Traditionally, “Advent” has been a season of preparation and anticipation. On this 2nd Sunday of Advent, we lit the candles of hope and peace. I named today’s sermon title as “The Root of Jesse.” Don’t worry! I am not going to talk about the famous robber Jesse James. Father of King David also had same name, Jesse. The previous chapter, Isaiah 10 left with the idea of the LORD chopping down the proud as if they were mighty trees. Now, in today’s text, the LORD is looking over the stumps, and causes a new branch to grow out of one of them, the root of the family of Jesse, David’s father. Indeed, Jesus did come from the stump of Jesse. When Jesus came forth, it was like a new green Branch coming from an apparently dead stump.
At our Annual Clergy Gathering at Life Enrichment Center, Dr. Matthew Sleeth was a main guest speaker. His years of experience as an Emergency Room Physician in hospitals qualifies him as a veteran to talk about this topic in a culture of demanding overwork. We are living in a culture where single parent cannot afford to take one day of rest out of seven days. How about a college student who has a big exam on Monday, or a child facing a little league on Sunday? Taking one day off from our work or practicing Sabbath has become more difficult in today’s world that distracts and pressures us to work harder and longer. We live in the most fast-paced period of history. People literally fly from one continent to another on a same day. Dr. Sleeth wrote in his book, 24/6, “Look around. Thanks to ever-improving technology, we now feel the pressure to be “on” twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Sure, things like smart phones, the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and Skype help us stay connected with coworkers, family, and friends—but what about God? How can we possibly have “ears to hear” when we are plugged in 24/7? If we never take time to “be still and know” God, how can we grow into mature spiritual being? The solution is simple. And it is endorsed by the Great Physician himself. In fact, God himself invented it. It’s called rest. And like all other good things, rest is a gift from God. Rest doesn’t happen. It takes intention, commitment, and restraint. Yet rewards are indescribably amazing.”
This morning, I’d like share God’s message with you through a sermon entitled, “STOP DAY.” Through today’s message, I’d like to encourage you live a happier, healthier, and more God-centered life by living the lifestyle of 24/6.
“If you give thanks when you wake up in the morning, you will be happy for the rest of the day. If you give thanks before you go to bed, you will sleep well. If you begin with thanksgiving on the first day of the New Year, the whole year will be different. Little Thanks begets Big Thanks. When we thank more, we will live a happier life!”
I am thankful for all of our volunteers who worked so hard for our Bazaar, Bake Sale, and Thrift Shop. I thank God for giving us nice weather. I thank God for our church members, Eagles Club, Lion’s Club, other Methodist Congregations and the Florida Conference who have supported our church. I thank God for my family and all my friends who love me and pray for me. Most of all, I thank God for the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Although I can go on and on if I try to mention all the things that I am grateful for, but I will stop here since we have a limited time.
I also want you to count your own blessings and give thanks to God, especially in this month of November. This morning, I’d like to share God’s message with you through a sermon entitled, “Always Give Thanks!” And we are going to explore the life of Daniel. I am sure that many of us heard the story of Daniel in the lion’s den before. As a matter of fact, there is a painting of Daniel taming the lions that hangs on the wall of many Sunday school classrooms. We learned how God saved Daniel from becoming the main course of at dinner in the lions’ den. But there are a lot more for us to learn from this story!
On October 1, at least 58 people have died and 546 people have been injured at a country-music concert in Las Vegas, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. On Oct. 31, a driver drove a pickup truck down a crowded bike path along the Hudson River in Manhattan on Tuesday, killing eight people and injuring 11 before being shot by a police officer. Note found claims attack done for ISIS.
Last Sunday, there was another shooting incident at 1st Baptist Church, Sutherland Spiring, Taxas. A gun man killed 26 people and injured 20 more during their Sunday Worship Service. Devin Patrick Kelley had a troubled past and was prone to domestic violence, animal cruelty and mental health problem, according to public records and those who knew him. None of those facts will bring back the 25 people he killed, plus an unborn child.
Although we associate power with military might, political hand, financial pull, or at least physial strength, the power that the Bible tells of and promises is spiritual power. The world underestimates such power because they rather depend on the powers that are more tangible and visible. This morning, I’d like to share God’s message with you thorugh a sermon entitled, “Be Strong In the Lord.”
Think of a flashlight without a battery vs. a flashlight with a battery; a microphone which is not connected to the source of power vs. a microphone which is connected to the source of power. Christian who maintains a close relationship with God shines their light vs. Christians who do not maintain a close relationship with God does not shine. This morning, I’d like to share God’s grace with you through a sermon entitled, “Let your light shine!”
Last Sunday, we learned about the Word of God. One of the many things the Word of God does is to lead people to be born again. Regardless his or her physical age, anyone who is born again is a new born baby. Any new born babies are expected to grow. There are many products that can help us to grow–fertilizers will help to grow flowers, vegetables and fruits. There are many hair products that will help to grow people’s hair. Milk and baby foods will help babies to grow physically. In today’s text, Peter introduces some of the ways we can grow spiritually. Our God expects all of his children to grow and become mature disciples of Jesus Christ, so I’d like to share God’s grace with you through a sermon entitled, “Grow.”
This morning, we’re going to explore 1 Peter 1:22-25. In these four verses, the Apostle Peter talks about the Word of God—its characteristics and power.
Last Sunday, I talked about “the living hope” and “inheritance” we have through Jesus Christ. Today, I’m going to talk about our call to holy living. It is important to know that we have a place to go after this life is over. It’s important for us to have faith in Jesus Christ. But it is also important how we live our lives until we get there. This morning, I’d like to expose 1 Peter 1:13-21.
James DeLoach, associate pastor of a Baptist Church of Houston wrote this in his book, “I am not an expert of great art, but from time to time a painting or picture will really speak a clear, strong message to me. Some time ago I saw a picture of an old burned-out mountain shack. All that remained was the chimney…the charred debris of what had been that family’s sole possession. In front of this destroyed home stood an old grandfather with a small boy. It was evident that the child was crying. Beneath the picture were the words which the artist felt the old man was speaking to the boy. They were simple words, yet they presented a profound theology and philosophy of life. Those words were, “Hush child, God ain’t dead!”
That vivid picture of that burned-out mountain shack, that old man, the weeping child, and those words “God ain’t dead? keep returning to my mind. Instead of it being a reminder of the despair of life, it has come to be a reminder of hope! I need reminders that there is hope in this world. In the midst of all of life’s troubles and failures, I need mental pictures to remind me that all is not lost as long as God is alive and in control of His world. This morning, I’d like to share God’s words with you through a sermon entitled, “A living hope.” I’m going to expose God’s Words from 1 Peter 1:3-9.
Beginning today throughout the end of December this year, I am going to do expository preaching. What is expository preaching? Expository preaching involves the exposition, or comprehensive explanation of the Scripture. Expository preaching presents the meaning and intent of a biblical text, providing commentary and examples to make the passage clear and understandable. The word exposition is related to the word expose. My goal as an expository preacher is to expose the meaning of the Bible, verse by verse so that you can relate them into your own personal and community contexts. In the past, I’ve preached from the Letter of 1 John and Phillippians. I’ve also preached from the Book of Jonah. This time, I’ve chosen The First Letter from Peter. I thank God for guiding me to do this. I also thank you for giving me this opportunity to expose God’s words in such deep and relevant ways to our lives. It is my prayer that God will help me to understand His Words and transform my heart so that I can truly preach God’s Words that I practice in my own life. I also pray for you to listen to my sermons with open minds and let God transform your hearts and life through his Words. This morning, I’m going to expose First Peter 1:1-2.