Last Sunday, we celebrated as “Mother’s Day” Sunday. Today, we celebrate “Pentecost Sunday” as well as “Heritage Sunday.”
Good morning! We are still going through 50 days of Easter Season. Like I told you before, Easter isn’t just a single day in the Christian Year. It’s a season of 50 days, starting with celebration of the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, and concluding with the celebration of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that catalyzed the birth of the church on Pentecost.
We have just finished three weeks of sermon series, “In the Name of Jesus.” Today, we are beginning another sermon series called, “In the Power of the Holy Spirit.” In the first series, “In the Name of Jesus,” we have focused on what it means to claim the power of the name of Jesus as his followers. We followed the first disciples through the early chapters in the book of Acts, and learned how they used the name of Jesus as the source of their strength, healing power and salvation and learned how they formed the very first Christian church.
This morning, I’d like to share God’s message with you through a sermon entitled, “We Join the Outsider” as we explore how the Holy Spirit guides Philip to spread the Good News to many strangers.
Good morning! Today, we continue to celebrate the season of Easter. And I am going to share my second sermon in my sermon series called, “In the Name of Jesus Christ.” Last Sunday, I talked about how Peter and John healed a lame man who were begging for some changes at the gate of Jerusalem Temple. Peter used the name of Jesus of Nazareth to heal this man who was crippled from the birth. The man immediately stood up, jumped, began to praise God and followed Peter and John to the temple. All the people who saw what just had happened in front of their eyes, were amazed and gathered close to Peter and John. This morning, I’d like to share God’s message with you through a sermon entitled, “Faith . . . That Makes Us Strong.”
Today is the Palm Sunday. It was the day Jesus entered into the City of Jerusalem in order to fulfill God’s mission. This day has been called “Palm Sunday” since many people welcomed Jesus by laying palm branches on the street and waved the palm branches. The stories of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem are in all four Gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It is also the first day of the Holy Week. The Holy Week was the most important week to Jesus since He suffered, died, and rose from the dead on this week. I think that it should be the most important week for all of us too along with Christmas!
Around A.D. 50, the Apostle Paul founded this church during his 2nd mission trip. The City of Corinth was one of the most successful seaports at that time. However, the city was filled with all kinds of idol worships, sexual immorality, and philosophies. So the people who were living in this city including the members of the Corinthians Church were comparative, individualistic, materialistic, and divided in many ways. It was nothing close to the lifestyle of Ormond By the Sea. When Paul was writing this letter, it had been 3 years already he left this church. But he wrote this letter to help the Corinthians Church—the church that was infected by the worldly, the sinful, and human-centeredness. This morning, I’d like to share God’s message through a sermon entitled, “Christ, the Power of God and the Wisdom of God.”
Today is the 1 st Sunday in Lent. Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. The color
of this season is purple. The season is a preparation for celebrating Easter. In today’s text, Mark introduces Jesus’ baptism and his temptation in the wilderness
as God’s preparation for Jesus’ ministry.
I’ve recently attended
*VSG (Vitality Share Group, Port Orange): Atlantic Central District (January)
On March 3, we will have another VSG meeting at New Smyrna Beach
*Rev. Dr. Robert Tuttle: “Share Your Faith” at Ormond Beach Presbyterian Church
*New Room Conference in Lakeland: “Banded Together”: Asbury Seminary
*Call to Serve: East Central District in Oviedo (7 people our church)
“Awakening from Apostolic Amnesia” by Rev. Michael Beck ( 13 Fresh Expressions)
Why? Why do we do all these things? Why do people spend so much efforts and money putting together all these meetings? Why do we spend so much of our time in driving and learning? According to Rev. Michael Beck, it is because America has become 3rd largest mission field in the world. It is because many Christians, Churches, and Denominations are in the state of spiritual amnesia. It is because the traditional way of doing our ministry does not work anymore in today’s world. All these realities push us to learn and try new and creative ways of doing ministry. Unless we embrace the change around us and be willing to adapt fresh and new ways of doing our ministries, we cannot make disciples of Jesus Christ, like we should. We cannot be the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church God wants us to be! That’s why Apostle Paul said in today’s text, “I do it all for the sake of the gospel . . .” This is also the title of my sermon today.
On this morning, I’d like to talk about “Imitating Christ.” John Wesley calls it “sanctification.” John Calvin calls it, “Double Grace.” Grace is being reconciled to God through Christ’s blamelessness. We are empowered to cultivate blamelessness and purity by Christ’s Spirit. However you want to call, it is a lifetime process of becoming more like Christ.
I’m sure that you’ve heard people saying, “talk the talk and walk the walk.” If you say that someone talks the talk but does not walk the walk, you mean that they do not act in a way that agrees with the things they say. We can talk about God’s love and learn His Words all day long, but unless we live out our faith in our daily lives, no one will actually experience the life-giving and life-transforming love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So it is so important for us to imitate Christ. We are the children of God. Children are supposed to look like their mom and dad because they share same DNA. We are the followers of Jesus Christ. And people around us should be able to taste and see the love of Jesus through our words and actions. As we follow Jesus closer every day, the Holy Spirit will help us to become more like Jesus. The Spirit of Christ will sanctify us and cultivate blamelessness and purity in our hearts and lives. We will speak, think, and act more like Christ.
Last Sunday, we learned about the difficulty and the importance of listening. We learned how boy Samuel and priest Eli had a difficult time listening to God. Samuel also needed lots of courage and the encouragement of Eli in order to speak what he had heard from God.
Today, we are going to learn about “speaking.” Just like we struggle with “listening,” we are struggling with “speaking.” Speaking the Word of God can be difficult too. But it is so important to speak since God has called to share His Words. This morning, we’re going to explore the Book of Jonah and the Gospel of John. Today’s text begins like this, “The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time . . .” (Jonah 3:1). The word “a second time” got my attention when I was reading this Bible verse. Why did God speak to Jonah a second time? How come Jonah had to hear the same message from God twice? After I thought about a little while, I found an answer. I got this answer from our daily life. Why do we have to say same thing over and over again to our children, it is because they do not listen. Why do we bother to take time to make announcements during the service? Simple, it is because we do not pay attention even though it is printed in our bulletin and are running a slideshow before the church service. Wow! I felt like I had found a great secret after I had realized this.
Although we all know how important it is to listen, it is still challenge for many people. I don’t know what makes us so difficult to listen. Most people like to talk rather than listening. I guess that it may be “listening’ sounds so passive while talking makes us feel in being control or more powerful. Listening is important in all human relationships (between husband and wife, parent and children, teacher and student; employer and employee; military commander and soldier. . . etc). “Listening” of course is a critical part in our faith journey. It is important to listen to God. In fact, God’s voice is the most important voice in the whole universe. But unfortunately, many people do not hear his voice well for various reasons. Today, I am going to introduce two people who had difficulty listening and recognizing God’s voice. They are boy Samuel and priest Eli. On this 2nd Sunday of the new year, I’d like to share God’s message with a sermon entitled, “Listen.” Through this message, I’d like to help you become better listener individually and also as a congregation. Let us take a look at today’s text.