Radical Disciples Sermons Feb & Mar 2017

RADICAL DISCIPLES

January 29      4th Sunday after the Epiphany, 5th Sunday, One Worship @ 10:30

Scripture:  Matt. 5:1-12                Theme: Radical Disciples and the Blessed Life

Take a moment to enjoy the Word in Song as Chancel Choir performs “The Beatitudes”

Worship video page> Chancel Choir

Thoughts: The Beatitudes are usually read on All Saints Day.  We too often think of them as unattainable ideals.  Jesus tells us these are discipleship essentials.  Poverty of spirit, mournfulness, meekness, hunger and thirst for what is right, mercy, purity, peacemaking, and patience under persecution are a way of active being in the world.  These blessings are a way of life for the radical disciple of Kingdom people.  These are the true counter-cultural characteristics of Christians.

February 5      5th Sunday after Epiphany  Scriptures:  Matt. 5:13-20    Theme: Radical Disciples Spice It Up & Light It Up

Thoughts: Way, way too often, we have considered faith to be a private matter to be hidden from the rest of life.  To do otherwise was seen as self-righteous, arrogant and even hypocritical.  Yet, here is Jesus telling us to let our light shine and let our righteousness be seen by others.  In a world that is less and less Christian and from the top down our values are under attack, we need to let the world know that there is an alternative to this culture.  Jesus is calling radical disciples to spice up life with spicy/salty characters who rejoice in righteousness.  He is glowing within us and calling us to let his light shine through us so that a dark and sinful world will see a counter-cultural way of life – righteousness.

February 12    6th Sunday after Epiphany  Scripture:  Matt. 5:21-37     Theme: Radical Disciples & Ethics from the Heart

Thoughts: Radical Discipleship is a radical change of heart that is reflected in radical behavior in righteousness.  Radical Discipleship is not just following the letter of the law.  That can be done with careful forethought.  The follower of Christ has had a radical change of heart – a heart of compassion, mercy, forgiveness, fidelity, respect, and etc.  Jesus is calling us to a life that exceeds the Law because our love of God comes from the heart and not from fear of punishment.  This is life!

 

February 19    7th Sunday after Epiphany  Scripture:   Matt. 5:38-48      Theme: Radical Disciples Practice Love

Thoughts: An eye for an eye and hate your enemies, are ethics of the common culture around us. The amount of revenge and hatred has accelerated and shows no sign of letting up…in worldly culture.  Is the ethics of Kingdom people any different?  According to the teachings of Jesus it should.  Radical Disciples are to turn the other cheek rather than seek revenge.  We are to love our enemies and treat them with dignity and respect rather than hate and violence.  This is the ethics of the Kingdom of God and followers of Jesus are to live in this kind of holiness – and, yes, even perfection.  But this perfection does not come by our efforts alone.  Perfection comes out of Grace in our relationship with our Savior.

February 26   8th Sunday after Epiphany  Scripture:   Matt. 6:1-4, 19-24   Theme: Radical Disciples Practice Generosity

Thoughts: Jesus was not bashful to talk about money and giving in relation to the faith: as radical disciples neither should we.  In fact, Jesus is very frank that we should ‘give alms’ as a matter of basic piety rather than a show of prosperity.  Our prosperity is really a matter of Kingdom treasure rather than worldly possessions.  Radical disciples can be prosperous, but do our possessions possess us or do we use our possessions to promote God’s Kingdom?

March 5          1st Sunday in Lent   Scripture:  Matt. 6:1-18     Theme: Radical Disciples Pray and Fast for Effect

Thoughts: Jesus is calling radical disciples to pray and fast for purpose and not personal promotion.  We are to pray that God’s holiness and Kingdom be a present reality and not just a heavenly hope, our daily provision be provided, forgiveness and a forgiving spirit be reality, and that our encounters with evil are met with strength.  We are to fast for purpose (private or public) but to do it without fanfare.  Prayer and fasting are simple, straight forward and purposeful.  They are for change not promotion.

 

March 12        2nd Sunday of Lent     Scriptures: Matt. 6:25-34      Theme: Radical Disciples Depend upon God

Thoughts: Worry, worry, worry, we worry about so much, and must of you worries are about things we cannot do anything about.  Jesus asks, “Why do you worry about the things the world worries about?”  Look at the birds of the air and the lilies of the field is one of Jesus’ most recognized images and yet his followers heed it the least.  Radical disciples are dependent upon God not just for basic need, but also for all the complications of life.  God is our partner in all things.  We do nothing apart from God.  So whether we are in affluence or poverty, in danger or at peace, hungry or satisfied, God is with us and our future is secure.  Worry is the result of fear. There is a reason God/Jesus repeatedly says, “Do not be afraid.”

 

March 19        3rd Sunday of Lent   Scripture:  Matt. 7:1-12     Theme: Radical Disciples Practice the Golden Rule

Thoughts: Radical disciples are not self-righteous judges.  They are painfully aware of their own sinfulness and are as ready to forgive and have mercy as they are to receive the same from God.  The Golden rule is about thinking of the other as a person in need of God’s love and mercy as much the disciple is.  Judgement belongs to God not us.  And we know what kind of judge God is: from the cross Jesus forgave those who executed him.

 

March26    4th Sunday of Lent      Scriptures: Matt. 7:13-23  Gal. 5:22-25     Theme: Radical Disciples Bear Good Fruit

 

Thoughts: The whole point of this sermon series is that followers of Jesus live by a different code of ethics than the rest of the world.  The code is not a set of laws or believes that have to be followed or adhered to.  This code is a life style of faithfulness, freedom, and fruitfulness.  The fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,…The radical disciple’s life is not ego centric but other-centric and Theocentric (centered in God).  This life style is not lived in order to gain God’s favor and secure a place in heave.  This life is lived out of gratefulness for God’s grace and a relationship of love for God and others.

 

April 2      5th Sunday of Lent        Scriptures: Matthew 7:24-29        Theme: Radical Disciples Weather the Storm

Thoughts: Which is easier, to walk on a concrete sidewalk or the deck of a wind tossed boat?  Easy question.  One may seem boring and the other dangerously exciting until you really think about it.  Walking on something solid allow one to experience the surroundings with eyes, ears and mind wide open.  The other only experiences the thrill of the moment.  God gives us the opportunity to live life wide open to all the possibilities.  Living by the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount is life in its fullest, most complete and most secure.