Archive for the 'Ordinary Time' Category

Roaming Through Romans: Faith Accounted

Roaming Through Romans: Faith Accounted Sermon Audio Here

Romans 14:1-12

Ever hear of S.M.A.R.T. goals? Specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time- bound. Should we use comparisons in our faith?

How Is Faith Measured?

Faith Works Even When Weak ~ Romans 14:1-4 small faith is still faith

  • 1 weak faith is working faith; children are weak, but their faith is real
  • 2/3 regardless of your faith stance, don’t be a snob!
  • 4/5 God is in the judging business, not us! We are SERVANTS; why would one servant judge another? None of us have that right

Faith Counts When Considered ~ Romans 14:5-9 according to your capacity

  • 5 fully convinced faith; put the work in!
  • 6 “to the Lord” a life of dedicated discipline
  • 7/8 We are not LORD of our own life
  • 9 Jesus rose again to prove His rightful place as Lord of ALL

Faith Weighed in Worship ~ Romans 14:10-12

  • 10 God’s judgment/bema seat for all (cf. Rev 20:10-15)
  • 11 Sentencing is based on this: is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life by confessing Christ through faith, and not fear?
  • 12 We are weighed (2 Cor 5:10) for what we DO…

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

  • …but we are sentenced (Rev. 20.15) by Who we KNOW

If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Faith is measured, yes. But it’s measured by the Master alone, not for mere servants to split hairs and scrutinize!

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Roaming Through Romans: Holiness Awakened

Roaming Through Romans: Holiness Awakened Sermon Audio Here

Romans 13:8-14

So far today, I’ve done all right.
I haven’t gossiped, lost my temper,
been greedy or grumpy, been nasty, selfish or overindulgent.
I’m very thankful for that.

But in a few minutes, God, I’m going to get out of bed,
and I’m going to need a LOT more help…

How Do You Awaken Holiness?

Go Deeper ~ Romans 13:8-10

  • 8 Paul’s restatement of Jesus’ answer: the most important law
  • 9/10 move the emphasis from LAW to LOVE

Get Going ~ Romans 13:11-14

  • 11 salvation’s opportunity has an END, and it’s getting closer! Wake up!
  • 12 armor=to be used in offense; weapon!
  • 13 behave=peripataomen; walk; careful journey on the way
  • 14 put on Jesus; don’t plan to fail in your flesh

About walking: a little child learns balance; a young person learns direction; but experience teaches us to focus on the finish line.

Roaming Through Romans: Love Enacted

Roaming Through Romans: Love Enacted Sermon Audio Here

Romans 12:9-21

Dearest Jimmy,
No words could ever express the great unhappiness I’ve felt since breaking our engagement. Please say you’ll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love you, I love you, I love you!
Yours forever, Marie.
P.S. And congratulations on winning the state lottery.

How Do We Live Out The Lord’s Love?

Participate in Acts of Agape ~ Romans 12:9-13

  • 9 “love without play-acting”; “hate=actively abhor” LIVER
  • 10 actively seek to love;
  • 11 look for opportunities
  • 12 human BE-INGs; here’s how we are to BE
  • 13 ALL ONE SENTENCE let your love be like this!

Resonate Acts of Empathy ~ Romans 12:14-16

  • 14 speak good TO (not just about); INTERACT!
  • 15 notice what state others are in and JOIN THEM
  • 16 “be allalon/together minded” NOT just “be willing to associate, but ACTUALLY HANG OUT WITH”

Terminate Acts of Retribution ~ Romans 12:17-20

  • 17 payback: not even once! Plan ahead how to deal well
  • 18 participle (cf. 9-13) of peace: be peaceful
  • 19 give up your right to revenge; that’s God’s job
  • 20 if ANY enemy hungers, YOU feed them; they won’t be able to take it (but don’t be spiteful)

Romans 12:21~ Let The Lord’s Love Live Large: don’t let the bad beat you: overcome=take the higher ground!

Roaming Through Romans: Humility Transformed

Roaming Through Romans: Humility Transformed Sermon Audio Here

Romans 12:1-8

When I was a new Christian, much of my spiritual formation was shaped by the music I found. One band’s album particularly stands out: Altar Boys: When You’re A Rebel was released in 1984. The title track helped me memorize Romans 12:2 by repetition, and became a foundational part of my Christian experience: “you got to make a stand; Cause we’re getting close to the end; Ya gotta say it like it is, man”. This has caused me many times over the years to consider HOW can my mind be renewed and transformed.

How Can You Change Your Mind?

Think About Thought ~ Romans 12:1-2
     introduction of transformed thought

  • 1 offer your bodies=stand and wait; spiritual act=logikon, reasonable; if we are engaged in worship, it is reasonable for us to fully engage
  • 2 “be conformed by” PASSIVE; we don’t often CHOOSE to do evil… rather, we’re warped by long-term exposure without resistance.
  • TO WHAT INFLUENCE DO YOU CONSISTENTLY AND FREQUENTLY EXPOSE YOURSELF? THAT is what will shape you!

Think THROUGH What You Do ~ Romans 12:3-5
     demonstration of transformed thought

  • 3 “think more highly” PUN don’t over-think your own importance
  • 4 it’s reasonable to understand that our body parts don’t all do the same thing
  • 5 PUN:Gk: al-lay’-lone=together We are DESIGNED to be a part of each other; we’re not nearly as autonomous as we’d like to think

Romans 12:6-8
     application of transformed thought

  • 6/8 charismata: manifestations of the Spirit’s presence. Since we’re all different, the Spirit will look different THROUGH each of us (like light through different lenses) cf. Matt. 5:16

The Song, with English and Spanish subtitles:

Gems from Genesis: God Reveals His Purpose

Gems from Genesis: God Reveals His Purpose Sermon Audio Here

Gen.45:5-8; Rom.11:30-32

When preparing to view the upcoming eclipse, remember: You can’t focus directly on the event, but must take intentional steps to view what’s actually happening (or you’ll damage your eyes).

To Prevent Being Caught By Our Point Of View, Remember:

Our Problems Don’t Prevent God’s Purpose ~
Genesis 45:1-15
summarize Joseph’s Egyptian adventures; moral found in 5-8:

  • 5 “not yourselves – God sent me” Do we make dumb decisions at times? OF COURSE; do they prevent God from doing what He wishes? IN NO WAY
  • 7 “a great deliverance” Sometimes God intervenes; sometimes we play right into His plans without our knowledge
  • 8 “it was not you” God’s plans for our lives aren’t thwarted by our free will… and our free will isn’t thwarted by God’s plans!

God’s Purpose Is To Proclaim Himself ~ Romans 11:1-2, 29-32
Paul’s questions about God’s people

  • 1/2 Did God reject His promises to Israel in sending Jesus? NO; Jesus is the fulfillment of all God’s promises to both Jews and Gentiles GOD KEEPS HIS WORD
  • 29 What God promised to Israel, He will deliver, just as He has delivered us through Christ GOD PROTECTS HIS PLAN
  • 30/31 “their disobedience”=Israel was to be a kingdom of priests to share God’s love with the nations (Ex.19:6; Deut.7:6-8) we receive grace because God chose to give it to us; that makes us chosen as well as Israel GOD PROVIDES A PURPOSE
  • 32 our relationship with God isn’t based on what great things we’ve done; it isn’t severed by what awful things we’ve done. God loves us because of who HE is, not who we are. It’s not that we’re lovable; it’s that He is loving towards us. GOD’S WILL WILL WIN

That means that no matter how badly we screw up (and we do), it doesn’t prevent God from accomplishing His plans and using us to do them. IN fact, when God uses broken people, we recognize that something more than just the triumph of the human spirit is at work: God is showing off!

Gems from Genesis: God Is Aware of Our Situation

Gems from Genesis: God Is Aware of Our Situation Sermon Audio Here

Gen. 37:12-28/Rom. 10:5-15

tools needed at beginning of the job/items packed before you leave on vacation. Hindsight doesn’t help when you’re stuck at the BEGINNING of a problem!

Faith Isn’t An Infallible Shield

Righteousness Doesn’t Automatically Protect Us ~ Genesis 37:1-17

  • Summary: Joseph is naïve AND seventeen: doesn’t self-censor, doesn’t think about the impact that his truth will have on those around him.
  • Just because we try to do the right things doesn’t mean that we’ll never experience rough times; righteousness is not armor. We’re not guaranteed that if we’re good, we’ll never experience the bad. Let’s face it: there are bent people who do bad things, and we can get caught in the crossfire.

Belief Doesn’t Always Lead To Prosperity ~ Genesis 37:18-24

  • 18/20 Joseph is clueless about the trap he’s walking into
  • 21/22 Joe has unexpected ally, but not a strong one
  • 23/28 Joe still gets stuck in bad situation
  • We can honestly and sincerely believe the best of people, and still be badly let down

Being Saved Isn’t Just About Eternity ~ Romans 10:5-15

  • 5/9 Our salvation isn’t a reward for what we do; it’s who we trust
  • 10 we ARE (present tense) saved, not just saved from our past, or saved for our future
  • 11/13 our status doesn’t count; our background doesn’t count; our old self need not weigh us down, and we don’t need to worry about pretending to be perfect
  • We’re rescued right now for real life today; not just in the sweet by-and-by

Faith IS a shield (Ps.91:4, Eph.6:16) but just HAVING the shield doesn’t protect you. Use it: you WILL take the hit; but you are protected in ways you can’t comprehend!

Gems from Genesis: God Is Willing To Wrestle

Gems from Genesis: God Is Willing To Wrestle Sermon Audio Here

Genesis 32:22-31

The story is told of a scrawny kid in a small school with no wrestling program. He asked a football coach to enter him into regional matches, and the kid won every match because he wouldn’t let go. At the end of the season, this kid gets to state, and faces the two-time state champ. He’s about to get pinned; the coach can’t look. Next thing you know, the kid won! Coach asked how: kids says “that guy had me twisted like a pretzel, and I never give up. I saw a big toe, and bit into it with all my strength. Coach, it’s amazing what you can do when you BITE YOUR OWN TOE!”
Some reactions are surprising!

When God Shows Up…

Respond To The Struggle ~ Genesis 32:22-31

  • 27 Jacob says his name, grasper/deceiver; DON’T HIDE TRUTH
  • The Lord didn’t ask the question in order to get information, because He certainly knew Jacob’s name and that Jacob had the reputation of being a schemer and a deceiver. “What is your name?” meant, “Are you going to continue living up to your name, deceiving yourself and others; or will you admit what you are and let Me change you?” In the Bible, receiving a new name signifies making a new beginning. {Warren W. Wiersbe – Be Authentic (Genesis 25-20)}

Submit to God’s Changing You

  • 28 God changes our name; LIVE IN THE NEW YOU
  • One result of this meeting with God is that Jacob’s name is changed to Israel, which in the explanation given is connected with a Hebrew verb meaning “to contend with, strive.” As with Abraham in chapter 17, a new name indicates a new destiny. {Baker Commentary}
  • This applies to YOU as well: Isaiah 62 promises that God’s people will get a new name, and Revelation 2 confirms it: God knows your old name, but loves you enough to change it (and you)

Admit Who God Is To You

1 Peter 2:9 says:
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.


Pastor Ed Backell

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