September 3, 2017: Do Your Part

Hebrews series message 27

Text:Hebrews 12:1-2

Chapter 11 informs and provides rich context for the focus of chapter 12. Actually, the initial therefore is the hinge the entire letter turns on when moving from doctrinal teaching/exhortation to practical application. The first application is overarching and hugely important! 

What: fix your eyes

On Whom: Jesus

When: all the time

How: by laying aside all weights and sin

Why: that great cloud of witnesses!

August 27, 2017: The Weight of the Promise

Hebrews series message 26

Text: Hebrews 11:32-40

Our final section in the Hall of Fame of Faith underscores the fact that our heroes did not receive what had been promised. Yet the weight of what was promised compelled them to do one of two things: GO BIG, and, in some cases, suffer greatly. The beauty of what God had promised, even if distant and unclear, compelled them to do great things and get out of their comfort zone. They also did not shrink back from suffering for their faith. All of which are great concepts for our discipleship ministry. 

August 20, 2017: Timeout!


Text Genesis 1:27

We're going to step aside from Hebrews 11 (kind of) to talk about racism. I don't view this as a one-off just because everyone's talking about it. It's more of a focused sermon because it's important and because we've committed ourselves to proactively being a part of the conversation and solution within our county. We're in it for the long haul. We'll affirm some basic biblical theology regarding the Imago Dei, and the sea of colored faces which will surround the throne in worship, and identify racism as a Gospel (heart) issue. 

August 13, 2017: Room at the Table

Hebrews series message 25

Text: Hebrews 11:30-31

The subject matter is grace! If we're intimidated by the 'big guns' in Hebrews 11, surely we can all identify with Rahab on some level - a Canaanite prostitute who believed Israel's God and backed it up through her actions. Don't disqualify yourself from serving God because of where you've been. God delights in using broken vessels for His glory so He gets the praise. Rahab is a wonderful example of this. Also, the author skips over the Israelites' desert drama for good reason - most didn't make it in to the promised land - but for those foolish enough to believe God at his word, sometimes city walls came crashing down in the most unconventional ways. 

August 6, 2017: The Inadequacy Trap

Hebrews series message 24

Text: Hebrews 11:23-29

I'm not good enough! 

How many times have we heard this or felt it ourselves? I believe God used Moses to teach us both the truth and the fallacy of this trap. No, we're never good enough to do what God requires of us. How on earth can we truly be a godly spouse or parent, or take on a task He's given? But God equips the called and uses us despite our weaknesses and past. It's His work, anyway. So God picked one who stuttered to be His mouthpiece to the king in a pivotal time in history as He fulfilled His promise to Abraham. Moses shows us so much about godly living: he refused status, chose suffering and turned away from sin. His secret? He saw Him who is invisible.  Such a rich passage. 

July 30, 2017: Something More

Hebrews series message 23

Text: Hebrews 11:8-22

Abraham demonstrated his faith by following God even when he did not really know where he was going. And even when he got there, he was looking for something more, a heavenly city. His faith was demonstrated in so many ways that speak so clearly to the early Christian Jews (and us).

July 23, 2017: Faith!

Hebrews series message 22

Text: Hebrews 11:1-7

Hebrews 11 is a perfect continuation of the warning passage in Hebrews 10. A working definition of faith is given, along with specific examples of how genuine faith looks. We'll note various nuances of living faith as cited in saints of old. Hebrews 11 begins not only the practical application of ten chapters in Hebrews, but the perfect bridge to our next sermon series on discipleship. 

July 16, 2017: Don't Throw Out Your Confidence!

Hebrews series message 21

Text: Hebrews 10:35-39

This chapter gives a stunning overview of the work of Christ on our behalf, followed by a warning passage and a call to live possessed by the Spirit (not fear). The final word in this section is a call to persevere as a continuation of everything that's been written up to this point. 

July 9, 2017: Possessed

Hebrews series message 21

Text: Hebrews 10:32-34

If we are honest, we all have certain things that cause us to fear. Who hasn't made a decision based on fear? This Sunday, we will see that the church addressed in the book of Hebrews had reason to be possessed by fear but instead was possessed by the Spirit of God. God calls us to live fearlessly -  possessed by Him alone.

July 2, 2017: A Final Warning

Hebrews series message 20

Text: Hebrews 10-26-31

A final warning is given before he gives the Hall of Fame of faith. The warnings are serious and dire, encompassing judgement and raging fire for those who trample underfoot the Son of God and insult the Spirit of grace. This is admittedly a controversial and difficult passage to exegete. But as he is speaking to a congregation of believers, if the shoe fits we must respond to the Holy Spirit's conviction.

June 18, 2017: Graduating the School of Grace

Hebrews series message 19

Text: Hebrews 10:19-25

This week we celebrate our graduates, high school and beyond. All schoolwork begins with a set of fundamentals, a foundation on which everything else builds. Once the foundation is established then more advanced topics can be introduced leading the student to greater maturity until they graduate. This week the writer of Hebrews wraps up the foundation and moves his audience into some more advanced coursework, except instead of books and papers we will be dealing with our relationships with God and one another.

The Foundational Studies – Jesus, the New and Living Way, Our Great High Priest

Advanced Lab 1 – Drawing Near in Faith

Advanced Lab 2 – Holding Fast to Hope

Advanced Lab 3 – Stirring One Another Up to Love Well

June 4, 2017: Final and Forever

Hebrews series message 18

Text: Hebrews 10:1-18

It is finished! We'll spend eternity in gratitude for Jesus' work on the cross. The implications of His last words sum up nicely the thrust of this passage. Forgiveness is free, final and forever. The old way of doing things only served as a reminder of our fallenness, the new way actually solves the problem. Our Savior is glorious and the salvation He brings is great. This is such an encouraging passage. 

May 28, 2017: What's in it for Me?

Hebrews series message 17

Text: Hebrews 9

In this message and the next, we'll cover ground in Hebrews 9 & 10. A big theme for this installment is God's holiness - under the law (and under grace) most everything is cleansed with blood, for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. God's holiness and my sin are that serious - the Son of God offered Himself. What flows from His sacrifice for me is that He purchases eternal redemption for us and also cleanses our conscience so we can (joyfully) serve Him. That's amazing! 

May 21, 2017: What's in a Promise

Hebrews series message 16

Text: Hebrews 8

I had a brother talk to me after the sermon last week, he just can't believe it's really true that he's forgiven. He's waiting for God to punish him for his misdeeds and mistakes. He's not alone. Grace is overwhelming and hard to fully embrace. Yet it's true. It's real. And it's ridiculously freeing. Hebrews 8 is the hinge upon which most all of the NT turns. It's the New Covenant: not just a new high priest but a whole new construct that blows the other one away. And replaces it. It's rooted in the Old Testament. It's promised. Now it's come. It explains the Gospel and John 3:16 makes complete sense because of it. Please pray with me that that many will gain a renewed sense of freedom and live in the power and simplicity that the Gospel brings, not to mention develop an enthusiasm for engaging others with the truth. 

May 14, 2017: Slaying Strongholds

Text: II Corinthians 10:3-5

Fear. Anxiety. Worry. Past trauma. Family of origin. It is so easy to be a pit dweller, wallow in sin, live in defeat. God calls us to more, Jesus didn't die so we could live as if nothing's happened. The Gospel writes a different script for our lives that is fueled by all the powerful truths we've been learning in Hebrews; the Son of God bleeding and interceding for us are no small items. God's called us to victory and constantly reminds us in the NT of who we are in Christ and to live accordingly, we are to renew our minds daily with His truth and walk in the newness of life. In this message we'll define what a stronghold is, and how we overcome them. It's a way of applying what we're learning in Hebrews and is helpful for us as we parent (Mother's Day) because strongholds affect how we minister to others. 

May 7 2017: The Lion Roars 2

Hebrews series message 15

Text: Hebrews 7:11-28

Last week we gave an overview of Hebrews 7, this week we'll drill deeper on some key truths. Such rich, fertile soil of Gospel basics and comfort. Key truths we'll cover: Jesus' indestructible life, Jesus intercession for believers, and the attainment of perfection. We'll also trace the Lion's roar from Judah, as presented in the Hebrew Scriptures. All of this, in the context of "draw near to God". So, same text as last week, just drilling deeper on some key (AWESOME) truths. 

April 30, 2017: The Lion Roars

Hebrews series message 14

Text: Hebrews 7:11-28

Hebrews 7-10 is fertile soil, rich in Gospel comfort, encouragement, and perspective. I'll probably give two Sundays to the remainder of this chapter. We'll rehearse Yom Kippur, an annual bloody mess as the high priest dared to stand before God on behalf of sinful people. A Jew may see no need for things to change, but there is one single solitary utterance in the Hebrew Scriptures which set change in motion - something bigger, something better.

April 23, 2017: Jesus and Melchizedek

Hebrews series message 13

Text: Hebrews 7:1-10

Melchizedek is a mysterious character in the Old Testament who has an important meeting with Abraham. The author of Hebrews references this event in order to lead us to a greater understanding of Jesus. Sunday, we will flesh out the importance of Jesus being both King and Priest as well as what it meant to the Jews that He is better than Abraham. Essentially, an understanding of Melchizedek drives us to a deeper knowledge and appreciation for the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Key points: Jesus is better as our priest and king, and, Jesus is better than our family heritage.