Read 1 Corinthians 3:1-15 to start.
Before we get started, let’s take a short trip down memory lane. Back in October, I preached a sermon that I titled Work In Progress, and I started by talking about Sarah Winchester and the Winchester Mystery House. For that sermon, I read most of this same passage from 1 Corinthians. In that sermon I talked about how God is working on every believer, and how we are His handiwork, His workmanship as it says in Ephesians chapter 2, verse 10. The comparison of a building under construction is certainly a very apt one for this concept, because putting up a house or a barn or a tower or some other large project takes time, takes effort, and requires a design and a plan in order for it to come to a successful outcome. If we allow God to work on us and in us, if we are obedient and willing to let Him work, then that is what the result will be, even if it’s not at all what we first expect.
Every building, every construction project, needs the things we just mentioned in some measure, there needs to be effort, time, a plan, and of course some sort of input, some materials. But every building also needs something more than that if it is to be a lasting structure of any sort. It needs a foundation.
Continue reading Foundations, and Building Thereupon
Read Ezekiel 33:1-9 to start.
We all know what today is, which is Father’s Day. Do you know what tomorrow is, though? Anyone have a guess? It’s the last day of spring. Which means Tuesday is the first day of summer. Now, we’ve already had some days that feel like full on summer, because the start and end of the season on the calendar is based on the position of sun in the sky, and the weather may not exactly reflect that. In any case, summer is basically here. And summer, in my mind, includes going to the beach. I’m not a big beach person myself, but if I don’t get to the beach at least a time or three in the summer then it wasn’t really summer so far as I’m concerned.
Continue reading Sink or Swim
Read Acts 8:26-38 to start.
When I was in school, back in 1980s and 90s, we had semesters and school years. One thing that took place at the end of every semester, at in particular at the end of the year, apart from the finishing of exams and deadlines for papers, there were report cards.
I assume that in public school they still do this same sort of thing, although it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s not all digital now, rather than the folded cardstock we used to have to take home and sign. I did well in school, it was never much of a concern for me when report cards came out. But there were other students who did not do as well. Some of them may have been very good in certain subjects, but did poorly in others. And some just didn’t do so well in school at all. If your report card came back with too many low numbers or poor letter grades, then you might end up failing the school year and have to repeat the grade. Not something that anyone would look forward to, not the teacher, not the student, and not the parents.
Continue reading What Holds You Back?
Read Psalm 94:1-15 and Matthew 24:3-8 to start.
Sometimes when I’m preparing to preach a sermon, I know exactly the passage I want to speak from and the particular story I will start with. That’s great when it happens, and while it’s still plenty of work and a number of hours to prepare a sermon, it feels like things flow well and it’s fairly straightforward. It can be easy to look at these occasions and say that the Holy Spirit lead me to speak on this topic and in this way. And that may well be the case, at times the Holy Spirit certainly leads down clear and straight paths that go easily. But not always.
Continue reading How Long?
Proverbs 12: 15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
Normally I like to start with a longer scripture reading, and I do have some passages to share a bit later, but first, a story. Last Saturday I took some kids, one which was one was my own, to Cavendish for paintball. Because of the construction taking place on the way to Charlottetown, I thought it would be a good idea to avoid that area, and go via Mount Stewart. Google Maps told me that it was about the same distance, maybe 3 or 4 minutes longer, and avoiding construction delays and traffic seemed a great idea. So we went that way.
Continue reading No Turning Back
Read Genesis 4: 1-10 to start.
The story of
Cain and Abel is a familiar account. I know I’ve mentioned Cain in many past
sermons, on topics such as envy, anger, revenge and forgiveness, as well why do
bad things happen to supposedly good people. I have used Cain repeatedly and
thusly because he is a ready example of how things can go so tragically wrong
in such a short time. It’s easy to reference him, and it’s generally
applicable, because we see sinful behaviour all around us, all the time, and we
see it as well when we look inside. Cain embodies our sinful nature with all the
jealousy, rage, impulsiveness, and false self-righteousness that we know to be
inside the very worst parts of ourselves.
Continue reading What About Abel?
Read 1 Samuel chapter 15 to start.
There are two
well-known individuals that we are going to look at this morning. From what we
read, you can probably guess the first one, which is of course King Saul. The
second, and we’ll read his account a bit later, is David. We know David a lot
better than we know Saul.
We often think of David in relation to someone else. David and Goliath is of course the obvious example. David and Jonathan, that’s another, and sadly, there’s David and Bathsheba, but we’ll get to that a bit later on.
Continue reading David or Saul?
Read Exodus 32:1-8 to start.
I’d like to
start this morning with a question. Actually, there are two questions, one
leads to the other. The first one is who here still eats toast? Between those
who are on low carb, keto, or gluten free diets, probably lots of people don’t
eat toast much anymore. I don’t eat toast all that often, it’s not my breakfast
go-to, but my wife and a couple of my kids opt for toast fairly often. If you
eat toast, or for that matter if you eat popcorn, or corn on the cob, or baked
potatoes, or steamed carrots, odds are pretty good that you use butter on at
least some of those foods. Maybe all of those foods. Maybe you use a little
butter, maybe you use a lot.
Continue reading Substitutes, Poor and Otherwise