Jude interrupted his letter on salvation to warn against interruptions to the faith. He taught that God keeps us for himself, but only as we keep ourselves in God's love. Do not fall into deceit and trickery that says you can live a life of selfishness and self-indulgence. Keep yourself in God's love by building up your faith, praying in the Spirit, waiting patiently for the Lord's return, and showing mercy to others.
In suffering, remember your salvation and set your hope fully on the grace to be revealed.
Our history with God begins with our sin, but God's history with us begins with a plan--a plan to redeem us, a plan to overcome hostility, a plan to dwell with us--for his glory.
When Jesus used ceremonial jars that were involved with rituals of purification and when he cleansed the temple and prophesied about his body as the temple, he showed that he, and he alone, is the access point to God. No longer were people dependent on complex rituals and locations to find their way to God.
The way to God is not Jesus + something else, but Jesus alone; Jesus only.
Zechariah, after having his speech returned to him by the Lord when he gave John his name, prophesied a beautiful song about the coming of the Lord's Salvation in the Messiah. Although Zechariah sang about Jesus' coming, we can read this song in anticipation of Jesus' second coming (his return). John the Baptist's mission to prepare the way for the Lord becomes our mission--as we teach people about salvation and the forgiveness of sins ahead of Jesus' return.
In this funeral sermon, based on 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10, I reflect on what it means to be home with God.
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Funeral Meditation: Going Home
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I have removed names from this sermon for privacy.
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