Category Archives: Sermon Tidbits
From the preaching of the text in Revelation 19, verses 17 – 21:
The graciousness of God’s love, even in merely not casting us away into darkness immediately, only becomes amazing in front of a canvas of understood evil. His purposed affections towards mankind are made ever beautiful only when displayed before a backdrop of hopelessness… before a canvas of coming wrath and right judgment.
The Babylonian mural galleries, where snapshots and paintings dishonor the imago dei, capture and promote our vanity, rebellion and utter helplessness. This exhibit provides a vivid outline of worldliness for the light of grace to reveal. Without the contrasting balance of shade and tone and scaled character, God’s love becomes mere duty and the gospel’s radiant purity and shalom becomes simply another option on a religious Ferris wheel; carrying off visitors in pretty circles and lights.
However, the cross of Christ envelopes the darkness and destroys death and hopelessness for it is the Father’s decreed desire to save His people for His own glory and pleasure.
It is the truth of this display of judgment, the truth of this carnage, the truth of this destruction, the truth of righteous repayment; the truth of awaiting birds of prey… it is the truth of a real hell and just punishment that should reinforce for us the need to speak the Words of Life to all men from every nation, tribe and tongue…to speak them loudly and to speak them well, to speak them often, to tell the world of its fate, to call all men to repentance and pray that the Spirit opens their blind eyes.
Hear the full sermon here. Click this.
Everyone is into comparisons. We constantly compare ourselves to this person or that person. We evaluate our progress and see who is further along than we are presently in this virtue or that situation. However, we are never called to compare ourselves to each other. Our comparison as believers is vertical.
Horizontal comparisons are easy and mostly useless for we are not in a spiritual race with each other; we run our race alone. At the throne of the consummated end, we are not going to bring our pastors with us before the LORD, nor will we have our mothers, fathers, bankers, brothers, sisters, gurus or any one else for that matter with us. That final evaluation will happen alone. Utterly alone.
This sermon discusses part of this phenomena whereby we look towards other people as example or duty-fillers or excuses only to find out that they don’t really exist.
God has set His judgments in motion as famine and pestilence and out-of-control economies pulse and swirl and undulate throughout the interadvental age. The four horsemen ride daily until the culmination of all things reminding us that Judgment comes like the unexpected thief in the darkness, but Christ is still triumphant.
The Lamb who was slain is victorious over His enemies and nothing, nothing can overcome His people.
When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also. – Revelation 6:9-11
Patience is the response given to the martyrs’ questioning as they see more death and persecution from their heavenly perspective. When the full number of slaughtered saints has come, Christ will descend and claim His own.
Hear the full message here – The Cry of the Martyrs
And explore this website when you can – The Voice of the Martyrs
So what is the joy of Christmas? Well, it isn’t a warm cup of egg nog lightly spiked with bourbon and glee, though that’s certainly a nice treat. It’s not receiving various gifts under an evergreen surrounded by loved ones while Anne Murray carols spin on your retro-turntable. And it is isn’t a jolly-holly anything from anywhere sitting in his non-existent fantasy throne.
The joy of Christmas is the recognition of the historical moment that Micah prophesied about, when God became flesh and the incarnate deity dwelt among men.
It is the recognition and celebration of the truth that Christ was born in Bethlehem so that we would escape death and condemnation and live forever.
It is the relishing in our submission of faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior; that His righteousness is now mine.
It is the enjoyment of a peace that surpasses all understanding for we deserve nothing from Him, but He is willing to give us the Kingdom.
It is a reminder that we should have this joy all year long and not just when it is commercially and culturally acceptable.
There is no other joy more grand and there is no other peace more precious.
There is no other love more secure. There is no other gift worth giving.
May this gift be yours today.
Listen to “This One who will be our Peace – Micah 5:2-5a” here.
“…the essence of faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen. Our walk of faith is blind since it is not of sight yet we are not dumb… for to trust in the perfection of God’s promises is as sure as it gets in this life or the next.
Our weaknesses of faith expose our frailties and remind us of our utter need for encouragement, strengthening and continued grace.
Once again James is calling us to walk by faith. He is reminding us that if we claim Christ, we must show the fruit of righteousness in how we live by sowing peace lest our profession of faith be like a miner’s loot before a gold rush committee where our baskets come up short… where we find only fool’s gold rather than the pureness of Christ’s glory.
It is at this checkpoint that James’ pen cuts through the rhetoric and ritual panting and confronts us face to face at where we live and sometimes hibernate. He speaks about commitment to fidelity before God for the natural outpouring of our new hearts should show us to be enemies with the world… not with God!
Our enemy is clearly marked. Our battle is a fight against our own weak flesh and even though they know their doom is sure, with the constant presence of the rulers and authorities and powers of this dark place, the spiritual forces of wickedness …
Their thinking and propagandized pseudo-wisdom has no place in our thoughts or manner of life since the world’s system has an allegiance to its own father who is not in heaven, but who is rather the devil himself. As Manton tells us, “When you begin to please the world you wage war against heaven, and bid open defiance to the Lord of Hosts.”
What is interesting is that when we fix worldly ends in our sights, we will put up with hard work but are impatient with hindrances and disappointments and quickly become weary with God.
However… what we should be doing is fixing Godly purposes in our sights… and when we do, we will find ourselves being impatient with hindrances and disappointments and becoming weary with the world instead.”
From “Worldly Friendship and the Groove of Humility”, part of a sermon series on the book of James.