Posts belonging to Category Sermons



Love Came Down at Christmas

Here’s the link to this year’s Christmas Eve message, Love Came Down, a very simple message taken from 1 John 4:7-10. Here is a brief outline of the message:

I. Love comes from God (verses 7-8)

II. Love came down to earth (verse 9)

III. Love came down to the cross (verse 10)

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.

And here is a great Christina Rossetti poem by the same name:

“Love Came Down at Christmas” – Christina Rossetti

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine,
Worship we our Jesus,
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

Ruth – A Christmas Story Series

Here are links to all the messages in the Ruth – A Christmas Story series. Enjoy!

Ruth - A Christmas Story

Philippians Series Available

The complete set of messages from Philippians is now available online. Please feel free to use these messages for personal study or in preparation for your own teaching from the book of Philippians.

Philippians | partners in the Gospel

Philippians – Partners in the Gospel
1) God’s Not Finished Yet (Philippians 1:1-6)
2) A Prayer for Christian Growth (Philippians 1:7-11)
3) Advancing the Gospel (Philippians 1:12-18a)
4) For to Me to Live Is What? (Philippians 1:18b-26)
5) Living Worthy of the Gospel (Philippians 1:27-30)
6) True Christian Fellowship (Philippians 2:1-4)
7) The Humble Obedience of Jesus (Philippians 2:5-11)
8) Shine Like Stars (Philippians 2:12-18)
9) Two Christ-like Servants (Philippians 2:19-30)
10) Knowing Christ (Philippians 3:1-11)
11) Eyes on the Prize (Philippians 3:12-16)
12) Citizens of Heaven (Philippians 3:17-21)
13) Instructions for Earth (Philippians 4:1-9)
14) The Secret of Contentment (Philippians 4:10-13)
15) Supporting the Gospel (Philippians 4:14-23)

The Sermon (Cartoon by Dave Walker)

Why people may have their eyes closed during the sermon:

The Sermon (Cartoon by Dave Walker)

Do you ever close your eyes during the sermon? I like the pastor who said, “Once I dreamed I was preaching, when all of a sudden I woke up and found that I was!”

HT: The Cartoon Blog

Related posts:
    • After-Service Coffee
    • The Dullest Blog in the World

View from the Cave

I pulled out an old message and preached it to myself this morning. I am in between churches and waiting on the Lord, and I really needed this word today. I pray it will be encouraging to you, too.
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                        View from the Cave (1 Samuel 22:1-5)

One of the things we learn from Scripture, as well as from life experience, is that God’s timetable is usually different from ours. We want things to happen, and we want them to happen now. But God is often more interested in what we are doing and learning in the meantime.

There is a pattern we see repeated in Scripture where God gives someone a promise, a vision or a task, but he then delays in fulfilling it, at least according to our timetable. For example, God promised Abraham and Sarah a son, but then they waited years for Isaac to be born. When Moses tried to stand up for his people in Egypt, he ended up tending sheep in the wilderness for 40 years. God gave Joseph prophetic dreams about ruling even over the members of his own family. But then Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, and he spent years in prison before the dream was eventually fulfilled.

Something similar happened to David. God had promised David great things. He had David anointed as the future king over Israel (1 Samuel 16:13), and everything seemed to be unfolding according to plan. David was brought into King Saul’s service. (16:21) He defeated Goliath, the great Philistine warrior. (17) He forged a friendship with Saul’s son Jonathan. (18:1-4) Saul gave David a high rank in the army. (18:5) We are told the Lord was with him in everything he did (18:14), and that all the people of Israel and Judah loved him. (18:16). David had even married the king’s daughter, Michal. (18:27) Everything was falling into place for him to become the next king of Israel.

But then suddenly everything ground to a halt. Saul grew jealous of David’s successes and determined to kill him, and David found himself running for his life. He was a fugitive – hiding from Saul and his soldiers, sneaking food and weapons from the priests at Nob (21:1-9), even having to act like a madman in the land of Gath in order to save his life. (21:10-15) And that brings us to our text this morning in 1 Samuel 22. All of God’s promises had been put on hold, and David was now hiding out in the cave at Adullam.

So what do you do when life doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would, the way God seemed to be leading? What do you do when you suddenly find yourself in the cave instead of the palace? How do you deal with God’s delays in life? (Click here to continue reading.)
 

The Sanctity of Human Life in the Womb

This message takes a close look at the Hebrew text of Psalm 139 in order to affirm the sanctity of human life in the womb. I had the privilege of preaching at Plantation Community Church Sunday for National Sanctity of Human Life Day. The message was called The Sanctity of Human Life in the Womb, taken from Psalm 139:13-16.

[audio:The_Sanctity_of_Human_Life_in_the_Womb__Ray_Fowler.mp3]
Click “►” button to listen to the message | Length: 29:08
Click here to download the MP3. (Right-click; Save Target As)
Click here for the full manuscript.

Here is a brief outline of the message:

Five reasons why we should affirm the sanctity of human life in the womb:
    1) God has ownership rights as Creator. (13a)
    2) Human life should be treated with special reverence and awe. (13b-14)
    3) God designed the womb as a place of nurture and protection. (15a)
    4) God personally fashions the baby in the womb. (15b-16a)
    5) God has a plan for each child’s life even before the child is born. (16b)

What can you do?
    1) Pray concerning the problem of abortion.
    2) Vote for people and policies which affirm life.
    3) Support mothers in crisis and those who give them aid.

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.

Free John MacArthur Sermons

John MacArthur
Grace to You Ministries is graciously making John MacArthur’s entire 3500 sermon archive available for free. You can download free mp3s of John’s sermons starting today at the Grace to You website.

HT: Between Two Worlds

Where Is God Joke

I don’t usually begin my sermons with a joke, but last Sunday I did. Here it is in case you missed it.

There were two brothers, ages 8 and 10, who were getting into a lot of trouble. Their mother brought them to see the pastor to see if he could help straighten them out. The pastor talked with the younger brother first. He looked at the young boy and asked him, “Where is God?” The boy’s eyes opened wide, but he didn’t answer, so the pastor asked again, more forcefully this time, “Young man, where is God?” The boy began to squirm in his seat, so the pastor asked yet another time in a very loud voice, “Young man, answer me, where is God?” At that, the boy leaped out of his seat and ran out the door right past his brother who was waiting to go in next. The older brother chased him down and asked him, “What’s the matter?” To which the younger brother replied, “We’re in big trouble this time. God is missing, and they think WE did it!”

From the sermon: Losing God in Religion – 1 Samuel 4:1-22 (The ark’s capture)

My Sunday Sermon Wordle

Here is a Wordle of my sermon from Sunday. You can click on the words in the Wordle to view a larger image.

Wordle of Sermon | Losing God in Religion | 1 Samuel 4:1-22

Wordle is a program that generates “word clouds” from any text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to those words that appear more frequently in the source text.

This seems like a useful tool for providing a quick overview of the main concepts addressed in a text. For example, with one look at the sermon Wordle above you can see that the message was primarily about God, but also about religion and relationship, Israel and the Philistines, and the ark. Which is precisely correct. What do you think of Wordles?

See related post:  Bible Wordles

God’s Good Creation Series

I just recently finished preaching through a series of messages on God’s Good Creation.   Here are some of the questions we addressed in the series:

    1) What does it mean that God created all things good?
    2) What is our place in this world?
    3) How do the fall and mankind’s sin affect creation?
    4) As Christians, how should we view environmental concerns?
    5) How can we know God better though his creation?
    6) How can we use our creative gifts for God’s glory?

These are all questions relating to creational theology, which is an important part of God’s teaching to us in the Bible. Here are the links to the messages if you would like to explore any of these questions further.

God’s Good Creation Series

  1. God’s Good Creation – Genesis 1
        (or click here for a summary)
  2. Our Place in God’s Creation – Psalm 8
        (or click here for a summary)
  3. Knowing God through His Creation – Psalm 19
        (or click here for a summary)
  4. God’s Good Gift of Creativity – Exodus 31
        (or click here for a summary)

Most Read Sermons on the Blog for 2007

One of the reasons I started this blog was simply to have a place to publish my sermons on a weekly basis. The thought was that if anyone at church missed a message, they could catch up with it later in the week on the blog. Also, this seemed like a great way to expand the ministry of the messages by making them available to a wider audience than the congregation present on Sunday mornings.

I have been pleasantly surprised at how many people actually find and read these messages while searching for various items online. It is gratifying to see God still using a message that was preached months ago in the lives of people today. So, with that in mind, here is a list of the most read sermons on the blog for 2007.

Related posts:

Mike Huckabee Sermon Found!

Last week Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit posted IN SEARCH OF HUCKABEE’S SERMONS, linking to a Mother Jones article reporting on presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s announcement that he will not make his early sermons available to the media and the public. Reynolds joked: “He’s just taking Matthew 6:6 a little more seriously than most . . . .”

Actually, Huckabee recently preached at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Texas and made the whole sermon available to the media. Click here for video links and a full transcript of the message (preached on November 4, 2007).

As far as Huckabee’s earlier sermons from back when he was a pastor in the 1980’s, those messages may be more difficult to access. Many pastors preach from an outline rather than writing out a full manuscript, and many churches would not still have tapes of messages from 20-30 years ago. I started preaching in 1986, and I do not have copies of my earlier messages.

Also, although all preaching should be applicable to a wider audience, preaching is also directed to a specific congregation at a specific time, and so much of Huckabee’s sermons from the 1980’s may not be directly applicable to the media and public of the 21st century.

What do you think? If Huckabee’s earlier sermons are readily accessible, should they be made available to the media and the public? Or would that be akin to asking Mitt Romney to dig out his old Mormon Sunday School lessons?

(Note: The question about Romney is merely for comparative purposes. I do not know if Mitt Romney ever taught Sunday School, or whether Mormons even have Sunday School for that matter.)