Sermon 04-30-2023: “Treasuring Christ Above All for the Sake of Loving Others”

May 3, 2023

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:1-10

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or at least haven’t been to church in the past month, you probably know our church’s vision statement by now: “Treasuring Christ above all and helping others do the same.” It’s on the front of your bulletin.

I want to answer three questions in today’s sermon: Number One, what does “treasuring Christ above all” have to do with loving others? Number Two, how hard is it to love like this? Number Three, how does “treasuring Christ above all” enable us to love?

But first, what does “treasuring Christ above all” have to do with loving others?

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Sermon 04-23-2023: “Throughout the Time of Your Exile”

May 3, 2023

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:13-21

Today, we continue with our sermon series on 1 Peter, “Upon This Rock.” Today’s sermon is all about living as an exile through faith in Christ. And I want to answer three questions in this sermon: First, what does it mean to be holy? Second, what does it mean to be an exile? And third, how does it relate to our church’s vision statement.

But first, what does it mean to be holy…

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Sermon 04-16-2023: “Rejoice with Joy that Is Inexpressible”

May 3, 2023

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:1-9

Today and for the next six Sundays, I’ll be preaching a sermon series on 1 Peter I’m calling “Upon This Rock.” The title comes from Peter’s great confession of faith at Caesarea Philippi, and it’s one reason Simon has the nickname Peter, which simply means “Rocky” in English.

In addition to looking at the letter at 1 Peter, I hope to tie-in experiences in Peter’s own life from the gospel stories that feature him.

But it is especially fitting that today is Confirmation Sunday—and that three of our church’s young people are making public their decision to receive Christ as their Savior and by God’s grace to follow him as disciples for the rest of their earthly lives. It’s fitting because here at the beginning of Peter’s first letter, in verses 1 and 2, we have what is practically a purpose statement for living a Christian life.

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Sermon 04-09-2023: “The Resurrected Lord Still Shows Up”

April 18, 2023

Scripture: John 20:1-18

Many of you joke that pastors like me only work one hour a week… That joke never gets old! But it’s not even true for me because our church has two worship services—so I work two hours. And this past week was especially difficult because—with Maundy Thursday and Good Friday—I had to work twice as much. And I guess with the extra workload, I didn’t have time to make sure that my sermon outline on back of the bulletin was accurate… so you can just cross through the sermon outline. 

I am preaching about resurrection of Jesus Christ from John 20, but my sermon is called, “The Resurrected Lord Still Shows Up,” and I’ll talk about this theme in three points: Point Number One, doubt happens. Point Number Two, our resurrected Lord overcomes doubt by showing up. And, Point Number Three, we must show up for him!

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Sermon 04-02-2023: “Why Jesus Had to Die”

April 18, 2023

Scripture: Isaiah 52:13-53:12 Matthew 21:1-11

Today’s sermon is the next-to-last in our series, “The Gospel According to the Old Testament.” This Thursday, Maundy Thursday, I’m preaching on Passover and the exodus from Egypt. But no series on this topic can be complete without examining Isaiah 53. It is the most explicit Old Testament passage about what Jesus accomplishes through his atoning death on the cross.

And so, with both this passage and our Palm Sunday scripture, I want to answer three questions: First, what is our biggest human problem, which Jesus came to solve? Second, how does Jesus solve this problem? And, third, what is different as a result?

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Sermon 03-26-2023: “Can These Bones Live?”

April 3, 2023

Scripture: Ezekiel 37:1-14

In Ezekiel chapter 36, which immediately precedes today’s scripture, Ezekiel talks about a future day in which believers will receive the Holy Spirit. God tells the prophet, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” 1

Notice those words: God will “cause you to walk…” The Holy Spirit, to say the least, changes the way we live. In a nutshell, that’s what this sermon is about. First, the Spirit gives us life in the first place. Second, he gives us power to change. And, third, change isn’t optional.  

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Sermon 03-19-2023: “God’s Grace in the Past, Present, and Future”

March 21, 2023

Scripture: Exodus 17:1-7

You may recall that in chapters 2 and 3 of the Book of Revelation, Jesus himself sends letters to seven churches—one is the church at Ephesus. He first commends the church for its faithfulness before saying, in chapter 2, verse 4, “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first”—or literally, your “first love,” by which he means, “your love for Jesus Christ.”

What I want for us in this sermon, what I want for us in this season of Lent, indeed, what I want for us all the time… is that we could return to or renew or deepen our love for Christ. This sermon talks about four ways we can do that. First, by remembering God’s grace toward us in the past. Second, by remembering God’s power in the present. Third, by remembering God’s promise in the future. And fourth, by remembering the cross of God’s Son Jesus.

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Sermon 03-12-2023: “Features of Faithful Christian Living”

March 21, 2023

Scripture: Genesis 11:27-12:9

If you turned on the radio in 1997, chances are you heard a song called “MmmBop,” by a band of three brothers who called themselves “Hanson.” “MmmBop” was a number one song in America and around the world—the biggest song of the year, one of the biggest songs of the decade! The band has made a lot of music since then, but they are by far most remembered for “MmmBop.”

Last month, to the surprise of many, the drummer of Hanson—Zac Hanson, who’s married with five kids—got ordained as a deacon in an Eastern Orthodox Church. 

To say the least, it is a long journey from pop superstardom and life at the top of the charts to answering God’s call into ordained ministry.

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Sermon 03-05-2023: “Why We Need a Savior”

March 15, 2023

Scripture: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-15

In Luke chapter 24, two disciples of Jesus are returning from Jerusalem to their hometown of Emmaus, about eight miles away. It’s Easter Sunday. Although some of their fellow disciples told them that they found the tomb of Jesus empty, they don’t know what to make of it. As of yet, along with most of their fellow disciples, they don’t believe that their Lord has been resurrected. So they head for home, discouraged and confused.

Then the resurrected Lord meets them on the road, but, as Luke tells us, “their eyes were kept from recognizing him.” At Jesus’ prompting, they tell him about the events of Good Friday as well as the reports of the empty tomb.

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Sermon 02-26-2023: “Claiming the Promise that Kills Our Pride”

March 15, 2023

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:10-23

My sermon is about pride and a promise. It has three points. Point Number One: Lent and the problem of pride. Point Number Two: the problem of pride in Corinth and in us. Point Number Three: the promise that kills our pride.

Point Number One: Lent and the problem of pride…

I didn’t grow up Methodist; I grew up Baptist—we didn’t observe the season of Lent. 

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