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Sermons from Houlton United Methodist Church

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Why Pray?

It’s Mother’s Day. On this special day we honor our mothers and also give thanks to all our spiritual mothers, who have loved us, mentored us, nurturing our hearts and souls. For me personally, one of my spiritual mothers (fathers) is my grandfather, who is now 93 years old, retired pastor. This past week I had a chance to have a video call with him. The first thing he said was, “Victor, I pray for you, your wife, and your children every single day, because I love you all.” And I know and believe that he does pray for me everyday. In fact, it was he who helped me to come to the faith. It was he who helped me to believe the power of prayer. I still vividly remember how I lost my hearing in my right ear because of serious ear infections when I was 8 years old. Doctors recommended me to have a surgery, but my family couldn’t afford it. I took some medication, but it didn’t help. Many people prayed for me. In particular, my grandfather had persistently prayed for me. About four years later, I got a phone call from him. He said with great excitement, “Victor, God answered my prayer! You are healed!!” At that time, I didn’t feel any difference. But a few days later, all of sudden I realized that I was able to hear from both of my ears.

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By Grace through Faith

If you were asked which verse best summarizes the whole of Scripture, what would you say? Perhaps many of you would recite John 3:16. Along with this famous verse, there is another golden text to summarize God’s way of salvation in one sentence, that is, Ephesians 2:8-9: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast” (NIV).

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Essentials of the Gospel

How would you express the core message of the Christian gospel? Job counselors often advise job seekers to boil down their experience, skills, and job objective into a short-two-minute presentation. It’s called an “elevator speech.” If someone asked you, “What is the gospel?” what would you say? The Apostle Paul summarizes the essentials of the gospel he proclaims in three sentences: Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.

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Service: Given to Give

Once Corrie Ten Boom shared her experience with Sadhu Sundar Singh, who was revered by many. At that time Sadhu had just completed a tour around the world. People asked him, “Doesn't it do harm, you’re getting so much honor?” The Sadhu's answer was, "No. The donkey went into Jerusalem, and they put garments on the ground before him. He was not proud. He knew it was not done to honor him, but for Jesus, who was sitting on his back. When people honor me, I know it is not me, but the Lord, who does the job. I am only a donkey.”

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Finding Security in God Alone

D. L. Moody, the man of God, made the resolution, shortly after he himself was saved, that he would never let 24 hours pass over his head without speaking to at least one person about his soul. One night he got home late and went to bed. Then, he realized that he had not spoken to a soul that day about accepting Jesus. He said to himself, “Well, it is no good getting up now; there will be nobody on the street at this hour of night.” But anyway, he got up, dressed and went to the front door. It was pouring rain. He said, “Oh, there will be no one out in this pouring rain.” Just then he heard a man’s footsteps as he came down the street, holding an umbrella over his head. Then, Mr. Moody darted out and rushed up to the man and said: “May I share the shelter of your umbrella?” “Certainly,” the man replied. Then, Mr. Moody said, “Do you have any shelter in the time of storm?” and preached Jesus to him.

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