On the Second Sunday of Advent, John the Baptist calls everyone to repentance in Mark 1:1-8. John prepares the way for Jesus, who is the agent of God’s ultimate rescue mission for his beloved children. Now is the time to confess our sins and prepare the way for Jesus to come into our hearts and lives.
What is success? As a new church year begins with the first Sunday of Advent, the words of Jesus from Mark 13:24-37 call us to examine our life and our goals from the perspective of eternity. Are you living for success that will pass away, or are you living for glory that is eternal?
The Gospel story from Luke 17:11-19 highlights one out of ten lepers who was healed by Jesus’ grace and mercy. The difference with that one man was that he returned to give thanks to Jesus, who healed him. Pastor Paige uses the image of thank you notes to discuss the difference between being thankful for something, and being thankful to our God for that thing. God is the one who gives us everything we need. The sermon also gave listeners a chance to voice their own prayers of thankfulness to God for the blessings they have received, and for the mercy and love that is ours through the cross of Christ.
In Matthew 6:5-15, Jesus tells us that God already knows everything we need before we even ask. What, then, is prayer for? Maybe it’s not for changing God, or even for changing our circumstances. Maybe it’s mainly for changing us. The Christian life is one long journey of conversion, and prayer is an essential part of it.
One of Martin Luther’s greatest Reformation insights was that in the Bible, God speaks with two voices: the Law and the Gospel. In the Law, God tells us what we are to do; in the Gospel, he gives us grace and new life. Law exposes our flaws; Gospel heals them. Law makes demands; Gospel gives promises. Discover how you can listen for these “two voices” through this sermon based on 1Timothy 1:3-9 and Matthew 5:17-20.