20Feb

S6E46: Raised from the Dead

What does the resurrection of Jesus mean for Christians today? For some, the idea of unexplained phenomena (ooften called "miracles") don't fit in with our 21st century scientific sendibility. For others, it's just something to remember once a year at Easter (alongside eating the ears off chocolate bunnies). But in the text from 1 Corinthians 15 we find Paul arguing that if we don't believe in the resurrection, our very faith is entirely hopeless. In other words, the resurrection isn't just another thing to believe about Jesus, it is THE thing we MUST believe about Jesus, and we are going to look at the resurrection with a critical eye and determine if it is truly worth believing in.

1 Corinthians 15:12-20

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on February 17, 2019

S.D.G.

8Feb

S6E44: Great News… For Them? (First Things First pt. 4)

After Jesus' first sermon in his hometown synagogue, the people were at first amazed, then irate that he would not do the miracles in Nazareth that they heard about in the surrounding country. Jesus reminded them that God's kingdom extends beyond the borders of Israel - in fact is borderless - and that in times past non-Jews had received grace that God withheld from the Jews. Though the context is difficult to understand today, the sentiment is the same. We often look around and think that there are others who are far less deserving than us. Yet God loves all of his creation and called it very good in the beginning. Why should we feel sole ownership over the gospel?

Text: Luke 14:21-36

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on January 31, 2016

S.D.G.

6Feb

S6E43: Great News! (First Things First pt. 3)

When Jesus preached his first sermon in his hometoown synagogue, he providentially opened the scroll to Isaiah chapter 61 and read what was in essence his mission statement. It is important for us to have a mission statement so that we can maintain a clear vision of what our purpose is. If we fail to do this, we are setting ourselves up to fail, because we can easily get distracted and pulled away from our true purpose with other things. So what can Jesus' mission statement tell us about what the church's mission is today?

Text: Luke 4:14-21

Recorded at Hudson UMC on January 31, 2016

S.D.G.

4Feb

S6E42: The Greatest Love

Those of us in English-speaking countries throw the word "love" around a lot. I love this movie. I love that burger. I love my country. But we also allow the dilution of the word to creep into our vocabulary in the church. Love is love. Love trumps all. From 1 Corinthians 13 we learn that the love we often talk about is not the love that Jesus commanded us to have for each other, or the kind of love that is held up as the greatest love. The greatest love of all is not learning to love yourself, as Whitney Houston sang. Rather it is to love others before myself, and to do so sacrificially, the way God modelled love on the cross of Christ.

Recorded at Hudson UMC on February 3, 2019

S.D.G.

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