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Archive for the ‘Sermon Preview’ Category

With the election season behind us, we’re turning our eyes toward Advent. Advent is our season of preparation and waiting for the promise of Jesus. We look both backwards and forwards in time, back to the promises of Christ’s birth and forward to the promises of Christ coming again.

This Sunday we start that journey looking at God’s promise to do a new thing. Doing something new can be both exciting and scary. God’s promise, found in both Isaiah and Revelation, is a word of hope to those hurting and mourning. God’s desire for creation isn’t throwing it away, but renewing it. God’s future is one of joy.

We’ll talk about this promise, God’s desired renewal and our joy this Sunday.

 

Isaiah 65:17-25            Common English Bible (CEB)

Look! I’m creating a new heaven and a new earth:

past events won’t be remembered;

they won’t come to mind.

18 Be glad and rejoice forever

in what I’m creating,

because I’m creating Jerusalem as a joy

and her people as a source of gladness.

19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad about my people.

No one will ever hear the sound of weeping or crying in it again.

20 No more will babies live only a few days,

or the old fail to live out their days.

The one who dies at a hundred will be like a young person,

and the one falling short of a hundred will seem cursed.

21 They will build houses and live in them;

they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

22 They won’t build for others to live in,

nor plant for others to eat.

Like the days of a tree will be the days of my people;

my chosen will make full use of their handiwork.

23 They won’t labor in vain,

nor bear children to a world of horrors,

because they will be people blessed by the Lord,

they along with their descendants.

24 Before they call, I will answer;

while they are still speaking, I will hear.

25 Wolf and lamb will graze together,

and the lion will eat straw like the ox,

but the snake—its food will be dust.

They won’t hurt or destroy at any place on my holy mountain,

says the Lord.

What is a sermon preview?

Sermon previews are released on Thursdays. They offer a short glimpse of what we’re going to talk about on Sunday morning. They are updated on Mondays with a way to respond to the message, like an action to take or question to consider in your life. I post these for two reasons. First I hope they help you see the sermon connecting with your week. Second, I hope you’ll share these with friends. You can share through email or Facebook / Twitter so they know what we’re exploring on Sunday.

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This week we’re finishing up our series on keeping faith in an election. We’ve moved through John Wesley’s Three Simple Rules for the people called Methodists. We’ve explored what it might mean to Do No Harm, Do Good, and Stay Connected to God in the midst of all the noise and confusion

Now this Sunday we’re looking towards what happens on November 9th and following. On the other side of the election, to what are we called? How do we keep our faith and find our place after this season? We’re looking at a letter written to a church with some advice for living out their public life. In it, Paul points them back to the source of their hope.

Coming on November 9th what is your hope?

Philippians 2:1-11        Common English Bible (CEB)

Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort in love, any sharing in the Spirit, any sympathy, 2 complete my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, being united, and agreeing with each other. 3 Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. 4 Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others. 5 Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus:

6 Though he was in the form of God,

he did not consider being equal with God something to exploit.

7 But he emptied himself

by taking the form of a slave

and by becoming like human beings.

When he found himself in the form of a human,

8         he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,

even death on a cross.

9 Therefore, God highly honored him

and gave him a name above all names,

10     so that at the name of Jesus everyone

in heaven, on earth, and under the earth might bow

11         and every tongue confess that

Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

What is a sermon preview?

Sermon previews are released on Thursdays. They offer a short glimpse of what we’re going to talk about on Sunday morning. They are updated on Mondays with a way to respond to the message, like an action to take or question to consider in your life. I post these for two reasons. First I hope they help you see the sermon connecting with your week. Second, I hope you’ll share these with friends. You can share through email or Facebook / Twitter so they know what we’re exploring on Sunday.

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We’ve been working our way through John Wesley’s Three Simple Rules as way of grounding ourselves and keeping faith in the midst of this crazy election cycle. This Sunday we’re tackling his 3rd Rule: Attend the Ordinances of God. Unlike his first two, this one takes some translation. For Wesley, the ordinances of God were those practices that kept us tied to faith like prayer, reading Scripture, and caring for the poor. These are the ways we live out our faith and receive God’s grace. In short, they help keep us connected to God. This Sunday we’ll talk about how we keep that connection strong in the midst of all the noise and bluster of politics.

Colossians 2:6-8, 12-13           Common English Bible

6 So live in Christ Jesus the Lord in the same way as you received him. 7 Be rooted and built up in him, be established in faith, and overflow with thanksgiving just as you were taught. 8 See to it that nobody enslaves you with philosophy and foolish deception, which conform to human traditions and the way the world thinks and acts rather than Christ.

12 You were buried with him through baptism and raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead because of the things you had done wrong and because your body wasn’t circumcised, God made you alive with Christ and forgave all the things you had done wrong.

Spiritual disciplines (like prayer, reading Scripture, or helping others) keep us grounded in our faith. What’s a discipline you can focus on to keep your faith strong while this election season finishes? And what’s an election event (like TV ad, phone call, mailer, yard sign) that can be your reminder to engage that discipline?

What is a sermon preview?

Sermon previews are released on Thursdays. They offer a short glimpse of what we’re going to talk about on Sunday morning. They are updated on Mondays with a way to respond to the message, like an action to take or question to consider in your life. I post these for two reasons. First I hope they help you see the sermon connecting with your week. Second, I hope you’ll share these with friends. You can share through email or Facebook / Twitter so they know what we’re exploring on Sunday.

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Keeping Your Faith in the Midst of An Election

This has been a crazy election season, certainly crazier than any I can remember. As we get closer, the conversation keeps getting uglier and uglier. The more I read and hear, the more I find myself needing signs of hope. How do we keep our faith in the midst of an election? How should Christians respond to politics as things get hotter and meaner?

John Wesley offered three simple rules for the people called Methodist. Bishop Job introduced them as Do No Harm, Do Good, and Stay in Love with God. We’ll use those as a guide as we seek to find hope and discover our faithfulness in the midst of an election.

So this week we’re talking about what Christians can do to endeavor to Do No Harm during an election. Come join us!

1 Timothy 2:1-6            Common English Bible

First of all, then, I ask that requests, prayers, petitions, and thanksgiving be made for all people. 2 Pray for kings and everyone who is in authority so that we can live a quiet and peaceful life in complete godliness and dignity. 3 This is right and it pleases God our savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 There is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the human Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a payment to set all people free. This was a testimony that was given at the right time.

 

What is a sermon preview?

Sermon previews are released on Thursdays. They offer a short glimpse of what we’re going to talk about on Sunday morning. They are updated on Mondays with a way to respond to the message, like an action to take or question to consider in your life. I post these for two reasons. First I hope they help you see the sermon connecting with your week. Second, I hope you’ll share these with friends. You can share through email or Facebook / Twitter so they know what we’re exploring on Sunday.

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Love Your Enemies

We’re all told not to hate from a young age, but it’s hard to avoid. We all have those people who work against us, who do us wrong, or who we just plain don’t like. Jesus doesn’t come to offer us life that looks like “business as usual.” His abundant life looks different.

Matthew 5:43-47 (CEB)

43 “You have heard that it was said, You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you 45 so that you will be acting as children of your Father who is in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both the evil and the good and sends rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same?

Those are some hard instructions! How do we pray for our enemies? Better yet, how do we do that and not have it sound like this?


 

What is a sermon preview?
Sermon previews are released on Thursdays. They offer a short glimpse of what we’re going to talk about on Sunday morning.


Here’s the prayer for our enemies that I shared on Sunday. Try praying it for someone who frustrates you to see how God moves in your heart and life.

God, 
I don’t know how to love my enemies, but I trust you can change my heart and theirs. Bless (say their name). Make your presence known and bring us both closer to you. Amen.

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