Pay Attention to the Light

Based on:  2 Peter 1:16-21

Dear Christians, in this world we are surrounded by spiritual darkness.  It is like being in a strange place in the middle of the night.  The sky is overcast – no moon, no stars.  Other people try to tell us which way to go.  They think they know.  One says, “Come with me I’ll show you where to go.”  Another says, “No, come this way.”  None of them have a light to help guide them and we wonder how they know where they’re going?  But Look! There is a light.  Pay attention to the light! This world is spiritually dark and God’s word is the only sure light able to guide us out of the darkness to our eternal home.

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The Light Causes Division

Based on: Acts 13:38-49 What is your favorite color combination? Is it purple and gold or is it green and gold? If the mention of those color combinations don’t immediately bring to mind a couple of professional football teams, don’t worry, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Even if you don’t follow a particular sports team, I’m sure that you understand and perhaps have seen how being a fan of one particular team can cause some rivalry between people. It often involves a friendly teasing that says, “You and…

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The Blessings of Baptism

Based on: Matthew 3:13-17 Do you remember Naaman? He was the foreigner who came to Elisha the prophet to be healed of his leprosy. Elisha told Naaman he would be healed if he went to the Jordan river and washed himself seven times. Do you remember what Naaman said? He became angry and said, “I know of rivers far better than the Jordan, why couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed.” Eventually, he did wash himself in the Jordan and was cured, but at first he couldn’t believe that…

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Arise! Shine! O Church

Based on: Isaiah 60:1-6 As I read these verses from Isaiah I picture a woman all alone in a desert, nothing but sand for miles. She doesn’t know there is nothing but sand because it is absolutely dark, no sun, no moon, no stars, no light at all. She is sitting there in her misery with nothing look forward to, no joy, no hope, nothing. Very quickly, the sun comes up. The glory of the Lord rises upon her. She stands up and looks out over the now bright desert….

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Blessed From the Beginning

Based on:  Ephesians 1:3-14

When I was deciding which portion of God’s Word to base the sermon on for today, I didn’t realize it would end up this way, but today’s sermon text from Ephesians 1 is really an excellent continuation of the topic from the New Year’s Eve sermon. On New Year’s Eve we talked about how God has put his name on us and that he will bless us in this new year. That is his promise according to his gracious wisdom.

Now in Ephesians 1, Paul expands on that wonderful thought – God blesses us. With magnificent and rich spiritual blessings, God blesses us! All of these blessings come to us through the one whose birth we just celebrated, Jesus Christ. We can not help but respond to our God with praise.

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Christ is My King

Based on:  Luke 23:35-43

Today is Christ the King Sunday. “Christ the King” – just the words conjure up images out of the book of Revelation – a rider on a white horse, many crowns on his head as proof of his many victories, robes stained with the blood of fallen enemies, an iron scepter in his hand as the symbol of his authority. That is the king in all his glory and certainly a good picture for us to keep in mind.

One day everyone will see him as the victorious king, but as Christians we want to look at another picture of Christ the King. Christ the King on a white horse would be a terrifying sight for us as sinful human beings if it were not for Christ the King on the cross. We need to see him on the cross where the world makes fun of him and considers him anything but a king. Yet through the eyes of faith we see him as he truly is, a king through whom we have paradise. There on the cross the signs of his kingship are not a golden crown, fine clothes, and a scepter, but a crown of thorns, his own blood flowing down his body, and the cross upon which he paid for our sins. This is Christ our King. Now let’s consider what it means to have Christ as a our King and why it is a good thing to have Christ as our King.

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Multiplying Minas

Based on:  John 1:1-14

Multiplying minas. That’s what Jesus is talking about, isn’t it? It’s about multiplying minas and a mina is a sum of money – about $15,000. So, someone gives you a sum of money and you work with it and turn it into more money! But Jesus isn’t talking just about money, as we will see later. Just like the more familiar parable of the talents that Jesus told at another time, Jesus uses money to represent greater treasures.

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Remain in the Words of Jesus

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?…

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