What is it like at your home when you have people over for dinner? Jesus suggests that our answer to this question tells us a great deal about our spirituality. Our answer to this question gets to the root of another question: Are we really loving our local and global neighbor? In what ways have we thought of ourselves as righteous, while ignoring the hurting? Have we truly counted the cost of being Jesus' disciples? Are we willing to give up our social status for the sake of those who have less than us? These are the questions behind Christian leadership.

In this sermon, I focus on Luke 14 and Matthew 22:2–14, where Jesus tells us to "count the cost" of being a disciple. I also look at the full meaning of the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37). In the process, I tell a series of personal stories, including how I nearly died as a child, overcame a severe speech impediment, and then sold my home to follow Jesus. Each time, God led me to count the cost and determine the worth of being a disciple. But the journey of being Jesus' disciple is still an ongoing process for me, as I am sure it is for you.

I delivered this sermon at ACTS Seminaries' Chapel (Trinity Western University) to a group of Christian leaders on May 8, 2016.

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Give for the Sake of the Hurting

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Psalm 23 captures our imagination as children and does so today. We read it at weddings and funerals alike. Why? Because we all want to to be pursued with a love that is beyond comprehension. This is what Psalm 23 keys in on.

But it's hard to see the love of God in a world that feels surrounded by death. But we've all seen it. A loyal love like God's is perhaps nowhere more seen than in the sacrificial mothers we've known. I think of my great-grandmother, Ma Murphy, who raised my mother. Her table was always open to the homeless, pregnant teenage girls, and children in need of a home. Ma Murphy's love also pursued prodigal children. It was a loyal love, loyal beyond all reason, like the kind of love we see from God.

God's love is loyal even when fail to be loyal ourselves. God's love is like that of a shepherd's. It pursues us.

I originally delivered this sermon at Faith Reformed Church in Lynden, WA on May 12, 2019 (Mother's Day). This sermon was prepared in collaboration with pastor J.D. Elgin. Get more sermons like this one by subscribing to the Jesus' Economy Podcast on iTunesSpotify, or SoundCloud.

Join Us in Sharing God's Love

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Tough love is the Jonah way. By closely examining the book of Jonah, and looking at its genre and context, we can come to an understanding of its meaning. While it's a weird book, it profoundly shows God's love. Jonah could be described as a "top 5 worst of" list, but in the "worst" of Jonah and his efforts, we find the best of God. God's love can be tough and it's a love we need.

In this sermon, I examine the entirety of the book of Jonah (Jonah 1–4). This sermon / lecture was delivered at Faith Reformed Church in Lynden, WA on May 12, 2019 (Mother's Day).

An article version of this sermon, titled "Tough Love: The Jonah Way," is available on the Jesus' Economy Blog. You can also subscribe to the Jesus' Economy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or SoundCloud.


Enjoy this talk? Check out my new book, Jesus' Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, the Currency of Love, and a Pattern for Lasting Change. With simple, everyday choices you can make the world a better place. Learn how to live Jesus' economy, the currency of love.

If you only had three years to do a monumental project, what would you do? Chance has it that you would clear the deck, ignore most people, and just focus on that singular initiative. You would have little time for people and their random problems. But Jesus had an entirely different approach.

In this sermon, I look at Jesus' decision to stop on the Road to Jericho to not just heal a man but to engage in a conversation (Luke 18:35–43). To explain the passage, I draw on my field research for my book, Jesus' Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, the Currency of Love, and a Pattern for Lasting Change.

This sermon was originally delivered at Third Christian Reformed Church in Lynden, WA on March 31, 2019. You can subscribe to the Jesus' Economy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or SoundCloud.


Enjoy this talk? Check out my new book, Jesus' Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, the Currency of Love, and a Pattern for Lasting Change. With simple, everyday choices you can make the world a better place. Learn how to live Jesus' economy, the currency of love.

Shakespeare said, "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players." There are many players in the biblical story. In this grand play across time, with God as the great author of history, we are invited to see ourselves in the characters. There is one act in this grand play that stands above the rest: the great moment of the resurrection. But in this story, there are characters who have been neglected, forgotten, overlooked. Yet, they are the greatest source of inspiration. They are the women who stood by Jesus.

In this sermon, I examine Mark 16, suggesting that we should all emulate the women who stood by Jesus. We should be witnesses in God's grand story like the women were.

This sermon was originally delivered at Faith Reformed Church in Lynden, WA on April 21, 2019 (Easter Sunday).

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Over 500 years before Jesus came in flesh, a prophet proclaimed that one would suffer, die, and rise again for the sin of humanity. It was also prophesied that the resurrection of a Suffering Servant would lead to resurrection for every single person. Here is the gospel according to Isaiah and Daniel. This is Easter proclaimed 500 years before Jesus came in flesh.

In this sermon, I utilize the research from my first book, The Resurrected Servant in Isaiah, to explore Isaiah 52:13–53:12.

This sermon was originally delivered at Faith Reformed Church in Lynden, WA on April 1, 2018 (Easter Sunday).

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Who do you say that Jesus is? This is the question that Jesus' disciples were confronted with when Jesus was arrested, tried, and crucified. This is the core question of the Gospel of Mark. It is also the core question behind what it means to be human. Your answer to this question will change everything about your life.

To explain the message of Mark 8:22–38, I draw on my own life story of God working miraculously to help me overcome a severe speech impediment, as well as a miracle I saw in Bihar, India while I was there designing the Renew Bihar project. I also tell a story from my time in New York City at The Bowery Mission.

This sermon was delivered on September 30, 2018 at Third Christian Reformed Church in Lynden, WA.

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How often have we thought that we know exactly what God needs? Or that we understand what God is doing, just to realize later that we were mistaken? That's what happened with the crowds who welcomed Jesus on Palm Sunday; and with King David, who thought that God needed a temple. 1,000 years before Jesus, Nathan prophesied to David that God had different plans. Those plans centered on an eternal king. Those plans prophesied Palm Sunday.

In this sermon, we examine 2 Samuel 7:1–17, an ancient prophetic text that points to Jesus. This sermon was originally delivered at Faith Reformed Church in Lynden, WA on April 14, 2019 (Palm Sunday).

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At this time of year, we see "Believe" stenciled on the side of shopping bags and "Hope" displayed in block letters on mantles. It can all feel a little empty, especially when you feel like God isn't answering your prayers. This leads to the questions: But what is belief, really? And what does having hope really mean? In this sermon, I look at how the biblical book of Esther never mentions God directly and in the process profoundly answers these big faith questions.

 

Subscribe to our free sermon audio via the Jesus' Economy Podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud. This post is part of our series "Living for Jesus This Christmas."

Here at Jesus' Economy, we're focusing on empowering women. And one of the most amazing women in the Bible is the heroine Esther. Esther shows us what it means to take action for God, even when all the odds are against us. Esther shows us what it means to believe.

What is belief, really? What does having hope really mean? The biblical book of Esther never mentions God directly and in the process profoundly answers these big faith questions.

I delivered this Christmas-themed sermon at The Table, a missional church plant in Bellingham, Washington on December 14, 2014.

 

Subscribe to our free sermon audio via the Jesus' Economy Podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud.