On November 17 we had a very special Sunday. Baby Addie was baptized and welcomed into Christ’s family. And we celebrated Jim and Linda Marshall as they set forth to move downstate to be with their daughter and granddaughter. It was a moving and emotional Sunday and the short sermon focused on the sanctity of life, a topic that connected to both the baptism of a child and to a family leaving their lives behind to take care of their grown daughter. Life is sacred to God, and it is at all stages of life.
On November 24 Wally Stansbury preached for me and his subject was Christ the King. He looked at the three-fold office of Christ- Prophet, Priest, and King, as it was Christ the King Sunday. This was a very informative message that is worth your time. It is about 18 minutes long.
This past Sunday I preached on Luke 20:27-38. In this passage the Sadducees, those who don’t believe in the resurrection of the dead, come to Jesus to try to disprove the resurrection (the idea that all people will be resurrected in the end) by posing a question that they think would show how ridiculous of a concept it is. They pose a question regarding seven marriages to one woman- each husband died then she remarried. They asked, then, whose wife will she be in the resurrection?
Jesus understood their purpose and laid out for them that they were wrong for two reasons. They were wrong because they didn’t believe in the power of God; and they were wrong because they didn’t even understand their own scriptures. Using his best apologetic method, Jesus pointed the Sadducees back to the book of Exodus to show how God called himself the God of those who had already died. Jesus’ response was, “He is the God of the living, not the dead.”
This then begs the questions that we each must ask ourselves, “Do you believe in the power of God, and do you know the scriptures?”
Here is the sermon from Ruth 3, the third week of my sermon series on Ruth. In this chapter Naomi concocts her plan to get Ruth and Boaz together. Ruth goes to Boaz by cover of night to seek his proposal of marriage/redemption. Boaz agrees to do so, but first he must deal with a family redeemer ahead of him in right to redeem Ruth. Through his actions, we learn that Boaz is a good and godly man. Naomi also learns that God yet has good in store for her and Ruth despite all of the turmoil of their past.
Here are my first two sermons from my current sermon series on Ruth. Each sermon in the series deals with one chapter of the book. In chapter 1, we meet Naomi and Ruth, learn of Naomi’s extreme hardship, Ruth’s loyalty and commitment to her mother-in-law, and Naomi’s belief that God has turned against her.
In chapter 2, we meet Boaz, learn that he is a good man, that he shows great kindness to Ruth, that he is a kinsman-redeemer, and that Naomi realizes all of this and realizes that God may yet have good in store for her and Ruth. Each message is about 30 minutes long. I hope you enjoy them.
This past Sunday I preached on Luke 17:5-10. The apostles ask Jesus to increase their faith and then he tells a parable against them. We looked at what prompted the apostles asking for increased faith (Jesus telling them that they have a responsibility to forgive someone as often as they sin and repent, and the apostles thinking that is a hard thing), and what Jesus’ response was to it. His basic response was that they didn’t need more faith (faith the size of a mustard seed can already do incredible things). Instead, they needed to act on their faith by seeing even these hard teachings as their duty.
Here are my sermons for the last two weeks.
On September 22 I preached on 1 Timothy 2:1-8. I talked about the importance of us praying all types of prayer for all types of people. This means that we must be willing to pray intercessions and even thanksgivings for those we consider enemies. And we often find that in so doing, we have a difficult time viewing people as enemies.
On September 29 I preached on Luke 16:19-31. This is the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. I explained this parable and talked about how the ultimate point Jesus seemed to be making was that the Rich Man didn’t believe the teachings of the faith and thus lived only for himself. This resulted in the Rich Man being sent to hell where he was in anguish and realized that it was too late to repent and live a life of faith. We need to be honest about whether we believe the teachings of the gospel, or if we have given some mental assent to it while living our lives in a way that suggests we don’t really- deep down- believe those teachings much, if at all.
On Sunday, September 15, Justus Miwanda, an Anglican Priest from Uganda, spoke at New Life. He came to tell us about the work that he does in Uganda of providing education for orphans and those who can’t afford an education. He spoke briefly about his work, then preached on the Parable of the Good Samaritan, encouraging us to follow the Good Samaritan’s example of caring for those outside of our own cultural setting. It was a powerful and moving message and I encourage you to listen and to share it with others. Unfortunately, the first part of this talk did not record, so it picks up a few minutes in. However, even picking up a few minutes in, it is a great message worth hearing.
Also, here is a link to International Needs Network, for which Justus serves as Executive Director in Uganda.
This past Sunday I preached on Luke 13:22-30. In this passage, a man asks Jesus if only a few are saved. Jesus’ response amounted to, “Don’t worry how many will be saved. Worry about whether or not you will be saved.” He talked about striving (agonizing) to enter through the narrow door. Jesus wants us to agonize- to prioritize him to the point where there is real cost to us in following him- after him. He doesn’t just want a profession of faith, but a true possession of faith.
Have a listen and be blessed.
On Sunday, August 18, New Life was blessed to have Fr. Mike Cupp of Grand Rapids Anglican Church as our guest preacher. He spent the first five or so minutes telling us about his church, which was planted a year ago in Grand Rapids. That was followed by fifteen minutes dealing with Hebrews 12 and the topic of peace. We enjoyed Fr. Mike’s visit and his message and it is well worth the listen.
Share this with others so they can be introduced to what the Lord is doing in Grand Rapids as well.
I am posting this a week late because when he preached this sermon, he announced that Grand Rapids Anglican Church was changing their name to Prince of Peace Anglican Church. However, he had not yet announced that to his own congregation. So I held this back until he could officially announce it this past week.
This past Sunday I preached on Luke 12:32-40. Much of Luke 12 revolves around Jesus telling his hearers not to fear for their needs because they have a loving Father in heaven. The passage begins with Jesus saying, “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” He follows this by telling them to sell their goods and store up treasure in heaven. The questions, then, is these: do we live in fear, not trusting that God has freely given us the kingdom in Christ? Or do we store up our own treasure on earth because we don’t trust that God will provide in this life and the next?