This is the audio from the April 4, 2021 Resurrection Sunday sermon, “When Jesus Joins Your Walk”, shared by Tom Lemler at the Deer Run Church of Christ.
Text: Mark 16:12-13, Luke 24:13-35
If you’ve experienced any times of worry, asking questions, life that’s routine, or knowledge that doesn’t make sense then perhaps it is time to consider what can happen when Jesus joins your Worry, Asking, Living, and Knowledge.
Because of the resurrection, you can have hope as Jesus joins your:
Worry. Luke 24:13-17, John 14:1
As the two followers of Jesus return home from Jerusalem following the death and burial of Jesus, they are filled with great concern and worry. It is in the midst of this worry that Jesus shows up to join them in their walk. When we trust God with our worry, He is always willing to walk with us through it as He longs to bring us to the other side.
Asking. Luke 24:18-24, John 16:17-19
For these followers of Jesus, nothing had turned out like it should have . . . at least not from their perspective. They got caught up in the “what-if” game of being filled with questions that had no answers. It is in their asking that Jesus shows up to join them with a few questions of His own designed to get them to think. When we allow Jesus to join our walk, He not only knows the questions we are asking, He also knows the ones we don’t know how to ask.
Living. Luke 24:28-30, Colossians 3:17
Even with worry and questions, there was a life to be lived and these followers of Jesus went about that normal routine upon arriving home. Yet they did not do life alone . . . they invited this stranger who had walked with them to join them for the night. It was in doing life together that the realized who Jesus was. When we include Jesus in every part of our life, we find that He has joined our walk in a way that makes Him real to us.
Knowledge. Luke 24:31-35, 1 Corinthians 13:12
It was when their eyes were opened to who Jesus was that these followers could see how Jesus had joined them in their longing for knowledge. The things that they knew, things that had spend their walk talking about with Jesus, were all made clear when they became aware of the presence of Jesus.
And now for the part we skipped, Luke 24:25-27. When Jesus joins your Worry, your Asking, your Living, and your Knowledge, He always brings truth. As you consider all of the elements of your daily life, will you invite Jesus to join your WALK and fill it with His truth?
This is the audio from the Good Friday, April 2, 2021 sermon, “A TIME to Remember”, shared by Tom Lemler at the Deer Run Church of Christ.
Text: Matthew 27:32-50
Good Friday is a time to remember the great price which Jesus paid to cover the penalty of sin we each owe. As we look at the events of the crucifixion, I find four things which I believe are important for us to remember.
The message of the cross has a:
Truth to remember. Matthew 27:37
The guy who asked Jesus the question, “What is truth”, is responsible for posting the great truth of the cross — “This is Jesus, King of the Jews.” The message of the cross proclaims the truth of Jesus as King — not necessarily the king we want, but the King we need.
Invitation to remember. Mark 15:29-30
Never forget the invitation offered to Jesus by nearly everyone witnessing the crucifixion — “Save yourself.” It was the same invitation offered by Satan as Jesus was tempted following His forty days in the wilderness. Jesus chose to stay on the cross and turn down the invitation of the world.
Motive to remember. Luke 23:42-43
As Jesus taught those who followed Him, He made it clear that the “Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost.” His interaction with the criminal beside Him who asked to be remembered gives us a clear view into the motives which held Him in place.
Exclamation to remember. John 19:30
After suffering the horrendous experience of the crucifixion and taking on the weight of sin from all mankind, Jesus exclaims, “It is finished!” The message of the cross calls us to remember the completed work of God in redeeming us from our slavery to sin.
This is the audio from the February 7, 2021 sermon, “Be the ONE”, shared by Tom Lemler at the North Wayne Mennonite Church.
Text: Mark 2:13-28
Many times people look around and desire some type of change. We want our home to be different, our workplace to be different, our community to be different, our nation to be different, and our world to be different. Yet in all of our desire for things to be different, we often look for someone else to be the agent of change or to step in and accomplish all that we want with little to no effort on our part. When we live as kingdom citizens, God calls us to be the one who lives for Him and represents Jesus in the midst of every area we live life in.
In this message we will look at three different interactions Jesus had with people as He calls us to be the ONE.
We act like Jesus when we choose to be, and call others to be the . . .
Obedient: Mark 2:13-17 — In this text we see that when Jesus called Levi to follow Him, the calling was obeyed. Jesus taught throughout His life on earth that obedience was an expression of love. When we choose to obey God, we become the one who can represent Jesus to the people around us each day.
New: Mark 2:18-22 — For those who were caught up in the traditions of men, Jesus made it clear that He was making all things new. Because we have been made new, we no longer fit in the old container which was once our dwelling. When we live as the new creation God has called us to be, we become the one who can call others to a changed life so that they also can be made new.
Equipped: Mark 2:23-28 — To those who held fast to their interpretation of God’s laws and demanded that people served the law, Jesus called them to be equipped by the law rather than enslaved by it. When we are able to gaze into the perfect law of God’s Word and find freedom, we are equipped to help other both find the one they need and be the one God calls them to be.
As you live life each day, spend time asking God to help you be the ONE who makes a difference by His power and Spirit. Pray that you would be obedient to God in all things. Pray that you would put aside the old self and live as new. Pray that you would be a student of God’s Word in order to be equipped by it.
This is the audio from the January 10, 2021 sermon, “Finding CALM in the Storm”, shared by Tom Lemler at the Deer Run Church of Christ.
Text: Mark 1:21-45
Storms come in many shapes and sizes. The storms of life are no different in that even when similar, each storm seems to be unique. As we consider the storms of this year, there are many storms that have been widespread such as the storms of injustice, COVID, political division, and other issues that touch all of us in some way. There have also been the “usual” storms of life that are often dealt with in individual lives in ways that can be unknown to those around us. In all of these storms, I believe that God’s desire for us as Christ-followers is that we would both find and share a CALM that can only come from Him. Today’s message looks at some ways Jesus remained calm in the midst of the storms of sickness, disease, and pure evil.
When the storms of life rage around you, ask God to help you know and share His . . .
Compassion: Mark 1:29-31, 40-41 — One of the foundations of finding and sharing calm in the midst of life’s storms is to approach all people and situations with compassion. We do that when we take the time to listen and fully understand a person to the best of our ability. We experience calm when we experience the compassion of Christ demonstrated toward us. We share calm when we extend that same level of compassion to others — all others.
Authority: Mark 1:25-27, 33-34 — A second foundation of finding and sharing calm in the midst of life’s storms is to submit to the authority of God in all things. When we do that, we learn to trust God whether the storm is dismissed by Him or if He chooses to carry us through it. We can be pretty good at intensifying our storms simply by thinking we know best. We experience calm in the storm when we admit we aren’t in charge and our desired outcome isn’t anywhere near having the same authority as what God wants. We share calm when we allow God to be God and don’t take it upon ourselves to be the final authority in the things that others experience as storms.
Lessons: Mark 1:38-39 — Another foundation of finding and sharing calm in the midst of life’s storms is to look for and learn from the lessons the storms contain. One of those great lessons that Jesus taught over and over again is that the calm He offers is for everyone. When the disciples wanted to pull Him back into the city because there was still a great need, He used the opportunity of the storms to teach them about His purpose on earth. We experience calm in the storm when we open ourselves up to learning the lessons that we might never learn apart from the difficulty. We share calm when we help others see the lessons God would have for them.
Moments: Mark 1:35, 45 — The final foundation of finding and sharing calm in the midst of life’s storms is to look for and savor the moments. Jesus set the example through His practice of finding solitary places to spend time with His Father in prayer. It is not only okay to admit we need a time-out from the storms on occasion, it is necessary to find those moments of solitude and spend them with our Father. In an age of technology that can constantly bombard us with news of the storms all while trying to draw us into them, it is critical that we deliberately step aside for those moments with God. We experience calm in the storm when we spend our moments with God. We share calm in the storm when we help others value and practice time alone with God.
So, as you live through the storms which batter our nation and batter your life, will you pause long enough to find the CALM God wants you to have? Once you find it, will you be obedient in sharing that CALM with others?
This is the audio from the January 3, 2021 sermon, “A NEW Hope”, shared by Tom Lemler at the North Wayne Mennonite Church.
Text: Mark 2:1-12
As we embark on a new year, many people are inclined to look back to consider the previous year then look forward with the hope that things will be different. While 2020 has definitely given us plenty of things we would not wish to see again in the new year, the truth is that is generally the case every year. It is in the looking ahead and looking to God that we find a hope that can make us new regardless of what our year has been like. Paul writes and tells us that if our hope in Christ was only valid for the time we live on this earth, then we ought to be pitied above all people. The good news is that because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus we have a hope that is new and gives us the assurance of life beyond what we experience on earth.
In this message we will look at an encounter one man, his friends, the religious leaders, and a crowd had with Jesus and see the NEW hope God wants us to live with
When we encounter Jesus, we find hope that is . . .
Necessary: Mark 2:1-5 — Early in the public ministry of Jesus, wherever He went a crowd was sure to gather. That was certainly the case in today’s text — the crowd filled the house where Jesus was at and spilled out into all of the surrounding areas where people might just catch a glimpse of Jesus or hear a word of what He had to say. Showing up a little late to the gathering was a paralytic being carried by four of his friends. While he and his friends likely thought the thing most necessary was making this man walk, Jesus had a different idea. When Jesus sees the faith of this man’s friends, He tells him his sins are forgiven. While walking would soon come, the greatest need this man had was for the forgiveness of his sins. In fact, that is the greatest need any of us have regardless of how important we may believe our other needs are. It is in the forgiveness of sin that we find the real hope which is necessary for life eternal.
Exclusive: Mark 2:6-10 — Not only does our encounter with Jesus provide that which is necessary for real hope, He is the exclusive provider of what we really need. The religious leaders gathered in the home that day were offended that Jesus told the man his sins were forgiven. The offense wasn’t in the pointing out that this man was in need of forgiveness but rather in the exclusiveness of God alone being able to forgive sin — and they refused to believe that Jesus was God in flesh. In agreement that only God can forgive sin, Jesus set out to show them His authority by doing what could not be disputed — making the man walk. While it is very easy to say the words, “Your sins are forgiven”, proving that the forgiveness actually took place is virtually impossible by observation of man. The more difficult thing to say, because it would be obvious if it worked or not, would be to tell the man to walk. Jesus made it clear that He is the only way to the Father and He not only forgives our sins, He calls us to walk with Him as living proof He can exclusively do what we need most in providing the hope of eternal life.
Witnessed: Mark 2:11-12 — When the necessary hope of the forgiveness of sins meets the exclusive hope of the power or God at work within us, there out to be a visible result that the people around us can witness. In the text we looked at today, the people caught a glimpse of this new hope because they could see the result of this formerly paralytic man’s encounter with Jesus. Because they could see His power at work, they praised and glorified God for the mighty thing which they had witnessed. The new hope we live with each day ought to have the same results. People should see the transforming work of God in us and know there is such a thing as forgiveness of sins. I believe this is why Peter tells us to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within us. When God does what is necessary, as only He can, people should see us walking with Him in a way that catches their attention. It is this witnessed hope that carries the message of Jesus to the world and offers to them the same NEW hope that we have found.
As you consider the new year, how hopeful are you? When you consider all the things you believe are necessary for the new year to be successful, is forgiveness at the top of the list? As you seek hope in a hopeless world, are you committed to Jesus as being the only way, truth, and life that can bring hope that lasts beyond life on this earth. As a Christ-follower, are you living in a way that others can witness the result of a new hope residing in you? Are you sharing with them the reason for this hope that you have — which is the hope that they need? I pray that each one of us would look ahead and pursue a NEW hope each day that God gives us life here on this earth.
This is the audio from the December 27, 2020 sermon, “The Gift of WISDOM”, shared by Tom Lemler at the Deer Run Church of Christ.
Text: James 3:13, Matthew 2:1-12
While James tells us that God is gracious in giving wisdom to all who ask, he also makes it clear that wisdom is made known by what we do. In Jeremiah, God tells us to look for the ancient paths and find the good way to walk — presumably by learning from the wisdom of those who walked this earth before us. The wisdom which comes from God is very different from the wisdom of the world and we would do well to find the wisdom that is not self-seeking and self-promoting.
When we seek the wisdom found in Jesus, we find the gift of . . .
Wonder: Mark 9:15 — Wherever Jesus went on this earth, people were filled with wonder. From the wonder expressed by the shepherds and Magi at His birth to the wonder of the teachers in the temple when Jesus was twelve to the wonder often expressed as He taught and performed miracles, wonder was a natural reaction to the Son of God dwelling among mankind. It is this element of wonder that causes us to realize that God’s ways are not always explainable — nor should they be. God’s gift of wisdom allows us to marvel at the mysteries contained within creation and within His Word.
Insight: Acts 4:13 — There are elements of wisdom found throughout scripture that seem to elude the grasp of many of the most studious minds. There is something unique about spending time with Jesus that gives a person insight that could never be gained in any other way. Even when the religious leaders did not like the message being shared by the apostles, they could help but take note of the only possible explanation for the insight being shared was that these men had been with Jesus. Imagine what it would be like to have wisdom that is filled with great insight because you are spending time with Jesus.
Service: Mark 10:45 — Wisdom is often best seen in what we do, rather than in what we say. The wisdom described by James is something that is seen in the good deeds which come from humility. When we look to Jesus for the gift of wisdom He would offer, we find that He lives a life that is all about serving others. It is by humbling ourselves and finding ways to serve others that we gain entrance into their life to the point that God’s wisdom can be seen in us. It is within this gift of service that we find wisdom by doing unto others what we would have them do unto us.
Delight: Matthew 12:18 — God’s desire has always been that mankind would be delighted with Him even as He delights in us. Godly wisdom helps us to delight in the Lord as we learn the secret of Him being enough for a life of contentment. Our level of delight in life is often directly related to our learning the secret of contentment — whether in plenty or in want. We ought to be filled with great delight as we realize that God delights over us with singing. In a similar fashion to a parent or grandparent giving gifts to children which are a delight to both the giver and receiver, God’s gift of wisdom to us should be a delight to Him and to us.
Obedience: John 15:10 — It should come as no surprise that when Jesus wanted to define what a wise person looked like He told a story. We tell it to our children as the story of the wise and foolish builders — we even have a children’s song to tell the story for us. In it, the wise person is the one who hears the Word of God and does what it says. For most of us, obedience was learned as a desire to avoid the consequences of disobedience. As we grow in wisdom, our obedience ought to grow more and more out of a heart of love. The Bible teaches that as God’s Son walking the earth in human flesh, Jesus learned obedience to His Father and ought to serve as our example in every way.
More: John 16:12 — Just as they do in all of the TV commercials for the “As Seen On TV” products, we’ve reached the point where I say, “But wait! There’s more!” Accepting the gift of wisdom from God should lead us to a realization that there is more than we will ever know or understand. As Jesus taught His disciples, He knew there was a limit to what they could grasp — and even a limit to what they should be able to grasp. The Holy Spirit would be sent after the resurrection of Jesus to help with some of the “More”, but even with an indwelling of God’s Spirit there are elements of God and His nature that are purposefully kept a mystery to us. The gift of wisdom acknowledges that the ways of God are higher, better, nobler, and more perfect than any of the ways of man.
So, as we consider the gift of wisdom which has been offered to us, the question to consider is what are you going to do with that gift? Godly wisdom is not found in the accumulation of knowledge, but in the application of what God has revealed through His Word, His Spirit, and through our times of prayer.