Temptation Complete: Letting Angels Care for You
Matthew 4:1-11 (The Temptations Series) • February 26, 2017 • Rev. Andrew Adair
Without Vision, the People Perish
Proverbs 29:18 (KJV), Psalm 42:7 (NRSV) • January 8, 2017 • Alf Halvorson, MDPC Senior Pastor
A note from Pastor Alf about today's message: "Happy New Year! I hope you had a great Christmas and are excited about what God has in store for us in the New Year. All fall, MDPC Staff and Elders have been doing strategic planning using the book The Advantage, written by sought-after consultant Patrick Lencioni. He has organizations (from businesses to not-for-profits to churches) answer six questions: 1. Why do we exist? 2. How do we behave? 3. What do we do? 4. How will we succeed? 5. What is most important, right now? 6. And who must do what? These six questions allow a group to find clarity, alignment, and then goals around which they can rally. I hope Session will approve our plan at its end-of-January retreat, but I would like to share with you many of what we believe are God-given emphases worth sacrificing for in this next important season in our life together."
The Unexpected: An Unexpected Interruption
Matthew 24:36-46 • November 27, 2016 • Alf Halvorson, MDPC Senior Pastor
SERMON NOTES We have finished our series on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and now move to a shorter Advent Series. Advent is the time before Christmas when we wait and prepare for the coming of the Lord. How might you need to prepare for such an important visitor? We will follow what is called the Common Lectionary, which is a systematic way to read and preach Scripture, used by many Christian churches around the globe. It helps prevent pastors from just preaching the texts they are comfortable with (their hobby-horses) and exposes congregations to more of the “full counsel of God.” So that we do not just focus on the birth of Jesus, the first Sunday in Advent in the Common Lectionary focuses on Jesus’ apocalyptic teaching. In other words, we are directed to look at Jesus’ Second Coming before we look, in the ensuing weeks, at His First Coming. 1. Read Matthew 24:36-46. What did you hear growing up, if anything, about Christ’s return? Did you read the “Left Behind” series? Were you of a tradition or family that talked a lot about Jesus’ return and tried to determine a timeline, or that talked about it rarely if ever? Did your experiences give you hope or cause you fear? 2. In verse 36, according to Jesus, who knows when Jesus will return? Does Jesus? Do angels? What about normal humans? What about the Father? 3. According to verses 36-39, what does Jesus compare His return to here? Why is that a good illustration for Jesus? Why, do you think, might it be good not to know the day or the hour—from God’s side and from our side? 4. In verses 40-44, Jesus gives three illustrations to encourage and inspire watchfulness. What are the three? How are they similar and different? 5. From verse 44, what would “ready” look like, do you think? Also, from verses 45-46, what do you think “at work” means? 6. Jesus is talking here about uncertain certainties; about something expected, but at an unexpected time. Are there any examples from your life you can offer? Without quitting our jobs and all just waiting at the top of a mountain together, how might we realistically but purposefully “watch; be ready; stay awake; for the Lord is coming at an unexpected hour”?