25May

S9E42: Opened the Heart (We Are Witnesses pt. 6)

Sermon #499

In today's reading from the book of Acts we have two major topics to examine.  First, sometimes God says "no" to our ministries, even when it would bring him glory.  We don't always understand why, and oftentimes it frustrates us, but if we are submissive to God's will and leading we often find ourselves in a situation where we are bearing much fruit for the Kingdom.  Second, it is not up to us to convince an unbeliever of the truth of the Gospel, or to choose the method by which we proclaim it.  We let God's word be God's word and either the seed we spread will take root in the fertile soil of a human heart or it will not.  Ultimately it is God who opens the heart of the unbelieving.  We are mere instruments in the hands of God, speaking his word, but it is God who opens the heart, as he did to a believer named Lydia in the city of Philippi in Macedonia - a place where Paul and his companions were not even going to go until God said "no" to them proclaiming the gospel in Asia Minor.

Acts 16:6-15

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on May 22, 2022

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S.D.G.

23May

S9E41: What God Called Clean (We Are Witnesses pt. 5)

Sermon #498

Who in your life is receptive to the word?  Who would you not tell about Jesus Christ because you know they will reject the good news?  How do you know?  The fact of the matter is, we do not know who will and will not receive the good news of Jesus Christ.  We certainly can't tell by looking.  Jesus said we ought not to cast our pearls before swine, but He also said we are like sowers broadcasting seed (the word of God).  Ultimately it is God who knows the human heart.  In today's reading from Acts, Peter tells the Jewish believers in Jerusalem how God sent him to preach the good news to the family of a Roman centurian named Cornelius.  We must be faithful in our witness and rejoice when God provides the increase.  We can't let our prejudices determine who we will or will not share the gospel with.

Acts 11:1-18

Recorded at Hudson UMC on May 15, 2022

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22May

Lectionary Readings for Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year C

May 22, 2022

First Lesson: Acts 16:9-15

Psalter: Psalm 67

Epistle Lesson: Revelation 21:10,22-22:5

Gospel Lesson: John 14:23-29

Scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

S.D.G.

15May

Lectionary Readings for Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C

May 15, 2022

First Lesson: Acts 11:1-18

Psalter: Psalm 148

Epistle Lesson: Revelation 21:1-6

Gospel Lesson: John 13:31-35

Scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

S.D.G.

11May

S6E62: Worship of the Saved (Easter 2019)

Sermon #336

What does "Saved" worship look like?  It looks like this scene from Revelation chapter 7 where those who defended the Gospel with their lives spend day and night before the throne of God worshipping Him for all He has done.  We who are saved recognize that it is not by our merit that we have been saved, but by the grace of God.  For that reason we commit our lives to the one who gave His life for us.  

Revelation 7:9-17

Recorded at Hudson UMC on May 12, 2019 (Originally published May 15, 2019)

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10May

S9E40: Get Up! (We Are Witnesses pt. 4)

Sermon #497

As Christians we all face ups and downs in our walk with Christ.  Today we are talking about four "ups" that we as Christians all experience.  First, we "Get Up."  Our conversion is a rising from the dead, putting to death our old sinful nature and rising in Christ's resurrection to newness of life.  Next, we "show up."  We join a faith community that can nurture us and disciple us, and as we mature and grow we can nurture and disciple other new Christians.  Third, we "step up."  We get into service and express agape love through selfless acts of charity and goodwill.  Finally, we "point up" to God in everything we do, giving Him glory for his mighty deeds in Jesus Christ.  In today's reading, which deals with the raising of a dead woman named Tabitha, we see all of these (and a few other "ups") on full display.

Acts 9:36-43

Recorded at Hudson UMC on May 8, 2022

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S.D.G.

8May

Lectionary Readings for Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year C

May 8, 2022

First Lesson: Acts 9:36-43

Psalter: Psalm 23

Epistle Lesson: Revelation 7:9-17

Gospel Lesson: John 10:22-30

Scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

S.D.G.

3May

S9E39: Who Are You, Lord? (We Are Witnesses pt. 3)

Sermon #496

This might come as a shock to you, but those who deny God's existence or oppose His people are opposed to God and at war with Him.  The problem is a matter of knowledge about who God is.  Saul faced the same issue when he was persecuting the early church.  He had no idea that the God of the universe was the very Lord that he was opposing by bringing Christ's followers to their death.  And make no mistake, we are in the same situation as Saul before we repent and trust in Jesus Christ alone for our forgiveness.  We find that we are enemies of God when we oppose His people.  But God's prevenient Grace, in the form of the Holy Spirit's conviction, will knock us off our high horse and into reality - a reality where we realize we have been blind, but now by God's grace we see.  

Acts 9:1-20

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on May 1, 2022

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S.D.G.

1May

Lectionary Readings for Third Sunday of Easter, Year C

May 1, 2022

First Lesson: Acts 9:1-20

Psalter: Psalm 30

Epistle Lesson: Revelation 5:11-14

Gospel Lesson: John 21:1-19

Scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

S.D.G.

29Apr

S3E41: Renounce, Reject, & Repent (Seven Vows pt. 1)

Sermon #164

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.  So grab your Bible, turn it to Acts chapter 5, and prepare your heart and mind as we renounce, reject, and repent.

Acts 5:27-32

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on April 3, 2016 (Originally published on April 11, 2016)

S.D.G.

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