Early in the Gospel of John we read of Jesus conversing with two individuals: the Samaritan woman at the well and Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish Great Sanhedrin. Two different people in need of the same teaching and understanding. In both instances Jesus tells them of the gift of God – the “second birth” or the “living water,” so to speak, that will change their lives for all time.
Minister Don McLaughlin asks listeners “Can you believe it? Can you test it?” He then discusses how our answers to these questions can bring new meaning to our own lives and thus, our walk with God and an eternal home with Him. This is a truly compelling sermon made so in part as the Easter celebration draws near.
How often do we consider or speak of Jesus as “the life” or “the light”? Like most, probably not often enough. However, the first verses of the Gospel of John clearly present Jesus in those terms. What exactly do they mean with regard to the Son of God and do we believe this? If we do, how do we show the belief in our daily lives? If you’re not sure, then listen to this first pre-Easter sermon by minister Don McLaughlin wherein he explores the riches and gifts given to all mankind by Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Whether Christian discipleship reaches out to hundreds or just a few, such efforts always involve relationships. Therefore, as he continues the “IN” Sermon Series, minister Adam Paa notes four principles of relationship building that we should all understand and keep front-of-mind. We should 1) grow our ability to honestly self- evaluate; 2) work toward relational alignment; 3) better understand the value of rest; and, perhaps most importantly, 4) better understand and fully embrace the cost of our efforts.
In the continuing “IN” sermon series, minister Adam Paa aptly reminds us that proactive, inclusive discipleship is “what we are,” both as a church and individually. Emphasizing the need for love to comprise the core of all discipleship activity, Adam shares clear Biblical principles, as well as approaches that can enhance all of our efforts to share the Good News with others.
Minister Don McLaughlin continues his in-depth look at the triunity (state of being one) of God and urges members of the collective church to replicate the love and receptivity that God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit offers to each of us. If we feel too stained by our sins to approach God, we must rethink that mindset, for the gift of the cross left us without blemish or accusation. In fact, the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Colossians told these early Christians that their sins simply could not outweigh what God through His son did at Calvary.
With such a gift in-hand, Don gently pushes us to use with love our energies and talents to help others to discover their own priceless relationship with God.
Thus far in his “IN” sermon series, minister Don McLaughlin has challenged Christians to maintain an open and welcoming heart for others. Now Don presents a new challenge, this time to Christians collectively. He focuses on the need for God’s church to understand the concept of one God – eternally and indomitably – and how God views the lives and sins of those who seek Him.
To that end Don explores several scriptures to help us understand New Testament teachings that show the insufficiency of a “trinity” focus to fully explain the love of God. He asks that we be watchful that no doctrine exists that fails to recognize God’s unlimited love for all who search for Him nor sets any preconditions for those seeking to become part of the Body of Christ. This is a sermon you may return to time after time, for its message is one with impact that requires greater understanding.
The importance we place on our status, our popularity, can determine how we live and relate to others. Even as the Apostle Paul enumerates his earthly credentials to the Philippians, minister Don McLaughlin reminds us that Paul counted all these things as loss for Christ. Would we?
In today’s world, Don asks, do we feel diminished by the inclusion of another into our circles? Can we find a place for another if it lessens our own? Listen to the extraordinary paraphrased statement by Jesus that Don presents: “If including you means losing my life,” Jesus said, “I will.” This sermon is foundational in starting the growth of a love that finds room for others in any place at any time.
The Apostle Paul writes at length to the Ephesians to make sure they understand the depth and breadth of God’s plan and blessings for Christians. Minister Don McLaughlin elaborates on the same theme but with a pointed focus on individuals’ narrow view of Paul’s words. In fact, Don asks, have we forgotten that God’s intentions and gifts are for the many, not just ourselves? Listen to Don’s sermon to understand the love and grace intrinsic in a “You Too” attitude.
Minister Adam Paa’s sermon takes a close look at God’s “indicators” for individual Christians and churches that can be guideposts on our Christian journeys. They are: 1) we are invited to invite; 2) we are included to include; 3) we are inspired to inspire others; and 4) we are invested in by God to invest in others. To better understand these concepts, Adam matches them to Biblical teaching and contemporary examples. Further, he enumerates new initiatives at North Atlanta to help each person draw closer to God in 2018. Start the New Year with a boost of spiritual energy as you absorb Adam’s words.
Minister Don McLaughlin begins his 2018 sermon series “IN” by noting that each person’s assessment of their spiritual and human status results from their own self-talk, as well as input from others. But, Don reminds us that there are important fundamental facts to consider first as we study our status and our thinking about it. First, Jesus was extraordinary and lived his earthly life surrounded by human beings from every social and ethnic class of the time. In addition, the apostle Paul speaks clearly to the makeup of God’s church and the importance of each individual within it, with no exclusion of any person. (I Corinthians 12)
As we study further, Don will help us understand the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives and its will for Christian togetherness with all people. But first begin with this important lesson and join us further on an enlightening study and journey.