Showing posts from April, 2012

Sermon on Acts 4:11-21, for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, "Author of Life"

Sermon Outline: 1.       Scene unfolds after the healing of a lame man, healed in the name of Jesus. Peter addresses crowd of Jewish men, second sermon in Acts. Dismisses any thought that this miracle happened by their power or piety (godliness); i.e. we are ordinary men. Not for their glory or greatness; “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!” (Ps 115:1) How did this miracle happen? In no other way than this: the name of Jesus—faith in His name. Why does His name hold such power? I’ll gladly tell you! (Courage!) 2.       Heart of the issue: who is this Jesus, and how did you treat Him? How did God treat Him? Uncovers a most painful and shocking irony—they traded in God’s pure and innocent child, Jesus, for a murderer, Barabbas. They had an opportunity to speak for the release of Jesus, which Pilate was ready and willing to do, and they ignorantly followed their leaders and spoke vehemently against Hi

Sermon on Acts 4:32-35, for the 2nd Sunday of Easter, "Faith in Action"

Sermon Outline: 1.       OT readings replaced by readings from Acts—new history of the Christian church, post-resurrection of Jesus. Faith in action. 2.       What can we learn from the earliest Christians, and their example? Their faith united them in heart and soul. One head (Christ) and many members. The members of the body were coordinated, that is working toward a common purpose, not uncoordinated, which makes for great difficulty. Not working together—little accomplished. Of the same heart and soul—great things are possible; “great grace” of God is upon them. Grace motivates and animates the members of the body. It is Christ, our head, who instructs us through His Word, and guides and directs the members of the body to action. 3.       Title of Acts. “Acts of the Apostles”, to reflect the faith-produced response of the apostles to the resurrection of Jesus’ Christ. Continues the story left off when Jesus rose from the dead, how the church became the church and grew massiv

Sermon on Mark 16:1-8, for Easter Sunday, "The Morning News!"

It was early on a Sunday morning, if you can imagine it—a familiar routine unfolded. An average Joe, or let’s say a Peter, rolled out of bed, rubbed his eyes, and headed for the kitchen, still yawning from a Saturday night slumber. As his hands and feet mechanically go through their morning rituals—brew the coffee, toast the bread, open the front door and pick up the morning paper—he’s oblivious to what events are astir. Drowsy with sleep, he pages through the headlines in the morning paper: “ Stock market falls for third consecutive day … Congressional deadline looms as gridlock seizes the Capitol… ” pages rustle, business, politics, same old, same old, local news, sports, religion: “ The tomb was empty: Reports that Jesus is alive!” But the pages keep turning as the half-interested, half-bored man concludes that none of the articles are of interest, and drops the folded paper at the side of his couch. The TV flips on to the morning news, and more routine headlines follow… “Police

Sermon on Jonah 4:1-11 for Good Friday, Jonah: The Survivor Series: Part 8: "The Answer"

The final sermon in the Lenten series adapted from Dr. Reed Lessing's series on Jonah the prophet. Dr. Lessing is professor of Old Testament at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO.  Once Robert Ingersoll, a famous atheist, delivered a dramatic challenge in a speech attacking the belief in God. He took out his watch and challenged God to prove that He exists and is almighty by striking Ingersoll dead within five minutes! First there was silence, then people became uneasy. Some left the hall, unable to take the nervous strain of the occasion, and one woman fainted. At the end of the allotted time, the atheist sneered, “See! There is no God. I am still very much alive!” After the lecture a young fellow said to a Christian lady, “Well, Ingersoll certainly proved something tonight!” Her reply was memorable. “Yes he did,” she said. “He proved God isn’t taking orders from atheists tonight.” How true! God doesn’t take orders from anyone, even Jonah. God’s mercy, shown to the Assyrian

Sermon on Jonah 4:1-4, for Maundy Thursday (Lent 7), Jonah: The Survivor Series, Part 7: "On the Same Page"

The following Lenten series I will be preaching on is adapted from Dr. Reed Lessing's series on Jonah the prophet. Dr. Lessing is professor of Old Testament at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO.  Have you ever not been “on the same page” as someone? A new resident was walking down a street and noticed a man struggling with a washing machine at the doorway of his house. When the newcomer volunteered to help, the homeowner was overjoyed, and the two men together began to work and struggle with the bulky appliance. After several minutes of fruitless effort the two stopped and just stared at each other in frustration. Finally, when they had caught their breath, the first man said to the homeowner: “We’ll never get this washing machine in there!” To which the homeowner replied: “In? I’m trying to move it out of here!” That was a definite communication breakdown. The truth is we only get things done when we are in agreement. We need to be either going in or going out. We have to

Sermon on Zechariah 9:9-12 for Palm Sunday, "Prisoners of Hope!"

Sermon Outline:  1.       Palm Sunday, Holy Week, looking down the path that Jesus journeyed to the cross. We watch our king enter Jerusalem, Last Supper, Good Friday. Do we turn our eyes from that shameful death on the cross, or do we look to Him and breathe out our humble prayer of repentance and thanksgiving, that He suffered that for us? 2.       “Rejoice greatly! O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” How should the heart rejoice at the sign of Jesus’ coming? “Our hearts should jump for joy. Our spirits should hop with rejoicing. Our tongues should be speaking praises. For this King does not bring just any ordinary benefit. That’s why also this joy should not just be any ordinary joy, but rather a special joy. It is written in Neh. 8:10: For the joy in the Lord is your strength. However, he is not referring here to som

Sermon on Jonah 3:5-10, for Lent 6, "Jonah: The Survivor Series Part 6: 'About Face!'”

The following Lenten series I will be preaching on is adapted from Dr. Reed Lessing's series on Jonah the prophet. Dr. Lessing is professor of Old Testament at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO.  If this has happened once, it has happened a billion times. A husband and wife are in a car, and the wife tells her husband to turn right at the next junction, and by mistake, he turns left. When he realizes what he has done, he says to his wife “I’m sorry love, I went the wrong way.” But if that is all he does, it isn’t enough. His saying sorry isn’t getting them any closer to where they want to be; it isn’t even stopping them from getting further away. To get where they want to be, he needs to stop the car, turn it around and go back on to the correct road that his wife told him to take in the first place. That is repentance; it is an about-face! The people of Nineveh are a powerful, arrogant, violent, wicked people. Jonah is a little guy from a weak nation at the edge of their soo