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RUF at the University of Tennessee
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RUF at the University of Tennessee

Author: Mike Ford

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Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) is a ministry of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), specifically on college campuses. These sermons are from the RUF at UTK.
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We begin a new sermon series through the gospel of John entitled: "Streams in the Desert: Finding the Fullness of God in Empty Places." The claim of the semester is that in the midst of the wilderness and empty places of our lives, God shows up and brings his fullness. So every week we will look at an empty place and see how the fullness of Jesus brings new life into what was once unfruitful and barren.We all compare. It seems like Peter compared himself to John a lot. When we compare ourselves to others, Jesus tells us, "What business of that is yours? You follow me." We'll see what comparison reveals, what it steals, and Jesus' appeal. Fix your eyes on Jesus and away from comparison. TEXT: John 21:18-25
We begin a new sermon series through the gospel of John entitled: "Streams in the Desert: Finding the Fullness of God in Empty Places." The claim of the semester is that in the midst of the wilderness and empty places of our lives, God shows up and brings his fullness. So every week we will look at an empty place and see how the fullness of Jesus brings new life into what was once unfruitful and barren.Peter failed Jesus. Denied him 3 times. And if we're honest, we all fail Jesus. None of us live the way in which we want. But the good news of the gospel is that Jesus loves to restore failures. We discuss where Jesus restores us, how he does it, and why he does it (HINT: for love...)TEXT: John 21:1-19
We begin a new sermon series through the gospel of John entitled: "Streams in the Desert: Finding the Fullness of God in Empty Places." The claim of the semester is that in the midst of the wilderness and empty places of our lives, God shows up and brings his fullness. So every week we will look at an empty place and see how the fullness of Jesus brings new life into what was once unfruitful and barren.Thomas has doubts. In many ways, we're all like Thomas. What does Jesus offer us in our doubts? He offers us his wounds. If you have doubts, bring them to Jesus.TEXT: John 20:19-28Special thanks to Danny Hindman and Jordan Griesbeck
We begin a new sermon series through the gospel of John entitled: "Streams in the Desert: Finding the Fullness of God in Empty Places." The claim of the semester is that in the midst of the wilderness and empty places of our lives, God shows up and brings his fullness. So every week we will look at an empty place and see how the fullness of Jesus brings new life into what was once unfruitful and barren.The resurrected Jesus has an encounter with Mary on an early Sunday morning... it changed the world by giving us hope for something better...TEXT: John 20:11-18
We begin a new sermon series through the gospel of John entitled: "Streams in the Desert: Finding the Fullness of God in Empty Places." The claim of the semester is that in the midst of the wilderness and empty places of our lives, God shows up and brings his fullness. So every week we will look at an empty place and see how the fullness of Jesus brings new life into what was once unfruitful and barren.How do we grow and change? The answer Jesus gives?...  "Abide in my love."TEXT: John 15:1-11Special thanks to Jason Sterling and Tim Keller.
We begin a new sermon series through the gospel of John entitled: "Streams in the Desert: Finding the Fullness of God in Empty Places." The claim of the semester is that in the midst of the wilderness and empty places of our lives, God shows up and brings his fullness. So every week we will look at an empty place and see how the fullness of Jesus brings new life into what was once unfruitful and barren.This week we look at the grief and suffering of Martha and Mary in the midst of their  brother's death. How does Jesus meet them (and us) in our suffering? He offers truth and tears. Jesus enters into our suffering in order to end all suffering. He's overwhelmed by it so he can overcome it."The tears of God are the meaning of history" - Wolterstorff,  Lament for a SonTEXT: John 11:17-45Special thanks to Robert Cunningham and Tim Keller.
We begin a new sermon series through the gospel of John entitled: "Streams in the Desert: Finding the Fullness of God in Empty Places." The claim of the semester is that in the midst of the wilderness and empty places of our lives, God shows up and brings his fullness. So every week we will look at an empty place and see how the fullness of Jesus brings new life into what was once unfruitful and barren.This week we look at a woman caught in the act of adultery. She is full of shame and guilt. What do you do with your guilt and shame? Perhaps more importantly, how does Jesus treat people who are caught in the midst of their shame? Jesus is a merciful judge who extends forgiveness.TEXT: John 7:53-8:11
We begin a new sermon series through the gospel of John entitled: "Streams in the Desert: Finding the Fullness of God in Empty Places." The claim of the semester is that in the midst of the wilderness and empty places of our lives, God shows up and brings his fullness. So every week we will look at an empty place and see how the fullness of Jesus brings new life into what was once unfruitful and barren.This week we look at how Jesus turns a poor boy's feast into a rich man's meal... The people ate "as much as they wanted."  If you feel empty and needy...this passage reminds us to trust in Jesus and that...Jesus provides for his people.TEXT: John 6:1-14
We begin a new sermon series through the gospel of John entitled: "Streams in the Desert: Finding the Fullness of God in Empty Places." The claim of the semester is that in the midst of the wilderness and empty places of our lives, God shows up and brings his fullness. So every week we will look at an empty place and see how the fullness of Jesus brings new life into what was once unfruitful and barren.This week we look at how Jesus pursues a lonely woman at a well by breaking down all her barriers, and giving her the promise of his love. Jesus pursues lonely people.TEXT: John 4:1-26
We begin a new sermon series through the gospel of John entitled: "Streams in the Desert: Finding the Fullness of God in Empty Places." The claim of the semester is that in the midst of the wilderness and empty places of our lives, God shows up and brings his fullness. So every week we will look at an empty place and see how the fullness of Jesus brings new life into what was once unfruitful and barren.This week we look at the famous first miracle of Jesus. He turns 150 gallons of water into the headiest, most exquisite wine... for people at a wedding who have already drunk a lot... why? What is going on here? What is this sign pointing us to? Jesus came to bring joy.TEXT: John 2:1-11Special thanks to Greg Thompson and Tim Keller
We begin a new sermon series through the gospel of John entitled: "Streams in the Desert: Finding the Fullness of God in Empty Places." The claim of the semester is that in the midst of the wilderness and empty places of our lives, God shows up and brings his fullness. So every week we will look at an empty place and see how the fullness of Jesus brings new life into what was once unfruitful and barren.This week we look at the first question Jesus asks his disciples... "What do you want?"**NOTE** My apologies to my Harry Potter friends... I should have used the Mirror of Erised instead of Room of Requirement... please forgive me...TEXT: John 1:35-42
We begin a new sermon series through the gospel of John entitled: "Streams in the Desert: Finding the Fullness of God in Empty Places." The claim of the semester is that in the midst of the wilderness and empty places of our lives, God shows up and brings his fullness. So every week we will look at an empty place and see how the fullness of Jesus brings new life into what was once unfruitful and barren.This week we look at how things are not the way they're supposed to be; and yet, even so, Jesus shows up and is full of truth AND grace...upon grace...upon grace...TEXT: John 1:1-5; 14-18
The summer, because of COVID, the UTK RUF teamed up with Auburn, UNC, Wake Forest, Alabama and UVa to bring a weekly virtual Summer RUF.This week we focused on how to lament honestly to God about sad or troubled situations we find ourselves in.BONUS: a small taste of the UT music team... THEY ARE SO GOODTEXT: Psalm 42
Numbers 6:22-27
Revelation 21:1-6
John 15:1-5
Luke 18:9-14
2 Timothy 3:16-17.  Much thanks to Tim Keller and Michael Kruger for their help!
Ecclesiastes 12:8-14
Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:8
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