preach-itSermon Archive

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March 2021

The High Priestly Prayer

In the last four chapters of John that we have studied (chapters 13-16), Jesus has been talking to the disciples about the Father, but now in chapter 17 he switches gears and talks instead to the Father about the disciples. Both activities are critically important. As Christians, we should follow Jesus’ example in talking often to the people in our lives about God, and to God about those people. No one is fully formed as a winner and maker of disciples who does one but not the other.

February 2021

Falling Away

Chapter 16 of John’s Gospel account marks the last discourse between Jesus and His disciples before going to the cross, and it begins and ends with words of explanation from Jesus.
“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away.” (verse 1)
“I have said these things to you, that in me, you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”“ (verse 33)

No matter how careful we are or how mu

To Abide in Christ

If you get a chance before you listen to this message, read the fifteenth chapter of John. That’s the portion of scripture that we will be studying together. If your preferred version of the Bible is the King James, ESV or NASB count the number of times the word “abide” occurs as you read. If you prefer the NIV than count the number of times the word “remain” occurs. It is impossible to read John 15 without coming away with the impression that the idea of abiding or remaining in Christ is hugely important, thus the repetition, but what precisely does it mean to abide in Christ? That’s the question we’ll be taking up when we worship God through the study of His Word.

Saint Valentine Was Single

This Sunday fell on Saint Valentine’s Day. According to church history, Valentine was a Christian priest, or possibly a Bishop, living in Rome who was martyred on February 14th in 269 AD during the reign of Claudius II for the crime of marrying Christian couples against the orders of Caesar. In time, he would be recognized for this heroic act and would become the patron saint of lovers as well as beekeepers and epileptics. However, it is ironic, isn’t it, that the man for whom the day w

Greater Works and the Means to Accomplish Them

As I was reading my way through chapter 14 this week I was brought up short by something Jesus said. In verse 12, Jesus explains to His disciples, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do, and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” At this point in our study through the Gospel of John we have become accustomed to Jesus saying surprising and thought-provoking things, but this statement is one of the most startling.

January 2021

A Thumbnail Image of Heaven

Back in 2011, for our tenth anniversary Sarah and I talked her Mom into watching the kids for a week and we made reservations at The Clement Hotel in Monterey, California. We had originally planned to do something really, super-duper splashy for our tenth but then reality and certain pesky things like budgets, car repairs and babies intruded. Still, with some help from family, we managed a week away in Monterey. Although we were living in California at the time, I had never been to Monterey

Disciple In Training

In the book of 1 Peter the Apostle Peter writes to his fellow believers scattered abroad and encourages them, among other things, not to fear those who would seek to harm them because of their association with Christ. “Have no fear of them, nor be troubled…,” he writes. Then he continues, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you…” Given all that we know about Peter

Counterfeit Disciple

Have you ever seen a counterfeit bill? I’ve never actually seen or handled one myself, but I have seen some pictures online that looked pretty convincing. I suppose if it’s done well a counterfeit bill will look and feel very much like the real thing.

This Sunday as we continue our study through the Gospel of John we’ll be doing a character study on one of the most tragic figures in all the Bible. That is Judas of course. Judas was a counterfeit disciple of Jesus. A disciple is a sin

Exploring a Mystery

In Acts 20:27 Paul told the Elders of the Ephesian church, “I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” It is because we desire to receive the whole counsel of God that we have set out to study our way through an entire book of the Bible. We want to hear all that God has to say and not just sound bites and snippets. When Bible teachers only talk about passages that interest them we are more likely to be getting their take on things, but when we set out to unpack an

Stealing Pennies From A Golden Bowl

A family dinner creates connection, and, as Christians, we ought to know this from church. Too often when churches speak about “creating community” they mean some new program or a small group strategy or something slick and new that they feel will get people together. But in the Bible the focus of community is not found in some slick new program, but more often it is found around the table, around sharing a common meal.

If you read through the gospel accounts of Jesus’ earthly