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After Pentecost Services
We celebrate with our youth as graduations bring the closing of some and the opening of new chapters in their lives. The writer of the book of Hebrews points to the faith of Moses, reminding us that his great deeds were possible because he first saw the “invisible” God. Picking off this thought I will argue that Moses not only saw God in the burning bush but also in the faith of his mother and in the faith of his people who persevered despite their bondage. We celebrate the faith that our graduates have found through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and through the faith of the adults, teachers, and mentors that they have seen here at Cross Keys. We pray that God will use their faith God to bless others as they carry the hope of Jesus into the new chapters that await them.
After Pentecost Services
In this message I will address relational concerns to husbands that will also apply to fathers, mothers, grandparents, singles, and those contemplating marriage. When God looks at us through Jesus Christ, God sees us a righteous, holy and beautiful. The world is all about telling us about our faults but God’s love covered our sins on the cross and he continues to love us and to pull us forward despite our sins. One of the greatest gifts a husband can give to his wife is to use the power of love to affirm her and to bring healing to her deepest wounds and hurts. Jesus’ model of love is very different from the criticism, avoidance, put downs and unhealthy completion that we see in unhealthy and worldly marriages. This message will be a call not only for husbands to view their wives as Jesus does, but also a call for the entire body of Christ to see and to treat those who are around us with the perspective of Jesus looking down from the cross.
Trinity Sunday
We live in a fallen world and even followers of Jesus wade through the turbulent waters of personal pain and suffering. The question I will raise is how can we as Christians persevere through times of pain and even find victory through them. God’s answer is in Jesus who is our model and our hope. Jesus came into the world, he became like us and he experienced our pain first hand. On the cross Jesus won the victory over sin, suffering and death. The picture that John shows us in Revelation chapter 7 is of the jubilant saints whom have come out of the great tribulation only to become the full recipients of the indescribable joys of heaven. As we expectantly wait for that day, our strength is found in our eternal perspective, our trust in God and in our willingness to step into the suffering of others with empathy and hope.
Pentecost
A central theme of the book of Acts relates to the power and work of the Holy Spirit through the apostles and in the life of the early church. In chapter 21 we are transported to a powerful and emotional scene as Paul and the elders of Ephesus prayed, wept and embraced prior to his departure for the volatile and hostile city of Jerusalem. This portion of Acts shows us the essence of the early and why its members transformed the ancient world. In particular, Paul charges the elders to keep watch over themselves and the flock and he commends them to the care of God and His Word. As we receive new members at Cross, may Paul’s words point us to our true source of strength and remind us of the true purpose of the church. Scripture Reading: Acts 20:28-38 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.
After Easter Services
In our human pride, it can be difficult to admit to ourselves and to apologize to someone when we have wronged that person. Yet, spiritual growth involves the difficult work of recognizing when we have fallen short, admitting the same before God, and then genuinely apologizing. In this message I will use the church’s apology to Galileo, albeit 350 years late, as a humorous way to look at our own reluctance to confess in light of God’s call to humble ourselves.
After Easter Services
The tragic bombing of two Christian churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday is a powerful reminder of our own vulnerability in the face of evil. In just a twinkling of an eye our sense of wellbeing can turn into fear and uncertainty by events beyond our control. In this message I will point out that, there are times in life when we will not be safe. In such times we will find strength knowing that Christ has already defeated sin and death. In the midst of our most difficult times our greatest challenge and our most profound witness will be to show the love of Christ and to give praise to God.
After Easter Services
Job interviews can be intimidating. One of the most feared questions is, what is your greatest weakness? We dread this question because an honest answer is likely to torpedo any hopes of getting the job. Weaknesses don't play well in our world. To succeed, it's important to appear strong, capable and in control. While we might impress the world with a clever answer that serve to hide our weaknesses, God isn't so easily fooled. The good news is that God has already provided the remedy to our biggest weakness when Jesus went to the cross to pay the price for our sin. When we draw our last breath and go to our final interview, God won’t be impressed with clever answers. Whether or not we get the “job” will instead depend on whether we humbled ourselves and accepted the gift of salvation and lived it out in faith and obedience.
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