Sermon Outline October 7, 2018

WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE?

 

Text:  Job  1:1; 1:1-10  There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job.  He was blameless and upright, one who served God and turned away from evil. 

Job said, “Should we receive good at the hand of God and not receive the bad?”

 

I.  Job is rich and famous—he has it all.   WHY?

     A.  St. Augustine distinguished two kinds of love:

          1.  Uti:  love of use

          2.  Frui:  love for what it is; not what it does

     B.  Augustine says we often love God with uti love

     C.  Westminster Catechism: question one

 

II.   Shouldn’t God keep us safe, fed, and happy?

     A.  Why do bad things happen to good people? 

     B.  Suffering is NOT God’s will

     C.  In Job, the devil did NOT do it!

     D:  To get our attention?  An obscene suggestion

     E.  Human fallibility—poor choices in free will—is real

 

III.  There is no good explanation for suffering

     A.  Amy Tan’s “The Kitchen God’s Wife”

     B.  Neat, tidy platitudes are transparently false

     C.  Starting point:  God is LOVE, runs the risk for love

     D.  Jesus didn’t ask why—he was outraged at it; resisted it

     E.  Jesus is always with us; God’s presence never leaves us

 

IV.  Did Job; do we serve God for nothing?

     A.  We serve God because God loves us and is with us

     B.  We might not have all the answers, but we have God

     C.  “Some become strong in the broken places”

     D.  We need to stand with those who suffer…

     E.  And discover God is in our midst too!

Sermon Outline September 30, 2018

WHY  CAN’T  WE  JUST  GET  ALONG??? 

Text:   Mark 9:38-50   

John said, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to stop him because he was not one of us.” 

Jesus said,  “Do not stop him; for whoever is not against us is for us.”

 I.  Estimate:  33,000 Christian denominations in the world!

     A.  Jesus is teaching in Capernaum

     B.  John says, “Stop the man who is healing….”

     C.  Jesus says, “Whoever is not against us is for us”

     D.  We tend to think anyone not for us is against us

     E.  Is that why we can’t get along with each other? 

 II.  We have trouble getting along with each other

     A.  Proposal:  Christians should not kill other Christians”
     B.  So is it okay to kill non-Christians?  Not by Jesus!

     C.  We live in a PRE-Christian society—not post Christian!

     D.  We have never lived out “Love your neighbor/enemy” 

III.  God’s dream is for the WHOLE WORLD to get along

     A.  Jonah in Nineveh (‘enemy’ territory!)

     B.  God loves all people; He calls us to love all as well

     C.  We need to start loving family, neighbors

 IV.  There will be no peace in the world till it’s in our hearts

     A.  I John 4:8  “Perfect love casts out fear”

     B.  We need to fill our hearts with love…not fear

     C.  When we insult God’s children, we insult God!

Sermon Outline September 23, 2018

THERE WAS NO PHANATIC IN CAPERNAUM 

Text:  Mark 9:30-37  Then Jesus took a little child in his arms and said,

“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me; and

whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.”   

I.  Chapter Nine of Mark begins with the Transfiguration

     A.  Peter, James, and John must have felt special to be there

     B.  The disciples began to argue:  “Who is greatest?”

     C.  Jesus had told them often:  “Be last; be servant; lose life”

     D.  They didn’t get it:  so He took a child

     E.  Jesus wanted them AND US to see the often-overlooked child

 

II.  We say we value children….

     A.  We sometimes complain of their noise in church

     B.  We approve budgets that cut services for health, food, education

     C.  We watch children caught in terror/starvation on tv, and do little

 

III.  Was Jesus a hopeless romantic—or a hopeful fanatic (NOT Phanatic!)

     A.  Jesus calls us to see those unseen and undervalued

     B.  Jesus touched those he wasn’t supposed to touch

     C.  Jesus calls to love everyone—especially children

     D.  Not just our own children and grandchildren, but every child

     E.  No matter how low we need to bend down to see the child

     F.  We too are called to be hopeful fanatics!!

Sermon Outline September 16, 2018

WISDOM CRIES

 

Text:  Proverbs 1:20-33  Wisdom shouts in the streets wherever crowds gather. 

She shouts in the marketplaces and near the city gates.” 

 

I.  There are voices all around  us—some loud, some in our heads

     A.  Some try to sell us stuff—

     B.  Marketplaces tell us we desperately need everything

     C.  It helps to have someone guide us through unknown vendors

 

II.  Book of Proverbs—genre of wisdom literature  (Job, Ecclesiastes)

     A.  Cultural leaders:  prophets, priests, wise men

     B.  Wise men aimed to teach what the good life was

     C.  Today’s section of Proverbs:  “Wisdom proclaims a warning”

     D.  Verse 22:  three types of fools

     E.   Verse 23:  “Pay attention—I will help you understand!”

 

III.  Alas….many of us do not turn to Wisdom/God—that’s foolish

     A.  She tells us life is easier and better when we listen!

     B.  And so we ask:  DO we listen?   Then we ask:  To WHOM?

     C.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell if we listen to God….

 

IV.  Listening:  spending quiet time…..then with Bible and prayer

     A.  It takes a conscious effort—but it is well worth it!

     B.  Try SPACE FOR GOD—starts September 30

     C.  When we have a familiar helper, life is easier to navigate

     D.  God loves us enough to send Wisdom to be that helper!!

Sermon Outline July 2, 2017

Text:  Genesis 22 -- Abraham said, "God Himself will provide....."

I.  If I'd edited the Bible, this story would be missing

  1. Take your son and sacrifice him....
  2. What kind of God is this?
  3. It's only 22 chapters in, why keep reading?

II.  Story of father and son separated in a tornado

  1. Tragedy can have a happy ending
  2. Out text from Genesis -- story of Abraham and Isaac
  3. If only the story just ended at chapter 21....

III.  Not a bedtime story for kids - OR ADULTS!

  1. Is it the story of Abraham gone bad?
  2. Does it tell us how bad ancient cultures were>
  3. Is it relevant today?  YES
  4. We still sacrifice children on altars of sex, war, race, ....
  5. We MUST do better with our children

IV:  Question:  What kind of God is this?

  1. Real meaning in this:  Abraham's response/faith
  2. Abraham trusts that God will and God does
  3. We are not so quick to say "God will provide"

V.  Jewish theologian Eliezer Berkovita studies

  1. Why did Jews remain faithful in the Holocaust?
  2. The same reason Abraham did
  3. There is no life without God -- we must trust God

VI.  Faith is about trust and love

  1. Sometimes our relationship hurts/bewilders
  2. Margaret Adams Parker's woodcut
  3. Radical trust and the love that will not let us go
  4. Relationship with God is not for the risk-averse

 

Sermon Outline June 18, 2017

LOL

Text:  Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7Sarah said, “God has made me laugh!”

Matthew 9:35-10:23Jesus sent out the twelve apostles, saying,

“Take nothing with you.”

I.     Having a baby late in life is often no laughing matter!

A.      Bob and Sally

B.      Abraham and Sarah

           1.      First Sarah laughed from disbelief

2.      The second laugh was from joy

II.                   How many times have you scoffed at the possibilities?

A.      In tough times in our own lives

B.      It applies to the world too!

III.                 But sometimes our heart’s desires are NOT realized

A.      What do we do then as individuals?

B.      And as nations?

C.      Can we trust God with our lives/futures?

IV.                 InMatthew, Jesus sends them out with nothing

A.      We might be filled with fear; hopelessness

B.      Learning “how not to be afraid”

C.      The secret is realizing how much God loves us

V.                   We are LOVED by God—that gives us everything!

A.      Our wants and futures are in God’s hands

B.      God knows our wants….and what’s best!

Sermon Outline June 11, 2017

STAYING THIRSTY…

 

Text:  John 7:37-39Jesus cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me.

Out of the believers’ hearts shall flow rivers of living water.” 

 

I.    H20 of all types    

II.   We love to celebrate holidays

             A.  The great Jewish feasts:  Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles

             B.  Reminder of 40 years in wilderness—when God provided

             C.  God’s people did not die of thirst; God gives rain

              D.  At the feast’s climax, Jesus shouted, “Let the thirsty come….”

 

III.  Life flows fromJesus—He satisfies our thirst

     A.  Do our lives reflect that we are followers of Jesus?

     B.  Are we more concerned with worldly interests?

 

IV.  The River of life flows through every Christian!

     A.  Living as followers brings us joy and peace

     B.  We feel good when we serve!

     C.  Go get someone wet!!!

 

V.  Here’s the catch—we have to want the water!

     A.  Have you ever been desperately thirsty?

     B.  Thirst is a powerful spiritual symbol

     C.  Psalm 42: “My soul thirsts for the living God”

     D.  We need to desire God as much as breath

 

VI.  No close relationship with God without thirst for God

     A.  God leads us to water, but does not make us drink

     B.  We choose to drink living water

     C.  If we are spiritually dry, unsatisfied—DRINK!!

     D.  And Jesus will fill us to overflowing