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We all know that good relationships make life much more enjoyable. In 1 John 4 we get a clear picture and reminder that our love for each other and our love for God are very much connected. We’ve probably all heard of cure-alls or home remedies that can fix just about anything. When we read these scriptures, the Bible really has the answers for wha…
 
Ephesians is full of lofty ideas. Sometimes they are ideas that dig deep inside. Our focus this morning is on three mysteries that are discussed in Ephesians. The Mystery of God’s Redemption in Christ Ephesians says quite a bit about redemption in Christ. Some of it is simple, and some of it is more complex and lawful. Talking about a mystery here …
 
Peter talks about a number of things but keeps coming back to the theme of a limited amount of time, there is an end coming. The question then is how should I be using the time I have left? Christians need to keep learning to think like Jesus. People who think like Jesus are a serious threat to the kingdom of darkness. Christians who don’t think li…
 
We are so worried about a works religion that we don’t want to talk about practical things. What are we doing with our stuff? What are we doing with this world? The goal of true religion is perfection and God loves people who are patiently pursuing that goal. Do you have a passion for being perfect? Here in Matthew 6, Jesus exposes a divided person…
 
Matthew 5 deals with moral issues, chapter 6 deals with Christian piety and the spiritual aspects of our lives. Matthew 6:16-18 – Jesus assumes that we will fast, He says, “when you fast.” The Jews were really involved in fasting. To the Jews, fasting was a sign of repentance. The senses are heightened during fasting. Matthew 6:19-34 – Jesus is unc…
 
Tonight we are talking about resistance against evil, and against those who harm us. Unlimited love was definitely shadowed within the Old Testament. Jesus said that He had come not to destroy lives but to save them. Jesus demonstrated a better way. We are called to a battlefield, we are fighting a real battle, but we have a different commander, ha…
 
The law was intended for our well-being. God mercifully telling His people how to live. God created the universe, He was telling man right upfront how the universe should be worked with. Man needs law, our wills are lazy. We need the reminder that we need to do some things. We are clever at making things right in our minds, even though deep down we…
 
Joy is the infallible evidence of God’s grace in life. The beatitudes don’t leave us staring at the heavens but at a scared and messed up humanity. The Lord really wants to perfect us. We empty ourselves to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Does the Spirit get all of you when you become a Christian? The joyful warrior embraces peacemaking. Some peopl…
 
Jeremiah 10:23 – Right action isn’t intuitive, it doesn’t make sense to forgive, to give your extra money away, to turn the other cheek. Jesus bases His Kingdom on a radically transformed character. Matthew 5 – Did you ever wonder why the sermon on the mount doesn’t start with the new birth? The beatitudes are a practical look at what the new birth…
 
God has given us desires, we need to know how to use these desires properly, but the desires themselves are from God. The problem with these desires is that the devil takes these desires and perverts it. God’s righteous rule is just, and kind, and good, and right. The problem is that the gospel is presented a lot of times as a “save me” gospel. Sal…
 
The issue with a fishhook in the finger is not the fishhook so much as the barb on the end of the fishhook. This little tiny barb makes all the difference in the world! If you have something in your eye, it doesn’t need to be very big at all to potentially do a lot of damage. You wouldn’t want to just put some numbing agent in the eye, you need to …
 
Ephesians 6:10-20 – We won’t be specifically talking about the armor that is covered here. We read about the spiritual life being a journey sometimes, but it is not just a leisurely stroll, it is often a battle. There is opposition all along the way. Matthew 26 and 27 – We know the story of Jesus. Throughout his life, from the cradle to the grave, …
 
1 Peter 3:13-17 – Peter asks a rhetorical question here, and the implied answer is “No one.” The whole letter from Peter kind of expects persecution, he is writing to people who are in the middle of suffering. Peter is saying that there is a sense in which no one can harm God’s children. We know that no one can separate us from God’s love. No one c…
 
Regardless of when you hear this, the fact is that the present is always a good time to be preparing for the future. 2 Corinthians 4:16 – Even if it is March, there is time to start the things you need to be working on. The top 13 New Years’ resolutions include things like, lose weight, quit smoking, take a trip, etc. Most New Year’s resolutions te…
 
Matthew 5:13-16 – We know that large crowds were following Jesus as He went around to teach and heal people in different towns. Jesus was seeking out the ones who were outcasts and were despised. Jesus was speaking to people who believed Him and were receptive to Him. Jesus had just started His ministry and had just called His disciples. There were…
 
It is an extremely daunting task for a church to figure out how to apply or pursue the vision that they agree upon as their mission. When you try to put this into words and develop a framework in a church it can be quite challenging. We are guilty at times when it comes to the task or mission of the church. We like to think and reason about it, and…
 
1 Corinthians 11 – Paul was addressing this issue because he felt like it needed attention. We aren’t talking about this morning because we need a major overhaul, but rather to encourage what we’re currently doing. God has a plan for order, when we fit into His order, that is the best place that we can be. Some teach that this scripture was just fo…
 
Philippians 3 Pressing Forward and Forgetting the Past We are in the first month of a new year, and I wonder if you have made any new year’s resolutions, or thought about how you want to live this year, or thought about whether the direction of your life and the target you are aiming at will take you to the goal you want to reach. There is a prover…
 
This is a New Years’ message… sort of. Looking back at 2020 a lot of us would say that it was a very challenging year and we’re hoping that 2021 will be a better year. Regardless of what this new year brings we can know that God will be faithful. We all need wisdom, for raising children, for church, and for other things. How can we be growing in wi…
 
James 4:14 – We aren’t here for very long, even for those who live many years it is a short time. Knowing Jesus gives us a bright and very different perspective about brother Wesley’s passing. Because of Jesus, it is possible in grief and loss to have a great and settled hope. John 3:16 – Jesus came into a messy world. A sin-sick and dying world it…
 
There were many people who were looking for the Messiah! Simeon and Anna praised and blessed God. The shepherds believed when the angels appeared and told them about Jesus. There was sickness and death and cruelty and injustice in the world when Jesus, the Messiah, came to earth. He provided a hope, and a peace, and a joy to those who accepted him.…
 
This morning we’re going to focus briefly on some of the miracles surrounding God’s supreme gift of His Son. The virgin conceived and the “Word who was in the beginning” came to earth as a baby. In Christ’s birth God is with us. Christ’s self-sacrifice can transform us into humble servants. John 1:1-2 – The “in the beginning” eternal Word became a …
 
Matthew 5, Luke 6 – Here we have a list of things that Jesus values. He promises to bless us if we have these values. We live in a world that has a very different value list than what Jesus talks about here. The rewards for these kinds of people are all about pleasing ourselves and getting more for ourselves. When we look at the beatitudes, and Jes…
 
If you listen to the things around us it is troubling. There are many troubles in the world. Beyond this, we all have our own troubles and burdens. We live in a fallen world, there are physical consequences of the fall that we all experience. What role does faith have in life being what it is? There are even times when it feels like God isn’t liste…
 
There is a phrase that is often used to talk about helping someone through the end of life journey “walking someone home.” This world is not our home. Walking someone home means going as far as we can with someone towards their destination. Brotherhood looks appealing, maybe even inexpensive. The fact is though that good brotherhood takes work. Luk…
 
1 Peter 3:1-22 Let’s take care of each other. Let’s fight evil with good. Let’s stay the course. Let’s be growing in brotherly love towards each other. Christians should have a special love towards each other. One exercise to think about here if you have a sibling that you really love, is there a resemblance between how I care for that person and h…
 
We’re talking together this morning about qualifications for a leader. This is an important part of the life of a church. Our nation just went through an election to choose a leader for our country. The church is not like that! Jesus said that his kingdom is not of this world. It is a holy process… It should be a peaceful process because the member…
 
When the world is going crazy we need to be doing what we should have been doing all along, going, and looking to Christ. John 15:1-27 – The word of God is all about Jesus. Genesis through Malachi has the theme “He is coming.” The Gospels theme then is “He is here” and the rest of the New Testament “He is coming again.” There are lots of different …
 
We live in interesting times these days, the issues that our country and the world is facing require a lot of wisdom to get through. Revelation 1:3 – There is a blessing for those who read this book. Regardless of how our week went, God is still on the throne and He is still in control. There are two realms that are “in play” every day, there is th…
 
Psalm 116:1-11 – Imagine yourself on a frosty roof for some reason and you slip and fall. As you slide you are grasping and scratching and clawing, but there is no way to stop yourself. This is a very helpless feeling. Sometimes we feel like we are completely helpless. An inner struggle that has gotten the best of you and you don’t know which way t…
 
This morning we’ll be looking at a story in the Bible that we have a fair amount of detail about. Sometimes we look at different stories in the Bible and wonder why we hear more about one person in a story than another person in the same story. This morning we are going to be looking at the church at Philippi. We have a fair amount of detail about …
 
Children becoming functioning adults doesn’t happen by accident. The opposite is also true, it isn’t an accident when people who have struggles emerge from communities and families. Ezra 8:21 – We are seeking a right way for us. This is what the church of Christ is instructed and authorized to do. The digital revolution has happened quickly. What w…
 
With all the “stuff” that information technology offers us, are we really coming out on top? We are constantly wired into things that can give us constant anxiety. When we are too thickly immersed in information technology there are certain skills that we fail to develop. It’s not as simple as just counting on the promise of technology to deliver. …
 
When we talk about technology we can say that we are living through a revolution. Technology has made huge changes in all aspects of our lives. Revolutions are unsettling, disruptive times. Most Americans now spend a fair amount of time working in front of a screen. A lot of us have a smart phone in our pockets. We have witnessed huge achievements …
 
1 Peter 3:1-8 – This sermon is from the same passage we looked at a few weeks ago when we talked about adornment. However we’re looking at it from a different angle this morning. Characteristics of an Excellent Wife An excellent wife needs to be submissive – Peter suggests that the holy women have understood this from the beginning. Husbands can ma…
 
This morning we’re talking about progressive sanctification. This is a subject that can take hours and hours of a class, so we won’t be able to chase down all details. What do we mean by progressive sanctification? Progressively separated from sin and more dedicated to righteousness with the result being that the Christian becomes progressively mor…
 
Hebrews 6:1-20 – Paul was an enemy of Christ. We know how he despised the way, and the followers of the way. He persecuted the church in many ways before he was converted… but he was converted! 2 Peter 2:20-22 – There is no question that the person talked about here is at a very high risk spiritually. As long as this person is in this state of resi…
 
Our goal this morning is to stir up our hearts and minds to understand the true meaning in life. There are many things that can be distractions in our lives. Church problems, health problems, personal problems, etc. John 14:1-7 – Jesus tells us that He is the way, the truth and the life. This morning we want to focus on Jesus as “the way.” Often as…
 
Is there a Biblical basis for “looking different” and not “adorning ourselves” with makeup, jewelry, etc. Philippians 2:3-9 – Jesus came to us as a simple, humble, unselfish, man. He was a poor carpenter without a lot of “trappings.” Keep that in mind as we continue on. Peter and Paul on Internal and External Adornment 1 Peter 3:1-6 – Peter is disc…
 
1 Peter 3:16-17 – We know that Nero was the emperor at this point, he wasn’t kind to many people under him, Christians and non-christians. Peter is talking about the Roman government and he tells us a number of things here. Obey the government. Identify them as God ordained even if they are not Christ-honoring. They are put there for a reason. We n…
 
We’ve read the Bible, the New Testament and the epistles and the greetings and closing farewell blessings many of them have. They are encouraging to read, but we often buzz over them like they are filler and polite expressions. If we read them thoughtfully though, there is power to be found in those words. Romans 1:7, Romans 16:20-27, 2 Corinthians…
 
1 Peter 5:5-6 – God is in charge of what happens in our lives and we want to strive for patience as we encounter life’s issues. Isaac doesn’t get a lot of “press” in the Bible. His life only takes up several pages in the Bible, but even a lot of that has to do with his finding a wife! Submission to His Father – When Abraham and Isaac were going to …
 
Texts used – Luke 14:25-33, Psalm 34:8, Luke 9:23-26, John 15:14, John 16:7, I Peter 4:17, Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus put the cost of discipleship front and center. He did not hide the cost of following Him. He was not very “seeker-sensitive”! Seeing Jesus’ bluntness– why did the crowds stumble over themselves to find Him? He is the pearl of great price…
 
Acts 24:14-16 – Paul says that he goes to great lengths to keep a clear conscience before God and his brothers and sisters. Romans 2:14 – The conscience is a gift from God! Paul says that the law is written in our hearts. Even with the infection of sin in the garden, man still has an innate sense of justice, and right and wrong. Romans 9:1 – The co…
 
1 Peter 2:11-25 – This morning we’ll be talking about honorable conduct and how our conduct affects the world around us. We see two possible effects that our conduct can have on the lost around us. First off, they could respond by joining us, this is the outcome we hope for the most! Secondly, they may see who we are and because of our excellent co…
 
One thing that isn’t in the book of Daniel is much about his life before he came to Babylon. We don’t know anything about his parents or his siblings. Scripture indicates that he was probably from a royal family. The name Daniel means, “God is my judge.” This was a constant reminder to Daniel that even when he was far from home, God was his judge, …
 
Are we making the efforts that God expects from serious believers? Are we doing the things that He thinks are important? When things fall apart, what are we left with? What is real when the nonessentials are stripped away? Life is a story. We are writing part of our story today! We have trouble, and we can get distracted by trouble. It can pull our…
 
Psalm 24 – The world that we live in is in turmoil. The changes that have happened since the beginning of the year even is incredible. The Bible tells us that there is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God. We want to think about worshiping our King of Glory this morning. We’re talking about more than worshiping together or personal worsh…
 
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