15Apr

The Grace of Jesus Christ (Acts 9:1-20)

We continue our look at the seven vows we make at our baptism through the text of the book of Acts.  Today we see in Saul's conversion that the acto of baptism is an acknowledgment of the complete transformation that we undergo when we put off the old person and put on Christ.  Certainly no better example of that radical transformation can be seen than here in these twenty verses.  Whereas Saul begins at verse 1 breathing murderous threats towards those who follow Christ, by verse 20 he is proclaiming Christ as the Son of God.  So the question we must face today is, have we undergone such a transformation at our own conversion?  It's a hard question, and one that deserves our consideration.


Recorded at Hudson UMC on April 10, 2016
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11Apr

Renounce, Reject, & Repent (Acts 5:27-32)

Eastertide is the season of seven weeks beginning with Resurrection Sunday and ending with Pentecost.  It's easy on the day after Easter Sunday to feel as though we have reached the end.  But historically in the Church, Eastertide was the time of preparation for one's baptism into the Body of Christ.  To that end, for the next seven weeks we are going to look at the seven vows that we as United Methodists make at our baptism, and we'll look at them against the backdrop of the beginnings of the Christian church as chronicled in the Book of Acts.  This week we look at the first vow we make, to renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil of this world, and repent of our sin.


Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on April 3, 2016
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8Apr

Send Someone Else! (The Five Objections of Moses, Pt. 5)

We bring our bonus series, The Five Objections of Moses, to a close today with our final objection.  In the end, after God had answered all of Moses' stated reasons for why he couldn't do as God asked him, Moses makes this final impassioned plea: Send someone else!  We in the church today often think that we don't have to do what God is calling us to do, that someone else will do it.  God may even send someone else to do what he called you to do, but he's still going to ask you to lead the way.  In the end, all our objections fall away because our God is a sovreign God and his will is done.  And so we leave Moses and the Burning Bush today with our final objection, one that I pray God will answer for you as well.


Recorded at Hudson UMC on September 29, 2013.
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5Apr

I Can’t Do It! (The Five Objections of Moses pt. 4)

Sometimes when God places a calling to ministry upon our hearts, our first reaction is simply, "Oh I can't do that.  I'm not qualified, I'm not good enough, I'm not smart enough, I simply can't do that."  This is the objection that Moses presents to God today in our series, The Five Objections of Moses, preached in September of 2013.  Moses was not raised to worship God or even follow him.  His objection in today's reading was that he wouldn't know enough to be able to lead his people, and that he wouldn't be able to use empassioned speech to stir the hearts of the people.  Oftentimes as a preacher I find my own speech to be inadequate, and yet when Sunday morning comes I find that the Holy Spirit gives me just the right words to say.  God answers Moses' objection by saying he will put the words in Moses' mouth, as he has done since then for countless thousands of his messengers. 


Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on September 22, 2013
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4Apr

What If They Don’t Believe Me? (The Five Objections of Moses pt. 3)

As we continue our series, The Five Objections of Moses, we find Moses confronting his third objection, which has to do with proof.  Oftentimes when we feel called by God to do something, we face the fear that people will challenge us on whether the calling is truly from God.  What do we do if we act on God's calling but no one believes that we are truly following God's direction?  This is the fear that Moses faces in today's reading from Exodus, but we find that God will never send us forth to do something in his name without going along with us.  Through the lesson today, may we all remove that barrier from before us so that we too may go forth in the ministries God calls us to.


Recorded at Hudson UMC on September 15, 2013.
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3Apr

Who Is God? (The Five Objections of Moses pt. 2)

We continue our sermon series, The Five Objections of Moses, preached in September of 2013, with Moses' second objection: "Who are you, God?"  Remember that Moses grew up in the Egyptian culture, and after being exiled worked as a shepherd for 40 years.  Now at the age of 80, Moses is confronted by the God of his ancestors, although he doesn't fully understand who that is.  What's more, his fear is that if he returns to the Hebrews, they will question his calling and he won't be able to articulate it properly.  In his answer, God reveals for the first time to a man what his true name is, and by revealing his name also reveals his nature.


Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on September 8, 2013
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2Apr

Who Am I? (The Five Objections of Moses pt. 1)

This will be our 104th episode, and last week when we published our 100th episode I said that we'd have something special in store for you, and so here it is.  Back in September of 2013 I preached my first cohesive sermon series, titled "The Five Objections of Moses."  It was a pretty popular series, and it looked at Moses' encounter with God in the burning bush.  Moses came up with five excuses why he could not carry out the mission that God gave him.  Like Moses, we in the church often find reasons that we cannot do what God is calling us to do.  By looking at these five objections, my hope and prayer is that you will have your own objections addressed, so that you may go forth as God is calling you.  So without further ado we present the first of Moses' five objections, "Who am I," as if to say, "I am nobody, why would you choose me?"  It's a common objection among believers throughout the Bible and throughout Christian history.


Recorded at Hudson UMC on September 1, 2013
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