Though never mentioned, can you imagine the innkeeper who turned away Mary and Joseph when accommodations were so desperately needed? Is there someone today who reacts negatively to you, rejects your point of view, or even precludes associating with you? Minister Don McLaughlin asks the provocative question: Could that person be us?
Wrapping up his 2017 sermon series with a bridge into his 2018 theme – the multifaceted concept of “IN” – Don asks that we reflect on the story of the prodigal son, who upon return was accepted by one and rejected by another. Do we as members of the Body of Christ cry “welcome” to those around us, just as Jesus does?
The series IN will begin January 7, 2018, and if you cannot attend in person to hear these stirring sermons, they are available either live or post-presentation on our website at lovefirst.org.
In Luke 2 we read that Jesus became separated from his family and was ultimately found in the temple in Jerusalem. To His mother he explained with a question: “Did you not know I must be in my father’s house?” Mary pondered his response; others were amazed. Minister Don McLaughlin reminds us that at that time only God knew the full breadth and depth of His plan for mankind through Jesus. And today, believers are just as curious as to the plans God has for each of our own lives.
Our critiques and categorizations of others emanate from our heart and are most often relayed to others through our words. For example, read in John 1 how Nathaniel shares his doubts about the man named Jesus.
Don McLaughlin urges us to use the final Advent week and the turn into the New Year as a time to reflect on how we perceive others and how they view us. As professed Christians are we a changed person – changed by God? Should others see God more clearly through us? Don’s personal reflections show how challenging the change process can be; but this beautiful sermon will provide the impetus to begin or restart the changing journey now.
How is your vision? Don McLaughlin’s sermon explores this question, but he doesn’t have the vision of your eyes in mind. So, is there another kind? Listen and learn from Paul’s message to the Ephesians: “Pray that the eyes of your heart will be enlightened.” Could better “heart vision” make us more easily recognized as Christians, especially in the many arenas in which we interact with others? Listen and learn the answers to all these questions. They could change your life.
Do you desire to renew your faith and draw closer to God during the weeks leading to the Christmas celebration? If so, Don McLaughlin’s first sermon in the series “Jesus Next Door” provides sound footing to better understand the challenges and blessings of knowing Jesus better and learning to follow His example. As Don notes, at any moment we may be caught between belief or doubt, faith or fear, or love versus hate. Sound familiar? Don’t retreat. Make this a time to know Jesus better.
In the final sermon of his “This Is Us” series, Don McLaughlin focuses on sustaining unity – believer-to-believer, as well as among the broad spectrum of individuals within the church. Using New Testament teachings for background, Don’s lesson presents ways to grow unity with humbleness and kindness while achieving their inherent blessings.
Start 2018 with these perspectives as markers on your Christian walk. Doing so will significantly enhance your effectiveness in reflecting Christ to those around you.
God’s ability and willingness to restore our lives and life circumstances are often misunderstood. Join minister Don McLaughlin as he uses Biblical examples to draw a clear picture of God’s commitment to the restoration of all things and teaches us how we partner with God in the restoration process, even as we wait for His will to be done. As God works for our good, first we stand, then we walk to bring Him honor.
Beyond actual physical immersion in water, the concept of baptism also encompasses a permanent cleansing, a change in one’s life related to priorities and actions. Minister Don McLaughlin’s fascinating sermon delves deeply into the implications of a life “immersed” in Jesus, including inherent rights and responsibilities. Ultimately an important question is posed for listeners: Are we still immersed in Christ?
This is Us: The Implications
Commitments imply great importance and meaning; they also have costs; and they have implications. This is especially true of any commitment to God. Join Minister Don McLaughlin as he presents an insightful sermon on the implications of the Great Commission and the responsibilities that were inherent and assumed by the first Christians because of their commitment. Also, meet Sasha Prokopchuk, a minister currently working in Ukraine, who speaks of real-time implications, opportunities and perils he and others are experiencing because of their and North Atlanta’s commitment to be part of this valiant mission effort.
Promises play a crucial role in human interaction. However, throughout the Bible we find references to the promises of God. This statement begs the questions: Does God really make promises, and, if so, does He keep them?
Minister Don McLaughlin addresses these important and fundamental questions in this sermon. As you listen, you should fasten your spiritual seatbelt because the answers may redefine and reroute your discipleship path.