Sunday’s Sermon: America, Bless God

June 21, 2020

America, Bless God
Sermon by Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
Sermon 6.21.20

MP3 Audio Version of Sermon

Scripture Reading:

1 Timothy 2:1-6 

2 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.

Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

Sunday’s Sermon: Please, Pass the Salt

Please, Pass the Salt
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
Sermon June 14, 2020
MP3 Audio of Sermon

Matthew 5:13-17 

Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

The Fulfillment of the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

Matthew 23:27-28 

27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

Sunday’s Sermon: When You’re In The Fire


When You’re In The Fire
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
Sermon 6.7.20

MP3 Audio of Sermon

Daniel 3:8-27

8 At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! 10 Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”

13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[b] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

Sunday’s Sermon: The Miracle at Pentecost

The Miracle at Pentecost
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
Sermon 5.31.20

Acts 2:1-15 

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

Peter Addresses the Crowd

14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!

Sunday’s Sermon: Much More Than A Memory


Much More Than A Memory
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
Sermon 5.24.20

Galatians 5:22-23
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.

Matthew 22:34-40 

The Greatest Commandment

34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Sunday’s Sermon: The Power of the Book God-Breathed into Being


The Power of the Book God-Breathed into Being
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
Sermon 5.17.20

2 Timothy 3:16-17 

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Psalm 19:7-11 

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
    and all of them are righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold,
    than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
    than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.

Sunday’s Sermon: The Man with Two Mothers


The Man with Two Mothers
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
Sermon 5.10.20

Exodus 2:1-10

2 Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket[a] for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.

5 Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.

7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”

8 “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses,[b] saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

Sunday’s Sermon: How to Build Your Spiritual House


How to Build Your Spiritual House
Sermon by: Rev. Dr. Austin Brinkerhoff
Sermon 5.3.20

Romans 8:28-39

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Heavenly Father,

What can I say?  What can I say that will be meaningful to You at this time?  What can I say that will bless You and honor You as You alone deserve?  Well, what I can say is, “Thank You.”  Thank You for my church family.  Thank You each person who is a part of it, created in Your image, adopted by Your love, saved by Your grace, forgiven by Your mercy.  Thank You for all of Your blessings in life – food to eat, clothes to wear, a roof over our heads, friends, family, the joy of knowing that this world is not all that there is – that I am not home yet – and that someday I will have the ultimate thrill of seeing You face to face and being with You forever and ever and ever.  All of these good gifts and so many more have been given because of Your deep love for me.

Father God, I love You too!  And I ask this day that You increase that love.  Give me such a love of You, that I would see obedience to You, not as a requirement, but a delight.  Give me such a love of You, that I would see the cost of loyalty to You, not an obligation but a privilege.  Give me such a love of You that I would see Your commands in my life, not as chains that bind me, but as wings that enable me to soar.  Give me such a love of You, that I would find serving others, not tiresome, but joyous; that I would see giving, not a burden, but a blessing; that I would see sharing, not a duty but a joy. 

I now pray that You would touch the lives of those I know and love who are hurting (pray 3 minutes for whoever God puts on your mind)  I also ask Your blessing upon those who feel empty inside; those who feel alone and unloved; those who are sick; those who feel helpless and hopeless.  Father, be their Good Shepherd and their Great Physician.  Protect them with Your Holy armor.  Touch them as Jesus touched all who came to Him in faithfulness.  May Your grace be sufficient for their every need.

I make this prayer in the name of Christ 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, the power, and the Glory Forever.  Amen.”

Sunday’s Sermon: All That Really Matters


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


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. ”