Posts Tagged 'Lent'

The Road To Resurrection: A Fountain of Faith

The Road To Resurrection: A Fountain of Faith

John 7:14-24, 37-39

How does Jesus challenge the crowd as He starts His journey to the cross? His words to those watching witnesses can still affect how WE are challenged 2000 years later…

How Can Faith Flow?

Weigh the Word ~ John 7:14-18

  • 14/15 people LISTENED to Jesus, and wondered
  • 16/17 Jesus’ teaching is from God
  • 18 how to tell? Ask “who benefits”?

Search the Word ~ John 7:19-24

  • 19/20 Israel considered themselves “godly”, but were ready to kill Jesus when He went against what they THOUGHT the Law said (cf. 5:18)
  • 21/23 consider the actual content of Scripture
  • 24 Ask “Is This ALL of the Word”?

Believe the Word ~ John 7:37-39

  • 37 Jesus still extends this invitation TODAY
  • 38 cf. Ezekiel 47/Rev. 22: Living Water
  • 39 HOW TO KNOW YOU’RE SAVED: the Spirit makes us yield fruit that helps others

Consider the kid’s song: “River of Life” – makes the lame to walk (us) and the blind to see (us) opens prison doors, sets the captives free (us) We’ve been set free… to set others free!

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The Road To Resurrection: Tabernacles and Time Tables

The Road To Resurrection: Tabernacles and Time Tables

John 7:1-13

You’ve heard of the old saying, “You learn something new every day”? But what if you’re not paying attention? Can you be lost in everyday life, and unaware of what’s actually going on? The Bible certainly shows that’s true…

What Lenten Lessons Can We Learn?

Track The Right Time ~ John 7:1-9

  • 1 “this” – feeding 5000, “I am bread of life”; Jesus had called for radical commitment to Him – accept Him to live forever, or reject Him
  • 2/5 His half-brothers don’t believe He’s Messiah; they just want Him gone. At this point, they’ve rejected Him
  • 6 Jesus knows He’s got a kairos moment coming; not so for the brothers
  • 7 Jesus’ own brothers are part of the world system (at this point; at least 2 of Jesus’ brothers become His followers after His death)
  • 8/9 “right time”=completed intended moment; how do you know when a baby will be born? When it arrives! Jesus was waiting for His just-in-time moment to show Himself as Messiah

Recognize The Right Role ~ John 7:10-13

  • 10 Jesus observes the Feast, but doesn’t make a show of it
  • 11 Why watch for Jesus? They’re more interested in being entertained than being challenged. Is it so different today? How do people react when challenged to accept Christ on HIS terms?
  • 12 the world doesn’t know what to make of Jesus; they like some of His teachings, but to surrender their lives to Him is often too much
  • 13 fear of displeasing the powerful; do we struggle with this?

It’s tough to tell the truth about God to those who aren’t interested, or even worse, are opposed to it — ESPECIALLY those who already think they know what God is all about. In this narrative, Jesus models for us reliance upon God’s timing: we prepare ourselves for our mission, so when God says NOW, we’re ready.

Lent: Our Need

Lent: Our Need Sermon Audio Here

Romans 5:12-19

How do we discover our need? Often, we encounter a situation where something needed is discovered lacking; other times, we’re informed that a previously unknown circumstance affects us in ways for which we are unprepared.

We Have A Great Need

A Terminal Sickness ~ Romans 5:12-14

  • v12 No one doesn’t sin, so no one escapes death
  • v13/14 you claim “I’m a good person, I don’t break the law” but sin isn’t about breaking the Law

A Treatable Situation ~ Romans 5:15-18

  • v15 sin is passed generationally; grace overflows directly
  • v16 sin snowballs over time; grace fixes the problem
  • v17 death is passive consequence of sin; grace is active reception of life
  • v18 we receive results from previous choices: sin from Adam, salvation from Jesus

19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. ~ Romans 5:19

Our need is beyond our ability to meet: left on our own, we will die in our sin. Thank God We Have A Great Savior who meets us IN our need and covers it completely!

Learning from Luke: Blessings and Woes

Just trying something new: I’m going to post this at 8:30am on Sunday morning as a reminder – Please come to church this morning. Let’s join together in worship and study, and share the Spirit with each other. Here’s what we’ll be reading:

Learning from Luke: Blessings and Woes Sermon Audio Here

Click here to play the file


Luke 6:17-26

I’m not a big fan of the word “should” it implies obligation where one might not exist. But in certain circumstances, SHOULD can be a very powerful encouragement…

When Jesus Speaks, Every Christian SHOULD

Respond To The Setting
Luke 6:17-19 – recognize that Jesus speaks to all, not just us

  • v17 A condensed version of Matthew’s sermon on the mount; people from many different places drawn to Jesus
  • v18 we come to hear; we come to be healed of what troubles us
  • v19 we come to Christ to be changed

Receive The Blessing
Luke 6:20-23 – God’s grace is freely given, but must be received

  • v20 Blessed: happy because God *notices* you; poor: those who live without, for they will receive abundantly in God’s Kingdom
  • v21 Notice the NOW; blessing (happy response to God’s notice) WILL result; God will be our satisfaction
  • v22 God knows when you are put down for His name; He will lift you up
  • v23 WHEN you realize what God is doing, you’ll jump for joy in response

Remember The Warning
Luke 6:24-26 – Jesus warns everyone the dangers of self-reliance

  • v24 Woe: sad because you’re on your own; place your trust in riches, and crowd God out
  • v25 If the Kingdom of God is BOTH present AND future; to place all of your happiness and satisfaction on what happens NOW at the expense of eternity is an awful price to pay
  • v26 false prophets were plastered with pleasing words

If no one corrects you, if everyone flatters you, rest assured that the lack of honest examination does you no good BOTH today and in eternity. Look to God first for your happiness.

A Perspective on Lent

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I am an avid reader of a website that allows conversations between people about various subjects. One of the subjects I read was about a person who would be attending their first Ash Wednesday service. This individual had never attended one before, as they were raised in a non-denominational church that didn’t observe the Liturgical seasons.

They had heard a lot about “giving up things” for Lent, and they wanted to know what they should give up, if anything. I wrote this comment to them to explain my take on Lent.

In my opinion, Lent isn’t about giving up “things”; rather, it’s a reminder to sharpen your focus on the work of Christ. We carefully pay attention to Jesus’ ministry as He approached the Cross, and we take that same kind of care in examining the work that Jesus is doing in us.

Now, according to many group traditions, it is efficient to sharpen one’s focus by giving up various aspects in life: abstaining from certain foods, or stopping certain practices. The THING that is given up is supposed to be like an offering or a sacrifice.

I was not raised in a church, so I shared your lack of perspective about some of the more structured practices of the larger church. I’d encourage you to ask a lot of questions, and pay attention to the responses that your fellow pilgrims are implementing in their observance of Lent. It very well might become a deeply meaningful expression of your own faith as well.

I thought some of my readers might be interested in these Lenten thoughts.


Pastor Ed Backell

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