Sermons from 2021

Sermons from 2021

Partakers of the Divine Natur

   Partakers of the Divine Nature Sunday, November 21, 2021 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, Iowa 2 Peter 1:4 “…by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Introduction: what does growth as a person look like?   Recently I read the November 16 article from the devotional classic My Utmost for His…

Going to Church

Going to Church Hebrews 10:19-25; 1 Samuel 4:19-22 Sunday, November 14, 2021 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, Iowa   Introduction: Our need for the glory of God When I began preparing this sermon, I planned to focus on the end of the passage in Hebrews:  the part that tells us to be steadfast in gathering together, as is the habit of some, in order to encourage each other, especially as we see the day approaching.  The “day” meaning…

The Journey Home

The Journey Home Sunday, November 7, 2021 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, Iowa Genesis 2815  “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”   Introduction: The people of faith on a journey to the great city. The second passage of Scripture for today is from the famous chapter of heroes…

The Party at the End of the Age

The Party at the End of the AgeSunday, October 31, 2021 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, IowaRevelation 21:4“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”• Intro: All Saints’ DayMonday is All Saints’ Day, in which we celebrate those who have gone before us and left good examples for us to follow. It reminds…

The Journey Christ Took

The Journey Christ Took Sunday, October 24, 2021 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, Iowa Galatians 3:10-14 “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.’)”  Verse 13   Introduction One of the highlights of my childhood and early teen years were travelogues by Al Bell, who gave presentations of his journeys so vividly that I felt like I had…

Sometimes You Can’t Go Back Home

Sometimes You Can’t Go Back HomeGalatians 3:1-9Sunday, October 17, 2021 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, IowaGalatians 3:5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?• IntroductionIn 1940 Edward Aswell, editor for the late novelist Thomas Wolfe, published You Can’t Go Home Again, a novel about George Webber, a writer who pens a best seller that makes several…

When it’s All About Trusting Someone

When It’s All About Trusting SomeoneGenesis 12:1-4; Romans 4:16-18Sunday, October 2, 2021 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, Iowa• Introduction: the boys in the flooded caveI remember, a few years ago, of a group of boys in Asia who explored a cave only to have the cave flood, trapping them deep inside. Professional divers rescued them. They would outfit the boys with diving gear, sedate them. and pull them through the underwater tunnels by rope. The boys had to…

The Long March

The Long MarchHebrews 11:10; Genesis 12:1-4Sunday, September 19, 2021 at The First Congregational church of Marshalltown, Iowa• Intro. the journey of the people of God is a journey to heaven. Or maybe it is a journey through time to return to our home.“When the world my heart is rending With its heaviest storm of care, My glad thoughts to heaven ascending, Find a refuge from despair. Faith’s bright vision shall sustain me Till life’s pilgrimage is past; Fears may vex…

The Christ

The ChristMark 8:27-30 2 Timothy 1:10Sunday, September 12, 2021 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, Iowa• Introduction: your goal in life is a person, not an accomplishmentIn ancient times the empire of Rome considered Christianity an illegal religion, so it was dangerous to be public about your faith. From what we understand of those times, if you were in a public place and you suspected that the person next to you was a Christian, you could use your big…

Jesus Gets Pestered

Jesus Gets PesteredMark 7:24-30Sunday, September 5, 2021 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, Iowa• IntroductionMany years ago I heard a divinity student from a prestigious university preach on this passage. His main point is that Jesus had to outgrow cultural biases just like the rest of us and this mother, whose child was very ill, helped Jesus to grow. But I don’t think that Jesus needed to outgrow any cultural bias, but rather this episode was a lesson in…

The Power of Words

The Power of WordsSunday, August 22, 2021 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, IowaJohn 6:60-63Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The…

Taught By God

Taught by GodSunday August 15, 2021 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, IowaJohn 6:44-45 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, “and they shall all be taught by God.” Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. • IntroductionIt is a wonderful complement to all educators that God is a teacher.…