Sermon Archive

One of the most important moments of a wedding ceremony takes place when I ask the father of the bride, "Who gives this woman to be married to this man?" In that moment, he publicly relinquishes authority over his daughter and entrusts her to the authority of her husband. If a father cherishes his daughter he will not do this lightly. He will have verified long before the wedding day that the young man is worthy and capable. He must; the well-being of his daughter is at stake.

Similarly, Jesus is concerned that those who are in authority over His Bride, the Church, be worthy and capable. That is why He has given clear qualifications for those who would serve as Elders of the Church.

Direct download: 2016-0529_special_nelson.mp3
Category:Special -- posted at: 10:45am PDT

How a man talks reveals the condition of his soul. A wise person, according to Jewish thought, is one who skillfully applies God's truth to everyday life. We need church leaders who can help us apply God's Word to our everyday circumstances. The term understanding refers to a person who has expert knowledge in a particular subject. We need church leaders who have expert knowledge in Christian living.

The wise leader is pure. He is peaceable. He is gentle; noncombative. He is open to reason. He is full of mercy and good fruits. He is sensitive to the needs of others and quick to meet those needs when he is able. He is impartial. He is genuine.

Direct download: 2016-0522_special_nelson.mp3
Category:Special -- posted at: 8:30am PDT

Have you ever wondered how you would hold up under persecution for being a Christian? We will never know for sure until we go through it; but I suspect that all of us would like to think we would stay faithful to Jesus. But the fact is that not all of us will. Even Jesus' disciples failed under persecution.

One of the reasons we know the Bible is reliable history is because of its honesty. Unlike myth or legend, the people in the Bible do not always win or even do the right thing. In fact, I believe that in Mark 14, John Mark, the author of the Gospel of Mark, purposefully highlighted the failure of Jesus’ disciples in the hours just prior to His arrest.

Before we read verses 22-52, quickly scan verses 1-21 and notice the emphasis upon the conspiracy of the Jewish leaders (vv. 1-2); Judas' agreement to betray Jesus (vv. 10-11) and Jesus' announcement that He would be betrayed (v.18).

As we continue reading chapter 14:22-52 notice the amount of space Mark gives to the announcement that all the disciples will abandon Jesus (vv. 26-31); the failure of the disciples to watch and pray (vv. 32-42) and finally, the betrayal and abandonment of Jesus by His disciples (vv. 43-52).

Direct download: 2016-0515_sent_to_serve_nelson.mp3
Category:Sent to Serve -- posted at: 10:45am PDT

You are shaping the lives of human beings made in the image of God. They, in turn, are or will affect the lives of dozens, maybe hundreds, maybe thousands of people. You have the awesome opportunity and responsibility to help your children to know the love of God in Jesus Christ and to live for Jesus.

We have several examples of the influence of godly mothers. Last week we read from the Apostle Paul's letter to Timothy where Paul made mention of Timothy's mother and grandmother. After greeting Timothy, Paul wrote:

"I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." - 2 Timothy 1:3–7 (ESV)

Direct download: 2016-0508_special_nelson.mp3
Category:Special -- posted at: 8:30am PDT

Direct download: 2016-0501_special_nelson.mp3
Category:Special -- posted at: 8:30am PDT