Posts Tagged 'sermon'

Lent: Our Credit

Lent: Our Credit Sermon Audio Here

Romans 4:1-5; 13-17

Your credit score is based on other people’s estimation of the likelihood that you’ll pay your debts on time. But what if you have a debt that is IMPOSSIBLE to pay? How will that effect your bottom line?

To Build Your Eternal Bottom Line

Deal In The Right Currency ~ Romans 4:1-5 [Don’t trust in your capacity to demonstrate righteousness to God]

  • v1/2 do our works earn God’s favor? NO
  • v3 our righteousness is ASSIGNED to us
  • v4/5 we earn wages from our work; we are ENRICHED by God’s character and choice;
  • in other words, our reception of righteousness isn’t about us at all; it’s about GOD’s goodness towards us

Live In The Right Design ~ Romans 4:13-17 [Don’t Force the Law to fulfill a role for which it is not designed]

  • v13 LAW is based in the negative; you don’t receive goodies for keeping the Law, that is expected; rather, you are punished if you BREAK the Law
  • v14/15 therefore, law brings wrath as its wage (if you break it)
  • v16 God’s goodness isn’t demonstrated by Law, but by Grace
  • v17 Grace can come to anyone, even those who aren’t part of the Law system

God is not a crutch; God is our entire life support system!

Paul makes 2 points we have got to catch: 1) We CANNOT EARN God’s favor; it is ALWAYS assigned to us on credit. 2) the point of the Law isn’t righteousness; it’s relationship. We cannot live according to the Law to be considered “righteous”; the Law acts as a mirror to show us our brokenness, our NEED for God.

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!

Transfiguration: Seeing and Receiving

Transfiguration: Seeing and Receiving Sermon Audio Here

2 Peter 1:16-21

This last weekend, my family and I attended RadCon, a science-fiction convention in Pasco, Washington. It’s a chance for all of us to dress up in costumes, and hang out with others who enjoy fandom and cosplay. My costume this year was Ming the Merciless, based on the old Flash Gordon serials from the 1930’s. We spent many evenings working on our costumes, and our work paid off: we were transfigured – and ended up winning Best in Show! (make sure you scroll all the way down to the end of the post…)

Transfiguration Today is Attainable:
God Changed Moses
Exodus 24:12-18~ God calls Moses into HIS presence, and Moses is never the same

  • Our Exodus text starts with an invitation: God calls Moses to join Him on the mountain, specifically to receive the Law. Moses goes to the mountain and waits for further instruction from Yahweh. The Lord then calls Moses into the cloud of His glory to speak with Him.
  • Moses was before change: a murderer, on the run, in hiding

God Changed Jesus
Matthew 17:1-5

  • Today is called Transfiguration Sunday; it’s the day where we remember Jesus’ Transfiguration on the mountain top, flanked by Moses and Elijah. The account is found in Matthew 17:1-5:
  • And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son,[a] with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

  • Remember, Jesus didn’t hold on to His equality with God, according to Philippians 2:5-8 He became one of us, fully human. And just as Moses reflected God’s glory in his face when he came into Yahweh’s presence, so did Jesus.

God Changed Peter
2 Peter 1:16-21~ Peter was changed because of

  • v16 what he witnessed (majesty)
  • v17/18 what he heard (God’s Call)
  • v19 what he has read (Scripture)
  • v20/21 what he has received (Spirit)

We remember on Transfiguration Sunday that God is STILL in the business of changing lives. He changed Moses from a criminal on the run to the Lawgiver of Israel; He changed Peter from a headstrong fisherman to a heart-strong fisher of men; and as Jesus was transfigured by letting the glory of God shine through, we too can be changed by God’s Majesty, Call, Word, and Spirit.

Ming the Merciless (my personal transformation this last weekend)

Christmas: What Did You Get?

Christmas: What Did You Get? Sermon Audio Here

Hebrews 2:10-18

As children head back to school, they’ll ask one another “what did you get for Christmas” as a way of reconnecting with one another. This also serves to verify their own experience: did **I** have a good Christmas?

What role does the Lord have in our Christmas?

God Bridges the Gap ~ Heb. 2:10-13

  • v10 bring to glory NOT heaven; doxa worthy of praise; God’s intent to make US like Him
  • v11/13 God is fulfilling His long given promise, to bring us into His heavenly family

God Becomes the Gift ~ Heb. 2:14-18

  • v14/15 God entered our situation so we could enter His
  • v16/18 Jesus became one of us so He could experience our need (not just know **about** it, but feel it with us, moving from pity to empathy)

Isa.63:9 Our fallen condition is unacceptable to God; it upsets Him. To save “to the uttermost”, He became human so He would experience our humanity – and we would experience His divinity.

Advent: Preparing for the Last Day

Advent: Preparing for the Last Day Sermon Audio Here

Romans 13:11-14

How do we prepare for the first day of school? How do we prepare for the LAST day of school? What’s the difference? The unknown experience!

How Will We Prepare For The Last Day?

Adjust to God’s Agenda ~ Isaiah 2:1-5

  • v2/3 God will teach us His ways
  • v4/5 God will judge & we will respond with peace ((if our world isn’t peaceful, we’ve got a ways to go))

Wake Up & Get Dressed ~ Romans 13:11-14

  • v11/12 wake up from the darkness
  • v13/14 get dressed for the Day

Matthew 24:36-44 leads us to ask: “When will it happen?” God only knows. SO – keep watch. Be ready. Remind each other as we wait that He will come.

Prayer Practicum: Intercessory Prayer

Prayer Practicum: Intercessory Prayer Sermon Audio Here

John 17:1-9

DIY Network is gone from my channel list! Why? It was only a “preview”; have to subscribe to get the real thing!

To Build Our Practice of Intercessory Prayer,

Know the Equation of Faith ~ John 17:1-9

  • v1/2 Jesus prayer: God be glorified through OUR salvation
  • v3/7 knowing AND showing=glowing (glory)
  • v8/9 accept Word + knowledge + faith = understand we’ve been chosen (the subject of Jesus’ prayer)

Show the Magnificent Model ~ Exodus 17:8-13

  • Picture Moses, watching from the hilltop, praying for his people. Who was fighting the battle, and how? The earthly battle was fought with muscles & blood, with weapons of war. The prayer battle was fought with willingness to stand together, and determination to stay before the presence of the Lord until He answered!

Read Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25

  • Now consider this: what does Jesus do now? The same thing that Moses did for Israel: He stands for us, now and forever!

Grow in Persistence That Wins ~ Luke 18:1-8

  • Jesus gives a parable of persistence. How does His example shape your prayer life? This is a discipline that we can develop!

Gracious Holy Spirit, so much of my life seems to revolve around my interests and my welfare. I would like to live just one day in which everything I did benefited someone besides myself. Perhaps prayer for others is a starting point. Help me to do so without any need for praise or reward. In Jesus’ name. Amen.1

 
 
 
 
 
 

1. Richard Foster, Prayer, the Heart’s True Home, pg. 201

Prayer Practicum: Simple Prayer

Prayer Practicum: Simple Prayer Sermon Audio Here
Click here to play the file

Mark 9:14-29

In seminary, I took a class on Prayer. We used a number of materials, but I was inspired by the book Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster. Our Wednesday night small group looked at this book at the end of last year, and I thought it would be helpful to prepare for the approaching Advent season by considering a number of aspects of prayer.

PLUNGE into Prayer: Just As We Are ~ Mark 9:14-19

  • v17 brought my son TO YOU
  • v18 disciples couldn’t help
    • we often try do deal with stuff on our own first… only after it doesn’t work do we finally take the problem to God

The well-known theologian Charles Hodge wrote about his early years at Princeton: “It was my privilege to be the pupil-assistant of Professor Joseph Henry, the illustrious scientist. When, for the first time, electric signals were sent from point to point, the earth itself being used for the return current, Professor Henry put me at one end of the circuit, while he stood directing the experiments at the other. I can well remember the wonderful care with which he arranged them. Very often, when the testing moment came, he would raise his hand in adoring reverence and call upon me to uncover my head and worship in silence. He would say, ‘Because God is here, I am about to ask Him a question.’”

SoWhat? set your heart at rest by recognizing God’s presence – you’re not alone {1 John 3:19-20}

The PROBLEM in Prayer: Beginning Where We Are ~ Mark 9:20-24

  • v20/22 boy in the midst of trouble; doesn’t wait to “clean up” before going to Jesus
  • v23/24 our lack of faith is a lack of trust;
    • we don’t want to admit that WE aren’t in control, even though we never are

Money magazine reported in its January 1997 issue that a group of people were asked which is longer, the Panama Canal or the Suez Canal, and then asked how certain they were that their answer was correct. Among those who were 60% certain, half of them got the answer right–meaning that this group was only a little too sure. But among those who were 90% certain, only 65% got the answer right, meaning that this group was 25% too sure.

SoWhat? continually converse with Christ – choose to connect {1 Thes. 5:16-18}

The POINT of Prayer: Conversion of the Heart ~ Mark 9:25-29

  • v28 The disciples didn’t believe like the father did (v24); Jesus had given them authority. But he had not given it to them apart from God. They needed to rely on God, to know without a doubt the truth that Jesus later expressed, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5)

The story goes that one time when Bill Moyers was a special assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson, he was asked to say grace before a meal in the family quarters of the White House. As Moyers began praying softly, the President interrupted him with “Speak up, Bill! Speak up!” The former Baptist minister from east Texas stopped in mid-sentence and without looking up replied steadily, “I wasn’t addressing you, Mr. President.”

SoWhat? to see God at work in us, we must focus on Jesus {2 Cor. 4:6}

Prayer isn’t about saying fancy terms, or being spiritually impressive; God wants to connect with us just as we are, right in the moment… so we can be more like Jesus.

NOTE: all blockquotes are sourced from 10,000 Sermon Illustrations by Galaxie Software; Biblical Studies Press, (c)2002

Pastor Ed Backell

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