Showing posts from April, 2016

Peter learn to be like his master- Acts 9

Acts 9:36-43

For some time I have been reflecting on a statement by a Christian teacher named Dallas Willard. He said that we have somehow come to the idea that we can be Christians without being disciples. That being a Christian is just a kind of label we attach to ourselves. … Those who are really extreme Christians, they are the ones who are into discipleship. So “Christians” might go to church, and generally say they believe that there is a God and believe there is a heaven they go to when they die. … “Disciples”, on the other hand, are those who get involved in Bible study, who spend time in prayer and fasting, who spend time serving others, Spend time in solitude during retreats, read books about Christianity, and get involved in other spiritual disciplines that help to shape spiritual character and develop a deeper relationship with God. … But, somehow we got the idea that this isn’t for all Christians, only for those Christians who are really very serious. Dallas Willard point…

The real God will make us uncomfortable- Paul's conversion

Acts 9:1-20
You’ll notice in our reading today that “Paul” is called “Saul”. We are used to biblical characters having a couple names Jacob is also Israel; Simon is also Peter; Abram is Abraham. Paul wasn’t actually given a name change. “Saul” is his Hebrew name and it would have been his name among his fellow Hebrew speaking Jews. It’s a very Hebrew name. You might remember the first king of Israel was named Saul. “Paul” is his name among gentiles (non-Jewish folk). We probably know him as Paul because he embraced his call to be the apostle to the gentiles and “Paul” became his name because it was associated with the gentiles he was called to serve.

Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus is probably the most famous conversion in Christianity. It is dramatic not only in how it happened, but also in who it happened to. You’ll hear people talk about a “Damascus road experience”. And people who haven’t have that kind of dramatic conversion will wonder if there’s something wrong with …

"doubting" Thomas

John 20:19-31 {Note: you may notice a portion of this sermon as being very similar to last week's Easter sermon. I serve two congregations and I'm not at both each Sunday. I felt this repeated material was important for both churches}  
Thomas has gotten a bad reputation. A “doubting Thomas” has become a phrase in the English language meaning “a person who is skeptical and refuses to believe something without proof”. People in our culture will know what a “doubting Thomas” is, but will have no idea of this biblical passage or even that Thomas was a disciple. I think that’s unfortunate because Thomas really wasn’t that much more of a doubter than any of the other disciples.

When Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb and finds the body of Jesus missing, she doesn’t think ‘resurrection’. She thinks ‘grave robber’. The risen Jesus even speaks to her and she still can’t believe. Her mind makes him out to be the gardener until he speaks her name.

Mary goes and tells the other di…