Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Great Sermon Experiment, the finale

As mentioned last week, this will be the final installment of the 2007 Great Sermon Experiment. The final 2 weeks of August, and the first 2 weeks of September will see a great variety in Sunday Morning Experiences at Lakebay - guest preachers, Sunday in the park, Family Camp/Camp No-Go, and Dan Finally Gets a Vacation. Then we'll move in a different direction in the fall.

So, on to the (sniff, sniff) end:

Texts for Sunday, August 12
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Psalm 50
Luke 12:32-40

Both of these texts have to do with right living. Both seem to be comparing people who truly are obedient, with those who only act like it. Actions vs. words. Motive. Substance vs. style. Both allude toward judgment, with the Luke passage pointing toward the second coming, while the Psalm passage has more to do with God's judgment now. Both include warnings, and promises for obedience.

So what do you see? How do you respond? What message does our church, our culture, the KP need to hear from these two passages?


Shad Gates said...

The passage from Psalms seems another picture of Dan’s sermon yesterday. It’s the idea of seeing God in his awesomeness, holiness and majesty, yet loving those whose hearts are toward him. He’s a God of perfect justice. He says no sin can be in my presence, yet he loves us even while we’re sinning. There is a day to come, however, when sin will ultimately be judged. The time for mercy and grace will have already come and gone. The Bible talks about this day as a “the day of judgment”. Those who love God and those who hate him will bow the knee to his Lordship once and for all. We’re reminded in Luke that it will be good for those servant’s whose master finds them waiting for his return. To me, this is a picture of life perspective. Are we looking daily for our fulfillment here or are we depending on God’s promises both now and for eternity. Are we looking to the world, or our surroundings for pleasure? Or, are we delighting in the truth and power of God’s Word? Are we building up for our future here on earth, or for our everlasting future? I believe Jesus is calling his disciples to a greater level of faith living. He’s saying, “You already have my entire kingdom. Give up what this world has to offer and live now in the eternal promises that are already yours.” The only thing on earth that has eternal value is a person. God created man to last beyond the constraints of time. So when God looks at the earth, even at the beauty of his creation, he sees men, women and children. His desire is to love us and to share eternity with us. This means that when a person becomes aware of Christ’s salvation, the thing God desires them to do with their new understanding is to share it. Investing ourselves into people is delightful to God because this is what he himself has done. This new level of faith that I’m talking about requires a completely different perspective than the world has to offer. We have to stop evaluating our worth based upon our lifestyle (our looks, our possessions, our comfort, our country, our government, our plans, our goals or what others think of us) and begin realizing that the only real value in life is being about our fathers business. This includes finding ways to eliminate earthly distractions such as possessions which require time, money and energy to maintain and manage. I believe this is the second or third watch, if not for the world, than at least for our nation. We are on the brink of a major upset nationally and I believe world wide. I’m praying for a period of continued grace, but this chapter may very soon be closing and I want us to have our lamps trimmed and lit.

Linda Anderson said...

God wants us to be totally dependent on Him. He revels in our praises for His goodness and faithfulness. He opens wide His arms when we come to Him with our needs. He reminds us of His deliverance from past trials and how some fall back into the same patterns. God is full of compassion, and it must break His heart when we repeat our sins over and over. Yet, how compassionate and forgiving He is that he would remind us over and over that "He is able to deliver thee"; that He wants to deliver us so that we can "walk with Him in the Light of His Word"; that He also reassures us that the child of God will answer for how he/she used the knowledge and talents given to them, not for past sins which are under the Blood. We are, indeed, charged with being ready for Christ's return: focusing on His Word, ever in prayer, living like Him and in honor of Him that others will see and turn to Him. What immediately came to mind when reading these verses: "Then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to Thee. How great Thou art!"