January 14, 2018: Movement!

Follow Me series message 3

Text: Acts 4:13

To follow Jesus is to be part of a movement: God saved us from something to something in order to declare His praises! God's got work for each of us to do. Following Jesus is never stagnant or stale, and Jesus is bigger and better than all the negative church "culture" stereotypes such as legalism and hypocrisy. 

 

December 31, 2017: AIR8

Follow Me Series - message 1

Text: Romans 8:31-36

We’ll be looking at assurance in Romans 8. Nothing can interrupt God’s love for us in bringing believers to our final destiny of glorification into the image of Christ. Paul addresses this by asking four rhetorical questions:

- If God is for us, who can be against us?

- Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?

- Who is to condemn?

- Who shall separate us from the love of God in Christ?

The obvious answer is NO ONE & NOTHING. Because our eternal salvation is completely by grace, it is God’s work; not ours. Because it is God’s work, it is uninterruptible!

December 24, 2017: My Utmost for His Highest - Your Savior is Weak!

Text: Hebrews 1:1-3

The bottle will rule you. Your past defines you. You'll always be a sex addict. He can help others but not you, you're a special case. Your sins are greater than His grace. There's power in the blood but not enough for your checkered past. And on down the list...

To the contrary! Jesus Christ is Lord and is a powerful and all-sufficient Savior. By virtue of our union with Him in His death and resurrection, sin shall not have dominion over us! He is a mighty Savior!

December 17, 2017: My Utmost for His Highest - How boring!

Text: Matthew 8:18-22

Said no prophet ever. Said no apostle ever. Said no disciple ever. Says no epistle ever. 

The boring Christian life is an invention of our own -  one in which the compelling call of Christ is replaced by a list of rules and unspoken decorum. Following Christ is, hands down, the most exhilarating ride out there. We labor with His strength, live with the eternal perspective, are fueled by grace, and enjoy a deep satisfaction, peace and joy unrivaled in the world. Suffering, peace, triumph, discipline, rewards - what more could we ask? 

December 10, 2017: My Utmost for His Highest - Another time, Lord!

Text: Matthew 8:18-22

Christ came that He might bring us life, and life to the full. He came so that, through faith in Him, we can spend our days declaring the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Following Jesus sometimes requires hardship and sacrifice, but it is never the less-fulfilling life. It's tempting to put off for tomorrow what should be done today: when we get to high school, after college, when we get married, when the kids are  out of the house, etc. Let's not do that - instead of waiting for that opportune time, NOW is the time to engage Christ fully and meaningfully. Jesus didn't come, suffer, die, and rise again so we could live mediocre lives. 

December 3, 2017: My Utmost for His Highest

 

Text: Colossians 2:13-15

Our advent series will address common lies we believe that steal our joy and sideline us in the playing field of ministry. If Jesus is who He said He is, and if He did what He said He'd do, remembering His advent should be SUPER AWESOME and flood us with joy and hope. Because it was the start of something great. 

This Sunday: "But Pastor, you don't know where I've been and what I've done. God could never use someone like me, I just hope He slips me in the back door when it's my time to go."

Jesus' birth was awesome because He came to destroy the works of the devil. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Confess your sin and He will forgive and cleanse, faithful to His covenant. Time to take courage and get back into the game!

 

November 26, 2017: Living it Out - part 2

Text: Ephesians 1:17-23

This Sunday we'll continue this theme but focus on the how part. If God's power is available for me to walk in victory over sin, how exactly do I pull that off? It seems daunting. The path of Christ is clear: pursue righteousness. The power of Christ is present, available for me to appropriate. Sunday we'll hone in on the presence of Christ (the knowledge of Him) and standing on His promises

November 19, 2017: Living it Out

Text: Romans 6:1-5

The past two weeks we've talked about our identity in Christ and addictions. Not everyone experiences addictions and and not everyone experiences miraculous deliverances from sin and heartache. For most of us, there's a daily grind in which we meet that fork in the road: are we going to feed our flesh or walk in the Spirit? The standing is ours and the dynamite power is present, and I've come to appreciate that the beauty of Christ is seen just as clearly in the mundane as it is in the dramatic. I love seeing people grow in grace and reflect Christ through steady and systematic application of the Romans 6 truths and Holy Ghost power.

November 12, 2017: Addressing Addictions

 

Text: Proverbs 23:29-35

Addictions - what are the causes and how does one escape the vicious cycle? What are the warning signs and how do we help loved ones hooked on habits or substances? Through our mission, message, and fellowship, the church has so much to offer!

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!