S3E45: Loyal to Christ (Seven Vows pt. 5)

As we continue to look at our baptismal vows against the backdrop of the book of Acts, we come to this vow: Will you be loyal to Christ through the local church and do all in your power to strengthen its ministries? Today's scripture contains the account of Paul and Silas and how they were prohibited by the Holy Spirit from going into areas where they thought were most in need of the Gospel. Instead, the Spirit led them to Philipi, a Roman colony with only a small Jewish population. And sometimes when we think we are doing what God is calling us to do, God stands in the way and says "no." At times like this, it's difficult to be obedient and not second-guess God. But we must be loyal to Christ in all we do. So grab your Bible, turn it to Acts chapter 16, and prepare your heart and mind as we take a difficult look at what it means to be Loyal to Christ.

Acts 16:6-15

Recorded at Hudson UMC on May 1, 2016 (Originally aired on June 14, 2016)



S6E65: Healing of the Nations

On this Sunday before Memorial Day, we look a little at our history as a nation at war, and we consider how we as a nation, and how all nations need healing. Yet God's word in Revelation 22 promises healing for all peoples of the earth. We see the gift of the Holy Spirit, the River of the Water of Life, proceeding from the throne of God and the Lamb. We see the restoration of the Tree of Life. Yet all these things are available only to those who conquer, to those who find victory in the death and resurection of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 21:7-10,22-22:5

Recorded at Hudson UMC on May 26, 2019



S3E44: Freedom and Power (Seven Vows pt. 4)

We continue to take a fresh look at our baptismal vows against the backdrop of the formation of the early Christian church. When we think of sin we rarely think of anything like freedom or power. Yet our baptismal vow today asks if we accept the freedom and power God gives to us to resist evil, injustice and oppression. That sounds like quite a good deal for us - freedom and power offered as a gift from God. Yet it also comes with a caveat - that we take that freedom and power to resist. The story of the Apostle Peter's evangelistic work with the gentile family of Cornelius is our framework, so grab your Bible, turn it to Acts chapter 11, and prepare your heart and mind to accept God's freedom and power.

Acts 11:1-11

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on April 24, 2016 (Originally aired on June 9, 2016)



S6E64: Restoration

As we continue our look at the Book of Revelation, we come to the end of all things when God will create, or re-create, a new heaven and a new earth, and a new city of Jerusalem. We can look around us at the world and see corruption, while God sees something beautiful underneath, and he will restore all things as they were before the fall. This is the promise of Revelation, that all the corruption of the world, all the pain and sorrow, all the disease, will all be wiped away and something fresh and new and perfect will be left in its place. It is this hope of restoration that gives Christians meaning in life.

Revelation 21:1-6

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on May 19, 2019




S6E63: Prayer for GNJAC 2019

The Greater New Jersey Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church meets May 19-21 in Wildwood, NJ. During these three days we will ordain new clergy, recognize retirees, vote on delegates to the General Conference in 2020, and vote on various pieces of legislation. This is the prayer that I offered during worship on May 19 before heading to Annual Converence. May God's will be done in all things, and may we humble ourselves in servanthood to Him.

Recorded at Hudson UMC on May 19, 2019




S3E43: Faithful Service (Seven Vows pt. 3)

We continue in our examination of our Baptismal vows in the United Methodist Church as we look at the account of the raising of Tabitha from the dead by the apostle Peter. The beginning of our Christian walk is trust in Jesus Christ as our savior, but it doesn't end there; we also promise to serve him as Lord. The problem for the modern church, especially in America, is that we have no point of reference for what it means to serve a lord, and why our commitment to the Lord of lords is so much greater than any earthly ruler. We'll look at what that means and how Christians today can live in faithful service to Jesus Christ as their Lord. So grab your Bible, turn it to Acts chapter 9, and prepare your heart and mind as we reaffirm our promise of faithful service to our Lord.

Acts 9:36-43

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on April 17, 2016 (First aired on June 7, 2016)



S6E62: Worship of the Saved

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




S3E42: The Grace of Jesus Christ (Seven Vows pt. 2)

Well as you can probably tell from my voice, I have a bit of a cold, and it was particularly difficult to preach this message, but I firmly believe what Philipians 4:13 says, that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And certainly on this day, God's Holy Spirit gave me the strength to preach this powerful message that he laid upon my heart.
So 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 act 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 converstion? It's a hard question, and one that deserves our consideration. So grab your Bible, turn it to Acts chapter 9, and prepare your heart and mind as we look at Saul's conversion and the Grace of Jesus Christ.

Acts 9:1-20

Recorded at Hudson UMC on April 10, 2016 (Originally aired on April 15, 2016)



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

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 aired on April 11, 2016)



S6E61: Witness

After the cross, after the empty tomb, what have we got to celebrate? On this second Sunday of Easter we look at the continuation of the story in the building of the Christian church in the First century. Peter and the disciples are told by the Jewish authorities that they must not teach in "that" name (the name of Jesus Christ). Even today, the name of Jesus Christ is an offense to those who do not believe. But when the good news is so good, how can we but proclaim it boldly? When God offers us eternal life in Jesus' name, how can we but share it with everyone we know?

Acts 5:27-32

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on April 28 2019




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