26
Mar
2012

Ransomed for a Reason!

Sermon on Mark 10:35-45 for the 5th Sunday in Lent, for our Children's Sunday. About James' and John's lesson in the values of the world vs. the values of the kingdom of God, and how Jesus ransomed us.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

1. What were James and John seeking from Jesus in Mark 10:35-45? How did their question affect the other 10 disciples? vs. 41  When have we had similar self-seeking, self-promoting thoughts? What is usually the result of “power-plays”, being domineering, arrogant, or self-seeking? What attitude does Jesus direct us to have instead? Vs. 43-45; Philippians 2:1-11. How is this attitude Jesus’ own attitude toward us?

2.  Do we ever make the excuse or even fear that we can’t “fit the bill” to be a Christian? The picture we see of the different disciples shows that God can have a plan and purpose for all different “characters” and personalities. All of us are sinners, and God can accomplish much through our lives if we will humble ourselves to believe and follow Him.

3. God gives us many “arenas” in life and in our relationships where we practice the love and the service that He directs us to. In all parts of our life, and in our responsibilities, God is working to bring about godly change in us. Colossians 3:3, and 3:5-17.

4. What is a “ransom?” Unpack the meaning of the word. As Jesus applies it to us—who is in slavery (or held hostage?); what is our slavery; what is the price Jesus paid for our freedom? Mark 10:45; 1 Tim. 2:6; 1 Peter 1:18-20; Rev. 5:9.

5. How is the cross, Jesus’ ultimate act of service for us? Now that we’ve been ransomed, how should we live in this freedom we’ve been given? Gal. 5:1, 13; 1 Peter 2:16. Take a moment to give thanks to God for His salvation, and ask for Jesus’ love to reshape your life for Him!

00:0000:00
22
Mar
2012

Jonah, The Survivor Series: Part 5: “The God of the Second Chance

The following Lenten series I will be preaching on is adapted from Dr. Reed Lessing's series on Jonah the prophet. Dr. Lessing is professor of Old Testament at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO.

Sermon on Jonah 3:1-5 for Lent 5, about Jonah's sermon in Nineveh.

For Next Week read Jonah 3:6-10 and ask yourself:

1) How did repentance affect the daily lives of the Ninevites?

2) What effect does repentance have upon my life?

3) What is God’s attitude regarding repentance? (v.10)

00:0000:00
19
Mar
2012

The Cross for you!

Sermon on Numbers 21:4-9 & John 3:14-21, for the 4th Sunday in Lent, about how the story of the bronze serpent ties into Jesus' cross and John 3:16. How Jesus has delivered us from sin and death, and where His battle standard is raised for God's victory.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

  1. What caused God to send the serpents among the Israelites in Numbers 21:4-9? What did the burning pain of the bites move them to do in v. 7? How did God appoint a solution for their suffering? What is puzzling or even unusual about the solution? Why might they not have wanted to look at it?

  1. How does this anticipate or look forward to Jesus’ cross? Why might we (or others) not want to look to the cross for our cure? What do we see there? How is Jesus’ cross similar, and yet different from the bronze serpent in Numbers? John 3:14-15

  1. How does the cross relate to the first prophecy ever given in the Bible, to Adam and Eve, about the defeat of the serpent (the devil)? Gen. 3:15; Rom. 16:20; Heb. 2:14

  1. Jesus says that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have eternal life. What does it mean that we are perishable? Psalm 103:15. Is there proof of this? What is God’s simple cure for this “fatal weakness”? To whom does He offer this cure? John 3:16. Is it God’s desire that anyone will go without it? John 3:17. Will some refuse that cure nevertheless? John 3:18

  1. How is the cross of Jesus like a banner or a standard raised in battle as a sign of victory? Isaiah 11:10-12; 49:22. How do we as Christians “rally” to that standard, and of what does it assure us (in terms of the spiritual battle that we are in)?
00:0000:00
15
Mar
2012

Jonah, The Survivor Series: Part 4:

The following Lenten series I will be preaching on is adapted from Dr. Reed Lessing's series on Jonah the prophet. Dr. Lessing is professor of Old Testament at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO.

For Next Week read Jonah 3:1-4 and ask yourself:

1) What does it mean for my life that “the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time”?

2) Do you think Jonah willingly went to Nineveh?

3) What do you think of his sermon? Where is the Law? Where is the Gospel?

00:0000:00
12
Mar
2012

A Sinner’s Prayer and Hope

Sermon on the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20:1-17, for the 3rd Sunday in Lent. A prayerful meditation on the various ways in which we have broken God's commands, a reflection on the goodness of those commands, and the still greater goodness of Jesus who forgave us all our guilt of disobedience.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

  1. The Ten Commandments begin with God’s announcement that He is the Lord God who delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. How does God’s deliverance of us form the foundation for our obedience? What slavery have we been delivered from? John 8:31-35
  2. See Martin Luther’s explanation of the commandments in his Small Catechism (instruction booklet) (pg. 321 in the hymnal). How is each commandment connected back to the first—that we fear, love, and trust in God above all things? Why is disobedience to the other commandments first of all a rejection of God and His authority?
  3. How do the first three commandments direct our relationship between us and God? How do the remaining commandments direct our relationship to our neighbor? What good things are guarded and protected through each command?
  4. Conduct your own meditation and reflection on each command. What sins of thought, word, or deed have you committed? What is the wrong that you’ve done? What is the good that you’ve left undone? Knowing this, what good should you commit to doing?
  5. The latter commandments draw concentric circles of protection around our life/the life of our neighbor; our spouse and family; our possessions; our reputation; and against schemes to undermine or deprive us of those blessings. How are God’s commands “holy, righteous, and good?” Romans 7:12. How does Jesus’ teaching on the commands show their inward focus as well? Matthew 5
  6. How does the sinner “die” to the accusation of the law against us? Rom. 6:1-4; Gal. 2:19-21. How do we then live again? How has Jesus perfectly fulfilled and obeyed each commandment for us? Heb. 4:15; Rom. 5:19-21. How has He taken away the penalty of all our guilt? Rom. 6:23
00:0000:00
8
Mar
2012

Jonah, The Survivor Series: Part 3

Sermon on Jonah 1:1-17, for Midweek Lent 3. The following Lenten series I will be preaching on is adapted from Dr. Reed Lessing's series on Jonah the prophet. Dr. Lessing is professor of Old Testament at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO.

For Next Week read Jonah 2:1-10. Ask yourself:

1) How do times of distress affect my prayer life?

2) How fervent am I in prayer when life is going well?

3) How does distress re-orient my thinking toward God?

4) Is the power of prayer found in my sincerity, my persistence, or God’s grace?

00:0000:00
5
Mar
2012

Savers become losers, but losers gain a Savior!

Sermon on Mark 8:27-38 for the 2nd Sunday in Lent, about Jesus teaching about His cross. Disciples learn what it means to take up our cross and follow Jesus--learning sacrificial living and love.

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

1. What was Peter’s objection to Jesus’ description of His own mission? Cf. Matt. 16:22. What aspect of discipleship (following Jesus) would we like to avoid as well? What does God accomplish in suffering? Rom. 5:1-5

2. How did God’s seemingly “illogical” plan for Jesus work out for the salvation of all, and the monumental spread of the good news about His salvation? 1 Cor. 1:18-25; Acts 2:41, 47

3. What compelled people to believe in Jesus, even despite the fact that His teachings often chafed the people? John 6:60-69; 7:25-31; 18:20

4. How did the disciple’s witness of Jesus’ resurrection transform their fear to boldness and seal their loyalty to Him? Acts 4:13; 1 John 1:1

5. How has God called you to sacrificial living? What does that look like for you? How are we challenged to sacrifice not only what we are willing, but what God calls us to? Why is sacrificial love the greatest love? John 15:13; Rom. 5:6-10

6. Even though we lose our lives in Christ, what do we gain in return? Why is it impossible to save our lives here and now? Matt. 6:19-20; 25:23; 1 Pet. 1:3-5.

7. What is the joy and satisfaction of being embraced in and learning to live a Christ-like, sacrificial love? How does this reflect the “true humanity” that God wills to produce in each of us through the cross?

00:0000:00
1
Mar
2012

Jonah, The Survivor Series: Part 2: “Saved in the Storm!”

Sermon on Jonah 1:4-16, for Midweek Lent 2. The following Lenten series I will be preaching on is adapted from Dr. Reed Lessing's series on Jonah the prophet. Dr. Lessing is professor of Old Testament at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO.

For Next Week Re-read Jonah 1.

Ask yourself:

1) How is the power of God’s word exhibited in the action of the fish?

2) Why does God stick with Jonah?

3) From your knowledge of the entire book, can you recall the three other times when God provides for Jonah?

4) What do God’s provisions for this prodigal prophet tell you?

00:0000:00