On Mother’s Day, I thought it would be interesting to consider Daniel’s story from a mother’s perspective. We don’t know anything about Daniel’s mother except that he must have had one, so this is pure speculation. But if these young men were only about 13 or 14 years old when taken from their homes by a foreign army, it stands to reason that their mothers, if they survived the siege of 605 BC, would have been utterly devastated. As this story unfolds, I wonder -- would Daniel’s mom, and the moms of his faithful friends Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael, be proud of their sons?
These sketches/outlines are taken from messages delivered in SVCC's Sunday morning worship services.
Disclaimer: I’m directing today’s message primarily toward the men of the church, young and old, because many of the ladies are still at our women’s retreat. For the ladies who are here today, I would like to humbly ask two things: first, your indulgence. I don’t get the chance to speak directly to the men like this very often, and I want to take advantage of this opportunity! Second, I would ask you to remain open to what God might say to you through this message.
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers
in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4.12)
Today we conclude our journey through the gospel according to Saint Matt. We have spent over two years in this study, and we have hopefully encountered Jesus for who He is. Sometimes He was surprising. Sometimes He was comforting. But, according to Matthew, He is always the Son of God and the lover of our souls. Matthew finishes with his account of some of the final words of Jesus -- the Great Commission. (Of course, the FINAL final words of His earthly ministry are recorded in Acts Chapter 1)..
Sooner or later, every one of us will find ourselves in a tomb. I’m not talking about physical death, although that may also be in your future. I’m talking about the tomb of the soul. It may be your own doing, the result of someone else’s careless plans, or a simple accident. But everyone gets there eventually.
We are approaching the finale of Matthew’s gospel, and as an endcap to Jesus’ teaching ministry, Matthew the evangelist shares with us the account of three very different reactions to this man, this prophet, this king, Jesus. These reactions very closely correspond with the parable of the farmer and the four soils from Matthew chapter 13.
No Mere Good Teacher
Today’s passage paints a disturbing and very harsh picture. The separation of the sheep and goats, the saved and the damned, into two groups -- one destined for eternal glory and the other for eternal fire in the company of demons -- is meant to be a frightening and troubling scene.
“Assuredly I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18.3)
Men and women have always lusted for greatness and glory.
In Luke 2, the words of the Angel, then the old man of God Simeon, and finally Jesus himself say exactly who Jesus is.
God continues to break 400 years of silence with the puzzling words of Jesus, the 12-year-old. (Interesting fact: this passage is the only reliable account we have from Jesus’ childhood.)
Fourth Sunday of Advent 2014