Sunday, January 08, 2017

OUR DAILY DECISIONS MATTER: SCS 103

by Ed 1995

Sunday, January 8, 2017, Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 103

PRAYER for Today:
Matthew 6:9-13 King James Version (KJV)
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

MORNING WORSHIP MUSIC:

SCRIPTURE LESSON for Today:  
Isaiah 33:10-16 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
10 “Now I will arise,” says the Lord,
   “now I will lift myself up;
   now I will be exalted.
11 You conceive chaff, you bring forth stubble;
   your breath is a fire that will consume you.
12 And the peoples will be as if burned to lime,
   like thorns cut down, that are burned in the fire.”
13 Hear, you who are far away, what I have done;
   and you who are near, acknowledge my might.
14 The sinners in Zion are afraid;
   trembling has seized the godless:
“Who among us can live with the devouring fire?
   Who among us can live with everlasting flames?”
15 Those who walk righteously and speak uprightly,
   who despise the gain of oppression,
who wave away a bribe instead of accepting it,
   who stop their ears from hearing of bloodshed
   and shut their eyes from looking on evil,
16 they will live on the heights;
   their refuge will be the fortresses of rocks;
   their food will be supplied, their water assured.

SERMON for Today:

“Good and evil both increase at compound interest.  That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance.”  C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity

We cannot “stop our ears from hearing of bloodshed.”  Fort Lauderdale Airport and Jerusalem force our ears and minds to confront violence and evil head on.  The world is full of evil.  We sometimes want to blame some illness, but deep in our hearts we must know it is evil not a disease.

We have not been promised a life without pain.  We have been promised a life with a refuge.  We have been promised “living water.”

John 4:7-26 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

7 A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.)10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”

We should be living lives that show others what the “living water” can do so that there will be less evil in the world and more peace for all of us no matter who we are or where we live.

May God Bless You and Your Loved Ones and May God Walk Beside You Each Step You Take This Week. Amen

© Ed Cooper, January 8, 2017, Stoney Creek, Tennessee, Appalachia  
All rights reserved
(Ed Cooper is an ordained minister and Director of Project Dream Again. He lives with his wife Patty in the mountains of East Tennessee.)

Sunday, January 01, 2017

A NEW STORY FOR YOUR LIFE: SCS 102

Brittany, France

Sunday, January 1, 2017, Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 102

PRAYER for Today:
Matthew 6:9-13 King James Version (KJV)
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

MORNING WORSHIP MUSIC:


SCRIPTURE LESSON for Today:  
Romans 6:1-14  English Standard Version (ESV)
6 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?
2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
7 For one who has died has been set free from sin.
8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.
11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.
13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

SERMON for Today:
You can start this year in the same old rut or you can start this year by writing a new story for your life.  You do not have to believe the story others tell about you.  You do not have to let your past define and decide your future.  You can write a new story.

Jesus gave us all a chance to become a new “creature/creation”. “17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

This new year is a good time to get started.  Let me give you just a little advice you did not ask for.

  1. Decide for yourself the destination of your journey.  Of course I am not saying not to listen to God’s still small voice.  I am saying to listen to your own voice in addition to God’s voice.
  2. Know that Jesus already paid your way.  You do not have to be good enough or have anything other than the credentials He has given you.
  3. The best medicine for your soul is to help another soul.  Being a servant leads to the Kingdom on earth and to freedom under grace.

Read the Scripture lesson more than once.  It is the path to a life of peace within.  You can search the world over, but it all comes back to accepting the free gift of grace given on the cross by the baby whose birth we just celebrated.  

May God Bless You and Your Loved Ones and May God Walk Beside You Each Step You Take This Week. Amen

© Ed Cooper, January 1, 2017, Stoney Creek, Tennessee, Appalachia  
All rights reserved
(Ed Cooper is an ordained minister and Director of Project Dream Again. He lives with his wife Patty in the mountains of East Tennessee.)