peace

  • The road of shame, suffering and sacrifice lead the cross. And since Jesus died for all and rose again, his life counts for all. The tomb is still empty. Therefore, no matter what happens . . . even if everything else collapses, God’s eternal promises are still standing.

    Asheville Easter Sermon - Luke 24:1-12 - "Easter Still Stands!"

    Hendersonville Easter Sermon - 1 Corinthians 15:51-57 - "The Easter Taunt of the Winners!"

  • It’s kind of hard for us to accept the supernatural. Like Thomas, we find it difficult to believe something that goes beyond our understanding or transcends our reason. Yet we are drawn to those very things in entertainment, in our relationships, and in the world around us. We are attracted to superheroes, fantasy lands, and mystical plots. We want crazy love and strength from the people we rely on the most. We crave stability greater than what we can see. And it just so happens that the resurrection gives us what we are inclined towards and more. Life, forgiveness, peace with God, fearlessness . . . all of these are ours through the living and enduring promises of God because Easter still stands.

  • What are your credentials as a Christian? What are your most noteworthy deeds as a follower of Christ? Before you ponder such questions too deeply, be careful! Personal credentials and accomplishments are actually obstacles in your path. Or as Jesus’ apostle Paul puts it, those are garbage compared to the surpassing value of experiencing the righteousness, power, sufferings, and resurrection of Christ. None of us has “arrived” as a Christian. Instead, we press on toward the goal of knowing Christ and of being called heavenward in him.

  • We dedicate so much of our lives trying to fit in and feel like we belong. With each passing year we realize the brokenness of our world and its inability to satisfy the longings of our heart. More and more feeling out of place might actually be a good thing? God's Son unsurprisingly seemed out of place when he came to this earth. Therefore, it shouldn't surprise us when the same is true of those who follow him. All the more we want to discover the beauty of knowing we don’t belong.

  • We dedicate so much of our lives trying to fit in and feel like we belong. With each passing year we realize the brokenness of our world and its inability to satisfy the longings of our heart. More and more feeling out of place might actually be a good thing? God's Son unsurprisingly seemed out of place when he came to this earth. Therefore, it shouldn't surprise us when the same is true of those who follow him. All the more we want to discover the beauty of knowing we don’t belong. This week, we look at where this all started for Jesus public work. In his baptism he takes us with him as he launches onto the scene to live a life that is entirely contrary to this world. As Martin Luther put it, “(in baptism) We do no favors.” We make ourselves and our children enemies of sin, death, and Satan. Yet, how beautiful it is to know that God in baptism has saved us for our eternal home. Even now he helps us live an un-worldly life.

     
  • We dedicate so much of our lives trying to fit in and feel like we belong. With each passing year we realize the brokenness of our world and its inability to satisfy the longings of our heart. More and more feeling out of place might actually be a good thing? God's Son unsurprisingly seemed out of place when he came to this earth. Therefore, it shouldn't surprise us when the same is true of those who follow him. All the more we want to discover the beauty of knowing we don’t belong.

  • The apostle Paul calls the message he preached “foolish” (1 Corinthians 1 & 2). What he means is that human reason is offended and baffled by what he and the rest of Jesus’ ambassadors proclaimed. That is certainly the case with the most fundamental teaching of Scripture—the doctrine of God. The Bible teaches that the one true God exists as the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Each of these three Persons has a different consciousness. Each has a different personality. Each is distinct from the other. It is not as though one Person were acting in three different ways or fulfilling three different roles, however. There are three Persons. Each is fully God, doing divine things and having divine attributes. At the same time the Bible also says there is only one God. Not three gods, but one God. Logically the doctrine of the Trinity is beyond our ability to understand. The only way we could ever believe such a thing is by the working of the Holy Spirit through God’s Word. On this Festival of the Holy Trinity we recognize that we have a triune (three-in-one) God who is so great and so far above us, we cannot fully comprehend him. Yet we also rejoice that this “holy, holy, holy” Lord God is merciful and gracious, blessing us with hope and peace that will endure forever. Praise God! Praise Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!

  • Did Jesus’ first followers grieve when he left them and ascended into heaven? Should his followers today be sad that he is no longer with us in the flesh? No! Just the opposite is the case! The Ascension of Our Lord is one of the great celebrations of the Church. “He ascended into heaven,” we confess, “and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty” so that he might intercede for us sinners, pour out his saving grace upon us, equip us to be his witnesses, and strengthen us for the task of proclaiming his salvation to the ends of the earth. Yes, the kingdom and the power and the glory belong to the ascended Lord Jesus now and forever!

  • The Lord isn’t done with us. Far from it! When our Savior rose from the dead and then ascended into heaven, he never intended that any of his followers would simply slip back into their old mundane routines. He has plans for us moving forward, that we would devote ourselves to serving others where we are and to sharing his message of eternal life. In ways we sometimes see and in ways we sometimes don’t see, the Lord Jesus is carrying out his plan and equipping each of us for the pathway ahead.

  • “Life is a journey.” You’ve heard that axiom more often than you can count. Some will point out that “life has its ups and downs." Others will warn that life is full of "detours" and "forks in the road." So much is said about our “personal journey” that we can lose sight of the One who alone makes life purposeful and meaningful. Far more significant than the journey we take, Jesus' road took him on the path of suffering, death, and hell. Yet the path he paved and the life he gave lead us to the peace and security we could never have reached on our own.

     

    Today's focus: Distracted driving is a major problem. We don’t need to ask the insurance agent or the state trooper to know that cell phones, billboards, other drivers, people walking on the sidewalk are among the countless distractions that pull our eyes away from the way ahead. It’s as common as it is dangerous. Jesus’ road was anything but free from distractions. From Satan’s temptations to the weakness of humankind to the weight of a saving a broken world, Jesus faced every temptation. And yet he over came every distraction as he took steps that only the Savior could take.

    Asheville Sermon Podcast

    Hendersonville Sermon Podcast

  • “Life is a journey.” You’ve heard that axiom more often than you can count. Some will point out that “life has its ups and downs." Others will warn that life is full of "detours" and "forks in the road." So much is said about our “personal journey” that we can lose sight of the One who alone makes life purposeful and meaningful. Far more significant than the journey we take, Jesus' road took him on the path of suffering, death, and hell. Yet the path he paved and the life he gave lead us to the peace and security we could never have reached on our own.

  • “Life is a journey.” You’ve heard that axiom more often than you can count. Some will point out that “life has its ups and downs." Others will warn that life is full of "detours" and "forks in the road." So much is said about our “personal journey” that we can lose sight of the One who alone makes life purposeful and meaningful. The world in which we live is a dangerous place. Every day another catastrophe falls upon individuals and groups of people. Even the most cautious among us faces threats to body and soul. Today the Lord instructs us to take every calamity as a warning. “Repent!” he says. Confess your own sins, and turn in faith to the Savior who himself walked a dangerous road so that you might have life.

  • “Life is a journey.” You’ve heard that axiom more often than you can count. So much is said about will point out that “life has its ups and downs." Others will warn that life is full of "detours" and "forks in the road." So much is said about our “personal journey” that we can lose sight of the One who alone makes life purposeful and meaningful. Far more significant than the journey we take, Jesus' road took him on the path of suffering, death, and hell. Yet the path he paved and the life he gave lead us to the peace and security we could never have reached on our own. .

  • Jesus’ disciples lost him through the cross but then regained him through his glorious resurrection. With the culmination of his work, he brings them and all his followers unbridled and unending joy. How so? It all rests on this fact: Easter still stands! Jesus rose from the dead! Therefore, grief turns to joy just like a mother’s childbirth pain turns to elation. This kind of joy made a believing woman like Lydia open her home to Christ’s ambassador Paul. This kind of joy is experienced when we see that God is making all things new. This kind of joy is ours right now as we share in his everlasting peace and promises.

  • Saul of Tarsus was headed to another city, planning once again to arrest Christians and drag them back to Jerusalem in chains. In the meantime, Saul was wearing chains himself, shackled by his hatred for Christ and by his vindictive ignorance. Then the risen Redeemer spoke to him, cut away his chains, and commissioned him to proclaim his Name throughout the world. We who were once wearing the chains of hatred, ignorance, guilt, and fear have ourselves been set free. In his grace and mercy, Christ has spoken to us of forgiveness, resurrection, and eternal life. He has now commissioned us also to proclaim his liberating Name even to those who are wearing the chains of unbelief: “Christ is risen!”