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  • April 26, 2015 - Divine Protection
    could arrive it took the several hours to even locate the plane A year and a half later in October of 1942 the bomber he was flying in on an airbase review around the south Pacific ditched after running out of fuel he and the rest of the crew survived for 24 days out on the ocean working together to survive and after his rescue he lived for another thirty one years always referring to this as the miracle of his life And let s not forget the medical miracles the folks who have had cancer either disappear or shrink to the point where it could be removed by surgery things like that When we think of Divine protection we tend to think of physical protection the preservation of our lives and our bodies in their present form if not our extended families and perhaps even our material possessions think of people who have referred to a tornado not destroying their house as a miracle The thing is the miracles aren t always physical That which needs saving is not always the body That which is to be preserved is not flesh and blood for as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 50 flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable I personally think that those who have somehow experienced a miraculous salvation here on earth need to consider that the true message is most likely not You re simply too precious to bring home It s I m not done with you yet Peter and Paul were both saved several times throughout their varied ministries by the power of God we know more about Paul s sufferings and death than Peter s but we can guess that he would not have been treated particularly hospitably after telling the Jewish council that he had healed a man in Jesus name in the name of the one they had rejected but who has now become the most critical piece of God s church that was emerging in the world later in the chapter he and his friends are let go with a warning not to speak about Jesus any further but they listened to that for all of about two seconds We know that Peter was later beaten and imprisoned for his faith and his testimony about Jesus and tradition tells us that he was eventually killed in 65 AD he was apparently crucified upside down on the orders of the emperor Nero because of course the Christian faith put Christ above the emperor and Nero couldn t have that But by the time Peter died his influence and witness on the early church ran so deep nothing could ever remove it and it was like God said Okay you re done now Paul s life was much the same he endured beatings imprisonment starvation shipwrecks and a multitude of other physical abuses that he suffered in the name of the Lord before

    Original URL path: http://www.knoxgeorgetown.ca/dev/index.php?view=article&catid=40%3Asermons&id=712%3Aapril-26-2015-divine-protection&tmpl=component&print=1&layout=default&page=&option=com_content&Itemid=80 (2016-02-13)
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  • Knox Presbyterian Church
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    Original URL path: http://www.knoxgeorgetown.ca/dev/index.php?option=com_mailto&tmpl=component&link=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5rbm94Z2VvcmdldG93bi5jYS9kZXYvaW5kZXgucGhwP29wdGlvbj1jb21fY29udGVudCZ2aWV3PWFydGljbGUmaWQ9NzEyOmFwcmlsLTI2LTIwMTUtZGl2aW5lLXByb3RlY3Rpb24mY2F0aWQ9NDA6c2VybW9ucyZJdGVtaWQ9ODA= (2016-02-13)
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  • April 26, 2015 - Divine Protection
    the DC 3 he was in crashed outside of Atlanta other survivors spoke of how he despite his injuries and being trapped in his seat did his best to console other injured passengers until help could arrive it took the several hours to even locate the plane A year and a half later in October of 1942 the bomber he was flying in on an airbase review around the south Pacific ditched after running out of fuel he and the rest of the crew survived for 24 days out on the ocean working together to survive and after his rescue he lived for another thirty one years always referring to this as the miracle of his life And let s not forget the medical miracles the folks who have had cancer either disappear or shrink to the point where it could be removed by surgery things like that When we think of Divine protection we tend to think of physical protection the preservation of our lives and our bodies in their present form if not our extended families and perhaps even our material possessions think of people who have referred to a tornado not destroying their house as a miracle The thing is the miracles aren t always physical That which needs saving is not always the body That which is to be preserved is not flesh and blood for as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 50 flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable I personally think that those who have somehow experienced a miraculous salvation here on earth need to consider that the true message is most likely not You re simply too precious to bring home It s I m not done with you yet Peter and Paul were both saved several times throughout their varied ministries by the power of God we know more about Paul s sufferings and death than Peter s but we can guess that he would not have been treated particularly hospitably after telling the Jewish council that he had healed a man in Jesus name in the name of the one they had rejected but who has now become the most critical piece of God s church that was emerging in the world later in the chapter he and his friends are let go with a warning not to speak about Jesus any further but they listened to that for all of about two seconds We know that Peter was later beaten and imprisoned for his faith and his testimony about Jesus and tradition tells us that he was eventually killed in 65 AD he was apparently crucified upside down on the orders of the emperor Nero because of course the Christian faith put Christ above the emperor and Nero couldn t have that But by the time Peter died his influence and witness on the early church ran so deep nothing could ever remove it and it was like God said

    Original URL path: http://www.knoxgeorgetown.ca/dev/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=712:april-26-2015-divine-protection&catid=40:sermons&Itemid=80 (2016-02-13)
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  • Called to Covenant IV - March 15, 2015
    us out here to die Every other time you ve called out to God for food or water and He s delivered it but no it was because He wanted you to die here sigh And God said Okay I can work with that expectation Here are some snakes to add to the fun God s anger isn t shown just with lightning folks Around that point the people unlike a lot of folks today said Uh wait a moment this is on us 7 The people came to Moses and said We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you pray to the LORD to take away the serpents from us From Ephesians Paul is speaking to the folks there about the passions of the flesh about having a life s concentration on the things of this world rather than the things of God which would rightly leave people dead through the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once lived I forget who once pointed it out to me but they said if you focus your life on the things of this earth then all you will get are the things of this earth Bruce Lee s best line of dialogue ever is one in which he points to the sky and tells a student to look then swats him on the head and says Don t look at the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory Paul is a little more verbose and says 4 But God who is rich in mercy out of the great love with which he loved us 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses made us alive together b Christ by grace you have been saved 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus Finally we have Jesus well known encounter with Nicodemus where He speaks of how man generally prefers darkness over light and He means both the physical and spiritual kinds of darkness Loving that darkness we should be banished from God s light for all eternity But God loved us so much that He sent His son that by Him we might be saved For God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through Him So as you can see just from these four examples despite the trouble we put ourselves in God always provides a way out for those who will call on Him It is right for today to say that Jesus is our life preserver He is also the light that beckons to us out of the darkness And the fact that He went to the cross for our sake is what we can cling to in faith and hope and trust to give us our light when we seem to be sinking in our own personal darkness Now the Scriptures themselves have done a

    Original URL path: http://www.knoxgeorgetown.ca/dev/index.php?view=article&catid=40%3Asermons&id=696%3Acalled-to-covenant-iv-march-15-2015&tmpl=component&print=1&layout=default&page=&option=com_content&Itemid=80 (2016-02-13)
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  • Knox Presbyterian Church
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    Original URL path: http://www.knoxgeorgetown.ca/dev/index.php?option=com_mailto&tmpl=component&link=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5rbm94Z2VvcmdldG93bi5jYS9kZXYvaW5kZXgucGhwP29wdGlvbj1jb21fY29udGVudCZ2aWV3PWFydGljbGUmaWQ9Njk2OmNhbGxlZC10by1jb3ZlbmFudC1pdi1tYXJjaC0xNS0yMDE1JmNhdGlkPTQwOnNlcm1vbnMmSXRlbWlkPTgw (2016-02-13)
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  • Called to Covenant IV - March 15, 2015
    saved them from their distress The people called God answered We turn to the book of Numbers and we Hebrews moaning for the umpteenth time about no food no water God brought us out here to die Every other time you ve called out to God for food or water and He s delivered it but no it was because He wanted you to die here sigh And God said Okay I can work with that expectation Here are some snakes to add to the fun God s anger isn t shown just with lightning folks Around that point the people unlike a lot of folks today said Uh wait a moment this is on us 7 The people came to Moses and said We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you pray to the LORD to take away the serpents from us From Ephesians Paul is speaking to the folks there about the passions of the flesh about having a life s concentration on the things of this world rather than the things of God which would rightly leave people dead through the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once lived I forget who once pointed it out to me but they said if you focus your life on the things of this earth then all you will get are the things of this earth Bruce Lee s best line of dialogue ever is one in which he points to the sky and tells a student to look then swats him on the head and says Don t look at the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory Paul is a little more verbose and says 4 But God who is rich in mercy out of the great love with which he loved us 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses made us alive together b Christ by grace you have been saved 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus Finally we have Jesus well known encounter with Nicodemus where He speaks of how man generally prefers darkness over light and He means both the physical and spiritual kinds of darkness Loving that darkness we should be banished from God s light for all eternity But God loved us so much that He sent His son that by Him we might be saved For God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through Him So as you can see just from these four examples despite the trouble we put ourselves in God always provides a way out for those who will call on Him It is right for today to say that Jesus is our life preserver He is also the light that beckons to us out of the darkness And the fact that He went to the cross for our sake is what we

    Original URL path: http://www.knoxgeorgetown.ca/dev/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=696:called-to-covenant-iv-march-15-2015&catid=40:sermons&Itemid=80 (2016-02-13)
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  • Called to Covenant III - March 8, 2015
    might be going to hell for her sins but hey we ll pay her a quarter a Saturday to take the bullet for us sound fair Next can t carry a burden outside on the Sabbath day Well I d heard that in cities like Venice or Warsaw or even Brooklyn conservative Jewish neighbourhoods might well have had ropes strung between the houses and apartment buildings to form a roof over the street below packages and burdens could then be carried in a place that we would consider to be outside but which because of the roof the inhabitants could consider as inside It s gotten even better apparently now an entire neighbourhood or a cluster of houses all by themselves out in the countryside can be surrounded by posts of a prescribed height with a rope going around the top and bingo the entire area is now one contained dwelling place come and go from building to building carrying whatever at your leisure because you re always inside My favourite though concerns the Sabbath Day s journey which was the rule that you could only walk so far on a Sabbath day unless you somehow had a meal at a place where you stopped Say the Sabbath Day s Journey was two miles I m not sure of the distance but you wanted to go visit your friend who lived three miles away after worship was over So what you did on Friday was pack a small sandwich wrap it up and take it just past the halfway point along your walk and hide it away behind a rock or in a tree or someplace Then when you got to that point on the Sabbath day you would stop find your sandwich eat it and be allowed to complete your journey guilt free And God because all He cared about was that you stayed within the rules and gave you points for cleverness would look down upon you and smile indulgently at His shrewd little children Uh huh Living well with each other isn t supposed to be about how much you can get away with It s supposed to be about living in right relationship with each other A right relationship isn t concerned with petty issues and staying within the rules it s about finding a balance between what s acceptable and what s not and the commandments are a guide to that a perfect and wonderful guide They show us how to love God with all we have and how to love our neighbours as ourselves the distilled version that Jesus explicitly approved when questioned and tested by that young lawyer so long ago Now we do have to remember that Jesus did believe in the power of the Law of Moses to point people in the right direction in Matthew 5 17ff he says 17 Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets I have come not to abolish but to fulfill 18 For truly I tell you until heaven and earth pass away not one letter not one stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all is accomplished 19 Therefore whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven 20 For I tell you unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees you will never enter the kingdom of heaven Note that carefully the scribes and the Pharisees had spent their entire lives trying to fulfil the expectations and demands of the Law and now Jesus is saying that unless your righteousness exceeds theirs you will never enter the kingdom of heaven If anyone could have earned their way to heaven with their righteousness it would be the scribes and the Pharisees and they couldn t do it And if they couldn t do it no one could So while the Law itself has a purpose it itself is not enough No schedule of rules coupled with a strict observance of them will get us to heaven It takes more It takes grace and an accepting of God s grace as shown to us through Jesus Christ His Son Now I want to talk for a minute or two about Jesus actions in the Temple Even though He taught there several times there s one incident that tends to stick out in people s minds and that was when He lost it and started wrecking what was assembled in the forecourt of the Temple grounds I had someone ask me once to not allow tickets for a youth group fundraiser to be sold in the sanctuary of the church it was a small building and all of upstairs was the sanctuary He said I don t want to turn the church into a marketplace And after a moment s thought I agreed with him What happened in the Temple probably started small just a transaction or two for convenience but by the time Jesus got there as an adult something much larger was taking place in the forecourt of the Temple itself You see according to the Law sins required offerings for penance and celebrations required offerings for thanksgiving If say you swore in public you were required to offer up two pigeons to clear your standing with the Lord If you gave birth to a male child it would be two pigeons for the mother for the sin of being made unclean by his birth which couldn t have been avoided but that s for another day but the father would also offer up a lamb for praise and thanksgiving You touched a dead body two turtledoves for every corpse you laid hands on You had a good harvest bring a goat to God And what do we have here

    Original URL path: http://www.knoxgeorgetown.ca/dev/index.php?view=article&catid=40%3Asermons&id=695%3Acalled-to-covenant-iii-march-8-2015&tmpl=component&print=1&layout=default&page=&option=com_content&Itemid=80 (2016-02-13)
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  • Knox Presbyterian Church
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    Original URL path: http://www.knoxgeorgetown.ca/dev/index.php?option=com_mailto&tmpl=component&link=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5rbm94Z2VvcmdldG93bi5jYS9kZXYvaW5kZXgucGhwP29wdGlvbj1jb21fY29udGVudCZ2aWV3PWFydGljbGUmaWQ9Njk1OmNhbGxlZC10by1jb3ZlbmFudC1paWktbWFyY2gtOC0yMDE1JmNhdGlkPTQwOnNlcm1vbnMmSXRlbWlkPTgw (2016-02-13)
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