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A Tongue that Is Taught

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Click here to listen to this sermon. “The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary” (Isaiah 50:4). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Many philosophers have said many things about holding your tongue and watching what you say. Among my favorites is Thumper: “If you can’t say some’tin nice… don’t say nothin’ at all.” Then there’s: “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.” (Variously attributed to Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, and Samuel Johnson). And finally: “That mouth of yours is going to get you in big trouble some day!” (Spoken by countless mothers and fathers throughout history). Controlling the tongue is neither simple nor easy. It is not simply a peripheral issue on the edges of Christian life, but it is the key to controlling the whole self. Someone who is careful with their words and has learned to exercise self

Say to Those Who Have an Anxious Heart

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"Isaiah" by James Tissot Click here to listen to this sermon. “Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‘Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you’” (Isaiah 35:4). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Why would they have an anxious heart? To know that, we need to have a little context. In the previous chapter of Isaiah, God’s prophet calls the nations to come and listen to the announcement of God’s judgment. The reason for the announcement is clearly stated: “The Lord is enraged against all the nations, and furious against all their host; He has devoted them to destruction, has given them over for slaughter” (Isaiah 34:2). The picture is not pretty. It is a brutal and gory portrayal of judgment. Mounds of rotting bodies and a landscape soaked with the blood of God’s enemies. Isaiah announces God’s judgment, particularly focusing upon Edom. But note in these verses that

Lest You Forget God's Word

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  "Moses" by James Tissot Click here to listen to this sermon. "Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the just decrees that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you. . . . “Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon Him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and just decrees so righteous as all this law that I set before you today? “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have

This Is a Hard Saying

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Click here to listen to this sermon. When many of His disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying, who can listen to it?” But Jesus knowing in Himself that His disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?” (John 6:60-62). Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ! The Bible has two basic, primary doctrines—the teaching of the Law and the teaching of the Gospel. The Law is Lord God Almighty’s holy will. The Law demands what we do and not do, what we say and not say, and what we think and not think. The Law is directed to the activities of man. The Law always accuses our old sinful self. Even one violation of one commandment condemns to everlasting separation from God and Paradise, “for whoever keeps the whole Law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it” (James 2:10). Each of us has broken God’s Law. You know it. I

Sermon for the Funeral of Sandy Carstensen

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Click here to listen to this sermon. [Jesus said:] “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:1–6). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! The tension was thick that night. The mood was somber because death was near. Repeatedly and increasingly, over the weeks and months, the Lord had told them that He was going to Jerusalem to be crucified. Now the betrayal was underway and His alarming prophecy would come to pass in less than 24 hours. So, wha

It's Time to Reclaim the Rainbow

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Photo by Nancy Bones Click here to listen to this sermon. And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember My covenant that is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a Flood to destroy all flesh” (Genesis 9:12-15). Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Rainbows are part of the stories of many cultures around the world. Often, rainbows are portrayed as bridges between people and supernatural beings. Pet owners think of their furry friends crossing over the rainbow bridge at death. In Norse mythology, a burning rainbow called Bifrost connects Earth to Asgard, the realm of the gods. In the ancient beliefs of Japan