Archive for June, 2022

Sermon 06-26-2022: “‘Setting Our Faces’ to Follow Christ”

June 28, 2022

Scripture: Luke 9:51-62

Our scripture begins, “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he—Jesus—set his face to go to Jerusalem.” He set his face… That’s an unusual figure of speech, but it’s used in a few places in the Bible. What does it mean to “set one’s face”? It means that you’ve decided to do something very difficult, or something very costly, or even something risky or dangerous. But you’re determined to do it, no matter how difficult, because you know it’s the right thing to do.

Jesus has “set his face” toward Jerusalem because he knows what’s waiting for him there: the cross. He’s had an appointment to keep with that cross since before the creation of the world. And now his Father has revealed to him that the time has come for him to go to the cross.

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Sermon 06-19-2022: “Challenges to Faithful Christian Living”

June 28, 2022

Scripture: 1 Kings 19:1-18

The twentieth-century English novelist and Christian apologist G.K. Chesterton famously said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”

I’m sure most of us can relate. I’m sure the prophet Elijah in today’s scripture could relate! 

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Sermon 06-12-2022: “The Power Behind Positive Thinking”

June 27, 2022

Scripture: Acts 16:6-10, 16-34

Last week, we looked at how the Holy Spirit was poured out on all believers at Pentecost. As I said then, when we place our faith in Christ and are born again, every single one of us receives the Spirit. And the main thing the Spirit does, I said, is to enable us fulfill Christ’s commission in this world, the Great Commission. Today’s sermon is a sequel to last week’s, because in this week’s scripture we see examples of the Holy Spirit in action in the lives of Paul, Silas, and Timothy, and in the lives of people they’re reaching with the gospel.

And I want to focus on three things that the Holy Spirit does for us believers in Jesus. One, the Spirit enables us to overcome disappointing circumstances. As part of this point, I’ll explain the importance of discerning God’s specific will for decisions we make. Point Number Two, he enables us to overcome sin. And, Point Number Three, he enables us to overcome suffering… And when I say “overcome suffering,” I don’t mean we can reach a place where we magically never suffer anymore; rather, I mean that the Holy Spirit will equip to handle it much better, to deal with it much more effectively, without having it destroy us or harm us spiritually. 

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Sermon 06-05-2022: “Treasuring Christ by the Power of the Holy Spirit”

June 8, 2022

Scripture: Acts 2:1-21

I’ve told you before that back in 2012 and 2013, I made two trips to Kenya, in East Africa. I went there to teach indigenous United Methodist pastors—to teach them the basics of church history, Wesleyan theology and doctrine, and things related to liturgy and our Book of Discipline. Kenya was a former British colony and many of my students—about a hundred in all… many of them spoke English quite beautifully, but even the best English speakers in the classes only spoke English as a second language… and some didn’t speak it at all… Their first language was Swahili. Which meant I used an interpreter.

I enjoyed the experience! But it took a little while to get the hang of it… to learn to speak a sentence, or even a half-sentence, then to pause, then to allow my words to be translated… and then continue.

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Sermon 05-29-2022: “From Grumbling to Glory”

June 8, 2022

Scripture: John 5:1-18

Today’s sermon is about healing, both spiritual and physical healing—and about how all healing comes from God. And I want to make three important points about healing that emerge from today’s scripture. Point Number One: grace… all healing is a gift God’s grace. Point Number Two: grumbling… what does a grumbling or complaining spirit have to do with true healing? And Point Number Three: glory… true and complete healing leads to God’s glory; that’s the goal of healing in the first place… So… Grace, grumbling, and glory

But first, let’s talk about grace… 

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