Published February 7, 2016
Tags: hate, haters, hatred, Luke, Luke 5, New Life, old life, sermon, sermon outline, taxes
Learning from Luke: The First Hated Disciple Sermon Audio Here
Jesus said “blessed are you when men hate you because of Me” – how frustrated I was when people hated me not because of Jesus, but just because I was weird.
Followers of Jesus Must Prepare To Be
Hated Because of their Old Life
Luke 5:27-32 Levi’s Old Life Left Behind
- v27 Jesus calls in the midst of life
- v28 and Levi left everything to follow
- v29 Levi invites friends to meet Jesus
- v30 This will tick off the uber-religious
- v31 Reminder: a doctor cannot heal from a distance
- v32 Jesus’ ultimate goal: to bring sinners to Himself
Hated Because of their New Life
Luke 5:33-39 Jesus’ New Life Lessons Taught
- v33 uber-religious focus on outward activity as a SIGN of repentance
- v34/5 Jesus focuses on freedom in relationship as a RESULT of repentance
- v36/37 two lessons: 1) old and new don’t mix well; 2) you must account for the movement of the new (shrinking of cloth, expansion of wine)
- v38 The moving power of the Gospel belongs in people who will move with it
- v39 those accustomed to the old don’t want the new
Beware: we can become so accustomed to our old way of doing things that we refuse to be flexible when it comes to God’s movement. Our solution: look at Jesus (Heb. 12:2)
Learning from Luke: It Still Works! Sermon Audio Here
I’ve been in India for the last two weeks, working with India Community Fellowship. (The following information is taken from their training, but any misspellings are purely my own fault.) I could spend hours telling you about our adventures, but instead, let me draw your attention to one crucial fact:
Jesus Is Still Doing This Work Today
Jao means GO
Luke 4:18vs 18 – He has sent me
- We went and went and went — Pastor Phillip had us on the go for most of the time we were there!
Sunao means PREACH
Luke 4:18vs 18 – anointed me to preach
- I preached three Sunday sermons, two for believers, and one for an evangelistic meeting.
Banao means MAKE DISCIPLES
Luke 4:18vs 18 – proclaim freedom for the prisoners
- The majority of the ministry that Jami and I did was discipleship. I taught 1 & 2 Timothy line by line, verse by verse in 9 sessions, each lasting about 90 minutes. I worked with 12 church planters who minister in North and central India.
- Jami worked with the women, some from the local village, and some from central India.
- We did two joint sessions, one on youth ministry, and one on worship and drama.
Dubao means BAPTIZE
Luke 4:18vs 18 – recovery of sight to the blind
- I had the awesome opportunity to baptize 3 people on the local river. We had to go to an out of the way spot because of the very real threat of persecution. And yes, the river was mountain snow fed, and quite cold. They shut their eyes to the cold water, and when they came up, they saw the world in a whole new way as a baptized believer.
Sikhao means TEACH
Luke 4:18vs 18 – To release the oppressed
- Finally, on our last day, we were able to go to an I.C.F. development center, where neighborhood children are tutored for free as a way of making relational connections within the Muslim community. Jami told a story to the little ones, and I spoke to the older children about the importance of continued study as a means of personal growth.
God is still doing his work here as well. We lift one another on prayer, encourage growth through study, and share our lives with our surrounding world in fellowship.
Learning from Luke: Preparing the Way Today Sermon Audio Here
Preparations being made to depart for a trip – how to decide what to take, what to leave, what to do, what not to do in a new place?
How Does John Prepare The Way?
Practical Preparation for the Kingdom
- v10 In response to John’s warnings: “make His paths straight” Yeah but HOW?
- v11 Ordinary: care for the needy
- v12/13 Rich: don’t take advantage of others
- v14 Powerful: don’t use power for your own ends
Personally Pointing to the Kingdom
- v15 these verbs describe an immediate response; the people hear John’s challenge, and they start wondering if John is the Messiah
- v16 NO; Messiah greater WORTH and greater POWER
- v17 greater ABILITY and crucial MINISTRY; “unquenchable” means unstoppable
- v18 John’s Good News: God has sent the Worthy One, the Powerful Prince, the Capable Christ, the Unstoppable Emissary
John’s message is still applicable today – Get Ready: He Who Is ABLE to Save Is On The Way!
Published January 3, 2016
Christmas , Sermons
Tags: faithfulness, highway markers, historic interest, Luke, Luke 2, praise, reflection, sermon, sermon outline, signs
Learning from Luke: Presenting in Faith Sermon Audio Here
Brown highway signs indicate “historic spots”, of recreational or cultural interest. These aren’t planned; history HAPPENS. What “markers” might you encounter as you live your life?
Potholes State Park Sign
As Our Lives Unfold, We Discover:
Simple Faithfulness Leads to Praise
- v22/24 Mary and Joseph, presenting their child, were moved by the Word
- v25/27 Simeon, waiting for Messiah to appear, was moved by the Spirit
- v28/32 Simeon was moved to praise God by Mary & Joseph’s faithfulness to the Word
Lifelong Faithfulness Leads to Reflection
- v33/35 Reminder: Life of Faith not always easy
- v36/38 Reminder: Life of Faith not always fast; God’s time, not ours
The rest of the chapter gives us a snapshot of Jesus’ life as a boy; He was living out a life of faithfulness as He saw modeled from His earthly parents. Vs 52: He grew in stature and favor with God and man. May our lives unfold in such a way that this is true of us as well.
Published December 27, 2015
Christmas , Sermons
Tags: angels, Christmas, Christmas traditions, Luke 2, Peanuts cartoon, sermon, sermon outline, shepherds, traditions
Learning from Luke: From Angels To Shepherds To Us Sermon Audio Here
On Christmas morning, many kids “play Santa”: they find a gift, read the tag, and pass the gift along. Even though the gift is from someone else, and for someone else, the distribution alone makes them a part of the gift-giving.
How Are We Involved in God’s Christmas Presence?
God Uses Ordinary People
Luke 2:8-14 Notice who gets the announcement
- v8 ordinary men
- v9 heard an extraordinary angel
- v10/11 with an extraordinary message
- v12 wrapped in humble beginnings
- v13/14 response: God deserves the credit
God Uses Ordinary Means
Luke 2:15-20 what do the shepherds do with the angel’s message?
- v15 “Let’s go see” (cf. 12 you will find)
- v16/17 They told what they saw
- v18 response: people are amazed
Let’s follow Mary’s example in verse 19: when we realize that God is at work in us, we TREASURE and PONDER what He is doing. Also, let us follow the shepherd’s example in verse 20: GLORIFY and PRAISE God that He keeps His promises.
Published December 20, 2015
Advent , Sermons
Tags: Advent, God's promise, keeping promises, long term investments, Luke, Luke 1, sermon, sermon outline, wait
Learning from Luke: A New Kind of Prophet Sermon Audio Here
Do you ever get the sense that God is up to something, but you just don’t know what it is? You’re in good company! Old Testament Prophets were visited by the Spirit, and gave the Word of the Lord in response. John the Baptist was a prototype of the Christian life: indwelt by the Spirit. His main message: Get Ready, God’s About To Do SOMETHING…
If You’re Wondering What God is Doing, Ask:
What Prompts You To Praise?
- v64 fulfillment of God’s promise leads to praise (cf. v20)
- v66 Zechariah blesses God; people wonder about it
Where Do You See God’s Promise?
- v67/68 “God has redeemed!” future echo of John’s message
- v69/70 horn of salvation=authority to save?
- v71/73 God keeps his covenant with us (even today)
- v74/75 God enables us to serve Him in holiness
- v76/77 the prophet tells of what God WILL do (ref. to Elijah)
- v78/79 God’s mercy shines in our darkness to guide us
Notice verse 80: John grew, became strong in the Spirit, and waited for his call. That’s a good example for us, especially during Advent: wait, watch, and grow in God.
Published December 13, 2015
Advent , Sermons
Tags: Advent, Christmas depression, depression, emotional struggle, emotions, Luke, Luke 1, seasonal depression, seasonal funk, sermon, sermon outline
Learning from Luke: Soul Lifting Sermon Audio Here
The holidays can be a festive time for many, and an emotionally draining time for others. Amid the “ho ho ho” of surface merriment, it can be very challenging to minister to those suffering through the season.
How Do We Deal With Depression?
Remember God’s Choice; Respond With Praise
- v46/47 Mary is ALL IN, “body and soul”
- v48 “gazed with favor on low estate” God chose her, NOT because of how great she was
- v49 but because of how great HE is
Remember God’s Actions; Respond With Amazement
- v50 generational mercy (thinking about the baby?)
- v51 applied mastery
- v52 exalts the modest
- v53 provides for the meager
- v54/55 assists the minion
Closing thought from verse 56: notice how Mary stayed with Elizabeth. This was for MUTUAL SUPPORT; this is our opportunity and challenge as well – sustain support one for another during times like these. Let us be ALL IN with those who need us most.