The sermon speaks to our long wait, waiting for “the blessed hope.” Greg encourages us to “live and experience December” – to fix our eyes and our spiritual compass on Jesus, and recommit to receiving God’s grace.
As we begin a season of anticipating the coming of Jesus, Greg’s sermon is based on Isaiah’s prophecy of Christ as comforter.
Many of us are more willing to accept Jesus Christ as the helpless, dependent baby in the manger than as Lord of our lives. We don’t want to hear how he challenges our beliefs and our way of life, but the central truth of Christmas is that the baby in the manger is God!
Travel is very much a part of Christmas. We join bumper to bumper traffic as we shop, we fly many hundreds of miles and travel our freeways to be with family and friends. Travel was a part of Christmas from the beginning, but at the first Christmas travel was for a different reason.
Christmas upsets many people because at least once a year they can’t run away from Jesus. When Jesus shows up, things change, the status quo is threatened. It is a time of challenge and confrontation to religion and politics.
We don’t give him anything he needs. Yet God is madly in love with us… is he crazy, or what?
The Apollo 13 mission was appropriately dubbed, “a successful failure.” Many defining moments in life emerge when we are on the edge of fulfillment, yet denied the thing we most want. Greg shares a biblical example and its lessons for how to be a successful failure.
Attempting to create a better impression of ourselves than we deserve is a powerful human temptation. Greg discusses the Biblical story of Ananias and Saphira who tried to create an image of themselves that didn’t reflect reality.
C.S. Lewis said that the essential vice, the utmost evil, is pride. Pride and prejudice go together like hand and glove — both allow us to feel superior to others.
Do you ever feel that you’re just barely hanging on — that you’re hanging on for dear life? If so, you may be in a defining moment in your life when your decisions can either make or break you.
|Greg considers what it means to give thanks, in light of Matthew 6:25-34. Join him in reflecting on the words of T.S. Eliot, “Where is the life we have lost in living?” Give thanks for true life, life in Christ, life eternal!|
When we give thanks, we must obviously remember to whom we give thanks. Thanksgiving is a time to pause on our spiritual journey and ask directions – and get our bearings.
The biblical nation of Israel entered into the Promised Land in spite of 40 years of rebellion and disobedience. Their Promised Land was not their reward for religious performance anymore than God’s heaven is ours. May we never forget that it is God’s grace that allows us to receive physical and spiritual blessings.
In his Thanksgiving message Greg talks about a heart of gratitude. Being thankful is one of God’s gifts that separates us from neurotic, self-centered, spiritually unhealthful lives.
It’s amazing how much of Jesus’ time was spent talking about food, and in preparing, creating and consuming it – not to mention attending banquets. And he himself is the Bread of life – a completely different kind of food, not found in restaurants or even some establishments that promise spiritual food in his name.
Doxology might appear to be just another high-falutin’ rootin tootin’ theological term, but the doxology in Romans 11:33-36 helps us discover purpose and significance behind our praise and worship of God.
|Did you know that the spelling “Sundae” in ice cream sundaes came about because church leaders in Evanston, Illinois objected to the newly popular mixture of chocolate syrup and ice cream being called an ice cream “Sunday”? Greg shows just how bankrupt legalism is.|
What is the difference between Christians and non-Christians? Christians and non-Christians alike do good things, they build schools and hospitals, they care for the poor and feed the hungry.
Legalism, obedience to rules, can lead us to congratulate ourselves on our own goodness and make us feel we deserve salvation. Legalism was at the heart and core of the heresy Paul was fighting in Galatia.
Legalism is a virus that is always present in organized Christianity. It is always lurking, looking for a weakness, some way to become active. Legalism sneaks around in the shadows trying to convince us that salvation is Christ “plus.”
In one of his letters, the apostle Paul strives to convince the Galatians that the external trappings of religion are not the spiritual reality — a lesson we need to consider and that Greg drives home in this program.
What makes Christians righteous? What we do? What we don’t do? The apostle Paul says a lot about this subject.
“My church is better than your church because…” If you think that your church has more truth, the full truth, more revelation, a better baptism, greater insight, a higher calling, or a deeper conversion, listen in and think again.
If it is true that you and I are saved, not because of how good we are, not because of the good things that we do, but because God is good and he saves us because he wants to; then why should you and I even try to be good?
Life can be overwhelming at times — too much month left at the end of the money, sick loved ones, or the death of a parent, spouse or child. Why does God allow things like this to happen?
What is the Christian Declaration of Freedom? In this program on the book of Romans, Greg explores the three freedoms of the Christian Declaration of Freedom — each divinely designed to give us power for daily living.
Peace, joy, the knowledge that we are of infinite value to God, knowing God’s love for us — these are some of the practical benefits of being a Christian.
Life can load us up with all sorts of burdens. Some of us are tired and worn out — “dead” tired. Sometimes we walk through life numb — as though we were dead. Greg talks about God giving life to the dead and the benefits of Christianity.
God will take care of us. Christ died for us that we might live eternally. You can be assured of God’s love. You can be assured that God is in your corner.
What can we expect from God? This is the first in an eight program series on the book of Romans. This book gives insights about what we can expect from God.
|In the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard the workers’ expectations are turned on their head. What does this teach us about our service to God? Are we under contract to Him?|
|Could you be struggling with a false sense of security about your own goodness simply because you think you score high in the spiritual comparison game?|
Do money and possessions make for success? Another question, how much will Bill Gates leave behind when he dies? The parable of “The Rich Fool.”
“Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive,…” (C. S. Lewis). Yet Jesus said we’re to forgive seventy times seven. What was he saying?
Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan was a response to two questions, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” and “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus turned the second question around — why?
Home Jesus promises us an eternal home, but we can’t get there without him. We need directions. We can even be on the right road, but going in the opposite direction! The road to being at home starts at the foot of the cross.
God is good — always was and always will be. God is good, and he chooses to be so. That’s part of his nature which works for our benefit.
God is eternal — what does that mean? And more importantly, what does it mean for you and me?
Our human experience with love may well get in our way with a relationship with the great God, who is love.
Today most in our western world have marginalized or trivialized God. Yet he is the great all-powerful Creator. Does that make any sense at all? Just how “real” is it to shrink God?