The kingdom of God seems so small, and the things of this world seem so big, but we have it backwards! The parables of Matthew 13 point show God's extravagant love for His tiny creatures.
This is the sermon that Pastor Mike preached on Pentecost.
For our sermon today, Pastor Mike opens up about his life under a brutal dictatorship in Ghana. Pastor Mike saw corruption and oppression everywhere, but the officer core seemed to do very well. Growing up, Pastor Mike and his friends resolved to get physically fit and join the army. That was the way to getting rewards. Transitioning, Pastor Mike notes that the sins of Israel brought God's judgement, and throughout history, Worship of God did not bring rewards on earth. But that is not the purpose of the Gospel. Listen as Pastor Mike goes through the ultimate reward.
The congregation rejoices for two reasons. The first is after a battle with ilness, Pastor AJ has returned to us hole and healthy once again! By the grace of God, he has returned to us to preach on this most joyful Reformation Day! Today marks the 499th anniversery of Martin Luther's 95 theses and the beginnings of the restoration of Christ's church.
There is no more fitting topic than conclude our three part Sermon series on Christian Worship. Listen as Pastor AJ links Christian worship. Soli Deo gloria!!
In our sermon this week, Pastor Mike Okine begins a three part sermon series on proper Christian worship. Worship is not just something we do, but also something God does for us. In our text today, the Pharisee goes to the temple confident in his own righteousness, stands in the middle of the temple and boasts about his piety for all to see. The tax collector by contrast approaches God as a humbled sinner in need of repentance and worships in the correct way.
In our sermon today, Pastor Mike touches on a very important subject: Scripture as the foundation of our faith. Likening it to a favorite food, Pastor Mike notes that God-Breathed scripture is the source of knowledge of salvation. Sticking with Scripture will keep believers wise for salvation.
In our Old Testament reading today, Pastor Matt expounds the greatness of redemption in the story of Ruth and Naomi. After Naomi's life headed south, she sends her daughters away. However, Ruth out of love, remains behind to care for her mother. Asking us who the Ruth in our lives is, listen as Pastor Matt uses this story to illustrate the redemptive power of love.
Our sermon this Sunday focuses on Jesus teaching his disciples a lesson on humility, a lesson that all of us sinners could take to heart. In our text today, Pastor AJ notes that humility is the word that ties this gospel passage together. Listen as Pastor AJ extols the humility that Christ showed for us on the cross, and our need to be humbled by both asking for forgiveness for our sins, and not denying the forgiveness of others.
In our sermon this Sunday, Pastor Okine is dealing with an oft missunderstood text. In our text today, Jesus tells a parable about a manager and money. Jesus explains that we cannot serve both God and money. While money is not directly evil, it is necessary for us to function in this world, we should use money to serve the community, not just serve money as God.
In our Epistle lesson today, Paul warns against false teachers bringing false doctrines. People were preaching a gospel that required keeping the law, saying that Jesus's sacrifice was insufficient to unite sinners to God. Pastor Okine in the sermon today emphasizes that no one is saved by works of the Law. Listen as Pastor Okine preaches what needs to be on our résumé for heaven.
In our sermon this week, Pastor AJ notes that this is a very difficult text. How could Jesus be asking us to give up everything we know and everyone we love to follow him? What does it mean that we should "hate" our own family?
These strong words challenge us to re-examine our priorities, especially our highest ones. Do we have the proper understanding of God and family? Do we use words like "values" to hide our lack of love for God and His kingdom? Our Lord Jesus uses strong words to challenge us and to demonstrate how radical the Gospel really is.
In our wealthy and prosperous society, people often fail to engage with God in prayer. Reading from our text of Luke 11:1-13, Paster Hoehner states that American's often walk right by our church, not knowing that answers they seek are found in the church. Since Americans consider themselves well off, they fail to ask or seek and thus fail to find. Through prayer, we can seek the kingdom and find everlasting life.
When we hear the words from our reading, "Do not be anxious about [...] what you will eat [or] what you will put on," we think the Lord is telling us not to spend so much time browsing the restaurant menu or standing in front of our shoe closet in the morning. But these are 'first-world problems' that come from a position of privilege almost 2000 years after these words were written.
Our Lord originally spoke these words to farmers and fishermen, people who might not get to eat dinner if they had a bad day at work, people who might not have anything to wear if something happened to their single spare change of clothes. Our Lord spoke to people who were just getting by, and He wasn't merely saying that there's more to life than appearance and luxury—He already said that in the Parable of the Rich Fool—now He was saying that there's more to life than even the bare necessities of health and survival! There's something more fundamental to life than even life & death.