This Sunday, Lord willing, I hope to start a week by week journey through John’s Letters.
Yesterday morning at Crestview, I continued my series on “Body Builders” by examining the concept of Valuing Life from Proverbs 24:10-12. I tried to show some incentives from God’s Word about why we should value life. If we live to value life, it may be costly, it is our calling and excuses are not an option. My sermon went with the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. This is a day when churches are encouraged to fight against the atrocities of legalized abortion in America. I’m hoping my sermon in this regard helped foster an atmosphere of grace in thinking about this issue for people.
Hope you had a great Lord’s Day as well.
My sermon from 2/19/12AM was entitled Be Warned from Hebrews 10:26-31. The sermon sought to unpack the warning we have in this heavy part of Scripture. Simply put, God seeks to inspire our perseverance in the Gospel by warning us of the consequences that will be ours if we abandon the Gospel. It was full of rich application and awesome insight. I hope you’re helped by it, too.
My sermon for Mike Vernon and Renee Swisher’s wedding is quoted below. I was “inspired” so to speak by reading Peter Leithart’s A Great Mystery: Fourteen Wedding Sermonswhich had a chapter on marriage being death. Here’s what I will say tonight:
Just one month ago, Time Magazine’s cover asked the question “Who Needs Marriage?” What the article in that cover story went on to show was that many in our nation and culture view marriage as an optional thing. The author, Belinda Luscombe argues that marriage is “in purely practical terms just not as necessary as it used to be,” she has a rationale to back up her argument. “Neither men nor women need to be married to have sex or companionship or professional success or respect or even children.” This is the prevailing opinion of our culture. Marriage is dying.
But, we read in God’s Word that marriage isn’t an optional thing or just an afterthought but at the core of God’s plan for our lives (Read Genesis 2:18-25)
It wasn’t good that man and woman be alone, so God created the institution of marriage. God set this apart to be the foundation of our lives and society.
And tonight, I want you to remember that to have a successful marriage you must remember that marriage is dying. No, don’t just look to culture and what it says. Look to God. Notice that God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam and from him created marriage. In other words, for marriage to thrive, you both must die to yourselves and to all the selfish things you would live for. God has told us that our lives are to be governed by 2 realities: loving God and loving others. So, die to yourselves and love God. As God is the priority of your life, loving Renee, Mike and loving Mike, Renee, will inevitably follow.
We know this is the standard because this love is found in God Himself. God didn’t choose selfishness in showing His love for us, but while we were still sinners Christ died for us. And Christ gave Himself for us rather than choosing His own way or the path that was most convenient. For Him to love His people, dying had to occur. Today, Mike & Renee, remember that marriage is dying, and see if you don’t look like your Lord and Savior. May God allow you to live this way.
This Sunday, Lord willing, in the AM service, we will be looking at Mark 13:5-23 and the incredible way that Jesus prepares His followers for the future. There is much here for us. What strikes me, though, is the way we as humans are so consumed with the here and now that we don’t focus on what’s to come. This might be a subtle self-centeredness. It is because I am so confident in my abilities and ability to live life that I forget that life is a vapor and I need to be oriented to the greater future I will live after this life into all of eternity. May God grant us grace to have an eternal perspective through His Word.