Loving your Neighbor

We can see needs around us all the time. How often do we stop to help? There are lots of reason we might give for not helping, and some of them are probably good ones. But if we always pass by without helping, it may be evidence of a heart problem.

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Laboring in the Harvest

Our vision at Good Samaritan is to help people find God, love God, and share God. But how do we go about sharing God with others? In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus sends out 72 of his disciples into the towns where he himself was about to Go. As he sends them, he gives them some helpful advice which continues to be very applicable today as we share our faith with friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers.

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Preserving the Faith, Engaging the Mission

A lot has happened in the Anglican Communion over the past sixteen years. Structures are shifting, but the faith has not changed, God is still good, and his Kingdom is still expanding. When Elijah was at his darkest moment, God reminded him that he was not alone, and that there were still 7,000 people who had remained faithful. In our dark moments God continues to do the same, he reminds us that we are not alone and that there will always be a faithful remnant ready to continue the work of the mission of God.

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The Near and Distant God

The tension between God’s “closeness” and his “otherness,” his transcendence and his immanence, is part of what led to the doctrine of the Trinity in the early Church. As Christians we believe that God is one God in three Persons. It is hard to get our mind around how this could be, and yet, this is how God has revealed himself to us. It is Jesus, the second person of the Trinity and the “image of the invisible God” who reconnects us with our heavenly Father and makes the distant God near to us once more. For those of us who are “in Christ,” God now dwells within us in the person of the Holy Spirit!

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Scattered Lego Pieces (Pentecost)

Many of the stories in the Old Testament describe the fracturing and scattering of people, largely as a result of human sin. On the Day of Pentecost we see the opposite happening, God uniting people of many nations together through the preaching of the Gospel, and each hearing in his or her own language. God loves unity, it is a major piece of his plan for redemption. This unity is already beginning to happen through the sacrifice of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us.

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No War, no Pain, no Tears

Memorial Day is a time for us to remember those who have died while serving our country in the armed forces. It brings us face to face with the harsh reality of war and the struggle for power between nations. The Book of Revelation gives us hope by reminding us that war will not be a part of the new heaven and new earth, neither will there be any more pain, or suffering, or tears, for the former things will pass away.

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Love is…

There is something in us that loves weddings. It is beautiful to see a couple come together, pledging to love one another, through good times and bad times, until they are parted by death. Every human marriage points both backwards and forwards. Backwards to the one flesh union of our first parents, Adam and Eve. And forward to the marriage of the Lamb and his Bride in the book of Revelation. From this perfect, heavenly marriage we see a tangible example for us of what it means to love.

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The Way

The earliest name by which Christians were known was simply “The Way,” a reference to Jesus’ teaching about the way that leads to life vs. the way that leads to death. In the book of Acts we see Saul’s conversion: he leaves the way of death and destruction and embraces Jesus and the way of life. In this sermon you will hear about some of the key features of his conversion as well as learn how to participate in leading someone to the way of life.

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Doubt and Faith

The Greek word for “faith” (pisteuo, pistis) also means believe, trust, and obey. Sometimes we think of faith as an acknowledgement of a historical fact (like the Resurrection) but it has more to do with how you live your life trusting in that fact. What difference does your belief make in your life? What difference did it make in the lives of the Apostles?

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Easter: Dashed Hope Becomes Victory

We talk a lot, as Christians, about the cross and how Jesus died for our sins. This is entirely true, and we should talk about it! But Good Friday without Easter is meaningless. The Resurrection is God’s seal of approval of Jesus’ work on the cross. It is proof that Jesus’ death was not in vain. It was, in fact, a victory, not a failure! The resurrection is the means by which Jesus defeats death forever. There is no resurrection without the crucifixion, and the crucifixion is meaningless without the resurrection. The two go hand in hand. This is why Easter is the most important celebration of the Christian year! It is our defining moment. The event that changes everything and makes us who we are.

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