60 episodes

This podcast is the message archives of the Lake Merced Church of Christ in San Francisco.

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    • Christianity

This podcast is the message archives of the Lake Merced Church of Christ in San Francisco.

    How to Confront Fake News as People of God

    How to Confront Fake News as People of God

    Josh’s lesson for us on Sunday was about Fake News, and how that’s been happening throughout the ages.

    In Jeremiah 27:4-11, God’s command was for all people to serve the king of Babylon. If any nation did not “bow its neck under his yoke, I will punish that nation with the sword, famine and plague.” In Jeremiah 26:12-13, Jeremiah told the people everything the Lord had commanded him to say - that they should submit to this king, an enemy. The people seized him and wanted him to die because they interpreted what he said as “fake news”. Later, in Jeremiah 28:2-4, we read that within two years God “...will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.” In spite of this dire prediction of being under a yoke for two years (like a pandemic), the people were told in Jeremiah 29:5-9 to put down roots, plant gardens, marry and have children, and pray for peace and prosperity because it will come. In other words, God’s will was for them to LIVE.

    This is where an often misinterpreted verse appears. Jeremiah 29:11 reads “For I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This was a message of hope meant for all God’s peoples, not individuals.

    Instead, let’s take verse 29:7 to heart: “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
    Let us pray for peace and prosperity and for God to break the yoke of this pandemic. Let us work together and be the peacemakers that God wants us to be. And most importantly, let us convey Jesus’ words: “I am The Way, and the Truth and the Life”. Let us cast our burdens unto God and put our hope in Him.

    • 33 min
    Mom-liness is Next to Godliness

    Mom-liness is Next to Godliness

    This week, Josh takes us through an unlikely story about two moms, coming before King Solomon to settle a dispute about which of them was the true mother. While it’s a story that is shared to depict the wisdom of the King, below the surface, it’s a powerful story about the extraordinary nature of a mother’s love and what that kind of love reveals to us about a loving God. Find a mom somewhere that needs a little encouragement and love this week and invite them to hear this message!

    • 28 min
    The Easy Way or the Hard Way

    The Easy Way or the Hard Way

    This lesson continues our “Captive” study, when we can compare our current reality of sheltering in place to the Israelites’ captivity, when they were taken into exile.

    A major point we need to take to heart in these times, is that “Warnings unheeded means corrections are needed.” We so often think we know best but we’ll surely pay the price for our ignorance. God, however, has always given us warnings. In essence, He gives us the choice - to do it the easy way (heed his warnings) or the hard way (suffer His punishments). In Jeremiah 7:2-8, His Word was “...Reform your ways and your actions, … if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood...if you do not follow other gods to your own harm…then I will let you live in this place. But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.”

    Do we simply think of God as a force, like gravity? We need to see Him as a loving friend who feels our joy and our pain. He agonizes when we ignore His prophets and don’t follow His teachings. In Jeremiah 4:19-22, God speaks of his own pain in seeing the suffering of His people: “Oh, my anguish! I writhe in pain. Oh the agony of my heart… My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children… They know not how to do good.”

    At times, we distrust the warnings we get because it feels too controlling. Warnings may even feel like threats, but we must be responsible and heed warnings in responsible ways. When we reject God and think we can manage on our own, that’s learning the hard way. We must always remember Jesus’ words in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” Receiving salvation through Jesus Christ - that’s learning the easy way.

    • 30 min
    When Life Changes Tragically in an Instant

    When Life Changes Tragically in an Instant

    Join us this week as Josh explores the fall of Jerusalem into the hands of Babylon in 2 Chronicles 36 and how that intersects with our current reality, sheltered in place in a pandemic. What can we learn in Israel’s exile FROM home, even as we are exiled TO our homes? When tragedy mounts and the pain is more than we can bear, what does God’s Word reveal to us about why and how to cope? Let’s engage and answer those questions, and more, together!

    • 26 min
    • video
    Disrupted: Lessons from Jesus' Final 40 Days

    Disrupted: Lessons from Jesus' Final 40 Days

    Our guest preacher, Fred Spain, had a lesson for us on “Disrupted: Jesus’ Final 40 Days”. As we read in Matthew 28:1-10, when the women went to the tomb to tend to Jesus’ dead body, their plans were disrupted. Instead, they encountered an earthquake and a fearsome angel who rolled the stone away from the empty tomb. The angel told the women not to fear and to look inside so they could see for themselves that Jesus was not in the tomb; he had risen.

    God wants us all to know that the tomb was empty for us, for our benefit. The women left there on an urgent mission to spread the good news, feeling both afraid and joyful at the same time. Do we feel that kid of urgency about the resurrection? Are we afraid and joyful? We mustn’t let our fear stop the mission that God gives to us.

    Lesson 1: God wants to disrupt us, to shake us up enough to push us out of our old ways. Let’s stop looking for life in dead places and dead things, even in “dead Jesus”.
    Lesson 2: It’s Jesus’ LIFE we must embrace. God wants us to discover life in the living Jesus.
    Lesson 3: God has an urgent mission for us all. Don’t let fear stop you from doing what God put you here for. Instead focus on the message of joy.

    Let us focus on the living Jesus. Let us remember his life, not just his death. Now, will you trust God to let him disrupt your life in His way, so you can accept His mission?

    • 34 min
    • video
    How Social Isolation Shaped the Resurrection

    How Social Isolation Shaped the Resurrection

    He is risen! This is our celebration on this Easter Sunday.

    When Jesus went to Jerusalem, he knew full well what his fate would be. Still, he implored God (Luke 22:42) “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” In the midst of his pain on the cross, he prayed to God to forgive his tormentors. And in Luke 22:40-43, when one of the criminals being crucified asked Jesus to “remember me when you come into your kingdom”, Jesus replied with “you will be with me in paradise.” Through all his agony, Jesus knew he would be with his Father in heaven.

    Now, the original Persian word for paradise translates as “enclosed garden”, which gives us hope for a new garden of Eden. Indeed, in Revelation 22:1-2 John tells us how an angel showed him the river of the water of life, flowing through the city, and the tree of life bearing twelve crops of fruit, “and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse.” In other words, all was made right through the death of Jesus and the garden will be restored to us. In verse 5 we read that his servants “... will not need the light of a lamp...for the Lord God will give them light.”

    Look to God’s light now in these dark times. Living through the isolation of Covid-19 is hard, but know that God has dominion over all and He has the answers. Our salvation is guaranteed. The garden will be restored, the curse will be lifted and we will all be invited into the garden. We will release our burdens and rejoice in the light. Lift your voice now to proclaim, HE IS RISEN!!

    • 46 min

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