Sunday, October 23, 2011

"The Love Test"

The sermon text was Ephesians 5:21-31. For related sermons, please see the label "Love."

What is the test? Going back to the Greek, the actual command ("be filled with the Spirit" and be ruled by Christ) is found several verses back, making submission to one another the natural product of revering Him as the center. Although we apply this to all relationships, today we focus on husbands and wives.

What is the big picture? Marriage parallels Christ's agape for the Church. Husbands are to serve, care for, and die for their wives. Wives, in response, are to love, serve, and obey their husbands.

How are we to "be holy" (Leviticus 19:2)? We are to be set apart for service; only our God came to serve, compared with other "gods," who are only served. Love is shown most directly by acts of service. Husbands especially, make sacrifices of your attitude for the team's sake ("us" vs. "me"). The extent? "JUST AS CHRIST." Wives, submit AS TO CHRIST in everything. Yield and fear not, for your husband loves you per above. Don't follow the worldly habit of saying your nastiest words to your husband. Pray to serve without resentment - what a privilege!

Soli Deo gloria.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"Who, me? A model?"

The sermon text was 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7. Please see the label "Love" for related sermons.

Actions speak loudly, are imitated, and flow from our heart, reflecting our true beliefs. In the text's background, the Thessalonians' faith shone in their persecution. People were watching. Following their example, let us act out the grace and love of Christ - His love leads to our service. Think about this: what would you wish to be known by/as? Are visitors welcomed in your home? Are personal idols destroyed? Do we plainly serve God?

Our salvation is secure! God has created in us a resemblance to Himself, and that resemblance is holiness. Here, then, our mission is to "live the new life in Christ." How?
  • Growing strong in God's Word. Be not ignorant of it!
  • Reaching out to all people. Live a life of service.
  • Assembling together. We are, after all, the Body of Christ!
  • Caring for others. As Christ loved us, so we love others selflessly.
  • Extending the Kingdom. Invite all into the fold of the Good Shepherd.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

"Peace Feast"

The sermon text was Philippians 4:4-13. For related sermons, please see the label "Love."

The foundation of peace is only in Jesus Christ and His work. He, our Rock, trembles not as we cling to Him in our trials - He is unshakable!

"How do we get this peace?" Through the means of grace, Jesus says, "My peace I give to you." We welcome therefore every chance to come to the feast of the Lord's Supper and the Word. -- "I don't feel that peace." Culprits include worry, fear, guilt, and adverse events. The solution? Look at the Peace-Giver only (for with the Cross in our focus, all else is blurred), He who cares for today and tomorrow; give up your sins to God, confessing and being forgiven. Forgive your brother. Be thankful for all things (which is really God working in your nature).

Look ahead to your heavenly home. Thank God for the feast that awaits, that He has prepared for you in love.

Soli Deo gloria.