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Sermons from Lombard Christian Reformed Church

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The Abuse Jesus Took

We’d rather not talk about abuse. But on the way to the cross Jesus suffered abuse. It’s detailed in Matthew 27: stripped, beaten, mocked. Jesus was abused and God was not quiet about it. To tell us we don’t have to take it and we shouldn’t be quiet about it. Jesus was raised to life, vindicated by the Father. As his body, the church is to strive to be a safe place of that grace: a place where children are valued and kept safe, where stories of shame and pain can be shared on the way to restoration, and where each person strives for personal purity through confession and repentance. Abuse is not easy to talk about. But there’s a word for it from Jesus so we can find new life again.

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God Cares for Creation So God's People Should Care for Creation

The grand story of God begins with creation. The proclamation of the Bible is that life is a gift from the Lord, and that the Triune God cares for the universe. So our response should be both to delight with praise in creation, and also to care for it as God cares for us.

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Part 4 - Rejoicing In God

Our last message on Loving God is entitled, ‘Rejoicing in God.’ How joyful of a Christian are you? There are three quotes to consider when it comes to our joy in the Lord. John Calvin, who had his own share of trouble and suffering in life, said, ‘There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.,’ and ‘There is nothing in afflictions which ought to disturb our joy.’ The third comes from Deuteronomy 28:45-47 ‘All these curses will come on you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the LORD your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever. Because you did not serve the LORD your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity . . .’ Together these words may lead us to repentance. It’s one thing to believe in Jesus and even serve in God’s kingdom, but it’s another thing to do this ‘joyfully and gladly.’ Would those who know you well say you are a happy Christian, a joyful believer? If so, why? If not, why aren’t you? And how do we add to our gladness in God’s promises and purposes? We know not all of us are born on the sunny side of the street, and we have walked with each other when the cross weighs heavy on us. Still, scripture not only gives us permission to be happy, to be glad in Christ, to live joyfully in the day the Lord has made, but also commands this rejoicing. So let’s talk about adding joy to our faith.

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Part 3 - Trusting God

Perhaps you haven’t exercised trust in God for a long time, because nothing surprises you anymore. The end of Luke 6 and the beginning of Luke 7 surprise us. We are surprised by Jesus when he says it’s not about seeing and hearing as much as it is about doing what he says. That is, trust matters. Then Jesus surprises us by saying storms will come into our lives, and the way thru those storms is by trusting him. Jesus is then surprised by the trust a gentile, Roman centurion shows in Christ’s authority. In the end we are surprised to see and hear that Jesus is trustworthy when it comes to what’s broken and fearful in life. All this from a surprising God who comes to us on this side of what’s wrong in order to show us what his grace and mercy accomplishes.

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