Showing posts from January, 2012

Sermon on Deuteronomy 18:15-20, for the 4th Sunday after Epiphany, "The Prophet"

Sermon Outline:  1.       Moses foretells a great prophet: like him; an Israelite; God would raise Him up; God’s Words directly in His mouth; speak all of God’s commands. Recounts the episode from Mt. Horeb and Israel’s response. Booming of the law and terror of God’s majesty too fearful and great. “Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.” They wanted Moses to hear from God and speak to them, instead of directly. “Unmediated encounter” with God was too terrifying. God said: “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” Before God all masks, pretensions, pride, excuses, self-justifications fall away. Sin is exposed, and like gasoline before a fire, is consumed. Before God our sin is combustible material. Not safe. Cf. Isaiah 6 “A man of unclean lips!”. Lord says it is right that they seek a mediator instead. 2.       People sometime object against Christianity; they don’t need a “middle-man” or mediator betwee

Sermon on Mark 1:14-20, for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, "Fishers of Men"

Sermon Outline:  1.       Jesus calls the first disciples. Ordinary, fisherman, at their occupation, uses their talents in a new endeavor. Not prominent teachers of the law, Pharisees or priests He encountered. Not powerful politicians, judges, or military commanders (although in time, they would follow the fishermen, tax collectors, and other commoners who came to call Jesus as Lord). He could have come for the rich, the powerful, and the intelligent, and the poor and the common would have remained the “have-nots” in more way than one. But instead He came to proclaim good news to the poor, and to use ordinary men to carry and spread His message. So that the exceeding power of God might be seen, rather than the glory of men. You too are called from whatever station or position in life you may be. Come! Follow Jesus! 2.       Some men may also have the call to leave their profession for full-time service to Christ as a pastor. Have you felt that call? Many others may have the call

Sermon on 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, for the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany, "A Pure Temple"

Sermon Outline 1.       Paul addresses sexual immorality, which couldn’t be of greater significance for us today. Marriage being redefined, living together outside of marriage is all but accepted, teens experimenting, marriages in stormy waters, internet has opened a huge private arena for sin and temptation, removing many obstacles once curbing behavior. Which has been the greater influence on how people think of sexuality? Modern culture and the world influencing the church? Or the other way around—the church influencing the way society thinks? 2.       Like today, the church in Corinth had lost a clear testimony to God’s design for human sexuality. Slogans—traction on the street? In the church? Borrowed from Paul’s teaching on other subjects? “All things are lawful for me” (or “All things are in my power”) (“I do what I like”); but not everything is helpful, and what’s more—sin enslaves . Freedom>slavery 3.       “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food.”

"Stability of your times," a New Year's newsletter

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou! Happy New Year! As we begin the new year, I pray that your lives would be renewed in another “year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:19). While there’s no need to bemoan or elaborate the fact that the last few years have been tough for many, it remains true that many are out of work or struggling financially because of our bad economy. Nevertheless, we can all count many blessings that we’ve experienced. Even apart from any material blessing, we have the greatest spiritual treasure of all, if we have faith in Christ Jesus. Then we know that God is for us. And if God is for us, who can stand against us? In several sermons throughout Advent and Christmas, we’ve heard from the ancient prophet Isaiah, who spoke words of comfort to the Jews during trying times. They experienced hardship on a far greater scale than we presently know. They experienced the loss of their harvest (and attendant famine), the threat and attack of their enemies from Assyria and then Babylon,

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!

A Christmas Newsletter: If your radio hasn’t already started picking up Christmas melodies, it still probably won’t be long till you’re humming “It’s the most wonderful time, of the Year!” and other familiar Christmas music—both the commercial variety, and even better, the treasured Christian Christmas carols! Because as Christians we have a far deeper and older reason to celebrate Christmas than all the trappings of holiday decorations and foods and tinsel and music. For us, Christmas is wonderful because of the coming of Jesus Christ into the world as our Savior, in His birth in the little town of Bethlehem. It’s my hope and prayer that you will  celebrate Christmas  in worship, and that you may be renewed in continued worship to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ throughout the year.     One of the treasured Christmas carols that we sing every year is Charles Wesley’s great hymn, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” The title recalls when the angels came down from the heavens and v

Sermon on Numbers 6:22-27 & Luke 2:21, for the Circumcision and Naming of Jesus, "What's in a name?"

Sermon Outline: 1.       What’s in a name? Know the meaning of yours? Significance to your life? Seen as shaping the future of a child in some cultures. Adam = mankind, Eve = living, Abram = father to Abraham = father of many nations, Jacob = grasper, deceiver to Israel = strives with God; Ichabod = “glory has departed”; most important of all names is the name of God Himself. Revealed at Sinai to Moses—YHWH (Yahweh). Most often translated as LORD. Jehovah is a corrupted spelling of Yahweh. Note significance of this Name given in the blessing in Numbers 6—the “Aaronic benediction.” God’s Name would be placed on Israel, and so He would bless them. There is much in a name—especially in God’s Name. 2.       Notice in the benediction—Trinity. God’s movement toward us: “bless you; make His face shine upon you; lift up His countenance upon you” and the result of His activity: “keep you; be gracious to you; give you peace.” God’s Name on His people brings them His blessing. 3.       Ca