2015-03-22: Luke-The Investigative Gospel – Planning The Trip

Posted March 22nd, 2015 by admin and filed in 2015 Sermons
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Sermon Audio: Planning The Trip
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Luke 9:51-62
Duration: 21:10
Size: 9.69 MB

Luke-The Investigative Gospel
Planning The Trip
Luke 9:51-62

Well this morning Luke tells us about another group of individuals who were about to go on a trip to Israel.

Everything that Luke tells us in these next ten chapters must be looked at through the lens of a great countdown.

Two wrongs don’t make a right. Besides, they better get use to rejection because that’s just what’s going to happen once they arrive in Jerusalem.

What Jesus says to all three of them is that in order to follow him, they needed to be fully committed.

We are all called to discipleship and today I would challenge you to think about your own personal call to discipleship.

The original disciples sole qualification was their willingness to rise to their feet when Jesus said, “Follow me.”

2015-03-15: Luke-The Investigative Gospel – Getting It Wrong: Breaking Boundaries

Posted March 15th, 2015 by admin and filed in 2015 Sermons
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Sermon Audio: Getting It Wrong: Breaking Boundaries
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Luke 9:37-50
Duration: 22:42
Size: 10.3 MB

Luke-The Investigative Gospel
Getting it Wrong: Breaking Boundaries
Luke 9:37-50

Sometimes that is what we do with the stories of Jesus – we narrow in on the one story for the day, and miss the broad themes coming through.

In these three chapters, we see some common themes – “who is Jesus?” and “what does it mean to be a follower of Jesus?”

Failure #1: Can’t cast out the demon.

The first, and longest, details their failure to cast out a particular demon.

What struck me, which maybe some of us need to hear today as a challenge, was the question – what keeps us from getting to Jesus?

If something is keeping you back, I urge you with a similar love that this father had for his son, come to Jesus.

Failure #2: They were afraid to ask.

And the failure is in the fact that in not getting it, they didn’t ask; they didn’t seek to understand.

Failure #3: Pre-occupation with self and position.

In all we know and have seen, about Jesus coming for sinners and welcoming the poor and embracing the sick, upending all the social boundaries, saying “lose your life and you will find it”, here we find the disciples in exactly the opposite disgusting rut – “who is the greatest”.

Jesus came to say that whole system is broken and misses the point – power and control are temporary illusions that keep people from being free and forgiven.

Failure #4: Exclusionism

The final failure is along the same lines as the previous, and displays the disciples continuing inability to give up the special status that they think they have as followers of Jesus.

I refuse to condemn the disciples because I see these very same failures in me and in todays church.

It all begins with us coming to Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, and allowing God to make us like Jesus.

2015-03-08: Luke-The Investigative Gospel – Glory, Praise, and Movement

Posted March 8th, 2015 by admin and filed in 2015 Sermons
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Sermon Audio: Glory, Praise, and Movement
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Luke 9:28-36
Duration: 20:23
Size: 9.33 MB

Luke-The Investigative Gospel
Glory, Praise, and Movement
Luke 9:28-36

Johnny didn’t understand the Transfiguration and I dare say many of us don’t either.

Glory.
It means awe, wonder, splendor Christ in all of His glory means in all of His godly might, in all the splendor of heaven.

They for a moment, left the clouds, the rain, the brokenness of this life to go up the mountain to be with Jesus.

The glory, the light, the radiance of the Transfiguration is still with us as we allow the spirit of Christ to enter our lives and transform us into his children.

Praise.
That presence is God himself through Christ and the Spirit entering our souls and then we drop to our knees in an act of worship as we praise Him for his glory.

Movement.
We encounter the glory of God, we praise him for it as we learn to accept him, then he calls us to listen, and then to act.

We let our lifestyles show people the radiant face of one who knows Christ, who has praised Christ, who has worshiped and served him.

2015-03-01: Luke-The Investigative Gospel – The Cost Of Being A Disciple

Posted March 1st, 2015 by admin and filed in 2015 Sermons
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Sermon Audio: The Cost Of Being A Disciple
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Luke 9:23-27
Duration: 25:44
Size: 11.7 MB

Luke-The Investigative Gospel
The Cost Of Being A Disciple
Luke 9:23-27

There is a cost to being a disciple of Christ, a cost that most people do not understand.

In order for us to be Christ’s disciples we must put Him first.

Jesus set the bar of discipleship very high for those who would follow.

It is so difficult because since the beginning of time man has wanted to fulfill his own personal agenda and meet his own interest and needs and take care of his own welfare.

Jesus was totally surrendered to the will of the Father and we are supposed to be totally surrendered to the will of the Father as well.

How can we get to that point in our lives when we are totally surrendered to God?

1. We must make a definite decision to come after Christ.

This decision is made when we accept Jesus as our Savior and allow God to forgive our sins.

2. We must deny ourselves of those things in our lives that oppose the will of God.

If we want to be a disciple of Christ and walk in the blessing and power of God then it will require us to practice self-denial, complete dedication, and willing obedience in our commitment to Christ.

3. We must take up our cross.

Taking up your cross is the total dedication of your life to God every day.

4. We must have dauntless determination and follow Him.

God doesn’t desire for us to just observe from the sideline.

The result is a church with no substantial witness or testimony that would draw others from their community into the saving power of God.

His desire is that we surrender to Him and when we do He promises to take care of everything else.

2015-02-12: Luke-The Investigative Gospel – Jesus Foretells His Death

Posted February 22nd, 2015 by admin and filed in 2015 Sermons
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Sermon Audio: Jesus Foretells His Death
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Luke 9:21-22
Duration: 23:19
Size: 10.6 MB

Luke-The Investigative Gospel
Jesus Foretells His Death
Luke 9:21-22

I. Jesus’ Command

Rather strangely, just after Peter’s magnificent confession about the true identity of Jesus, Jesus strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one.

After his resurrection, Jesus’ disciples are no longer to remain silent. Instead we are now to proclaim the truth to all about his identity.

Let us find ways to talk to colleagues, friends, neighbors, and family members about the identity of Jesus.

II. Jesus’ Prediction

Jesus, however, at this point in his life made a remarkable prediction to his twelve disciples.

A. Jesus’ Prediction of His Suffering

We know that his suffering began when the perfect Son of God left the glory of heaven and in humiliation was born in a low condition and underwent the miseries of living in this sinful world.

Jesus’ entire life was a life of suffering.

B. Jesus’ Prediction of His Rejection

The Sanhedrin eventually rejected Jesus and would not believe that he was the Christ, the Messiah, the Promised One.

C. Jesus’ Prediction of His Death

It was absolutely essential that Jesus, as God incarnate, should be killed in order to pay the penalty for our sin.

D. Jesus’ Prediction of His Resurrection

Jesus’ resurrection is our assurance that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf.

Conclusion

We should thank God for what Jesus accomplished on behalf of his own.

Then he said, “Your role is simply to trust me, trust that I know what I’m doing even when it doesn’t look like it.”