preach-itSermon Archive

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April 2020

Faith and Love

In James 5:17-18 we find a short but very instructive passage about prayer. It says, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.” It seems to me that James is communicating two important truths in these verses. One, Elijah wasn’t anything special. James says he was a man with a nature like ours. IN oth

Palm Sunday

Matthew 26 begins with Jesus telling His disciples, including Judas presumably, “The Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified,” and just a dozen verses later we read, “Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the Chief Priests and said, ‘What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?”

I think that Judas may have been the only one of the twelve who understood that Jesus intended to literally die on a cross. Perhaps the others thought that Je

March 2020

Where Is Your Refuge

Once there were just a handful of people who were infected and they were all congregated in one city. That represented the best chance to completely isolate and eliminate this new contagion before it could spread. The Government tried to do just that, but they botched the whole operation and their bumbling efforts only caused it to spread further afield. Infected people fled into other cities and neighboring regions causing the number of exposures to multiply exponentially. Soon it was raci

Don’t Waste Our Time Apart

During the past week the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19, both in Maine and across the country, has continued to rise and in response the state and federal government have offered stronger recommendations for social distancing. This past Wednesday morning Governor Mills issued an order that, in part, prohibited groups of 10 or more from gathering. As part of a coordinated regional effort to slow the spread of this virus it is our intention to comply with this order. As such, we will b

David’s Strength in Crisis

Lots of times when I read the Bible, especially the Old Testament, it makes me wish that I could peek through the veil of time and share in the story, or at least witness it with my own eyes. However, as I read 1 Samuel 30 this week, the very thought made me feel soft and unprepared. Like a lap dog running with wolves, I think I would be too spoiled by the age in which I live to even think of going toe to toe with the kind of people we encounter in this chapter.

Imagine the scene, I

An Unhappy Man

If I mentioned witches and ghosts and people in costume coming around after dark to a stranger’s house you would probably think I was talking about Halloween, but I’m not. All this and more can be found in 1 Samuel 28, which we’ll be studying together this Sunday.

It has been quite a while since we spent time in our study through the life of David, but as we rejoin it in chapter 28 we find a nation and its king in crisis. An existential threat hangs over the countryside in the

Believer’s Baptism

I was baptized at the now defunct Advent Christian Church in Hyattsville, MD. I was only 9 or 10 years old at the time but I remember well sitting down in my Dad’s office (he was the pastor) to question me if I had sufficient personal understanding of the Gospel and to instruct me on the meaning and symbolism of baptism. I had just made a decision for Christ recently, and despite my stage fright I was determined to obey Jesus’ command to be baptized. I remember that the baptismal was a larg

February 2020

Tried and True

In Psalm 63:3 we read, “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” This verse communicates the startling truth that there are things that should be preferred even over continued life. What do you think is better than life? What would you die for? And if it is true that there are things better than life than wouldn’t it also stand that there are fates worse than dying? This Sunday we will study the account of Daniel and the lion’s den in the sixth chapter of Daniel. In Daniel’s example we are challenged by a man who chose worship over life and power and money. What does this mean for us individually and, also, what does this mean for us as a church?

Looking Outward In The Same Direction

The French literary icon and war-hero, Antoine De Saint Exupery, once wrote, “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward in the same direction.” This reminds me of our study from last May when we studied the remarkable friendship that flourished between Jonathan and David. In 1 Samuel 18 it describes their friendship in terms of Jonathan’s soul being knitted to that of David’s.

Sex and Intimacy in Marriage

Let’s start our discussion about sex with God. I think you’ll agree that’s the most logical place to start. After all, sex finds its very genesis in the person of the Creator. He is the inventor and the origin of sex. Some talk as though God is against sex, and that the church’s attitude toward sex is one of prudish disapproval, but that is patently false. Sex was God’s idea in the first place. Marriage, which is also a divine invention, was created, in part, to fulfill our God-gi