Sunday, June 10, 2001


Trinity Sunday
June 10, 2001
Numbers 6:22-27
"Blessing upon Blessing"

Introduction:  The Lord instructed Moses to bless the people of God.  God instructs Moses to instruct Aaron and his sons how God's people are to be blessed. For thousands of years whenever God's people have gathered together they have received a special blessing. This morning, let's consider the blessing of God.

1.     The Lord bless you and keep you

A.   The Lord bless you

1.   Why have we come here today?  There are countless things you could be doing with you energy and your time. Yet, you have made a commitment to be here this day. You have come to this place and at this time to receive a blessing from God.

2.   And a blessing you will receive. The Lord has given you His promise that He will in fact bless you. This is His promise to bless and not to curse. Remember the Savior’s words – “Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or {if} he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall {your} heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"  [Luke 11:11-13]  How true it is, the blessings of God are a guarantee to those who are His.

B.    The Lord promises to keep you

1.    Hold on! Hang in there! That can sometimes be a helpless and desperate cry of someone in trouble!  Life on this earth can be at times difficult at its best, frustrating and impossible at it worst! With the hymn writer we can say “I need Thy presence every passing hour”.  If there is anything I have learned from living here on this earth is the simple fact that we need God.

2.    We are far from helpless consider His promises to keep you. He says “I will never leave you and never forsake you” “I am with you always!”  He has promised to be near you. The writer to the Hebrews, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit gives us this assurance: ”Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, {even} Jesus our Lord,    equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom {be} the glory forever and ever. Amen.” { Hebrews 13:20-21}  The Lord’s promises are sure. He will bless and keep you always!

2. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you

A.   The Lord makes His face shine upon you

1.  What face do we see when we see Him? Moses' face, we are told shone. It had to be veiled because his facial features changed as a result of seeing the Father face to face. What do we see when we gaze into the face of God.

2.  We see a shinning face because of the cross and empty tomb. Our sins have been forgiven because of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection. Because of this reality, the cross and empty tomb, we have the guarantee of seeing a pleasant face of God.

B.    And be gracious to you

1.  We receive the Father's grace as a gift. “Salvation unto us has come by God’s free grace and favor,” says Martin Luther in his hymn.

2.  He is gracious - show too anger abounding in mercy. The Psalmist puts it this way:  “Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, {bless} His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit; who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, {so that} your youth is renewed like the eagle.” {Psalm 103 :1-5} 

3. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace

A.   His countenance

1.  The gaze of the king would often determine a victim’s fate. To look down meant death! But to lift up meant life - How will the King look at you?

2.   In Christ and only in Christ does the Father lift it up for us. Because of Jesus’ wonderful work on the cross the Father’s countenance is always lifted up!

B.    To receive His peace

1.   Peace which the world simply cannot give. The reason – the world is ever striving but will never achieve true and lasting peace.

2.   Peace which will last can only come from God.  We have peace because God is now at peace with Christ's work, with you, and also with the world.

CONCLUSION: By this blessing God's name; His stamp of approval is upon us and we receive a blessing - what a relationship we have with Him - what a blessing it is to receive the blessing of God!

Sunday, June 3, 2001


June 3, 2001
John 15:26-27
"And the beat goes on"

Introduction:  "And the beat goes on…and the beat goes on" If you can remember that song, sung and made famous by the late Sonny Bono and the current Cher; well, it places you at an age in which you're probably more concerned about college payments and retirement funds then recalling the tender years of youth! It places you at an age of looking forward to seeing your last child move out of the house as you quickly dash to the hardware store to change the locks in the hopes that they don't have a change of heart! "The beat goes on…the beat goes on. Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain…Charleston was once the rage…the miniskirt's the current thing…Teenyboppers is our newborn king, the grocery store's the supermart"

 So, what as the point to that song? The more things change, the more they actually remain the same and keep constant.  "Little girls still break their hearts, And men still keep on marching off to war Electrically they keep a baseball score…Grandmas sit in chairs and reminisce, Boys keep chasing girls to get a kiss. The beat goes on…

 Technology and fads may change, but there remains the same old challenge, throughout all of life. Nothing really changes. Wise old Solomon had it right when he said "there is nothing new under the sun!"  We need this perspective of life; or we will find ourselves quite cynical as is displayed in Britney Spears' parity of this song when she sings: "Wait till you have reached the age Blah blah History has turned the page Blah blah"

Time has a way of marching forward, "the beat goes on" and yet it's the same old challenges that each of us must face.

You purchase a house, fill it with children and pets where there is constant commotion only to have the walls grow silent as the children grow and move out on their own and get on with their lives. But the return, to visit, each with two or three children of their own; sometimes louder then they were when they were young!  The beat goes on…the beat goes on!

Today, on this, the day of Pentecost John in our Gospel lesson tells us "the beat goes on…the beat of God's love for us as it is found in Jesus Christ. On that first Pentecost The Spirit of Christ; the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the church. This same Spirit is at work in our lives as the beat goes on…

I. The Spirit testifies about Christ

The Spirit is sent
1.      From the Father. The Spirit speaks not of its own authority; all is brought into a complete order. The Holy Spirit is sent by the Father to testify concerning Christ and His righteousness.

2.      Thus the Spirit is sent to bear witness concerning Christ. All that we know about Jesus Christ we know from the Holy Spirit. The Spirit bears witness through the testimony of the Scriptures. It is the Holy Spirit that bears a complete and total witness concerning the validity of Jesus Christ.

For the Spirit knows nothing but Christ
1.      He is the spirit of truth.  Therefore His testimony will bear out the faithful witness concerning Christ. All that we know of Christ is a true and faithful witness. That witness is proven to faithful and true, for it is a trustworthy and worthy witness.

2.      Therefore He bears witness to the truth. “What is truth?”  That was the question Pilate asked. The truth, is all that is found in Jesus Christ of which the Spirit bears witness. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me”. When we come to such knowledge of the truth it is the Spirit, which bears witness to this faithful saying.

Transition:  The beat goes on. As The Spirit bears and testifies of Christ so do we. As the Spirit knows nothing but Christ so you know nothing save Jesus Christ and Him crucified

II.  The Christian testifies about Christ

A.     You are sent

1.      From the Father – Pentecost is the birthday of missions. Where the Spirit said “Go!” and God’s people went.

2.      To bear witness – concerning the truth of the Gospel – the truth concerning Jesus Christ. Each believer is a witness to the truth.

B.     For we know nothing but Christ

1.      We bear witness to the truth – Every time we share Christ, we are bearing witness to the truth. Every time we mention His most holy name we are being a faithful witness. Every time we confess our faith in the words of the creed, in our own witness, we are bearing witness to the truth concerning Jesus Christ.

2.      For the Spirit speaks – No one can say that “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. You speaking and confessing the Lordship of Christ are speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Conclusion: The beat of God's testimony through the Spirit goes on. The Father sent the Spirit so you could be sent.  Serve the Lord with gladness - that the Gospel may go on!