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Summary: God’s love for us.

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Certainty in Uncertain Times

John 11:1-45

January 7, 2007

On Wednesday, our family drove home from Deb’s parents house in Canada where we spent 5 days playing in the snow and eating great food.

On our way through Spokane, I noticed a sign -"Number of Traffic deaths this year" was the heading. And underneath the heading were two zeroes - double zeroes.

Number of traffic deaths - number of people killed in Spokane.

As they were going about their day

driving to work

driving from work

running an errand

driving to visit a friend

going for a Sunday afternoon drive

Number of Traffic deaths in year 2007

00

The double zeroes caught my attention with the new year just 3 days old -

No one-

No one

No body had yet been killed in an auto accident.

But the sign - having this sign erected on the side of the road was an indication that there would be lives lost and double digit lives lost on the roads of Spokane in 2007.

3 days earlier, I had wished my in-laws a "Happy and Healthy New Year."

3 days earlier, the world celebrated making it through another year and hoping to do so again in 2007.

But this sign.

This sign indicated and forcasted that

pain

loss

destruction

tragedy

hurt would visit countless lives in year 2007.

On this first Sunday in the New Year-

I want to talk about:

pain

loss

hurt

tragedy.

Why? Because each of us will experience some sort of this, some degree, some measure of these in 2007.

Though we raised glasses and gave a toast for a safe and healthy New Year.

The reality of life.

The reality of lives is that we can not inoculate ourselves from experiencing pain, hurt, or loss.

As Christ followers though.

As people who live each day trusting in Jesus - there are some certainties that we are ours during such uncertain times.

Some things.

Some assurances as Jesus followers that never disappear even when pain comes close.

There is a larger context that we can place our lives - a context that can be a place

of refuge

of peace

of strength even when tragedy draws near.

Our text for today is John 11. It is the story of Lazarus, a man who dies seemingly prematurely.

Despite his sisters calling out for Jesus.

Despite their prayers - he dies.

These Jesus following people, like you and me, experienced loss, tragedy and pain.

What I’m going to do is read through the passage.

Do a little teaching on the passage and then make some personal applications.

There are 3 main audiences in John 11.

In each of the 3 sections, there is an audience, a primary listening group to whom Jesus is speaking.

In the first section, vs. 1-16, Jesus is primarily speaking to his disciples.

In the second section, vs. 17-37, Jesus is primarily speaking to Mary and Martha.

In the third section, vs. 38-44, Jesus speaks to Lazarus for the benefit of everyone.

Section 1 - to the disciples

Section 2 - to Mary and Martha

Section 3 - to Lazarus but for the benefit of everyone.

Though he has 3 different audiences and though there are 3 different settings in which he speaks, Jesus’ message is the same.

He speaks about 2 matters

1st - vs. 4, 40 - Lazarus’ death, sickness will be for God’s glory.


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