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Sermons December 12

Here's the weekly sermon post.  It's long, and you don't have to read it if you don't want to. I just want to enable you to catch up if you missed or review if you missed something.  The outline/sermon guide that you see is what I wrote in preparation to preach.  It is often at least slightly different from what I preach, because I don't read it, just refer to it. You're welcome to tell me that it would have been better to preach what I wrote rather than what I preached!


Here are the audio links:

Click here to download and listen to the Morning Sermon.

Click here to download and listen to the Evening Sermon

And click here to listen to the ladies group sing Silent Night.


Morning: Isaiah 53

Sermon: Isaiah 53: Love: Shown to us through the suffering of the Messiah

Text: Isaiah 53

Title: Love Sacrifices

Theme: The Suffering Messiah

Location: FBC Almyra

Date: 12/12/10

So, today we come to love. Love is, like many of the words that we find in Scripture, one of those words that does not quite mean what many people think it means. It's a word that many people use on a daily basis. We love a good cup of coffee or the feel of a clean shot at a deer. We'd love for gas prices to come down or for soybean prices to come up.

We love it when the Hogs win, and love it when the Yankees lose. We love dolphins or Dolphins, we love a good movie or a good book. We love our church, we love our kids, our parents, our family, and we especially ought to love our wives or husbands.

So, how is it that one word can express our feelings about such a wide variety of ideas. Well, quite frankly, that's where our confusion comes in. We're generally so careless with the word love that we miss what it really means.

You see, to love is to do more than just have strong feelings about something or even someone. Love is, well, something quite different from that. Let's take a look at Isaiah 53:

(I took out Isaiah 53. You can look it up or click it to see it.)

Now, let's look at how this matches with our images of love. Usually we picture smiles and hearts, and yet here we see something very different.

We see suffering here, we see anguish. How is this love?

We need to understand love a little better. Love is not something that is only a feeling. Love is the commitment of your life to do for someone what is in their best interest, no matter what the cost to yourself, the commitment to treat them as God has treated them and us.


  1. Love observes

    1. Love observes the need of the beloved

      1. What is it that people need?

        1. People

        2. Clothing

        3. Shelter

        4. The latest and greatest cell phone...

      2. We are often not capable of sorting out our own needs

        1. We think we need things

        2. Yet the things we think we need often destroy us

        3. Think of the cycle...

          1. Speaking to the people, he went on, “Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.”

16–19 Then he told them this story: “The farm of a certain rich man produced a terrific crop. He talked to himself: ‘What can I do? My barn isn’t big enough for this harvest.’ Then he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll gather in all my grain and goods, and I’ll say to myself, Self, you’ve done well! You’ve got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!2

          1. He thought he needed bigger barns, maybe a new hired hand or two

        1. What else? Feast for laughter? Wine for Merriment? Money to solve your problems? Ecclesiastes 10:19

      1. What do we see in Scripture?

        1. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 3

        2. God is aware of our needs, and holds a clearer understanding of them than you ever will

    1. He knew we had:

      1. Sickness

      2. Grief

      3. Sorrows

    2. He knew we were separated from God

  1. Love participates

    1. So He came to know them

      1. Not just to see them

      2. But to experience them

    2. He bore Himself the same griefs

    3. The same sorrows

    4. Even though the baby in the manger is the fullness of God, He has clothed Himself in human form and come weakly

  2. Love bears the cost:

    1. To relieve our suffering: affliction

    2. To relieve our sickness: scourging

    3. To relieve our isolation: Smitten

    4. To relieve our rejection: His own rejection

  3. Love sees it through

    1. The story of Christmas doesn't really begin at the manger, and certainly cannot end there

    2. Rather, it began when God said “Let us make man....”

    3. And it ends?

    4. Verse 12: Christ has been allotted a portion, given a reward, and borne the sin of many

    5. As He brings us back to Himself, finishing the task, the story winds towards its end.

Will you come back today? Will you surrender your fighting? Will you stop striving against the Almighty and accept His sacrifice, His stripes, His love? He has seen what you need, and has made the provision. He has provided the faith you need, has been lifted up from the earth on the Cross, and again at the ascension. Your debt is paid, if you will surrender and accept what He offers: a cross, true, but the cross that He gives you strength to bear.

Accept it today. It is only when you do that you receive what love has: what you need.

1 New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Is 53.

2 Eugene H. Peterson, The Message : The Bible in Contemporary Language (Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress, 2002), Lk 12:15–19.

3 The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), Mt 6:8.

Evening: Matthew 1

Text: Matthew 1

Theme: Who needs ancestors?

Date: 12/12/10

Location: FBC Almyra

  1. The Genealogy of Christ

    1. Highlights first:

      1. Jesus

      2. David

      3. Abraham

    2. Then back:

      1. Abraham: called out of Ur. Twice a liar to save his neck

      2. Isaac: once a liar to save his own neck

      3. Jacob: trickster, deceiver, conman, grumpy old man

      4. Judah: Leah's 4th son, before there is an interruption in her bearing of children; the one who thought up selling Joseph; also the one who persuades Jacob to let Benjamin go to Egypt, offers himself as a pledge

      5. Perez, by Tamar: Judah sinfully would not allow Tamar to have his 3rd son as a husband, and then found himself the father of her children. Neither Tamar nor Judah behaved very well here.

      6. Amminidab, Nashson, Salmon---not a lot of info

      7. Boaz: see the book of Ruth. Apparently a profitable farmer

      8. Ruth: a Moabite woman, and the Israelites and Moabites did not get along. Likely from a family of idol-worshipers, and Chemosh/Molech was a bad idol.

      9. Obed, Jesse: not much here. Shepherds, and a tendency to overlook the runt of the family

      10. David: great warrior king and poet. Lousy: husband, father, moral guide.

      11. Solomon by “her of Uriah:” How would you like your sins to be your calling card 1000 years down the line? Bathsheba doesn't actually get mentioned by name. She's remembered as “Her of Uriah.”

      12. Solomon: not much of a moral leader either. Wise in all things, but his wives turned him from the Lord.

      13. Rehoboam: split the Kingdom. Need I say more?

      14. Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joram: decent kings, mostly, but had their ups and downs.

      15. Uzziah: died early in the life of Isaiah

      16. Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah: not good, not very good, good until he offered sacrifices instead of letting priests do it and God struck him with leprosy

      17. Manasseh: evil. Apparently, had a moment of reality near the end of his life and turned back to God, but already had pretty much destroyed the nation.

      18. Josiah—not bad, but then killed in an unnecessary battle

      19. Jeconiah—too short on the throne to know

      20. The exile, the post-exilic heritage: lesser known, certainly not kings

      21. In all: the earthly heritage of the Messiah is a little messy.

      22. And He was completely aware.

      23. The fact is only one thing truly mattered: He is the only begotten Son of God

      24. Down in, only one thing matters about you: you are adopted as a Child of God.

      25. You are an heir, then to all the promises of God

      26. You are a participant in the purposes of God:

      27. To bring glory and honor to God

      28. To show the world His love

      29. To reconcile mankind to Him

      30. To live in obedience to Him


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