Sunday’s Sermon: All That Really Matters

4.26.20

All That Really Matters
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
Sermon 4.26.20

John 15:1-10

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.


Pastoral Prayer:

Immortal, Compassionate and Ever-Present God, Who created everything seen and unseen, just knowing that I can talk with You this morning is amazing in itself, but realizing that You love me so much that You gave me the life of Your Only Son; Lord, that kind of knowledge is almost too amazing to comprehend.

Heavenly Father, no one loves me like You do — not my friends, not my parents, not my children, not even my spouse.  No one is as good to me as You, and I wish there were words to express how very thankful I am for all You have done to give my life meaning and purpose.  But God, there are no words that can grasp the gratitude I feel in my heart toward You for Your grace in my life.  I praise You great God and I love You with all my heart.  Thank You for all You are and forever will be. 

Dear God, the Bible teaches me that You have adopted me as Your blessed child.  As a parent leads a son or daughter, please teach me how to care for those things that are most valuable in life — those things that really matter.  Give me the spirit of prayer, that I may live in constant communion with You.  May holiness, obedience, and righteousness be my main goals in life.  Show me Your will and push me to follow it, so that I may become a missionary of love and encouragement to a world in need. 

Now, I pray, that You would bless those in my special circle of concern, especially those who grieve; those who struggle with personal problems; those who feel alone or neglected; those who are about to face surgery; those whose lives are touched by illness or despair; those who are hungry or tired or scared.  Specifically, I pray for (pray 3 minutes for those God puts on your heart)……………. May each of them feel the embrace of Your strong and comforting arms, and may they never forget the assurance that nothing can separate them from Your unconditional and never-ending love. 

These things I pray in the name of Him who died so that I would live, and Who taught me to pray, 

“Our Father, Who art in heaven Hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, the power, and the Glory Forever.  Amen.”

Sunday’s Sermon: Peace in Troubling Times

4.19.20

Peace in Troubling Times
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
Sermon 4.19.20

Philippians 4:4-8

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Psalm 55:22

Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you;
he will never let
    the righteous be shaken


God, my Father,

I begin my prayer by asking for a blessing, not that You would bless me as I normally do, but asking that You inspire me to be a blessing to You; that You increase my passion for You, my love for You, my commitment to You, that I would do more for You than I already am so that the kingdom of this world would look a little more like the Kingdom of Heaven.   

Give me Your eyes that we may see those in need, Your ears that I may hear their cries for help, Your hands, that I may reach out to them, and Your feet that I would effectively minister to the “least of these.”  Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Now, I humbly ask for Your continued blessing upon my church family, that together, we would indeed be the body of Jesus Christ — that we would reflect to those in our immediate neighborhood and beyond, the hope, the joy, the peace, and the grace of Christ Himself.  Please also add Your blessing of mercy, healing, comfort, encouragement, and peace to (3 minutes of prayer for those God puts on our hearts)

Please strengthen them in body, heart, soul, and spirit, and please remind them that no matter what happens in this life, no one and nothing can ever take them out of Your hands — hands that hold them securely for all eternity. 

These things I ask in the name of my Savior and Lord, Jesus the Christ, and I pray the prayer he taught me pray:

“Our Father, Who art in heaven Hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, the power, and the Glory Forever.  Amen. ”

Easter Sunday: Easter People

4.12.20

Easter People
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
Sermon 4.12.20

Matthew 28:1-15

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.


Lord of Calvary and the Empty Tomb, on this morning of Your resurrection I greet You with shouts of gratefulness and praise.  I greet You as the God of victory over sin and death.  I greet You as the Lord of life – Who, by the power of Your love, has transformed us from people of darkness into people of light.

And that is so very important because the world around us is so full of tragedy.  I read about and hear about the thousands of people dying from the coronavirus.  I read about and hear about the moral decay in our society, the lack of caring, the increase in violence, the promotion of sin both in the world and in many churches and denominations.  Yet, Father, there is so much good happening as well.  Every single day more and more people are turning away from the lies of this world and turning toward the truth of Your Word.  More people are praying these days than in a very long time.  People all around the world are being saved and baptized and healed and transformed into new creations.  There are many people, many Christian witnesses who want to prove through our loyalty to You in our daily living that Your power of love is far stronger than any evil which may come upon me.

And isn’t that what this Easter morning is all about  —  the fact that because Christ has risen from the tomb, by His power and grace, I too can rise from the darkness into the light.  I too can become a new creation.  I too can be given a new life in Him.

Lord God, my prayer on this Easter Sunday is that by the power of the resurrected Savior I would recommit myself to active Christian discipleship.  And that my church (Christ United Fellowship) would be a lighthouse for the unsaved, a courthouse for the unfaithful, and a warehouse for the unfed and unclothed.

Increase my Christian integrity.  Help me to spread the assurance of salvation You have given me this day.  Live in me and through me.  Walk with me and give me peace.  Give hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak, love to the lonely, comfort to the grieving, and faith to the faithless.  Let the awesome glow of Your resurrected presence shine upon everyone I know and love.

Glorious God of the Empty Tomb, I greet You, praise You and thank You from the very bottom of my heart!

In Jesus’ name I pray and now I pray as He taught me to pray:  

Our Father, Who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy Will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
forever. Amen.”

Sunday’s Sermon: Palm Sunday People

4.5.20

Palm Sunday People
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
Sermon 4.5.20

Luke 19:28-40

28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[a

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”


Father God, today is Palm Sunday, a day when Christians all around the world celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  On that amazing day so many years ago, hundreds, if not thousands proclaimed Christ as Lord and King.  And yet only a few days later, many of those same people who were shouting “Hallelujah” on Palm Sunday were shouting “Crucify Him”. 

Lord, every one of us can identify with that crowd.  For there have been times when we too, have proclaimed Christ as Lord and King and then denied Him when the chips were down.  Sometimes we have done those things in small ways – like not praying to You in public and sometimes in bigger ways, like breaking one of the Ten Commandments. 

God, please forgive us for those times and please forgive us for all we have done and not done that displeases You.  Also, Lord, please give us the spiritual strength to stand up for King Jesus, even when the going gets tough.  Remind us that the gate is narrow and the path we Christians must walk is often difficult.  Yet, it’s nothing compared to the glory we shall receive at the end of our journey. 

Between now and then, please lead us to pray more often, to read Your Word more often, to worship You more often and to repent more often.

God of Mercy, please bless the more than a million people who have contracted the coronavirus around the world.  Comfort those whose loved ones have died.  Bring peace to those living with uncertainty after perhaps being exposed to the virus.  Give patience to those who are quarantined and unable to move freely in their communities. Protect your children from catching this deadly virus.  Please protect those who are a part of this church, those we know and love, and please strengthen those who are risking their own lives to care for sick patients.

Now bless, we pray, our friends and loved ones who are in need (2 minutes praying for those people God has put on our hearts)… 

May Your grace, which is sufficient for their every need overflow in each of their lives, and may Your peace which transcends all understanding fill them through and through in Your Holy Spirit.

All this we pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. 
And together pray as He taught us to pray: 

“Our Father, Who art in heaven Hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, the power, and the Glory Forever.  Amen. ”

Sunday’s Sermon: When God Redirects Our Paths

3.29.20

When God Redirects Our Paths
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
Sermon 3.29.20

Acts 16:16-34

16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”

22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.


This Is My Father’s World Lyrics

1.   This is my Father’s world,
And to my list’ning ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas—
His hand the wonders wrought.

2.   This is my Father’s world:
The birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white,
Declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world:
He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.

3.   This is my Father’s world:
Oh, let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world,
The battle is not done:
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.


Father God,

You are the ultimate Healer. Father, we come before You to pray for those infected with this virus. We pray for not only their healing but for them to be comforted while they heal.  Lord, please eradicate every ounce of this virus from their bodies. Please heal every cell in their bodies, every infected part of their being. We pray for no lasting effects in their bodies from this illness. Father, please heal them inside and out and provide them with the medical care they need, with the medications they need, and with the healing not only physically but spiritually so that they may live life and live abundantly ahead.

Great Physician, we pray for those most vulnerable to this virus: for the elderly, the weak, those with pre-existing conditions; for the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the isolated and for those already infected. Deliver them from this evil, and prevent the rest of us from carrying it to them. Please protect those who are risking their own lives to care for sick patients and please keep us safe from harm. Put Your hedge of protection around me, my family, and my church family. Remind me that the church is much more than a building.  It is a shared spiritual experience of those who love You and are bound together by Your Holy Spirit.    

Now, please hear the concerns of my heart as I bring before Your throne of mercy, those who are sick, lonely, depressed, struggling financially, worried, afraid and anxious (2 minutes of focus on whoever and whatever God puts on your heart) …..

In Jesus’ name I pray and now I pray the prayer He taught me to pray… 

“Our Father, Who art in heaven hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, the power, and the Glory Forever.  Amen.”

Sunday’s Sermon: God Always, Always Provides

Sermon 3.22.2020

God Always, Always Provides
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
Sermon 3.22.20

Genesis 22:1-19

Sometime later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,[c because you have obeyed me.”

19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.


Please Join in Prayer as we seek together, God’s Wisdom, Guidance,
Protection, and Direction today and in the days ahead…
God of Mercy, be with the tens of thousands of people who have
contracted the Coronavirus around the world, comfort those whose loved ones have died.  Bring peace to those living with uncertainty after
perhaps being exposed to the virus.  Give patience to those who are
quarantinedand unable to move freely in their communities. Heavenly
Father, protect Your children from catching this deadly virus.  Please
protect those who are a part of this church, those we know and love, and
please strengthen those who are risking their own lives to care for sick
patients.  Please fill me with compassion for those who are suffering. 

Now, please hear the concerns of my heart as I pray for those I know and love who are hurting and suffering (2 minutes of focus on whoever and
whatever God puts on your heart) …..

Bless, we pray, our church family.  Keep us safe from harm.  Protect us –
soul, heart, spirit, mind and body.  Remind me today and every day that
the church is much more than a building.  It is a shared spiritual
experience of those who love You.  Thank You for my church family at
Christ United Fellowship.

In Jesus’ name, I pray and now I pray the prayer He taught me to pray… 
“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom
come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our
daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors, and lead
us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom
and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.” 

Sunday’s Sermon: The Power of Christian Gentleness

Sermon 3.15.20

The Power of Christian Gentleness
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
Sermon 3.15.20

1 Thessalonians 2:1-9

You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. Instead, we were like young children[a] among you.

Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.

Galatians 5:19-23

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.


Sunday’s Sermon: Two Fires – One Loving Savior

Sermon 3.8.20

Two Fires – One Loving Savior
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
Sermon 3.8.20

John 21:1-19

Afterward, Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[ When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

Sunday’s Sermon: When You are Freed, Indeed!

Sermon 3.1.20

When You are Freed, Indeed!
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
Sermon 3.1.20

Luke 8:26-39

They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.

30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37 Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.

38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

Sunday’s Sermon: In the Garden

Sermon 2.23.20

In the Garden
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
Sermon 2.23.20

Genesis 3:1-13

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”