Showing posts from May, 2012

Sermon on Acts 1:12-26, the 7th Sunday of Easter, "Apostles of Jesus""

Sermon Outline:  Faith in action—Acts readings, how they worshipped, lived, prayed, fellowshipped, witnessed of Christ. Just celebrated Ascension Day, first business for the disciples is to choose a 12 th apostle to replace Judas. “With one accord they were devoting themselves to prayer”—unity of mind and spirit: Phil 2:1-2 “ So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind .” Peter addresses the company of believers (~120), tells the events around Judas, the betrayer. Driven by despair to suicide. Though very unpleasant, it points us to a very important truth about sin and repentance. Judas had been filled with overwhelming guilt and grief, when He realized Jesus would be condemned to death. Tried to make it right, but could not. Sought

Sermon on Luke 24:44-53, for Ascension Day, "The Joyous Farewell"

Sermon Outline: 1.       What is it that makes farewells with a loved one so tearful and emotional? The distance, separation, longing to see them, time away. Contrast to Jesus’ farewell. Worshipped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. What made this different? 2.       1) Jesus has promised that He is not “absent” from us. 2) Jesus has been exalted to His rightful position of honor and glory—a joyful “well-done” to His divine rescue mission here on earth. 3) Jesus left us with an important purpose, with much still to do! 3.       Matthew 28:20b, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” How? In various ways: His Word spoken to us, John 14:23, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” Jesus remains in us if we remain in His love and love one another. He will make His home or dwelling with us. Is it also possible to drive out Christ and His Spirit? 1 John 3:8 tells t

Sermon on Acts 10:34-48, for the 6th Sunday of Easter, "Confessing Jesus"

Sermon Outline:  1.       Paul seizes a golden opportunity—open invitation to speak the Gospel (cf throughout Acts). Cornelius’ household—major encounter with Gentile “God-fearers” ready to receive the Word. Believed in God of the Bible, did not yet know Jesus. Are we looking for, praying for open invitations? Again like Philip last week, Peter “opens his mouth” and begins telling about Jesus! Why were they doing this? Why so much “Jesus talk?” It was given to them to testify/bear witness. 2.       What’s “witnessing” all about? Not about Peter’s story, our story. Not marketing (Paul says in 2 Cor. 2:17: “For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”). An open and honest statement about Jesus. All about Jesus: Very creed-like: God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power. Doing good and healing, God was with Him—death on the tree, raised by God in three days. And we ate with Him

Sermon on Acts 8:26-40, for the 5th Sunday of Easter, "No reason to be stuck!"

Sermon Outline: 1.       Ever been stuck? Places: in traffic, in a long line, in an airport. Situations: caught in trouble with no apparent way out, stuck for ideas (when writing a sermon perhaps?), between a rock and a hard place, left to deal with someone else’s mess or problems. Emotions: fear, anxiety, or doubt freezes you from taking action; an emotional wound cripples you from moving on; guilt or shame puts you in a self-imposed retreat into isolation. Knowledge: can’t solve a problem, lack the know-how; fail to comprehend the situation. Spiritual dimension. 2.       Pres. Newton remarked that Jesus is “the master of getting stuck people unstuck. ” Not always by snatching them out of the situation though! Often we learn only through hardship and experience and failure. Prunes, shapes, matures us. 3.       Ethiopian eunuch was “stuck” on a confusing passage of Isaiah. Searching to understand, but a block and a puzzle to him. A worshipper of God, wonderfully receptive and o