Posts in the "Holidays" Category

Gifts for Father’s Day

Sunday Sermon Holidays


The Bible says you should give your father two things:


  1. Give your father obedience (Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20 Romans 1:28-30; 2 Timothy 3:1-4). … Children should show obedience to their parents with the exception being when a higher authority  (such as God's law) contradicts them. The New Testament lists disobeying parents with other sins that may seem more serious than it, but apparently it is a serious sin. 

  2. Give your father honor (Ephesians 6:2-3 Mark 7:9-13). … We all know this commandment. We are to show respect to our parents even if they are bad parents. This is also the first commandment with a promise that tells us if we honor our parents, all other things being equal, we will have long lives. Apparently there was a loophole people would use and the religious leaders allowed that let the people neglect their responsibility to care for their parents. Jesus spoke out against this and reaffirmed the importance of honoring our parents. 


The Bible says fathers should give their children four things:

  1. Give your children your presence (Proverbs 27:8). … One of the biggest factors for how children grow up is the presence of a father. Children who grow up without a father are more likely to turn to crime, commit suicide, and get pregnant as a teen. The presence of a father has a large impact on children. Separating doesn't help a marriage. Separating doesn't help the children. 

  2. Give your children boundaries (Genesis 2:16-17; Proverbs 29:17). … Boundaries are good. They allow for just discipline and show children right from wrong. Our Heavenly Father has set boundaries for us, so our earthly fathers should too. 

  3. Give your children warmth (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21). … Boundaries are important, but they need to be balanced with warmth. It's important to not always be harsh and cold. Sometimes a father needs to show his love to his children. Laugh with them. Hug them. 

  4. Give your children Jesus (Ephesians 6:4). … Without Jesus, all the other gifts that fathers give their children are like dust in the wind. Children need physical food, but they also need spiritual food and the father is tasked with providing both. If you aren't much of a talker, then lead by example. Go to church, volunteer, read your Bible, pray. And do it all where your children can see and learn. 


What’s Your Worldview? Where Are You Going?

Sunday Sermon Holidays Easter


Your worldview is determined by how you answer four questions:


  1. Where did I come from? 

  2. Why am I here?

  3. How do I find happiness or meaning? 

  4. Where am I going?


Today let’s focus on the fourth question: What is going to happen to you when you die?  


Different worldviews give different answers to this question:


  1. We cease to exist. 

  2. We’re absorbed into the universe. 

  3. We are reincarnated. 

  4. We go to Heaven or Hell. 


The Christian answer is summed up in 1 Peter 1:3-4:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and to an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.”    

We have a living hope: an inheritance that is reserved in heaven (1:4). … We can know where we will go when we die. We can make a reservation to go to Heaven, and that reservation will never expire. 


What is the basis for this worldview?


  1. We have a living hope through the resurrection (1:3). … Jesus was crucified and set in a tomb on Friday. There wasn’t time to add traditional spices to his body and wrappings before the sabbath started. So on Sunday two women, Mary and Mary, went to his tomb to add spices. When they arrived the stone was rolled away and His body was gone. Later in the day Peter and the other disciples witnessed not just the empty grave, but also Jesus Himself walking amongst them. Peter writes this with confidence because he was there and witnessed it all. 

  2. We have a living hope because we are born again by God’s mercy (1:3). … Peter knows about this all too well. Despite denying knowing Jesus three times before the Crucifixion, Jesus still appeared to Peter after His resurrection and asked him three times if he loved Jesus. Three times Peter answered yes and Jesus charged him to feed His sheep. Then on Pentecost Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit. He was born again and experienced great mercy.


Also, happy Easter!


Do You Believe in Jesus?

Sunday Sermon Holidays Easter

John 12:1-43


Believing in Jesus is not just something you do one time in your life when you become a Christian. Believing in Jesus is the way we continue to relate to God throughout the Christian life. As we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, it is appropriate that we ask this question: Do you still believe? Are you continuing to trust Jesus? Will you reaffirm your faith?


John 12 contains the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. He calls us to believe. The key word in the Gospel of John is believe. It is found 88 times in this gospel. 


The Passover is on Friday and the story starts six days before that on Saturday. Jesus and the disciples and Lazarus as well as others probably, were having dinner. Martha was serving and then Mary came in behind the people who were eating and she used an expensive bottle of perfume to wash the feet of Jesus. Judas criticizes her for wasting something so valuable, saying it could have been used to help the poor. But Judas had ulterior motives. He kept the money bags and would take from it. Jesus said what Mary did was good. He would soon be leaving them but the poor would always be among them. 


The religious leaders plotted to kill Jesus and also Lazarus. But the people wanted to make Him king. They had heard how he miraculously raised Lazarus from the dead and started following Him as he made the trek from Bethany to Jerusalem, leading to the triumphant entry among the people waving palm branches. Then as Jesus gave a sermon about how He would be raised up (on a cross), a voice from Heaven thundered down. Despite all the miracles and the voice from Heaven they just heard, many of the people did not believe in Jesus as the Messiah. It amazes us how people who lived among Jesus and witnessed His miracles could somehow not believe in Him. However, we are also told that many did believe even among the religious leaders. But they didn't confess it because they feared the Pharisees. 


Do you believe in Jesus? Are you afraid to confess it? Will you reaffirm that belief and toss the fear aside?

The First and Second Comings of Jesus: Similarities and Differences between Jesus’ Two Comings

Sunday Sermon Series The First and Second Comings of Jesus Holidays Christmas

Similarities

  • John 6:38; 1 Thessalonians 4:16 … Both involve a journey down from Heaven. Heaven is a real place. Once He came down and went back up. He is going to come back down again.

  • John 1:14; Acts 1:9-11 … Both comings are literal bodily comings of Christ. Some people suggest the second won’t be bodily, but the Bible makes it pretty clear that it will be a physical return. 

  • Luke 2:8-14; 2 Thessalonians 1:7 … Both involve the appearance of angels. Angels heralded His first coming, appearing to Zacheriah, Mary, Joseph, and shepherds. There will be another flurry of angelic activity when Jesus returns. 

  • Matthew 2:9; Revelation 6:13-14 … Both affect the stars, the heavens. His appearance causes disruption of the normal patterns of the stars. The Magi followed a star that appeared to them and led them to baby Jesus. The stars will also be different when He comes again. 

Differences

  • Matthew 2:13; Revelation 19:11-16 … In the first coming, God came as a vulnerable baby. But in His return, He will come as a full grown man, but not just any man; He will come as a warrior king. 

  • Luke 2:15-17; Revelation 1:7 … Only a few saw Him in His first coming. The only witnesses besides Mary and Joseph were the animals and some shepherds. However, in His second coming, everyone will see Him. 

  • John 1:10-11; Philippians 2:10-11 … At His first coming, He was largely rejected. The second coming will see Him universally acknowledged as Lord and all will bow to Him. 

  • John 1:29; Revelation 5:5 … He was compared to a lamb in His first coming. He fulfilled that role perfectly. He was innocent and without blemish. He was sacrificed on the cross for all of our sins once and for all. However, His second coming will see Him be more like a lion. He is the king, the royal one. He will triumph. But that doesn’t mean He isn’t still the lamb too. He’s always been both, just each coming exemplifies one over the other. 

  • John 5:22-26; 28-29 … In the first coming He came to raise the spiritually dead. He brought real, eternal life to all who accept Him. His second coming will see Him raise the physically dead. He’s already redeemed our souls and will also redeem our bodies.

  • Matthew 13:36-38; 38-43 … He came to plant disciples in the first coming. His second coming will be to harvest and weed. The weeds will be pulled up and burned, but the righteous will be harvested and will shine like stars. 

  • John 10:9; Revelation 3:8; Luke 13:22-25 … His first coming opened the door to Heaven. Jesus is the only door to Heaven; He is the way. But on His second coming, He will close that door. That door is open right now and anyone may enter. There is coming a time when it will close. 

The First and Second Comings of Jesus: The Two Comings of Jesus Are Predicted Together

Sunday Sermon Series The First and Second Comings of Jesus Holidays Christmas


Jesus was at the side of God. Then the time came for Him to leave God’s side and come down to Earth. He was born, carried out His ministry, was crucified, buried, rose, and ascended to Heaven. He sits in Heaven now and there will come a time where he returns to Earth. 

Isaiah 9

First Coming (9:1-2)

Second Coming (9:6-7)

Light will shine in Galilee. … This region had suffered much, but these verses predict something great will come from it. Matthew 4:13-16 confirm that this prophecy is about Jesus’ first coming. 

Government of peace, forever. … The first two lines of these verses are about His first coming, but the rest are about His second coming. 

Isaiah 11

First Coming (11:1)

Second Coming (11:4-9)

The Messiah will be a descendant of David. … Jesse was the father of David. The stump of Jesse refers to his family tree that was seemingly cut off during the exile as a descendant of David no longer ruled afterwards. Matthew 1:1 confirms that Jesus comes from this lineage. 

There is coming a time of harmony. … In His second coming, He’ll defeat His enemies just by speaking. The wolf will lie down with the lamb. Predator and prey will be no more. 

Isaiah 61

First Coming (61:1-2a)

Second Coming (61:2b)

The Messiah will preach good news and perform miracles. … Jesus quoted this verse in Luke 4:17-21 and confirmed that it was about His first coming. Notice where Jesus stopped reading. The last part of verse 2 doesn’t apply to His first coming.

The day of vengeance is coming. … This is where Jesus stopped reading in the middle of a sentence. That’s a bit odd, but it’s because the last part refers to His second coming. 

Zephaniah 9

First Coming (9:9)

Second Coming (9:10, 14, 16)

The Messiah will ride a donkey into Jerusalem. … Matthew 21:1-5 confirms this prophecy being fulfilled in His first coming. 

He will proclaim peace to the nations. … He will be the king of all and will come riding on the clouds. The trumpet will sound. This won’t be some lowly, subtle entrance. He will return in a way everyone will know and He will complete our salvation. 

Do you believe Jesus is coming again? Let’s look at the first column. Those prophecies were all fulfilled. God has a pretty good track record. Why should we doubt that what He has revealed to us won’t come true?

Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection: Jesus Is Buried and Rises from the Dead

Sunday Sermon Series Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection Holidays Easter

Matthew 27:57-28:20

Jesus is buried by Joseph (Matthew 27:57-61). … This was not Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. This was Joseph of Arimathea, a follower of Jesus. The other gospels tell us that he was part of the Sanhedrin and did not vote for Christ to die. The tomb Jesus would have been buried in would have been easy to close and difficult to open by design.

Why is the burial of Jesus important?

  1. It is evidence He was dead.

  2. It fulfills the prophecy that the Savior would be buried with the rich. … Isaiah 53:9 predicted this.

  3. It is the basis of the symbolism of baptism. … When we are baptized we are fully immersed in water, symbolizing death and burial, and then we come back up from the water, symbolizing the resurrection.

The tomb is sealed and guarded (Matthew 27:62-66). … There was concern that the disciples or other followers would attempt to pull off a hoax and steal the body, so the tomb was sealed and a guard was posted.

The tomb is empty and Jesus is risen (Matthew 28:1-15). … When the two Marys and a few others came to the tomb with spices, the tomb opened up and an angel appeared. The angel isn’t described as some cute little winged baby, but as a great being that imposes fear and awe on those who see him. He tells the women to come and see that Jesus is risen and then to go and tell others about what they have seen. … On their way to tell others, they met Jesus and worshipped Him. … Important note: the tomb was not opened so Jesus could leave, but so that the witnesses could come and see. Jesus didn’t need an open grave in order to leave. … Then we read that when the religious leaders heard about this they paid off the guards to say the disciples must have come in the middle of the night while they slept and took the body. Neither side, believers or non-believers, from the 1st century dispute the evidence of the empty tomb. Rather, the non-believers believe that the disciples came to the tomb in the middle of the night and opened the tomb while the guards slept and took the body, all without waking the guards.

Jesus appears to His disciples in Galilee (Matthew 28:16-20).

Jesus says:

  1. All authority has been given to Me. … Jesus has power over everything, even death.

  2. Go and make disciples, baptizing them and teaching them to obey my commands. … This is the great commission we are given, to go and make disciples of all people.

  3. I will be with you always. … No matter where we go, what we do, who we are with, Jesus is always there. His Spirit is with us.

Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest. Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection: Jesus Is Crucified

Sunday Sermon Series Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection Holidays Easter

Matthew 27:11-54

Early Friday morning, Jesus stands trial before Pilate (Matthew 27:11-25). … Jesus has been interrogated by the Jews all night long and they want to execute Him, but they don’t have the legal power to do it, so they take Him to the ruling Roman governor, Pilate. Pilate questions Jesus and realizes Jesus has nothing wrong and sends Him to Herod Antipas but Herod sends Him back not wanting the mistake of Jesus’ death on his hands either (Luke 23:6-12). Finally, Pilate gives the Jews a choice to set Jesus free or to set a known criminal named Barabas free. They chose to free the known criminal and yelled “crucify Him” about Jesus. (Don’t let this verse lead to anti-semitism. The Jews are God’s chosen people and Christians should have no part in hating them.)

Jesus is beaten, mocked, and crowned with thorns (Matthew 27:26-30). … Jesus is hailed as the King of the Jews, so they give him a sceptre and a crown of thorns.

Jesus s forced to carry His cross to the place of execution (Matthew 27:31-33). … Jesus struggled to carry His cross after such a beating and they made a man named Simon of Cyrene to carry it further, to Golgotha, the place of the skull.

At 9:00 AM, Jesus is crucified (Matthew 27:34-37). … While on the cross, Jesus was offered some wine with gall/myrrh which may have been an act of mercy to help dull the pain or may have been intended as another mocking gesture. Either way, Jesus refused it. Below Him the guards gambled for His clothes. Over His head a sign reads “King of the Jews”. On either side there are criminals also on crosses.

Jesus is mocked by those around Him (Matthew 27:38-44). … Those who walked by mocked and taunted Him. And not only Him, but also God’s plan, whether they knew it or not.

At noon, the sky becomes dark (Matthew 27:45; Amos 8:9-10). … This may well be the result of creation mourning the death of its Creator. Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 are great prophecies of Jesus’ death,but a lesser known prophecy is found in Amos 8:9-10 which prophecies the darkness and that the event would occur during a religious festival.

At 3:00 PM, Jesus dies (Matthew 27:46-50). … Jesus , the Son, experiences separation from the Father, experiences being forsaken. He cries out “eli, eli, lama sabachthani” (“my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) and the crowd thought He was crying out for Elijah. They gave Him wine with vinegar and listened for what else He might say. Then He cried out once more and died.

When Jesus dies, two things split open:

  1. The temple curtain (Matthew 27:51) … This is the veil that separated the outer room from the inner room, the holy of holies. The tear signifies the end of the need for the sacrificial system. The perfect sacrifice has been given. Now we all have the ability to directly pray to God and have no need for priest to mediate for us.

  2. Rock and tombs (Matthew 27:52-54) … Rocks and tombs opened up. And after the resurrection some of the holy men who had died rose and walked among the people.

After Jesus died, his guards, the centurions, saw all this and proclaimed, “surely, this is the son of God.” It’s a proclamation from the lips of a gentile, one that shows us that anyone can believe, not just Jews.

Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest. Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection: Jesus Is Arrest and Put on Trial

Sunday Sermon Series Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection Holidays Easter

Matthew 26:31-27:5

Setting: It’s late Thursday evening and they’ve just eaten supper. They were probably on their way back to the house they were staying at in Bethany.

There are four main characters in this passage. Can you identify with any of these four?

Jesus predicts that His disciples will desert Him (Matthew 26:31-32).

Peter says he will never fall away (Matthew 26:33-35). … Peter is guilty of overestimating himself, which is a dangerous trap we can all fall into.

Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, where He is betrayed by Judas (Matthew 26:38-39, 47-49, 53-54). … This garden seems to be a place where Jesus would have prayed in often. He left eight of his disciples in one area and took three of His inner circle with Him where He experienced anguish. Then He left those three and fell on His face to pray. He prayed to have the cup of God’s wrath taken away from Him, but He understood what must be done and why. Earlier that night He shared the cup of redemption, representing His blood, with His disciples. We will all drink from one of these two cups, and the one we all deserve is the one full of wrath. Fortunately for us, Jesus has taken that drink for us so that we may drink from the cup of redemption, of salvation. He prayed this three times as His disciples kept falling asleep. … Eventually Judas shows up with the priests and some soldiers to arrest Jesus. Peter cuts off an ear of one of them with his sword and Jesus rebuked Peter, saying He could have many legions of angels there to fight if that was His desire, and healed the man’s ear. This tells us Jesus died voluntarily when He easily could have saved Himself.

Jesus is arrested and taken to home of Caiaphas, the high priest (Matthew 26:57, 63-64, 67-68). … During the trial Jesus doesn’t answer their questions and there really isn’t enough evidence to convict Him of anything. Then Caiaphas gets the idea to directly ask Him if He is the Messiah. Jesus confirms the accusation and makes a bold statement that explains he calls Himself the Son of Man, referring to a prophecy from the Old Testament (Daniel 7:13).

Peter denies Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75). Judas regrets his betrayal and kills himself (Matthew 27:1-5). … Peter denies being a follower of Jesus just as Jesus predicted. Judas realized he had betrayed an innocent man and tried to return the money. They wouldn’t take it and he killed himself.

All four of these men were religious people, but we are told only two of them knew God and would go to Heaven.

Caiaphas was religious but was only out to protect his own position and status.

Judas was one of the twelve disciples and apparently blended in quite well. He came to regret what he did but to repentance.

Peter failed but he got came to repentance and got back up to become a great leader in the church.

Jesus submitted to the Father’s plan even though He did not want to.

Are you like any of these?

Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection: Jesus Eats the Last Supper with His Disciples

Sunday Sermon Series Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection Holidays Easter

Matthew 26:17-30

Jesus instructs Peter and John to prepare the Passover meal (Matthew 26:17-20). … The disciples asked Jesus where they should go to set up for Passover, and Jesus gave them some specific instructions, which the Gospel of Luke tells us even more about. So Peter and John went and followed the instructions and everything went as Jesus said. … It’s possible that this room they set up and ate in is the upper room in Mary’s, the mother of John Mark, the author of the Gospel of Mark, house. This is supported by a couple of passages in Acts. … So, they likely set up the meal at u-shaped table where they would recline. In John we learn that the disciples argued about who is greater, then Jesus washed their feet to illustrate a powerful point about humility and servant leadership.

While they are eating the meal, Jesus reveal that one of the twelve disciples will betray Him (Matthew 26:21-25). … When Jesus makes this revelation He also implies man free will to opt in or out of God’s plans and certainly also to refuse the devil. Jesus has washed Judas’ feet and warned him and shown him great love even though Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him.

During the meal, Jesus institutes what we call the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-28). … The bread, which was unleavened, represents His body that was broken for us. Why is it unleavened? Because it goes back to the Exodus when the Israelites left Egypt and didn’t have time to add yeast to their bread. Normally, yeast represents evil in the Bible and before the Passover each family would search through their house and throw out any yeast. Do you have any yeast, any sins, you need to throw out of your life? … Then Jesus took a cup of wine (which would have been mixed with water, 3 parts water and 1 part wine), the cup of redemption. He calls it His blood of the covenant, blood that is poured out for the forgiveness of our sins, blood that covers our sins and the shame and guilt from those forgiven sins. If you have sins that you still commit or haven’t confessed then that shame and guilt will remain and won’t be covered until you take those sins and put them away and confess them before God.

Jesus predicts a future time of fellowship in the Father’s Kingdom. They sing a hymn (Psalm 118:22-24), and go out to the Mount of Olives (Matthew 26:29-30). … Jesus didn’t finish the Passover meal. Instead, He said there is a time coming when they will all feast together again. The last words of the psalm they sang are prophetic. In Acts 4:10-12 Peter realizes this and professes it in front of the Sanhedrin. Jesus is the cornerstone that was rejected and is the only way to salvation.

Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection: Jesus Is Honored and Betrayed

Sunday Sermon Series Jesus’ Betrayal, Last Supper, Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, and Resurrection Holidays Easter

Matthew 26:1-16

It was time for Passover. Historians estimate that the population of Jerusalem increased tenfold for Passover, which worse than Bonnaroo in Manchester. Jesus and His disciples also traveled there to celebrate the Passover, but Jesus also had another reason for coming. They likely stayed with Lazarus and his sisters in Bethany before heading into Jerusalem proper.

The events in this passage occur on Tuesday evening. … This is just a couple of days before the Passover.

Jesus predicts He will be handed over to be crucified on Passover (Matthew 26:1-2). The chief priests scheme to arrest Jesus, but not until after the seven day feast of unleavened bread (Matthew 26:3-4). … Jesus knew the plan and what would actually happen better than the chief priests did. They thought they could wait and try to avoid riots, but Jesus, in His sovereignty, had other plans.

Mary pours perfume on Jesus while He is eating dinner. The perfume is worth 300 denari, or about a year’s wages (Matthew 26:6-13). … This act by Mary symbolizes Jesus being anointed as king, just as old kings of Israel were anointed with oil. Judas, the treasurer of the disciples, wondered why she would waste such costly perfume instead of selling it and giving the proceeds to the poor. He also embezzled from that fund and saw this as a wasted chance for income for himself. Jesus rebuked him and explained to them all once more what was going to happen.

Judas agrees to hand Jesus over to the chief priests. The price is 30 pieces of silver, about a month’s pay (Matthew 26: 14-16).

What is your valuation of Jesus? … Mary valued Him more than her most valuable possession. Judas valued Him at a month’s wages. … We may not have a bottle of perfume worth a year’s pay, but We have life. We can live our lives for Jesus, reach others for Him and His kingdom. There’s nothing more valuable than that.