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Showing posts from January, 2016

Before Pilate - John 18:28-40

Before Pilate - John 18:28-40
By Pastor Lee Hemen
January 31, 2016

I hated it when my mother would drag us around to our relatives and then want us to show something off to them just so she could brag about it. I know she did it because she was proud of us but as a child it seem kind of, well, exploitive. No one likes to be used as a trophy or as a means to an end, whatever that may be.

How would like to be dragged from one place to another simply to be put on display and illegally tried? We are all angered when we find out that someone has been tried, held captive, or used as a human guinea pig. Few of us would like these prospects yet Jesus suffered these indignities. And now we find him dragged before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor in charge of the occupation of his nation and people. Sadly, it was his own people who were using him as a means to an end, as a scapegoat for their own problems. Let's find out what happens when Jesus is brought before Pilate…

READ: John 18:28-40

Peter and the Denial - John 18:17, 25-27

Peter and the Denial - John 18:17, 25-27
By Pastor Lee Hemen
January 24, 2016

Betrayal by a friend is a horrible thing to go through and so is desertion of one's companions as well. Jesus experienced both. And both are seen in our day and age as not just offensive but something whereby the guilty party can be imprisoned for life or even given the death penalty if it involves the betrayal of country or king. As awful as Judas' betrayal was, Peter's was in some ways far more personal and thereby worse. What can we learn from Peter and his denial this morning? Let's find out…

Before James, Jesus' brother said, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." he related that the believer should "be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." (James 1:19-20, 22 NIV) Peter was one to quickly jump into whatever situation he was in with…

Before Annas - John 18:14-24

Before Annas - John 18:14-24
By Pastor Lee Hemen
January 17, 2016

Politics for some is just another dirty word. The saying goes never discuss religion or politics with someone else if you want to be on good terms with them. Nothing under the sun is new and we discover that the stench of politics and its intrigue was just as perverse during Jesus' day as it is today. And we find that so was personal betrayal.

Have you ever had someone come to you and say they are speaking for someone else? I have. Here in John's gospel we find Jesus being dragged from one person to the next and the first one he is forced to come before was "Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year." Make no mistake, Annas was still the power behind the scenes. Let's discover what happened and what it means for our lives this morning…

READ: John 18:14-24

Throughout history and throughout Scripture we discover that things do not change much at the heart of the human conditio…

Setting aside! - 2 Corinthians 4:5-7; Philippians 2:1-11

Setting aside! - 2 Corinthians 4:5-7; Philippians 2:1-11
By Pastor Lee Hemen
January 10, 2016

Paul shared with his friend and mentor Timothy what he expected of those who wanted to become leaders within the church by telling him that they "must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap." (1 Timothy 3:2-7 NIV) All of these were in the present tense meaning that this is how they were to be at the moment of thei…

The betrayal! - John 18:1-13

The betrayal! - John 18:1-13
By Pastor Lee Hemen
January 3, 2015

Did you know that Guy Fawkes (the namesake of the Guy Fawkes mask you see at every odd ball protest these days) was a traitor and betrayed his protestant homeland of England? He joined with Spanish Catholics in a miserably failed plot to assassinate King James and reinstate a Catholic king of England. He has since become a cultural figure of anarchy. He was and is no hero as some would have you think and in fact is a traitor and betrayer.

Have you ever had someone you considered a friend betray you? It is a hard thing to live through. One of the men whom Jesus personally picked to follow him betrays Jesus to the Jewish authorities perhaps thinking he can force Jesus' hand in becoming a Messianic leader who would overthrow the Romans and the corruption. Instead greed gets the better of Judas and he receives 30 pieces of silver for his betrayal of Jesus. Here in John's gospel Jesus finishes his personal prayer and …