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Montreat Conference Center: Summer Worship Series 2021

Montreat Conference Center Summer Worship Series 2021 John 20:3-8This sermon can be viewed on Vimeo. I wish to read for you from the twentieth chapter of the Gospel of John. I shall begin to read at the third verse. This is the Word of God. "So Peter and the other...

The Day Jesus… #4: The Day Jesus Wrote In The Sand

The Day Jesus Saved A Wedding The Day Jesus Stopped A Funeral The Day Jesus Tackled A Tsunami The Day Jesus Wrote In The Sand The Day Jesus Wrote In The Sand John 8:1-11I shall be reading from the eighth chapter of the Gospel of John. This is the Word of God: "Then...

The Day Jesus… #1: The Day Jesus Saved A Wedding

The Day Jesus Saved A Wedding The Day Jesus Stopped A Funeral The Day Jesus Tackled A Tsunami The Day Jesus Wrote In The Sand The Day Jesus Saved A Wedding John 2:1-11I wish to read for you these verses from John, chapter two. This is the word of God. "On the third...

Faces and Places Around The Cross #7: The Empty Tomb

Gethsemane The Roman Barracks Simon Of Cyrene Mary: The Mother Of Jesus Unknown Soldier Jerusalem: The Triumphant Entry The Empty Tomb Faces and Places Around The Cross: The Empty Tomb John 20:3-8I wish to read these words written by John, but they are the Word of...

Faces and Places Around The Cross #4: Mary: The Mother Of Jesus

Gethsemane The Roman Barracks Simon Of Cyrene Mary: The Mother Of Jesus Unknown Soldier Jerusalem: The Triumphant Entry The Empty Tomb Faces and Places Around The Cross: Mary: The Mother Of Jesus John 19:25-27I wish to read from the 19th chapter of the Gospel...

Encounters With Christ #6: The Man Who Died Twice

The Nobody Who Became Somebody The Somebody Who Became Nobody The Woman Christ Complimented The Odds Are In Our Favor The Man Locked In A Prison Without Bars The Man Who Died Twice The Beast Who Became Beautiful Encounters With Christ: The Man Who Died Twice John...

When Is It O.K. To Be O.T.T.?

When Is It O.K. To Be O.T.T.? John 12:1-7 Personal word, please, before I preach. Let me remind you that the elders of our church have called all of us at MDPC to engage in a day of fasting and prayer. That will begin after the evening meal on Tuesday of this week,...

Encounters With Christ #5: The Man Locked In A Prison Without Bars

The Nobody Who Became Somebody The Somebody Who Became Nobody The Woman Christ Complimented The Odds Are In Our Favor The Man Locked In A Prison Without Bars The Man Who Died Twice The Beast Who Became Beautiful Encounters With Christ: The Man Locked In A Prison...

The Christian Faith In 25 Words Or Less

The Christian Faith In 25 Words Or Less John 3:16-21 Here, in 25 words or less, is the essence of the Christian Faith: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Twenty-five...

Palm Sunday: Celebration Or Confrontation

Palm Sunday: Celebration Or Confrontation John 18:33-38When Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem on that first Psalm Sunday, because of the way He entered the city and because of the response He received, He knew that He was signing His own death warrant. Let me...

A Mother’s Worst Nightmare

A Mother's Worst Nightmare John 19:23-27 It had to be a mother’s worst nightmare… The Bible says, “Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother...” Note that please. His mother was there. It was a ghastly, hideous, terrible thing for her to see. She had brought Him into...

What True Presbyterians Believe #1: Sola Christus

Sola Christus Sola Scriptura Sola Fide Soli Deo Gloria Sola Gratia Sola Ecclesia What True Presbyterians Believe: Sola Christus John 14:1-6For four generations now, members of my family have served in the ministry of the Presbyterian Church. For nearly forty years...

Breakfast By The Sea: The Rest Of The Story

Breakfast By The Sea: The Rest Of The Story John 21:1-19Paul Aurandt is one of the best known, most admired figures of our time. Most people know his face. Everyone knows his voice. Now you may be thinking to yourself, “What in the world is he talking about? I have...

The Story I Never … #2: The Story I Never Tire Of Telling

The Story I Never Tire Of Hearing The Story I Never Tire Of Telling The Story I Never Tire Of Telling John 20:1-18Easter is a lot like Christmas. It is not a time for learned discourses or complex theology. Rather it is time to tell a story—a story that is so simple,...

The Story I Never … #1: The Story I Never Tire Of Hearing

The Story I Never Tire Of Hearing The Story I Never Tire Of Telling The Story I Never Tire Of Hearing Luke 19:29-44I wish to read these few verses from Paul's letter to the Philippians. A handful of words, really. But these words are nothing less than the Word of God:...

The … of Jesus #1: What Matters To You Matters To God

The Tenderness Of Jesus: What Matters To You Matters To God The Target Of Jesus: What You Fear Most, Christ Handles Best The Tactic Of Jesus: What You Count Lowly, Christ Counts Holy The Tears Of Jesus: What You Cry About Is What You Care About What Matters To You...

Cross Words #5: A Staircase To Heaven

You Can't Step In The Same River Twice Thirsty Lips and A Thirsty Heart The Very First Christian God's Light In Dark Times A Staircase To Heaven A Dying Word And A Living Faith Cross Words: A Staircase To Heaven John 19:28-30Nothing—not even Calvary—could conquer...

Cross Words #2: Thirsty Lips and A Thirsty Heart

You Can't Step In The Same River Twice Thirsty Lips and A Thirsty Heart The Very First Christian God's Light In Dark Times A Staircase To Heaven A Dying Word And A Living Faith Cross Words: Thirsty Lips and A Thirsty Heart John 19:28-29I ask you to come with me now to...

Why I Believe #10: Why I Believe In The Resurrection

Why I Believe In The Incarnation Why I Believe In Angels Why I Believe In The Virgin Birth Why I Believe In Jesus Christ Why I Believe In God Why I Believe The Bible Why I Believe In The Church Why I Believe In Heaven Why I Believe In The Atonement Why I Believe In...

Why I Believe #8: Why I Believe In Heaven

Why I Believe In The Incarnation Why I Believe In Angels Why I Believe In The Virgin Birth Why I Believe In Jesus Christ Why I Believe In God Why I Believe The Bible Why I Believe In The Church Why I Believe In Heaven Why I Believe In The Atonement Why I Believe In...

Why I Believe #1: Why I Believe In The Incarnation

Why I Believe In The Incarnation Why I Believe In Angels Why I Believe In The Virgin Birth Why I Believe In Jesus Christ Why I Believe In God Why I Believe The Bible Why I Believe In The Church Why I Believe In Heaven Why I Believe In The Atonement Why I Believe In...

Have You Met Jesus? #5: The Man Who Put Christ First

The Nobody Who Became Somebody The Somebody Who Became Nobody The Man Locked In A Prison Without Bars The Men Who Crashed The Party The Man Who Put Christ First The Man Who Was Both Saint And Sinner The Woman Christ Complimented HAVE YOU MET JESUS? The Man Who Put...

Minor Men With A Major Message #21: The Man Who Put Christ First

The Man Who Snatched Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory The Man Who Wanted Somebody With Skin On The Man God Marked The Man Who Died With No One's Regrets The Man Who Chose The Wrong Friend The Couple Who Paid The High Cost Of Low Living The Man Who Put Profits Before...

Have You Met Jesus? #3: The Man Locked In A Prison Without Bars

The Nobody Who Became Somebody The Somebody Who Became Nobody The Man Locked In A Prison Without Bars The Men Who Crashed The Party The Man Who Put Christ First The Man Who Was Both Saint And Sinner The Woman Christ Complimented Have You Met Jesus?: The Man Locked In...

Faces About the Cross #5: The Disciple Thomas

Simon Of Cyrene The Dying Thief The Mother Of Jesus The People Of Jerusalem The Disciple Thomas Faces About the Cross: The Disciple Thomas John 20:19-38It’s a terrible name to give to a man. Yet for 2000 years now people have called him “Doubting Thomas”. But is that...

Faces About the Cross #3: The Mother Of Jesus

Simon Of Cyrene The Dying Thief The Mother Of Jesus The People Of Jerusalem The Disciple Thomas Faces About the Cross: The Mother Of Jesus John 19:25-27I wish to read from the 19th chapter of the Gospel according to John. This is the word of God. “Near the cross of...

Confessing Church #1: Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ The Bible A Holy Life Confessing Church: Jesus Christ John 14:1-7When I first heard it, I was rather shocked… A Presbyterian minister speaking at a Presbyterian peacemaking conference, uttered words which have set off a firestorm in the Presbyterian...

Short Memories Make For Shallow Souls

Short Memories Make For Shallow Souls John 5:1-9 Someone has wisely said that “short memories make for shallow souls”. I believe that to be true, and so I want to spend some time today deepening my own soul. For what I have to share with you is essentially by way of...

A Portrait of Jesus Painted By His Best Friend #5: His Power

His Person His Purpose His Peace His Position His Power A Portrait of Jesus Painted By His Best Friend: His Power John 20:1-18Easter is a lot like Christmas. It is not a time for learned discourses or complex theology. Rather, it is a time to tell a story—a story that...

A Portrait of Jesus Painted By His Best Friend #4: His Position

His Person His Purpose His Peace His Position His Power A Portrait of Jesus Painted By His Best Friend: His Position John 18:33-38When Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday, because of the way He entered the city and because of the response...

A Portrait of Jesus Painted By His Best Friend #3: His Peace

His Person His Purpose His Peace His Position His Power A Portrait of Jesus Painted By His Best Friend: His Peace John 14:15-27My great friend, Leonard Sweet, shared a collection of headlines which have actually appeared in newspapers in recent years. The headline...

A Portrait of Jesus Painted By His Best Friend #2: His Purpose

His Person His Purpose His Peace His Position His Power A Portrait of Jesus Painted By His Best Friend: His Purpose John 10:14-18It is said that there are two great beginnings in life: the day when we were born and the day when we discover why we were born. Not long...

A Portrait of Jesus Painted By His Best Friend #1: His Person

His Person His Purpose His Peace His Position His Power A Portrait of Jesus Painted By His Best Friend: His Person John 1:1-5To be perfectly frank, I could hardly believe what I was reading. A prominent minister stood before his congregation of several thousand people...

Christmas … For #2: Christmas Spirit For The Spiritless

Christmas Hope For The Hopeless Christmas Spirit For The Spiritless Christmas Faith For The Faithless Christmas Spirit For The Spiritless John 1:6-16The word “Christmas” and the word “spirit” go together like a first and last name: “Christmas spirit”. We speak so...

Used Tombstone For Sale

Used Tombstone For Sale John 20:11-18When I began writing this sermon, it occurred to me that this is my 28th Easter sermon. I wondered how I could approach this sermon so that it would sound like the first time and not the 28th time. Then it occurred to me that there...

A New Year’s Revolution

A New Year's Revolution John 14:18-23I was reading through one of those retrospective pieces in the newspaper the other day. It was a review of the significant events of the year 1995. Listed among those events was the death of the great baseball player Mickey Mantle....

Peace By Piece

Peace By Piece John 3:1-17One of my favorite "Peanuts" comic strips is the one where Lucy decides that her brother, Linus, has got to grow up and learn to live without his security blanket of his. So while Linus is asleep, she slips the blanket out of his hands, takes...

The King Is In The Audience

The King Is In The Audience John 20:19-29Back in 1970, God in His gracious goodness, allowed me the privilege of meeting Catherine Marshall. My mother and Catherine Marshall had been in college together at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, and therefore, during...

Why Not You? Why Not Me? Why Not Now?

Why Not You? Why Not Me? Why Not Now? John 21:15-19Scott Levy was a pastor who was preaching for a friend on Sunday morning in Nebraska. He went early to the church on that Sunday morning to see what it was like and to get a feel for the church's atmosphere. He was...

Christmas Contradictions #2: Light In The Darkness

Victory In The Defeat Light In The Darkness Splendor In The Silence Glory In The Lowly Christmas Contradictions: Light In The Darkness John 1:1-5If you take a long hard look at the Christmas story, you discover that it is filled with startling contradictions. Because...

Looking At Life Through Easter Eyes

Looking At Life Through Easter Eyes John 20:11-18It's all a matter of perspective. It's all a matter of how you look at things. You know the old saying that one person looks at a glass of water and sees it as being half empty. Another person looks at the same glass of...

Pilate Error: The Truth About The Lies We Believe

Pilate Error: The Truth About The Lies We Believe John 18:33-34You don't have to love country music in order to appreciate the colossal humor contained in the titles to country songs. Let me share some of my favorites with you. There's the old classic: "I've Got Tears...

Are You Standing On The Promises Or Just Sitting On The Premises?

Are You Standing On The Promises Or Just Sitting On The Premises? John 14:15-17Are you standing on the promises, or are you just sitting on the premises?Clever language.Tough question. Don't duck it. Do you claim and embrace and celebrate the great promises of God...

Home For Christmas #1: Make Your Heart Christ’s Home

Make Your Heart Christ’s Home The Best Christmas Presents Are Wrapped In Heaven No Songs Like The Old Songs When It Is More Blessed To Receive Some Christmas Memories Home For Christmas: Make Your Heart Christ’s Home John 1:1-5The letter came at Christmas time, tucked...

The Transforming Touch #2: O.J. Simpson, Jesus Christ, And Us

Taking People Where They Are And Loving Them Into Life O.J. Simpson, Jesus Christ, And Us Nobody's Born A Bigot! Chained By A String What Jesus Wrote In The Sand, He Also Wrote In Blood The Heart Inflamed The Transforming Touch: O.J. Simpson, Jesus Christ, And Us John...

Homeward Bound #2: Reflections On The Resurrection

Life Is Forever! Reflections On The Resurrection The Promise Of The Pearl Someday Our Prince Will Come Take Me Home To My Mother You Can't Take The Sheep From The Shepherd! Life Is Uncertain, So Eat Dessert First! Facing Death Unafraid Finishing What We Start Moments...

Punching Holes In The Darkness

Punching Holes In The Darkness John 1:1-5John writes: "The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it"—but the darkness sure does try…John writes: "The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it"—but the darkness sure does...

This Is Dedicated To The Christ I Love

This Is Dedicated To The Christ I Love John 21:15-19A few years back the noted religious writer, Dr. Lyle Schaller tried to slip one past the reading public. He wrote a book on the church called Survival Tactics in the Parish. He dedicated the book to "Shang". He...

We’re Here For Life #3: A Call To Compassion

A Call To Continuity A Call To Confidence A Call To Compassion A Call To Commitment We're Here For Life: A Call To Compassion John 12:1-8Paul Sherer wrote: "Love is a spendthrift; it leaves its arithmetic at home. It is always in the red. And God is love." The truth...

Dan Quayle, Murphy Brown, And Jesus Christ

Dan Quayle, Murphy Brown, And Jesus Christ John 4:5-42Incredibly, in the recent presidential election campaign, the most intense and the most heated debates involved not the three candidates for President, but a fictional TV character and the Vice President of the...

Christmas In The Carols #13: I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

Joy To The World Hark, The Herald Angels Sing We Three Kings Of Orient Are O Little Town Of Bethlehem Away In The Manger What Child Is This? O Come All Ye Faithful There's A Song In The Air Angels From The Realms Of Glory It Came Upon A Midnight Clear The First Noel...

Checkmate! Game’s Over! We Win!

Checkmate! Game's Over! We Win! John 21:15-19Should you ever visit the magnificent Louvre Museum in Paris, you will see many of the world's greatest art treasures. Among them is a dramatic painting based on Goethe's "Faust." You will remember that Faust is the one who...

God Takes Our Little And Makes It Much

God Takes Our Little And Makes It Much John 6:1-14Here are three little stories tied together by a common thread of truth. See if you can find it… The first story is actually an old legend from India that tells about a huge elephant and a tiny mouse who became close...

The Gospel In Miniature

The Gospel In Miniature John 3:16-21If I were to ask you today to write down what you consider to be the single greatest verse in all of the Bible, what would you put down? Of course, I am sure that in all likelihood there would be a variety of answers given. However,...

The Claims of the Christ #6: I Am The Good Shepherd

I Am The Bread Of Life I Am The Door I Am The Bright Morning Star I Am The Way, The Truth, And The Life I Am The Resurrection And The Life I Am The Good Shepherd I Am The Alpha And The Omega The Claims of the Christ: I Am The Good Shepherd John 10:11-16Don Locker, a...

The Claims of the Christ #5: I Am The Resurrection And The Life

I Am The Bread Of Life I Am The Door I Am The Bright Morning Star I Am The Way, The Truth, And The Life I Am The Resurrection And The Life I Am The Good Shepherd I Am The Alpha And The Omega The Claims of the Christ: I Am The Resurrection And The Life John...

The Claims of the Christ #4: I Am The Way, The Truth, And The Life

I Am The Bread Of Life I Am The Door I Am The Bright Morning Star I Am The Way, The Truth, And The Life I Am The Resurrection And The Life I Am The Good Shepherd I Am The Alpha And The Omega The Claims of the Christ: I Am The Way, The Truth, And The Life John...

The Claims of the Christ #2: I Am The Door

I Am The Bread Of Life I Am The Door I Am The Bright Morning Star I Am The Way, The Truth, And The Life I Am The Resurrection And The Life I Am The Good Shepherd I Am The Alpha And The Omega The Claims of the Christ: I Am The Door John 10:1-10For twenty-five years a...

The Claims of the Christ #1: I Am The Bread Of Life

I Am The Bread Of Life I Am The Door I Am The Bright Morning Star I Am The Way, The Truth, And The Life I Am The Resurrection And The Life I Am The Good Shepherd I Am The Alpha And The Omega The Claims of the Christ: I Am The Bread Of Life John 6:35-40Beginning today...

Making Sense Out Of A Senseless Tragedy

Making Sense Out Of A Senseless Tragedy John 9:1-5Last Sunday, the people at our early worship service saw a sermon. That's what I said—they saw a sermon. Oh, they heard a sermon, too. I preached, and most of them, I suppose, heard. But much more importantly, they saw...

Holding On When You Want To Let Go

Holding On When You Want To Let Go John 15:9-17I don't know who counted them up, but whoever did gave us something to think about. In a total of 3530 years of recorded civilization, only 286 of those years have been spent without wars taking place on this globe....

A Call To Courage

A Call To Courage John 20:19-28For nearly 2000 years the two words have been repeated together so frequently that now they almost seem to be the man's first and last name. I refer to the one who is called “Doubting Thomas." But is that really an accurate description...

Two Cups – One Rejected, One Accepted

Two Cups - One Rejected, One Accepted Matthew 27:33-34, John 19:28-30Twice during His time on Calvary, Jesus was offered a cup of wine. Both cups were offered to Him as acts of mercy and kindness. The first cup He rejected, the second He accepted, and therein, I...

The Light Diet That Really Works

The Light Diet That Really Works John 8:12-20  The title of the article tricked me! It said: "We all need light diets." I assumed that the author was referring to lowering our calorie intake by limiting the food we eat. Instead, as I delved into the article, I...

The Marks Of A True Disciple

The Marks Of A True Disciple John 13:1-10Dr. Armand Nicholi has been for many years the Chief of Psychiatric Services at Harvard University. Not very long ago in an address he delivered, he proceeded to list what he said were, in the opinion of the leading...

Why Have Christmas At All?

Why Have Christmas At All? John 1:1-14Why have Christmas at all? At first blush, that question seems ridiculous, if not a bit sacrilegious. I mean, who could stop the tidal wave of holiday tradition that swoops over us at this time of the year, even if one were of a...

How To #10: How To Rekindle The Spark Of The Spirit!

How To Rise Above Resentment! How To Quit Worrying About Worry! How To Fly Like Eagles When You’re Surrounded By Turkeys! How To Look Smart When You Do Dumb Things! How To Do Right When Everything Goes Wrong! How To Turn Short-Term Losses Into Long-Term Gains! How To...

How To #4: How To Look Smart When You Do Dumb Things!

How To Rise Above Resentment! How To Quit Worrying About Worry! How To Fly Like Eagles When You’re Surrounded By Turkeys! How To Look Smart When You Do Dumb Things! How To Do Right When Everything Goes Wrong! How To Turn Short-Term Losses Into Long-Term Gains! How To...

Give Yourself To Something Bigger Than Yourself

Give Yourself To Something Bigger Than Yourself John 6:57-67Today l would ask you to think with me about the subject of loyalty... Our text comes from one of the crisis moments in Jesus’ ministry. When He first began His itinerant preaching, people flocked to Him in...

Cross Words: The Sign Of The Divine In A Life

Cross Words: The Sign Of The Divine In A Life John 19:25-27The furnishings in the hospital room were arranged in a manner which served the convenience of the nurses rather than the patients. There were two beds and one window. The beds were placed in such a way that...

Fifth Amendment Christians

Fifth Amendment Christians John 4:39-42Several years ago, I heard an address by Dr. John Meister in which he used the phrase "Fifth Amendment Christians." I was intrigued by that phrase and I have thought a lot about it since. Out of that thinking has come this...

The Man Born To Be King

The Man Born To Be King John 18:33-38Some 2300 years ago now, the prophet Zechariah announced to the city of Jerusalem: “Behold your king comes to you, triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding upon a donkey...” It must have seemed strange then. It certainly...

When Someone You Love Dies

When Someone You Love Dies John 14:1-7The day the space shuttle exploded is a day which is written in pain upon our hearts. In the preparation leading up to that flight, those seven astronauts, especially Christa McAuliffe, had become a part of us. We felt that we...

If Christ Had Not Come

If Christ Had Not Come John 15:20-27Some years ago now, a group of noted historians combined their talents to produce a book entitled, If...A History Revisited. The chapters of the book dealt with speculations as to how history would have been written if certain...

God Loves You

God Loves You John 3:16-21God loves you. Those three words, perhaps more than any others, sum up the message of the Bible, and the essence of the Christian faith, and the meaning of Christmas. "God loves you." To underscore that point, let's meditate together upon...

The Glory In The Garden

The Glory In The Garden John 20:1-18Easter is a lot like Christmas. It is not a time for learned discourses and complex theology. Rather, it is a time to tell a story—the story of "the glory in the garden." But I must warn you of something. There is a risk in telling...

Love Is A Spendthrift

Love Is A Spendthrift John 12:1-8Paul Sherer wrote: "Love is a spendthrift; it leaves its arithmetic at home. It is always 'in the red.' And God is Love." The truth of these words is clearly revealed in this story from John 12. Jesus had gone out to Bethany, a suburb...

Joy Is A Five Letter Word

Joy Is A Five Letter Word John 15:1-11The Gospels tell us that many times Jesus went apart for private times, times when He walked the Palestinian valleys alone. Some people have suggested that He did this in order to be able to shed tears without anyone being aware...

Call Him By His Name #4: The Promise Of The Angels

Wonderful Counselor: Here Comes The Son! Mighty God: Betting Your Life On Jesus Christ Everlasting Father: Starlight In A Star-Crossed World The Promise Of The Angels Prince of Peace: This Shall Be A Sign Wonderful Counselor: God Can Make Something Great Out Of You...

Call Him By His Name #1: Here Comes The Son!

Wonderful Counselor: Here Comes The Son! Mighty God: Betting Your Life On Jesus Christ Everlasting Father: Starlight In A Star-Crossed World The Promise Of The Angels Prince of Peace: This Shall Be A Sign Wonderful Counselor: God Can Make Something Great Out Of You...

The Most Beautiful Thing Jesus Ever Said

The Most Beautiful Thing Jesus Ever Said John 15:12-17In the quiet beauty of this hour, I want to talk with you about what may be "the most beautiful thing Jesus ever said." It occurred on the night before he died when He said to His disciples, and, consequently, to...

In Search Of The Saviour

In Search Of The Saviour John 12:20-26It is the cry of the ages summed up in five words. The scripture says very simply: "Some Greeks came to Philip and said to him, 'Sir, we would see Jesus.'" It is a request made in countless ways, countless numbers of times, by...