Love’s Paradox (John 3:16-21)

This Sunday the sermon is entitled, “Love and Condemnation: A paradox without contradiction” from John 3:16-21.

A paradox is a statement that may be true, but seems to say two different things.

In our text for Sunday we will study the greatest statement of love ever written and then find out that this love will condemn.  How can this be true????

Great question….but you’ll need to come on Sunday to hear the answer.  In the meantime, answer truthfully (yes or no) to the following question: Will the next word you say be no?

For your continued enjoyment you can ponder the following paradoxes found in our English language: there is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. And while no one knows what is in a hotdog, you can be pretty sure it isn’t canine.

Why is it that we have noses that run and feet that smell? Why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways?  How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

Why is it that you fill in a form by filling it out and an alarm clock goes off by going on.  You get in and out of a car, yet you get on and off a bus.  When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

On a different subject…over the past few weeks God has been burdening me to reach out proactively with the Gospel to those who may not enjoy the same blessings as I have been given.

In closing, I hope you will join me in praying for God to work supernaturally in the service on Sunday and please spend some time reading John 3.

Keep looking at the Son!

Troy

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Encounters, Truth, and Randy Savage (John 3:1-15)

Life is full of personal encounters….today you have already encountered many different people (unless you just got up J)—maybe even hundreds of different people.  Most of our daily encounters with people are very ordinary….a cashier in the check-out line, a neighbor in the yard, a co-worker, family members, etc.

It seems to me that throughout any given day there are a few unique encounters…. Maybe a person needing help, or someone offering you a deal to good to refuse, or maybe you see someone from a distance that is well known like the mayor or a successful business person or even a professional athlete.  These are the people that make it into the dinner conversation.

The final level of encounters becomes legendary.  These are the times when we have a “brush with greatness.”  These are the stories that come out at family reunions, neighborhood cookouts and church picnics.  One of my favorite stories is when I met Randy “Macho Man” Savage.  I think I like it so well because he was so different.  He showed up at a suit and tie dinner I was at a few years ago.  He was the only one out of more the 500 in a tank top.  His voice was totally raspy and he showed up late….so late that he missed the entire event.  He and his body guard (like he needs one) ended up eating his steak dinner in the hotel kitchen.  There were only a few people left so I joined Randy “Macho Man” Savage for dinner in the kitchen of a hotel.  Interestingly enough he played minor league baseball before his illustrious pro wrestling career.  And you thought you didn’t have to be athletic to “compete” in WWF…

ANYWAY, back to encounters…I say all this to introduce you to the topic of the message for Sunday—“An evening encounter with truth.”

This Sunday we will study John 3:1-15 the story of Nicodemus coming to Jesus.  This was no ordinary encounter.  We will look at historical details alongside the clear message of the text in order to draw out applications that can change our lives.

Please join me in prayer and take some time to read through the text between now and Sunday.

Grace at Cana

It has been said that, “The great Christian revolutions come not by the discovery of something that was not known before. They happen when somebody takes radically something that was always there.”  This can be applied this week as we are going to study the much discussed concept of “Grace” as depicted by the Miracle at the Wedding at Cana in John 2:1-11.

I hope you will join me in prayer as we prepare our hearts in advance for the sermon this Sunday.  I also suggest that you read our passage in advance.  As you do consider the following questions:

  • Why did Jesus choose to perform His first miracle at the Wedding at Cana?
  • In what ways did this miracle “manifest His glory?”

As we study the passage on Sunday, we will examine six different attributes about grace that are seen in this story….yes, you have to come to hear the attributes J.

I am especially grateful for the grace of God after hearing that my Grandpa Campbell passed away today at 11:30am.  Though we are saddened to lose him, we are very excited for him, knowing that he is in a much better place.

The Apostle Paul writes comforting words in 2 Corinthians 5:1-9 “For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened––not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.”

Blessings!

Troy