28
Nov
2011

Giving Thanks with the Psalms

Sermon for Thanksgiving Eve. Reflections on gratitude and thanksgiving, drawn from the Psalms.

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28
Nov
2011

The Incomparable God

Sermon on Isaiah 64:1-9, for the First Sunday in Advent. Isaiah's prayer anticipating the return of the Lord in power, and his humility and repentance over their sins.

Sermon Talking Points

Read past sermons at:   http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com

Listen to audio at:   http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

  1. Why might we wish, like Isaiah did in Isaiah 64, that God would come down and reveal His power and glory? What miraculous deeds of God did his prayer recall? Exodus 20:18-21.

  1. Why did Isaiah and the Jews feel as though God was silent towards them? Isaiah 63:17-19; 64:9-12. How do we sometimes feel or fear the same? That God is silent toward us because of our sins? How do we sometimes suffer under the guilt of our sin, when it remains unconfessed to God? Cf. Psalm 32 & 51

  1. How are some people moved to total fear of God, so that they doubt God could even love or save them? Are they really beyond the reach of God’s love? Luke 18:13-14; 5:31-32

  1. How has Jesus turned away God’s wrath against our sin? Romans ; 3:25; 5:9; 1 John 2:2

  1. How will Jesus “rend the heavens and come down” on the day of Judgment? Acts 1:11; Matthew 26:64; 1 Thess. 4:16-18

  1. Why does God presently delay His return for the final judgment? 2 Peter 3:9-13; 1 Tim. 2:4

  1. How were Jesus’ miracles and teachings “awesome” and “unlooked for” things from our incomparable God? How does God hide His face from our sins? Psalm 51:9; Jer. 31:34

  1. How does God remember and respond to our frailty as mortal human beings? Psalm 103:8-19; Where will He bring us at His return? Is. 65:17
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23
Nov
2011

Whose Mercy First?

A sermon on Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus' preview of the Final Judgment and the separation of the sheep and the goats. For the Last Sunday in the Church Year.

Sermon Talking Points

Read past sermons at:   http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com

Listen to audio at:   http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

1. What thoughts/emotions fill your mind at the thought of Judgment Day? Fear? Dread? Indifference? Doubt? Confidence? Anticipation? Why?

2. What separation will take place on that day? What will be taken into consideration in that judgment? Does this mean that we are saved by good works? See Titus 3:3-5. Which comes first? God’s mercy toward us? Or our merciful works? Which is the cause and which is the effect? Good works are a product of what? Titus 3:8

3. How does one become an heir? Titus 3:7; Galatians 3:26-4:7.

4. When did God prepare His kingdom for us? How does this also preclude works from being the cause of our salvation? Ephesians 1:3-5

5. Who are the sheep? How are they known? John 10:1-18

6. Why is mercy characteristic of Christians? Luke 6:36; Matt. 5:37; 18:33.

7. What are ways that we can be more conscious of our needy neighbors? How can we support them? What organizations? On an individual level?

8. Why should the Christian doing good works not seek attention, praise, or recognition? Matthew 6:1-17

9. How does God’s mercy prepare us for (and spare us on) the day of Judgment? For what reason does He? 1 John 2:2

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14
Nov
2011

Let us be found faithful

Sermon on Matthew 25:14-30, the Parable of the Talents, about how God wants us to put His gifts to use.

Sermon Talking Points

Read past sermons at:   http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com

Listen to audio at:   http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com

  1. What does the “man going on a journey” represent in this and other parables? Matt. 21:33; 25:5; John 14:1-6; 16:16-33; Acts 1:6-11
  2. What is the significance of his entrusting his property to the servants? What does he expect them to do until he returns? What has Jesus entrusted us (His servants) with?
  3. What are the gifts or talents that God has specifically given to you? (note that in the parable, “talents” refers to a measurement of money. However, in applying the parable, God-given abilities (“talents” in the other sense) are appropriately included). How are you putting your “talents” to use?
  4. Have you “buried” any of your gifts or talents? Have you used the blessings and time, talent, treasure that God has given you for your own personal gain and not for others?
  5. When the master takes account of the servants, does he measure their success, or their faithfulness? What’s the difference? If we put what God has entrusted to us to good use, do you think it matters how successful (in earthly terms) we are with it? 1 Corinthians 3:6-7. Who “gives the growth” when we labor for God?
  6. What is the reward of the two good and faithful servants? What is the punishment of the unworthy servant? The unworthy servant evaluates the master as literally a harsh or cruel man, and justifies his inaction by his fear of the master. Does the master affirm that description of himself, or judge the servant by his own words? Luke 19:20-22.
  7. Is God a harsh or cruel master? Or will He let people who already think that see Him that way? See Psalm 18:25-26 (compare translations) How would the two worthy servants perceive their master? How do we see God’s generosity and mercy toward us? How does He supply all we need to be faithful servants?
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7
Nov
2011

For All the Saints 2

Revelation 7:9-17. A sermon on the comfort and joys of heaven, and how that relates to our suffering and tribulation now. What is the measure of a saint? How do we become saints? Will heaven be boring? The music and joy of heaven.

(note: I am posting two recordings of this sermon preached on the same text, because they varied quite a bit, while on the same topics)

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7
Nov
2011

For All the Saints 1

Revelation 7:9-17. A sermon on the comfort and joys of heaven, and how that relates to our suffering and tribulation now. What is the measure of a saint? How do we become saints? Will heaven be boring? The music and joy of heaven.

(note: I am posting two recordings of this sermon preached on the same text, because they varied quite a bit, while on the same topics)

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