7Jun

S6E04: Maker of Heaven and Earth (We Believe… Pt. 2)

Sermon #285

As we continue to examine our affirmation of faith, we turn next to the notion of God as "maker of heaven and earth."  What does it mean that God is the creator of all things?  What does it mean for us that we are part of His creation?  And how does acknowledging God as creator of the universe affect our relationship with Him and with His creation: our home, the earth?

Text: Genesis 1:1-2:4

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on June 3, 2018 (Originally published August 20, 2018)

S.D.G.

2Jun

S2E48: The Holiness of God (Trinity Sunday 2015)

Sermon #115

"Holiness" is a word that means "separation," as in separate from all other things.  Certainly God can be described in this way.  In today's reading from Isaiah, we take a look at God's holiness and what it means for us as Christians.  After all, if we are called to be holy, then we need to know what that means in relation to the ultimate measuring stick, God's own holiness.  So grab your Bible, turn it to Isaiah chapter 6, and prepare your heart and mind as we look at the holiness of God.

Isaiah 6:1-8

Recorded at Hudson UMC on May 31, 2015 (Originally published June 2, 2015)

S.D.G.

2Jun

S6E03: God the Father, Almighty (We Believe… Pt. 1)

Sermon #283

The Apostles' Creed is one of our most ancient statements of the Christian faith.  It affirms our belief in the triune nature of God, and the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  Many churches recite this affirmation of faith each week, but how often do we really consider the meaning of the words?  Why did the ancient Christians determine the need for such a statement of faith, and what does it mean to us today?  On this Trinity Sunday it seems only appropriate that we begin this series, "We Believe..." with a look at God the Father, Almighty, from the throne room vision of Isaiah the prophet.

Text: Isaiah 6:1-6

Recorded at Hudson UMC on May 27, 2018 (Originally published August 16, 2018)

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S.D.G.

21May

S8E61: Resurrection Victory (Living the Resurrection pt. 7)

Sermon #444

When we claim victory over something or someone, we are establishing complete dominance over that thing or person.  Just as the allied forces claimed victory over Germany and Italy on May 8, 1945, so Jesus also claimed victory over sin and death in the resurrection.  And we who confess that Jesus Christ is the very Son of God can also claim that victory.  By allying ourselves with the victor, we also become with Jesus the sons and daughters of God, reborn as it were in the Spirit of God.  

1 John 5:1-6

Recorded at Hudson UMC on May 9, 2021

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S.D.G.

17May

S8E60: Resurrection Love (Living the Resurrection pt. 6)

Sermon #443

The Greek word "agape" describes a higher form of love.  It is a love that is completely selfless and giving, expecting nothing in return, and it is the kind of love that God shows to us in Jesus Christ.  Since agape is a Godly form of love, it stands to reason that the world at large does not and cannot conceptualize this kind of love.  Homer used the word only ten times in his writings; Euripides only thrice.  Yet the word "agape" appears in the New Testament 320 times, and 27 times it appears in this short passage from John's letter.  It seems important to the apostles and to Jesus, and so agape ought to be important to contemporary followers of Christ as well.

1 John 4:7-21

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on May 2, 2021

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S.D.G.

6May

S8E59: Living in the Vine (Eastertide 2018)

Sermon #279

The word "Abide" is not one that we use in conversation very often, if at all.  It means to dwell, or to remain.  It also means to live and be connected to, which is surely what Jesus had in mind when he told his followers to abide in him.  He gives us the image of a vine with branches bearing fruit, and he calls us to be those branches and to remain or abide in the vine.  In truth, we can do nothing apart from Christ, the true vine.  And so we need to practice our faith in such a way that we remain connected to Christ so that we can bear much fruit.

John 15:1-8

Recorded at Hudson UMC on April 29, 2018 (Previously unpublished)

S.D.G.

5May

S8E58: The True Vine (Eastertide 2015)

Sermon #112

As we continue to look at Jesus' "I Am" statements as recorded in the gospel of John, we come to this statement that Jesus said to his disciples in the upper room before his betrayal and crucifixion: "I am the true vine."  So we are looking at what it means to be a part of the vine, to be connected to the vine, and to bear fruit in keeping with the nature of the vine.  As Jesus said, the branches cannot bear fruit if they are not connected to the vine, and the same is true for us.  But Jesus also tells us that when we bear fruit we are pruned.  Sometimes when the church seems to be going through adversity, it is really in a period of pruning so that the branches may bear more fruit, all to the glory of God.

John 15:1-8

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on May 3, 2015 (Previously unpublished)

S.D.G.

4May

S8E57: Resurrection Boldness (Living the Resurrection pt. 5)

Sermon #442

Those who experienced the resurrection first-hand (the apostles, and the many eyewitnesses to Jesus' resurrection as reported by Paul) had a certain boldness to their evangelism.  After all, they had seen the resurrected Jesus in the flesh.  We who have received their eyewitness accounts can also experience this boldness when it comes to conviction of sin.  While the Spirit within us convicts us of sin when we give into temptation, God's Spirit never condemns us - that condemnation was poured out on Jesus at the cross in our place.  So we have boldness before God because our hearts do not condemn us.  This is what John teaches us in his letter today.

1 John 3:16-24

Recorded at Hudson UMC on April 25, 2021

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S.D.G.

28Apr

S8E56: One Flock, One Shepherd (Eastertide 2018)

Sermon #278

What is it that connects us as Christians?  Though we may be separated by doctrinal differences into different denominations, we are ultimately one flock, one church, because we have one shepherd, Jesus Christ, who is the head of the church invisible.  As we look at what it means to be a part of the flock of Christ, we discover some things about ourselves.  First, as Jesus is the Good Shepherd, we are his sheep, and so he cares for us enough to lay down his life for us.  Second, as our shepherd, he is intimately connected to us, just as he is connected to the Father.  Jesus, our Good Shepherd, protects us, cares for us, and joins us who follow him as one flock with one shepherd.

John 10:11-18

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on April 22, 2018 (Previously unpublished)

S.D.G.

26Apr

S8E55: The Good Shepherd (Eastertide 2015)

Sermon #111

We are looking at the "I Am" statements of Christ in the gospel of John, and we begin with Jesus' statement "I am the good shepherd."  In Jesus, we see an example of church leadership, and especially in the example of being a shepherd.  Whereas many of us tend to lead people from behind, a shepherd goes before the sheep to lead them.  More than that, a shepherd is willing to lay down his life for his sheep, and this is a very comforting thought for those of us who are in the flock of Christ.  We also look at the 23rd Psalm, a song written by King David who spent much of his life as a shepherd and knew intimately what it means that the Lord is our shepherd.

John 10:11-18

Recorded at Hudson UMC on April 26, 2015 (Previously unpublished)

S.D.G.

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