28Jan

S6E41: Baptized into One Body

When we are baptized, it is not a private affair. Instead, it is a public declaration of the grace we recive from God through Jesus Christ. And when we are baptized, we are not baptized to be in isolation. Rather, we are baptized into the body of Christ, which is a universal organism, ordained by God for one purpose, with each of its individual parts made for its own purpose. And when one of those parts fails to perform, the entire body suffers. Today we challenge ourselves to live up to the life that God has called us to in Jesus Christ.

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on January 27, 2019

S.D.G.

25Jan

S6E40: The First Sign (First Things First pt. 2)

None of Jesus' miracles occurred prior to his baptism in the river Jordan, and today we are looking at the very first of the miracles that he performed - turning water into wine. Temperance arguments aside, ultimately there were two primary reasons for this being Jesus' first miracle. First, he was showing the people who he was, his "credentials" if you will, by performing an impossible task - changing the chemical composition of water into wine, displaying his mastery over the elements of nature. Second, he was turning the enslavement to ritual legalism into a celebration of joy. And of course, John himself tells us that these miracles are recorded so that we may believe today.

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on January 17, 2016

S.D.G.

23Jan

S6E39: The First Step (First Things First pt. 1)

In the Bible there is not one recorded miracle that Jesus performed prior to his baptism. Baptism for Jesus marked the beginning of his earthly ministry, and for us as Christians it marks the beginning of our walk with God. God knows us intimately before we know him - we call this "Prevenient Grace." So baptism is less about what we do and more about what God does in us.

Recorded at Hudson UMC on January 10, 2016

S.D.G.

21Jan

S6E38: The Gifts of the Spirit

In Paul's first letter to the Corinthian church, he gives us perhaps the best and most comprehensive list of spiritual gifts that God gives to believers for the building of His kingdom here on earth. Today as we look at these gifts, we see how each gift is uniquely gifted and used for different purposes, and we also ask the question: what spiritual gifts has God given to you, and are you using them to glorify God?

Recorded at Hudson UMC on January 20, 2019

S.D.G.

14Jan

S6E37: Baptism of the Holy Spirit

For those of us who preach from the Lectionary, there is a danger of letting certain days on the church calendar become routine. But there is nothing routine about the Baptism of the Lord, which all four of the Gospel writers recorded for our benefit. Indeed, it is one of only a few events that is recorded in all four Gospels, and that alone should tell us that it is something extraordinary. On this Baptism of the Lord Sunday, we look at the baptism of Jesus and what His baptism says about ours - whether we were baptized as adults or children. And we are invited to remember our baptism and rejoice in knowing that God has loved us even before we knew Him.

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on January 13, 2019

S.D.G.

2Jan

S6E36: In Our Father’s House

The text this week, while familiar and well-known, seems like an odd choice for the first Sunday after Christmas. After all, we just celebrated the birth of Jesus and saw him laid in a manger three days ago, and already we are taking a glimpse at his life as a twelve year old boy. This is another of the narratives in Luke that we have heard over and over again since we were children, and it seems like we have probably picked through it so much that there is nothing left to learn from it. Yet as we will see today, God's word has many layers and uncharted depths that we can return to time and time again and still glean new truth for our present-day lives.

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on December 27, 2015

S.D.G.

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