November 5, 2017: That's Me

The emphasis in this message is our identity - who we are "in Christ". It is very important! We are not who we used to be, we are not who others say we are, and we are not who we "feel" we are. We are who GOD says we are. Specific applications: lose the labels, pivot on your position, and celebrate your calling. 

October 22, 2017: A Beautiful Benediction

Hebrews series message 32

Text: Hebrews 13:20-21

I am so thankful I've had two weeks to reflect on these two verses. It is a beautiful utterance, filled with rich theology and superlatives. The GreatShepherd and eternal covenant - such comfort and encouragement. These truths are taking us places - He's moving us on mission and equipping us to live a live pleasing to Him; we'll tie that in with our emphasis on discipleship. 

October 8, 2017: Now What?

Hebrews series message 31

Text: Hebrews 13:7-17

Last week our author began winding down by giving the big takeaway: love well. Love the stranger, love your brothers and sisters, love your family. Now on to another important concept: know. Know your leaders, know your Bible, know your calling. Their leaders lived selfless lives and many were martyred for their faith and in His presence forever. Jesus, the Captain of our salvation, never changes - we can rely on Him all our lives and into eternity. God's Word teaches us how to saturate our lives with grace and not be captivated by false teachers. And God's call on our life is unmistakable: be prepared to suffer, be thankful and help our neighbor. 

And that bit about knowing and emulating your leaders? We need to obey and submit to them, as well. 

October 1, 2017: So What?

Hebrews series message 30

Text: Hebrews 13:1-6

Hebrews 13 gets very specific on how to respond to the truth contained in the letter. Good Christian doctrine always spurs us on to live out our faith. What's the very first statement in this chapter? Love each other. Our horizontal relationships are a good indication of the state of our vertical relationship. We'll take two Sundays discussing the "so whats?" before wrapping up this series in Hebrews with a final message. 

September 24, 2017: Our Inheritance

Hebrews series message 29 

Text: Hebrews 12:18-29

"Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire." We are not under law but under grace, and this new covenant brings with it unshakable hope and expectation. Now, but not yet. Our lives should be full of longing and excitement for what's in store, and our worship of Him in keeping with the awesome God we serve. We'll tie in the now but not yet concept to a post script on last week's message.

September 17, 2017: Gender Matters

Supplemental

Text: Genesis 1:26-27

Does this new covenant we've been talking so much about address cultural norms for men and women? Does it uphold or repudiate ancient practices? Does one's gender bring freedom or restriction in matters of worship, leadership and family? Without question, God's intent is for each of us individually - and corporately - to thrive in every season of life. This Sundaywe'll discuss important truths relating to gender study. 

September 10, 2017: For the Weary

Hebrews series message 28

Text: Hebrews 12:3-17

By God's grace we can view our sorrows, griefs, persecutions, temptations, and various trials as God's discipline. Not as punitive or even corrective action on His part, but His ongoing development of us as He conforms us to the image of His Son. This perspective brings such freedom as we lean on Him in our trials and difficulties. As we press in, we can find healing even though (to use a physical analogy) our bones and joints are actually broken and lame! But we've got a part to play in this process. A key theme will be the sovereignty of God in our sufferings and heartaches. 

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!

Supplemental

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.