Skip to main content

Sermons from January 1

First, a note:

If you'd like to print the whole year of the Bible reading plan that we're putting in the bulletin, it's here: or It's called the M'Cheyne plan, named after the Scottish pastor, Robert Murray M'Cheyne who wrote it out in the 19th Century. More on him another day.

Evening sermon: Genesis 25. Audio Here or Here.

Morning sermon: Revelation 22. Audio Here or Here.

As always, subscribing in iTunes gets you the messages every week, and that's found here. If you need a different audio feed source you can get it at this link.

Evening Outline: Genesis 25

I'm putting the evening outline first because the outline was much shorter.

Do not trade it in...

The birthright of the grace of God

The value of God's grace

The greatness of God's provision

What are we trading our birthright for? Whether it is for our nation, our family, or ourselves?

What about our spiritual birthright? The one bequeathed by ages of martyrs for the faith of the Gospel?

Do we despise it by treating as replaceable? By acting like there are more important things?

If we lose it, there's no getting it back. It's gone.

Hold fast. To freedom in Christ. To the testimony of the Gospel. To the truth and power of the Word.

Morning Outline: Revelation 22:10-21

It's more of a semi-manuscript that gives way to an outline.

Starting at the End

Revelation 22:10-21

January 1, 2012

How many of you have ever planned a trip? A vacation, a work trip, even a crazed shopping run through the mall?

How did you go about the planning? Making sure you have a good trip somewhere?

Even if it’s just to the grocery store, the better planning comes by looking at the end and working your way back to where you are. What, you don’t think that works in the grocery store? All my growing up years, we shopped at the Air Base Commissaries wherever Dad was stationed. Every two weeks, we’d load up all the coupons, the list, and grab two carts to work our way through the whole giant grocery store to stock up for the next two weeks. Now, at the time, they used a single line system to check out of the store. You got in the big line, and then went to whatever cashier was available next.

For the record, I think Wal-Mart should do that, too, but that’s not sermon material.

The big line worked its way backwards, no matter what base we were attached to, through the freezer section. You planned your shopping to work all the way through the store until you hit the cold stuff.

Likewise when you plan a trip. Rare is the occasion that you just get in the car and “go” wherever you want. Typically, you know where you want to go, but you make adjustment plans about what to do on the way. Even if you’re headed in a circle back to home, you know the destination.

So, as we talk about starting our year, let’s consider how we want our year to end.

And for Christians, that question is really part of a greater question: what about life? What do we want at the end of it all?

To answer that, let’s go to the end, and work our way backwards:

After all, for the Believer, the question is “What does God desire for me? Where does His will take me?” more than simply “What do I desire? Where do I want to go?”

So, let’s consider the ending. Fortunately for us, God has provided the ending of all our measurable time in the book of Revelation in the Bible. Revelation holds for us many mysteries, but it also contains the unlocking of some of our bigger questions.

It contains the end of what we will do and be before we are permanently in the presence of God. After Revelation comes eternity, where we will see clearly and know fully…

Let’s look at how John concludes the Bible:

Read Revelation 21:10-21

1: Do not seal up the words of this book. While John speaks this in Revelation, the Holy Spirit has inspired this for the whole Bible. Do not seal up the words of this book:

1. From yourself: it’s an oft-quoted saying “A Bible that is falling apart reveals a life that isn’t.” Be certain that your Bible collects no dust this year as you read it, spend time with it, and grow with your understanding of it.

2. From your circle of influence: another oft-quoted saying is that you may be the only Bible some people ever read. Many people own Bibles but never read them. Far too many of those people are driven to that by the actions and attitudes of those of us who claim the name of Christ. Do not let your life seal off the Bible from another.

3. From your circle of influence: this bears being made clearer, especially this year: politics matter. The election process in this country is a blessed right granted by God, that we elect our leaders and change governments without violence—at least that’s how it ought to be. Do allow your understanding of the Word of God to direct your voting—Philippians 4:8 makes a great start: how does the candidate do with that verse? DO NOT confuse being Christian with being a part of any specific party or campaign. DO NOT be so enamored of your candidate that your actions for him/her destroys your credibility regarding sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No government can save souls: re-electing this one or replacing it will not atone for sin: only Christ did that. Vote based on the Word and focus on what matters even more: Jesus.

4. From the world at large: there are whole swaths of people without the Word of God or anyone to teach them about it. Dare we seal up the Word by feathering our own nests?

2: Let evildoers do evil. You do righteous things: this is not to say we ignore crimes, but I assure you of this: if we focus on taking the evil deeds away, we will miss the opportunity to change hearts. Believers are charged with doing righteousness and spreading the Gospel. The Gospel, when it takes root and grows, will change behaviors.

3: Be ready: He is coming.

4: Don’t tinker with His message: seriously. The Word is the Word. My words are not---neither are yours. Make certain that you recognize His Word as the key.

5: Whoever you are: come. Come to Christ. Come to the Father through Him. Come to the fellowship and the body. There is nothing to stand in your way but yourself. The Spirit calls out. The Church, the Bride of Christ calls to you. Come.


Popular posts from this blog

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Put Down That Tablet! Exodus 35

Moses assembles the people of Israel at Sinai one last time before they set out into the wilderness, headed for the Promised Land. He gives them a reminder of some portions of the commands of God and emphasizes the construction of the Tabernacle (Exodus 35 link).He also gives the one Biblical mention of tablet-type mobile devices in Exodus 35:3, where the command is given not to use your Kindle Fire on the Sabbath Day. Some of you just groaned. Some of you skipped the one-liner, and others just missed it. I’ll address you all in turn, but first let us address the person who thought this might be the hidden meaning of that command. After all, we are so easily distracted from our worship and commitment by all of the digital noise around us, why would we not take this text in this manner?The quite simple answer is: because it is not about digital devices. In total, the command to focus the day on Yahweh, Covenant God of Israel and all of Creation, and if your device subtracts from your f…

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…