Sermons on God

The Cities We Build

In our text the people decided to build a city and a tower, but that wasn’t the problem. There’s nothing wrong with building, per se . . . the problems come from the reasons we build. The end of chapter 10 tells us that the “nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood,” but then immediately we’re told that the people decided to settle down in one place. It seems they wanted to maintain linguistic, cultural, and ethnic homogeneity…

God’s Bow in the Clouds

What kind of deity is Yahweh? In so many ways, that’s the question of the early chapters of Genesis. Is he angry? Is he harsh? Is he implacable? Does he care about his creation? It comes to a head in the Flood story of Genesis 6-9, and it’s interesting to compare the biblical account to other ancient near Eastern flood narratives. One of the most interesting is found in the Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic Mesopotamian poem that predates the…

What a Messed-Up Marriage Teaches Us About God’s Love for Us

You may know the story of Hosea and Gomer, but if not, it’s ugly. So ugly. God commands his prophet Hosea to marry Gomer, a woman who’s going to break his heart. And she starts cheating not long after the wedding. It was so bad that Hosea named their third child, “Not Mine.” But tomorrow we’ll focus on the beautiful part of the story . . . sacrifice and reconciliation. Gomer had chased after various lovers, and for some reason…

I AM

After finishing a practical series last week on how to cultivate discipleship in our day-to-day life, I plan to change the emphasis for tomorrow’s message. At the root of Christianity is the identity of Jesus. If we get that right, it changes everything. If we get it wrong, nothing else matters. Though C.S. Lewis didn’t invent the following argument, he perhaps presented it in its most memorable form. Here’s the famous paragraph from Mere Christianity, part of which I plan…

I Will Follow You

It almost sounds like Jesus is trying to discourage people from following him, doesn’t it? And yet, of course, we know that he came to invite everyone to follow him, so we know he doesn’t want to turn anyone away. So what’s going on? There’s a theme in Luke’s gospel that comes into play here, I think. The paragraph we’re studying tomorrow is at the beginning of a part of Luke that is often called The Travel Narrative or The…

When They Ask About Your Hope

When the world gets darker, light is more easily seen. In our text for tomorrow, Peter seems to assume this: people who don’t follow Christ will become curious about the source of our hope, and they will occasionally ask where it comes from. “I’ve noticed something different about you . . . you don’t seem to be affected by life’s difficulties as the rest of us are. How do you do that?” “How do you avoid getting caught up in…

The Renewal of the Holy Spirit

The theme for 2021 is “RENEW,” and we’ve been exploring some aspect of that theme on the first Sunday morning of each month. Tomorrow we’ll focus on Paul’s words to the young church planter, Titus, who was in a difficult environment on the island of Crete. Paul uses a quite powerful word in verse 5 when he writes that salvation comes about by the “washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” The Greek word behind “regeneration” quite literally…