Sunday April 15, 2018 Gospel of Luke – Luke 6:1-11 “Taking the Fun Out of Sunday”

Sunday – April 15, 2018 – Read the Word on Worship

Sunday April 15, 2018 Gospel of Luke – Luke 6:1-11 “Taking the Fun Out of Sunday” from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

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Luke 6:3-5
Jesus answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”  Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

The Lord Jesus and His disciples were passing through some grain fields on the Sabbath, followed by a delegation of Pharisees. The Pharisees knew the popularity Jesus was growing steadily. They also were becoming alarmed at the realization that Jesus was not in their camp, indeed, was often attacking them. They were afraid to leave Jesus to Himself, unwatched, unchallenged. Furthermore, they were eager to catch Jesus in some transgression of their rules, so that they could point their fingers at Him and accuse Him of being wrong.

Much to their delight, some of the disciples began to strip heads of grain from the field, rub them in their hands to separate the grain from the sheaf, and pop it into their mouths. This, to the Pharisee, was harvesting and threshing grain, something which one could do on any other day, but not on the Sabbath. The challenge was made, both to Jesus (Matthew and Mark) and to the disciples (Luke), “How the Sabbath be so blatantly broken by doing this?” Our Lord’s response, as outlined by Luke, is based upon a very simple premise: WHO YOU ARE DETERMINES WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE FREE TO BREAK THE SABBATH.

Jesus’ argument was amazingly simple: “David broke the law, and if he could have done so, I all the more.” Technically speaking, David did break the letter of the law when he ate bread that only the priests were allowed to partake. David also gave this bread to his men, and was condemned for doing so. David’s actions could be justified by several lines of argument. David was hungry, as were his men. He might have died without this bread. The answer which Jesus is seeking is something different, however. Jesus wants His critics to admit that they don’t condemn David’s actions because David was so revered by the Pharisees, even though it was a violation of the law. Who you are determines what you can get away with. The central issue, then, was not whether or not Jesus broke the Sabbath, but who Jesus was.

If Jesus has fulfilled the Sabbath by coming with a greater rest, then the commandment to keep the Sabbath can be set aside. Why work to rest under the law when Christ gives rest from the law? Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath in the sense that He is greater than the Sabbath, and thus able to set it aside. To be Lord of the Sabbath is to be Lord over the Sabbath. When Jesus claimed to be Lord of the Sabbath, He claimed to be greater than the Sabbath, in authority over the Sabbath, and thus far more qualified than David to break the law pertaining to the Sabbath.

Sunday April 8, 2018 Gospel of Luke – Luke 5:27-39 “Eat, Drink and Be Merry”

Sunday – April 8, 2018 – Read the Word on Worship

Sunday April 8, 2018 Gospel of Luke – Luke 5:27-39 “Eat, Drink and Be Merry” from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

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Luke 5:33-34
They said to him, “John’s disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking.” Jesus answered, “Can you make the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast.”

Many people saw the Puritans (incorrectly) as “people who suffer from an overwhelming dread that somewhere, sometime, somehow, someone may be enjoying himself.” That definition is incorrect because the Puritans had as their purpose “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” But we all have met someone who fits that incorrect definition —a religious person who only seems to be content when everyone else is miserable. These folks are like Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon Lutherans, who are suspicious of a place like Hawaii that doesn’t have harsh winters.

Why is it that there are so many “dill pickle” Christians around, who are more like the Pharisees than those who attended Levi’s reception? It is because Satan has warped our conception of the Christian life. Jesus’ disciples, unlike the disciples of the Pharisees and even of John the Baptist, feast, while the others fast. The real issue is not stated, but it is there: “Why are your disciples able to enjoy life, while we merely endure it?” Note the contrast in the attitude of the Pharisees with that of the “sinners.” The sinners are celebrating; the Pharisees are grumbling. The sinners are happy; the Pharisees are sad. The sinners are enjoying life; the Pharisees only endure it. The sinners are “grabbing for gusto,” the Pharisees are griping to Jesus.

There are times when fasting is appropriate. There are times when the most spiritually mature Christians will be sad, when they will grieve, when they won’t be marked by joy. But Jesus is the bridegroom and when He is with His people, then we should experience the joy of the wedding feast. The joy of the Christian life is being personally related to our loving Bridegroom! If you know the joy of a personal relationship with Him, there will be times when you fast. You will discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness. You will obey His Word. But your motive will not be to earn right standing with Him or to impress others with your spirituality. Your motive will be the joy of knowing and pleasing your Bridegroom.

Joy, not sorrow, not sadness, should be the dominant characteristic of the Christian. The Christian life includes sorrow and suffering and sacrifice, but these are not the melody line of our life, or they should not be. These are the harmony line. Suffering and sacrifice are means, but they should not be the end. Joy is the goal, it is the climax, it is the reward of forgiveness and fellowship with God.

Sunday – December 16, 2012

December 16, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship

Are We Following the Pharisees Off the Fiscal Cliff? from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

Divorce has become so common in our culture that hardly a person can be found who has not been affected by it directly or indirectly. Each year in the United States there are over 1 million divorces, which involves over 2 million adults and beneath that rubble are the lives of millions more children who are the secondary casualties on the battleground between spouses. None of them escape unscathed, no matter how amicable the divorce may be.
Sadly, many are so caught up in the emotion and fail to connect any biblical truth to apply to the situation they find themselves or their loved ones in. We will take a second look at Mark 10 verses 1 to 12 and see if we can connect the dots in the passages where Jesus deals with the divorce issue to see the broad context He places it in- adultery, forgiveness, vows, money, and the church’s response to families in crisis. Join us this Sunday as see “Are We Following the Pharisees Off the Fiscal Cliff?” as we continue our study in the Gospel of Mark.


Word On Worship – December 16, 2012 Download / Print

 Mark 10:5-9
But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. “But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE. “FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

Divorce has become so common in our culture that hardly a person can be found who has not been affected by it, directly or indirectly. Each year in the United States there are more than 1 million divorces, which involves more than 2 million adults. Beneath that rubble are the lives of millions more children who are the secondary casualties on the battleground between spouses. None of them escape unscathed, no matter how amicable the divorce may be.

Many decades ago, the vast majority of marriages held together and divorce was the rare exception. There are many reasons for this stability. The family was a moral force which held marriages together in hard times. This was not the case just in the immediate family, but the extended family as well, as the example of grandparents, aunts and uncles re-enforced the covenant of marriage. This moral force was reflected back by the community. Society recognized the value of a strong family unit and the legal system protected the biblical model of the family. All of this was tied together by teaching from the pulpits of churches across every branch of Christianity. The church strongly supported family life and just as strongly opposed divorce.

Sadly today, in the name of Christian love, many not only condone divorce, but insist that sometimes it is God’s will. Even when Christians go to Scripture for guidance concerning divorce, they come with so many preconceptions and predispositions which make responsible interpretation impossible. A human standard may be more lenient or more restrictive than Scripture, but it can never be better. When God’s Word is ignored or twisted in any area, tragedy is always the consequence. This is most evident in the standards God has set for marriage and when divorce is permitted.

God has not changed His standard just because society has changed its standards. The prophet Hosea was a picture of the power of godly marital love, a living illustration of God’s undying love for His people, Israel. Hosea’s love for his wife Gomer and his commitment to her as his wife, like God’s covenant love with Israel, was exceedingly gracious and forgiving. By the power of the Holy Spirit, God expects His redeemed people in Christ to reflect the original beauty of the marriage covenant as well as the grace of forgiveness. The husband and wife who are walking in the Spirit will be walking in unselfish humility and forgiving, restoring love that always puts the other first.

Sunday – December 09, 2012

December 09, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship

The Great Divorce Debate from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

The construction of a good marriage is very similar to a quilt. We begin with a dream of a relationship far more successful than the imperfect one we may think our parents had. We make our plans, far underestimating the amount of work it will take to blend two lives into one pattern. In our distraction, we miss-stitch our lives day by day, causing painful pricks. We get discouraged because not all the pieces fit together conveniently as we thought they should. Compromises and patching up have to take place as the original design is altered, lest we give up and throw it all away. But if we persevere, allowing God to love and work in us and through us, the marriage takes on a unique beauty as love and grace turn flaws into redemption. It is the example of Christ that shapes our hurts, as ugly as they are, into pictures for the world to see the healing power of God. Join us this Sunday as we look at “The Great Divorce Debate” in Mark 10 verses 1 to 12 this Sunday.


Word On Worship – December 09, 2012 Download / Print

Mark 10:4-8
They said, “Moses permitted a man TO WRITE A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY.” But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. “But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE. “FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

It does not take married couples long to learn marriage is not a fairy tale in happily-ever-after land. The hardness of the human heart has not softened since the days of Moses. The divorce rate in our society reflects most people’s belief that marriage is disposable at will. Every year since 1973, more first-time marriages have ended by divorce than by the death of a spouse. And sadly, this trend parallels the experience of married couples in the church.

Rather than focus on the changes in our society that have contributed to marriage of convenience, the people of God need to take a stand and remember our calling is to be distinct. We are not to be conformed to this world, and this includes its indifference toward the marriage vow. Jesus made radical demands upon those who follow Him and requires His disciples to trust God to empower them to live up to those demands. This requires the church to be proactive in society and seek ways to strengthen marriages and instruct the youth on the sanctity of the marriage vows to counterbalance the message we receive from our culture.

The construction of a good marriage is very similar to a quilt. We begin with a dream of a relationship far more successful than the imperfect one we may think our parents had. We make our plans, far underestimating the amount of work it will take to blend two lives into one pattern. In our distraction, we miss-stitch our lives day by day, causing painful pricks. We get discouraged because not all the pieces fit together as conveniently as we thought they should. Compromises and patching up have to take place as the original design is altered, lest we give up and throw it all away. But if we persevere, allowing God to love and work in us and through us, the marriage takes on a unique beauty as love and grace turn flaws into redemption. It is the example of Christ that shapes our hurts, as ugly as they are, into pictures for the world to see the healing power of God.