One Body (11/9/2017)

A hen and a pig were strolling down main street in town. They passed a restaurant that advertised “Delicious ham and eggs: $2.75 cents.” “Sounds like a bargain,” said the hen. “That owner obviously knows how to run her business. “It’s all very well for you to be so pleased about the dish in question,” observed the pig with some resentment. “For you it is all in a day’s work. You just have to make a contribution. Let me point out, however, that on my part it represents a genuine sacrifice.”

The pig made an important point. Laying an egg would inconvenience the hen. It might even take a little more of her time than she’d like. But once she was done, she could go on about her business. The pig wouldn’t get off so easy. It required him to give everything.

This is how sacrifices work. In the Old Testament, people routinely sacrificed animals to God. How many times could an animal be sacrificed? One time. It was impossible for it to be offered more than that. (more…)

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Finding Rest (11-12-17)

One of my theology professors liked to include lots of complicated theological terms in his lectures. When my classmates and I asked him to explain a big word, he did. With even bigger words. It all sounded good from a theological perspective but we had no idea what he was talking about or how to apply it to our lives.

Last Sunday, I preached from Matthew 11. Our scripture passage included Matthew 11:28-30 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I ended the sermon by encouraging you to yoke yourself to Jesus and allow him to give you rest. That statement sounds good. It’s biblical. But what does it really mean and how do we do it in real life? (more…)

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Resting In Jesus (11/5/17)

Do you ever feel like you’re just not quite good enough for God? You know you have sin in your life. You also know God knows you have sin in your life. You’d like to quit messing around with these sins because you know they’re wrong. You really do try to stop. But when you’re tired or stressed, you give in to temptation.

Then you feel guilty. Since you’re disappointed in yourself, God must be disappointed too. You ask God to forgive you and promise to try harder. If you can just be more faithful, God will love you more.

For a while, you’re able to hold on and hold out. Then something happens and you give in again. This time the feelings of guilt and disappointment are a little worse. Since you feel worse about yourself, God must feel the same way.

So, you promise God and yourself you’ll try even harder this time. But the vicious cycle continues and eventually you’re exhausted. You feel like giving up because you just can’t do this anymore.

If this describes you, I have some good news. This pattern for dealing with sin isn’t what the Bible teaches. (more…)

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