Yesterday’s sermon and a few articles:

Below is yesterday’s sermon, but first a few good articles:

This article was written by Dr. Tim Tennent, the President of Asbury Theological Seminary. I love how he writes about church history and doctrine. 

Remembering the Source of Aldersgate.

I love the below article writes about how an atheist responds to his daughter’s letter to God.

The World Without Story

Now the sermon. (Note, it was originally not written in this numerical format. Sorry for that, it happened when I pasted it in.) 


There is a book called: Same Kind of Different as Me.

This book is a true story that follows two people’s paths in life until they meet up.

One person was raised in a middle class white family. He grows up and becomes very successful and very wealthy.

The second person is a poor uneducated black man. He grew up as a modern day slave. His parents worked a farm and he did too. He experienced heavy racism. Eventually this man ran away. However, he never had been educated. He lived homeless and learned how to fend for himself.

Eventually the wealthy white man, now married, is convinced by his wife to begin helping at a homeless shelter. They had committed their life to Christ and she wanted to go deeper. He was willing to give money, but she wanted to do more. So they start helping at a homeless shelter. She then says that she wants to take one group from the homeless shelter to dinner and a play.

Now the relationship grows between this wealthy man and woman and this uneducated poor black man.

The wealthy white man asks to take the uneducated black man out to breakfast. At breakfast the black man asks, “Why are you doing this?” the white man says, “To be your friend.” The black man says, “I like to fish, but I notice when white people fish they catch and release. I don’t want a ‘catch and release’ friendship.”

Well, this wealthy husband and wife decided to do more than give money and because they did they touched many lives. One of those lives was that uneducated black man. Later on they formed a friendship that will last the rest of their lives and has lasted the rest of her life, as he was there for the woman’s death.  The wealthy white man and the uneducated black man published this book together.


It is essentially because this man stepped outside of his comfort zone that the black man came to know the Lord. It is because this man was willing to serve and to serve in a lowly way that that black man’s life was changed, wow!

In a similar way,in today’s text Jesus lays aside His social status in order to serve the disciples. Once again, I notice the commonality of the Gospel. Once again, I notice that the Gospel is for everyone. I also notice that we serve a great and mighty Savior. The disciples are common, ordinary, everyday men. They are not high on the social ladder. They are not even a little bit high on the social ladder, yet Jesus serves them. Jesus is beyond high on the social ladder. Jesus is off the charts. Jesus invented the ladder, yet Jesus lowers Himself and lowers Himself even more to serve in this dirty way.  Jesus knew all and Jesus knew that He came from God and He knew He would be betrayed, yet, He serves. Our mighty Savior serves in the lowest way possible.

Please read the passage with me and let’s talk about it. Notice the commonality of the Gospel and notice our mighty Savior.

John 13:1-11:

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

As we look at this we can notice Jesus’ love stated, secondly His love rejected, then His love shown.

  1.                     In verse 1 we see Jesus’ love stated, this shows that Jesus came for everyone. This shows the commonality of the Gospel.
  2.        Now let’s put this narrative in context. It is just before the Passover festival. It is now Thursday of Holy week. That is the time of the week and the time in the ministry and life of Jesus.
  3.       Later, on this very night, Jesus will be betrayed and so will begin the crucifixion process. 
  4.        John spends a lot of time on this evening, more than the other Gospels. John spends chapters 13-16 on this supper.
  5.       I must read Luke 22:24-26 to put this in context. John does not record it, but Luke records a conversation that took place right before the last supper. Listen to this passage: Luke 22:24-26:  24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.
  6.       Here we have the disciples competing to be the greatest and now Jesus sets things straight in this way. Now, Jesus will show who the greatest is.
  7.         But in this passage, it says that Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave the world. The text is saying that Jesus knew that He came from the Father and it was time to go back.
  8.        Jesus loved the people He was with and He loved them until the end. He loved them until the crucifixion.
  9.       There is a Greek verb for love used and it is agape. This is a type of intentional love. This is not brotherly love. This is intentional love.
  10.                   In verse 2 we see that Jesus’ love is rejected. We see that His love is spurned.
  11.        Judas is going to betray Jesus. The verse says that the devil prompted Judas. Actually the text originally says that the devil threw himself into Judas. In verse 27 it says that Judas was possessed by the devil.
  12.       Now, Judas is already making plans to betray Jesus.
  13.                 Jesus shares His love. This is verses 3-11.
  14.        Notice our mighty Savior.
  15.       In verse 3 it says that Jesus knew that He had all things under His power.
  16.        Who was the greatest the disciples were asking. Jesus is the greatest. All things are under His power. Jesus knew that He came from the Father and He will go back to the Father.
  17.       Yet, for common, ordinary, everyday men, Jesus stooped as low as He could go.
  18.       Only slaves and women and children would wash feet.  It was not acceptable for a man to do this, yet Jesus did it.
  19.         I wonder if the disciples were all thinking, “No, this is not for Him to do.” Yet, Peter spoke up and told Jesus not to.
  20.        One source tells me that he knows of no other ancient source that has the leader doing something so humble: He writes: A familiar rabbinic story is told in Pe’a 1.15c.14 of Rabbi Ishmael, whose mother sought to honor him by washing his feet when he arrived home from the synagogue. After he refused her because he viewed her effort as dishonoring to her and ultimately to him, she sought a censure against him from the rabbinic court for his refusal to allow her to honor him. This story provides some insight into the perspectives of shame and honor in Judaism.[1]
  21.       So, Jesus showed His love. Jesus loved them till the end and He shows that we are all called to serve. 
  22.          When I was an intern at a church I was going to preach, yet prior to my sermon the pastor had me take off my shoes and washed my feet. Many times churches will have foot washing ceremonies during Lent on Maundy Thursday.
  23.         I recently listened to a book called “Breakout Churches” by Thom Rainer and he referenced churches that grow usually have pastors that do not credit themselves but those around them.
  24.         But in the first century humility was not a strong point. It was not a trait one wanted to have. Yet, Jesus taught the disciples to be humble. Jesus showed these common, ordinary, everyday men, that the Gospel is for everyone. He taught them that, though He is the mighty Savior, and the Greatest, He would serve them. He washes their feet. 

Sometimes I watch the show, Undercover Boss. The show is about different corporate C.E.O.’s who actually go and work a few days in the company. They work as common employees in training. I always wonder what that is like. But you know, Jesus is the creator and He became part of His creation. This is a much lower step to take than an undercover boss. Now, Jesus serves His creation. Next, Jesus will die a death of humiliation for His creation. He did this for everyone. The Gospel is for everyone. Now, He also calls us to serve everyone and to take the Gospel to everyone.

Let’s pray


[1] Borchert, G. L. (2002). John 12–21 (Vol. 25B). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.





Noah and the flood– see the video link:

Noah Redivivus— Revisiting Gen. 6-9

Modesty and other articles

Below are a few links. The first article is regarding modesty. This is addressed mainly to women, though it sounds like his personal blog had a post to men previously. You can search for that. Modesty in all ways has not been talked about enough in the last few years or decades, but I know that the church must talk about this more. That is not to say that this pressure is all on women, the men are guilty of their own thoughts and feelings. 

Sisters, Are You Helping (or Hurting) Your Brothers With That Outfit?

The below article is appalling and it really makes us think about our worldview. In the Old Testament there was a pagan god called Molech, This god was to be appeased by child sacrifice. Children under two years old were burned in order to appease this god. Now, today, though not for pagan ritual, we still are burning babies. In this case the children are already dead, but it does make us think. The Christian worldview teaches that babies are a gift from the Lord.

(Psalm 127 is an example also Luke 18:15-17)

Have an awesome day in the Lord!

Yesterday’s sermon

Below is yesterdays sermon manuscript:


The Gospel is for everyone, amen? Last week we talked about the transfiguration of Jesus. Peter, James and John saw Jesus talking with Elijah and Moses in His glorified state. These common every day men saw our glorified Savior in His glory. These common every day men saw two Old Testament heroes, Moses and Elijah, and this was grace. This was unmerited favor.

Two weeks ago we talked about the woman with the issue of blood. For twelve years this woman was unclean. For twelve years she could not enter the temple. For twelve years anyone she touched would have been unclean. People would have been afraid to be around her, but not Jesus. She touched the hem of His garment and she was instantly made well. We serve a Mighty Savior who came for everyone.

As we look at this passage we see that Jesus came for everyone even the person living in sin. Jesus came for those that the church makes outcasts, or those that feel they could not enter a church. When I was in college, I worked in children’s ministry at a church that would use the church van in order to pick up children from an apartment complex that was lower class. There were comments from church leaders that those children would corrupt our children. The idea is that we do not want those people around. But you know what, Jesus went to those people. Jesus came for those people who may not fit in the typical church gathering.

Luke 7:34:

The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’

The story today is about two brothers. One brother is the older brother. Think of him as the religious person. The younger brother is the worldly person. He is not religious. He is anti religious. Then there is a father. The father represents God.

Let’s read the story and I wish to show you that God is loving and He desires a relationship with everyone. God desires a relationship with unrepentant sinners. God desires a relationship with worldly people. The Gospel is for everyone. The Gospel is for everyone even the church outcasts.

Let’s read Luke 15:11-32:

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

  1. First, let’s say that God desires a relationship with the unrepentant. God desires a relationship with the worldly person, who is living for the world.
    1. Remember that Jesus is in Samaria at this time. At this time He is telling all these parables in an area that is hostile to the Jews in Jerusalem. The Jews in Jerusalem were hostile to them as well. I read about Samaritans a few weeks ago, so I won’t be labor those points, but I do want to emphasize that Jerusalem Jews did what it took to avoid them. They would travel extra just so they don’t come in contact with them. But Jesus goes right through the heart of Samaria and He tells parables. He tells parables that are not in the other Gospels.
    2. To the Jerusalem Jews the Samaritans would be unrepentant worldly people. Unrepentant people are in the world, living for the world and they do not care. They only care about themselves. They live for themselves and God wants a relationship with them.
    3. So, here is Jesus in this worldly area, in this area forsaken by most Jews, but not by God. He tells a parable.
    4. We call this the parable of the prodigal son. Prodigal means extravagant or wasteful. As you heard in the parable, the son wastes his father’s money.
    5. There are two sons in this parable and the younger tells his father that he wants his share of the estate. Now, you must know that there are a couple problems with this. The first problem is that asking for an inheritance early is like saying, “Dad, I wish you were dead!”
      1.                                                    i.      Regardless of the insult the father divides the inheritance between his two sons. This is the second problem. According to the Old Testament (DT 21:7), the elder son was supposed to receive a double portion.
      2.                                                  ii.      Now, what you need to know is that this is a parable; it is a story with a purpose. It may or may not have really happened. Jesus is setting this parable up in order to show God’s great grace.
      3.                                                 iii.      Jesus is showing that regardless of what we do, God is our Father and as our Father he loves us. He welcomes us into His loving arms. This younger son is blasphemous to his father, by asking for the inheritance, but the Father represents God. The Father still wants a relationship with him.
    6. Verses 13-14 show that the son takes his father’s money and he leaves. Jesus says that he wasted his wealth with wild living. Jesus doesn’t tell us what the son was involved in but we can take a guess. We can take a guess because some of you have been in situations like this.
      1.                                                    i.      I also think that some of you have had children leave home and disgrace your name. Still some of you have had situations where you were prepared to welcome a child back home. You have been where this father is. Some of you are the father and you have had your heart broken by what your child has done. For you it may not be that your child has wasted your money. You don’t care about the money, it is that your child has made poor decisions and consequently ended up in a very bad situation. It may make you nauseas to think about the situation your child is in.
      2.                                                  ii.      Some of you have done this yourself. Some of you are the younger son and have experienced drastic forgiveness and reconciliation.
    7. Verses 15-16 show that now, this son is feeding pigs. Pigs were an unclean animal in Judaism, so for Jesus’ audience this is a big deal. This son has sunk to a very low station in life. But Jesus is setting this up to show the great, great love of God, our Heavenly Father.
  2. Second, let’s say that to have a relationship with God we must repent. However, whether we repent or not, God wants a relationship with us.
    1. Verses 17-19 show that the son is repentant. He realizes what has happened to his station in life. He is ready to confess this to his father.
    2. Verses 20-24 show us that as he comes back to his father, his father sees him from a distance and runs to him. We also see that his father wants to throw a party to welcome his son home.
      1.                                                    i.      In that day it was considered a breach of an adult male’s dignity to run, but this Father is so excited to see his son come home that he runs to him and embraces him.
      2.                                                  ii.      Some of us can hear this story and think like the eldest son. We see his reaction in verses 25-32
    3. The eldest son’s thinking is on the side of TRUTH—all TRUTH and no grace. His thinking is that the younger brother made his decisions and he should live with him.
    4. But I think that no matter what that elder son cannot see things the way a parent would. That elder son just can’t think about watching the boy learn to walk, rocking him to sleep at night, teaching him to fish, taking him to Chipotle for the first time, school programs and all those other things. A parent thinks with their emotions.
      1.                                                    i.      I believe that God made us emotional because I think God has emotions. The Father in this parable is clearly God and when we are in the filth of life; when we are in bad situations, I think that God hurts. Some of you know what it is like to hurt and ache and lose sleep because your child is in a bad situation. Then I think you have a small element of how God feels when we are in a bad situation. God grieves and God hurts. Then when we choose to come back to God, He runs to us and throws a party in Heaven.
    5. God desires a relationship with all so He sent Jesus for everyone. The Gospel is for everyone!


The Gospel is for everyone. God desires a relationship with unrepentant sinners.  God desires a relationship with the neighbor who goes to strip clubs. God desires a relationship with the person out late at night drinking because they are depressed. God desires a relationship with the man who has burned every bridge they have formed because he was never taught how to work with people. God desires a relationship with the person who cannot hold a job because he never had a father to mentor and teach him to work. God desires a relationship with the person who even cannot parent because he was never modeled or taught how to parent. You know what? God desires a relationship with the guy blaspheming Him on the news. God desires a relationship with the Muslim terrorist. God desires a relationship with the Nazi solder. God desires a relationship with every unrepentant person and God desires a relationship with us.

The question is: who do you most identify with? Are you the older brother? If you are a believer, are your interests, God’s interests? Do you desire to introduce those unrepentant people to Jesus? Know that coming to Christ does mean repentance.

Remember the example I gave about the church I served at in college? Remember how they did not want those children corrupting the church children? Jesus came for them. They had parents and family who needed the Gospel. The Gospel Is for everyone even the church outcasts.

Do you know Jesus?

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)



Some really good articles:

This is a really good article by Dr. Witherington about the people who saved Jewish history during and following the Holocaust:

The Monuments Men— The Book by Robert Edsel

Below is an article by hiring staff as church leaders:

Why Your Church Needs to Be More Picky About Hiring

One final article for today: The below article is about social media:

How to Lead Your Facebook to Christ

Salt of the earth

This was a really interesting read regarding salt in ancient times:

The Salt of the Earth

The Salt of the Earth

March 21, 2014 By  0 Comments

We live in a culture in which condiments, like salt, pepper, mustard, ketchup, are so readily available that we take them completely for granted. We have lost our connection with the past, and are unlikely to understand metaphorical phrases like “you are the salt of the earth” in an age and a culture of excess. A healthy reminder comes from the recent excellent book The Monuments Men (both the movie and the book on which it is based reviewed elsewhere on this blog). What Edsel and Witter write about 1,000 years ago, applies even more so to 2,000 years ago.

“In those days, at the turn of the first millenium, salt was one of the foundations of civilization. Without it food couldn’t be preserved or transported, so whole societies survived because of salt. Roman legionaires were sometimes paid in salt (the basis of the English word ‘salary’), and the merchants trod the salt roads in large caravans, linking the Western world of Europe with the Eastern world of Asia and Arabia. In Tibet, Marco Polo noticed that salt was pressed into wafers, imprinted with the image of the Grand Khan, and used as money. Timbuktu, the great lost civilization of Africa, valued salt as highly as gold. The early Germans whose Visigoth ancestors sacked Rome and threw civilization into darkness, were economically dependent on their salt mines, and especially the taxes from their salt trading routes. The city of Munich, an early power base for the Nazi Party, was founded in 1158 so the ruler of Bavaria could more easily collect a tax on the salt being transported from the town of ‘Salzburg’ (German for Salt Castle).” (p. 304).

Some of our own idioms today hint at the importance of salt in the past, but also of the way we had come to take it for granted—- my father used to say after lunch– ‘well back to the salt mines’. All hard work was likened to that necessary task of digging out salt. Or consider ‘I’d take that with a grain of salt’ as an idiom, meaning don’t pay any more attention to that than you would a little grain of salt.

But whatever our idioms, they bear little evidence of just how crucial salt was in an age before refrigeration, especially in a tropical or sub-tropical climate like much of the Biblical world. So what did Jesus mean, when he said “you are the salt of the earth’. It’s one thing to be the light of the world, another to be the salt of the earth (Mt. 5.13). Some Biblical scholars, who frankly know too little archaeology or history, have complained that Jesus didn’t realize that salt cannot lose its savor. This is not quite true. Salt, for instance found in large quantities at the Dead Sea, if mixed with impurities certainly can lose something over time, or under some conditions.

So again what does Jesus mean by telling his disciples “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” First of all, this is a wisdom saying, and the danger is, we may slide over it as a sort of quaint aphorism of sorts— taking it ‘with a grain of salt’. But actually Jesus is just as serious with this metaphor as he is with ‘you are the light of the world’. We ignore it at our peril.

Some scholars have suggested that Jesus is saying something about the role of his disciples in society. This makes good sense, especially if we take these two aphorisms in parallel— world in the light of the world saying, parallels earth in the salt of the earth saying. In that case it does indeed intend to say something about our intended effect on the world of humankind, and so speaks of our purpose. The job of Christians is not stay in their nice little safe salt shaker or holy huddle. It is not their job to withdraw from society (Amish like or in a monastic model). It is not their job to become self-focused or self-protective. It is their job to effect society for the good, remembering just how valuable light was in an age before electricity, and how valuable salt was in an age before all kinds of other preservatives and seasonings.

One of the clear take aways from this aphorism has to be that when Christians withdraw from society, from the marketplace, from politics, from being civic-minded, it is no surprise that the world goes rotten. It is partly our fault. For example, one of the reasons for the decline in public schools in terms of quality education in America is quite specifically the flight of white Christians into private Christian schools, or even home schooling. Indirectly, and perhaps in most cases unintentionally, these Christians have done exactly the opposite of what Jesus intended his disciples to do and be— provide salt to the earth and light to the world. Jesus says that when disciples do not mix with society, do not function as salt and light in the world, then they become useless, insipid. At the very least this means they cease to function as proper mission minded Christians.

Yesterday in chapel we had a remarkable chapel service involving a lay person from Atlanta named Robert Lufton (I believe) who has been working in inner city Atlanta for the sake of helping urban renewal in a Christian way. One of things that was the focus of his message is that if you really want to make a difference, you don’t provide services for the poor from the outside except in an emergency or crisis (like say Katrina), you go in and embed yourself with the poor, and work with them, not for them as patrons, but with them, preserving their dignity, enabling them to gain skills and income to mostly support themselves. They are mostly not looking for a hand out, but a hand up…. so to speak. But the key was going and living among them. I have a good friend and former colleague named Rhonda Stapleton. She has done this for years in Florida working with battered and abused women. And has made a real difference, by coming along side them, instead of trying to hand them something, and then leaving them to their former condition. Rhonda is busy being salt and light. How about you, asks Jesus? Are you functioning for the Christian purpose for which God re-made you? Notice that Jesus does not say “now I want some of you disciples to be light, and some to be salt, and some to be something else….” Nope. Its not different strokes for different folks in this case. Rather he just makes a declaration— ‘all disciples are already salt and light and to be like a city set on a hill’. And if they are not doing and being that….. well then they are useless. Light hidden under a bed is light out of place and is unhelpful. The same applies to salt that loses its zing, its ability to preserve and add zest to life.

Think on these things.

Various articles on Christian living

The article below gets into great detail on what happens with pornography and the brain. There is also a link to a free e-book:

Along similar lines, this next article is written by Dr. Al Mohler regarding an article that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote to his son about sex and purity.

Have a good day in the Lord! 

Interesting and challenging articles

The article below is about disabilities in the church and the church’s failure to minister to those disabled. This is a challenging article to think about. 

4 Times When It’s Good to Leave a Church

The article below is about ways to outreach with the Easter worship service. Now, before reading that, I always want to remind myself and others why outreach is important. Outreach is important because of passages such as John 3:16 and 14:6. Check them out:

5 Ways to Make a Huge Impact on Easter Sunday

The article below is about reading the Old Testament:

Should I Skip the Old Testament? NO! Here Are 3 Reasons Why

Okay, I have one final article. This is by Dr. Ben Witherington who is a United Methodist Pastor, author and scholar. He teaches at Asbury Theological Seminary. Below is his second post in response to a book about homosexuality and Christianity. You can find his first post from Sunday on his blog. I hate dealing with these tough topics, but we need educated on them. Christians must love everyone. We must remember that heterosexual relationships can be impure and in sin just as well as homosexual. But read and post comments for discussion. 

A Response to Bishop Sano’s ‘Call to Biblical Obedience’– Part Three

Have an awesome week in the Lord!

Yesterday’s sermon and some articles

Below is yesterday’s sermons. But before that I want to insert links to some really good articles.

This is a really good article about Facebook by Dr. Randy Alcorn:

Below is an interesting article about the church worship service:

Why Your Church Needs to Think Beyond the Worship Set

Below is the sermon:


May consider using a clip from the Bible movie

Struggling to stay awake while driving… When I was in college I drove an hour each way to college. When I was in seminary, I drove two hours each way to seminary. I did this twice a week and sometimes every day for mini terms. I enjoyed the driving time. I even memorized Hebrew during this time. I listened to sermons and books on C.D. I prayed during this time as well. When I was in college I drove close to a half an hour each way to work. The problem with driving, especially at night, is when we cannot stay awake. The worst feeling I have is falling asleep while driving. I used to take coffee and snacks with me to help with this.  It is a terrible feeling when I cannot stay awake while driving. After that, if something wakes me up, it is a good feeling to be awakened again.

You may know the feeling of trying to stay awake when your body wants to sleep:

I have had trouble staying awake while fishing.

I have had trouble staying awake in class. During my senior year at Cedarville University, I worked over night at McDonalds and then went to school without sleep. I wanted to stay awake in class, but the first class was tough.

I don’t have trouble anymore, but maybe you have trouble staying awake during our worship service… Not at this church, ha, ha!

I have had trouble staying awake during prayer. Praying on my knees helps.

That seems to be the disciples problem in this passage.

These common, ordinary, everyday men were invited up to see Jesus in His glory and they could not stay awake, but they would be awakened. As I teach this, realize that the Gospel is for everyone! Jesus showed His glory to these common men and He will for you as well. Realize the following:

  1. 1.                  The commonality of the Gospel.
  2. 2.                  The power of prayer.
  3. 3.                  The Mighty Savior.
  4. 4.                  Listen to Jesus.

Let’s read the passage: Luke 9:28-36: NIV


28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his departure,which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)

34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.

  1. First, let’s talk about the commonality of the Gospel. (verse 28)
    1. Notice that Jesus takes Peter, James and John up on this mountain with Him. There are a few things that I want you to take away from the series which I am preaching for Lent. I want you to remember that Jesus showed that the Gospel is for everyone. Jesus did not come for any particular group specifically. Jesus did not come for the Jews only. Jesus did not come for the Pharisees specifically. Jesus did not only come for men, or only come for women. There is no racism with Jesus. There is no preferential treatment with Jesus. Galatians 3:28: There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor freenor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
    2. Now, I do wish to be very careful of what is called eisegesis. This means that I would be interpreting or teaching a text based on my own presuppositions. That would make a text say what I wish it to say and not what God wants it to say. I want to study and teach from exegesis and this means that I teach a passage by exegeting the text which means to bring out of the text what God wants it to say.  Why do I say that? I am glad you asked. As I looked at my themes and my sermons for Lent, I noticed that Jesus came for everyone. Now I do not want to have a sermon and then find a text. I do not want to have a theme and make the Bible support that. I really do believe that this passage says this.
    3. Peter, James and John were common every day men. Some say they were too common. In Acts there was that criticism. Acts 4:13 has the people observing the confidence of Peter and John in that they were not educated.
    4. Jesus brought them on the mountain and here they see Jesus in glory. Here they see Elijah, here they see Moses. Think about this: The Pharisees were the religious scholars of the day. Sometimes the Pharisees were the scribes as well. The Sadducees were the religious scholars of the day. One would think Jesus should have invited them up to see Moses and Elijah, but HE DID NOT. Peter, James and John went with Jesus. In fact, most all of the disciples were common men. Sure, Matthew was probably the most educated, but none of them were like the Apostle Paul. Now, Paul he was educated. He was a Roman citizen, not these guys. Not at all. Yet, Jesus invited them up on the mountain with Him. Wow!
    5. As I think about it, no wonder Jesus was murdered. I know that is a very strong statement, but, humanly speaking, worldly speaking, I could understand jealousy. The Pharisees and the Sadducees invest their life in the study and the memorizing of the Old Testament and Jesus does not invite them on the mountain! What a shock. They memorized the Mosaic Law, but they were not invited! Jesus came for everyone.
    6. Peter, James and John, saw these great Old Testament heroes. There is a scene in Star Trek III the Search for Spock when Uhura is talking to a young guy. The young guy is complaining that nothing happens exciting where he is stationed. Then, all of a sudden Admiral Kirk comes in. The young man is excited. He exclaims: “That’s Admiral Kirk!” In this case these disciples are getting lots of excitement. They are traveling with Jesus. But now these common, ordinary men are about to see some pretty important people. They see Moses and Elijah; they see Jesus in His glorified state. Notice the commonality of the Gospel.   

1 Cor. 1:26-31: May summarize

  1. Notice, the power of prayer (verse 29).
    1. Jesus was praying when this happened. You think about that? Verse 29 says “As He was praying, the appearance of His face changed and His clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.” Wow! You know in the parallel accounts it actually says that He was metamorphosized. He was transformed to His heavenly presence. That is exactly what it means when it says, “Transfigured.” Luke avoided that term, likely because his audience was more Greco-Roman, they were more pagan and they would think of the gods and those myths. Jesus was not a “god,” He was and is God. 
    2. The way this is set up and it is like this was an answer to Jesus’ prayer. While praying this happens. In the Old Testament revelations occur during prayer. Daniel chapter 9 is an instance.
    3. We must pray and expect God to answer. Expect to see mighty things.
  2. The Mighty Savior
    1. He is transfigured (verse 29)
    2. Verse 32: Peter and the companions were sleepy, but then they woke up.
      1.                                                   i.      For me, sometimes when I am tired, whether driving or reading, or working, there is something that shocks me to being awake. I bet this shocked them to wake up.
      2.                                                 ii.      Think about this: Have you ever been in a car accident because of falling asleep? It was early May 2005, right after my college semester ended. I was driving to work at about 4:00 A.M. As I already stated, I had about a 30 minute drive ahead of me. I was on a dark state route and I was sleepy. I remember really struggling to stay awake. But I managed, for a while. Then I entered the suburb of Englewood, this was right outside Dayton and this was where I actually worked. The state route I was driving on was now 4 lanes with a turn lane, much like State Street right out here. I was now passing businesses and restaurants. I now drive past Jack’s Aquarium and Pets where I used to work. I now drove past National Road which could take me up to the Junior High and High School I attended. I drove past the location I would get a speeding ticket in a few weeks. I was only a couple miles from work. But I was still sleepy. All of a sudden there was a thud, or a book. There was a car accident. I ran into the passenger side curb. I pulled into the Midas store. I looked and I had two flat tires. It was much worse. There was axle damage. There was wheel damage. But it was not nearly as bad as it could have been. I didn’t hit a telephone pool, just the curb. I was probably driving 30 miles per hour, not 55 miles per hour as earlier. I didn’t cross left of center and hit a car. If it happened 15 miles earlier, it would have been worse. This woke me up! I drove a block to Grismer tire and parked the car. I walked to work and called Meagan to see if she could take care of it when she woke up. But I was awakened. That shock! That scare woke me up. You know what, the disciples also were awakened to a type of fear. There was a reverent fear as they saw the man Jesus transformed in Glory. There was fear, in verse 34, as God spoke.
      3.                                               iii.      Our Great and Mighty Savior revealed His awesome glory to common every day, normal people as Peter, James and John. Our Great and Mighty Savior reveals Himself to you and me.  I hope that awakens you. It woke them up! I hope this excitement awakens you as a fearful experience would awaken you, as a car accident awakened me.
      4. Elijah and Moses are not equal to Him. We see in verse 33 Peter wanted to make tents for Elijah and Moses and Jesus. These were for worship similar to the Feast of Booths in the Old Testament. There is a parenthetical statement that Peter did not know what he was saying. The problem was that Peter wanted tents for all of them. Peter did not understand that Jesus was and Is the one God. Peter equated Moses and Elijah with Jesus.  
      5. This is not the best example because this was something of God. But recently I took a quick turn and heard noise a in the back seat. Mercedes starts saying “No, Daddy…” Or something similar in fear. I look back and her car seat tipped over. Somehow the seat belt buckling the car seat in came undone. I buckled her seat back in and fixed things. As I start to drive, Mercedes says, “I don’t want to fall again!” Well, neither did I want her to fall, it was scary as well. There is a great fear in the unknown. In this passage a cloud enveloped Elijah, Moses and Jesus and a voice spoke. This made fear in Peter, James and John. This was a reverent fear. (verse 34)
  3. Last application: listen to Jesus (verse 35).
    1. Here God speaks. God says, “This is My Son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him.”
    2. God is authenticating Jesus once again. This was said at Jesus’ baptism. (Luke 3:21ff)
    3. Jesus is to be listened to more than Moses and Elijah. Jesus fulfilled the law.
    4. So, are we listening to Him?
    5. You don’t have to be a pastor, an elder, a church leader, you don’t have to be educated, Jesus came for all. Jesus came for the common man. The Gospel is for everyone.


Last week we talked about Jesus healing the woman with the blood issue. (Luke 9:40-48) Remember, she was unclean, she was a woman, she was not allowed in the temple, but Jesus came for her. Today, we see that Jesus takes His common, ordinary men up on the mountain and they see Moses and Elijah. We see that the Gospel is for everyone. The Gospel is for us. If you know Jesus, share that message with others. Share the Gospel is for everyone.  If you do not know Jesus, commit to Him today.

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)




Some really good articles

Today I read some really good articles on

This first article has to do with persecution among Christians and talking about it to a 5 year old. This has to do with end times and 2 Thess. 2:8:

Why I Hope My Son’s Life Is in Danger

This next article has to do with turning around a church and helping the church to seek evangelism:

Almost finished …

This final article is about dealing with doubt in your faith walk:

Almost finished …

Enjoy and post thoughts!