January 6, 2019: Abide!

Text: John 15:3-4

"Abide" will be a big theme in 2019 for us. It dovetails perfectly with our emphasis on personal discipleship. It's the antidote to annual resolutions which often fail after a month or two when we do things in our own strength and wisdom. The key is bearing fruit - apart from Christ, I can do nothing; the key to fruitfulness is abiding in Him. 

December 30, 2018: Travel Light

Advent 2018 - Temporary Tenant - message 4

Text: Philippians 3:20-21

Jesus occupied His manger and tomb, but for a moment, in bringing many sons to glory. Through faith in Him we are citizens of heaven, as God has called us to His eternal glory. This new year, let's look to and develop a longing for our heavenly inheritance as we ‘travel light’ in our upward journey. 

December 23, 2018: Forgive... WHO?

Advent 2018 - Temporary Tenant - message 3

Text: Ephesians 4:30-32

If grace defines Christ's coming, surely forgiveness is a prized result - as He destroyed the works of the devil. We are reconciled to God. We are forgiven of our sins but, with that blessing, comes responsibility: we are to forgive others just as God in Christ forgave us. We'll see why this is consistently true in Scripture, and we'll give practical steps we can all use as we carry this out in the power of the Spirit - especially related to those deep wounds which have caused rot in our souls for too long! 

December 16, 2018: Putting Grace Back in Christmas

Advent 2018 - Temporary Tenant - message 2

Text: II Corinthians 8:9

This time of year we hear a lot about peace, joy, and love - Jesus is definitely all about these things! But when do you hear people talk about grace at Christmas? "God and sinners, reconciled" - that's GRACE! Jesus came full of grace - "grace upon grace"! By being a temporary tenant in both His manger and tomb, God and sinners are being beautifully reconciled in Him. And God's will is that we receive His grace every day, that we live in it and that we give it to others! 

December 9, 2018: Call On Me

Advent 2018 Series - Temporary Tenant - message 1

The manger wasn't occupied long - no surprise there. But the tomb? No one expected that! The Son of God came as a temporary tenant so He could purchase for us the same privilege: pilgrims, passing through en route to a glorious inheritance which was purchased by the Lamb who came to destroy the works of the devil.

Text: Jeremiah 33:3

What do you think of when you read that someone called on the name of the Lord? It is a phrase we encounter often, but may not perceive its rich meaning and significance. In our first Advent message, we'll trace the usage of this concept throughout the Old & New Testaments. God delights when we call upon Him; in fact, it is a distinguishing mark for Christians! It is most appropriate to highlight this act during Advent season, for "all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved." Indeed, as Christ followers, this is how we are now known. 

December 2, 2018: Help for the Hurting

Family Matters series message 4

Our final message in our Family Matters series is geared towards those needing the Lord's touch in their marriage. Practical advice for getting out of a tough spot. The counsel given is actually very helpful for all of us in our vertical relationship with Christ. It dovetails into our Advent series, as hope is something Messiah brought with His advent some two thousand years ago.

November 25, 2018: One Body, Many Parts

Family Matters series message 3

In considering the relationships within the household of God, we've examined the foundation for marriage and our mandate (each of us, individually) to love others well, whether in the context of marriage or otherwise. In the body of Christ, challenges faced by those not married are often lost on those who are married. We'll speak to this dynamic with an aim to enrich our unity as we affirm every believer as a valued member of the body of Christ and an integral part of God's work in our Jerusalem and to the ends of the earth. 

November 18, 2018: The Greatest of These

Family Matters series message 2

Love. It's what sets us apart from the world; or, at least, it's what should set us apart. The love we've received is like nothing the world has ever seen or experienced, and we are to walk in that love. When love is present in our relationships, it covers a multitude of sins and shortcomings. When it's absent or lacking, our problems and hurts are magnified. We'll draw from Paul and other sources to paint a picture of Christian love in all our relationships, and crescendo with a special message and call to husbands.

November 11, 2018: What He Said!

Family Matters series message 1

Text: Genesis 2:24

We're going to take a few weeks to talk about relationships within the church. In this installment, we’ll focus on marriage. Take a moment to read Genesis 2:24, which is the foundation for every marriage. The concepts we'll look at will be helpful to all of us - whether or not we're currently married. I'm very excited, not only for the content over the next several weeks, but also for the testimonies we have lined up to personalize and contextualize each message!

October 28, 2018: What's Holding You Back?

Jude series message 6

Text: Jude 24-25

Jude closes with one of the most well-known and beloved doxologies in the entire Bible. It's great to use it as a self-standing benediction, but leveraging its scope within its context is something we don't often see. Jesus has come. He's conquered the grave; the tomb is empty. All authority is His and He's with us until the very end. Yes, there are lies and deception and false teachers. Yes, there is opposition but we are called to rescue the perishing and help those who are struggling. What's holding you back from getting into the game? Fear? Insecurities? Your past? Feeling inadequate? God calls us to make disciples, He will guard us as we contend for the faith.

October 21, 2018: Advice to a Young Christian

Jude series message 5

Text: Jude 17-23

If I sat down with a young Christian who was looking for some basic advice on living his newfound faith, I'd pass along what Jude says. After listing, in the most vivid manner, the characteristics and behavior of these false teachers, Jude now sums all of that up before telling us what to do. Contending for the faith can take form in many different ways (i.e., apologetics), but we contend for the faith in the most practical and personal way when we live on a balanced diet of God's love and truth. We build ourselves up in our holy (not tailor made) faith when we are faithful in prayer, remembering the apostolic warnings, and looking for His mercy

October 14, 2018: Who Wins?

Jude series message 4

Text: Jude 14-16

Jude opens his letter with this plea, “…contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (vs. 3). Why? Because there were those in the body that were distorting the grace of God to give them license to be their own gods, doing what they wanted, when they wanted, how they wanted. This same temptation is a danger for us as well, but Jude shows us that this doesn’t even bring satisfaction in this life, much less when we come face to face with the Lord. This week we will see how Jude wraps up his warnings regarding false teachers and how “contending for the faith" might not mean what we often think it means.

October 7, 2018: Empty Promises!

Jude series message 3

Text: Jude 8-13

Empty promises! False teachers promise the world but can't deliver. They leave people bankrupt in every way. We need to identify them, guard the flock, and point people to the Way, the Truth and Life!

September 30, 2018: So We Don't Forget

Jude series message 2

Text: Jude 5-7

Judas likes his triads. This week we'll see three groups who face(d) God's judgement: fallen angels through rebellion, the Israelites through unbelief, and Sodom & Gomorrah and surrounding cities through immorality. Our message matters; our lifestyle matters. Those who have lived in open defiance of God's truth have faced judgement. I'm praying we develop a sense of holy fear regarding the message we've been entrusted with, as well as a holy boldness in proclaiming it.

September 23, 2018: Here Come the Apostates!

Jude series message 1

Text: Jude 1-4

Jude is a fascinating book, rich with vivid images from the Old Testament. It is thoughtfully written and, in great detail, calls out the apostates - those who depart from the truth. Their teaching and behavior go hand-in-hand, and both have consequences. Two big questions: what does contending look like, and what are we contending for? Jude's humble posture is followed by an authoritative ‘smackdown’ of those who deny Jesus Christ and the gospel, one that we surely cannot ignore today.

September 16, 2018: Resurrection Power!

Text: Ephesians 1:19-23

God's power toward us is seen in all aspects of our salvation! The power exerted in the resurrection/exaltation of Jesus is evidenced in the past, present, and future tenses of our salvation. It is at work in those who believe as we pursue holiness, seek to forgive others, and love our neighbor. He is always for us! We will never stop talking about the resurrection, but this is the last message in this series.

September 9, 2018: Faithful God, Triumphant Hope

Text: 2 Samuel 7:11-16

We resume our focus on the resurrection. My goal has been to show how the truth of the resurrection is woven deeply into the fabric of Scripture, not just a Christian invention drawn up around campfire that Paul later made into a religion. The resurrection of Jesus is of first importance to us and yields incredible hope, comfort and power. We'll look at a little talked about promise that is called by some the "theological highlight of the Old Testament". The Davidic Covenant contains a staggering promise which is unconditional and appears dramatically in the New Testament. How is this connected to the resurrection? A King can't reign if He is dead. The New Testament is clear: Jesus is the firstborn of the dead, the firstborn of the church, and the firstborn among many brothers in eternity. Because of his physical resurrection, to include a resurrected and glorified body, we will enjoy the same. All because of grace.