connecting people to the gospel
Sermons from Lombard Christian Reformed Church
Lombard Christian Reformed Church
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Total Sermons: 115
Total Amens: 1
As far as scripture passages go, this one from Ephesians 5 doesn’t usually make the top ten of favorite Bible verses. At the women’s march in Washington and around the country a few weeks ago no sign quoted any of these verses. Nobody chanted: ‘Wives submit to your husbands.’ Yet this scripture passage is good news. Scholar Sarah Ruden wonders how could it be that words like this from Paul were so respected, treasured and received in Roman culture? But they were. And the Ephesians among others found in words like these verses peace, joy, hope and love. What if we saw today’s mass cultural confusion and division over love and relationships as an opportunity to honor the Lord of life and love by submitting our feelings and judgments to this word? What if we approached texts like this one not merely for information but for transformation? What if we took a humble posture before the living Word of God and acknowledge that in this great gift of love we who are gay, straight, single, widowed, divorced or married, are imperfect, sometimes broken, sometimes lonely people, yearning to be formed after the image of the perfect love of God, Jesus Christ?
We share opinions. We share likes. We look for people who share our outlook on things and feel safe in such bubbles. But none of these is what the Bible calls us to: share our lives; share the gospel. You and I out of gratitude to the Lord for our salvation have to be committed to both of these faith activities: gospel and neighborhoods. Some Christians try to share the gospel without sharing their lives, and the good news winds up sounding like a sales pitch. Some Christians share their lives, but never get around to sharing the grace and truth of Christ, so the gospel is never heard. We do live in a day and time of deep division; it seems each political or social situation is a crisis forcing us to choose sides and bow to the ideology of your crowd. But right there God has placed his people who are called to unity and community to serve and to love one’s neighbors. There and then gospel, good news, may once again be given and received. (1 Thessalonians 2:8)
From Sunday Pew-Sitter to Everyday Neighbor-Lover, Part #4 You Are the Equipment. Okay, we’ve had a few weeks to open our hearts in prayer and love to our neighbors and neighborhoods. Now it’s time to act on our faith. Jesus tells his disciples, his followers, you are the equipment. Christians are to be the shovels, hammers and wrenches, the software and templates, the measuring spoons, skillets and serving plates that “Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons.” So it’s time to roll up our spiritual sleeves and actual sleeves and respond to a community need that the Spirit has placed on your heart. Let’s prayerfully ask to discern the place and people God has chosen for us to serve. (Matthew 10:1-10)
Jesus looked at those poor in spirit, mourning over regrets and failures in life, hungering and thirsting for a righteousness they didn’t yet have, and said, ‘You are the salt of the earth.’ (Matthew 5) He didn’t say, do this and you might become the salt of the earth someday, nor did he say, make it your goal to be salt of the earth. He said to the likes of you and me, ‘You are the salt of the earth’ right now. We have more influence than we think we have. There is more at stake in each conversation, each choice act toward another, for good or ill, than we understand. Does this encourage you to go into your day seeking to enhance, to flavor, to preserve the peace, joy, hope and love of your relationships? How might you be the salt in your relationships today? Exercise: have a few crackers or chips, and taste the salt. Pray that you may enhance your relationships by your words and actions today.