ILLUSTRATION – I was in a department store last week checking out at the register and I noticed the man helping me looked weary. Discouragement was written all over his face. I asked him if it had been a hard week and he said yes, but every week is hard in retail. He went on to tell me that he had lost his IT job in the crash of 2008. Now in his mid-50s he was in retail … the hardest job he ever had. It wasn’t what he envisioned he would be doing at this stage in his life. I thanked him and tried to encourage him as I left. As I walked away I thought about how many people are like that … discouraged, dreams dashed against the rocks of circumstances. I thought about the ray of light that Jesus brings into dark, hopeless lives like this man’s life. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Sermon Manuscripts’ Category
Open your Bibles to Luke 2:25. We’re on an ADVENTure during this season. Advent is the name given to the church’s celebration of the arrival or the coming of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Here in Luke 2 we’re introduced to two obscure believers who, when they witnessed the advent of Jesus, worshipped and treasured Him. Before I pick up reading let me set the stage. Jesus is just a few weeks old at this point. Mary and Joseph were righteous people who faithfully observed the Law of Moses which required that their first-born son be brought to the Temple to present to the Lord (similar to what we observed this morning in parent/child dedication). But as Mary, Joseph and Jesus were in the Temple, they ran into a very special man. (more…)
Open your Bibles to John 17. This season we’re focused on the Advent, and the ADVENTure continues here at Travis. Christmas Store was a tremendous touch in our community. Parents of seven hundred children were helped to provide gifts for their kids. Most importantly, 161 of the adults made professions of faith. Tonight the ADVENTure continues with the Nativity Symphony concert. It will be a great witness as we lift up Jesus. Then next Saturday and Sunday we need your help to put out door-hangers on 3000 homes in the neighborhoods to the north of our church inviting them to the Christmas Eve service. The details are in your worship folder. We also have these personal invitation cards for you to give out as you are in a restaurant or a store. Next week we’ll have door-hangers that you can take around your neighborhood. (more…)
Through the ages the church has celebrated something we call Advent. The word means “coming” or “arrival,” obviously referring to the coming of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, into this world to be our Savior. Advent is celebrated the four Sundays prior to Christmas, so today we are going to begin our Advent celebration. Advent is normally celebrated with the use of greenery (often in a wreath) which symbolizes eternal life. The lighting of candles on each Sunday during Advent along with one lit on Christmas Eve each represent a step in our understanding of what the coming of Christ really means. (more…)
Open your Bibles to Acts 3:11. As you’re turning I want to remind you that next Sunday evening will be the first of our Evenings of Prayer and Praise. I’m preaching this series from Acts entitled “Unstoppable … Living in the Irrepressible Power of the Holy Spirit.” The powerful things done by the Holy Spirit here in Acts, with thousands being saved and a loving fellowship being formed, happened because they devoted themselves to prayer. So we want to follow that same pattern.
Now, last week we saw a miracle performed by Peter and John when a crippled man was given power to walk through the name of Jesus. So there was the miracle and today we will see the message that followed the miracle. God sets off an explosion to attract attention to the message he wanted to deliver through Peter. To get started today, let’s read Acts 3:11-16. (more…)
Tonight we are sharing in a beautiful experience for any church, the setting apart of men to serve in the office of deacon. Please plan to come at 5:30 this evening in the Great Room for the Deacon Ordination and Commissioning Service. There will be a reception to follow. Also I’m looking forward to our first Evening of Prayer and Praise, two weeks from tonight, November 30, as we gather to cry out to the Lord in preparation for the great opportunity we have to share the Gospel with our city in the month of December.
Open your Bibles to Acts 3. In the first two chapters of Acts we see Jesus ascending to the right hand of the Father to reign there until He will come again. He promised to send His Holy Spirit to empower the church for the unstoppable quest of getting the Gospel to the nations. So on the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came upon the group of about 120 and the Spirit-filled body of Christ was formed. As a result of their witness and the preaching of Peter thousands of people are saved in one day. Acts 2 goes on to explain how the Holy Spirit formed them into a spiritual family that was growing in love for God, for His Word and for one another. And it is really a sweet thing. It would be so easy for them to just do what we often do … settle in and just enjoy the good life in the church. But they were living in the irrepressible power of the Holy Spirit. And so we read in… (more…)
Before I get started I want to thank you for your kind expressions in the death of my mother yesterday. Just two weeks ago she was admitted to the hospital after a fall and her condition quickly deteriorated. In times like these I’m truly grateful for the hope we have in Jesus Christ and the sweet support from our family of faith. But on a happier note, I want to give thanks to God for His bountiful blessings on our church last week. Last Sunday was Harvest Day, and we were blessed with a harvest in more ways than one. Financially it was a great harvest. We didn’t have the complete report at the printing of the worship folder, but our total giving for last week was over $357,000 including gifts to budget, Harvest Day and other needs as you can see. But it didn’t stop there. At the end of the day the Lord had added to our church 22 new members (as you can see on the back of the worship folder). Let’s express our gratitude to God with a clap offering. (more…)
I had two of my grandkids with me two weeks ago when I went to vote early. As they watched me go through the voting process (pressing the buttons) my granddaughter Caroline said, “That’s easy. How come I can’t vote?” I explained to her that it was a little harder than just pushing the buttons; you need to know what the candidates believe on important values that we have. The events down in Houston with pastors’ sermons being subpoenaed shows the importance of every election. Vote!
Let’s open our Bibles to Acts 2:37. Last week we talked about the first sermon after the Holy Spirit first came to form the first church. At the end of Peter’s powerful presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we see the life-changing results. Read Acts 2:37-41.
BAPTISM PHOTO – I want to tell you right from the start that my message today is about baptism. Baptism is mentioned twice in the verses we’ve just read. You cannot read the New Testament without seeing that baptism is extremely important for believers and for the church. If you haven’t been baptized, at the end of my message I am going to give you an opportunity to take a step of obedience in following Christ by indicating on a card that you want to be baptized soon. I know there are many questions people have about baptism and I hope to answer them as I explain the verses I’ve just read. (more…)
ILLUSTRATION – Anyone who has ever preached remembers their very first sermon. (And probably everyone who heard them preach their first message remembers it.) There’s a story about the great British preacher Charles Spurgeon who had a preachers’ college in London. They had a tradition where Spurgeon would walk up to a student, give them a text of Scripture and the student would be required to preach a message on the spur of the moment before Spurgeon and the staff of the college. On one such occasion a student was given the text about Zacchaeus, the tax collector Jesus encountered in Luke 19. The student stood before them and preached this message: “Zacchaeus was of little stature; so am I. Zacchaeus was up a tree; so am I. Zacchaeus came down; so will I.” And the student quickly took his seat. (more…)
Before I get started let me remind you that this Friday night is FXLive … a great family event with a life-changing message. We’ll have food trucks parked on our campus for you to enjoy with your family. But it’s also a great way to introduce your friends to our church. Stop by the CMC to pick up tickets for your family and your friends. Two weeks from today is Harvest Day, a very important day each year in the life of our church. In preparation, don’t just think about what you will give; ask God what you should give. If you think about what you should give you will ask, “What do I want to give or what can I afford to give?” But when you pray you ask God, “What do You want me to give?” So when you give what He shows you, you are stepping out on faith that God will meet your needs and the needs of our church.
Now open your Bibles to Acts 2. I’ve entitled this series “Unstoppable: Living in the Irrepressible Power of the Holy Spirit.” The book of Acts shows us where everything started for the church. We’re reading about our spiritual roots. It’s not just what God used to do; it’s what God still wants do through people who yield to the power of His Spirit. Read Acts 2:1-6. (more…)