God’s Wondrous Love—Romans 5:6-8

INTRODUCTION

 

Memorial Day is primarily when we remember those soldiers who have fallen in service for our nation. There are at least two words that make up the actions that make Memorial Day: Love and sacrifice. A soldier’s love for their nation, family, and comrades; A soldier’s willingness to sacrifice themselves for their nation, family, and comrades.

 

Where does that willingness to sacrifice oneself for the sake of love come from? It points us to Someone greater than ourselves. We are all made in the image of God, and so His characteristics of love and sacrifice are in some measure passed on to us. Yes, God Himself, is a loving God who was willing  to sacrifice Himself for us.

 

6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God  commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6–8)

 

In these verses we learn about the love of God, which is great and awesome. But we don’t appreciate much the love of God until we learn about…

Continue reading

What True Repentance Looks Like—2 Chronicles 33:1-20

INTRODUCTION

 

King Manasseh is one of the most well-known kings of ancient Judah. We learn about him in two of the books of the Bible—2 Kings 21 and 2 Chronicles 33. If we only had the account in 2 Kings, we would be left with the impression that Manasseh was a wicked king all his life. And he was a wicked king for most of his life. 

 

But what we don’t find in 2 Kings 21, is that Manasseh repented (probably very late in his life) and came to know the Lord. It’s this account we will look at because it is so instructive in what it means to repent. 

 

In 2 Chronicles 33, we see Manasseh sinning and then we see Manasseh repenting.

Continue reading

How Hannah Beat The Culture’s Expectations—1 Samuel 1

INTRODUCTION

 

Unfulfilled expectations are the cause of much sorrow and sadness. I was thinking about our son Noah recently and how the COVID-19 crisis ended our expectation of seeing him walk in a graduation at Bible college (which would have been May 2). It would have been a great moment in our lives, but it’s gone now.

 

As we think about mothers today, I wonder how many mothers have had unfulfilled expectations about motherhood. Maybe it’s harder than you thought it would be. 

 

The sleepless nights…the incessant demands of a baby…the challenge of older children not obeying. There are many ways that mothers could have expectations that aren’t fulfilled.

 

Motherhood itself is another expectation that, if unfulfilled, causes some women grief and sadness. Why hasn’t the Lord given me children? I am so ready! I would make a good mom!

 

That brings us to the account of Hannah—a barren woman who suffered great sadness. But she found fulfillment in the Lord. Turn to 1 Samuel 1.

Continue reading

Trust The Lord On Your Path Through Life—Proverbs 3:5-6

INTRODUCTION 

 

Proverbs 3:5-6 is perhaps the most famous of the Proverbs. It has guided countless believers through countless trials and countless choices.

 

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5–6)

 

First, above all things, you are to…

Continue reading

Jesus Is Great!—Colossians 1:14-17

INTRODUCTION 

 

I remember reading a story about a pastor who preached on Isaiah 6 and Isaiah’s vision of God in His throne—

 

1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: The whole earth is full of his glory. (Isaiah 6:1–3)

 

The pastor decided that he would simply preach on the holiness and greatness of God. He would not give one word of application, just focus on displaying a great God as clearly as he could. He preached and the people accepted it as a fine sermon, but nothing unusual.

 

Many weeks later, a father came to him and told him that their child had been sexually abused by a close relative. 

 

The father said the past few months had been the hardest of his life. He said, “Do you know what has gotten me through? That vision of God’s greatness that you gave me back in January.”

 

Well, I am trying not to expect the same response from anyone about this message! At the same time, I feel driven to show you a picture of Jesus and His greatness—to help us in difficult times. To do that, we are going to look at Colossians 1:14-17.

 

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Colossians 1:14–17)

 

Jesus is great! Amen!

 

Why is Jesus great? Let me draw out five reasons from this text:

Continue reading

How Should Christians Talk About God’s Judgment?

 

 

INTRODUCTION 

 

How should Christians talk about God’s judgment in the midst of a crisis?

 

You’ve all seen the stereotype. On a busy street corner in a major city there he stands—a man with long gray hair and a long beard holding a sign that says, “The End Is Near…Repent!” He shouts out verses from the book of Revelation that no one listens to as they hurry by.

 

At the opposite end, there’s a news talk show that calls three religious leaders after a major disaster: a Jewish Rabbi, a Muslim Imam, and a liberal Bishop so and so. The question is posed: “Is this disaster a judgment from God?” There’s a lot of intelligent banter, but the conclusion is the same: God doesn’t judge because God is love and we should love one another in the midst of the disaster.

 

Obviously, neither of these are good answers to our question about how Christians should talk about God’s judgment in the midst of a crisis. The first assumes knowledge that only God knows and second ignores knowledge that God has given us.

 

Let’s work through what the Bible says about God’s judgment and then see how we can apply that in discussions with people wondering about God’s involvement in the current crisis or any personal trial. To begin, we need to see that the Bible clearly teaches that…

Continue reading

Raised With Christ—Colossians 2:12-14

INTRODUCTION 

 

I recently read about a liberal preacher who said that we don’t have time to preach about the empty tomb, because there are more important things to preach about!

 

No true Christian would say that, because Christ’s empty tomb—His resurrection—is the most important thing! The question we want to ponder today is this, ”Why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ important for Christians?” 

 

Last time we were looking at Colossians 2, and this Resurrection Sunday, we’ll return there. Remember that, in his letter to the Colossians, Paul was warning his readers about false teachers who were saying that Christ was not enough. More was necessary: secret knowledge, Old Testament rules and traditions, and even the worship of angels. 

 

Last time we learned that Christ was enough and we are complete in Christ. Now, we are going to pick up where we left off. Turn to Colossians 2. We will only be looking at verses 12-14, but let’s read the verses fore and aft as well. 

 

11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Colossians 2:11–15)

 

Amen!

Continue reading