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Judgement & Love Part #7 | Mercy

Judgement & Love Part #7 | Mercy

AUDIO

REFERENCES

Sermon Text: Exodus 33:17-19; 34:6

Scriptures Referenced: Matthew 9:11–13, Luke 23:32–34, Psalm 103:11–12, Isaiah 43:25, Ephesians 2:3–5, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Luke 6:34–36

ROADMAP

1. God is merciful
2. God’s mercy forgets
3. God’s mercy both removes and gives
4. Gospel-empowered mercy

QUOTES

The essential act of Mercy was to pardon; and pardon in its very essence involves the recognition of guilt and ill-desert in the recipient.
— CS Lewis
Karma is getting what you deserve - which is naive about the human condition and damning to the suffering. Christianity teaches that what we deserve is death with no hope of resurrection — but that God is merciful.
Why does God abandon Jesus to be murdered by us? The answer, it would seem, must lie in that very unconditional love and mercy he intends to carry out in act. God, I would think we can assume, knows full well that he is a problem for us. He knows that unconditional love and mercy is “the end” of us, our conditional world. He knows that to have mercy on whom he will have mercy can only appear as frightening, as wrath, to such a world. He knows we would have to die to all we are before we could accept it. But he also knows that that is our only hope, our only salvation. 
— Gerhard Forde
When the Puritan Thomas Hooker was dying, his friends tried to comfort him on his death bed, saying, “Be of good cheer, Thomas, you are going to receive your reward.”
His response? “No. Brother, I’m going to receive mercy”.
God is merciful now and forever. It is who he is and how he wants to be known.
Forget not, never forget that you have promised me to use this silver to become an honest man…. Jean Valjean, my brother: you belong no longer to evil, but to good. It is your soul that I am buying for you. I withdraw it from dark thoughts and from the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God!
— Bishop Myriel, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

SONGS

Rejoice

My Lord I Did Not Choose You

Come To The Altar

Nothing But The Blood

Jesus Paid It All

Judgement & Love Part #4 | Regret (Guilt)

Judgement & Love Part #4 | Regret (Guilt)

Audio

References

Sermon Text: Romans 2:14-16

Scriptures Referenced: Exodus 20:2-3, Matthew 5:20, Matthew 5:43–45, Matthew 22:36–40, Matthew 5:48, James 2:10–11, Psalm 51:4, John 3:19–20, Galatians 3:10, James 2:10, Luke 18:13–14

Roadmap

  1. Do you live up to your own law?
  2. Do you live up to God’s law?
  3. Who is responsible?
  4. What will you do with your debt?

Quotes

Eichmann asked the Israeli president, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, for a pardon, arguing, “I was not a responsible leader, and as such do not feel myself guilty.”

In the letter, Eichmann repeated the defense offered at his four-month trial in 1961: that he was a low-level functionary following orders and that he should not be held accountable for the crimes of his superiors. He wrote that the judges who convicted him were “not able to empathize with the time and situation in which I found myself during the war years.”
— Pardon Plea by Adolf Eichmann, Nazi War Criminal, Is Made Public, ISABEL KERSHNER, NY Times, January 28, 2016
They love truth when it enlightens them, they hate truth when it accuses them…They hate truth when it reveals itself, they hate truth when it reveals them.
— St. Augustine, Confessions
In no way does the complexity and gravity of our situation absolve us of responsibility. To blame our reactivity on the devil or on our parents or on anyone or anything else is to doom ourselves to relational failure with God and others. If we want to change, we must own our reality before God. 
— Rich Plass and Jim Cofield, The Relational Soul
We cannot understand God’s grace without first understanding God’s law... If we cheat on law, we are cheated on grace…A big view of God’s grace depends on a big view of God’s law.
— Paul Zahl, Grace in Practice

 

Songs

Rock of Ages

Solid Rock

Mighty to Save

Jesus Paid it All

Christ is Risen

Judgement & Love Part #3 | Shame

Judgement & Love Part #3 | Shame

Audio

References

Sermon Text: Luke 7:36–50

Roadmap

1. What is shame?

2. A vignette of shame.

3. The way out of shame.

Personal Prayer & Reflection

"If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." - 1 John 1:8–9

Is there a place you have tried to manage your shame with secrecy, silence, or self-reliance instead of through faith in Jesus? After confessing that to God, who can you share this with?

"I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them. They shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it." — Jeremiah 33:8–9

What could it look like if we were a church that met shame with empathy? 
Who do you need to pray for - that they’d hear the good news of Jesus for shame?

"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”  - Revelation 21:3-4

Where do you need to ask God for a greater awareness of his presence and glory in your life?

Quotes

"Guilt lives in the courtroom, shame lives in the community. Guilt says you are responsible, you are wrong, you have sinned. Shame says you don’t belong; you are unacceptable, unclean, disgraced. The shamed person feels worthless, expects rejections, and needs cleansing, fellowship, love, and acceptance." — Ed Welch, Shame Interrupted 

"So, when Jesus asks us, “Do you see this woman?” (Luke 7:44), I wonder what it must have been like for her. There was no lust in his eyes, no use of her behind his smile, no flirtatious familiarity or flatter in his tone. Her given beauty was noticed and cherished; her heart and mind here understood and known. Had she ever been looked at by a man like this? Had the men standing there ever known that they too could learn by grace to look at a woman in this way?" — Zack Eswine, The Imperfect Pastor

Jesus is an incongruous combination — a Servant-King. We have no parallels or comparisons. The Latrine-washing President? The homeless Queen?…He understands Nothings because he chose to be one. He elevates Nothings when they associates themselves with him. — Ed Welch, Shame Interrupted

Songs

In Tenderness

Hallelujah to My King

Depth of Mercy

How He Loves

Before the Throne

 

Judgement & Love Part #2 | Betrayal

Judgement & Love Part #2 | Betrayal

AUDIO

REFERENCES

Sermon Text: Genesis 1:26-31

Scriptures Referenced: Romans 3:12-17, Luke 6:45, James 1:14-15, Luke 5:31–32, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 6:23

Roadmap

1. We break ‘wholeness’

2. We love the wrong things

3. We reap what we sow

4. We love half-measures

QUOTES

What the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies.  — Thomas Cranmer

[We] know that sin possesses appalling force. We know that when we sin, we pervert, adulterate, and destroy good things. We create matrices and atmospheres of moral evil and bequeath them to our descendants. By habitual practice, we let loose a great, rolling momentum of moral and spiritual evil across generations. By doing such things, we involve ourselves deeply in what theologians call corruption. — Cornelius Plantinga, Not the Way Its Supposed to Be

We ourselves testify to our own injustice by how we always expect others to behave to us. The greatest liar in the world is still outraged by being lied to. No one is a moral relativist, subjectivist, or minimalist when it comes to others’ behavior to him, only him to others. — Peter Kreeft

SONGS

Rock of Ages

Jesus Paid it All

How Deep the Father's Love

Jesus Saves

Man of Sorrows

Judgement & Love Part #1 | Death

Judgement & Love Part #1 | Death

AUDIO

REFERENCES

Sermon Text: Genesis 3:19 and Ecclesiastes 3:20

Scriptures Referenced: John 11:35, Revelation 21:4, Job 14:5, Matthew 6:27, Romans 8:5–6, Romans 6:13, John 11:24–27, Revelation 1:17–18,  

QUOTES

"We usually live with an unconscious image of earth as a large, stable, secure place, the absolute, the center, with Heaven and Hell as barely visible points in the sky, shimmering and remote fantasies, tiny and uncertain. In fact, it is Earth that is tiny and uncertain."  — Peter Kreeft, Christianity for Modern Pagans

"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new." — Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Address, 2005

"It affects our whole life to know whether the soul is mortal or immortal." — Blaise Pascal, Pensees

"We are the most in debt, obese, addicted, and medicated adult cohort in US history…We make the uncertain certain...we perfect...we pretend." — Brene Brown, The Power of Vulnerability, TEDxHouston, June 12, 2010

"Maybe dullness is associated with psychic pain because something that’s dull or opaque fails to provide enough stimulation to distract people from some other, deeper type of pain that is always there, if only in an ambient low-level way, and which most of us spend nearly all our time and energy trying to distract ourselves from feeling, or at least feeling directly or with our full attention. Admittedly, the whole thing’s pretty confusing, and hard to talk about abstractly… but surely something must lie behind not just Muzak in dull or tedious places anymore but now also actual TV in waiting rooms, supermarkets’ checkouts, airports’ gates, SUV’s backseats. Walkmen, iPods, BlackBerries, cell phones that attach to your head. This terror of silence with nothing diverting to do. I can’t think anyone really believes today’s so-called ‘information society’ is just about information. Everyone knows it’s about something else, way down." — David Foster Wallace, The Pale King

"Indifference is more fashionable today than it ever was before, except perhaps once: as Rome was dying—decadent, sophisticated, skeptical, relativistic, jaded, bored and promiscuous, skidding down its own mudslide of spiritual waste—exactly like us. By contrast, all young and healthy nations, cultures, and individuals are simple, strong, and passionate—never bland, indifferent and relativistic. If there is any certain symptom of social senility it is indifference, show in slogans like “anything goes”, “do your own thing”, “different strokes for different folks”, or “live and let live”.  — Kreeft, Christianity for Modern Pagans

"For Jesus came to raise the dead. He did not come to reward the rewardable, improve the improvable, or correct the correctable; he came simply to be the resurrection and the life of those who will take their stand on a death he can use instead of on a life he cannot." — Robert Capon, Kingdom, Grace and Judgment

SONGS

Grace Alone

Lord, I Need You

Mighty to Save

Stronger

Amazing Grace

Advent 2015 | Week Five

Advent 2015 | Week Five

AUDIO

REFERENCES

Sermon Text: Psalm 90

Advent Scripture Reading: Luke 21:27-28 and 2 Peter 3:13-14

QUOTES

"He added that he had gotten through his presidency only with the help of prayer. “I’ve prayed a lot throughout my life. Abraham Lincoln once said that he could never have fulfilled his duties as president for even fifteen minutes without God’s help. I felt the same way.” — Peggy Noonan, When Character Was King

“In an era when the ability to capture a still life or one in motion is in your pocket at all times, people have a tendency to do so with a different approach. They put themselves in the foreground of existence, which inevitably means putting life behind them. It requires you to look away from the thing you wish to capture in order to put your face in the shot, and to do so over and over and over again…When your primary daily subject is yourself, failure to capture you at your best is more significant.” — Ben Domenech, “Meaning in the Age of Selfie Sticks”, The Federalist

“Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” — Steve Jobs, Stanford University Commencement Speech 2005

80% of Millennials check their phones the first thing in the morning. (USA TODAY)

“We wish to live inside the safety of the laws. We fear to choose. Jesus insists on choice. The one thing he condemns utterly is avoiding the choice. To choose is to commit yourself. And to commit yourself is to run the risk, is to run the risk of failure, the risk of sin, the risk of betrayal. But Jesus can deal with all of those. Forgiveness he never denies us. The man who makes a mistake can repent. But the man who hesitates, who does nothing, who buries his talent in the earth, with him he can do nothing.” — Father Quintana, To the Wonder

SONGS

Psalm 23

Jesus Paid It All

Amazing Grace

In Christ Alone

Man of Sorrows

Advent 2015 | Week Three

Advent 2015 | Week Three

REFERENCES

Sermon Text: Hebrews 12:1–2

Scripture Referenced: Psalm 16:11, Psalm 4:7, John 15:11

Advent Scripture Reading:  Luke 2:8-20

QUOTES

"The shepherd experienced joy when he found his lost sheep (Mt 18:13). The multitude felt it when Jesus healed a Jewish woman whom Satan had bound for 18 years (Lk 13:17). The disciples returned to Jerusalem rejoicing after Jesus’ ascension (Lk 24:52). Joy was also the feeling of the church at Antioch when its members heard the Jerusalem Council’s decision that they did not have to be circumcised and keep the Law (Acts 15:31). Paul mentioned his joy in hearing about the obedience of the Roman Christians (Rom 16:19)." - Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible

“Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden.” - CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

“While other worldviews lead us to sit in the midst of life’s joys, foreseeing the coming sorrows, Christianity empowers its people to sit in the midst of this world’s sorrows, tasting the coming joy.” - Tim Keller, Walking With God Through Pain & Suffering

“We are often waiting on God to do something to us or for us, instead of in us. In other words, we may be saying “Lord, why don’t you remove this problem” instead of “Lord, make me the person that can handle this problem.” - Tim Keller, Living in a Pluralistic Society

SONGS

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

All Glory Be to Christ

In Christ Alone

Father, You Are All We Need

Solid Rock

Advent 2015 | Week Two

Advent 2015 | Week Two

AUDIO

REFERENCES

Sermon Text: Romans 8:22–25

Scripture Referenced: Colossians 1:3–5, Romans 5:1–5, 1 Timothy 4:7–10, Jeremiah 23:16–17, Jeremiah 18:11–12, Proverbs 26:12, 

Advent Scripture Reading:  Micah 5:2 and Luke 2:1-7

QUOTES

"Marriage was an economic institution in which you were given a partnership for life in terms of children and social status and succession and companionship. But now we want our partner to still give us all these things, but in addition, I want you to be my best friend and my trusted confidant and my passionate lover to boot, and we live twice as long. So we come to one person, and we basically are asking them to give us what once an entire village used to provide: Give me belonging, give me identity, give me continuity, but give me transcendence and mystery and awe all in one. Give me comfort, give me edge. Give me novelty, give me familiarity. Give me predictability, give me surprise."

— Esther Perel, The Secret to Desire in a Long-Term Relationship

"Swiss medical student Johannes Hofer (1669-1752)….coined the term “nostalgia” in his 1688 thesis, combining the Greek terms nostos (for “returning home”) and algia (for “pain”) to describe an entirely new disease…Hofer described the disease as “the pain a sick person feels because he is not in his native land, or fears never to see it again.”

— Jackie Rosenhek, “Dying to go Home”, Doctors Review

"Well, technology is a glittering lure. But there's the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash, if they have a sentimental bond with the product. My first job, I was in-house at a fur company, with this old pro copywriter. Greek, named Teddy. And Teddy told me the most important idea in advertising is "new". Creates an itch. You simply put your product in there as a kind of... calamine lotion. But he also talked about a deeper bond with the product: nostalgia. It's delicate... but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, "nostalgia" literally means, "the pain from an old wound". It's a twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn't a spaceship. It's a time machine. It goes backwards, forwards. It takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It's not called the Wheel. It's called a Carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels. Around and around, and back home again... to a place where we know we are loved."

— Don Draper, Mad Men, “The Wheel”

"Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise [...] If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."

"Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same."

— C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity,

SONGS

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

All Glory Be to Christ

In Christ Alone

Father, You Are All We Need

Solid Rock