Sermons by John Shields
Have you ever wondered why so many things in this life are relentlessly so difficult, so painful, and so frustrating? Why are so many things so far from what they should be? The Bible provides an answer for all of us that can bring perspective, endurance, and hope in God’s beautiful solution to the world’s greatest problem.
What is the purpose of the Sabbath? In Luke 13-14, Jesus confronts the Pharisees’ answer to this question and will similarly challenge our preconceived notions about how God goes about his work and what his kingdom work looks like in this world.
In this week’s passage we see Jesus continuing to reveal his power over his spiritual enemies and bringing restoration to a world that is broken and bruised by sin and death — and he does so in dramatic fashion, feeding thousands of people with a mere five loaves and two fish. If we look closely, we will see a calling to Christ’s disciples that echoes forward to us today.
When we think of judgment, we may think of criminals receiving judgement for crimes or we may think of others unfairly judging us for our choices, but what if we were to be immediately and fairly judged for our actions toward God and others? What sort of judgement would we receive? The prophet Joel warns of a Day of the Lord, a day of judgement coming for all, and Joel helps us understand how we should ready ourselves and others for this coming day.
I. Introduction Today we are going to continue our mini-series on stewardship. We’re going to explore something that everyone in this room participates in, and will participate in — something that is so foundational to our existence that you literally can’t get out of bed without it. You can’t consume food or take a breath without it. It’s something that can be incredibly fun at times and incredibly frustrating at other times. It can result in far-away adventures filled with…
In this week’s passage, the Holy Spirit sends Paul and Barnabas out as missionaries to travel hundreds of miles, preaching the gospel to new regions. This pair of traveling evangelists will sail the seas, move past mountains, and survey new cities as they encounter a magician, government officials, religious leaders, and much more. But will the gospel be accepted or rejected? What unforeseen dangers await?
When life doesn’t go the way we expect, we are often filled with doubt, discouragement, and distraction, and we can feel stuck. What is the antidote? How do we stand firm in what we know to be true? Paul addresses this question in his letter to the Thessalonians, and we’ll explore his answer together.
Our expectations shape our experiences, steer our emotions, and mold our hopes and dreams. But how can we keep our expectations rooted in what is real? This week, we’ll look at a true, hope-filled expectation that we can cling to on our darkest day, as we sing through a beautiful Advent hymn: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.
The Myths: Myth 1: The Bible doesn’t say much about what we are supposed to do on Sunday AM. We can pretty much just make stuff up. Truth: The bible gives us much clear instruction on our gatherings Myth 2: Sunday AM is a good, but optional part of the Christian life. Truth: Sunday AM is a vital, commanded part of the Christian life Acts 2:42-46 – Devotion to “the fellowship”, all things in common Hebrews 10:24 – “Don’t neglect…