Rev. Dustin Parker

cerritos, California, UNITED STATES


Joined September 8th 2009

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I am a pastor, who serves Concordia Lutheran Church and School. Welcome to my blog!

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Who is Driving

November 3rd 2014 01:48
Backseat Conversations on the Way to Heaven
Who’s Driving?
Rev. 7:9-17

May you be blessed, as your realize the depth of God’s work in your life, evidence of His great love and affection for you!

Our Way to Heaven is like…

In my congregation, we have been working on a sermon series, a long parable of sorts.

The idea is that like our life long journey in Christ, which ends before the throne of God, is like a long family car journey. We aren’t the drivers, rather, we are the 3 oe 4 siblings in the back seat. That as the Holy Spirit guides us toward eternity, we sometimes act like little kids in the backseat.

The sermons have been based off of scripture, but using the idea of the conversations heard in the back seat to describe how we live together. We journey together toward the day when we are in that vast crowd, people from every nation and family and culture. But getting to that day can be a challenge. Just like surviving a long drive in the back seat of my parents 1971 Dodge was a challenge.

We’ve had titles like, “get along back there” and “that’s not fair!” and of course the ever popular phrase, “are we there yet?!?” Interestingly, they have all tied into the scripture passages on our three year cycle of readings.

Today, as we look at this incredible message from the Book of Revelation, chapter 7, the question is simple….

Who’s driving?

And the more we can realize that God is in charge of our journey, the more we see it as a blessing. That results in a life of holiness and peace.

So let’s look at this more clearly.

Destination Heaven!

A vast crowd, too great a number to compute, from everywhere, every time, every language, all before the throne of God, all in His clear view. Called by Him, gathered together by Him.

What a glorious day that will be. All the people of God. Together.

How did they get there? That is one of the questions asked the elder to the apostle John, in verse 13.

The answer is not a list of directions, generated by a gps device, or from google maps. But it is how they got there…

“These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white. 15 “That is why they stand in front of God’s throne and serve him day and night in his Temple. And he who sits on the throne will give them shelter. 16 They will never again be hungry or thirsty; they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun. 17 For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” (Verse 14b-17)

This gathering of all believers made their way there, because God led them, because God cared for them. It is why we will find our lives in eternity as those who minister and serve God. They are transformed, and what they have been clothed with is dazzling white.

This is what is promised in the Old Testament, in Isaiah 1:18

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. Isa 1:18,

and in the story of the high priest representing Israel, in Zecariah,

1 Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua. 2 And the LORD said to Satan, “I, the LORD, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.” 3 Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. 4 So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And turning to Jeshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.” Zechariah 3:1-4 (NLT)

We get there, to the point where we are clothed in Christ Jesus because of God’s work, This is how the Apostle Paul says it,

26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on the character of Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26-28 (NLT)
The one people, made up of all peoples. We are one in Christ.

So I have a question

Backseat Driving

Why do we try to be spiritual backseat gps devices? Or as we used to say, backseat drivers.

Let me explain. When William was little, he loved to imitate the GPS, and on occasion, try to beat it to the punch. Trying to sound like a computer generated voice, he would give me directions.

at the next light, turn right. Go four miles, turn left. You have arrived at your destination. That last one was usually said when we got near a McDonalds!

He really didn’t know how to get where we were going. For that matter, he often didn’t know where we were going. But he wanted to give me the directions.

Sometimes we act that way with God. Rather than trusting our Lord who came from heaven to bring us there, we tell Him the directions we want to take.

Lord, do this for me.
Lord, I think this is how it should work out.
Lord, if you don’t follow my ideas, we will get lost!
Yet like a four year old giving directions, we don’t know the way to heaven, apart from Him.

And sometimes, we might even think we are there, when it is our hungers that really speak. You see this in the world today, it often throws aside how God has designed us to live, and people want to follow their passions. In this world people even go so far as telling God what is good, and contradicting Him when He says what is desired is sin.

Humanity, even those in the church, often want to take over and navigate this journey of life. They want to do this, rather than letting God guide us, letting God take care of us, letting God teach and protect us along the way.

It’s in those times, like children realizing their moms and dads probably know their way around better; that we have to remember who is taking us through life, and bringing us home.

It is then we need to come to our senses, to repent, to know we are forgiven, and listen to God’s ways.

Look at Who our Chauffer/Guide is….

In every passage of scripture where heaven is described, I love the awe that is described. We will be shouting in heaven

“Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”

and not only us, all of heaven, the angels, the elders, the four living beings are in awe as well, as they sing,

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever!

This is who will bring us to heaven, this is the God who has promised to bring us to a feast that is like no feast we have ever seen.

This is the God who will guide our steps, all of our steps, even as He guided each one of us to this place, even as He will guide both Passion and Concordia’s ministries in the days and years to come.

For He is God.

So let us bow before Him, recognize Him as Lord, and with confidence in His completion of what He has began in us, walk with Him, letting Him lead our way.

For there, walking with Christ, cleansed by His blood, knowing His love, we are assured of getting where He is taking us. To see the Father, high and lifted up on the throne, surrounded by angels and elders, living creatures, and us, the people of God, from every nation and tribe and language….

Until then, we are assured by His presence, that we can dwell in His unexplainable peace. For Christ guards our hearts and minds in that peace. AMEN?
10
Vote
   


Who is Driving

November 3rd 2014 01:43
Backseat Conversations on the Way to Heaven
Who’s Driving?
Rev. 7:9-17

May you be blessed, as your realize the depth of God’s work in your life, evidence of His great love and affection for you!

Our Way to Heaven is like…

In my congregation, we have been working on a sermon series, a long parable of sorts.

The idea is that like our life long journey in Christ, which ends before the throne of God, is like a long family car journey. We aren’t the drivers, rather, we are the 3 oe 4 siblings in the back seat. That as the Holy Spirit guides us toward eternity, we sometimes act like little kids in the backseat.

The sermons have been based off of scripture, but using the idea of the conversations heard in the back seat to describe how we live together. We journey together toward the day when we are in that vast crowd, people from every nation and family and culture. But getting to that day can be a challenge. Just like surviving a long drive in the back seat of my parents 1971 Dodge was a challenge.

We’ve had titles like, “get along back there” and “that’s not fair!” and of course the ever popular phrase, “are we there yet?!?” Interestingly, they have all tied into the scripture passages on our three year cycle of readings.

Today, as we look at this incredible message from the Book of Revelation, chapter 7, the question is simple….

Who’s driving?

And the more we can realize that God is in charge of our journey, the more we see it as a blessing. That results in a life of holiness and peace.

So let’s look at this more clearly.

Destination Heaven!

A vast crowd, too great a number to compute, from everywhere, every time, every language, all before the throne of God, all in His clear view. Called by Him, gathered together by Him.

What a glorious day that will be. All the people of God. Together.

How did they get there? That is one of the questions asked the elder to the apostle John, in verse 13.

The answer is not a list of directions, generated by a gps device, or from google maps. But it is how they got there…

“These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white. 15 “That is why they stand in front of God’s throne and serve him day and night in his Temple. And he who sits on the throne will give them shelter. 16 They will never again be hungry or thirsty; they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun. 17 For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” (Verse 14b-17)

This gathering of all believers made their way there, because God led them, because God cared for them. It is why we will find our lives in eternity as those who minister and serve God. They are transformed, and what they have been clothed with is dazzling white.

This is what is promised in the Old Testament, in Isaiah 1:18

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. Isa 1:18,

and in the story of the high priest representing Israel, in Zecariah,

1 Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua. 2 And the LORD said to Satan, “I, the LORD, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.” 3 Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. 4 So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And turning to Jeshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.” Zechariah 3:1-4 (NLT)

We get there, to the point where we are clothed in Christ Jesus because of God’s work, This is how the Apostle Paul says it,

26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on the character of Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26-28 (NLT)
The one people, made up of all peoples. We are one in Christ.

So I have a question

Backseat Driving

Why do we try to be spiritual backseat gps devices? Or as we used to say, backseat drivers.

Let me explain. When William was little, he loved to imitate the GPS, and on occasion, try to beat it to the punch. Trying to sound like a computer generated voice, he would give me directions.

at the next light, turn right. Go four miles, turn left. You have arrived at your destination. That last one was usually said when we got near a McDonalds!

He really didn’t know how to get where we were going. For that matter, he often didn’t know where we were going. But he wanted to give me the directions.

Sometimes we act that way with God. Rather than trusting our Lord who came from heaven to bring us there, we tell Him the directions we want to take.

Lord, do this for me.
Lord, I think this is how it should work out.
Lord, if you don’t follow my ideas, we will get lost!
Yet like a four year old giving directions, we don’t know the way to heaven, apart from Him.

And sometimes, we might even think we are there, when it is our hungers that really speak. You see this in the world today, it often throws aside how God has designed us to live, and people want to follow their passions. In this world people even go so far as telling God what is good, and contradicting Him when He says what is desired is sin.

Humanity, even those in the church, often want to take over and navigate this journey of life. They want to do this, rather than letting God guide us, letting God take care of us, letting God teach and protect us along the way.

It’s in those times, like children realizing their moms and dads probably know their way around better; that we have to remember who is taking us through life, and bringing us home.

It is then we need to come to our senses, to repent, to know we are forgiven, and listen to God’s ways.

Look at Who our Chauffer/Guide is….

In every passage of scripture where heaven is described, I love the awe that is described. We will be shouting in heaven

“Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”

and not only us, all of heaven, the angels, the elders, the four living beings are in awe as well, as they sing,

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever!

This is who will bring us to heaven, this is the God who has promised to bring us to a feast that is like no feast we have ever seen.

This is the God who will guide our steps, all of our steps, even as He guided each one of us to this place, even as He will guide both Passion and Concordia’s ministries in the days and years to come.

For He is God.

So let us bow before Him, recognize Him as Lord, and with confidence in His completion of what He has began in us, walk with Him, letting Him lead our way.

For there, walking with Christ, cleansed by His blood, knowing His love, we are assured of getting where He is taking us. To see the Father, high and lifted up on the throne, surrounded by angels and elders, living creatures, and us, the people of God, from every nation and tribe and language….

Until then, we are assured by His presence, that we can dwell in His unexplainable peace. For Christ guards our hearts and minds in that peace. AMEN?
10
Vote
   


Who is Driving

November 3rd 2014 01:29
Backseat Conversations on the Way to Heaven
Who’s Driving?
Rev. 7:9-17

May you be blessed, as your realize the depth of God’s work in your life, evidence of His great love and affection for you!

Our Way to Heaven is like…

In my congregation, we have been working on a sermon series, a long parable of sorts.

The idea is that like our life long journey in Christ, which ends before the throne of God, is like a long family car journey. We aren’t the drivers, rather, we are the 3 oe 4 siblings in the back seat. That as the Holy Spirit guides us toward eternity, we sometimes act like little kids in the backseat.

The sermons have been based off of scripture, but using the idea of the conversations heard in the back seat to describe how we live together. We journey together toward the day when we are in that vast crowd, people from every nation and family and culture. But getting to that day can be a challenge. Just like surviving a long drive in the back seat of my parents 1971 Dodge was a challenge.

We’ve had titles like, “get along back there” and “that’s not fair!” and of course the ever popular phrase, “are we there yet?!?” Interestingly, they have all tied into the scripture passages on our three year cycle of readings.

Today, as we look at this incredible message from the Book of Revelation, chapter 7, the question is simple….

Who’s driving?

And the more we can realize that God is in charge of our journey, the more we see it as a blessing. That results in a life of holiness and peace.

So let’s look at this more clearly.

Destination Heaven!

A vast crowd, too great a number to compute, from everywhere, every time, every language, all before the throne of God, all in His clear view. Called by Him, gathered together by Him.

What a glorious day that will be. All the people of God. Together.

How did they get there? That is one of the questions asked the elder to the apostle John, in verse 13.

The answer is not a list of directions, generated by a gps device, or from google maps. But it is how they got there…

“These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white. 15 “That is why they stand in front of God’s throne and serve him day and night in his Temple. And he who sits on the throne will give them shelter. 16 They will never again be hungry or thirsty; they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun. 17 For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” (Verse 14b-17)

This gathering of all believers made their way there, because God led them, because God cared for them. It is why we will find our lives in eternity as those who minister and serve God. They are transformed, and what they have been clothed with is dazzling white.

This is what is promised in the Old Testament, in Isaiah 1:18

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. Isa 1:18,

and in the story of the high priest representing Israel, in Zecariah,

1 Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua. 2 And the LORD said to Satan, “I, the LORD, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.” 3 Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. 4 So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And turning to Jeshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.” Zechariah 3:1-4 (NLT)

We get there, to the point where we are clothed in Christ Jesus because of God’s work, This is how the Apostle Paul says it,

26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on the character of Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26-28 (NLT)
The one people, made up of all peoples. We are one in Christ.

So I have a question

Backseat Driving

Why do we try to be spiritual backseat gps devices? Or as we used to say, backseat drivers.

Let me explain. When William was little, he loved to imitate the GPS, and on occasion, try to beat it to the punch. Trying to sound like a computer generated voice, he would give me directions.

at the next light, turn right. Go four miles, turn left. You have arrived at your destination. That last one was usually said when we got near a McDonalds!

He really didn’t know how to get where we were going. For that matter, he often didn’t know where we were going. But he wanted to give me the directions.

Sometimes we act that way with God. Rather than trusting our Lord who came from heaven to bring us there, we tell Him the directions we want to take.

Lord, do this for me.
Lord, I think this is how it should work out.
Lord, if you don’t follow my ideas, we will get lost!
Yet like a four year old giving directions, we don’t know the way to heaven, apart from Him.

And sometimes, we might even think we are there, when it is our hungers that really speak. You see this in the world today, it often throws aside how God has designed us to live, and people want to follow their passions. In this world people even go so far as telling God what is good, and contradicting Him when He says what is desired is sin.

Humanity, even those in the church, often want to take over and navigate this journey of life. They want to do this, rather than letting God guide us, letting God take care of us, letting God teach and protect us along the way.

It’s in those times, like children realizing their moms and dads probably know their way around better; that we have to remember who is taking us through life, and bringing us home.

It is then we need to come to our senses, to repent, to know we are forgiven, and listen to God’s ways.

Look at Who our Chauffer/Guide is….

In every passage of scripture where heaven is described, I love the awe that is described. We will be shouting in heaven

“Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”

and not only us, all of heaven, the angels, the elders, the four living beings are in awe as well, as they sing,

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever!

This is who will bring us to heaven, this is the God who has promised to bring us to a feast that is like no feast we have ever seen.

This is the God who will guide our steps, all of our steps, even as He guided each one of us to this place, even as He will guide both Passion and Concordia’s ministries in the days and years to come.

For He is God.

So let us bow before Him, recognize Him as Lord, and with confidence in His completion of what He has began in us, walk with Him, letting Him lead our way.

For there, walking with Christ, cleansed by His blood, knowing His love, we are assured of getting where He is taking us. To see the Father, high and lifted up on the throne, surrounded by angels and elders, living creatures, and us, the people of God, from every nation and tribe and language….

Until then, we are assured by His presence, that we can dwell in His unexplainable peace. For Christ guards our hearts and minds in that peace. AMEN?
10
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Where are We Going?

October 13th 2014 01:47
Backseat Conversations on the Way to Heaven:
Where are We Going?
Matthew 22:1-14


[ Click here to read more ]
10
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Conversations on the Way to Heaven: 1

September 14th 2014 21:57
Conversations on the Way to Heaven:
#1 Get Along Back There!
Matthew 18:21-55


[ Click here to read more ]
21
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Am I my brothers keeper

September 8th 2014 00:29
How responsible are we for each other in life? If we are responsible for those around us, to what extent are we going to work to call them to repentance, to warn them of God's wrath for those who stay in sin?

What does it mean to love God


[ Click here to read more ]
12
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Am I my brothers keeper

September 8th 2014 00:28
How responsible are we for each other in life? If we are responsible for those around us, to what extent are we going to work to call them to repentance, to warn them of God's wrath for those who stay in sin?

What does it mean to love God


[ Click here to read more ]
22
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Take up you cross...

September 1st 2014 04:23
It's been a long day, but church this morning...was a special day.

It is hard to see how self-centered we can be, but hearing Jesus call us to take up our cross does that very thing! Can God really expect His children to take up crosses like His Son did? Can he expect us to love the jerks in our lives


[ Click here to read more ]
12
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Today was an incredibly moving day at Concordia. We celebrated several prayers being answered, including our minister of worship arts returning after a long hospitalization. The singing was powerful, the music out of this world, there was a quiet fervor that permeated the place. As we celebrated the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, there was, words don't describe it.

Yet, worship is more than that... it is our life


[ Click here to read more ]
12
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Even if I am a dog, He's my master!

August 18th 2014 00:32
Even if I am a Dog,
He is MY Master
Matthew 15:21-28


[ Click here to read more ]
12
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Recent Comments

Comment by Pastordt
on The Chosen Identified

January 10th 2011 00:39
Please leave comments if you ke the sermon or have a comment or question

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Comment by Anonymous
on His Presence Provides Hope

August 16th 2010 01:00
please leave comments!

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Comment by pastor dt
on Living In God’s Providence

July 26th 2010 03:04
please leave comments!!!

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Comment by pastor dt
on Living in Forgiveness, in Christ

June 14th 2010 00:26
This sermon was preached simultaneously by Deacon Don Harrell at Our Savior's in Bellfower and myself at Concordia.

As always, comments are welcome..

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Comment by Rev. Dustin Parker
on Deacon Don's Second Sermon

May 8th 2010 01:05
Matt,

They have appeared on my blog before - they will again.

thanks

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