Based on: John 8:31-36 Are you a slave? Even if you don’t think you are, you have been one in the past. Sometimes, you still act like one. You might say, “But pastor, we live in a free country. I can do what I want. I can make my own choices. No one ‘owns’ me!” Really? If we could make our own choices, don’t you think we would do what is best for us? Don’t you think we would avoid the choices that end up hurting us? Yet, what happens?…Read More
Based on: Revelation 14:6
The license plate from the state of North Carolina makes a very a bold claim. It says, “First in flight.” Of course they are referring to the Wright brothers and the first powered and sustained flight at Kitty Hawk. Do you see some irony in that – a license plate on a car which takes pride in flying?
It may be true that the first powered, human flight took place in North Carolina, but long before Orville and Wilbur Wright were even born, the gospel was flying. God gave the gospel wings through his people, flying it to the hearts and minds of every nation, tribe, language, and people.
Based on: Luke 17:11-19
Imagine seven football fields arranged end to end. It’s pretty close to half a mile. Then imagine that whole length turned up on end and having that whole distance of seven football fields consist of rock over your head and your only path to the surface has just been blocked by a cave in. You have no way out – no way to escape. That is what the thirty-three miners in Chile experienced on August 5th when a section of the copper mine they worked in collapsed. Very suddenly they were faced with the very high probability that they would die in that cave.
Think about this. There was nothing they could do to save themselves. They could not dig themselves out. Beyond the limited supply found in the cave, they could not provide themselves with food, water, or even air. If it were not for the work of people on the surface they would have no hope.
Based on: Luke 16:19-31
Which of them had the greatest wealth: the rich man or Lazarus? It is obvious that the rich man was enjoying his money. Lazarus, on the other hand, didn’t have money and valued the promises of God found in God’s Word. What about you? What do you value more: money or God’s Word? If you put them on a balance scale which would have the greater value. I think we would all want to say, “God’s Word” But would God’s Word win by a narrow margin or a large?
Based on: Luke 16:1-13
As a pastor, sometimes I hear about some of the concerns of other pastors. I have heard that there have been times that a member of the congregation will suggest to their pastor that he shouldn’t preach so much about money. I have heard of one case where a member actually told his pastor outright not to preach about money.
Based on: Luke 14:25-35
So, you want to follow Jesus? You want to be his disciple? Good! Do you know what that means? After all, if you are going to do something as life changing is following Jesus, becoming his disciple, it would be good to know what is involved. Sort of like buying a used car. You want to know everything you can about the car both good and bad, before you spend money on that car. The same with following Jesus. In fact, he wants you to know the big picture, both good and bad, before you make such a large commitment. What do you think? Shouldn’t you consider the cost of following Jesus?
Based on: Luke 14:1,7-14
It is the day of the wedding and you are a good friend of the groom. You go to the wedding. You get there early for the reception. You find a place to sit very close to the bride and groom. You are proud to be connected to this fine couple who just got married. You settle into your seat and get ready for what is sure to be a wonderful celebration. You see the groom come in the room and you wave and smile as he comes toward you. When he gets to where you are he says, “I was going to save that seat for someone else.” How embarrassing! Apparently you are not as important a friend as you thought you were.
Based on: Luke 13:22-30
Do you follow baseball? I heard the Twins are doing well. The Texas Rangers are also doing well. When we lived in Texas we used to watch the Rangers play. Three years in a row while we lived in Texas the Rangers made it to the playoffs, but they always played the Yankees first and, well, let’s just say that a few times they came close to winning a playoff game. But close doesn’t count, does it? To continue the baseball theme, do you know the poem, “Casey at the Bat”? Let me tell you about it and then I will tell you how it fits with these words of Jesus.
Based on: Luke 12:49-53
Why did I come to St. John’s? I know – God called me here, but did you think I would come and be nice to everyone? Did you think I would come and tell all of you to be nice to everyone else and not make others upset? If that’s what you thought, you are mistaken! I came to deliver God’s message to you. I came to do my best to be Christ’s representative among you. To show you the love of Christ. To deal with you as Christ would deal with you.
Based on: Luke 12:32-40
Dear Lord, why does the church struggle so much to carry out the work you gave it? “Do not be afraid, little flock.” But Lord, the church keeps growing smaller. “Do not be afraid, little flock.” But Lord, fewer and fewer people are motivated to serve . . . and money – there never seems to be enough, Lord. “Do not be afraid, little flock.”