01-12-2020 The Tremendous Importance of Jesus' Baptism
https://www.sjlcmetro.com/ In this message based, on Matthew 3:13-17 and Mark 1:9-11, we remember the tremendous significance of Jesus' baptism! At His baptism, Jesus received His coronation as the true King of kings that He was. Though Jesus was sinless and did not need to repent as John was calling for, Jesus was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. Matthew 3:13-17 ESV The Baptism of Jesus 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him,[a] and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,[b] with whom I am well pleased.”
01-05-2020 We Three Kings of Orient Aren't
https://www.sjlcmetro.com/ The season of Epiphany is marked by the visit of the Magi (wise-men) to worship Jesus, the newborn King of kings, as recorded in Matthew 2:1-12. In a message entitled, "We Three Kings of Orient Aren't," we confront the many misunderstandings that have arisen around these somewhat mysterious figures from the east in order to understand the importance of their recognition of Jesus as the true King. While His own people received Him not, these Gentile king-makers recognized who Jesus was showing that God had a heart for the Gentiles all along. Matthew 2:1-12 The Visit of the Wise Men 2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men[a] from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose[b] and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: 6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” 7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
12-25-2019 The Ongoing Miracle of Christmas
https://www.sjlcmetro.com/ On Christmas Day, we focus on the unlikely details of the holy birth of our Lord Jesus into the world. Jesus is born in the most unlikely place, a feeding trough for animals and He will be the one to feed the world what it so desperately needs, forgiveness of our sins! We also realize that Christmas is ongoing as Christ still knocks on the door of our hearts seeking entrance into our lives and we decide whether to open the door or to keep it closed as the innkeeper did. Luke 1:26-38 ESV Birth of Jesus Foretold 26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed[a] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”[b] 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”[c] 35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[d] will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant[e] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 2:1-20 ESV The Birth of Jesus Christ 2 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,[b] who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.[c] The Shepherds and the Angels 8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[a] 15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
12-24-2019 A Charlie Brown Christmas
https://www.sjlcmetro.com/ On Christmas Eve, as we prepare to receive the King of kings and Lord of lords, we focus on the powerful words of the angel, "Do not be afraid!" When Jesus comes into the world, it is out of the deepest and profound love and therefore we need fear nothing in this world. Even Linus in, "The Charlie Brown Christmas Special," is able to drop his security blanket, all but momentarily, to proclaim the great news of the Savior's birth!
12-22-2019 An Unusual Birth
https://www.sjlcmetro.com/ In this message entitled, "And Unusual Birth," based on Matthew 1:18-25, we learn about the intricate plan that our God devised in order to provide the perfect Savior for our greatest need, salvation from sin. Not only was Jesus genealogically shown to be the true Messiah, but He was also the one of whom the prophets predicted hundreds of years before He was born. The fact that our Lord subjected Himself to a lowly human birth is an event that changed the world forever! Matthew 1:18-25 ESV The Birth of Jesus Christ 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ[a] took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed[b] to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
12-15-2019 The Redemption of Our Waiting
https://www.sjlcmetro.com/ Signs become tremendously important when you want to make sure a person's identity is not mistaken. The Bible gives us hundreds of signs regarding the coming of the Messiah. Despite the unmistakable signs, John the Baptist still wonders if Jesus is indeed the promised Messiah. In this message, entitled, "The Redemption of Our Waiting," based on Matthew 11:2-15, see how Jesus, the Lord of Lords, and King of kings, handles John's doubt gracefully and compassionately while steering him to the truth that He, Jesus, is indeed the One of whom the prophets foretold! Matthew 11:2-15 ESV 2 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers[a] are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” 7 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 What then did you go out to see? A man[b] dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. 9 What then did you go out to see? A prophet?[c] Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is he of whom it is written, “‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’ 11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence,[d] and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, 14 and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15 He who has ears to hear,[e] let him hear.
12-08-2019 The Invitation
https://www.sjlcmetro.com/ In the second week of Advent we pause to consider the, "Invitation," by Luke (3:1-14) to prepare our hearts for the coming of our Lord not only at His birth but also His eventual return to claim His Church! Our Lord seeks not perfect but humble hearts who are willing to repent and seek a deeper relationship with Him. Luke 3:1-14 ESV John the Baptist Prepares the Way 3 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,[a] make his paths straight. 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, 6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’” 7 He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 9 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” 10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics[b] is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”
12-01-2019 In the Meantime
https://www.sjlcmetro.com/ Waiting is not something that our typical North American culture does well as we live in a time of instant gratification. We know even less about, "expectant waiting," so we are blessed to have a Lord who wants to come along beside us and prepare us for what is to come! This message entitled, "In the Meantime," based on Jesus' words in Matthew 24:36-44, deals with the very important theme of being prepared for Jesus' eventual return as we are living, in one sense, in the last days; therefore what we do has implications for those around us who are perishing without the Lord! Matthew 24:36-44 ESV No One Knows That Day and Hour 36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son,[a] but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.