Some groups or individuals shy away from talking about “God’s Kingdom”, but Jesus is not one of them. Ruling Elder Abraham Lee shared how Jesus’ ministry began and ended with the Kingdom as his focus and message. And the Kingdom continues to be “at hand” in our own world and in our individual lives. If Jesus is King, then we are his servants, his slaves. Abraham challenged us: are we living like Jesus is our king and we his servants?
Who made it possible for Jesus to be born and live the life he lived? God? Mary? Joseph? Its a bit of a paradox but God certainly had the ‘lead role’ in bringing it about. But God also intended for man to play a part. Mary responded to God’s call. Joseph willingly assumed a socially uncomfortable role by keeping the engagement with Mary and then adopting ‘her son’. As God directed each of these players, the “Jesus Story” took shape and the parallels in Jesus life benefit us today.
Do you have doubts relative to your faith? To your Savior? Pastor Dan’s sermon today highlighted the prophet John [the Baptizer]. John was commissioned by God himself to prepare the people for Jesus earthly ministry. Yet who had doubts ? Yes, the very prophet who baptized Jesus and called on God’s people to repent and prepare for the coming Savior. Did that disqualify John from service? No! And your doubts do not disqualify you for effective service to Jesus.
Advent is the time of year we prepare for Christmas Day – the celebration of Jesus’ birth. John the Baptist was the prophet Isaiah foretold would come to “…prepare the way of the Lord…” John’s message came with a warning; carried a demand; and included a promise. Pastor Dan helped to outline how John’s message is valid for Christians today.
As we enter Advent – the season where we prepare to celebrate the first coming of Jesus to into the world and history -Pastor Dan suggests we do not forget to think about Jesus’ promise that he would come again; he would come a second time. This second coming will happen; it is inevitable. Scripture teaches us to be ready; not be caught napping. And Pastor Dan outlines four mistakes we should avoid. Thinking:
… it won’t happen, or
… it won’t happen to me, or
… you know when it will happen, or
… it will happen, but it won’t happen today.
Are you making one of these mistakes? Don’t!
Before we make a judgement about the person holding a sign “Hungry: Will Work For Food”, Pastor Dan asks that we consider our own attitudes and actions as we respond to Jesus’ blessings and gifts. Do we seek the gift more than the giver? Do we keep coming to him because he satisfies physical needs, but not to feed on the “spiritual food” he has come to give?
What can you say, or think, about a King who wouldn’t save himself?
We, in America, do not like to talk about death. We have many avoidance tactics to keep this subject at bay. Not so in Jesus day. In his sermon, Tim Whalen takes us through the account in Luke’s Gospel where the Sadducees try to trip Jesus up with a question about the after-life. Well, you can guess how this turned out – the Sadducees were left speechless. Why? Jesus focused on the fact that God is the God of the Living, not the dead. Listen to discover why this is so important and why it should help us in our lives and in our attitudes.