Name That Prophet

It would be hard to find many people living in the western world that aren’t at least somewhat familiar with the story of how Jesus came to spend His time with us.  Though the actual facts of His birth may not be quite what our traditions portray, we’ve all seen the depictions of Mary and Joseph with the baby Jesus in the manger.  What you may not know is that many of the facts of Jesus early life were foretold centuries before they happened by the prophets in the Old Testament.  Every prophecy that covers events that have already occurred is completely accurate.  What does that tell us about the ones yet to come?  Who were these prophets?  Listen as we look at these men blessed by Yahweh to give His people the signs that pointed to Jesus the promised messiah.  We’ll be reading from Matthew 1-2 and Luke 2.

If you’d like to see some more of the prophecies about Jesus that were fulfilled by His life, death, and resurrection, check out the link below.  I don’t know anything about the organization behind this site and haven’t looked at any of the other material so this is not an endorsement of the site, but this page has a neat little summary of just some of the prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus.  The commentary is pretty good too.

http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/m_prophecies.shtml

Who Do You Think You Are?

You’ve been told that God has a plan for Your life, but maybe you have some doubt about that.  I certainly have.  I have often thought that even if God did have a plan for my life, surely I had messed it up.  Now here is the revelation that I have had about God’s grace and sovereignty.  You can’t mess up His plan.  We’re going to look at all kinds of people in the Bible that we would probably think God would never use, yet they are key players in God’s master plan.  From Abraham to Paul, God chose messed up people just like you and me to do His work.  Who do we think we are that we could thwart Him even if we tried.  Not even a whole nation can do it.  Read what he says about Israel in Romans 11.  I hope you’ll listen and be encouraged.

What is Your Platform?

Each election cycle, the political parties meet and decide on their platforms.  In a physical sense, a platform is a raised flat area on which one can safely stand.  Metaphorically, that’s what the party platforms are about.  They lay down a set of principles and ideas that are meant to form the foundation on which each candidate will govern.  Though individuals may not adhere completely to the party platform, it tells you something about them that they will run under the banner of a particular party.  I urge you to read the platforms of the major parties prayerfully and make your choices with that in mind.

I want to ask you a more important question.  What is your platform?  What are the foundational principles and ideals that govern your life?  Do you indeed stand on them?  Do you live what you say you believe?  Does your belief touch every area of your life?

Our nation’s problems didn’t start with the politicians.  They started with the people who chose those politicians.  If we will not choose leaders who reflect Godly principles, we will get what we deserve.  If we are not devoted to knowing God’s laws ourselves, we cannot hope to select leaders who will uphold them.

Jesus is our rock.  He is the foundation on which everything must stand if it is to survive.  Everything that we think, believe, and do should be subjected to the standards found in His word.  In this podcast, we’ll explore it together starting with Matthew 7:15-27.

Saved from What?

During a previous sermon, a church member asked me, “saved from what?”  In this podcast, I’m going to talk about getting “saved.”  Most if not all of you who are likely to be hearing this have already given your lives to Jesus.  You may consider this a very elementary topic, but I have found over the years that even among sincere Christians there is a lack of understanding that makes it hard for us to communicate to those who may question the importance of the Gospel message.  In fact, if we do not understand what it is we were saved from and why we needed saving, we may need to reevaluate what it was that we did when we prayed that special prayer.  Certainly we will have an incomplete understanding of the grace and mercy given to us by God.  It is my prayer that after listening  we will have a greater comprehension of what Jesus did for us and a greater depth of knowledge from which to answer the question, “saved from what?”

Holey Holiness

This is another one I hope to do over sometime.  I share it now because despite the rough delivery there’s good stuff in here.

Sometimes when I ware my old clothes around the house, my wife will say to me, “It’s not Sunday, why are you wearing your holey clothes?”  I think that’s what we do.”  We put on our holiness when we think others might see us, but we often don’t see that our “Sunday best” is full of holes.

When God gave Moses the laws for the children of Israel, He said repeatedly, “be holy.”  Leviticus 19:2 says in part, “You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.”  Peter writes, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.'” (1 Peter 1:14-16 NASB)

What does it mean to be holy?  Is it something we can do for ourselves?  Why is it important?  I’ll explore these questions in this podcast.

Hoping for the Best

This could be so much better.  Some day I’ll do it over.
What comes to mind when you think about hope?  We tend to use the word rather lightly.  It’s more like “I wish” than in its deeper meaning.  When we see hope in the Bible, it has a much greater significance than a mere wish.  In fact, the whole book is a message of hope.  So, what does it mean?  Why is it significant?  How do we find it?  In this podcast, we’ll start in Romans 5:1-6 and see where it leads.

Go!

I don’t remember exactly when it was.  I don’t remember very much of what he said, but one word came through loud and clear.  I was a young teenager.  The preacher was my dad, and the word was “go!”  Preacher’s kids the world over have probably experienced this; that frightening moment of truth when the fact that you were daydreaming during Dad’s sermon gets exposed.  He turns to you and asks, “what did I preach on today?”  I remember this particular day very well.  I’m sorry to say I was probably no more attentive than usual, but that sermon was quite pointed.  I remember the sense of relief when my one-word response was deemed sufficient, “go!”

Now let’s put the word in context.  We’ll begin with some of the last words Jesus spoke to His disciples before going back to Heaven after his resurrection.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  (Matt 28:19-20)

We’ll talk about what He told us to do, why it is so important, and what happens when we do it.  Get your shoes on, because we’re going to go!

Something Sinful

I’ll bet that even if you usually don’t read these, you opened up this one. I would have. That word “sinful” catches our eyes and we’re intrigued, even if we don’t know what we’re in for. I hope you would have reason to believe that you’re not really going to see something sinful, but if you’re like most of us your first response was not aversion, but curiosity.

Why is that? What draws us to things we would do better to avoid? Is it the devil? Is it a “sinful nature?” Sin is one of those Christianese words, but one the world is familiar with. However, I think even most Christians don’t really understand what it is. How many commercials have we seen where something is portrayed as so good it must be sinful. Herein lies one of Satan’s tricks. By getting us to equate all pleasurable experience with sin, he hides its true nature and sucks all the joy from our lives in the bargain. So, we’re going to talk about sin. I hope you’ll gain a better understanding of what it is, why you want to avoid it, how to avoid it and the only Reason why you can.

The Choice to Rejoice

This is the first sermon I preached after being ordained.  You can tell.  But as I listened to it this morning God used it to remind me of things I needed to remember.  I pray that it will bless you as well.  ey you get to practice even as you listen.  🙂

Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!”  If the Lord, through Paul’s letter, is telling us to rejoice, then it must be something we can choose to do.  When you’re reading the bible and find that something gets repeated, that mean’s it’s especially important.  Paul obviously considered this important because he said it twice.  In This podcast, we will look at what joy is, why we should rejoice, and some practical things to help us do it.