Sermon Archive

Feelings are essential to life. God made us to feel and to feel deeply. Jesus is a person of deep feeling. He was "fightin' mad" when He cleared the Temple, He openly wept at the tomb of His close friend Lazarus, and in His anxiety, He sweat drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Feelings, per se, are not the problem. There are at least two challenges with regard to feelings. One challenge is not to be ruled by our feelings. The other challenge is to learn to cultivate the feelings that ought to characterize us as followers of Jesus.

This may be a new idea for some of us: that we can and must learn to cultivate specific feelings. But this is a hopeful discovery particularly for those of us who struggle with negative or destructive feelings. With God's help, we can replace destructive feelings with the good feelings that flow from our relationships with Jesus.

In the transforming of our feelings, we must realize feelings cannot be changed by a direct act of the will.

Direct download: 2016-0821_renovation_nelson.mp3
Category:Renovation of the Heart -- posted at: 10:45am PDT

Ideas rule our lives.

We are shaped and driven by our ideas of success, family, friendship, marriage, patriotism, fairness, God, freedom, happiness, "the American dream", work, self-worth.

Last week, Leo shared he was taught, "the world is out to get you". That is an idea. What attitudes and actions might flow from the notion, "the world is out to get you"? Fear and paranoia on one end of the spectrum and on the other, aggressiveness and violence.

Ideas rule our lives. Images also significantly influence our lives. Images powerfully reinforce ideas.

Direct download: 2016-0814_renovation_nelson.mp3
Category:Renovation of the Heart -- posted at: 10:45am PDT

The spirit (will), in union with and subject to God, guides the mind to seek the things above, to set the mind on the things that are above. The Godward mind, in turn, brings order and harmony to the soul. The body, energized and guided by a healthy soul, serves the other aspects to accomplish God’s will in its social and physical settings.

This order is what the Apostle Paul describes as "the mind set on the Spirit" which is "life and peace". It is important to note that in a life in union with God, the body is subservient to the other five aspects of the self. In a life away from God it is not.

Direct download: 2016-0807_renovation_nelson.mp3
Category:Renovation of the Heart -- posted at: 10:45am PDT

Crumbs and Bubbles are those numerous daily, seemingly insignificant experiences and choices that taken all together form our soul. News, talk shows, music, conversations, emails, Facebook, Scripture and many other daily experiences shape our souls. Aware of this, we can decide what inputs we allow into our thoughts and hearts. We can choose influences that shape our souls positively.  God's goal is to re-shape our soul in the likeness of Jesus.

Direct download: 2016-0731_renovation_nelson.mp3
Category:Renovation of the Heart -- posted at: 8:30am PDT

Do genuinely born again Christians cheat on their taxes? Do genuinely born again Christians lie and cheat? Are there genuinely born again Christians who hate minorities? Are there genuinely born again Christians who indulge in pornography? Are there genuinely born again Christians who are alcoholics and drug addicts? Is it possible for a genuinely born again Christian man to verbally and physically abuse his wife and children? Is it possible for a genuinely born again Christian woman to be so full of bitterness and anger that she is making herself physically ill?

From time to time something like this will surface in the church family and invariably I will hear someone say, "If they say they're a Christian, how could they do that?" But if you doubt that born again Christians can do these things and much more, read with me James 4:1-4.

Direct download: 2016-0724_renovation_nelson.mp3
Category:Renovation of the Heart -- posted at: 10:45am PDT

Mark's gospel ends in controversy. Not only the controversy of the Resurrection, but a controversy regarding its original ending. Most Bibles set verses 9-20 in brackets noting that they are not included in the earliest copies of the Gospel of Mark. Let's open our Bibles to Mark 16.

Direct download: 2016-0717_sent_to_serve_nelson.mp3
Category:Sent to Serve -- posted at: 8:30am PDT

Recently I came across an article in which a person claimed the United States was born out of rebellion. The implication being that the beginning of our nation was somehow less than honorable. But nothing could be further from the truth. In studying both history and our founding documents, we discover that our founding fathers were men of principle and spiritual conviction.

The Declaration of Independence is the founding document of the American political tradition. It articulates the fundamental ideas that form the American nation: All men are created free and equal and possess the same inherent, natural rights. Legitimate governments must therefore be based on the consent of the governed and must exist "to secure these rights."

Direct download: 2016-0703_special_nelson.mp3
Category:Special -- posted at: 10:45am PDT

This morning we consider the three most important hours in human history. For it was in those three hours that the eternal destiny of millions was altered.

-The Darkest Hours (15:33-34)
-Elijah (15:34-36)
-Temple Curtain Torn (15:37-38)
-The Centurion (15:37-39)
-The Women  (15:40-41)
-Jesus’ Burial (15:42-47)

Direct download: 2016-0626_sent_to_serve_nelson.mp3
Category:Sent to Serve -- posted at: 10:45am PDT

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit King Solomon wrote words of wisdom to his children. Preserved in Scripture, these words guide all us fathers as to important truths about which we should be talking with our children.

Direct download: 2016-0619_special_nelson.mp3
Category:Special -- posted at: 8:30am PDT

In the early years of our marriage, Cathy and I did not own a television. That was our choice. Being in graduate school and working, our lives were busy. What free time we had we thought best to spend together talking or walking or reading.

At least twice in the first three years of our marriage we received televisions anonymously on our doorstep. All we can think is that in the course of conversation when it had been shared that we were without a television it had been interpreted as a complaint. I suppose it was and perhaps is, difficult for some people to imagine anyone not wanting a television. What these dear people thought was an unfortunate circumstance was, in fact, what we wanted.

Such was the case for our Lord Jesus. Thinking Jesus was an ordinary man, His enemies assumed that He would do anything necessary to escape the cross. But as we will see, such was not the case.

Our text picks up the story at the point that the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council, ratified its verdict and delivered Jesus to Pilate.

Direct download: 2016-0612_sent_to_serve_nelson.mp3
Category:Sent to Serve -- posted at: 8:30am PDT