S7E09: Be Set Free

In the healing of a woman crippled 18 years on the Sabbath day in the synagogue, Jesus uses the phrase "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." When we suffer from an affliction as this woman has for 18 years we can certainly understand being set free, being loosed from the bondage of our suffering. But Jesus came for a deeper healing, and to set us free from the affliction of our sin, which has bound us since birth. The question is, in today's society which celebrates sin and holds it up as virtue, do we truly wish to be set free?

Luke 13:10-17

Recorded at Hudson UMC on August 25, 2019

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S7E08: A Cloud of Witnesses

Who is it that God put in your life to help you come to faith? Who is it that helped you to mature in your faith? We are not born Christians, we grow into faith in Christ, and it is only through people faithfully sharing their faith with us that we come to faith ourselves. In this message I run down my own "Hall of Faith" and reflect back on how so many people helped to build my foundation in faith. And I ask us to consider this: if the early Christians did not share their faith, if they didn't "Go, make disciples" (Matt. 28:19), then the church would not exist today. But we who are followers of Christ are directly linked in an unbroken line through generations of faith-sharing. So, who is it who shared their faith with you? And with whom will you share your faith? In whose cloud of witnesses has God placed you?

Hebrews 11:29-12:2

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on August 18, 2019

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S7E07: Praise God (Practical Wisdom from Jude pt. 9)

S7E07: Praise God (Practical Wisdom from Jude pt. 9)

In this final message on the Epistle of Jude, we look at Jude's closing words, both doxology (glory saying) and benediction (good saying), a beautifully composed sentence both glorifying God and encouraging the believers in their mission to seek and to save the lost. In these final verses we see how Jude exemplifies for us all a need to praise God in all that we do and say, and provides for us a pattern for such praise and worship.

Jude 24-25

Recorded at Hudson UMC on August 11, 2019

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S7E06: Save Others (Practical Wisdom from Jude pt. 8)

So now, after Jude has railed against these false teachers, what are we to do with them? What Jude tells us is that we ought to treat them like any other unsaved person - we ought to respond in mercy, even after contending for the faith. After all, Jesus responded to the unsaved with mercy. But we are to be careful that they do not drag us down, like someone who is drowning might drag down a lifeguard who is trying to save them.

Jude 22-23

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on August 4, 2019

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S7E05: Persevere (Practical Wisdom from Jude pt. 7)

Sometimes it is difficult for us to continue on in the face of adversity. Sometimes it seems like we don't have it in us to keep going when all we see is failure after failure. We are given a great promise of eternal life, and so we have a hope in us that others who are not follwers of Christ do not have. It is this hope in eternity that helps us as Christians to persevere when others might give up.

Jude 17-21

Recorded at Hudson UMC on July 28, 2019

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S7E04: Please God (Practical Wisdom from Jude pt. 6)

We who are saved by Christ and washed in his blood ought not to take for granted what he has done for us. How we live our lives as Christians matters greatly to the one who purchased our lives and redeemed us by his own son. To say that sin does not matter is to say that what Jesus did for us does not matter. In fact, it matters a great deal. And so we are called to live lives that please God, rather than living lives that please the world.

Jude 14-16

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on July 21, 2019

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

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

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S7E03: Bear Fruit (Practical Wisdom from Jude pt. 5)

Bearing fruit is what we as Christians are called to do. God does not save us by our works, but he saves us for good works, and so if our lives in Christ are not bearing fruit, then we are, as Jude says in today's reading, twice dead trees plucked up by the roots. It is a sobering charge and it gives us a reason to examine our own lives and ask this vital question: how is my life in Christ bearing fruit?

Jude 12-13

Recorded at Hudson UMC on July 14, 2019

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S7E02: Rebuke Evil (Practical Wisdom from Jude pt. 4)

In today's lesson from Jude, we are shown how we can determine if modern interpretive "revelation" is from God, and whether we should believe it or not. We are also shown, in the contrary behavior of the "dreamers" of Jude's time, what we are not to do, and given practical application as to what sort of behavior that we, as Christians, ought to engage in instead. Though written nearly 2,000 years ago, Jude's letter still holds true and offers us wisdom we can apply in our own lives, and this is true of the entirety of the Bible itself.

Jude 8-11

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on July 7, 2019

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S6E45: The Holiness of God

Looking back at some of our favorite sermons from the past year, certainly The Holiness of God would have to be included in that list.  In the 21st Century, the Christian church in America has completely lost touch with the holiness of God. We feel comfortable with a God that we can pal around with but not with a God that demands strict purity. Looking at this throne room vision by Isaiah, we examine the infinite holiness of God and what it means for us as children of God. Rather than elevating ourselves, this message is meant to put us in proper relation to Almighty God.

Isaiah 6:1-8

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on February 10, 2019 (Originally published February 11, 2019)

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