Taken from a sermon delivered on February 28:
Jesus Illustrating God Seeking Love
All the parables or illustrations of Jesus arise out of definite situations. Examples: Jesus moving from one city to another spoke Luke 13:22, Luke 13:21 Pharisees tell Jesus to go away! Now gathered were both sinners, tax gathers and religious leaders gathered to hear. Jesus illustrates God’s seeking love always reaching always seeking the broken. Jesus teaches concerning attitudes, actions and angels’ response.
Attitudes of the listeners. Luke 15:1-2
The helpless was there to listen and looking to find a little hope. The helpless are tax gathers and gathers of tolls. Sinners who are specifically stained with vices and crimes. They were considered heathen.
The Harmful where the Pharisees who were those observants in all the external rites and outward forms of piety and alms giving. Yet they neglected genuine piety and prided themselves on good works.
Actions of an owner who seeks. Luke 15:3-9
One missing sheep out of the hundred secured. Shepherd was responsible for everyone. All must to accounted for in the evening. Shepherd were expert trackers. Shepherds would risk their life for the sheep. Shepherds seek “until he finds the single lost sheep.” He never gives up! Shepherds secures the sheep and cares it. Shepherds shares the joy! One soul found Luke 15:7 Joy erupts in heaven. Exuberate joy of God. A single soul repents with regrets accompanied by a true change of heart toward God. Accepting a better fuller abundant way of life. One coin found. Search was focused. Search involved effort.
Angels rejoice. Luke 15:10
Joy of God shared in the presence of all of heaven when a sinner is saved. A sinner who was a person who had missed the mark in his/her relation with God. Sinner repents accomplished by deep true change of heart toward God. Joyful invitation to the critical Pharisee/scribes to join the celebration of a sinners return. God went outside the walls to seek and save sinners.
People fail to understand where they are in relationship with God. God is the seeker, the opportunity opener and the granter of grace and mercy. Do you hear God’s call to a meaning full relationship? Christian do you hear God’s call as an ambassador of God in a world who is full or lost.
~ Pastor James
Taken from a sermon delivered on February 21:
LC 2021 6 Jesus Illustration of an Opportunity
In Jesus time, a feast would be announced and people invited days may be months before it would happen. There was no “save the date” thinking. When the feast was ready the invited would be expected to attend. Accepting an invitation and not showing up was a insult. In Luke 14:15-24 Jesus illustrates an opportunity, an opportunity rejected and an expanded opportunity.
AN OPPORTUNITY LUKE 14:15-17
Blessed is everyone who participates in the joy of the Messiah’s Feast. Jesus had previously in Luke 14:12-14 instructed folks not to invite those who could repay them for the fancy dinner. Invite those who have no ability to reciprocate. The reward for this kindness will come in eternity. You will be blessed for doing this! Broken understanding: One of those who heard this illustration speaks up. Yep, we are blessed aren’t we! Jesus then clarifies with another illustration. Big Dinner: Characters are Master which is God. Invited guests are the religious elites. Others are those who have no ability to repay, tax gathers, sinners, gentiles.
AN OPPORTUNITY REJECTED LUKE: 14:18-20
Business claimed the first invitees. Purchase of land meant this person was so immersed in the transaction of business he/she could not possibly attend. Brought new possession and that requires my full attention. No time for worship or prayer. Bride: Deut 24:5 “When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be charged with any business. He shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife he had taken.” Good things can crowd out the best things.
AN OPPORTUNITY EXPANDED LUKE 14:21-24
Go into the streets and lanes: These are the busy travel lanes. All kinds of people are on these paths of life. Go into the highways and hedges: Hedges were enclosed barriers. The Gentiles totally shutout of any contact with God. The international outside of the Jewish faith. Go compel does not mean to force by political or psychological tricks.
Brothers/sisters in Christ take the steps necessary to let people know God is inviting them into an eternal blessed relationship. Accept the invitation you have been given the invitation by the grace and mercy of God. The result of God’s love for you!
~ Pastor James
Taken from a sermon delivered on February 14:
LC 5 2021 Jesus Illustrating God’s Care
John 10:1-20, Psalm 23:1-3
The Pharisees were the New Testament versions of those Old Testament shepherds. Jesus now illustrates that He is the Good Shepherd who gathers, guards, guides and grants to each person a choice.
Good shepherd gathers His sheep. John 10:1-6 Two types of shepherds. The pretenders and the proper. Pretending shepherd: Self assigned who climb over and around the door. Pharisees sadly were self -seeking. Thief: appropriating that which is not theirs. Robbers: takes from others by violence. Proper shepherd: Jesus is recognized at the door. The gatekeeper knows and understands Jesus purpose. The proper shepherd calls the sheep by name and they hear and respond.
Good Shepherd guard His sheep. John 10:7-18 Jesus is the door. John 10:7-8 He opens the way to God. Hebrews 10:20 “new and living way”. Until Jesus came into this world people only knew God as a stranger and possibly enemy, but Jesus shows people who God really is. Jesus gives life. Not just existing but life that is exceptionally better! Jesus knows the sheep and desires a close bond. A relationship like He has with His Father. Jesus reaches out to “other” sheep. Jesus death and resurrection is wrapped in relationship Jesus had with the Father.
Good Shepherd guides His sheep. Psalm 23:1-3 Guides to places of individual comfort and provision for needs. Guides to places for individual renewal and restoration. Guides individuals in making godly decisions.
Good Shepherd grants to each a choice. John 10:19-20 The message to us is a dilemma. Jews chose Jesus claims were those of a madman or a demon. Jesus words aren’t the words of a madman. He speaks of God’s love. He seeks salvation for all. He changes lives. Jesus deeds are not those of a madman. Jesus makes the weak strong. The selfish become selfless. The defeated become victories. Worry is converted to wonder and the peace of God.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd who brought God physically into our world. Christians are commanded by Jesus to “go be witnesses” in the power of the Holy Spirit. All have friends and family we need to make that decision so tell them. Jesus gathers, guards, guides and grants us the opportunity to know Him.
~ Pastor James
Taken from a sermon delivered on February 7:
Sunday @ 11:00 am
Wednesday, March 18 – Until Further Notice
In an abundance of caution we will be cancelling Wednesday night Services until further notice.