Friday, May 26, 2017

Ascension Day Homily

Ascension Day 2017
Where is Jesus?

He was taken up.  But where did He go?  He went up to the clouds to be seated at the right hand of the Father.  This seems a very strange thing to do.  Luke tells us that He ascended after giving the disciples commandments.  They did not quite get it either.  They are left gazing into the sky with puzzled looks on their faces.

Jesus came into Jerusalem heralded as a king. And not just any king. The disciples and even the people thought He was the promised King to sit on David’s royal throne. They thought He was fulfilling the prophecy that a King of David’s line shall sit on the throne forever. He was crucified with the charge that He was a usurper, the king of the Jews.  But it was not Jesus who was the usurper. It was not properly even the Romans who were usurpers, but, rather, the rebellious Jewish leaders, themselves, who declared their loyalties with their own tongues.  No king but Caesar!

Caesar was the authority in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and seemingly
to the utter ends of the earth.  But Jesus gave commands to the disciples after His resurrection. At the Ascension He promised the sending of the Holy Spirit to guarantee the successful outcome of these commands. Namely, to disciple the nations and baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, because they all belong to Jesus.

Of Flight and Life- Charles Lindbergh**

Found this little book by Charles Lindbergh, Of Flight and Life, at the YMCA book sale. Cost me $1.50. It is a 1st Edition. Saw two on Ebay, one for $199, another for $1199. It's short, so I read it. Not bad. Don't know much about Lindbergh. Someone said he was a Nazi sympathizer. You wouldn't know it from the book. Most of what he says in the book is good. He is exhorting us to not worship science, a sin he was guilty of early in his life before the war. The war made him see what the worship of science can accomplish. His answer is spirituality, not necessarily faithfulness to Jesus Christ. So, I give him two stars.

Wanna buy it?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Matthew 26:1-30 Sermon

Matthew 26:1-30
Sermon Notes
Mary and Judas
May 21, 2017
Lynchburg, Virginia

         This chapter is a one of contrasts. Today we have Mary and Judas. Next week is Peter and Judas.
         The Lord knows those that are His. Even though Mary was a great sinner, she was received by Jesus and Jesus promised that she would never be forgotten. We remember her today. Peter was also a great sinner, even denying the Lord that died for him. And yet, Peter, too, was received by Jesus. Jesus fully forgave Mary. He fully forgave Peter. But Judas went and hanged Himself.
         The heart of Judas is revealed in this text. What is noteworthy is that his closest friends did not suspect him. He had passed as a true disciple but his evil heart was pulling at him until it pulled him apart.

Immense Investment Returns

When Mary poured the perfume on Jesus, she anointed Him for burial. It was the most costly thing she had and she gave it to Jesus in one extravagant moment. It seemed like an extravagance, a waste, but of course, it was not.
         When we give Jesus our all, He always repays us with an even more abundant extravagance. Mary gave Jesus her costly perfume but Jesus gave Mary His body and blood. There is no comparison in the value. Comparatively, she gave little. And His return to her was so much more than she could ever expect or hope for. But that is always the Lord’s calculus.

We have little to offer, even when we offer our all. But He does not respond in kind. He does not return us a little for our little. He pours His extravagance upon us the way that Mary poured hers on Him. It pours over us, running down, aromas thick, the returns immense, even beyond belief or any natural expectation. This is the power in the blood. This is the kind of Lord we serve. This is the abundance of blessing we participate in at this Table.


O Lord, as we prepare to eat this meal that You have provided for us, prepare our hearts to truly receive Christ by faith. We believe that He is Your Son, that He lived a perfect sinless life, that He died for the remission of our sins, that He rose from the dead, just as He said, that we are raised in Him, that He is seated at Your right hand in power and that He is coming again to judge the world at the last day. Nourish and strengthen us in this profession of faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.


Our gracious Father, we thank You for Your abundant blessings to us, in our homes, marriages, children, parents, jobs, and church. We thank You for providing for our every need. We pray that You would use our tithes and offerings to advance Your kingdom to the ends of the earth. Amen.

Lavish Love Rewarded

Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Mary lavished her love on Jesus. She poured a very costly perfume upon the Lord. It was a substance so precious that it took a year’s worth of work to purchase it. She poured $40,000 worth of perfume on Jesus. What extravagance!
The disciples saw this as a waste, especially Judas. But Mary didn’t think it was a waste. Jesus didn’t think it was a waste either. In fact, Jesus thought it was so fitting that He promised that no one would ever forget Mary’s lavish love.
When we pour ourselves out for Jesus, His blessing upon us is always greater than our sacrifice. This is the great gift of grace. As we love the Lord lavishly, He responds with kindness and blessing.

Minister: Dear Saints, The Lord takes note of every little kind word and deed. He is gracious to His saints through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus. Rejoice, you are forgiven!