What are you doing here?

July 2, 2018

Sermon on 1 Kings 19:11-21, for the 5th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr lectionary), about God's encounter with the prophet Elijah on Mt. Horeb (Sinai). Elijah has fled Queen Jezebel, after winning the contest with the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, and is feeling despair, defeat, and self-pity. How does God respond to Elijah, and provide a gentle contradiction to lift him up? What does this have to do with how we answer the question: "What are you doing here?" and when we face times of hopelessness, loneliness, despair, or struggle? How is the question also a call to action? 


Christ, the Wisdom of God

January 6, 2014

Sermon on 1 Kings 3:4-15, for the 2nd Sunday of Christmas. Following the theme of wisdom from Solomon through to Christ, and what it means to have wisdom. 


God’s Provision

November 12, 2012

Sermon on 1 Kings 17:8-16 for the 24th Sunday after Pentecost, about the Widow at Zarephath, and God's provision in a time of neediness, weakness, or when we are at the "end of our rope."

Sermon Talking Points

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

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

  1. Zarephath was not a Jewish town, and God’s sending Elijah there showed God’s love for the Gentiles as well. How was this an offense to the crowds centuries later when Jesus referred to this story in Luke 4:25-26? How did Jesus show them that God came not only for the Jews?

  1. How was the widow “at the end of her rope?” 1 Kings 17:12. How had things come to such a desperate situation? In what ways are we distant from her circumstances? In what ways might we come to a similar point of desperation, whether financial need or otherwise? Have you ever felt that you were “at the end of your rope?”

  1. What can we learn from the way in which Elijah and the widow with her son, were mutually needy? How were they both positioned to help each other, yet also in need of the other? Why might this position of apparent weakness actually be in service of reaching others with the Gospel, compared to coming from a position of power or superiority? Compare to other Biblical examples: John 4:1-15; Mark 6:8-9; Luke 5:1-3.

  1. How did God bless the widow’s generosity and trust? How is God a refuge for the poor and brokenhearted? Psalm 16; 46:1-3; 34:15-19.

  1. Why can we be confident that God’s provision for us will always be enough? Matthew 6:25-34; Psalm 37:25-26. What does God promise He will provide there? How do we simultaneously face the temptation of expecting or demanding too much?

  1. Why is Jesus the only true refuge when our sins leave us at the end of our rope, and when we are brokenhearted or despairing of all hope? What is the spiritual comfort of knowing who God is and His love for us?

Respect Property

April 14, 2011

A sermon on the 7th Commandment (and by extension the 9th-10th Commandments on Coveting) based on Exodus 20:15, 17, and 1 Kings 21:1-16; Ephesians 4:17-32. How we are commanded not to steal or deprive our neighbor of their property unjustly, and what Jesus teaches us to do with our possessions and property, and how He Himself used His riches.


Comfort In Grief

June 8, 2010

Sermon on 1 Kings 17:17-24 & Luke 7:11-17, the raising of the dead sons of two widows. Sermon for the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost.

Sermon Talking Points:

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

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

  1. Read Psalm 34 especially verse 18. What is God’s relationship to those who are broken-hearted? Why does God hear them?

  1. What is grief, and what are its effects? Psalm 6 and 31. Cf. Matt. 26:38; Luke 22:44. What kind of grief have you experienced? How did you deal with it? Who could you share it with?

  1. What did the widow of Zarephath in 1 Kings 17 think was the reason her son had died? What kind of theology is this? What are some popular examples of this thinking today? What are some Biblical examples? Consider the friends of Job. What is wrong about this way of thinking (a theology of glory) about God?

  1. What is the true and certain way of knowing God’s attitude toward us? Where can we look to and be sure of how God thinks of us? How is suffering and bearing our “crosses” a testing point for us to believe in God’s goodness and favor toward us?

  1. How did Jesus show this faith, even in His greatest hour of difficulty?

  1. What does the Bible teach us about difficulty? Heb. 12. Read Lamentations 3:31-33. Does God desire that we be grieved?

  1. What does God do about the chaos and disorder of a sinful world? How do the two resurrection stories in the OT and Gospel reading show us a preview of the reordering and restoration that God is undertaking through Jesus? Explain how God is near to us in suffering.