Spiritual Preparation for Hurricanes

If you have lived in Florida for any amount of time, you know a thing or two about how to prepare for hurricanes. You buy batteries, water, and food; and you put down sandbags and put away the loose objects in your yard. But have you ever considered what is involved in spiritually preparing for a hurricane, or any other storm of life for that matter? This sermon explores some key ways we can get ready when we know a storm is coming.

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Patriotism, Nationalism, and the Kingdom of God

Two similar and yet increasingly different words have been frequently used in talking about United States politics in recent years: patriotism and nationalism. Both words talk of love and affection for one’s country, but nationalism has come to mean exalting your country (or your agenda) above all other countries (or agendas) with no regard for the needs of the other. The truth is, as Christians, we must love the Kingdom of God, which transcends all races and national boundaries, more than the nations of this world, even as we seek the welfare of the nation where we have been planted.

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Twelve Stones of Remembrance

God held back the water of the river Jordan so that the people of Israel could cross on dry ground as they made their way into the land of Canaan. As they crossed, God instructed them to pick up twelve large stones from the river bed, and Joshua arranged them in a pile on the other side. These stones were to remain there as a testimony, a reminder of the faithfulness of God and a mechanism for passing the faith down to through the generations. When we look back on the stories of God’s faithfulness, both in our own lives, and in the history of God’s people, it helps us to face the obstacles that are yet to come.

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Waiting on God’s Promises

How are we to know that God’s promises will come true? This was a question Abraham asked of God, and it is a common question today. Abraham looked to the past faithfulness of God and the covenant that God made with him. We can look to these same things, and when we do, it will help us to wait patiently.

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The Reset Button

If you know anything about computers, you will know that they break. Often the fix is simply to push the reset button. Our lives are similar in that they quickly become corrupted by sin. Thankfully we have a God who is loving and merciful. When we come to him in repentance, he pushes the reset button and restores us.

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Poetic Truth

Poetry can be beautiful and it can express truth in ways that prose can’t, but it can also be cryptic! The prologue of the Gospel of John is much like poetry, it is beautiful, and it can be hard to understand at first, but it contains some important truth about who God is and who we are, along with a surprise that is almost too good to be true (but it is true!).

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The Light Shining in the Darkness

We depend on light for so many things. It helps us see what we are doing, and the sun is important for our emotional health. Darkness, on the other hand, is often associated with evil. It is not surprising, then, that God uses the image of light shining in the darkness to talk about the coming incarnation of his Son, Jesus Christ.

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Humbly Glorify the Lord

Shortly after receiving the news that she would be the bearer of the Son of God, the Virgin Mary goes to visit her relative Elizabeth. Elizabeth, who had long been unable to have a child and was now pregnant, could easily have been jealous of Mary. Mary could have slipped into pride over the role she was to play. These are now, however, the paths that they choose. Instead they are each content and joyful, humbly glorifying the Lord.

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Freedom for the Captives

What is it like to be released from captivity? This was something that the people of God experienced on a number of occasions in the Old Testament. Psalm 126 reminds us of the ways God has brought freedom in the past, and it gives the encouragement that the God who has always acted in the past will continue to act in the future. Are you experiencing captivity, in some form, right now? This Psalm will bring you hope.

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