In a position to give thanks

November 30, 2015

Sermon on Deuteronomy 8:1-20, for Thanksgiving, about having an attitude of thankfulness in all circumstances. How do we learn from the example of the Israelites? What does God's providence show?


The Prophet and Mediator

February 2, 2015

Sermon on Deuteronomy 18:15-20, for the 4th Sunday after Epiphany, about how Jesus is the Greater Prophet and Mediator that Moses foretold. What does this passage tell us about the responsibilities and dangers of being a prophet? The responsibilities of the people? What happened at Mt. Horeb (Sinai), that caused the people to ask for Moses to be a mediator? Why mediation with God necessary, and how do we find it?


We’ve Forgotten, but God Remembers

December 4, 2014

Sermon on forgetting and remembering, a continuation of Sunday's theme, for Advent 1 midweek services. How God's people forget about Him, His mighty works and His commands; and how God remembers His people and His covenant, and reminds us. 


In Our Hand

November 26, 2012

Sermon on Deuteronomy 26:1-11 and Luke 12:13-21 about thankfulness, and seeing the Hand of God our Giver, as He places all good things in our hands. We read the Deuteronomy reading responsively, following the flow of the text, and then the sermon concluded with the responsive reading that follows, composed from other Bible passages as a reflection of our own deliverance and blessings received from the hand of the Lord, and modeled after the Deuteronomy recitation.  The Deuteronomy passage had been used as a recitation of worshipers on the Day of Pentecost, a harvest festival.

· Pastor: So let’s look up today, refocus our eyes from our hands and our feet, up to the gracious hand of God, our Giver, and remember how He has blessed us.

· Congregation: Our fathers came out of many nations, and we are Gentiles, who were once separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. We were dead in the trespasses and sins in which [we] once walked. Out of [our] distress [we] called on the Lord; the Lord answered [us] and set [us] free. But now in Christ Jesus [we] who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.  And he came and preached peace to [us] who were far off and peace to those who were near.  For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. And according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. He who called [us] is faithful, and He will surely do it. And so we present [our] bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is [our] spiritual worship, and continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. (adapted from Eph 2:1-2; 11-18; Psalm 118:5; 2 Peter 3:13; 1 Thess. 5:24; Rom. 12:1; Heb. 13:15)

· Pastor responds: And you shall [give thanks] before the Lord your God and worship before the Lord your God. And you shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house, you, and [all those who live] among you. (adapted from Deuteronomy 26:10-11)


Light for the Nations

September 5, 2012

Sermon on Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9, about God's purpose for the nation of Israel, and how that purpose was eventually fulfilled not through themselves, but through Jesus. How Christ extends that purpose and calling also to believers in Him as the Church is called to bear Christ's light in the world.

Sermon Talking Points

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1. The title of the book “Deuteronomy” means “second law”—because the book was Moses’ re-issuing of the statutes and laws that God had given to Israel on Mt. Sinai, as Israel finished its 40 years of wandering in the desert, and prepared to enter the Promised Land. It was a solemn admonition to keep God’s laws before them and to do them.

2. Why is it vital that we do not add or subtract from God’s Word and commands? Deuteronomy 4:2; Matthew 5:17-20; Revelation 22:18-19.

3. What was God’s hope and expectation for how Israel would become an example for the nations, as He called them out of Egypt and established them as a new nation? Deuteronomy 4:6-8; Exodus 19:5-6; cf. 1 Kings 8:41-43. How did He warn them against pride in their exalted status? Deuteronomy 8:17-9:7

4. When did they seem to begin attaining that high purpose and calling? 1 Kings 10:1-9. How long did it take for King Solomon to go astray? 1 Kings 11:1-13; cf. Jeremiah 31:31-34.  How had God warned about this, centuries before? Deuteronomy 17:14-20.

5. How would God provide one faithful Israelite, one man to be a king on the throne of David, one wise man who would not turn from God’s law either to the right or to the left, and who would be the Light for the Nations? Isaiah 42:6; 49:6; 60:1-3; Psalm 98:1-3; Luke 2:32; John 8:12; Acts 13:47; 26:23. How does Jesus, as Israel reduced to one man, fulfill all the promise and expectation where Israel fell short? How does He give His church, as His spiritual kingdom, His light to continue to bear? Matthew 5:14-16; Philippians 2:15. How do we continue to bear that high and holy calling? 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6.


The Prophet

January 30, 2012

Sermon on Deuteronomy 18:15-20, for the 4th Sunday after Epiphany on Moses' prophecy of a greater prophet like him who would come after. How the Israelites (and us) encounter God, and what it means to have Jesus as our mediator between God and man.

Sermon Talking Points

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1. The Israelites had been terrified at their direct encounter with God at Mount Horeb (Sinai), and wanted no more. Read about their experience  and reaction: Exodus 19:1-20:21; Deuteronomy 5. What was their request instead? Ex. 20:19; Deut. 5:24-27; 18:16

2. Does it surprise you that God commended their request? Why was there a need for a mediator between God and man? John 1:18; Exodus 33:17-23, esp. vs. 20. 1 Tim. 6:16; Heb. 12:14; 12:18-24. Why would it be dangerous for us to seek an “unmediated encounter” with God? Who is the One and Only Mediator that God has now appointed between Himself and mankind? 1 Timothy 2:4; Heb. 12:24; 8:6; 9:15

3. What was the purpose of Moses’ ministry as mediator to the Israelites, and what did his prophetic message do/accomplish? How does the work of the Law continue in our lives (and consciences)? Heb. 3:1-6; 2 Cor. 3:7-18; Rom. 7:7-14; Gal. 3:19-29

4. If Moses’ ministry (of the Law) brought knowledge of sin and death, what was Jesus’ prophetic ministry to bring? John 1:17; Heb. 12:22-24; Gal. 3:25-26; 2 Cor. 3:17-18

5. How does the Gospel of Jesus Christ give answer to the deepest accusation of the Law against us? Why is the Spirit’s work of breaking our sinfulness (turning us to Him) the necessary precursor to faith in Christ and receiving that blessed forgiveness? What happens when we oppose or resist the power of God’s Word working in us?

6. What is the OT warning against false prophets? Deut. 18:20-22; 13:1-5; Jer. 23:9-40. What is the NT warning? 1 John 4:1ff; Matt. 24:11, 23-27; 7:15-16; 2 Tim. 3:5-9; 1 Tim. 6; Acts. 17:11.


The Steadfast and Loving God

July 24, 2011

Sermon on Deuteronomy 7:6-9, on God's choice of Israel as His people, and also God's choosing of Jew and Gentile believers to be His church, and how God's love is steadfast.

Sermon Talking Points Read past sermons at: Listen to audio at:

1. Deuteronomy comprises Moses’ final instructions to the Israelites before they entered the land of Canaan. He presents the Law of God a second time; reminds what God did to bring them there; how they were to live faithfully in the land He was giving them; and what would happen if they were unfaithful to God.

2. Was God’s choosing of Israel as His chosen nation an example of favoritism? Did it give the children of Israel grounds for pride in themselves? Deut. 7:6-8. What about the expanded calling to all believers in Christ? As God’s chosen children, a “holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9-10), do we have grounds to boast in ourselves? What, then, is the reason for God’s calling and choice?

3. Describe what it means to be called “God’s treasured possession.” How does this help us understand the startling meaning of the parable of the treasure hidden in the field, and the pearl of great price, told in Matthew 13:44-46? Who then is the man who sold everything to purchase this great treasure? What was the treasure?

4. How does this knowledge about how God values you create meaning, purpose, and identity, while at the same time keeping you humble? Explain what it means to have “Christ-esteem” in place of “self-esteem.” Read 1 Cor. 1:26-31 for help.

5. Who is within reach of God’s incredible love? Are you? John 3:16

6. How does our new calling and purpose for life lead us into a new path for our life? Titus 2:11-14

7. Where is the best proof of God’s steadfast, unshakeable love? How did Jesus demonstrate His determination to purchase us as His treasured possession?