deserved coal in their stocking. Jesus is the anti-Santa. He knows we belong on the naughty list. And that's why he came to save us.” ~Colin Hansen, Editor-in-Chief of The Gospel Coalition SERMON PASSAGE Colossians 1:15-23 (ESV) 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

    The Christmas Song

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 26, 2021 27:30


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn believed the Soviets “paid Christianity the ultimate compliment by trying to kill it, while Americans have offered it the ultimate insult by seeking to domesticate it.” ~Ralph Wood, scholar and writer, in Solzhenitsyn and American Culture Q. 27. Wherein did Christ's humiliation consist? A. Christ's humiliation consisted in his being born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross; in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time. Q. 28. Wherein consisteth Christ's exaltation? A. Christ's exaltation consisteth in his rising again from the dead on the third day, in ascending up into heaven, in sitting at the right hand of God the Father, and in coming to judge the world at the last day. ~Westminster Shorter Catechism (1647) “Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” ~Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), Baptist minister and civil rights activist “The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation. They say that God became Man. Every other miracle prepares for this, or exhibits this, or results from this. Just as every natural event is the manifestation at a particular place and moment of Nature's total character, so every particular Christian miracle manifests at a particular place and moment the character and significance of the Incarnation. There is no question in Christianity of arbitrary interferences just scattered about. It relates not a series of disconnected raids on Nature but the various steps of a strategically coherent invasion—an invasion which intends complete conquest and ‘occupation.' The fitness, and therefore credibility, of the particular miracles depends on their relation to the Grand Miracle; all discussion of them in isolation from it is futile…” ~C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) in Miracles Jesus “was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worthwhile.” ~Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957), writer and poet SERMON PASSAGE Philippians 2:1-11 (NIV) 1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    The Fountainhead of the Lord's Favor

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 19, 2021 29:08


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “What scares me is that I'm going to ultimately find out at the end of my life that I'm really not lovable, that I'm not worthy of being loved. That there's something fundamentally wrong with me.” ~Demi Moore, American actress “No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart…” ~Alan Watts (1915-1973), British philosopher and writer “Social media makes people greatly overthink their sense of self because their image can be perfected for the people around them, behind closed doors” ~The Dartmouth (April 2017) “The marker of those who understand the gospel of Jesus Christ is that, when they stumble and fall… they run to God and not from Him, because they clearly understand that their acceptance before God is not predicated upon their behavior but on the righteous life of Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death.” ~Matt Chandler, pastor and author “Learn this lesson… not to come to Him because you are fit to come, but to come to Him because you are unfit to come. Your fitness is your unfitness. Your qualification is your lack of qualification.” ~C.H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), English pastor and author “So secure is (King) Jesus in who He is – the Father's beloved Son – that He is free to serve rather than tyrannize His subjects, and to deal gently rather than harshly with the lowest and the weakest of them….” ~Knox Chamberlain (1935-2012), pastor and professor SERMON PASSAGE Isaiah 61:1-4 (ESV) 1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. 4 They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.

    The Coming of the King

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 12, 2021 39:35


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.” ~J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) in The Return of the King “There is no power without prayer, and there is no power in prayer without a resolve to endure all things for the sake of Jesus.” ~Jack Miller (1928-1996), missionary and church leader “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.” ~Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), civil rights activist “Jesus beckons me to follow him to that place of weakness where I risk the vulnerability of a child so that I might know how strong my Father is and how much he loves me. But truth be told, I would rather be an adult. I'd rather be in a place where I can still pull things together if God doesn't show up, where I risk no ultimate humiliation, where I don't have to take the shallow breaths of desperation. And as a result, my experience of my heavenly Father is simply impoverished.” ~Gary Haugen, founder of International Justice Mission “Some observers predicted that this new secularism [in America] would ease cultural conflict…. That was naïve. …[I]t's…making America's partisan clashes more brutal…. As Americans have left organized religion, they haven't stopped viewing politics as a struggle between ‘us' and ‘them.' Many have come to define us and them in even more primal and irreconcilable ways.” ~Peter Beinart in “Breaking Faith” in The Atlantic (April 2017) “God's vengeance did not fall on the sinners, but on the only sinless one, the Son of God, who stood in the place of sinners, Jesus Christ bore the vengeance of God…That was the end of all false thoughts about the love of a God who does not take sin very seriously. God hates and judges [his enemies] in the only righteous one, the one who prays for forgiveness for God's enemies. Only in the cross of Jesus Christ is the love of God to be found.” ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), German theologian and pastor, executed for his opposition to Hitler SERMON PASSAGE Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11 (ESV) 1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins. 3 A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” 9 Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” 10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

    The Christmas Tree

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 5, 2021 32:02


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “Fear doesn't deserve your obedience.” ~Jackie Hill Perry (1989-present), Author, poet, and artist “We fear men so much because we fear God so little.” ~William Gurnall (1616-1679), Anglican clergyman “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else.” ~Oswald Chambers (1874-1917), Scottish teacher and evangelist “…All the evil in this world Can be traced back to not fearing the Lord… And if fear of the Lord is a fountain of life Then not fearing the Lord must lead to death And that's where we all stand In the prophet Isaiah chapter 11 We find a prophecy about a Savior to come And it says in verse 3 that His delight Shall be in the fear of the Lord That Savior is none other than Jesus Christ Who lived a life of perfect obedience to God's law Jesus feared God perfectly And He died on the cross and rose from the grave To save His people from their sins So that all who trust Him can joyfully walk In the fear of the Lord Forever.” ~Eshon Burgundy w/ Shai Linne “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” ~C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), British writer and theologian “The [Christian] message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity – hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory – because at the Father's will Jesus became poor, and was born in a stable so that thirty years later He might hang on a cross.” ~J.I. Packer, 1926-2020, Theologian, cleric, and author SERMON PASSAGE Isaiah 11:1-10 (ESV) 1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. 2 And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. 3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, 4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. 5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. 6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. 9 They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. 10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be Glory…

    The King of Light and Peace

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2021 39:26


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “It is fatal to let people suppose that Christianity is only a mode of feeling; it is vitally necessary to insist that it is first and foremost a rational explanation of the universe.” “None of us feels the true love of God till we realize how wicked we are. But you can't teach people that – they have to learn by experience.” “If men will not understand the meaning of judgement, they will never come to understand the meaning of grace.” ~Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957), English writer and poet “The more affected we are with our misery, the fitter for Christ's mercy." ~Thomas Manton (1620-1677), English Puritan clergyman “There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us.” ~Richard Sibbes (1577-1635), English theologian “The prize of your faithfulness is your God. He is what you will get, he is preparing himself as the reward of his worshippers… He it is who is the reward of your faith and fidelity.” ~Augustine, North African church leader (Carthage, A.D. 419) “My evidence that I am saved does not lie in the fact that I preach, or that I do this or that. All my hope lies in this: that Jesus Christ came to save sinners. I am a sinner, I trust Him, then He came to save me, and I am saved.” ~Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892), famed London preacher “…he would go to Jerusalem not to wield the spear and bring the judgment, but to receive the spear thrust and bear the judgement.” ~Edmund Clowney (1917-2005), theologian and educator, on Jesus SERMON PASSAGE Isaiah 9:1-7 (ESV) 1 But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. 2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. 3 You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. 4 For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. 5 For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

    The Antidote to Grumbling

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 21, 2021 32:47


    QUOTES FOR REFLECTION “Hell begins with a grumbling mood, always complaining, always blaming others.... In each of us there is something growing, which will BE hell unless it is nipped in the bud.” ~C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), British writer and academic “Unbelief doesn't see God as the ultimate good. So it can't see sin as the ultimate evil. It instead sees sin as a good thing and thus God's commands as a stumbling block to joy. In believing the Devil, I didn't need a pentagram pendant to wear, neither did I need to memorize a hex or two. All I had to do was trust myself more than God's Word. I had to believe that my thoughts, my affections, my rights, my wishes, were worthy of absolute obedience and that in laying prostrate before the flimsy throne I'd made for myself, that I'd be doing a good thing.” ~Jackie Hill Perry, poet, writer and hip hop artist “Our huffing and puffing to impress God, our scrambling for brownie points, our thrashing about trying to fix ourselves while hiding our pettiness and wallowing in guilt are nauseating to God and are a flat-out denial of the gospel of grace.” ~Brennan Manning (1934-2013), Franciscan priest and author “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.” ~Viktor Frankl (1905-1997), psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor “Preaching should break a hard heart and heal a broken one.” ~John Newton (1725-1807), author of the hymn “Amazing Grace” “One mark of growth in grace is increased humility. The man whose soul is growing feels his own sinfulness and unworthiness more every year.” ~J.C. Ryle (1816-1900), English writer and minister “I do not know when I am more perfectly happy than when I am weeping for sin at the foot of the cross.” ~C.H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), famed London preacher SERMON PASSAGE selected passages (ESV) Psalm 105 1 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! 2 Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! 3 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! 1 Thessalonians 5 12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. Philippians 4 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. John 6 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.