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God’s Grace in the Land Between

St. Luke Columbus Sermon Podcast

Release Date: 07/26/2020

Everywhere You Look show art Everywhere You Look

St. Luke Columbus Sermon Podcast

Jesus showed that there are no limits to where God would go to reach us. The work of God through Jesus not only went to the ends of the earth but to the dead - the dead that were once to be avoided.  Jesus came to raise the dead, physically, and spiritually. Because of sin, all people are born spiritually dead. In our baptism and coming to faith, we are born again and raised to live a new life. As the raised Church of Christ, we go to be with the dead in hopes that God will work through our witness to raise the dead to new life.      Next Step: Identify people you know...

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Everywhere You Look show art Everywhere You Look

St. Luke Columbus Sermon Podcast

Following the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, his followers met together in their homes. Following a vision from God, Peter was led to be in the home of a gentile unbeliever named Cornelius who was a Roman centurion. We see in these and other events reported in the New Testament that the earliest Christian churches met in people’s homes and that the saving activity of the Holy Spirit happened in homes. Lessons: Watch:     

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Everywhere You Look show art Everywhere You Look

St. Luke Columbus Sermon Podcast

The Church of Jesus Christ is to be more sent out everywhere rather than gathered in a church building. In the book of Acts almost all of the work of God through the apostles happens away from any church building. The earliest Christian churches left the building and during the pandemic most churches today have left the building. The disciples met the risen Jesus outside somewhere and were sent to the ends of the earth to be witnesses of Jesus. While we are strengthened in the gathered community of Christ Followers, we are sent out into our communities to give witness to the salvation that...

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A Service of Lament show art A Service of Lament

St. Luke Columbus Sermon Podcast

“Lamentation, a prayer for help coming out of pain, is very common in the Bible. Over one third (50 or so) of the psalms are laments. Lament frequently occurs in the Book of Job: “Why did I not perish at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?” (Job 3:11). The prophets likewise cry out to God, such as Jeremiah does: “Why is my pain continuous, my wound incurable…?” (15:18) and Habakkuk: “…my legs tremble beneath me. I await the day of distress that will come upon the people who attack us” (3:16).   One whole book, Lamentations, expresses the confusion and suffering...

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Fault vs Responsibility show art Fault vs Responsibility

St. Luke Columbus Sermon Podcast

While a societal evil might not directly be our fault, we still have a responsibility to bring good. Because we have received much, we are called to live out this truth in the racial reckoning that we are experiencing in our society today. Jesus taught, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Whether we understand that societal evils are in any way our fault or not, Jesus calls us to use our privilege, power, and wealth to correct the evils and bring good into the lives of others. We are to...

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God's Grace in the Land Between show art God's Grace in the Land Between

St. Luke Columbus Sermon Podcast

Getting help is essential to making it through the land between. There are always challenges in the land between. The Israelites faced the hostile Amalekites in battle. As long as Moses held up in arms, the Israelites prevailed in the battle.  When Moses could no longer hold his arms up, those around him helped him and the battle was won. Our first move when we are in the land between is often to think that we can go it alone and prevail. That is very rarely true. When we rest on Jesus (the stone in v. 12) and allow others to help us and hold us up, we are much more likely to...

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God's Grace in the Land Between show art God's Grace in the Land Between

St. Luke Columbus Sermon Podcast

God sometimes gives signs when we thirst for reassurance, but our trust in God cannot rest on God proving his love and care for us. Trust is the most necessary quality for an eternal relationship. In an account Water-from-the-rock account found in Numbers 20:1-13, the necessity of trusting God is tragically illustrated when Moses goes beyond the direction of God and strikes the rock and is therefore not permitted to enter the Promised Land. Trusting in God is so vital to our relationship with Him that He used what appears to be a momentary and minor lack of trust on Moses’ part to teach us...

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God's Grace in the Land Between show art God's Grace in the Land Between

St. Luke Columbus Sermon Podcast

Grumbling.  The Lord heard their grumbling, the text tells us, and instead of rebuking them for their grumbling against Moses and Aaron, He provides abundantly: quail and manna.   But on the seventh day, some looked for food but there was none.  Others saved some until morning, but it was spoiled by the maggots.  The people’s lack of trust in God’s abundance caused problems in the community.  The people had a scarcity mindset which caused them to hoard food and not rest.     During this time, when certain items have been on short supply, and when...

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God’s Grace in the Land Between show art God’s Grace in the Land Between

St. Luke Columbus Sermon Podcast

The Israelites were thirsty, really thirsty.  They had traveled three days and found no water, and then the water they found was bitter.  One can imagine the disappointment and possible frustration with Moses.  After all, they were out there because he had led them there.  Couldn’t they find some water after all? Bitterness, psychologists tell us, is a smoldering resentment.  We are wronged, we feel angry and then we ruminate on the wrong.  We become bitter.  We think, “Someone must be to blame for my misery.”  In this case, Moses.  Fueling...

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God's Grace in the Land Between show art God's Grace in the Land Between

St. Luke Columbus Sermon Podcast

This Sunday, we are continuing our sermon series, God's Grace in the Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions. In this series, we are seeking direction on how to navigate this season of our lives by taking a fresh look into the Exodus account, where God rescued his people from slavery in Egypt and guided them through the wilderness to the Promised Land.   Now I don't know about you, but life today feels a little like the wilderness to me. Can we get this period of our lives over already!? When can life return to normal? I'm sure we are all wrestling with questions like these,...

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The Israelites were thirsty, really thirsty.  They had traveled three days and found no water, and then the water they found was bitter.  One can imagine the disappointment and possible frustration with Moses.  After all, they were out there because he had led them there.  Couldn’t they find some water after all?
Bitterness, psychologists tell us, is a smoldering resentment.  We are wronged, we feel angry and then we ruminate on the wrong.  We become bitter.  We think, “Someone must be to blame for my misery.”  In this case, Moses.  Fueling their complaint to Moses, “What are we going to drink?” is a frustration and growing bitterness.
 
The people were helpless in the face of the growing and real threat of dying of thirst in the wilderness.  Their situation went from bad to worse at Marah.  The people wondered, and then concluded, that there was nothing that could be done.  They had learned helplessness.
 
Life is filled with adverse conditions, including this pandemic, which leaves us feeling helpless and possibly hopeless.  What can be done?
 
Moses does something.  He cries out to God.  The people didn’t ask God for anything. God provides a branch to throw into the waters, a branch that possibly everyone had seen, including Moses.  Once thrown into the water, the branch becomes the means by which the water turns sweet.  The same waters that were once a source of bitterness and frustration, were now a source of refreshment and blessing.  Moses was able to do something...a small gesture with a common object, by God’s direction, to change the situation for the better.    
 
Next step: Ask God to empower you to help change a situation you are in from a bitter situation to a blessing to others.  
 
Lessons: Exodus 15:22-27