November 21, 2010
Luke 23:27–43

A couple of weeks ago, we had a national election. Some of you are probably happy with the results. Some of you are probably sad. A few might be ambivalent.

I have high respect for anyone who decides to go into politics. It is definitely not for the faint of heart. It would be too easy for me to take a cheap shot by telling a politician joke. For instance, how can you tell when a politician is lying? His lips are moving. That's a cheap shot. And it's not true. Not all politicians are liars and not all liars are politicians.

No matter who you vote for and no matter which political party you align with, it is our duty as Christians to respect all those who are in authority over us. And to pray for them. St. Paul wrote: I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (1 Timothy 2:1,2). Even if you don't agree with your leaders, maybe especially if you don't agree with them, we are obligated to pray for them that God would give them wisdom and help them to make decisions which are pleasing to God, and not just pleasing to their constituents. They are God's agents and work for Him most of all, not we the people.

November 14, 2010
Luke 21:5-28
Title: And He Will Come Again

Dr. George Sweeting, President of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, tells of the day he noticed an unusual combination of bumper stickers on the car of a man who was visiting the school. One read: JESUS IS COMING! and the other: ESCAPE TO WISCONSIN. Does the message that Jesus is coming fill you with hope or alarm?

Every time we recite the Nicene Creed in church, we say these words: And He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead. The return of Jesus Christ for the final judgment is one of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity. But do you perceive this as good news or bad news?

In our context, it is almost impossible to talk about the Second Coming without sounding like a crazy fanatic on a street-corner wearing one of those sandwich board signs that says, “The End is Nigh.”

October 24, 2010
Text: Luke 18:9-17
Title: The Prayer of Repentance Made All the Difference

I want to share with you a little story from an author named John Ortberg:

Many years ago, early on in our marriage, my wife and I sold our Volkswagen Beetle to buy our first really nice piece of furniture. It was a sofa. It was a pink sofa, but for that kind of money, it was called a mauve sofa. The man at the sofa store told us all about how to take care of it, and we took it home.

We had very small children in those days, and does anybody want to guess what was the Number One Rule in our house from that day on? "Don't sit on the mauve sofa! Don't play near the mauve sofa! Don't eat around the mauve sofa! Don't touch the mauve sofa! Don't breathe on the mauve sofa! Don't think about the mauve sofa! On every other chair in the house, you may freely sit, but on this sofa—the mauve sofa—you may not sit, for on the day you sit thereon, you will surely die!"

And then one day came the "Fall." There appeared on the mauve sofa a stain…a red stain…a red jelly stain. My wife called the man at the sofa factory, and he told her how bad that was. So she assembled our three children to look at the stain on the sofa: Laura, who then was about 4, and Mallory, who was about 2½, and Johnny, who was maybe 6 months. She said, "Children, do you see that? That's a stain. That's a red stain. That's a red jelly stain. And the man at the sofa store says it's not coming out, not for all eternity. Do you know how long eternity is, children? Eternity is how long we're all going to sit here until one of you tells me which one of you put the red jelly stain on the mauve sofa."

October 31, 2010
Text: John 8:31-36

Have you ever heard about the Martian invasion scare that rocked America in 1938? On October 30, 1938, movie star Orson Welles narrated a radio adaptation of War of the Worlds, a novel by H.G. Wells (no relation to Orson Welles). This radio adaptation took the form of simulated news bulletins depicting ships from Mars landing in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey and attacking the human race. Because of the realistic nature of the program, there were reports nationwide of people contacting the authorities and visiting their neighbors in a panic. Some people drove the to site hoping to see the events unfold. Several people, who had brought firearms, mistook a farmer’s water tower for a Martian tripod and shot at it.

For listeners who missed the opening credits of the show, it wasn’t until about forty minutes into it that the radio station took a break and identified the program as part of the evening’s entertainment.

A lot of us can laugh at a story like that. We say, “Oh, people used to be so gullible back then.”

But what about us? We believe we know the difference between fact and fiction. Most of the time, we can distinguish between the fantasy of broadcast entertainment and the reality of daily life.

praying handsOctober 17, 2010
Luke 18:1-8
Title: “I’m Sorry to be a Pest, Lord, but …”

Today’s message is about prayer. So my first question for you is this: Is Your Prayer Life Where You Want It to Be?

My second question is: Do You Believe that Your Life Would Improve in Some Way – or the Lives of the People You Care About Would Improve in Some Way – if Your Prayer Life Improved?

Most Christians would admit that their prayer-life is not where it should be. And most would agree that their lives would improve in some way, spiritually, physically, emotionally, if their prayer life were stronger.

So if you believe that prayer makes a difference, if you believe that God answers prayer, if you believe that your life would improve or the lives of the people you care about would improve in some way if your prayer life were stronger, then what is stopping us?

I think there are three basic reasons why Christians do not have stronger prayer lives. 1) Because we don’t feel like we have enough time to pray. 2) Because we are not convinced that prayer will make a difference. 3) Because we do not really know how to pray.

I can’t adequately address all of these reasons in a single sermon. So I’ve decided what my next series of Tuesday night Bible classes will be about. Prayer.

The first problem is that we don’t feel like we have time to pray. Here are the Top Four occasions when you have to make time to pray:


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