Sermon #1: Wisdom and the Honeybee
This first sermon on Proverbs explores six main themes of life in Proverbs through the life of HoneyBees. Proverbs 24:13-14 says: “My son, eat honey—it’s good for you; the honey that drips from the comb is sweet in your mouth. Know, too, that wisdom is good for your soul: if you find it, your reward will be a bright future and an enduring hope!”
So how does the extraordinary Resurrection of Jesus impact the ordinary lives of people like you and me? In other words, how do we ‘Practice Resurrection?’ How does Jesus rising from the dead move from a historical fact with eternal consequence, turn into a guiding and sustaining influence in all the spheres of our common lives?
I’d like to show how the resurrection of Jesus impacts three spheres of life:
1. The Resurrection assures us of redemption: our inner life.
2. The Resurrection brings re-enchantment to everyday life: our home and work life.
3. The Resurrection brings Restoration to relationships: our relational life.
Sermon #3 Confronting evil with the Psalms….Psalm 74 & Mark 11:12-25
“Let those who love the Lord hate evil…” -Psalm 97:10
“Reading the Psalms is dangerous because the words of the poets and the prophets provoke us to examine what is wrong in the world, with others, with ourselves and with God. I know that you may balk at saying anything is wrong with God. In our head, we probably know that ultimately there is nothing wrong with God, we just don’t know what’s going on? We can’t see what He sees? We don’t know why He is doing what He is doing? But the heart doesn’t always line up with what our heads might be able to intellectually acknowledge. When we pray the psalms they become the smelter’s pot where we throw everything we think, feel and experience into and in time out comes a refined reality that reflects wisdom. But the biblical process or prayer isn’t a demanding, totalitarian like submission or a Pinterest picture of zen meditative ambivalence. Biblical spirituality doesn’t allow us to choose peace with the powers…but to confront them ourselves and in the world around us. The prayer examples of the biblical witness are more wrestlings and wranglings than distance and detachment.”
Created for Creation: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” -Psalm 24:1
We continue our exploration of the Psalms this week with a look at how we are Created for Creation. The Psalms help us unite the experiences of Earth with the realities and mysteries of Heaven. We learn to pray and sing with all the earthiness of earth. We were never meant to be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good.
The Psalms are not a religious fantasy or a young person’s diary of unattainable dreams and gushings. They are a companion for your pilgrimage, a sage for you sufferings, a fountain for your joys, a canyon for your screams, a soft field for your recoverings, a orchard for hunger, a well for thirst. They are the words given to you to sing and pray out your life. They are eternal words meant for the creation and recreation of all things. Holy words, powerful speakings that God has provided for us when we know not what to say, sing or pray. This sermon gives a introduction to the psalms and why your world can be remade through living, reading, praying and singing them.
Healthy friendships are foundational to living a life of meaning and fruitfulness. God said at the dawn of human creation that is not good that we are alone and that all need helpers. (Genesis 2:18). Unfortunately we often hurt more than help one another in life. This sermon examines Job’s friends and the types of signs we can see in their words that will help us determine if we are building friendships that truly help or hurt us.
In this sermon I discuss Job and mental illness. I share from my own journey, scripture and science on why you can be spiritually healthy and mentally ill. I know that might sound like a premise that is somehow incongruent with how many people present the Christian life but I ask that you listen and judge for yourself if my premise is tenable.
1. God stands with you and will defend you: Job 42:7-10
2. God won’t abuse you: Matthew 12:15-20
3. God won’t abandon you: Romans 8:38
4. God is the anchor of your soul: Hebrews 6:13, 19-20
5. God can bring meaning out of our pain and suffering: Isaiah 58:9-12
The Wisdom Books of the Bible Series: Do you want help figuring out how to live in such a way that brings meaningful success? Do you want to be better prepared to face the opportunities and challenges of day to day life in school, work, marriage, parenting and relationships? Do you want to find answers and solutions to the problems you face? Do you want to be able to take the knowledge you have and be able to apply it to your life in a workable manner so that it brings greater happiness to yourself and others you care about? The key to managing all these spheres of life is pursuing what the Bible calls…Wisdom.
Series: The Household of Faith: Genesis 27:41-45, Genesis 33
-Affirming that all Christians are commanded by Jesus to walk in unity even in our disagreements of faith and practice.
-Refuting the idea that substantive disagreements between Roman Catholicism and Protestants means we can’t walk in unity or expect another reformation of equal historic change.
On the 500th year Anniversary of the Reformation, we have spent 3 months digging into the influence, impact, convictions and conflicts that led up to and followed the birth of Protestantism. Part of this study has been aimed at showing the theological and ecclesiastical reasons for the Reformation. Part is to better equip us to stand in the faith against anything that would diminish Christ, lead us away from sacred scripture and unnecessarily divide the body of Christ. One of the primary intentions at the end of this series is to inspire and envision a new reformation and revival, equal to the impact and influence of the last. This reformation and revival, would be directed towards unity in Christ, rooted in scripture and a shared historic creedal tradition and in missional intentionality for the advancement of the gospel in this age.
In light of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, what can we learn from the hate, horrors and heroism in the wake of the reformation? Is it a fair charge that the divisive and combative rhetoric, the demonization of opponents, the betrayal of pious principles and the afterbirth of politics and faith have contributed to the modern era’s revulsion and rejection of religion? How do we “contend for the faith” without becoming caustic, crass and contentious? Why did the Prince of Peace say he came to kindle fire on the earth and described his message as a sword that would divide our most treasured relationships?