Evangelectionary for Sunday, April 3, 2016

Still Doubting, Jn Granville Gregory

Still Doubting, by J. Granville Gregory

Texts:    Acts 5:27-32; Psalm 118:14-29 or Psalm 150; Revelation 1:4-8; John 20:19-31

Theme: The disciple Thomas’ skepticism, and ours, too.

Message:  “Oh, My God!”

Introduction:  How do you feel when you say or hear someone say: “O, My God!”?

In John’s wonderful story about the disciple Thomas, we see Thomas move from unbelief to belief.  In that dramatic moment in time, he responds to Jesus’ appearance to him with these similar words: “My Lord, and My God”

Honest Doubt can lead to bigger and better things; so, Thomas

The only way that the unbelieving world will ever be convinced that God is alive is though the manifestation of His living presence in the lives of those who profess belief in Him.

  1. Thomas allowed his doubt and pessimism to temporarily overcome him.
  2. He was “honest to God,” and the other disciples.
  3. He was courageous when convinced.

Conclusion: Where are you on the spectrum from unbelief to faith, and which way are you moving on the spectrum?  Can you say with Thomas, “My Lord and My God?”

Quotes:

 “Atheism is rather in the life than in the heart of man.”  Francis Bacon

“And in despair I bowed my head: ‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said, ‘For hate is strong, and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men…Then peeled the bells more loud an deep: God is not dead: nor doth He Sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, good will to men.”  – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Though giant rain put out the sun,
Here stand I for a sign.
Though earth be filled with waters dark,
My cup is filled with wine.
Tell to the trembling priests
Under the deluge rod, that here
One Nameless, tattered, broken man
Stood up and drank to God”  – G. K. Chesterton

Illustration

Our daily lives and witness can affect the unbelieving world by either saying, “Oh, My God!” or “My Lord and My God”

Music:   “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” “O For A Heart to Praise My God,” “O For A Heart to Praise My God,” “Come, Gracious Spirit,” “There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy,” “In This Very Room”

Prayers:     

Opening Prayer

                “We pray, Lord, that your ways will be our ways,

that your thoughts will be our thoughts,

that your standards will be our standards,

and that your compassion will be our compassion,

through the example of Jesus Christ

and through the power of the Holy Spirit”

Prayer of Confession

Some of us come before you this morning with a faith that never questions, never falters, never doubts.  But most of us, if we would be completely honest, confess that we do, in fact, have questions, have dark moments, struggle and stumble along the way.  We have seasons in which we cry out and ask, “Why?”  Like the disciple Thomas, we say, “Show me,” “Prove it to me,” “I’m not sure.”  Yet we come to you with the confidence that you accept us as we are and will speak to our souls.”

(Prayers courtesy of Liturgical Publications.  Subscribers are permitted to reprint material in non-profit publications only; all other reproduction is prohibited.  2013 Liturgical Publications Inc,

 

avatar About Bruce Laverman

Bruce is a retired pastor and former Director of Evangelism in the Reformed Church in America now living in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the RCA's representative to Evangelism Connections and serves as Managing Editor of this Web site.

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