The sermon for April 15th 2018 is now available on the New Life web-site.
In this sermon, which is based on Luke 24:19-35, I talk about Power From Heaven.
“And I will send the Holy Spirit just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”
The two disciples from Emmaus tell the other disciples of their meeting with the risen Lord on their way home. While they are still talking, Jesus suddenly appears. The entire group is afraid because they think it is a ghost.
“Why are you afraid?” asks Jesus. He invites them to touch Him to see that He is real. He eats some fish so that they can see He is not a ghost.
Jesus then teaches them about how the Scriptures had spoken of His death and resurrection and the forgiveness that He would bring.
He tells them to wait in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills them with heavenly power.
Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would fill them with the power from heaven. These were ordinary men and women who would soon be filled with the Spirit. It must have been hard for them to grasp what this meant for them.
Jesus tells them not to leave the city until they are filled with the Holy Spirit. One problem with the church today is that we are too dependent on our own plans and our own wisdom, and not dependent enough on the Holy Spirit.
We need the Spirit’s power to achieve His plans for us. Jesus tells us to wait for the Spirit to come. We must seek His guidance, His wisdom and His power.
When He fills us, then it is time to go and witness to the grace and love of Jesus, even to the ends of the earth. It is the Holy Spirit dwelling in us that makes it possible to take the gospel everywhere we go.
Holy Spirit come and show me your plans for my life. Fill me with the power of heaven to live and witness for you. Amen.
“I have seen your salvation you have prepared for you all people.”
Eight days after Jesus’ birth, Joseph and Mary take Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised and the necessary offerings to be made.
A godly man named Simeon had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he saw the Lord’s Messiah. The Holy Spirit leads him to the Temple where he encounters Mary and Joseph. He takes the baby in his arms and prophesies over Him. “This baby will cause many in Israel to fall but He will be a joy to many.”
Then Anna, an elderly widowed prophet, comes along while Simeon is speaking and she praises God.
The family returns to Nazareth where Jesus grows up healthy and strong.
What a wonderful message is in the Christmas story. God has prepared salvation for all people.
Everyone may be saved through faith in Jesus Christ. You don’t have to be Jewish or born to a certain class of people. You don’t have to follow difficult rules and procedures. No sacrifice is needed because God has already provided the sacrifice.
This salvation is for all people.
This salvation is God’s gift for us- that is why we exchange gifts at Christmas. Jesus and His forgiveness come with no payment required, no hidden fees or penalties. It is God’s gift- simple and free.
If you know Jesus already, rejoice in His great gift.
If you don’t know Jesus then today is the day. Ask Him to forgive your sins and to come into your life. Decide in your heart to follow Jesus and to live the life He created for you to live.
Lord Jesus, your salvation brings so much joy to my heart. Thank you for coming into the world. Amen.
They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures?”
It is Easter afternoon and two disciples are walking the road to a village called Emmaus.
They are discussing the events of the weekend when a stranger comes near. It is Jesus, although they don’t recognise Him. They tell Him about Jesus, His crucifixion and the reports of His resurrection.
Jesus then starts to tell them about how it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer then enter into glory.
At he village, the disciples invite Jesus to stay the night. When they are eating, Jesus takes the bread, blesses and breaks it. Their eyes are opened to recognise Him, then He vanishes. Excited, they rush back to Jerusalem with the news that they have seen the Lord.
An encounter with Jesus will burn our hearts within us. Drawing close to Jesus, communing with him, listening to Him- this is what warms the heart of the true follower of Jesus.
There are three things happening here.
1. Two disciples sharing together about Jesus are joined by Him unexpectedly. Where two or three are gathered in His name He is there. I love cell groups and one-on-one conversations because, as we share about Jesus, He comes and joins the conversation.
2. Jesus talked to them. We need to learn to listen to the still small voice of God. He tells us, ”My sheep know my voice.” The greatest source of life for christians is the voice of the Living Word that comes to us as we listen in prayer.
3. He opened the scriptures to them. All scripture points to Jesus. It can be so easy to come to God’s word as a religious chore that we tick off our daily “to do” list. Here is the word of eternal life. It deserves our attention. We need to learn to hear the voice of Jesus opening the scriptures to us, opening our understanding and our eyes to see how it applies to us today.
Lord Jesus, when I come into your presence, my heart truly does burn within me. I confess that I sometimes let the busy-ness of life prevent me from seeking you. Let my heart burn with passion for your presence. Amen.