Saturday, March 19, 2011

March 27, 2011

Scriptures for March 27th: Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 95; Romans 5:1-11; John 4:5-42; Theme: Healing Water; 298: When I survey the Wondrous Cross

Exodus: The Israelites have left Egypt and are headed toward freedom, however, they are afraid that their needs will not be taken care of. Not only are they hungry, they are thirsty for something. Moses prays on their behalf, and God provides water for their thirsty bodies. But that does not erase the thirst in their souls. We all have those times in our lives when we are thirsty for something. Usually the things that we chose only make us thirstier in the end. We drink pop, and sugary drinks instead of fresh cold water. Our real thirst is for God to come and quench our neediness.

John: The thirst theme continues. The Samaritan woman has come to the well in order in order to get her daily share of water. Jesus tells her that he has water for her drink so that she will not thirst again. Jesus is that water which quenches our soulful neediness. Jesus knew all about the Samaritan and her neediness – for men. He knew that it is human for us to long for something. He taught her to long for the right thing: To long for holiness. And the attract people to what is right and good. This is a long text, because it is one of the longest single conversations that Jesus has in the bible – it must be pretty important for us all to listen.

Questions: What times in your life have you been thirsty and convinced that God is absolutely not there for you, and will not supply what you need? Where you pleasantly surprised in the end? What is the sign in your life that God is with you in the darkness? Jesus’ thirst was quenched by doing to Lord’s work. What is it that quenches your thirst for God? What is it that quenches your thirst for life? Is it healthy for you?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

March 20, 2011

Genesis 12:1-4; Psalm 121; Romans 4:1-5, 13-17; John 3:1-17 Theme: We are Saved by Grace; Song: Because He Lives – UMH 364

Romans: We are reminded to have the faith of Abraham. He followed God, just because God called him away. God made a promise to him that his family would be blessed. Was it because of something they did? Was it because God loved Abraham more than others? No – It was because of God’s favor – God’s grace. That grace is available to all those who have faith to follow God as Abraham did. No amount of money in the world can buy God’s grace. No amount of hard work can earn God’s grace. Faith that God’s loves me in spite of myself- will open the door to grace.

John: Chapter 3 is one of the most famous scriptures of all. 3:17 – God so loved the World that He gave his only begotten son…. God gave His son to those who are willing to be born again. But what does it mean to be born again? And why is it so hard for Nicodemus to understand the concept? Why is it so hard for us to give up what we have, and give our lives completely to God? Jesus came into the world to make what is impossible with man, possible with God. We are saved, and given the gift of eternal life through God.

Questions: What is the difference between a Christian and a good person? Does a good person automatically have grace in their life (trick question)? Can we refuse to have God’s grace in our lives? Is being born again a one-time thing? Or does it happen in many ways at many times? Why do you think this chapter is so well known? Does it tell us all we need to know about faith?

Note: Rev. Cross’s sermons