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Showing posts from November, 2019

Sermon on Luke 18:1-8, for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost (C), "Pray, and don't give up!"

Sermon Notes: •Today: lesson in prayer, persistence/determination, justice, suffering, and the character of God.  •V. 1 Don’t surrender to discouragement or impatience! Have confidence to continually bring your prayers before God, knowing that He desires and invites them and has compassion. Christ is engaging with what is likely our common experience of frustration with regard to prayer: giving up prematurely. We are promised that we will face difficulty and crosses that will test our faith and persistence. Christ wants to build up our hearts, our resiliency, determination.  •“do not lose heart” Ephesians 3:13 “over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.” •“do not lose heart” 2 Cor. 4:1, 16 in the ministry, or while our “outer self is wasting away”.  •Jesus tells various people to “take heart” when they were ill, when they needed forgiveness, when they were afraid because they didn’t recognize who Jesus was, or when they were to face tribulations in the world. See also Ps. 2…

Sermon on Luke 18:9-17, for the 20th Sunday after Pentecost (C), "The Record-Keeper or the Merciful God?"

Sermon Outline: ·Parables: ordinary story with spiritual meaning. Look for the surprise/unexpected. The recognized sinner is “justified”, while the apparently upright religious person is not. ·Who are the Pharisees? Model citizens, lay leaders with intense dedication to their own version of religiosity. Highly respected. Tax collectors? Despised. Took more than allowed, worked for enemy. ·Dimensions of the story/pitfalls to avoid oComparisons/treating others with contempt (look at all those terrible people) oSelf-righteousness/trusting yourself, nothing to repent (look at my record!) oBoasting before God/not a real prayer (my good deeds should impress God; reward) ·What is it aiming for? oHumility established in repentance before God oHumbly receiving righteousness by faith in Christ oHumbly cultivating a life of righteousness and mercy toward others ·In our life: may feel better about myself if I can just find someone worse than me. But we’re not judged “on a curve.” See the posture of the …