Sermons on God

Sermons on God

Jacob’s Ladder

Jesus Christ meets our most basic human needs. We need companionship (we don’t want to be alone), we crave security (we don’t want to feel vulnerable), and we want a home–somewhere to belong (we don’t want to be rootless). When God comes to Jacob, the patriarch is a fugitive who is alone and vulnerable. He’s been told by his parents to leave home–to leave the land of Canaan–and go about 450 miles to the northeast to find a wife. On…

It Cost Everything

This chapter is an odd and interesting conclusion to the book of Samuel. Chronologically, it almost certainly belongs to an earlier period in David’s life, so the author probably intended for it to be a kind of summary of David’s life. In a similar way to last week’s text (Psalm 51), David shows an attitude of remorse–probably the reason why God blessed him with a kingdom that would survive his death. But the focus here is on God, who does…

Have Mercy On Me, O God

Psalm 51 is one of the most famous of all the Psalms, perhaps because we’re drawn to the emotional rawness and vulnerability that it reflects. According to tradition, David wrote this psalm after Nathan had come to him and convicted him of the sins he had committed against Bathsheba and her husband, but especially against God. We’ll reflect Sunday morning on what this Psalm teaches us about the ugliness of sin and what it does to us. We’ll think about…

The Kindness and Severity of God

Is God kind or severe? Does he act out of love or justice? Is he patient or wrathful? Our congregational reading plan had us beginning with Deuteronomy on Thursday, and if we haven’t read the Old Testament in awhile, we’re probably a bit overwhelmed with how God presents himself to the Israelites. In fact, if I may say so, sometimes God seems a little harsh and demanding. We’re going to wrestle with this theme Sunday morning, considering how God is…

God’s Beautiful Story: Genesis 1-11

God’s beautiful story Act 1: God establishes his Kingdom: Creation Act 2: Rebellion in the Kingdom: Fall Act 3: The King chooses Israel: Redemption Initiated Interlude: A Kingdom Story Waiting for an Ending Act 4: The Coming of the King: Redemption Accomplished Act 5: Spreading the News of the King: The Mission of the Church Act 6: The Return of the King: Redemption Completed Key themes in Genesis 1-11 Yahweh creates by bringing order and beauty out of chaos and…

That Other Side of Jesus: He Talks About Fiery Furnaces

Three weeks ago I introduced a short sermon series (click here to view) about the importance of seeing Jesus as he is portrayed in the Bible, and not just in the way that makes us most comfortable. We all like to think about the Jesus who held babies and forgave sinners and ate dinner at tax collectors’ houses. We may not be as comfortable with “that other side of Jesus”: the one who turns over tables, talks about “weeping and…

Dead Bones that Live

Judah was in a truly desperate situation—exiled in Babylon with no hope of ever getting home (from a human perspective, at least). To illustrate their situation, God takes Ezekiel and by the Spirit puts him in a valley of dry bones. There was no sign of life in them, representing Judah’s hopeless existence. But then God breathed new life into them, and he told Ezekiel what this vision meant. God would breathe new life into his people and restore them…