Sermons by Jerry Tu
Matt 25:14-30 What does “living a good life” mean to you? Is a “good life” measured by success, wealth, or status? In the kingdom of God, a “good life” is one that matters for God, one with eternal significance. This coming Sunday, let’s explore together how to diligently live our lives to yield a good “return on investment” for God’s kingdom; our text will be on the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25.
Matt 20 “It’s not fair!” the child whines… This seems to be an instinctive response when a child is asked to share a toy, or to eat vegetables, or to do anything he doesn’t want to do… “It’s so not fair!” This tendency to exclaim “It’s not fair!” extends to adults, too, though we may hide it better or may be more eloquent in expressing our dissatisfaction. We tend to assess what we have or deserve, compare ourselves to others, and when the balance is not in our favor, we exclaim, “It’s not fair!” Sometimes we even blame God for allowing a perceived inequity in our lives. Jesus addresses this tendency in his parable “The Workers in the Vineyard.” He compels us to confront our own attitude in view of God’s generosity and teaches us an uncomfortable lesson. This Sunday we will study this parable in Matthew 20 as the first parable in our summer series Overflowing Extravagance: Studies in the Parables of Jesus.
1 Pet 5:6-14 I recently watched the film “Silence” about two Portuguese priests who traveled to Japan during a time when the Catholic faith was forbidden. The movie depicted many scenes of believers suffering and even losing their lives for their faith. These scenes inspired me and made me think: how do I react when I face suffering or loss? I realize that I often respond in the flesh; I may complain, get anxious, blame others, or worse. In this final passage of his letter, Peter gives us succinct and helpful exhortations to help us overcome the tendency to respond in the flesh and how to resist the devil during trials and temptations. As this passage brings us to the end of the epistle, I will also give a thematic summary of the whole book of 1 Peter.
1 Pet 5:1-5 What is the role of elders in a local church? More specifically, who are the elders at PBCC and what do they do? We’ll answer these and other questions this Sunday as we look into 1 Peter 5:1-5, Peter’s exhortation to the elders. What underlies church leadership is the humility and servant leadership exemplified by our Lord Jesus. There are lessons here for all of us, whether or not we are elders. Jerry Tu will be preaching and will be joined by the whole board of elders during the service. See you there!
Judg 7:1-25 This week we wrap up our 3-part series on Gideon with a dramatic battle versus a huge invading army. (Hint: It does NOT look like a scene from Lord of the Rings!) This “unconventional” battle raises some intriguing questions: Whom does God choose to fight His battle? What weapons are effective to accomplish His purposes? Applying these to my own life, I ponder, “Can God really use me to do His work? I’m flawed and inadequate!” And even if I believe He can use me, I wonder, “How can I prepare to fight His battle? What role should I take?” Do you ask yourself these questions too? Do you wish you knew the answers? Well, I don’t have all the answers. But come this Sunday and together we can find out how God can prepare us and use us for His kingdom.
Judg 6:33-40 “To fleece or not to fleece, that is the question.” No, this Sunday we’re not doing a biblical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but rather we’ll examine the practice of “laying the fleece” to discern the will of God in making decisions. The judge Gideon used this tactic with God – twice! Is this something we ought to follow? How do we determine God’s will? And when we know His will for us, are we willing to step out and follow Him? We’ll explore these questions and others in our study of Judges 6:33-40. We hope you’ll join us.