Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Teen Sunday: God's Love and Forgiveness (audio)

Our youth group constantly amazes me. I'm always a bit nervous whenever I ask them what they want me to preach on whenever "Teen Sunday" comes around. Every time though they come up with a topic that reveals they're wanting to draw closer to our Lord.

This Sunday they came up with the topic of God's love and how He can forgive us. Even for the "experts" this is a difficult topic because how many of us can truly comprehend the deep love Jesus has for us? Or even how He can forgive when we have wronged Him as terribly and deeply as we have?

I commend our youth group for thinking along these lines. i know it is the Holy Spirit working in them.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Kingdom Parables: Wheat, Tares, and the Dragnet (audio)

The reality of the kingdom of heaven is that it exists here on earth. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish it from the rest of the world.

That is the point of Jesus' parables of the wheat, the tares, and the dragnet.

There are times when it will be difficult to distinguish the manifestation of the kingdom of heaven, the Church and the lives of Christians, from the rest of the world. But the differences will be made known, and it is God who will do the final separation.

This is the last sermon of the series "Kingdom Parables". Take a listen, and go back and listen to the previous sermons as well. I hope you have been challenged, but I also hope you have grown in your understanding throughout this series as to what the kingdom of heaven is all about.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Kingdom Parables: Mustard Seeds and Leaven in the Bread (audio)

Sometimes the smallest things can have the biggest impact. But how often do we believe that is true? We think we need something big in order to bring about a desired change, but what Jesus tells us in these parables is that what starts off small leads to a big result.

The mustard seed is a tiny plant. You don't need much leaven in order to make bread dough rise.

These are different ways of looking at the kingdom of heaven, and the scope of that kingdom, as well as how it was established, ought to make us consider that every little action we do just might lead to a big result.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Teen Sunday: Freedom in Jesus (audio)

The last Sunday of each month is an opportunity for our youth group to help plan the worship service. They get to pick out some of the songs, and they help in greeting and in the collection. I also encourage them to give me a topic to preach on. This Sunday they wanted to know more about what it means to have freedom in Jesus.

So, working out of Galatians 5, we went through that topic. Here's the sermon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Kingdom Parables: The Value of the Kingdom (audio)

What if you found a treasure you're willing to give up everything for? And if we do give up everything, do we continue to value it as much?

In today's sermon, which is the third in the series on The Kingdom Parables, Jesus compares the value of a treasure discovered in a field, as well as a pearl that cost a merchant all he had. But what of the man who owned the field that contained the treasure? Did he not know the treasure was there? Did he care if he did know?

Take a listen to this sermon, and I hope you're challenged by what you hear.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Kingdom Parables: Seed on the Soil (audio)

How exactly does a seed turn into a plant?

Science may be able to tell us the how's, but it doesn't control the process by which the nutrients of the soil interact with the seed, and it doesn't cause the rain to fall or the sun to shine so that they can provide their part.

This is how Jesus explains the first parable we're looking at in today's sermon, found in Mark 4:26-32.

The second parable is the mustard seed, which starts off small, but becomes one of the largest plants.

What do these say exactly about the Kingdom of God? Take a listen to find out.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Kingdom Parables: New Cloth and New Wine (audio)

We love tradition. It's comfortable, it's broken in, it gives us delight. There isn't necessarily anything wrong with it.

Sometimes though tradition can get in the way when God is wanting to do something new.

The question was posed to Jesus about why His disciples didn't fast. The pharisees' disciples fasted, as did John the Baptist's disciples. That led Jesus into revealing a truth about the Kingdom of God. Both groups were anticipating its arrival. The pharisees believed though that strict adherence to the Law and the traditions built up around it were what would bring it about (new patch on old cloth).

John the Baptist's disciples were primed for something new. They knew things were going to change. But they loved the tradition too and didn't recognize that God was doing something new, and they kept doing the old while the new was with them (new wine into old wineskin).

This is the first sermon in the series where we'll be looking at the parables Jesus told concerning the Kingdom of God: