Posts Tagged 'hope'

Snapshots from Mark: The Main Thing

Snapshots from Mark: The Main Thing Sermon Audio Here

Mark 12:28-34

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Steven R. Covey, Scott Krippayne But ZEROING in on the main thing is no easy thing: the Choice is between good, better, and BEST…

What’s The Main Thing?

Love God ~ Mark 12:28-30

  • 28 Good question: what IS most important? Let’s be honest: we spend a LOT of our lives searching for meaning and purpose… and all too often, we leave God out of the picture
  • 29 Reminder: LISTEN (Shema) Important to listen to what God says to us
  • 30 Love God with EVERYTHING you have: not just a Sunday/Easter/Christmas thing. ALL IN (you can’t be a little bit pregnant: you either are, or you’re not)

Love People ~ Mark 12:31-34

  • 31 Shema was the most famous OT quote to Israel; Leviticus 19=more obscure (e.g., don’t wear clothes made of two kinds of material; don’t shave; don’t eat fruit from a new tree for 3 years) AND YET nestled in this obscure chapter Jesus says is found the second most important part of the entire Torah: love of neighbor
  • 32/33 the questioner agrees with Jesus: LOVE more important than religious duty
  • 34 “not far from Kingdom of God” – not enough to KNOW – we actually have to CHOOSE LOVE DAILY

Not a typical Easter sermon. We’re in the midst of a study in the book of Mark, and this is just what came up in the text. But it’s incredibly appropriate for Resurrection Sunday: Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross showed how much God loved us to make a way for us to love Him back; Jesus’ Resurrection showed that God loved us enough to show us that He wants us to know Him as FRIEND, not just Savior.

Advertisements

Snapshots from Mark: Miraculous Moments

Snapshots from Mark: Miraculous Moments Sermon Audio Here

Mark 6:30-56

The Prince of Egypt is one of my favorite films; it’s the story of the Exodus of God’s people from slavery to freedom. One of the most moving songs is “When You Believe”. The original draft of the song used the lyric “you can do miracles when you believe”, but this seemed to imply that the believer, not God, was responsible for performing miracles; the lyric was later changed to “there can be miracles when you believe”. God is still able to be about His miraculous business. Here’s how we might see Him at work:

Miracles Manifest When We

Feed Because Of Need ~ Mark 6:30-44 (Jesus Feeds the 5000)

  • 34 compassion because of a shepherd shortfall
  • 38 find out what resources you already have
  • 41 thank God for what you share (God can do more with it than you can)

See In The Storm ~ Mark 6:45-52 (Jesus Walks On Water)

  • 46 Jesus took time to pray; what do we do with our time?
  • 48 Jesus sees us in the storm, but waits for us to call out
  • 52 we misunderstand what God is doing because of the hardness of our hearts

Share What You’ve Seen ~ Mark 6:53-56 (Jesus Heals The Sick)

  • 54 people STILL recognize Jesus today
  • 55 “they heard” – they’re still listening

The difficulty in seeing God in our lives aren’t because God isn’t still at work; it’s because, like the disciples, we’re distracted by our surroundings. Let’s encourage one another to take our eyes off the storm, and see the Savior instead.

Theory of Thanatos in Thessalonica

Theory of Thanatos in Thessalonica Sermon Audio Here

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

It seems that every time we watch the news or read the paper, we learn about some new tragedy. Death occurs with astonishing regularity, even if the circumstances surrounding it become more and more bizarre.

How Can We Respond When Faced With Death?

We Can Have Knowledge AND Hope ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

  • 13 WE GRIEVE DIFFERENTLY
  • 16 NO SECRET~ ALL WILL KNOW GOD IS AT WORK:
  • 17 WE JOIN JESUS AFTER HIS RETURN:
    • Day of the Lord order: Return of Jesus FOLLOWED by resurrection of dead in Christ FOLLOWED by our joining Christ in the clouds
  • 18 This is GOOD NEWS: we haven’t missed it!

The Thessalonians were concerned because they’d received differing accounts of Jesus’ return. Paul writes to them to set them straight… and we can be reassured as well: Jesus WILL return, and He WILL take us home: that’s all we need to know, and that’s what gives us hope!

Posts from 1 Peter: Reasons for Hope

Posts from 1 Peter: Reasons for Hope Sermon Audio Here

1 Peter 3:13-22

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed, unsure, or at the end of your rope, remember your hope!

Remember Your Reasons To Hope:

1st: YOU ARE NOT ALONE WHEN YOU SUFFER

  • v13/14 you ARE blessed, not you would be; from the Beatitudes: God notices you in your suffering;

2nd: YOUR HOPE IS REASONABLE

  • v15 set apart/sanctify=for a holy and specific use (Good china)
  • (our hope is based in something real; not ridiculous or random)

3rd: YOUR HOPE DOESN’T NEED POWER

  • v16 meekness, respect, confidence
  • you do not need to be in a position of power to exercise hope

4th: GOD VALUES YOUR LIFE

  • v17 the good we do is worth any suffering that the Lord allows

5th: JESUS ALREADY PAID FOR YOUR SIN

  • v18 YOU don”t have to carry it

6th: STUCK? JESUS CAN FREE YOU

  • v19 if Jesus can free souls stuck in DEATH, He can certainly free you

7th: GOD PREPARES WAYS TO RESCUE HIS PEOPLE

  • v20 he did with Noah, and he did with Jesus

8th: GOD RESCUES FROM BEING OVERWHELMED

  • v21 get in the Ark!

9th: JESUS IN THE PERFECT POSITION TO SAVE: AT THE TOP

  • v22 He is above Angels, Authorities, Powers, and Problems!

Posts from 1 Peter: Hope is Alive

Posts from 1 Peter: Hope is Alive Sermon Audio Here

1 Peter 1:3-9

Last week, we talked about the fact that if Jesus is Risen, we’re risen, too! But what does that MEAN? What makes that WORK? Hope, for one thing…

Hope is Alive Because…

Jesus is Alive! ~ 1 Peter 1:3-5

  • v3 When we’re connected to Christ, we are Reborn; hope is the result
  • v4 our hope isn’t on things that decay; the reason for our hope is timeless
  • v5 WE are shielded from decay; we’ll still experience the effects of entropy while we’re stuck here, but WE, our SELVES, have been connected to the Resurrected One – and we TOO are resurrected in hope!

=> my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness!

Suffering is Temporary ~ 1 Peter 1:6-7

  • v6 in this: the shielding, even through current suffering; we recognize that all our earthly life is just a temporary situation
  • v7 WHEN you come through tough times (and notice I say WHEN and not if), you’ll be able to look back and give God glory for how the Lord sustained you… because you’ll see how you were changed to be like Christ

=> in Army, I heard guys whining about how tough the obstacle course was, and all I could think was how it was just for a short time. I figured I could probably experience the worst that Hell had to offer… as long as I knew it was temporary, and that I could have pizza afterwards…

Joy is Real ~ 1 Peter 1:8-9

Are we there yet? ALMOST!

Learning from Luke: Seek the Easter Kingdom

Learning from Luke: Seek the Easter Kingdom Sermon Audio Here

Click here to play the file


Luke 12:22-34

Frederick the Great of Prussia once visited a school, and singled out a little girl, held up a stone in front of her, and asked, “To which kingdom does this stone belong?” “To the mineral kingdom,” came the quick reply. “And to which kingdom does this apple belong?” “To the plant kingdom.” Next the king pointed to the picture of a horse and asked her to classify the horse. “It belongs to the animal kingdom,” said the girl. Then, after a pause, the king demanded, “And to which kingdom do I belong?” Now the girl hesitated. Finally, she answered, “You belong to the kingdom of God.” The king was deeply moved by this unexpected reply and said to the girl, “Pray God that I may be found worthy of such an honor.”

Anyone who accepts the work that Jesus has done on the cross can be a part of that Easter Kingdom.

As A Part of the Easter Kingdom, We Can See That:

He is Lord of Everyday Life
Luke 12:22-24~ don’t worry about stuff

  • v22 Jesus’ focus: don’t worry about life
  • v23 Life is MORE than stuff (cf. Abundant Life John 10:10)
  • v24 how valuable are you? Do you agree with God on this?

=> If you had a bank that credited your account each morning with $86,400, that carried no balance from day to day, allowed you to keep no cash in your account, and finally every evening canceled whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day. what would you do? Draw out every cent–of course!
Well, you have such a bank and its name is “Time.” Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it rules off–as lost–whatever of this you had failed to invest to good purpose.

He is Lord of Common Time
Luke 12:25-28~ how do you spend your time?

  • v25 we are not in control
  • v26 what is impossible for us is a little thing to God
  • v27/28 God cares for you because of who HE is

He is Lord of Constant Care
Luke 12:27-31~ think about how God values you

  • v29/30 God knows your needs
  • v31 Agree with God about His priorities

=> Queen Victoria, after hearing one of her chaplains preach on the second coming of Christ, said, “Oh, how I wish that the Lord would come during my lifetime.” When asked why, she replied, “Because I should so love to lay my crown at His feet.”

He is Lord of Everlasting Hope
Luke 12:32-34~ let go of stuff; hold onto God

  • v32 We don’t trust God because of FEAR; yet God trusts US
  • v33 trade your old stuff for PERMANENT treasure
  • v34 your heart is connected to your stuff (how do you define yourself?); Jesus reminds us to be connected to GOD, and let HIM define us

Think about your daily life: how do you spend your common time? Are you burdened with constant care over what you feel you need? Let go of anything that weighs you down, and be lifted in the Hope of the Risen Savior. Set your mind and heart on God’s trust in you to live as a citizen of Heaven right here, right now.

Learning from Luke: Hope For the Herald

Learning from Luke: Hope For the Herald Sermon Audio Here


Luke 1:1-25

Today, we start our study of the book of Luke. Luke is traditionally unique; out of the four Gospels, we’re given an introduction of the book by Luke himself. His account is a researched Gospel, an intentional document of hope for the original reader, Theophilus, and for us today.

What Is The Message of Hope For Today?

We Can Trust That God Knows What He’s Doing

  • Introduction
    • v1/4 Luke’s account gives us an investigated historical viewpoint
  • Setting
    • v5/7 notice the details; Luke gives them so we can specifically verify what he records

We Can Receive God’s Promise And Reassurance

  • Promise
    • v8/12 look for the reminder; Israel had not recorded an angelic visitation for a very long time
  • Q: What promise from God do you need to remember?
    • v13/17 look for the attribute; the child will be Nazirite (dedicated holiness),
    • filled with the Holy Spirit, and
    • invested with Elijah’s spirit and power (cf. 2 Kings 2:9-10)
  • Q: What indicators do you see that God keeps His promises?
  • Reassurance
    • v18/22 Zechariah’s silence is a sign
  • Q: What reassures you that God is still at work?

Notice that in verses 23-25, God answers prayers for HIS reasons (as well as ours).


Pastor Ed Backell

Flickr Photos

Pastoral Tweets

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 773 other followers

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: