preach-itSermon Archive

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November 2020

The Politics Of It All

I can still remember the moment when I first understood that Ronald Reagan wasn’t going to be president anymore. I was downstairs in the fellowship hall at the Advent Christian church in Hyattsville, MD. It was 1988, and I was swilling down some punch with a big glob of vanilla ice cream in it. As I sat on the edge of the stage I listened to my Mom and some of her friends talking in the nearby kitchen. There was a little window in the wall between the fellowship hall and the kitchen and thr

October 2020

We Are The Body

Back in 2010 I was riding my bicycle after dark, when I made an unexpected and violent exit from my normal, day-to-day routine. An enraged dog charged out of nowhere and became entangled with the smoothly whirring operation of my 10-speed, which, in turn, caused me to proceed over the handle bars and land with a sickly thud on the road. The result was a broken collar bone and weeks in a sling.

I have suffered a few injuries like this over the span of my years on planet earth, and in

The Good Shepherd

Sheep are the animal most often mentioned in the Bible, and although many analogous comparisons are employed in the Bible to describe the relationship between God and His people, that of shepherd and sheep is definitely a favorite among the biblical writers. In John 10, the next portion of John’s Gospel that we will begin studying together, Jesus will describe Himself as the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep.

Free Slaves

I once had a friend who told me the unorthodox story of how he first came to put his trust in Jesus for salvation. His Dad had unexpectedly pulled him and his younger brother out of school one day to take them on an impromptu field trip. He was just a young boy at the time, still in elementary school, and his Dad had not informed them ahead of time that they would be getting out of school early. They drove across town to a funeral home of all places. If I remember the story correctly, the o

Is The Bible Reliable

If you turn in your Bibles to the next section of the Gospel of John you will find the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 7:53-8:11), which contains one of Jesus’ most memorable quotes, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” If you look closely you will see, depending on what version of the Bible that you use, that these verses are either bracketed off or printed in a footnote with some kind of a notation explaining that this account was no

September 2020

Chained Lions

As you all may know, Sarah and I lived and served for nearly a decade at Camp Maranatha in the San Jacinto Mountains of Southern California. During late summer when the San Jacinto Mountains become a dry, brittle and thirsty place, and the dust along the walkways becomes as fine as baby powder there was always one place there at the camp that always remained green and lush. Down in a gully behind the camp’s office a thin trickle of water flowed through a jungle of willow, nettles and wild

Coming and Going

In this message we will continue our study through Jesus’ exchange with the crowds and religious leaders at the festival of booths in Jerusalem. The portion we’ll be spending time in this week is John 7:25-36.
Jesus hated puffery and domination of any sort. At every opportunity he confronted those who looked down on others with arrogant contempt. The VIP’s of that day in Israel were the religious leaders – they were considered the most important , powerful, respected, and influenti

High Stakes Exchange

In the previous message we studied the first thirteen verses of John 7 and now we will be exploring the rest of the chapter. It is a long block of scripture spanning 39 verses. It chronicles more sparring between Jesus and the Pharisees. This time, however, it is playing out in front of a very large crowd at the festival in Jerusalem. Taken as a whole these verses depict a lot of murky confusion in the minds of the people. They seem like they are not entirely sure what to make of Jesus, and

Unbelieving Brothers

In John 7:1-13 we read about an interesting exchange between Jesus and his siblings. Like everyone else, they are very excited about the miracles he has been working. So, in verses 3-5 they say to Jesus, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” For not even his brothers believed in him.
Here’s the weird thing, Jesus’ own broth

August 2020

Barrier to Belief

Last October we studied the feeding of the 5,000 as part of our message series on the eight miraculous signs of the book of John. This week we’ll be studying what happened next by exploring the second half of John 6.
The sixth chapter of John is interesting because it begins like a big bonfire and it ends like the uncertain flickering of a candle. At the beginning of the chapter, Jesus has a mega church following. Thousands of people follow him excitedly all over the countryside to hear