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A Dogged Faith

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Click here to listen to this sermon. But she came and knelt before Him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And [Jesus] answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table” (Matthew 15:26-27). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! My one-year-old grandson, Boden, learned a new trick this week. When he’s full, he waits for their little dog, Poof, to come by. Then he reaches down from his high chair and hands Poof his leftovers and crumbs. Both of them seem quite happy with this arrangement. And let me tell you, when Poof has her teeth clamped on that scrap of food, you’re not going to get it away from her without a fight. The Canaanite woman was a lot like that little dog. When she got a hold of Jesus, she wasn’t going to let go until she got what she wanted—a few crumbs from the Master’s table. But Jesus wasn’t in a hurry to let her have them, eith…

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus!

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And Peter answered Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:28–31). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Lisa was a hospice nurse so she knew how fragile life can be. She had helped countless people go through the dying process with their spouse or parent or child. She’d been with many families as they went through the storms of illness and the loss of loved ones. But suddenly it hit much closer to home. It started when she fell and broke her own elbow. Ten days later her father fell and broke his neck. After 35 days in the intensive care unit, he went home to be with Jesus. A few wee…

More Than Enough

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Click here to listen to this sermon. “And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over” (Matthew 14:20). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Every time I hear the story of the feeding of the five thousand, I’m reminded of my Grandma Moeller. No matter what hour of the day or how many people showed up unexpectedly, she could feed them and take care of them. No one ever left her table hungry. Perhaps you had a mother or grandmother like that. In the days before microwaves and pre-packaged foods, Grandma was a wizard at improvising and stretching a meal. Although she never would have been mistaken as a gourmet chef, she could turn a small beef roast and a few potatoes into more than enough for twelve. A loaf of Old Home bread, a brick of cheese, and a quart of ice cream made the made the most delicious “lunch” when people came visiting at night. How she was able to do that, I don’t know. It’s probably …

Wheat or Weeds?

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“Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, ‘Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn’” (Matthew 13:30). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! A man and his wife had just moved from an apartment in a large city to a new home out in the country. It was springtime and he was eager to get outdoors and work in the large flower garden the former owners had made back of the house. But everything was pushing up at once—tulips, thistles, blades of grass, hyacinths, weeds, and dandelions! And then there were those curious, fuzzy leaves that were coming up all over the garden. The garden had to be weeded. But there was a hitch—which ones were the weeds? The obvious ones were no problem. But what about those with the fuzzy leaves? So he asked his neighbor. “Oh, they’re weeds!” the neighbor answered. His wife said, “No, I think they’re…

The Sower Still Sows

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“A sower went out to sow” (Matthew 13:3). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Leaving the house where He was staying in Capernaum, Jesus went out and sat by the lake. As large crowds gathered around Him, Jesus got into a boat and sat down to teach. With the rise of land on the west serving as a natural amphitheater, the people stood on the shore and listened as Jesus told a series of parables. Parables are stories of comparison, using something familiar in human experience to teach and to bring home a better understanding of the kingdom of God. The Greek word means literally “to throw alongside,” as in “throwing” a story of something well-known alongside a corresponding lesson with a deeper, hidden meaning. So, in more ways than one, “The Parable of the Sower” is a fitting example for Jesus to use to explain to His disciples how to understand parables. A sower sows his seed, and some falls upon the hardened pathway divi…

The War Being Waged Within

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Grace and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ! There’s a war being waged in our very midst, but not many people are aware of it or they’ll try to deny it. The tyrant who once ran roughshod has been defeated for some time now, but there are still pockets of resistance. A remnant faithful to the previous regime stubbornly holds on. Insurgents stream in, wreaking havoc. Oh, I’m not talking about Iraq or Bin-Laden or any part of the so-called war on terror. I’m speaking of a war much closer to home right now in our very midst. It’s the war being waged within each Christian every day of our life.   Many people think Christian faith is about having a good attitude. Just try hard enough to follow God’s law and you’ll be able to live a Christian life. Such people haven’t truly experienced Christian faith. They don’t know how it works. Yes, Satan, that old, tyrannical dictator has already been defeated and is now imprisoned, but he still …