Showing posts from April, 2021

Sermon on 1 John 3:16-24, for the 4th Sunday of Easter 2021 (B), "Resurrection Love"

  Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed, Alleluia! This Easter season we’re looking at resurrection themes in 1 John. Today John shows us what resurrection love looks like in the life of a believer. Resurrection love is sacrificial, open hearted, and generous to those who are in need. Resurrection love is for action and deeds not just word or speech. Our heart is the battleground between this resurrection love of Jesus Christ and the way of darkness, sin, and death. This “worldliness” tries to squeeze Christ’s resurrection love and truth from our hearts. Jesus’ death and resurrection stirs resurrection love in our hearts, to love as God first loved us. V. 16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers . Resurrection loves knows Jesus, and how He lived and died for us. He laid down His life for us because He loves us. His love is resurrection love because He confidently laid down His life in the knowledge that He would ta

Sermon on 1 John 3:1-7, for the 3rd Sunday of Easter 2021 (B), "We Shall be Like Him"

  Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia! Hear this great resurrection truth: 1 John 3:2, Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him , because we shall see him as he is. Jesus has risen from the grave and will return one day. Also, we are God’s children now, and will become fully like Jesus when He returns. These two points in our spiritual timeline are the “now” and the “not yet.” The gap is growing ever closer, as we move closer to our Risen Lord’s return. So, the great resurrection truth of 1 John 3, is that we are already God’s children now, and that we shall be like Jesus when He returns. How big is Jesus’ Easter glory? How big a deal to be called children of God, aimed on a trajectory that ends in becoming fully like Jesus, our Risen Lord? Don’t take it for granted! 1 John 3:1 cries out in wonder : “ See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children

Sermon on 1 John 1:1-2:2, 2nd Sunday of Easter 2021 (B), "Raised for Fellowship"

    Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed, Alleluia! Easter called us to trust Jesus’ reliable Word, and witness how our Risen Good Shepherd comes to His beloved sheep. These next six weeks of the Easter season we’ll study 1 st John to explore Jesus’ resurrection gifts and blessings to His church. In 1 John 1, I want to zero in on verses 3-7. They tell the effect of the resurrection message: “ that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from

Sermon on Mark 16:1-8, Easter Sunday 2021 (B), "Just as He told you"

  Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia! We’ve been spending this year in the Gospel of Mark, which builds up to the final chapter, Jesus’ resurrection here in chapter 16. Mark 16 describes day one of Jesus’ Resurrection. He’d planned it; He’ described it in advance on at least three times. His entire ministry up to this point had been proof that His Word was absolutely reliable—everything He said came true. Jesus never says something and doesn’t follow through, like we’re sadly so used to seeing or doing. Therefore, they should have been ready for His Word to come true, “just as He said.” Instead, on day one of the resurrection, everything is chaos, surprise, and fear. Because they didn’t believe what Jesus had told them. Fear and disbelief controlled their thinking. Thankfully, we know things didn’t stay like they were at the start of day one. They eventually saw Jesus face to face, in the flesh, touched Him, ate with Him, conversed with Him. They got their composure back,

Sermon on Isaiah 52:13-53:12, Good Friday, "All!"

 Sermon on   Isaiah 52:13-53:12 for  Good Friday  by Rev. Reed Lessing, the "Singing with the Exiles" series.   “See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.” Isaiah 52:13.     Kol in Hebrew. Pas in Greek. Omnis in Latin. Alles in German. Todos in Spanish. Visi in Latvian. It’s the most superlative word in any language.   A-L-L all. Total, complete, entire, everything. ALL. The most superlative word for the most climactic section of the Old Testament, chapters 52-53, called the Fourth Servant Song of Isaiah. The Lord’s Servant, described here, had it all.               Isaiah 52:13, “See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.” These words “raised” and “lifted up” describe only one other person in Isaiah, who gets that royal treatment. In Isaiah 6:1 the prophet sees the Lord God sitting exalted on His heavenly throne: “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on

Sermon on Isaiah 49:7-13, for Maundy Thursday 2021, "He Prepares a Table"

 Sermon on  Isaiah 49:7-13 for  Maundy Thursday,  from Rev. Reed Lessing, "Singing with the Exiles" series.  “They shall not hunger or thirst.” Isaiah 49:9.   When was the last time you gave this commentary on your life? “Deader than a door-nail; a lost cause; time to throw in the towel; Sayonara baby; the fat lady has sung ...or the mighty Casey has struck out!” Israel gave this very commentary on her own life during the dark days of the Babylonian exile. Today Isaiah speaks to this people of a lost cause. You see, Isaiah knew that the days were coming when Israel would have no temple, no Jerusalem, no Davidic king, no annual pilgrim feasts, no commercial or political significance, and no hope! Mighty Casey will strike out! Or, to use Israel 's favorite – “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion .” T heir preeminence and years of glory were but a mournful, distant memory. Isaiah 49:9–12 continues the message of redemption with the Se