1. Whether or not there be grand thoughts behind a text, it is guaranteed that behind each text the Holy Spirit is lying in wait, and He is trying to enter into conversation with you.
  2. The gospel of Jesus’ coming out of death and the tomb alive so that we might be restored to our identity as God’s children establishes the most enduring reality there is.
  3. The dream of what might have been or what could possibly become reality diverts us from the sober assessment and the joyful appreciation of what God is giving us in this hour and this place.
  4. It is precisely from the cross that the glory of God shines most brightly into our lives, as dark and sinister as Golgotha appears from a sinful distance. Cross trumps crisis.
  5. Because Jesus has set us free, we enjoy a freedom of movement in His world, under His grace, that loosens our tongues to sing His praise.
  6. Our Advent anticipation of the coming of the Savior to liberate us from sin and its wage of death, from the condemnation of God’s Law and the wrath of a loving heavenly Father, is indeed a daring and defiant stance.
  7. Thanksgiving utters a confession of dependence, an acknowledgement of the gift of something not earned or deserved.
  8. Jesus’ "collection of masks" fits Him out for assorted occasions through which He comes into contact with His human creatures.
  9. God seeks us out and desires to give us more than a friendly smile or an understanding look. He seeks us out to embrace us and converse with us.
  10. Trust may risk, but trust produces a sense of assurance letting us rest easy and enjoy peace while it drives us to ventures which may seem dangerous but are possible to do because trust defies the dangers.
  11. The homiletical task of diminishing and debilitating mistrust begins, at every part of preaching, with the preacher.
  12. Undershepherds of our shepherd go rejoicing as sheep among the lambs entrusted to us into God’s everlasting sheep pen, no shabby place to spend forever.
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