Posts Tagged 'Life'

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.

Walking in Two Worlds: Where Do You Walk

Walking in Two Worlds: Where Do You Walk Sermon Audio Here


1 John 1:1-2:2

    Phil Keaggy – Walking in Two Worlds

When you walk in two worlds
Hold your head up high
When you walk in two worlds
Keep your sights to the sky.

Remember you’re in this place
But of another race
You move to a different pace
The drumbeat of the sky
Walking in two worlds.

As We Journey Together,

Start from a Place of Life
1 John 1:1-4

  • v1 we are eyewitnesses
  • v2 of eternal life
  • v3 which brings us into fellowship with God and each other
  • v4 complete=play-ro-oo=CRAMMED FULL

Continue in a Way of Light
1 John 1:5-2:2

  • v5/6 light is truth
  • v7 walk in the open
  • v8 “if we lay out that we are not sinners”
  • v9 when we lay claim to our sin, it no longer defines us
  • v10 but we NEED to admit our sin
  • v1/2 Jesus has paid for our sin – for ALL sin

There is POWER in confession – when we admit that we do NOT have it all together, we also have to admit that the only thing which gets us through the journey is the grace of Christ in us – and it’s available for EVERYONE.

The Messiah’s Ministry: Life Over Death

Matthew 28:1-10

Audio of April 20, 2014 sermon

One of the best privileges of being a minister is seeing new life at the altar; bride & groom becoming one; mourning families realizing their loved one is with Jesus; watching the face of a baby as she’s baptized and the family’s response – coming to the altar is a recognition that we aren’t alone, that God works with us to help us recognize that we are NOT Him!

An “Altared” Life Engages

* God’s Work in Our Sorrow
1-4 Dealing with the unexpected
v1 went to look at the Tomb
v2 earth-shaking effects will happen
v3/4 some can’t handle God’s work

* Our Work in God’s Scenario
5-7 Responding to the Master’s Plan
v5 remember: do not be afraid
v6 investigate: come and see
v7 share: go and tell

* Our Walk with God’s Savior
8-10 Living with a new nature
v8 fill with joy
v9 come to worship
v10 expect to see

Jesus’ life and teaching shows us the character of God and the nature of His Kingdom; Jesus’ death on the cross paid the ultimate price for our sin; Jesus’ Resurrection means that we, like Christ, have NEW LIFE that will last forever! What will you experience as you walk with Jesus?

The Messiah’s Ministry: Triumphal Entry

Palms for Palm Sunday


Matthew 21:1-11
Audio of April 13, 2014 sermon
Several centuries ago, a Japanese emperor commissioned an artist to paint a bird. A number of months passed, then several years, and still no painting was brought to the palace. Finally the emperor became so exasperated that he went to the artist’s home to demand an explanation. Instead of making excuses, the artist placed a blank canvas on the easel. In less than an hour, he completed a painting that was to become a brilliant masterpiece. When the emperor asked the reason for the delay, the artist showed him armloads of drawings of feathers, wings, heads, and feet. Then he explained that all of this research and study had been necessary before he could complete the painting.

How Do We Prepare For Jesus’ Arrival?
* Running Errands for the Master (Eph.2:10)
1-5 Preparation or Pre-knowledge?
v1/2 Notice the Details
v3 Reaffirm Jesus’ Authority
v4/5 Remember God Has A Plan

* Raising Exultation For the Master (Col.3:16-17)
6-11 Intentional praise or unexpected surprise?
v6/7 Everyday elements for the Master’s use (cloaks)
v8 Readily available for the Master’s praise
(palms symbol peace/celebration)
v9 Son of David=Messiah; Hosanna=Save us!
v10 Realize that some will not know Him
v11 Reply to those who ask about your praise

When Jesus comes again in the clouds, every eye will see Him, and every knee will bow… and for some, it will not be a joyful revelation. When we recognize Messiah-our-Savior in our lives daily, we have every reason to experience joy.

Strength in the Storm~Matthew 7

Sermon Notes: January 12, 2014
Strength in the Storm ~ Matthew 7:21-27

F.B. Meyer wrote about two Germans who wanted to climb the Matterhorn. They hired three guides and began their ascent at the steepest and most slippery part. The men roped themselves together in this order: guide, traveler, guide, traveler, guide. They had gone only a little way up the side when the last man lost his footing. He was held up temporarily by the other four, because each had a toehold in the niches they had cut in the ice. But then the next man slipped, and he pulled down the two above him. The only one to stand firm was the first guide, who had driven a spike deep into the ice. Because he held his ground, all the men beneath him regained their footing. F.B. Meyer concluded his story by drawing a spiritual application. He said, “I am like one of those men who slipped, but thank God, I am bound in a living partnership to Christ. And because He stands, I will never perish.”
What Is Our Shelter In The Storms Of Life?
* Being Religious Offers No Shelter (21-23)
* A Living Relationship Is Our Only Stability (24-27)
God doesn’t want you to be religious: He wants YOU. Your heart, your life, your dreams, your everything, with Him at the center – just the way that YOU are the center of HIS desire. That’s why God gave His only Son – to provide the Way back to His heart!

Life in Spring

pretty flowers In the words of one of my favorite musicians, “Spring is Here, Spring is Here! Life is Skittles… Life is ________ …” (thank you, Tom Lehrer)

Well, I won’t fill in the blank for you, because everyone views life a little differently. For those who are going through a season of loss, life can be more than difficult. With those, we join in mourning. For those who are experiencing times of triumph, due to the completion of a goal (congratulations again, graduates!), or perhaps the anticipation of a celebration, life can be filled with wonder and expectation. With these, we join in joy. For those who are dealing with planting crops, or raising children (and having them underfoot now that school is out), or spring cleaning, or any number of things that we walk through on our journey, life can be a series of ups and downs, twists and turns, expected events and shocking surprises.

It’s such a privilege to walk with you all on this journey of life in which the Lord has lumped us together! I was incredibly blessed to look out the parsonage window the other day to discover a church family (with a gift for gardening) making the church grounds look incredible. They were pulling leaves, planting flowers, trimming back what needed trimming and bringing order to chaos. I’ve taken a bunch of pictures which are now on the church website as a photo gallery of some of the work that they’ve done. Thank you so much to Curtis, Mary, and all the kids and helpers that made this place look like a park.

And speaking of work that has been done, a big thanks as well to the trustees and the painters who are in the process of transforming our church building with a new coat or two of paint. When the sun hits it just right, it’s as if the building is shining with God’s glory… just as we, the church body, are intended to do as we yield our lives to the work of God in us. Here’s to a lovely spring, and the anticipation of summer!

KFJ – Pastor Ed


Pastor Ed Backell

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