Help My Doubt

Faith seeking reason- Mark 9:24

Talking with God: Cain & Abel

Continuing our topic of prayer, we looked at lessons to be learned from our famous sibling rivalry. On one occasion the sons of Adam and Eve paused to worship God with offerings from their work. Cain was the older brother and did the work of a farmer so he brought some of his grain. Abel was a rancher so he brought fat portions from the first fruits of his flocks. God approved of Abel’s offering but not Cain’s. So, long story short, Cain killed his brother.

When it comes to lessons on prayer there are many eternal truths we could remember from this history. I decided to focus in on Cain’s feeling of anger. God focused in on it too, saying, “Why are you angry?” The rest of God’s conversation with Cain makes it clear that Cain knew what God expected of him but he disobeyed on purpose. Rather than admitting he was wrong Cain blamed his brother instead then killed him.

I confess that I like to blame the government for many of my problems. I like to blame lots of people for the condition of the world. I get angry. I haven’t killed anyone but I’ve thought  about it. Because the curse of sin has affected all of us we are all prone to blame others rather than take responsibility for ourselves. My discontent with the economy is a symptom of my own envy. Our anger about the evils in our world should  reveal how little  we’ve done to save our neighbors from their sins.

This is a good lesson on Memorial Day too. Our forefathers and mothers sacrificed a lot to protect our God-given right to freedom and the pursuit of the  common good (i.e. “happiness”). They accepted personal responsibility and acknowledged the sinfulness of humanity according to the God of the Bible. Our prayers should include significant time to judge our own hearts and thank God for the faith of those who went before us.

May 31, 2011 Posted by | Sermons | Leave a comment

Talking with God like Adam & Eve

Our church says that prayer is the most important thing we can do in life. I agree and I hope that our walk matches our talk. In an effort to help, I decided to preach about prayer for the next few weeks.

Starting with Adam and Eve, I was impressed by the directly personal conversation that God initiated with them.  God started the conversation. He didn’t wait for Adam and Eve to initiate. God asked them, “Where are you?” and “Who told you that?” and “What have you done?”

It occurred to me that our prayer requests are usually so impersonal. We ask God to heal our neighbor’s cough or give the president wisdom but talk so little about our own relationship with God. I am determined to make our church directly personal in prayer so we will be more like God. That’s kind of scary but I think encounters with God are supposed to be a little scary.

May 23, 2011 Posted by | Sermons | Leave a comment

Doubting

This week I talked about Jesus’ response to “doubting” Thomas near the end of John’s gospel. I’m glad Jesus didn’t get mad at him because I have had my times of doubting too. For example, I have often doubted God’s willingness to communicate with me like He did with his prophets in the old days. God spoke, apparently, out loud to Elijah one day when he was hiding in a cave. I wish God would speak out loud to me.

A pastor buddy of mine said, just last week, “if you want to hear God speak then read the Bible and if you want to hear His audible voice then read it out loud”. Funny. And quite true. But that’s not the only way God speaks. For example, God gave Peter a vision. Come to think of it, God communicated a truth to me visually during a time of prayer some years ago. That was sweet.

I’m not going to describe it here but I do believe that God still loves to reveal Himself to doubters, just like He did with Thomas, so they will believe that Jesus is the Son of God. The question is, are you looking and listening?

May 9, 2011 Posted by | Sermons | Leave a comment

Jewish Communion

We celebrated the Lord’s Supper during worship this week. I decided to play a video of a Jewish Christian who demonstrated how our Communion ceremony came from the Jewish Passover ceremony. I felt strange playing a video in place of my sermon and I will probably not do it again. In fact, I’m starting to feel negative towards most of the technology we use in the church. Sometimes I just wish we could have church around the dinner table like Jesus did. I know he went to the Temple and Synagogue at the appointed times too, but, most of his spiritual training took place in homes, while walking or having a picnic. He accomplished so much with so little. I want to do that.

May 4, 2011 Posted by | Sermons | 6 Comments