Sermons on Christian Living (Page 2)

Sermons on Christian Living (Page 2)

Kingdom Emotions: Joy and Anger

James 1:2-3, 19-20 — We live in a consumerist culture in which joy has become bound to the products and services promoted by marketers and influencers. At the same time, we live in a culture where outrage has become the expected response to a growing list of offenses. No matter how we feel about our culture’s values, its influence shapes us. That shaping complicates the already challenging balance between joy and anger. This lesson, which considers the place of joy…

Kingdom Emotions: Peace and Worry

Matthew 6:19-33 — God designed the world to be a place of abundance and blessing. However, we encounter scarcity, pain, and death in the world. Those shared experiences remind us that the world contains dangers that can tempt us to foreground those risks over God. Against that backdrop, Paul instructed the Philippians to “not be anxious about anything” (Philippians 4:6). Yet, in the same letter, he also wrote about his “anxiety for all the churches” (Philippians 2:20). How then do we…

Good at Being a Woman

Reading: Genesis 2:23 In Genesis 2:23, Adam praises God’s creation of woman. He sees in her the ability to take the good he gives and make it grow and flourish. When she is good at being what God made her to be, this brings glory to God the Creator. If men build a house by their strength, women in their beauty and care make it a home. “A wise woman builds up her house, but with her own hands the…

Kingdom Emotions: Lament and Thanksgiving

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 — My phone gives me accurate, simple, and constantly updated directions to whatever destination I enter into its maps app. Its accuracy, simplicity, and adaptability to the conditions around me have made the app an essential part of my daily life. Even though I claim the Bible occupies an even more important place in my life, it does not have the features I prize in my map app – it instead possesses a sprawling complexity that, while…

Gifted to Serve God’s Mission

Romans 12:3-8 — A gift freely given must still be used according to a purpose. If you give someone a chainsaw, you expect them to build with it and not destroy. God’s free gift of grace can never be earned. Yet grace is more than a ticket to heaven. Paul says, “we have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us” (Romans 12:6a). Grace is also a tool we grow in by serving His purpose. We don’t…

Work Out Your Own Salvation

Paul’s letter to the Philippians includes what might seem to us a contradictory instruction. Consider what he wrote in Philippians 2:12-13: Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. While his comment ‘you work/its God working in you’ might…

Deep Waters-How Christians Relate to the Law

Romans 7:4-6 — The apostle Peter admits Paul’s writings sometimes contain things that are hard to understand. Knowing why we follow some parts of the Old Testament law and not others is one of those times.Peter warns Christians to not ignore the deep end of God’s Word. There are always those eager to distort what Scripture says.In Romans 7, Paul explains that the law points to a Law-Maker. The law serves the Maker’s purpose. Understanding this relationship helps Christians use…

WHAT DOES THE LORD REQUIRE?

Micah 6:6-8–I have many Bibles. I buy different translations with different layouts, different size fonts, and different thicknesses of paper. Various purposes drive my purchases; I use some for reading, some for writing in, some for studying, and some for teaching. Despite those differences, all my Bibles have a common feature – they all have A LOT of pages filled with A LOT of words. English translations have, on average, 750,000 words, not including references, footnotes, and other added features (by comparison,…

Buried with Christ

Buried with Christ Romans 6:4-5 If you read the letter of Romans in one sitting, what does it teach about how the first Christians became Christian? In Romans 10:13, Paul writes to those who are already Christian. He says, “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” What do you think Paul meant? Is that what these Christians had done? In Romans 6, Paul ties conversion and sanctification together as he writes about being “buried with…

Love One Another

In the book of 1 John, John wrote to Christians facing challenges from a group who separated themselves from him and the other church leaders and who denied Jesus’ identity (1 John 2:18-23; 4:1-3). Motivated by the turmoil they were creating (1 John 3:4-10), John wrote to address those Jesus-denying “antichrists” (1 John 2:18-19). His response revolves around two central messages:  “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no…

Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

Even though he composed them in intentionally challenging ways (cf. Matthew 13:10-17), Jesus’ parables provide insight and direction to the life of those who meditate on them. We have been considering some of his parables this month to see what insights they offer us that will guide us as we navigate the hopes, heartbreaks, successes, and failures we will encounter in the coming year. We have considered the following parables this month: ¨ The parable of the weeds – even though we…

Parable of the Friend at Midnight

Storytelling holds an essential place in speaking and writing. Good communicators draw their audience into a narrative that resonates with them, giving identity and meaning to their message and those receiving it. Even though he composed them in intentionally challenging ways (cf. Matthew 13:10-17), Jesus’ parables offer stories that can provide insight and direction to the life of those who meditate on them. We have been considering some of Jesus’ parables this month to see what insights they provide us…

Parable of the Weeds

Even though only a date in our calendars, the New Year carries weight for many people. It signals the beginning of something new that brings opportunities for change, renewal, and the potential for countless (good) things. However, our culture has married a cynicism to its anticipation of the New Year. How often do you hear people joking about New Year resolutions, making light of peoples’ intentions and their failure to accomplish them?  We are beginning a New Year, and I…

Faith Steps

Faith Steps Romans 4:18-21 Abraham’s faith had legs. His example reminds us that we cannot please God…unless we have faith (see also Hebrews 11:6). His life also shows us the benefits of a faith that is willing to work (see also James 2:17). Had his head always been in the heavens, he wouldn’t have been much earthly benefit. And living in his body without faith would not have gotten him to a better place. Our hope, like Abraham’s, is that…

I am Thankful for Church Family

1 Corinthians 12:12-26 — We live in an individualistic culture whose definition of ‘the good life’ focuses on self-centered, impersonal things. Our place in the world, our value, we are told, connects to things like our career, our money, our car, our clothes, and our appearance. Happiness, our world markets to us, involves beings true to oneself and asserting one’s wishes and rights. The ‘good life’ our world advocates comes with a widely known secret – impersonal things and self-centered…

I am Thankful for God’s Grace

Considering our upcoming celebration of Thanksgiving, we are using some of our Sunday mornings this month to explore things for which we should be thankful. However, more than mere opportunism motivates this series; we are using the holiday as an occasion to focus on thankfulness because it occupies an essential place in our Christian identity (cf.Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:18). Therefore, this lesson explores another reason motivating our thankfulness:  I am thankful for God’s unexpected and undeserved grace.

I AM THANKFUL God chooses to dwell with us

Revelation 21:1-4— November concludes with Thanksgiving, a holiday intended to offer us a time to remember the blessing we enjoy. For us, the holiday provides us more than a chance to remember the many good things within our lives; it allows us to intentionally practice the thankfulness the Bible describes as an essential Christian characteristic (cf. Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:18). To help us focus on that part of our identity, we will use this month’s Sundays to remind…

How Shall the Young Secure Their Hearts

As a parent, I worry about my sons. While I experience the usual worries about injury and happiness, my most profound and persistent concerns center on the culture they inhabit and how it influences their thinking. I know I am not alone. My parents felt the same fears about me, and I know other parents wrestle with similar concerns for their children. And so, I worry about my boys, as I am sure you worry about your families. But what…

Moses Implored the Lord

The New Testament repeatedly reminds its readers that evangelism occupies a central and non-negotiable place in Jesus’ expectations. Yet that expectation makes people uncomfortable. Therefore, we have been considering features of that responsibility over the past few weeks by studying stories from the Hebrew Bible that offer us insights into Jesus’ evangelistic expectations. In this lesson, we will explore Moses’ intercession for Israel in Exodus chapter thirty-two and consider how it models for us the intercessory role we have as Jesus’ representatives in the world.