How did the disciples move from John 20:19 to Acts 2? I believe the secret is found in Acts 1:4 as God calls them to wait — wait for the outpouring of His Spirit. Moving from powerless to Pentecost often means taking time to . . .
Worship. Acts 1:14, John 3:29-30
At the heart, worship is about God becoming greater and us becoming less . . . in our own eyes. Waiting is excellent for learning to worship God in every and all situation we face. While we wait, we worship.
Act. Acts 1:21-22, Jude 1:21-23
Being called to wait doesn’t necessarily mean we do nothing. Often the season of waiting is needed to give us the time to finish work in progress that God has already begun in our life, or through our life.
Inspect. Acts 1:24-26, Romans 8:24-27
The pause brought about by waiting should lead us to take a serious look at both our self and God’s Word. Inspecting our life and our actions should always be done with the desire to gain God’s perspective.
Trust. Acts 2:12-16, 1 Corinthians 1:7-9
Waiting not only helps us to learn to trust God in greater ways, we find that He provides what is needed both while we wait and when it is time for whatever is next. Living with trust says that God’s plan is always better than our plan.
When life doesn’t move at your schedule, pause to see if God is calling you to wait in order to move you from powerless to Pentecost. As you wait, learn to Worship, Act, Inspect, and Trust.
This is the audio from the May 2, 2021 sermon, “The Secrets of a Good CROP”, shared by Tom Lemler at the North Wayne Mennonite Church.
Text: Mark 4:1-20
When God’s Word is sown into your life, to grow a good crop it is important that you pay attention to the:
Cultivation. Mark 4:3-4, 15
When the seed of God’s Word falls on the hard path in our life, we must make the effort to cultivate the soil of our hearts so that the truth isn’t stolen away by the enemy.
Roots. Mark 4:5-6, 16-17
When the seeds of God’s Word begin to wither in our life, we must make the effort to develop deeper and stronger roots which will nourish us with God’s truth.
Overcoming of Opposition. Mark 4:7, 18-19
When the seeds of God’s Word begins to be strangled out in our life by the things of this world, we must turn to God and put on our spiritual armor so that we my overcome the opposition with truth.
Production. Mark 4:8-9, 20
When the seeds of God’s Word begins to bear fruit in our life, we must be careful to allow God to do the harvesting and the measuring. The production of good fruit isn’t a contest between people, rather it is a result of allowing God’s Word and Spirit to work through us.
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?