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Showing posts from July, 2014

God Blesses Us with/in/by/through Families

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To listen to this sermon click here.
or here.
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! The church was packed for the funeral of a lady in her upper eighties. She and her late husband had had five children, and here they were, along with a whole bunch of grandchildren and even more great-grandchildren. Add in the spouses of the various generations, plus nieces and nephews and their children, and the church was pretty much filled with family, all coming before God to thank Him for this woman’s life and to commend her back to Him. But what if this woman had not happened to meet her husband way back in the 1940s? What if they had not gotten married? Half of the people in the church, from the middle-aged grandparents to the little kids squirming in the pews, would not exist. The union of that man and woman had consequences they could never have …

Jesus, Our True Peace and Sabbath Rest

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To listen to this sermon click here.
Or here.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work,but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20:8-11). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! It was New Year’s Eve 1995. We had just moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana so I could begin my studies to enter the seminary. While Aimee and I were shopping for groceries, I suggested we choose a bottle of wine to celebrate her birthday the next day. We picked out a bottle that looked like it might fit our (at least at that point) totally unrefined tastes and limited budget an…

Honor God's Name

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Click here to listen to this sermon.
Or try this one!
“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name” (Exodus 20:7).
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
“What is God’s name?” she asked. Not sure I had heard right, I asked her to repeat herself. “Can you tell me what God’s name is?” she asked again.
How do you answer a question like that? I was a first-year seminarian, about to lead my first chapel service in a Fort Wayne nursing home. The woman who asked the question exhibited a number of the characteristics associated with the mid- to later- stages of dementia. You learn a lot at the seminary, but there aren’t any courses that specifically deal with this sort of situation.
I first thought of the old joke: “What is God’s name?” Answer: “Andy.” You know, as in the gospel song, “In the Garden”… “Andy walks with me. Andy talks with me. Andy tells me I am his own.”
But something, or perhap…

The Jealous, Steadfast Loving God (Commandment 1a/2)

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Click here to listen to this sermon.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love Me and keep My commandments” (Exodus 20:4-6).
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image.” Is this the Second Commandment or part of the First? Well, that depends. It has been a matter of dispute over the centuries. Martin Luther accepted the Roman Catholic numbering of his day and included this prohibition of carved idols with the First Commandment from the previous verse: “You shall have no other gods” in his catechism. The earliest Hebrew traditi…