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First Christian Church, Grand Junction – Praising God, Changing Lives!

Sermons on Matthew

Response to Resurrection: With Fear and Great Joy

Friends in Christ, the Lord is Risen!  (The Lord is Risen, indeed!) Everything humanity knew, or thought it knew prior to the empty tomb, has changed…and, as a result, everything about how we live should change.  Please, please, please, don’t let the event of Jesus’ resurrection become just another in the long line of happenings to which we respond with actions and words suggesting there’s nothing to see here.  Please, please, please, respond to Jesus’ resurrection with every minute of every day, with every fiber of your being, respond in a way that reveals that from here on out EVERYTHING has changed.

Journey to the Cross: Triumphal Entry

My friends, Jesus entered Jerusalem in a most unusual way to begin the last week of His earthly ministry.  And He did so to show the people of His day that real triumph, success, victory, in the eyes of God and for the best way of living, looks very different than what was thought by the people of His time.  Come to think of it, Jesus entered Jerusalem in a most unusual way to show people of OUR time that victory looks a lot different than most of us think.

Journey to the Cross: Two Kingdoms

While it’s true that Jesus’ righteousness makes us righteous, so that we don’t need to rely on our own righteousness when The Judgment comes, and while it’s true faith is what saves, not works, it is ALSO true that the way to live best while on this earth, the way to live INTO the Kingdom of Heaven right here and right now, is by DOING acts of love for others, by taking care of the needs of others that you can do something about.

Journey to the Cross: The Great Party

Y’all one of the things Jesus made clear through His ministry and through parables like this one is that God’s amazing and eternal party is going to include a whole bunch of people who wouldn’t get let in if the decision was made by the religious leaders of this world…or, well, any person.  Because the criteria for “getting in” has nothing to do with the ways of this world but has everything to do with the ways of God.

Journey to the Cross: A Triumph of Grace

As one of the last teachings of His earthly ministry, Jesus told this seemingly absurd tale of a landowner who paid every worker the same – regardless of how long or how hard each worked.  And Jesus told us that God’s kingdom is like this. We all receive the same grace…which means none receive more or less than others…and THIS is what true fairness and justice looks like.

Jesus Made Known: Truth Teller

Y’all, conventional wisdom tells us to separate ourselves from people who might pull us down.  But God says something different through Jesus. Jesus ate with sinners: not just sinful Jews but also Gentiles, people who didn’t want to have anything to do with God.  And through these parables, Jesus conveyed the deep truth that as people of God we’re supposed to eat and live and otherwise co-mingle with people who don’t want to have anything to do with God.  And the reason we’re supposed to do this is the same reason Jesus sent his disciples out into the world: so that by our faith and by our lives of following Jesus, God will transform everyone around us into something else, something better.