Contributed on Jan 6, 2007
First in a series from the Book of Ephesians. As belivers, we are set apart for salvation, service and spiritual blessings.
This morning, we’re going to embark on some basic training. For many of you who have served in our military, the concept is not a new one. Every branch of our military has some form of basic training that new recruits must complete before they are ready for duty. The todaysmilitary.com website ...read more
Contributed on Jan 14, 2007
Second in a series from Ephesians. God has chosen us because it gives Him pleasure.
Last week, we entered into spiritual basic training as we began to dig into our training manual – Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus. In the first three verses of that letter, we discovered that God has set his followers apart for salvation, for service and for spiritual blessings. Let’s see ...read more
Contributed on Jan 22, 2007
Third in a series from Ephesians. Jesus Christ has paid the price to redeem us from slavery to sin.
For some reason, somebody decided to share this observation from George Burns with me this week: The secret to a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible. I’m not sure that just because he played God in a couple of movies ...read more
Contributed on Jan 26, 2007
Fourth in a series from Ephesians. This message focuses on our responsibility for evangelism as it relates to the doctrine of election.
At the beginning of this month we embarked on our spiritual basic training, which is taking us through our training manual, Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus. One of the things that I’m encouraging us to do as part of our spiritual basic training is to work on memorizing the entire Book of ...read more
Contributed on Feb 5, 2007
Fifth in a series from Ephesians. This message focuses on the role of the Holy Spirit in securing our spiritual inheritance.
Still living at home, bored, and expecting to inherit a fortune when his sickly widower father died, Robert decided he needed a woman to keep him company. So he went to a singles bar, and he searched until he spotted a woman whose beauty took his breath away. "Right now, I’m just an ordinary ...read more
Contributed on Feb 15, 2007
Sixth in a series from Ephesians. We respond to God’s blessings by getting to knw Him better.
I¡¦m sure that many of you this week followed the bizarre story of NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak. Nowak, a 43 year old married mother of 3, apparently had a romantic interest in a fellow astronaut with whom she had trained together. Jealous of another woman who she believed also had a romantic interest ...read more
Contributed on Feb 19, 2007
Seventh in a series from Ephesians. What God wants me to know affects how i live my life.
In 1989, Robert Fulghum wrote his best-selling book, All I Really need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. In that book, he made some astute observations about many of the timeless bits of knowledge we picked up in the early years of our lives. Among the things we learned: • Share everything. ...read more
Contributed on Mar 6, 2007
Eighth in a series from Ephesians. Resurrection power is the greatest power man has ever known because it can transform our lives.
What is the greatest power in the history of mankind? Some might argue that it is manmade power and for them, the ultimate man-made power would certainly have to be a nuclear bomb. The world saw that kind of power unleashed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. And today’s nuclear ...read more
Contributed on Mar 18, 2007
Ninth in a series from Ephesians. The church should matter to us because it matters to God.
This week I came across an interesting quote that was recently posted on an internet blog by a lady who identified herself as “Eva”. Here it is, exactly as she wrote it: You are so right about the church today. We are a catholic family, but I can’t even remember the last time we went to church. ...read more
Contributed on Mar 23, 2007
Tenth in a series from Ephesians. Our life before Christ shows why we need a Savior.
I’d like to begin this morning by asking you a question: Why do we need a Savior? We’ve spent nine weeks taking a look at Ephesians chapter 1 and marveling at how God has entered into our lives and poured out tremendous spiritual blessings for those who are His children. We’ve seen how God has ...read more
Contributed on Apr 1, 2007
Eleventh in a series on Ephesians. Our situation was hopeless, but God intervened.
When we began our study of Ephesians chapter 2 last week, we saw that Paul painted a very realistic, and yet disheartening picture of what our lives were like without Jesus Christ. Paul made it clear that we need a Savior because without one, we are dead in our transgressions and sins; we were ...read more
Contributed on Apr 20, 2007
Twelth in a series from Ephesians. God met my deepest needs that I could do nothing about.
It seems like so long since we last visited Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus. In reality it was only a two week hiatus, but what a great two weeks those were! On Easter I know many of you had a chance to take part in one or both of our services. At the Sunrise Service, we looked at how ...read more
Contributed on Apr 30, 2007
13th in a series from Ephesians. The entire process of salvation is God’s gift - it is nothing we can earn.
Last Sunday many of you may have seen the article titled “’Lord’ is fading at some churches” on the front page of the Arizona Daily Star. The article focuses on two practices that have become common in these churches – leaving the word “Lord” completely out of their liturgy and their services, and ...read more
Contributed on May 8, 2007
14th in a series from Ephesians. Those who have been created as new creations by God are His masterpieces.
Although most artists create many different works, it seems that for most of them, they come to be identified primarily with one particular work. Let’s see if you can identify the artists who created each of these works that I’ll display on the screen. Since, as you know, I’m not very cultured, ...read more
Contributed on May 21, 2007
15th in a series from Ephesians. The danger of following a religion instead of seeking a relationship.
A man was walking across a bridge one day, and he saw another man standing on the edge, about to jump off. He immediately ran over and said "Stop! Don’t do it!" "Why shouldn’t I?" the man asked. The first man replied, "Well, there’s so much to live for!" "Like what?" "Well ... are you ...read more
Contributed on May 21, 2007
16th in a series from Ephesians. How Jesus tears down walls that separate us from God and from others.
It is human nature to build walls. The Chinese built what is known today as the Great Wall of China over a period of over 2,000 years to try to keep out invaders. Beginning in 1961 the East Germans began construction on the Berlin Wall, which was built to keep people from fleeing from East to West ...read more
Contributed on Jun 27, 2007
17th in a series on Ephesians. When I become a Christian God makes me a part of something bigger than myself.
I ran across this question that was posted on Yahoo! Answers this week: How do you raise a Christian without going to church? My wife and I are Christian and we have a 10 month old daughter. I want her to have Christian beliefs and thoughts but I hate organized religion. I pray on my own. I ...read more
Contributed on Jun 27, 2007
18th in a series on Ephesians. God blesses us with His grace so that we can "pay it forward."
Although it has only been three weeks, it seems like quite a while since we last looked at the book of Ephesians. We’re going to continue our journey through our basic training manual this morning as we come to Chapter 3. Let’s read our passage out loud together. For this reason I, Paul, the ...read more
Contributed on Jul 10, 2007
19th in a series from Epehsians. Our life is more fulfilling when we realize it is a mystery that god reveals day by day.
A mystery-lover took his place in the theater for opening night, but his seat was way back in the theater, far from the stage. So the man called an usher over and whispered, ’’I just love a good mystery, and I have been anxiously anticipating the opening of this play. However, in order to carefully ...read more
Contributed on Jul 10, 2007
20th in a series from Epehsians. Paul helps us understand our life work.
Let me ask you a question this morning: What would you say is your life work? While you’re thinking about the answer to that question, let me share with you how several people answered that question: Bruce Wagman, a San Francisco attorney: I think the animals in society deserve a level of ...read more
Contributed on Jul 18, 2007
21st in a series from Ephesians. Being part of the church is about far more than meeting my own needs and desires.
This week I came across an interesting website called Churchshoppers.com. Here is what that site claims they can do for you: Finding the right home church is one of the most important decisions you will make for you and your family. Your place of worship needs to inspire, encourage and ...read more
Contributed on Jul 23, 2007
22nd in a series from Ephesians. Our access to God has some important implications.
A couple of weeks ago the national champion University of Arizona softball team was invited to meet President Bush at the White House. But if you or I want to visit the White House, it requires some prior arrangements. If I just want to take a trip to Washington D.C. and visit the White House, I ...read more
Contributed on Aug 1, 2007
23rd in a series from Ephesians. God uses suffering for our benefit and for the benefit of others.
When Mary and I went to Kauai for our 25th anniversary, I came across a t-shirt that was imprinted with Kimo’s Kauai Rules. In fact, I liked the t-shirt and the rules so much that I not only bought the shirt, but when I returned from that trip I also preached a series of ten sermons based on the ...read more
Contributed on Aug 13, 2007
24th in a series from Ephesians. How to make my heart a place where Jesus can be at home.
We’ve all heard the old adage “Home is where the heart is”. But I think if the Apostle Paul was here with us today, he would probably rearrange the words like this: “Heart is where the home is” That is the essence of the passage that we’ll look at this morning as we continue our journey through ...read more
Contributed on Aug 28, 2007
25th in a series from Ephesians. How to allow God to fill us with all His fulness so we can be all that He wants us to be.
I’m convinced that too many people have way too much time on their hands. While doing some research for my sermon this week on the internet, I ran across this “Ad Slogan Tournament” by Slate magazine, which was posted on March 12 of this year. It’s an NCAA format bracket that asks readers to pick ...read more
Contributed on Sep 4, 2007
26th in a series from Ephesians. For Paul, God’s power in his life, as described in the first three chapters is enough.
Just a few minutes ago, I asked you to share one of your favorite Bible passages with someone else. Now it’s my turn to share one of my favorites with you. Let’s read it out loud together: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is ...read more
Contributed on Sep 13, 2007
27th in a series from Ephesians. Our attitudes are the key to preserving unity in the church.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably noticed that there has been a lot of press lately about various church denominations that are facing possible splits over theological issues. Perhaps the most publicized battle recently has been within the Episcopal Church here in the United States ...read more
Contributed on Sep 17, 2007
28th in a series from Ephesians. The seven ties that bond us together as believers are based on the unity of God Himself.
I need your help this morning. Let’s see if you can help me complete the following sentence: Birds of a feather [flock together]. I’m sure all of us are familiar with that idiom that some sources indicate may go all the way back to the Greek and Romans cultures. It indicates that people who ...read more
Contributed on Sep 21, 2007
29th in a series on Ephesians. Although Jesus creates unity in the church, he gives us diverse gifts to use in that process.
A couple of weeks ago the Worship Team sang “Glory in the Highest” for the first time during our response time. And as all of us on the Worship Team know firsthand, God did a tremendous work that morning. During our rehearsal time, we really struggled to be able to play and sing that song well. We ...read more
Contributed on Oct 6, 2007
30th in a series from Ephesians. Every believer is to be a minister.
Last Saturday, Mary and I went to the U of A football game. And as we watched that game, it reminded me of how someone once described a football game: Eleven men down on the field, desperately in need of rest, and fifty thousand people in the stands desperately in need of ...read more