Trusting Our Shepherd

We talked about the abundant life that Jesus offers us last week. Part of this abundance is the ability to live without anxiety when we trust in him. We can always trust Jesus to be our guide, our protector, our provider, and our salvation.

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Made One in Christ

Jesus the Christ is the way the truth and the life into the kingdom of God. He is our garment of salvation, His righteousness bestowed upon us; He is our hope and our fulfillment. In Him we are bound unto the intimate relationship with God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who loves us and calls us to Him in power. We are united to one another and become a member of His glory. Blessed are those invited to the wedding supper of the lamb

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Every Race and Nation

On the day of Pentecost, Jesus’ disciples were waiting in an upper room as Jesus had instructed them to do. Suddenly, the sound of a mighty rushing wind blew through the room and the Holy Spirit descended on each of the disciples in tongues of flame. Immediately they were able to preach the Gospel to people of every race and nation using languages they had never learned, and a fire for the mission of the church was lit that still burns today. And yet, there is still so much sin in the world, so much brokenness and hatred, so much division, so many who have yet to hear and respond to the Gospel. The Lord needs workers for his harvest. Where is the Holy Spirit sending you?

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The Comfort of the Good Shepherd

Today is Good Shepherd Sunday! When we think about shepherds, the image that comes to mind is one of guidance, provision, and protection. We can take deep comfort in knowing that Jesus, our Good Shepherd, is watching over us and protecting us. No real shepherd would lay down his life for sheep. He would do everything he could to protect them, but he wouldn’t actually lay down his life for them. Jesus goes above and beyond the call of duty. He is the perfect shepherd, far better than any human shepherd could be. He laid down his life for each one of us to rescue us.

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Exposed

It can be widely assumed that most everything we do online can be tracked. You will know this if you have ever searched for something in a search engine and then you begin to see advertisements for the same kinds of products. Companies can track your purchases, location, and your digital history if you let them. Some think that they will track you even if you don’t let them! If that feels creepy to you, you can take comfort in the fact that there are some things that cannot be tracked: like your thoughts. On the other hand, there is someone who can even track your thoughts: God.

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The Place Where God Dwells

For the sons of Korah, the authors of Psalm 84, there was no better place to be than the Temple. The temple was intended by God to be an earthly representation of God’s heavenly courts. A place where heaven and earth met. Even today, when we worship it gives us a foretaste of heaven. Today, we give God thanks for this house of worship as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the consecration of this building. Since that day there have been approximately 520 Sundays and probably at least 2000 opportunities for corporate worship! At the same time, we remember that the church is not a building, it is people!

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Count Your Blessings

Our contemporary celebration of Thanksgiving arises from a European tradition with deep Christian roots, recognizing the blessings and provision of Almighty God either at harvest time or after deliverance from significant trouble. And yet, we forget this sometimes. We forget that God is the one who provides, and we take that burden upon ourselves. We strive after the things of this world, searching for happiness, searching for meaning, searching for peace. Jesus’ words remind us to set our anxieties aside. He tells us that when we focus on the things of this world, we will find anxiety. But, when we focus on God and his Kingdom instead, everything else falls into its own right place.

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The Crucified King

As Americans, we don’t have much of an appreciation for the role of a King. In fact, you might say that the roots of our nations are decidedly anti-king. Our constitution was set up with a system of checks and balances to make sure that no one person could hold all the power at one time. We have a right to be afraid of earthly kings, but Jesus is a king that will never fail us. His rule is just and perfect, he always has our best interests and the best interests of his kingdom in mind. And one day he will make right all that is broken in this world.

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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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