Sermon: Putting Angels in Their Place Pt. 1 (Hebrews 1:4-14)

Putting Angels In Their Place (Part 1)

Hebrews 1:4-14 (ESV)

having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

[5] For to which of the angels did God ever say,

“You are my Son,

today I have begotten you”?

Or again,

“I will be to him a father,

and he shall be to me a son”?

[6] And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,

“Let all God’s angels worship him.”

[7] Of the angels he says,

“He makes his angels winds,

and his ministers a flame of fire.”

[8] But of the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,

the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;

therefore God, your God, has anointed you

with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

[10] And,

“You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,

and the heavens are the work of your hands;

[11] they will perish, but you remain;

they will all wear out like a garment,

[12] like a robe you will roll them up,

like a garment they will be changed.

But you are the same,

and your years will have no end.”

[13] And to which of the angels has he ever said,

“Sit at my right hand

until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?

[14] Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?


1994-KINGSTON, Ontario – An eastern Ontario man is hoping to make a bit of money by auctioning a fish stick he says looks like Jesus. Fred Whan, who has kept the fish stick in his freezer since burning it at dinner a year ago, decided Tuesday that it was time to thaw it out so he could sell it on eBay.

1978- It all started back in 1978 when Mario Rubio, rolling a burrito, notices skillet burns on a tortilla resembling the face of Jesus Christ. Shortly thereafter, 8,000 curious pilgrims trek to the Rubios’ small stucco house in rural New Mexico to view the sacred icon. Mrs. Rubio leaves her house unlocked so that visitors may freely enter and examine the tortilla. (Newsweek, Aug. 14, 1978)

1991- Jesus makes national news as the centerpiece of a Pizza Hut billboard in Atlanta. Joyce Simpson spotted the face of Christ in the advertisement immediately after praying for a divine sign. She couldn’t decide whether to stay in the church choir or quit and sing professionally. The shadowy image of Jesus’ face in strands of spaghetti hanging from a fork meant she should stay with the choir. John Moody, a marketing director for Pizza Hut, said the picture, one of 35 put up in the area, is a standard food photograph that the Wichita headquarters provides franchises. Moody said several people, however, called his office to say they see other notably less religious images in the picture: deceased rock star Jim Morrison, a puppet and Willie Nelson. (Chicago Tribune, May 23, 1991)

As we look to these crazy stories about people seeing the face of Jesus in their food, it’s really a sad but accurate picture of the lack of understanding of the real Jesus.  We must all answer the question as to the person of Jesus Christ.  Is He simply some icon found on the wall of a church or on a pizza or is He King of the universe? Read More

Sermon: God’s Greatest and Final Word (Hebrews 1:1-3)

God’s Greatest and Final Word

Hebrews 1:1-3 (ESV)

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,  [2] but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.  [3] He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

I want us to work our way through the Book of Hebrews for one main reason.  I want us together to see Jesus Christ clearly and in all His glory.  We will not see Jesus physically until we die or He returns; however, seek to see Him clearly with the eyes of your heart.  If the Lord grants this vision to us through His Word, we will never be the same.  To see the Lord is to be changed. I pray that our imagined ideas of the Lord will fade away as we see clearly the Lord of Scripture high and lifted up.

When Isaiah saw Jesus in the Temple he was forever changed.  He saw the Lord in a vision, high and lifted up.  The Lord’s robe filled the temple.  Isaiah heard the angels singing and as they sang the foundation of the temple shook because of the glory of the Lord.  Immediately, Isaiah realized a mortal sinful man was in the presence of deity and he believed he would die.  However, the Lord was gracious to him and was going to use Isaiah to be His spokesman.  He cleansed Isaiah’s sin and gave him a job to do.  Isaiah would prophecy for the Lord. Read More

Sermon: Will the True Redeemer Please Stand Up (Ruth 4)

Will the True Redeemer Please Stand Up??

Ruth 4:1-22 (ESV)

Now Boaz had gone up to the gate and sat down there. And behold, the redeemer, of whom Boaz had spoken, came by. So Boaz said, “Turn aside, friend; sit down here.” And he turned aside and sat down.  [2] And he took ten men of the elders of the city and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down.  [3] Then he said to the redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our relative Elimelech.  [4] So I thought I would tell you of it and say, ‘Buy it in the presence of those sitting here and in the presence of the elders of my people.’ If you will redeem it, redeem it. But if you will not, tell me, that I may know, for there is no one besides you to redeem it, and I come after you.” And he said, “I will redeem it.”  [5] Then Boaz said, “The day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead, in order to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance.”  [6] Then the redeemer said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I impair my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”

[7] Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one drew off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was the manner of attesting in Israel.  [8] So when the redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself,” he drew off his sandal.  [9] Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and to Mahlon.  [10] Also Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his native place. You are witnesses this day.”  [11] Then all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem,  [12] and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the Lord will give you by this young woman.”

So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son.  [14] Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!  [15] He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.”  [16] Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse.  [17] And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

[18] Now these are the generations of Perez: Perez fathered Hezron,  [19] Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab,  [20] Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon,  [21] Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed,  [22] Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.

Preaching through this Old Testament Book has been a reminder for me, a reminder that through difficult circumstances God is leading His people.  In every trip to the hospital, every graveside tear, every discouragement, and in every victory the Lord is moving us to our final destination for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory.  Our Redeemer lives and we will see Him.  Nothing is more important than the fact that we are reconciled and God is glorified.  These two things far exceed everything else, including our comfort.

The Lord often brings trouble into our lives to cause us to depend on Him alone. We must realize that if we’re not experiencing trouble now, we probably will soon.  Jesus promised us that we would experience it. Read More

Sermon: Our Great Redeemer (Ruth 3)

Our Great Redeemer

Ruth 3:1-18 (ESV)

Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you?  [2] Is not Boaz our relative, with whose young women you were? See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor.  [3] Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.  [4] But when he lies down, observe the place where he lies. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.”  [5] And she replied, “All that you say I will do.”

[6] So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded her.  [7] And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down.  [8] At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet!  [9] He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”  [10] And he said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich.  [11] And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman.  [12] And now it is true that I am a redeemer. Yet there is a redeemer nearer than I.  [13] Remain tonight, and in the morning, if he will redeem you, good; let him do it. But if he is not willing to redeem you, then, as the Lord lives, I will redeem you. Lie down until the morning.”

[14] So she lay at his feet until the morning, but arose before one could recognize another. And he said, “Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.”  [15] And he said, “Bring the garment you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley and put it on her. Then she went into the city.  [16] And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did you fare, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her,  [17] saying, “These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said to me, ‘You must not go back empty-handed to your mother-in-law.’ ”  [18] She replied, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest but will settle the matter today.”

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. Many of you recognize this as the first line from Jane Austin’s classic novel, Pride and Prejudice.  This had to be Naomi’s thinking concerning Boaz.  She had to be thinking that between God working to place Boaz and Ruth together and the fact that he was their kinsman redeemer that Boaz must be in want of a wife.

So Naomi begins to weave her plan. Read More

Sermon: The God of Small Details and Perfect Timing (Ruth 2)

The God of Small Details and Perfect Timing

Ruth 2:1-23 (ESV)

Now Naomi had a relative of her husband’s, a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz.  [2] And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.”  [3] So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech.  [4] And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem. And he said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you!” And they answered, “The Lord bless you.”  [5] Then Boaz said to his young man who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?”  [6] And the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the young Moabite woman, who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab.  [7] She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers.’ So she came, and she has continued from early morning until now, except for a short rest.”

[8] Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now, listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women.  [9] Let your eyes be on the field that they are reaping, and go after them. Have I not charged the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink what the young men have drawn.”  [10] Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”  [11] But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before.  [12] The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!”  [13] Then she said, “I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not one of your servants.”

[14] And at mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here and eat some bread and dip your morsel in the wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed to her roasted grain. And she ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over.  [15] When she rose to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her.  [16] And also pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.”

[17] So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley.  [18] And she took it up and went into the city. Her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She also brought out and gave her what food she had left over after being satisfied.  [19] And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.”  [20] And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers.”  [21] And Ruth the Moabite said, “Besides, he said to me, ‘You shall keep close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’ ”  [22] And Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, lest in another field you be assaulted.”  [23] So she kept close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests. And she lived with her mother-in-law.


As we continue through this account we are left with a ray of hope at each point along the way.  God is a God of grace.  Even in the midst of struggle and trial, we do not struggle alone but God is with us, leading us home just as He was leading Ruth and Naomi home. Read More