Jesus, Friend of Sinners (Sermon Outline for October 25, 2015)

When we interact with people both inside and outside of the congregational setting, do we treat them like they are welcome in God’s Kingdom?

In Luke 15:1-7, the Pharisees condemned Jesus because he “welcomes sinners and eats with them.” This comment reveals the Pharisees attitudes towards people who didn’t strive to maintain purity in every area of their lives. They believed that faithful Jews should follow the Old Testament purity laws as close as possible even though the Law only required the priests to keep them.

In our modern society, where family meals are slowly becoming a thing of the past, we miss the importance of Jesus’ actions when he ate with sinners. In his book Religious No More , Mark Baker writes: “table fellowship played a central role in Jesus’ life and teaching. In that era, the Pharisees had brought even more than normal attention to the table. They sought to eat every meal to the degree of purity observed by officiating priests in the temple. Every Jew did not follow all the rules for purity that the Pharisees prescribed. There was, however, some spillover effect even if just in a heightened awareness of the issues. In the Pharisees’ campaign to return holiness to Israel they used table fellowship as ‘the major vehicle of social and religious ostracism….To share a meal with a person was an expression of acceptance; to refuse to share a meal symbolized disapproval and rejection.”

(more…)

Continue Reading

Taming the Tongue

Do your realize your tongue has affected every person you’ve come into contact with today?

Although the tongue is a small part of our body, it wields tremendous power because of the words it speaks. We can use our tongue for good, such as praising God and encouraging other people. We can also use it for evil, such as cursing, gossiping, and being sarcastic. Out of the same mouth comes both praises and curses (James 3:1-12).

The reason we do this is because “the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:45). If our heart is full of gratitude and love, our words will be uplifting and positive. If our hearts are hard and full of evil, then complaining, curses and sarcasm will come out of our mouths. Think about the words you have spoken today. What do they reveal about your heart?

(more…)

Continue Reading

An Unspoken Reality – Dealing with Domestic Violence (Sermon Notes from October 11, 2015)

Domestic violence is a serious issue in our American society. Sadly, it is also present in the church.

According to domesticviolence.org, “domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other.” Examples of abuse include: name calling and putdowns (How many times have Christians done this?), keeping a partner from contacting their family and friends, withholding money, stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job, actual or threatened physical harm, sexual assault, stalking and intimidation.

The statistics regarding domestic violence are startling. According to domesticviolencestatistics.org:

(more…)

Continue Reading

Is Grace Enough? (Sermon Notes from October 4, 2015)

What is God’s grace? It is “the unmerited favor of God in which he unconditionally loves us, forgives us and reconciles us to himself.” When we accept it, Jesus comes to live in us so we can be who we never thought we could be.

Ephesians 2:1-10 explains how God’s grace benefits us. We were once dead in our transgressions and sins. This also meant we were separated from God and were destined to receive God’s wrath. But in His mercy, God raised us up with Jesus Christ and redeemed us.

As we live our lives in a world that is full of temptations and difficulties, is God’s grace enough for us? Or, do we want something more? Our attitudes and emotions can answer these questions for us. Do we typically have an attitude of thankfulness to God because of what He has done for us or are we more often than not angry, frustrated and lacking faith? It is so easy to take our eyes off God and start concentrating on our problems.

(more…)

Continue Reading
Close Menu