Sermon

Sermon

God Doesn't Fit in Your Box - Isaiah 55:8-9

May 15, 2022

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The Lord says:
My thoughts and my ways are not yours.
Just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
my thoughts and my ways are higher than yours.

from Isaiah Isaiah 55:8-9

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Isaiah 55:8-9

Pastor Ivan Castro of Refugio de Dios Preaching

"God, listen to my great idea. You are really going to love it!" a friend in seminary summarized one of her recent times of prayer - while laughing uproariously at herself.

While her prayer reveals a wonderful intimacy and nearness with God, she realized that at that moment she was monumentally under-appreciating the God to whom she was praying. Like a loving parent, God longs for us to share our deepest pain and our greatest joys, the smallest and largest parts of our hearts. But, like a parent with a child, loving these moments together, God is the one who knows immeasurably more, has a perspective far beyond our own, knows what is of greatest value, and is lovingly committed to our ultimate welfare.

Note: Technical problems interrupted today's service and a portion of the sermon was lost.

Most of the sermon is available as these two parts:

A Mother's Love - Passages from Isaiah

April 24, 2022

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Can a woman forget her nursing child,
or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.

from Isaiah 49:14-15

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Isaiah 46:3-4, 49:14-15, 66:12-13

We often think of God in terms of, "O Father, who art in heaven," but scripture also reveals God in motherly terms.

In the passage above, from Isaiah 49, a taste of God's unimaginable love and faithfulness is revealed in a mother's love for their child.

Simple Steps of Faith

April 24, 2022

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Jesus said to them, “Cast the net to the right side
of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish.

from John 21:6

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John 21:1-14

God often uses simple steps of faith to reveal himself, and to fulfill our greatest needs.

The disciples saw Jesus arrested, beaten, and crucified. They heard from the women that he was raised from the dead, as he said he would. They followed Jesus' instructions and returned to Galilee where they were to wait for Jesus.

Once there, they returned to their old way of life - fishing. They weren't telling people about Jesus; they weren't continuing Jesus' ministry of healing and compassion; they returned to their old ways of life, and failed to catch fish.

They followed Jesus' first instruction, to return to the Galilee, and now a voice from the shore told them how to do their job, to cast their net to the other side of the boat.

As they obeyed Jesus in small steps they encountered their resurrected Lord.

Now I See It

April 24, 2022

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Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the scriptures,
he was buried, and that he was raised
on the third day.

from 1 Cor. 15:3-4

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1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Sometimes, what we think we know keeps us from what we need to know.

The Apostle Paul was a dedicated persecutor of Christians until he encountered the risen Christ. What he thought he knew about Jesus kept him from the wonderful truth that was there all the time. Jesus, whose followers he once persecuted, was what he was missing all along.

Easter - Shattered Expectations

April 17, 2022

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He is not here;
he has risen!

from Matthew 28:6

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Matthew 28:1-10

The two women went to where Jesus' body had been placed, expecting to finish preparing his dead body for burial.

The great news of Easter is not found in their expectations being met, but rather that Jesus was not dead like they expected, but had risen from the dead.

The good news of the Gospel isn't found in God meeting our expectations, but shattering them, revealing far more than anything we could ask or imagine - then, using us, to reveal the news of the risen Christ to others.

The Difference a Week Makes

April 10, 2022

The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

from Matthew 21:9

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Scripture From Matthew 21 & 26

Within a week, Jesus is both celebrated and condemned. As Jesus arrives in Jerusalem, he is greeted by crowds shouting "Hosanna," but just a short time later, even one of his closest friends denies even knowing him.

Second Guessing God

April 3, 2022

When the days drew near for him to be taken up,
he set his face to go to Jerusalem.

from Luke 9:51

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Scripture Luke 9:51-56

God's ways are often far different than our own. How often do we spend more time and energy asking God to fulfill our expectations than we do seeking God's?

Renew or Reuse?

March 27, 2022

New wine must be poured into new wineskins.
And no one after drinking old wine wants the new,
for they say, ‘The old is better.’”

from Luke 5:38-39

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Scripture Luke 5:33-39

Let us avoid confusing the way we've always done things for God's purpose.

Last Picked

March 20, 2022

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy
who need a doctor, but the sick.
I have not come to call the righteous,
but sinners to repentance.”

from Luke 5:31-32

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Scripture Luke 5:27-32

How would our lives and congregation be different if our hearts were like Jesus' and prioritized the lost and sinners?

The Last Mile

March 13, 2022

Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him,
and said, “I do choose. Be made clean.”
Immediately the leprosy left him.

from Luke 5:13

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Scripture Luke 5:12-16

We are a primary means that God uses to reveal his love to the people around us - especially those who are cast off and alone.