Category Archives: Sermons

Christ Community Church of the Nazarene Audio sermons

January 14, 2017 – Eyes to See: Come and See

Pastor Rusty Brian

Scripture:

Key Points:

  • Jesus begins to gather the disciples, “Follow me.”
  • Here, Phillip is called, who then calls Nathan, proclaiming the one they’ve been waiting for, Jesus from Nazareth.
  • Nathan: follow someone from Nazareth?  Does anything good come out of Nazareth?
  • Come follow me?  Could that work today?  Not likely.  People are instead invited by way of “Come and See.”  Evangelism has chained. Assumption is most people are skeptical of the church.
  • People come to know Jesus by belonging to a church first, then believing.
  • The Nazarene church started as a rescue church.  The inclusion of Nazarene in the name of this church was chosen to reflect that all, anybody, is welcomed, that there is hope for everyone.
  • Nathan was skeptical of Jesus, but when he met Jesus and he stated he knew Nathan, Nathan became a follower.  (I saw you before Phillip called you – in all the you are).
  • What are lessons here for evangelism?  People don’t want a propositional evangelism.  Instead invite them to come and see, experience Jesus himself.
  • Evangelism takes time.
  • We are created by God with purpose and meaning.  We are all seeking truth, looking for answers.  Jesus provides all these.  Jesus sees us, knows us, and loves us.
  • Evangelism: we have to trust God is at work when we evangelize.
  • It’s hard, partly because it is work and patience and trust, when we want easy answers.
  • Takeaways:
    1. Following Jesus means to share about Jesus.  Tell others about Jesus.
    2. Jesus was a Nazarene?  Can anything good come out of Nazareth?  Can anything good come out of anywhere that is perceived as bad?  Yes!
    3. It’s not enough that we see Jesus.  Today we are reminded that Jesus sees us.  AND we want to be seen and heard.  He sees us, no matter where we are from, what we’ve done, and despite our attitudes.

January 7, 2018 – Eyes to See

Pastor Rusty Brian

Scripture:

Key Point:

  • See Jesus for who is, who he was, and who he will be.
  • To see Jesus, we have to have new eyes – everything will change!
  • John came to prepare the people to see Jesus, imploring all to change their ways: repent and receive Jesus.
  • Restored vision doesn’t just change your vision, it changes your life.
  • You start seeing him for who he really is.
  • John is a strange sight at first, but not so much when seeing him through Jesus colored-lenses. John was truth.
  • To see Jesus is to gaze upon true beauty, truth.
  • Put on your Jesus lenses, keep them on.  Fix your eyes on Jesus and question everything in light of Jesus.

December 24, 2017 – The Prince and the Pea

Rev. Josh Broward

Princess and the Pea – Hans Christian Anderson
A prince wanted to marry a real princess, but no one could measure up.
During a storm, a woman came to the castle in need of a place to stay. She said
she was a princess, but they weren’t sure. The queen put a hard pea under the
mattress and then added 40 extra layers of mattresses and bedding. The next
morning, when the princess said she had slept poorly because something was
poking her all night, they knew she was a real princess.
////A small change can cause a great disruption.////

Babies
Few things evoke joy, compassion and warm feelings like a new baby. An
entire industry has arisen in congratulating and supporting the new parents even
before birth. Most of the cards say something like: “Congratulations on your new
bundle of joy.”
But one time I saw a more honest new baby card. “Hearty congratulations
… on the arrival of the new boss.”
I think someone should make one that says: “Congratulations! … And
Welcome to sleep deprivation. We hope you survive.”
////A small change can cause a great disruption.////

Mary
Jesus turned Mary’s world upside down.
First, there are the normal disruptions of pregnancy and child birth and parenting:
• morning sickness
• sore backs and swollen feet
• can never get comfortable in bed
• last good night of sleep for a few years
• stretch marks
• delivery without pain medicine, and probably without a midwife in a stable

But also the special disruptions of giving birth to the Messiah:
• social scorn and stigma of being an unwed mother
• going through a near breakup with Joseph
• new and unusual friends – Magi
• becoming a target for the powerful (Herod) – had to flee in the night
• venturing into unknown territory as refugees in Egypt
• dealing with the questions and pain of birthing and raising the Messiah
(What is our role here? How will this all play out? Is it OK if I spank him?)
• “Lost” him at the Temple
• “A sword will pierce your own soul”
////A small change can cause a great disruption.////

Jesus
If Mary had a fast donkey, Jesus would have been about the size of a
blueberry when Mary God to Elizabeth’s house. If she walked, the King of the
Universe would have grown all the way to the size of a lemon.
And yet, tiny blueberry-lemon Jesus causes John the Baptist to jump
inside Elizabeth’s womb, and Elizabeth says, “God has blessed you above all
women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my
Lord should visit me?” Mary doesn’t even have a baby bump yet, but Jesus is still
Elizabeth’s Lord.
But then Mary prophesies an even greater disruption.
• God has poured out favor on her – a “servant girl”
• Her own generation may call her shameful or loose or wretched or unlucky,
but future generations will call her blessed.
• The mighty and holy God has shown mercy to weak and sinful Israel.
• God has scattered the proud and arrogant.
• God has knocked princes off their thrones.
• God has lifted up the lowly and humble.
• God has filled the hungry with good food.
• God has sent the rich away empty.
• God has turned the world upside down.
And all of this was because of tiny blueberry Jesus.
////A small change can cause a great disruption.////

Us
Through layers and layers of history, through layers and layers of comfort
and wealth, we can have such a padded perspective that Jesus feels like a tiny
pea that barely causes discomfort in today’s world.

But he is still changing the world, turning the world upside down. He is still
looking for people and churches to welcome him into the wombs of their souls
and their families so that he can be born among us again and revolutionize our
worlds again. Welcome to Christmas.
God is doing something here in this church, and it is bigger than us. God
is doing something. We can’t make it happen, but we get to work along with God
while God does something that is bigger than our dreams. That is a great
privilege, but it comes with the necessary cost of disruption. The status quo has
to be disrupted for the new Way to be born. God can’t do New Things in the
same old ways. Welcome to Christmas.
If we allow God’s work among us to grow, if we allow Jesus to be born
more fully among us, then, somewhere along the way, we are going to feel
uncomfortable and disoriented, maybe even scared or angry. Welcome to
Christmas – the time when God asks unwed teens to have babies and topples
rulers and throws parties for the night shift workers and births a king in a barn
and invites eastern astrologers to celebrate a Jewish Messiah and challenges
everything we thought we knew about religion. Welcome to Christmas.
Be ready. It will be disruptive, but good. There will be pain and discomfort,
but also joy and warmth and love. And through it all, Jesus is still Emmanuel,
God with Us. Welcome to Christmas.

December 10, 2017 – The Hastening that Waits

Pastor Rusty Brian

Scripture:

Key Points:

  • Relieving his coming (birth) and return.
  • Advent is Maranatha: The coming of Christ
  • Expectations of Christ’s return:
    1. Here is here, present among us
    2. New heavens and a new earth
    3. Dead will be restored
    4. Judgement – righteousness will be restored
    5. Sin and death is defeated
    6. Reign of God
  • While we a awaiting, we don’t just around predicting his return, no destroy.  We are to live righteous lives, to have it at home (where we are).
  • If we are not living righteously, we will not fit where righteousness is home.
  • While we wait, we are put our righteousness into action.  Must live righteously in all aspects our your lives (e.g. – can’t separate say how act at work (hostile to co-workers), but totally different with your neighbor (kind, peaceful).
  • Why hasn’t Jesus come back?  As more time passes, allow more opportunities for righteousness to occur (e.g. – repentance, new life, lives saved, serve God, care for others).
  • We are to hasten Jesus’ return by living good lives.
  • Every moment we live is a gift, and should be used to bring others come to salvation.

November 26, 2017 – The King and His Kingdom

Pastor Rusty Brian

Scripture:

Key Points

  • Our King is described as a shepherd, who walk in front of the flock and lead or follow from behind to ensure the flock does not stray off course.
  • Judgement comes for all – a good thing, setting things right, brings justice.  There are a few who do not want equality, thus lose out.
  • Our King identifies with the weak, hungry, imprisoned, destitute, without.  For those, he brings justice.  Jesus calls for us to care for.

November 5, 2017 – True Leadership

Pastor Rusty Brian

Scripture:

Matt 23:1-12

Key Points:

  • Pharisees of the time “sit on Moses’ seat”, meaning from it comes the law, the teachings.
  • The were legalistic.
  • Jesus hung out with the Pharisees, praising them yet rebuking them, at the same time.
  • Pointed out the Pharisees were hypocrites.  Wanted to be seen following the law, wanted to look good; wanted the best of everything (“front row of the banquette”); they wanted to be recognized for their title as Rabbi , to be shown respect.
  • To followers – don’t identify yourselves by title (e.g. father – we have one Father) while Jesus with them.  Don’t be a leader – teacher, instructor, father, etc.. be a student and learn from Jesus.
  • When the time comes, these students will be the leaders in areas: teacher, rabbi.   Before then, serve.  Be self-humbling.
  • Jesus was the perfect example – serving the least of us, dying then rising.
  • Take aways:
    1. Words and actions matter.  People remember actions and whether they line up with the words.
    2. Our job is not to place burdens on to others, but to lift others up.
    3. Servant-leadership is true leadership.  Not only does he say it, he lives it out. Practiced what he preached.

October 29, 2017 – The Reformation

Pastor Rusty Brian

Scripture:

Key Points:

  • 500th Anniversary of the Reformation
  • Martin Luther King initiated it.
  • Of hard upbringing; a passionate man, restless in faith.  Spiritually in tune with faith.
  • Entered into service in the church at the time when limited choice of church – Eastern; Catholic.
  • Went on a pilgrimage to Rome and was disgusted and discouraged by what he saw had become of the church.  He loved the church but struggled with the restlessness of what he had seen the darkness of the church.
  • Eventually he started the reformation – where he was looking to reform the current church, which he saw had lost its way.  3 things he saw:
    1. Corruption of the church – indulgences.  One could “purchase” forgiveness of sin, purchase a way to Heaven.  Nothing biblical, saw this was inappropriate.
    2. Language – services were done in Latin (believed to be the perfect language of God).  Problem: not many understood Latin, making the message of God inaccessible.  Bibles were written in Latin, too.  Luther believe the Word of God to be able to have access to the Bible.
    3. Church was far too connected to the state (government).  Church becomes intertwined and influences the government to conduct inappropriate thing (e.g. The Crusades)
  • Ephesians 2:1-10 tells us we are saved by Grace.  It is given to us by God.  We can’t earn Grace.  We can’t buy Grace.  We are to respond with faith.
  • Sola Scriptura:  “Scripture alone.”  Where to we get faith?  At core, the Bible points us to God.  Scripture is the core of our faith.
  • Sola Gratia: Christ alone is our redeemer.
  • Sola Fidei: Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.  He is the only way!  Works are important. We are made for good works.  Works do not save you.  Faith in Christ save us.  Faith is core!
  • Sous Christus: Christ alone.  Do not put focus on things like cathedrals, your own actions.  Put focus on Christ, the works are a response.  We are to be Bible people.  We are to be Christ people.  If not, then we are wasting our time, spinning our wheels.
  • Take-aways:
    1. Reformed Semper: We are reformed and should always be reforming.  Continual reliance on Christ, diving into the Bible should result in continual growth, change in relation to Christ.  Scripture is the Living Word.  Each time you read scripture, there should be renewed meaning.
    2. Be more beholden to Christ.  Don’t get focused on the institution of the church.  To be focused on the institution is to get off track.
    3. Christ alone – he should be our top focus. All who proclaim to be Christian proclaim Christ is core, despite differences (denominations – Catholic, Nazarene).