In the fast paced, highly connected world in which we live it seems all too common for people to feel overlooked. This sense of falling between the cracks is even more profound when we are struggling with difficulties that overwhelm us with seemingly no explanation for our suffering. We learn from the opening verses of the ninth chapter of John’s gospel that in Jesus we have a savior who sees our struggles. Furthermore, we learn in this passage that the hardships and struggles in our lives are for a purpose that displays the glory and character of God. In healing a blind beggar in Jerusalem, Jesus shows his power over our circumstances and teaches us to fix our gaze upon the higher purposes of our circumstances.
At this point in Romans 11, Paul is explaining that God has an ultimate purpose in both the rebellion and restoration of ethnic Israel. In verse 22, he reminds us that we must vigilantly guard ourselves against pride and apathy by both loving and fearing God. If we see unbelief rising in our hearts, we must fear God and fly to Christ. Thus, we are to be people regularly in God’s Word, setting before ourselves the kindness and severity of God so that we are properly informed and motivated as we press on in sanctification.
Christ said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Matt 20:28) In Christ, we are meant to be servants as well — never passive spectators, but active participants in His work. This sermon explores the role of the servant, the message of the servant, the caution of the servant, and the path of the servant, all with the goal of helping is realize that our greatest joy is in being servants of Christ and serving others in His name.
Believers are engaged in the ongoing process of sanctification, progressively becoming more and more like Christ. As we study the nature of Christ in Scripture we see traits that should increasingly characterize our lives. In this brief interlude, John shows us four characteristics of a faithful servant. Seeing how these traits are modeled by Jesus during a difficult season of ministry should serve to help in continue to grow in grace and Christ likeness.
Have you ever thought about abandoning your faith and leaving Christianity? Life brings many challenges to the heart of the believer but none match the words of Christ. When we read what Jesus requires of us in Scripture our hearts should despair for we do not have the means to meet the demand. But there is good news, all that God requires Jesus has satisfied. The words of Jesus are hard, but the word of Jesus are life. In this sermon we see how the apostles come to realize that Jesus was the only source of life as He is the Holy One of God. Their hope, as does ours, rests completely in Him.
Jesus is continuing to expound on what it means for Him to be the living bread from heaven. We are not to follow Christ because of what we get from him materially, as the Jews are doing in this text, rather we are to follow and believe in Christ in order to get Christ! He is our true manna from heaven. He is the only one who can nourish and satisfy our souls. It is also in Christ alone that we are saved, preserved through this life, and resurrected on the last day. So do you believe on this Jesus?
Enduring suffering and building a proven character have a way of making us understand what is really important and lasting on this life. Our trials do not lead us away from hope, but to deeper, more certain versions of our hope. Our tendency in our immaturity is to invest ourselves in so many fleeting and temporal things. It is through our trials and tribulations that we are made to see again and again that the things of this world offer no true comfort, no true fulfillment, and certainly no future. Through our trials, God build in us appetites that only heaven can satisfy.
There is so much chaos, conflict, and grief in our world, and we are so prone to anxiety, anger, and sorrow. How can we be happy, content, and thankful in world like the one in which we live? This sermon shows how the Bible gives us clear teaching about the source of contentment and how to grow in gratitude.
Nations constantly fight and war against one another, and sometimes, God’s people are caught in the fray. When that happens, God’s people suffer and sometimes experience persecution. This passage teaches us that God sovereignly rules over the ebb and flow of worldly power, to trust Him, and hold fast to Him, no matter what happens in the world.
What kind of faith is necessary to resist the temptation to bow our knees to false gods? How can you be willing to give your very life for the sake of obeying and honoring the one true God? This chapter of Daniel shows us how God is with us in every trial, that He never leaves us nor forsakes us, and that He keeps all of His promises.