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Showing posts from February, 2015

Who Are We? A Holy Nation - 1st Peter 2:9-10

As I began considering this series on “Who Are We,” one of the first things that stood out was the phrase “a holy nation.”Why?Well, it is because I cannot begin to tell you the number of times I have heard conversations or been part of conversations relating to our nation being “a Christian Nation.”Discussions about prayer in schools—how dare they get rid of it, we are a Christian nation.The removing of the Ten Commandments from courthouses—how dare they discuss that, we are a Christian nation.The removal of the Christian Flag and most recently the kneeling soldier monument in King, NC—what are they thinking, we are a Christian nation. If it is not one issue it is another, whether it is the perception of Christian freedoms being taken away, or the allowed observance of other religions practices.This sermon is not about whether or not the United States ever has been, is, or will be a Christian nation—the original intent or our Founding Fathers or not…because Peter was not writing about…

Who Are We? A Royal Priesthood - 1st Peter 2:9-10 (Sermon from 02/15)

Last week we began a season of remembering who we are—using 1st Peter 2:9-10 as a springboard to launch our remembering or understanding, Peter told those dispersed Christians in Asia Minor, who were facing persecution and ridicule, and he tells us: “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
Last week we examined what it means to be a chosen race.We eliminated the idea that it had anything to do with the color of our skin, our ethnicity, the language we speak, or any other physical characteristic…being a chosen race simply means being those chosen by God and in Christ all of those other worldly boundaries are wiped away…as Paul would say, “for in Christ Jesus you are all children of god through faith.As many of you were b…

Who Are We? A Chosen Race - 1st Peter 2:9-10

I remember the pressure.All the kids in the neighborhood, really, as many kids as could get there from several streets around, would gather on that concrete slab, as we stood in the shadow of the backboard.The top two players would be identified and named as captains.The rest of us would stand around as each captain made their decisions.As selection after selection was made, the tension increased.None really wanted the “honor” that often fell upon me—the “honor” of being the last one chosen.I have to tell you, as I think back upon those days, I think being chose last carried with it more pressure than any other person chosen, because I think that those of us, and some of you here may one of us, but those of us chosen last felt the pressure to perform at such a level that the next time a game was played, we would be selected sooner, maybe even be named captain.
I will have to confess, though, that any dream I had of taking the court and proving myself to be worthy of being a first round…

So, What Are We Afraid Of? - Matthew 10:26-33

Fear.It is probably the most troubling and devastating of emotions that we experience.It has the ability stop us in our tracks, leaving us riddled with indecision.It has the ability to remove choices from our lives.It has the ability to remove blessings from our lives, weaken our faith, and put our relationship with God in jeopardy, or at least call that relationship into question.
The problem of fear in our relationship with God is so important that if we were to go through our Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments, and count the number of times God’s Word says, “Do Not Fear,” “Do Not Worry,” “Do Not Be Afraid,” and “Do Not Be Concerned,” we would come up with a grand total of one hundred eleven times and of those one hundred eleven times, three of them occur in this brief passage.
Jesus is talking to those that He has called to follow Him and who have had the courage to lay aside their lives as they knew them and commit to seeing where this new rabbi on the scene would lead them.Jesu…