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Monday, March 23, 2009

Sermon: The Pinnacle of T. & O.

My text for this message, which was really a continuation of last week's message, was Genesis 22:1-18. This is the passage where God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, the promised child Abraham had waited to receive for a long time. This is a troubling passage until we realize that God was never going to let Abraham go through with a child sacrifice. But why would God ask Abraham to sacrifice Isaac in the first place? What is God trying to do in Abraham's life that this kind of ultimate test might accomplish?

During the message I asked us to consider, "what Isaac do you need to put on the altar of God's love...what Isaac may be causing you worry or idolatry?" I shared about one of my personal "Isaacs" that I have had to place on God's altar through T. & O., trust and obedience. Check out the message by clicking on the following link and please share any insights or comments about the message or your personal "Isaac." Here's the link to listen to the message:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sermon: We Can't Help But Grow With T. & O.

I don't know about you, but I relish simplicity. I tend to overcomplicate my life, but if I don't do this life has a way of complicating itself. We tend to overcomplicate our relationship with God. To the contrary, developing a deep friendship with God is really quite simple. Abraham, whose friendship with God is chronicled in Genesis 12-22, shows that developing a deeper relationship with God is based upon two simple habits- trust and obedience. Abraham wasn't perfect but he trusted God's promises enough to obey God's commands and because of this the promises were fulfilled. Click on the link below to get to the sermon and ask yourself "do I trust God enough to obey His commands?"

Enjoy and please feel free to post your comments, insights or questions:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sermon: The Older Brother "Sin"drome

The text for this message was Luke 15:25-32, from the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The younger brother gets most of the press, but what we can learn from the older brother is no less significant. At the end of the parable, it is the sinful, despicable younger brother who ends up in the father's house, while the good, relgious older brother ends up outside of the house and distant from the father. This should bother us a bit and it does. I described how religious goodness has a way of causing older brother types to feel so deserving of Father God's love that they actually miss that love. Younger brothers seem to have any easier time relying upon God's grace than older brothers who tend to rely on their goodness, their religion. "Religion rots the redeemed" was a mantra I intentionally repeated about 4-5 times during the sermon. Religion allows us to rely upon our goodness while relatonship invites us to rely upon God's grace.

All of us come to Christ as younger brothers but, if we're not careful, we end up becoming older brothers over time. There are a few keys to staying a younger brother who is close to the father's heart. First, invite God to point out areas where you have a tendency to be an older brother, where you have replaced a relationship with God based on grace with religion based on your goodness. Also, spend time cultivating intimacy with your Father through Scripture and prayer- not a as a religious checklist but s a conversation with your Father. Finally, spend time with younger brother types who are needy for God's grace and know it, more readily than older brothers do.

Here is the sermon:

Take a listen and share your reflections by posting your comments.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sermon: Pain, Pain Go Away

In this message I tried my feeble best to address the problem of pain. Reflecting on Jeremiah 33:1-9, I tried to deal with the relationship between God, suffering, and healing. On almost a daily basis I am in a position to lovingly help people who are journeying through a season of pain. Their premier question is "why God, why am I suffering and why aren't you seeming to help me?". This message is based on 13 years of pastoring people through pain. To listen to the sermon click on this link:
As always, I invite your insights, questions and comments.

Journeying with you,