These sketches/outlines are taken from messages delivered in SVCC's Sunday morning worship services.
Today’s story is one of the true greats in the Old Testament. In it we see a king spiraling out of control, three boys bound and determined to stand resolute, and you and me. Let’s dive in.
God often speaks through dreams. Jacob dreamed of a stairway to heaven. Joseph dreamed of his future when he saw the sheaves of wheat, the sun, the moon and the stars kneeling before him. He interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker -- and even the dreams of Pharaoh himself.
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?
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.