Claim Ownership

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As a church, we are the body of Jesus. When people see us individually or collectively, they should see Jesus. We should be able to say to people, if you want to see Jesus, look at us. We are His body. Often though, we do not look like Him but instead look like the rest of the world in our values, behaviors, and attitudes. As the church, we are called by God to oneness; that is one Body of Jesus. To make oneness possible, we must be humble, gentle, and patient with one another. We all need each other. We can’t grow up alone. We can only become the fullness of Christ together with God’s help. It’s not always easy, or pretty if we’re honest. But we are growing up into something glorious, something eternal, something more like Jesus. Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/4895963922.10.02
Paul describes the local church as a holy temple, a dwelling place for the Triune God by (in) the Spirit. If we are followers of Christ our very individual bodies and collectively as the body of Christ, are a people, a place where God’s presence dwells. The Holy Spirit is the one who somehow brings that reality into time and space. God’s divine presence and supernatural power of Trinitarian love is experienced in time and space, both individually and collectively. To in joyful submission, heartfelt obedience, and contagious hope allow our embodied lives to be increasingly empowered and controlled by the Holy Spirit. To be spirit-filled individual apprentices of Jesus, to be a spirit-filled local church where the fruits of the spirit are manifested in our relationships and experienced in our relationships. The fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The local church is not only a prayerful community, it is also a supernatural community, created, empowered, and sustained by the Holy Spirit.Sermon Notes: https://bible.com/events/4895580922.09.25
As modern westerners, we live in a pretty materialistic culture. We tend only to trust what we can see with our own eyes. That is actually a pretty unusual way to look at the world historically. But in a biblical worldview, there are powers that have influence in our world for good and evil. When you consider the depth of evil we see in the world, and the unexpected moments of healing, joy, or grace, it’s not hard to imagine that there are powers we cannot see who nudge our experience this way or that. These powers speak of God’s ultimate wisdom, brilliance, and magnificence. When God looks at us, he sees his most brilliant work of art. We are the victory of God. We must not lose heart because Jesus has overcome the world.22.09.18
Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/48948509Ephesians 2 gives us a soaring vision of the church as a new family. Something surprising the Triune God is building for his glory and for all eternity. Something also rather messy, yet amazingly and beautifully diverse. Jesus calls us to a different way of seeing one another as a family but also seeing ourselves differently. Not one with a posture of superiority, but one of centered humility. We are a family. In grace, Christ not only reconciles us, breaks down the dividing walls, but also gives us a new identity. We the church are fellow citizens of a kingdom with all the privileges, loyalties, and responsibilities of that kingdom. We the church have a new king and we have been given a kingdom agenda.22.09.11
Grace in the Bible is the free gift of God. There is nothing we can do to earn it. We can either accept it or reject it, but if we accept it, it doesn’t leave us the same. It changes us from death to life. We cannot build our faith on anything less than this. When we don’t know God or haven’t accepted his gift of grace, we are dead. We are not only dead, but we are guilty. We are guilty before God and his standards for us, but God’s judgment is different from the judgment we know towards one another. God’s judgment is rich in mercy. His gift of grace is a gift of mercy. He offers to us the payment for our guilt if we would only accept it. When we place our trust in Jesus, his life becomes our life. Whatever is true of Jesus, is true of us. Whatever good is in him, is working itself out in you. And whatever Jesus is, in life and death, in mountains and valleys, in darkness and light, wherever Jesus is, you are with him. And nothing can change it.Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/4894485422.09.04
Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/48941176We are anxious people living in anxious times. The many challenges of pandemics, climate, technology, overwhelming information, and political and governmental concerns seem to “seep into our collective consciousness, building on an increased sense of insecurity and powerlessness…an anxiety over an uncertain future.” Prayer is God’s most powerful antidote to anxiety. Prayer helps us regain a hopeful perspective. Prayer helps us remember who is really in charge. Prayer helps us reconstruct a more communal faith. As creatures made in God’s image, we were created to pray. We were always meant to have an ongoing communion with our Triune God who we increasingly know and are increasingly known by. We pray to Jesus, the one that is really in charge, the one who has all authority. The one who loves us more than anyone and has the sovereign and omnipotent agency to act on our behalf and to intervene in our lives and in a fearful, anxious, and uncertain world.22.08.28
Deconstruction is a process by which we question what we know, or at least what we have been taught. When it comes to deconstructing our religious beliefs, our faith, we’re talking about things of ultimate significance. If we are going to reconstruct, to build something that will stand the test of time, it all starts with God. His plan was set in motion from the foundation of the world and stands the fullness of time. And there’s even more to God’s plan. It’s news for all people. It’s grace that forgives sin and adopts us into God’s family. God’s plan is about more than just people. God's plan is to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. There is nothing in all creation not touched by God’s plan. Because God’s after all of it. Everything. And he’s calling us into all of those spaces to participate with him in his work of redemption and renewal. It’s all for his glory, not yoursSermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/4893759222.08.21
There are fewer things harder in the Christian life than waiting for Jesus. The glory of God is not so much about the glory due to God, but something God will reveal about himself. Something we sometimes have to see to believe. Something that sometimes makes us wait. Jesus waits for reasons inexplicable sometimes to us, and Jesus weeps when he sees us weeping, and Jesus rages when he confronts death and suffering in his good world. The glory of God is this: in Jesus, there is no grave over which Jesus cannot triumph, including his own, and including yours and mine. And when we believe he is the resurrection and the life, the Son of God, he, too will one day call us by name, will speak over every tomb, grave, urn, or ashes we’ve become, and say, “Come out” and no one and nothing can stop him. Jesus wins. Do you believe this?Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/4893393022.08.14
No one likes to think about aging. Our natural reaction to aging is usually revulsion, but time is coming for you. And as uncomfortable as that makes us, or as painful as that may be, the better we are able to reckon with that idea, the wiser we will be, no matter how young or old we may be today. It’s never too early to remember your Creator, to remember that we are creatures, with an expiration date. We must take seriously our frailty, our impermanence, and our death, which pretends to, tries to, convince us that life has no meaning at all. But we can do more than remember our Creator. On this side of Jesus, when we see the whole testimony of God’s revelation to us, we can do one more thing here. We can hope in our Redeemer, because every passing day in Christ, we are one day closer to the renewal of all things. Yes, even as we age, renewal only gets closer. Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/4889633622.05.29
We all want to be on the front line of protecting freedom, but the fight for real freedom is not outside of us, but within. We must beware who offers us freedom and at what cost. Satan will use the common areas of our lives to deceive us from our sin. Sin permeates, stains, and spreads. It begins in one part of our life and moves into the deepest parts of us where our subconscious takes over and suddenly we are driven by fear, shame, success, and idols we have cultivated where Satan is at work in our identity. The greatest weapon against the Enemy’s lies is truth. Only truth has the power to set one free and truth is not elusive. Jesus also stands in front of us. He sees our hearts and offers us freedom from sin and the enemy’s captivity. The yoke of Christ gives us rest so that we can experience love and faithfulness over manipulation and destruction, turning us towards what is good. Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/4892008422.07.17
Our family shapes who we are in ways we are hardly even conscious of most of the time. We come from extended families with their own stories, histories and patterns. But are we in Jesus’ family? In this family obedience is not because we earn something from Jesus. It’s because, as Jesus says, his words, his instructions, his design, IS eternal life. Obedience to Jesus doesn’t just give us access to life. It is life. And you know this because Jesus obeys. Jesus constantly obeys. In fact, if you really look at Jesus’ words about himself, he is constantly reminding us that his real power comes from obedience to and dependence on His Father. Obedience is the life we want to live. Being a part of Jesus’ family means that our obedience and love for his words grow over time. Is your love of Jesus’ words increasing? Do we read his word and want to obey?Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/4892302722.07.24
When you first hear Jesus speaking in our passage today, you may be slightly offended. Jesus claims to be our shepherd. Jesus says he is our good shepherd because he knows us by name. He doesn’t just lead us, he knows us. He will not leave us or forsake us. He gave his life for us. The hands that stretched out, on the cross of calvary, pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities, are in fact the same hands we’ve been looking for our whole lives, and when they find us, will never let us go. He is the good shepherd who calls the atheist by name, the Muslim, the Hindu, the Buddhist, and you and me, by name. He invites all of us into his fold, if only we would enter by him. And he knows your name. He lays down his life for you. He holds you. And even death itself cannot take you from his hands. Do you know His voice? Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/4893026022.08.07
The first-century Gospel writer John brilliantly weaves truth through a multi-layered story of Jesus healing a blind man. In the nearby literary shadows of this remarkable story lurks a provocative question, “Who’s Really Blind? Helen Keller once said, “The only thing worse than being born blind, is having sight, but no vision.” Embracing the Gospel is the only way to gain true sight. Just like the light of the world gives light to the man born blind in our story, so too can Jesus the true light of the world heal you of spiritual blindness and bring light to your life. Do you see him?Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/4892647522.07.31
We all want to be on the front line of protecting freedom, but the fight for real freedom is not outside of us, but within. We must beware who offers us freedom and at what cost. Satan will use the common areas of our lives to deceive us from our sin. Sin permeates, stains, and spreads. It begins in one part of our life and moves into the deepest parts of us where our subconscious takes over and suddenly we are driven by fear, shame, success, and idols we have cultivated where Satan is at work in our identity. The greatest weapon against the Enemy’s lies is truth. Only truth has the power to set one free and truth is not elusive. Jesus also stands in front of us. He sees our hearts and offers us freedom from sin and the enemy’s captivity. The yoke of Christ gives us rest so that we can experience love and faithfulness over manipulation and destruction, turning us towards what is good.Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/4892008422.07.17
If the sun stopped shining, our earth would be a dark lifeless wasteland and without Jesus the light of the world, we are in spiritual darkness. Like the sun, Jesus is the source and sustenance of life itself. He is not only the redeemer, but also the Creator. Without light, we can not see what is true, good or beautiful. Without Jesus the light of the world, we live in darkness. He proclaims a bold truth, offers us a great invitation and gives us a hopeful promise. What is eclipsing the light in our lives? Are we living in the dark or walking in His light?Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/4891615322.07.10
When it comes down to it, many of us are living desert lives, but what if we could have a lush, overflowing life? That is what Jesus offers us. The desert life gets stuck on how impressive Jesus looks from a human perspective. But Jesus knows that his Father’s timing is more important than human strategy. For an overflowing life, our faith has to be bigger than our ability to always know what Jesus is up to. A desert life wants Jesus to meet our every expectation without challenges, changes or disappointments. If we are not careful, we can admire Him without really believing in Him. It is so simple, yet so difficult for so many of us to receive the overflowing life by believing in Him. When we come to Jesus, thirsty and desperate, we become a river of living water that flows out to everyone around us. Bringing life to our world. We have God’s Spirit like a river of life. Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/4891390022.07.03
Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/48909625Following Jesus is hard. Staying with Jesus, obeying him, loving him through thick and thin, listening to him, is really hard. Jesus says things and teaches things that are offensive to every culture, every era and basically every person. So we should not be surprised when Jesus makes us uncomfortable. In fact, if Jesus isn’t offending us, isn’t challenging us, we probably just are not listening very well. Jesus will offend you. That is honestly part of his strategy to help grow your understanding of the kind of kingdom he is bringing. The wonderful paradox of the Christian faith is that as we deny self we become our real selves. It’s important, to be sure, whether or not you can follow Jesus. Don’t just ask “can I afford to follow Jesus?” Ask also, “If not Jesus, then who?”22.06.26
Sea [Signs of Life 02]

Sea [Signs of Life 02]

2022-06-1938:02

Storms can be frightening. Storms and fear usually go hand in hand. This is not only true of weather-related storms, but also of life-related storms. We all face fearful storms and are living in a very fearful culture. Jesus is not only the creator of the omnipotent God of the universe, Jesus is the loving and attentive omnipresent God who is always there with us even in the midst of chaos. He is here with us and for us. Just before ascending into heaven, Jesus’ last recorded words are, I am with you, even to the end of time. Jesus' uninterrupted and attentive presence in our lives is why we should not be paralyzed by fear. As apprentices of Jesus even in the midst of our greatest fears, our fiercest storms, in the deepest valleys of pain, grief, and doubt, we are never, ever alone.Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/4890674222.06.19
Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/4890341222.06.12
Life is like smoke. It looks real and solid but when you try to grasp it, it slips through your fingers. And this observation leads Qohelet to the brink of despair at times, because there seems to be nothing that can be counted on in this life “under the sun.” Rather than try to grasp the smoke, the hevel, and watch it slip through your fingers, live life with an open hand. The simple pleasures of life - those are a gift from God. Enjoy them. The relationships you have are a gift from God. These are ways that God is providing for us - enjoy them while you have them. So for Qohelet, the whole duty of man is to enjoy your life such as it is, and to die. But actually there’s something more. The whole duty of man is not just to enjoy life and die. The whole duty of man is to fear God and keep his commandments.Sermon Notes: https://www.bible.com/events/4889982822.06.05
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