A practical atheist believes in God, but lives his/her life like He does not exist. Therefore, there is no transformation or expression of faith in God. They live worldly lives. When you truly believe God and fear Him, you will obey Him wholeheartedly and unconditionally. Sermon preached from Quarry Church, linked to YouTube. Notes from Life Church Open. To be used for small group or church service ministry.
Passages: Matthew 25
One day we will know just how much God has blessed us. God has made us to be His hands and feet-to touch the hurting and feed the poor. We assume that to have a "real church" we must have a building, a sermon, a band, etc. But the Biblical characteristics of the church must go much deeper. Sharing the gospel honestly and openly means some will receive and some will reject the truth. It's one thing to preach exegetically, but to live exegetically is something entirely different. Part of Gospel Conference, Part Five. Preached at Cornerstone Church, Simi Valley.
Passages: Selected Scriptures
We are all afraid of something. And for most of us, these fears are preventing us from reaching our greatest potential. Fear of acceptance. Fear of failure. Fear of not being in control. The thing is, many of these fears aren't even rational. They're exaggerated lies that Satan wants us to believe about us, about our circumstances and about God. And these lies can lead us into some dark situations. Pastor Steven teaches through the life of Elijah to show us three powerful techniques God uses to help us overpower our fears in the face of the Enemy.
The account of Peter and John healing the lame beggar at the Temple gate reminds us that ordinary Christians have unstoppable, miraculous power when we are connected to a powerful God. It's time for the church to appropriate God's resources and shine for the glory of God. Go Elevation Church for more of Pastor Steven's sermons.
Who will confront you with compassion, defend you and give you hope in all circumstances? Do your relationships measure up to this standard? Are you with the right one? Preached at NewSpring Church 11/04/12. Used by permission.
Passages: Acts 8:25-40
God has gone before us to work in the hearts of people who don't know Christ.
And when death arrives on our doorstep, he brings all his friends along with him; sorrow, despair, pain, loneliness, depression, addiction, confusion, bitterness, anger and of course grief.
Passages: Acts 5:1-11
The story of Ananias and Sapphira teaches the gravity of allowing Satan to gain a foothold in God's church through lying and deception. The passage connects pretense, divided self, lack of integrity and satanic power. If God did not intervene and confront the lies, greed and deceit, it would be the death of the church from the start. We lose our integrity slowly, over small matters that lead into major ones.
God is a covenant-keeping God, and he consistently reveals it in Scripture as he loves, pursues, and delights in people who don't show a lot of reciprocity toward that love, pursuit, and care. Just like Gomer, they're prone to run to other gods. Just like Gomer, they're prone to run to other husbands. They're prone to run to other ways. They trust in their own strength, despite the fact that their own strength creates train wrecks for them constantly. This is the God we serve.
God is serious about our commitment to Him. Our prayers must be carefully crafted and come from an obedient heart and an expectant faith. Chan summarizes examples from Scripture where God shows His holiness by punishing sin. The flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah indicate His holy wrath. The judgment of Joshua upon the family of Achan shows God's use of His people to carry out His justice. We must be careful to make our own lives pure and pray for the purity of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Elisha had a defining moment with Elijah when Elijah asked him to leave his life as a farmer and to follow him. We all have defining moments in our lives. As Elijah prepared for his death (his ascension to heaven), Elisha would not leave his mentor. He asked Elijah for a double portion of the Holy Spirit.
Passages: Ezra 4:1-24
The people of Judah wanted to re-build the Temple in Jerusalem, but faced great opposition and had to abandon the task. The Jews were accused of being rebellious, and wanted to undermine their rulers. Because of these reports and the insecurity of their oppressors, building stopped and the attempt to rebuild the Temple failed. So what do we do when God doesn't answer, or when our hopes are deferred? That's when our faith can become the strongest.
Passages: Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 4; 21:7-8
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 9:27 that "man is destined to die once and after that the judgment." We will all stand before the Lord. The the unbeliever, it will be a long, draining reminder of a life filled with poor choices, but for the Christian, Christ will plead your case on your behalf. When John got a glimpse of heaven in Revelation 4, he saw that God was on His throne in the middle of it all. That's where He sits, and that's where we will someday stand. WATCH SERMON VIDEO HERE.
Abraham learned that half-truths that deceive are still lies. Don't be surprised when our children copy our actions, not our boundaries. Abraham's deceiving ways were passed down to his son, Isaac, and his grandson, Jacob.
Passages: Titus 2:1-5
No matter what stage of life we are in, every believer needs to understand the link between the faith that we profess and the lifestyle that should characterize us. The challenge isn't to blend in with the culture, but by our distinctiveness, to adorn the gospel. In Titus 2:1-5, Paul begins this instruction in Christian living with the older generation of men and women, whose stage in life presents new responsibilities and opportunities to influence those around them.
The brutal battle Jesus fought to obtain our freedom from sin is described. Adam left us a death sentence: We are separated from God as a result of sin. Sin is the root cause of our emptiness and our unhappiness. Because of sin, we are always weighed down. Jesus freed us from our life sentence. We have life because Jesus' sacrifice.
Passages: 1 Corinthians 15
What are the implications of the resurrection for our lives? How will the Good News of Jesus impact the way you live?
The Easter season reminds us of the greatest gift God bestowed upon mankind, the hope for everlasting life through Christ. Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection from the tomb should provoke each of us to whisper "thank you" to God. Thank you for sacrificing your only son to pay for our sins. Thank you for giving us a death on Friday, that would lead to a resurrection on Sunday. Without the cross, there could be no empty tomb. Without the tomb, there could be no everlasting life.
Passages: John 20:19-28; Romans 10:9-10
There comes a moment where Thomas makes his decision. He declares his faith in Christ. I believe the evidence points toward a Creator and an inspired Scripture and a resurrection, but one way or the other, you have to have faith.
Passages: 1 Corinthians 7:1-40; Philippians 4:11-13; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Proverbs 14:26; Genesis 18: 20-32; Ezekiel 22:23-31; Psalms 106; 19-23; Malachi 2:13-16; Deuteronomy 24:1-4; John 4:16-18; Matthew 5:28-48; 12:2-8
Paul gives practical relationship advice in 1 Corinthians 7. To singles, he advises to stay single if you can. Marriage undercuts your ability to serve God wholly. Get married if you wish. To married couples, he teaches to have sex and lots of it, stay together even if it's rocky and don't leave and remarry. To spiritually mismatched couples, Paul writes to stay together if it spiritually benefits your spouse and kids. If you are left by your unbelieving partner, you are free to remarry.
Passages: Numbers 11:31-35; 12:12-16
God's favorite posture is kneeling. Humility is the key to knowing God.Miriam, Moses' sister and Aaron, Moses' brother, questioned God's leadership. Miriam was punished by God and contracted leprosy. Although God healed her, she, like us, learned a powerful lesson in humility. We must never question God's choices, and submit to the authorities He places over us.
Jesus loves the disabled and uses them in a mighty way for His kingdom work. Like Paul, He uses weakness to build spiritual strength and great faith. Nancy Guthrie relates her own life experience as God has touched her life. From Desiring God Conference 2013. Used by permission of Nancy Guthrie.
Passages: Joshua 3-4
When life overwhelms you, put God in front by obeying Him. Hang onto your faith knowing that God is in the "rescue" business. Blessings are not always measured by success, or by this life on earth. Blessings are measured by Who we get, not what we get.
The prophet Elijah experienced great victories and great trials in his life. Calling fire down from heaven was a miraculous triumph. But lonely days of starvation at the Brook Kerith, and the death of the widow's son at Zarephath refined the man of God and made him realize the great Creator he served.
Passages: Luke 4:18-28
Jesus launched his public ministry in Nazareth, a very small, very poor community. The people who lived in Nazareth knew what need really was.. We are facing life
Passages: Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Parents, not the school or the church, should be the primary teachers of respect and obedience to their children. Meal times, travel times and bed times are key opportunities to impart values to your child. Good parenting is inextricably linked to the parents' relationship with God.
Be careful of your wild, impetuous words, because you are in God's presence. Christians are the temple of God. Don't rush into His presence, come before Him with reverence and awe.
Passages: Hebrews 10:24
When you are dealing with someone, be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Differentiate between the Holy Spirit's revelation and your manipulation. Don't ignore red flags. Don't internalize, verbalize. And finally, don't give up meeting together in the Body of Christ. Community is where growth occurs. Preached at National Community Church. Used by permission.
Passages: Hebrews 11
Finding faith can transform us. Hebrews 11 teaches us that because we belong to Christ, we can have confidence with God that He will guide our lives, forgive our sins and act on our behalf. Preached at Cornerstone Church, Simi Valley California. Used by permission.
Passages: 2 Chronicles 18:1-15
True freedom doesn’t come from doing what we want to do but from living out the will of God, then let’s choose to be people who submit to God, who are people who really do want to hear the Word of the Lord and live by it. We learn from Jehoshaphat that if we are serious about that, then we better surround ourselves with people who share that same approach to life. Otherwise, we will never make it. We are so good at justifying what we want to do, that if we are surrounded by the wrong people, we’ll give up our freedom every time. This is one of the reasons that God invented this thing called “church,” as a community of believers who are all committed to the freedom that comes from increasingly living out their destiny, of increasingly becoming more like Christ.
As the Book of Acts begins, the followers of Jesus wait obediently for the Risen Lord to send them promised power from heaven. This power would equip them to see their mission and be eyewitnesses of the Gospel story to their own people, to other cultures nearby, and ultimately to distant peoples in places they did not themselves know. Their task would require “tri-focal vision” because their Lord had died to save any who would believe in Him from all over the world, beginning in Jerusalem. Taken from www.maxlucado.com. Used by permission.
Passages: Titus 1-2
An elder, according to Paul, should be a man of integrity, loyal to his wife and wise as a father. He should be humble, generous, holy and disciplined.
Passages: Selected Scriptures
Francis Chan teaches that in order to live the Christian life you must follow Jesus and not give up. He will strengthen you to make the journey with Him. Though difficult, you will have the grace to follow him no matter how great the obstacles become. Finish the race!
Passages: Colossians 1:1-13
The Apostle Paul commended the Colossian believers for their faith, their love for the saints and their hope of heave. Paul prayed for them to live a life worthy of the Lord, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Many of us have such a limited view of the love and power of Jesus. When we expand our view of God, our whole life changes and impacts others in a radical way.
The Bible says that the nation of Israel followed God faithfully throughout the life of Joshua and the elders who succeeded him. But when that generation of leaders died out, the Israelites spent the next 400 years in a cycle: disobedience, punishment, repentance, and deliverance (Judges 2:10). So the new generation began to worship the pagan gods of their new land, until God finally used those pagan nations to punish them. God would punish them by allowing them to be oppressed by one of the neighboring tribal nations. They would cry out to God in repentance and beg for deliverance. During those times of punishment, God would raise up Judges political, military, and spiritual leaders to lead Israel back to Himself. There were several Judges, but a few of them capture the cycle of the entire 400-year period.
The Apostle Paul tells his story about how he turned from being proud and religious to being humble and trusting God for his salvation as a free gift. Jesus died on the cross to pay for all of his sin. Receiving God's love and blessing even if you don't deserve it is the meaning of grace. Preached at Cornerstone Church, Simi Valley California. Used by permission.
Passages: Selected Scriptures
In the 2012 Desiring God Conference, Fernando Ortega preaches on the significance and power of corporate worship. Corporate worship is designed by God to honor Him, to unify His people, and to manifest His glory. www.desiringgod.org. Used by permission.
Man's condition before Christ came was hopeless. Jesus, Son of Man and Son of God came to save mankind. Nicodemus, the curious Jewish leader, was told by Christ to be born again. The birth of Christ and the new birth are compared in this evangelistic message.
Passages: Philippians 4:6-7; Matthew 6:25-27, 34
Why shouldn’t we worry? Because if we knew the big picture like Jesus does, we’d realize that worry is not rational. God really has promised to take care of us, and worry does nothing good. It only brings bad. It changes nothing, except our stress level. All it can do is rob joy and peace. It can’t change the future—which is what we always worry about. You see, God is never anxious or worried. He is always in a complete state of peace, because he is eternal and in control of everything.
Twice the Apostle John tells us that Christmas happened—the Son of God became a human being—to take away sin, or to destroy the works of the devil, namely, sin. All of this because he was born. He was incarnate. He was the God-man. No incarnation, no regeneration. No faith. No justification. No purification. No final glorification. Christmas was not optional. And therefore being rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, while we were dead in trespasses, God sent his Son into the world to live without sin and die in our place.
The unusual passage in Genesis 6 teaches that the culture was defined by its fallen heroes, sexual perversion, widespread corruption and violent headlines, just like today. God’s grace was given a deadline before He sent the flood. We can choose to follow what is popular and cause God grief and pain, or find God’s favor by obedience and walking with Him.
Passages: Acts 8:26-40
Luke teaches in Acts that listening to the Holy Spirit requires that we are surrendered to God's will, know Scripture and receive wise counsel from mature believers. We must be sensitive to the consolations and desolations (listening to the movements of the heart), be radically open and quick to respond when He speaks.
Passages: Titus 1:1-4
Paul wrote to Titus as a servant of God, appointed by grace, with a clear purpose in mind: to see people come to faith and grow in the faith to which they have come. This study in Titus 1:1-4 explores Paul's authority and the singlemindedness of his ministry to the people whom God has been calling to himself from eternity. His position and his purpose-for the sake of the saints.
We are born with a sense of justice. But because of this tendency, we tend to want to retaliate when we are unjustly treated. Walk in wisdom. Walk in community. Grow in our understanding of being children of God. Live with eternity in mind. Preached at Village Church. Used by permission.
Passages: Mark 12:41-44
The goal of this sermon series is to help us figure out how to make the most of what we have whether we have a little, some, or a lot. Very few of us in this room would say that we are wealthy, but there are probably some of us who, in fact, have very little. Mark 12:41-44 tells the story of a woman who had just a little. The widow had hardly anything to give, but she still gave. It's easy to think that when we don't have a lot of money—when economic times are tough—that generosity should be the first thing to go. But the Bible shows us that even when we have a little, we can still have a generous heart.
Passages: Genesis 50:22, Hebrews 11:22
What is your legacy? As Christians, we must be intentional about reminding the generations to come of God's provision in the past and his promise for the future. In this study from the life of Joseph, we see an example of steady obedience and trust in the faithfulness of God and a legacy of confidence that he will never fail to keep his word.
The Holy Spirit gives you the power of salvation, to walk in God’s will, to share Christ boldly, to live a holy life and to make a difference with your spiritual gifts. Preached at LifeChurch.tv. Resource from Lifechurch.tv/open.
Passages: James 5:13-20
We often reduce prayer to a chore or transaction. Prayer is supposed to be the most natural expression of our love for God. Preached at Cornerstone Church, Simi Valley, California. Used by permission.
Passages: John 8:1-11; Genesis 2:25
How do you experience healing for the shame wounds in your life? Confess your sin. change your lifestyle. God believes in you. Don't be afraid to pray simple, honest prayers. Preached at National Community Church, www.theaterchurch.com.
Passages: Acts 1-12
“When Jesus was preparing to return to his father, he commissioned his friends to go—to astronomically expand the impact of their lives. He called them to action in Acts 1:8; to a mission that spanned the globe. “You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” Our mission is the same today, though our individual areas of impact vary. So I invite you to ponder your place in the mission: Where is your Jerusalem? Your Judea? Your Samaria? Are we reaching “the ends of the earth?” Are we being witnesses of Jesus in our towns, our nations, and our world? The world is waiting for the witness and presence of God’s people. Billions of people live below the poverty line, millions of children go hungry around the globe, and preventable disease claims thousands of lives daily. But we each have the opportunity to make a difference. What would happen if we seized the moment? Taken from www.maxlucado.com. Used by permission.
Demons influence the leaders of nations. They desire to inflict suffering on you. They scheme to lure you away from God and paralyze you with fear. How do we battle the darkness? We don’t treat our enemy lightly or flirt with darkness. We don’t fight with our own power but with God’s authority. Taken from LifeChurch.tv/open. Used by permission. Not for sale or commercial use.
Passages: Luke 15:11-32
The older brothers, or “self-righteous” and “faithful sons and daughters” can often resent the irresponsible behavior of their younger, more selfish counterparts. When the younger prodigal son asked for his inheritance, he basically insulted his father by saying he wished his father were dead so he could collect his due. The father’s graciousness toward the younger son was an unusual response of mercy. The older brother needed to extend grace and forgiveness. God’s grace and forgiveness is freely given. Preached at Chase Oaks Church, Plano Texas. Used by permission.
Passages: Titus 1:1-4
As we conclude our study of the introduction to Titus, we are reminded that God, who never lies, gives us knowledge of the truth and the promise of eternal life. A pure heart and an uncorrupted conscience is evidence of abiding in the truth of God’s Word. Titus is tasked with teaching the common faith. www.truthforlife.org. Used by permission.
What you see in this life is not all there is. Your prayers are far more powerful than you know. The Devil blinds the minds of unbelievers, steals God's Word from you, sets traps to ensnare you and fights to stop you. We do not fight FOR victory, but FROM victory. Message Taken from LifeChurch.tv/open. Used by permission.
Passages: Galatians 5:6; Psalm 25; 1 Timothy 1:5
Sex is a garden of delights within a form and structure of God’s plan-just like a beautiful quilt. Christ began that good work in us. He want s our most intimate relationships to be a place of utter safety, garden of all that is good. Innocent pleasures in a world full of guilty pleasures. God is the God of light and the giver of all good gifts. In that garden of sexuality, that blossom becomes beautiful because of Him. The second object lesson came from my mechanic-it’s a filthy, oily rag. There are things that are so dark, you can hardly feel that you can put a name on what has happened. Which one are you? However greatly you long to dispel the darkness is the degree to which you begin to let in the light of God’s love. “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion in the day of Jesus Christ.” He has washed away the guilt of sin, but He wants to wash away the corruption of sin. Taken from Desiring God National Conference 2004. desiringgod.org.
Passages: Titus 1:1-4
Paul wrote to Titus as a servant of God, appointed by grace, with a clear purpose in mind: to see people come to faith and grow in the faith to which they have come. This study in Titus 1:1-4 explores Paul's authority and the singlemindedness of his ministry to the people whom God has been calling to himself from eternity. From Truthforlife.com. Used by permission.
Passages: Acts 22
In Message 19 of Max Lucado's "Outlive Your Life" series, Pastor Lucado discusses how God allows us to move on from the mistakes of our past to find our hope in Christ. Visit http://www.maxlucado.com. Used by permission.
Keys to a genuine love relationship requires that we speak the truth in love and authentic humility, talk directly to the person rather than about the person and do so for the purpose of restoring their relationship with Christ and with others.
Passages: John 10:10
Strong Christian marriages have Christ-centered relationships that are grounded by individual relationships with the Lord. Many who have joyous homes that are filled with love and laughter find their strength in God to help them guide all others in their lives. These homes aren't perfect and don't pretend to be, but they are faithful families who love the Lord and always put Him first.
Passages: Luke 6:27-36
When you are in a difficult relationship, you have an opportunity to better understand where your identity and strength come from, and once you do, you realize that they can’t take that from you. In fact, God has given you this powerful weapon called love. Change the game. Trade jabs for love. Trade insults for love. Trade being taken advantage of with more love. In the process, you expose the heart of the other person, and may even cause them to evaluate where they are at with God. Who knows?
Passages: Revelation 3, 4
Some of you are holding on to something that is killing you. Some of you that are Christian have this sin that you are holding on to. You are not changing. It's just stuck there. It's almost like sometimes you have to wait until your lives hit rock bottom and you collapse before you will do something about it. Lukewarm Christianity is not an option. Francis Chan takes his message for this Men's Retreat at Cornerstone Church, Simi Valley, from Jesus' words to the church at Laodecia.
Passages: Selected Psalms
Francis Chan teaches on God's heart revealed through David's Psalm 32, a psalm of confession. This wall between us and God is either from a faulty understanding of forgiveness, or a faulty understanding of repentance. David understood this wall. He understood shame and embarrassment when he committed adultery and murder. He also understood what it took to remove the walls. Psalm 32 is his experience and advice. From Cornerstone Church, Simi Valley, California. Used by permission.
Passages: Psalm 1
In a marriage ceremony, you are saying “I want to spend the rest of my life with my spouse”. In baptism, you are saying “I want to be in union with God and spend the rest of my life with Him.” It’s God’s desire that you actually want Him. The picture is of a tree constantly sucking up nourishment from the stream. Its roots are going deeper and the tree is getting stronger. That’s the person who meditates on God’s word day and night. You can’t be watered once a week and expect to survive. www.cornerstonechurchsimivalley.com. Used by permission.
Passages: Mark 4:38-5:43
Do you ever become tempted to give up on God? The Gadarene demoniac was not beyond Jesus' help. Jairus' daughter was already dead, but Jesus' raised her. People matter. If you're helpless or hopeless, God is grieved. You are never too far gone for Jesus' touch!
God asks us to love people and love the truth. We need purity for the sake of unity. Watch out for those who cause divisions and avoid them. Joy in the truth is dominant.
Passages: Nehemiah 1-4
Nehemiah was a faithful servant of the Lord that knew of the importance to protect God's cities after His people finally returned from exile. He knew that it was only right to work hard and serve God, no matter how difficult it was to stay true to that promise.
Words of wonder are words we sing in praise to God. Singing can help us remember words, engage with words emotionally and help us use words to demonstrate and express our unity. We should sing songs that unite rather than divide the church. We must be clear that it is the gospel and not music that unites us. The host of heaven is not united in their style of music but in the words of their song. Ask yourself, What are we doing to encourage our church in corporate singing? What are we doing to discourage it? 2008 National Conference, Desiring God. Visit desiringgod.org.
Passages: Ruth 1-4
This dynamite sermon shows the foreshadowing of Jesus in the book of Ruth. Begg shows how we can interpret the Old Testament in light of the revelation of Christ in the New Testament. Jesus, the kinsman redeemer, saves and protects a penniless young woman and an elderly widow. The marriage of Ruth and Boaz produces a host of believers borne from their lineage. Plenary Message, April 12, 2011. The Gospel Coalition National Conference. Visit thegospelcoalition.org. Alistair Begg Website: truthforlife.org.
Passages: Psalm 8
Stunning videos of the universe from the Hubble telescope confirm the picture of a giant incomprehensible God. How could we view ourselves as important when we see His majesty. The little children know how to praise Him. He is the God of great worth! Sermon preached at Cornerstone Church, Simi Valley.
Passages: Selected Scriptures
Louie Giglio shares his understanding of God's compassionate heart for all of the peoples of the world at the Desiring God National Conference. We can't be myopic, thinking only of ourselves in God's great scheme. We must have Jesus' global perspective. Desiring God 2011 National Conference. www.desiringgod.org.
Passages: Ephesians 4:1-32
Paul's model for handling conflict is outlined in Ephesians 4. Speak the truth in a loving way. Deal with the offense quickly. Fight fair. Remember the goal.
Passages: Esther 1-4; Hebrews 13:5
Esther was a great example of God working up stream. Little did she know when she became the Queen of Persia, that God was positioning her so that she could call upon her internal courage to save God's people from persecution by King Xerxes. Esther serves as an example of a strong woman who takes an opportunity to bring God into her life and lets Him provide her strength.
Passages: Psalm 1
The godly person stays apart from worldly influences, reverences God supremely and feeds on His Word continually. He will weather any storms. from Cornerstone Church archives, Cornerstone Church, Simi Valley, Califormia.
Passages: Matthew 17:1-3; Mark 14:32-36
Deepening your relationship with someone else includes sharing hurts, revealing true feelings, confessing failures, acknowledging weaknesses, expressing doubts and asking for help and prayer.
Passages: Genesis 1-3
In the beginning God created the heavens and earth (Genesis 1:1 NIV ®). This is the beginning of life as we know it. From here God went on the build day and night, land and sea, living creatures to roam the garden, and finally mankind. Adam and Eve’s fall marked the beginning of man sinning, but God’s hope for redeeming mankind shines brightly through Noah and the flood.
Passages: Daniel 10:1-14; Psalm 35:5, 23
There’s a genesis moment when we begin to pray, then we need to keep praying and believe that God is contending for us if it is in the will of God and for the glory of God. We have the Holy Spirit interceding and we have the Son of God interceding and then we must just keep on praying. Finally, I believe that there is a breakthrough. We’ve got to pray through until the breakthrough. Then there is a moment when we will see God move in a way that that prayer is answered. For the entire "Circle Maker" series at National Community Church, click HERE.
Passages: Philippians 2:1-11
Self esteem. Self improvement. Self help. Self love. Self actualization. Self pride. It’s all self delusion. Preaching from Philippians 2:1-11 Pastor Mark Driscoll teaches how Jesus is for us the most happy person who has ever lived because, in part, He was the most humble. Used by permission of the Gospel Coalition. Visit Mars Hill Church for more of Mark's sermons.
We can stand in good conscience before God and others because of God’s grace. Regardless of viewpoints expressed in the Galatian church about circumcision, all believers in Christ receive God’s free gift. False teachers may not be discovered (the tares) until they are identified at the end of time, so we must not allow our freedom in Christ to be warped into legalism.
Passages: Revelation 2:18-29
Jesus’ words to the church in Thyatira include some commendation for their actions, but lengthy correction of their doctrine. They were sinfully more tolerant than God—which is still a temptation for us today. What should Christian tolerance look like in culture, community, and the church? Christianity begins with tolerance and moves to repentance and change. If we repent of our sin (incl. sexual immorality and sinful tolerance), we will be rewarded. If we do not, there will be justice in judgment. For Mark Driscoll's Sermons, Go to http://marshill.com/media/sermons.
Passages: Genesis 3, Galatians, John 10:10
Galatians attacks the two false ideas about fullness that have Jesus' name on them. Galatians is going to deconstruct legalism, the idea that, I can control God's affection for me by my behavior, that I will earn his approval by what I do. It's an outside-in type of religion that says, I ultimately control God. The other error is really the error of license, or God ultimately does not know what's best for me. I know what's best for me. I'll set my own rules, and I'll live my own way. Both legalism and license fail to trust God at his Word. (No Video-Full transcript included).
Differences in personality and theology can divide us and weaken our ability to face the challenges before us as Christ-followers. Unity occurs in our common experience of an uncommon God.
Passages: Genesis 1-2; Revelation 21:1-7
Pastor Chan teaches that after the fall, God promises to restore the world to Himself. All of our lives should be lived in light of the new Heaven and Earth. Moving mission testimony begins the service.
All of us have been delivered by the grace of God at one point or another in our lives. When Moses and the Israelites were suffering and enslaved in Egypt, God delivered His people out of persecution, freeing them from Pharoah's rule and parting the Red Sea so they could escape. Southeast Christian Church. Used by permission.
Passages: Galatians 5:13-25
Christians are called to be surrendered to the leadership of the Holy Spirit and bring glory to Christ. We are no longer able to live according to what we want. Every day, every moment should be lived in the light of the Holy Spirit's filling and fruit. You can eat Cheetos (works of the flesh) and buy a treadmill (the fruit of the Spirit).
Staying married is not about staying in love. It is about keeping covenant. “Till death do us part,” or, “As long as we both shall live” is sacred covenant promise—the same kind Jesus made with his bride when he died for her. Therefore, what makes divorce and remarriage so horrific in God’s eyes is not merely that it involves covenant breaking to the spouse, but that it involves misrepresenting Christ and his covenant. Christ will never leave his wife. Ever. There may be times of painful distance and tragic backsliding on our part. But Christ keeps his covenant forever. Marriage is a display of that! That is the most ultimate thing we can say about it.
Three heart questions must be asked concerning dating. First, how is your relationship with Jesus? First things first. Number two, are you believing any cultural lies? Are you letting culture and not Scripture really determine your sexuality, your dress, how you date, how you present yourself, how you engage in certain relationships with members of the opposite sex? And number three, do you accept that marriage is not just for happiness, but also for holiness? Reprinted from Gospel Coalition. Used by permission.
Passages: Galatians 2:11-31
Francis Chan teaches on Galatians 2:11-31 where the apostle Paul confronts Peter with the sin of hypocrisy. Peter separated himself from the Gentiles because they were uncircumcised and Paul reminded him that all men are saved by grace and not by Jewish laws. There can be no conditional love. We must freely receive the grace of God.
Passages: Romans 8:28
Jeff Jones and Joy Cruse, mother of Conner Cruse teach on "All things work together for good to those who love God." All things happen to Christians. God is the reason when things do work out for good. God does promise to work every challenge in our lives for His glory. Mother Joy Cruse tells the story of her young son's battle with brain cancer and his eventual homegoing. His childlike faith in the midst of suffering is legendary. Join Team Conner. Watch Conner's Cruse's Story HERE.
Passages: Selected Scriptures
Francis Chan teaches that complete obedience to the Bible and the Holy Spirit's leading produces unexpected joy in your life. Following Jesus half-way is not an option.
Passages: Luke 11:1-11
In a sermon inspired by The Circle Maker, Pastor Batterson teaches about the desperate prayer in Luke 11. Desperate prayers mean you are going to pray and pray through until you know God's answer. God's reputation is on the line, not yours. Establish an objective, and make a commitment. Fast as part of your prayer life. http://www.theaterchurch.com
Jesus is the only perfect man to ever live. Because most men fail to look to Him as their example, they can become chauvinists or cowards. Husbands, be real men who love God and serve their family well. Honor your wife spiritually, martially, physically, emotionally, verbally, financially, practically and parentally. Shepherd your children well. Taken from Mars Hill Church Sermon Archive.
Passages: 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Paul gives five commands to be a model Christian, husband and father. Be on your guard, stand firm in your faith. Be courageous. Be strong. Do everything in love.
Passages: Ezekiel 33:1-25; Matthew 6:33
God speaks to His prophet, "Ezekiel, you will be like a person with a beautiful voice, that they love to hear but not obey the words. Do they do anything with the message? People will listen-he’s like a musician and attract a crowd but with no life-change. Jesus' first and last command was to put everything in our lives aside and make disciples. Ezekiel the prophet says we are accountable to God for the people He places in our paths-to love them, care for them, and to lead them to Christ.
Life is done by little decisions. The purpose of self-discipline is that we might be godly. Reclaim the hours of your day that are wasted by reading God's Word, great books and quality conversations with your family. Follow those who have finished well. Desiring God Conference 2011, Used by permission.
Jesus may come at any moment. We should live with such urgency and purity that we will focus our lives in the light of that truth. Scoffers like Thomas Huxley say that religion restricts our sexual freedom. They believe that because they have not experienced God, He does not exist. However, that reasoning is faulty. Do we fail to believe in death because we have not experienced it? We haven't experienced the return of Christ, but it is real and it is imminent.
What does Jesus teach about politics? Remember our primary identity and allegiance as God's people. Be good citizens of the state. Influence the common good by being a positive part of the process. Remember unity within and civility without.
Passages: Selected Scriptures
God directed you to this sermon, I believe, so that you would know, first, that you don't have to die, and, second, so that you would know that Jesus, who makes this promise to you, is God—the God of Israel, the God of all. And, third, you are here because God wants you to see the implication for your life of knowing you will not die.
Jesus teaches us what real faith is: staying in with God even when we do not feel Him. Even though God is silent, He is still working powerfully. Even though you are alone, God has positioned other to watch with you.
Passages: Ephesians 4:32; Isaiah 3:16-24; Amos 4:1-6; Ezekiel 16:26-28; Proverbs 19:24; 22:13; Matthew 23:13-21; Philippians 3:2; Colossians 2:8,18; 1 Timothy 1:3-7, 4:1-7; 6:3-5; 2 Peter 2:1-3; Galatians 5:13-14
Christ taught us to rebuke the swine, shoot the wolves, bark at the dogs and pray for the shepherds while they feed the sheep.
Passages: Matthew 22:36-40
Could be God preparing us for the future, so that we are ready to share our faith in a post-Christian culture, under persecution? Or are we so complacent that we are consumer Christians, spoon-fed by our favorite preachers, paying someone else to lead others to Christ and disciple them? Whenever you are confused, and are seeking direction, just go back to the basics. When the church has made mistakes in the past, it’s where the church has failed to elevate the core issues. Jesus made it simple. In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus was asked which was the great commandment. He replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind...and a second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
My marriage (or future marriage) will go beyond my imagination when I focus on my responsibilities rather than my rights. Follow the example of Jesus in Philippians 2. Be like Christ by encouraging, comforting, fellowshipping and showing compassion to your spouse. See like Christ, humbling your self before God. Be like Christ being self-sacrificing. (New Spring Worship included in Video)
Passages: Philippians 1:21-30; Revelation 22:1-5
How do you live your life in a way that's worthy of Jesus? What kind of spiritual service is "fruitful labor" for God? Why did Paul want to go to heaven so badly?
Passages: Galatians 2:11-21
Grace is almost incomprehensible to the human mind, because we believe we have something to offer God apart from Christ. Grace is free and cannot be earned or bought. Francis Chan discusses the joy and freedom that comes from receiving grace, a gift that compels us to live a life completely devoted to God.
Passages: Ecclesiastis 11:7-12:14
King Solomon teaches in Ecclesiastes that the time to surrender to God and serve Him well is in our youth, when we are strong and visionary. God can maximize our ministry as we give our lives to Him at an early age.
Getting old to the glory of God means resolutely resisting the typical American dream of retirement. It means being so satisfied with all that God promises to be for us in Christ that we are set free from the cravings that create so much emptiness and uselessness in retirement. Instead, knowing that we have an infinitely satisfying and everlasting inheritance in God just over the horizon of life makes us zealous in our few remaining years here to spend ourselves in the sacrifices of love, not the accumulation of comforts. If we are going to make God look glorious in the last years of our lives, we must be satisfied in him. He must be our Treasure. And the life that we live must flow from this all-satisfying Christ. And the life that flows from the soul that lives on Jesus is a life of love and service. This is what will make Christ look great. When our hearts find their rest in Christ, we stop using other people to meet our needs, and instead we make ourselves servants to meet their needs.
Passages: Acts 20:26; Revelation 4
The importance of leaving a church well is loving them deeply, hearing God's call and being sure you have spoken all God has given you to say to that body of Christ. The focus and intent of our lives is to live in the holy presence of the Almighty and to make communing with Him our consuming passion.
Passages: Ephesians 5:25-32; Revelation 20:22
Marriage and sexuality point to our deep longing for union with God. The way God loves us is the way that romantic love should be expressed among us:free-God chose you; total-all of you; faithful-forever, without condition; and fruitful-producing life out of you for others. The purpose of sexual union gives us a picture, a hint of glory, ecstasy, of heaven.
We cannot afford to be lukewarm Christians. Paul teaches in Romans 12:11 that serving the Lord means 1) seeing the Lord as worth more than what the appetites offer; and serving the Lord means 2) seeing the Lord’s approval as more valuable than the approval of man and acting on it; and serving the Lord means 3) believing that he has died for us and fulfilled the law for us so that all our serving is now receiving as a gift what he accomplished and what he bought.
Passages: Matthew 13
Have you ever grown or tended a garden? There is strategy involved. Within Matthew chapter 13 - Jesus launches into several parables that focus on this concept of Kingdom growth. Why doesn't God just 'fix' things now? We must grow where we're planted. The interwoven life of connection is one we're called to live - because the world needs us to and we need it in order to truly grow.
Passages: Ephesians 3:14-19
Francis Chan teaches from Ephesians 3 about how the Holy Spirit alone can reveal to us the love of Jesus and how knowing that in a deep way will change our lives.
Passages: Revelation 20
The resurrection of Jesus provides us with complete victory in life. He conquered death for us, He rules the universe and He places Satan underneath His feet. We don't have to be afraid of death, because His sacrifice on the cross gives us assurance of a heavenly home with Him.
In the last generation, the rise of existentialism says that there are fixed, closed natural laws, that make the world understandable and scientifically manageable, and these laws do not allow the truth of the claim that someone has risen from the dead to live forever. That was a commonly held assumption: The modern world with its scientific understanding of natural laws does not allow for resurrections. So unbelief was often rooted in that kind of assumption. Today the assumption is not that there are natural laws outside of me forbidding the resurrection of Jesus, but there is a personal law inside of me that says: I don’t have to adapt my life to anything I don’t find helpful. Truth for me is what I find acceptable and helpful. I put the resurrection of Jesus before you, with heightened self-awareness you will not so easily be carried along by modern assumptions from 40 years ago or post-modern assumptions today, but may, with God’s help have a true concern for what really matters to you—not just what nature or your own heart says matters to you. The sermon recounts the eyewitnesses who saw the risen Lord and other proofs of His resurrection.
Passages: Mark 15:22-32
The invitation of God is to wait on cross with Jesus. It is hopeful, courageous, confident way of being. Standing in the world erect, facing the reality that surrounds us. With all our hearts – remain in relationship, in communion, waiting, listening, open before God. Distractions serve to numb the pain of waiting, of despair and lack of faith; i.e. – addictions, busyness, denial, blaming others, self loathing, bitterness. This approach is not centered in the love of the Father and it takes us away from our true selves. Thus we miss what God is doing in us.
Passages: Matthew 4:1-11; 16:22-23; 21:42; 26:34; Luke 22:3-6, 31-32, 47-48; John 12:6; 15:25; Ephesians 2:1-3; Colossians 2:13-15; Psalm 118:22; 26:34; 34:20; 41:9; Zechariah 12:10; 13:7; Isaiah 53:6-10; Acts 4:27-28;Romans 5:8, 8:3; Galatians 3:13
History's most spectacular sin was the murder of Jesus. Satan's power in Judas' sinful passions, Satan's role in His own destruction, God's role in the murder of His Son and the hand and plan of God are discussed. The Gospel of God was at work in Jesus' death and resurrection.
Passages: 2 Samuel 11
We must watch for the "danger of the drift" or slowly falling away from God. What is the power of hidden sin? It kills good judgment causing a downward spiral in your life. It eats away at your soul, eroding your relationship with God. It will ultimately destroy everything good in your life unless God intervenes and you repent.
Passages: 1 Peter 5
We all fight the three-headed dragon: the god of Me, Mine and More. In 1 Peter 5, Paul teaches us how to be humble and place Christ first in our lives. Pride doesn’t allow us to try new things because we might fail. Pride doesn’t allow you to experience new things because what if we look foolish or silly because we’ve never done it before. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Passages: Selected Scriptures
Francis Chan discusses how Christians should be distinctive from those who don't know Christ by their holy, God-honoring behavior. But he also explains how we must relate effectively to those around us in showing Christ's love.
Passages: Haggai 2; Revelation 21:2-4
In Haggai 2, the Israelites begin to re-build the Temple after the foundation had lain desolate for fifteen years. God's people start to repent and obey God, but their circumstances didn't get any better for them. God says, "work, for I am with you." When you follow God, what do you get? The greatest gift of all, God Himself.
Passages: 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 3:18; Jeremiah 17:9; 1 John 1:8; Ecclesiastes 10:10; Matthew 4:4; Proverbs 15:14; 18:15; 29:8; Psalm 101:3; Philippians 4:6-8; Isaiah 55:8; Hosea 4:6; Acts 2:1-7; Ephesians 3:20-21
The battle for the mind of God's servants is continual and intense. Five principles for guarding your thoughts are 1. Don't believe everything you hear. 2. Guard your minds from garbage. 3. Never let up on learning. 4. Feed yourself on God's Word. 5. Let God stretch your imagination. Message delivered at Desiring God Conference, 2010. To attend the 2011 Desiring God Conference at Lake Forest Saddleback Campus, click here.
Passages: Haggai, Matthew 13; 1 Corinthians 15
What a great picture of the Christian life: Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15 "if there's no life after death, then I'm the stupidest person on earth, because I've given everything, I've bet everything. If I'm wrong, I've wasted my life. But I'm completely sold out." You are not gambling to serve Christ. You have to be "all in."
Passages: Haggai 1:1-13
After sharing a brief but engaging history of God and His people, Francis Chan relates the central message of Haggai. We must put Him first or our lives become unsuccessful and our efforts futile. Let God bless you as you make Him Lord of your life.
Passages: Selected Scriptures
This commemorative service of Chase Oaks' "Re-Plant" emphasis features keynote speaker Bill Hybels. He teaches that we must come as we are, praying for the people God has placed in our circle of relationships, that we must be transformed, praying for ourselves and that we must make a difference by praying for the local and global impact of our churches.
Passages: John 7:1-24; Matthew 13:55
Jesus' own brothers and countrymen doubted His deity and Messiahship because He wouldn't claim an earthly kingdom and take His country by storm. Many of the Jewish people in Jerusalem are not excited by Jesus’ miracles. They are threatened by them, and want to see him dead. We often fail to believe Jesus because He does not choose to act upon our terms.
God's amazing love for us is not given because of what we deserve, He actually adopts us as His very own children when we give our lives to Christ. Francis Chan explores what being a precious "child of God" looks like and how we can be sure of our salvation.
Paul teaches there are three types of people: those who don't know God, those who do and those who know God but act like they don't. Two key indicators of spiritual maturity are how you relate to others and the role you play in the Kingdom.
Passages: 1 Corinthians 8:1-10:33
Paul discussed questions of religious freedom with the Corinthian believers. He related that an idol was powerless, and that true worship of God is more than religious formality. Love and concern for others should guide our freedoms.
David was seen by others and likely by himself as the last person for God to choose to be something even close to king of the nation, of his people Israel. But what we see in the story is how God chooses differently than we think—God looks for something that all of us can choose to be. The Bible lets us know that what God looks for is openness to him, availability to him, humility before him. Jesus told us that if we want greater responsibility in the kingdom later, we just need to be faithful with what God has put in front of us now. As we are faithful in the small things, God will put us over bigger things later.
Passages: Selected Scriptures
Francis Chan gives his testimony of how God reignited the fire of love and dedication in his heart. We can learn how to "regain" our first love for Jesus as well!
Five principles should be considered when approaching the topic of Christianity and politics: blood is thicker than water, our Kingdom is spiritual, don't pass judgment on disputable matters, if you don't vote, don't complain and respect those in authority.
Passages: 1 Peter 2:9-12; Romans 15:5-7
Peter's take on God's plan for the church includes how effectively it relates to the community, how genuine Christians are in loving and accepting others. Peter writes, "But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted." First ten minutes is a dialogue with Pastor Chan and one of Cornerstone's Mexican Missions pastors.
Passages: Habakkuk 1-3
The prophet Habakkuk prophesied during the Babylonian occupation and questioned God about why the nation suffered so. At the end of the book, the prophet comes to faith and proclaims that he believes God regardless of the circumstances.
Raising children in a corrupt society has its challenges. Hold on tight: commit to the tough process, provide clear direction, encourage more than discourage and release them when it's time to grow up.
Passages: 1 Corinthians 12-14
John Piper affirms the use of "the miracle gifts" mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12-14, but believes that the most effective forum is in the context of a small group where there is accountability and a way to test the revelation or gift operation.
The setbacks that Joseph faced assure us that God has not forgotten us, no matter how difficult our life has become. Seeing God's hand at work in Joseph's life gives us hope to endure our challenges and grow closer to God. For sermons by Pastors Max Lucado and Randy Frazee, go to http://oakhillschurch.com/
Passages: John 5:39-47; Genesis 12:3; Deuteronomy 7:6-7; 28:15; Psalm 67:2-4; Isaiah 56:1-8; Leviticus 16:29-34; Hebrews 10:1-7; Galatians 3:10; Romans 3:19-20; Micah 6:6-8; Matthew 2:1-16; 9:11-13; Acts 2:41-47: 8:1
"Brain Cramps" refers to how religious leaders from the Old and New Testament completely missed the heart of God and the teachings of Jesus. Old Testament leaders missed the purpose of the law and how God wanted them to live. In the New Testament, the scholars ignored what they taught, the zealots missed what God wanted and the disciples missed what Jesus said. "Brain cramps" of today's Christians are also discussed.
Passages: James 2
Pastor Chan uses pop icon Oprah Winfrey to teach lessons from James 2 about how to treat people.
Passages: Hebrews 5:11-6:3
We must be "plugged into God" in order to successfully live the Christian life! Spiritual disciplines like Bible reading/meditation, prayer, solitude, fasting, service, worship, generosity and simplicity all deepen our faith and allow God's power to spark our hearts.
We must discern between negative circumstances in our lives that are “frontal assaults” from the Devil or circumstances in which God is calling us to grow up and “stand”. The attacks upon Jesus in Gethsemane and after He was baptized WERE FRONTAL ASSAULTS FROM THE EVIL ONE. In Job’s miseries, God was calling him to stand faithful through it all. At the end Job was a changed person. If you stand you will be changed from the inside out. Stand and persevere. Get around other mature believers. Don’t blame every obstacle on demonic forces. Remember, nothing comes into our lives but what God permits. Fill your house (life) with Jesus. Develop your personal walk with Him in prayer, scripture, worship, etc. Ephesians 6. SERMON POWERPOINTS
Passages: Jeremiah 1:1-13
Fear is a universal experience. Jeremiah is a young prophet called to prophesy against his own people. He was suicidal at times because of the pressure. Despite his challenges and fears, he has a powerful and influential ministry for over 40 years. There are three categories of fear researchers have discovered: fear of making mistakes, fear of rejection and fear of relaxing (it feels dangerous to relax). Jeremiah overcame his fears by experiencing God's perfect love: to know Him, to recognize we are set apart by Him, and we are appointed and empowered to do His work. For Powerpoints, click HERE.
Passages: 1 Corinthians 7:29-35; Job 23:12
Francis and Lisa Chan discuss how to have undivided devotion to God in a marriage and as a single person. A person who is not married has freedom and time to serve God in a unique way. Hindrances to devotion to God and ways that passion for God can be cultivated are discussed.
Passages: Ephesians 5:21-33; Hebrews 13:17
The biblical concept of submission in a marriage relationship is applied as it models the relationship of Jesus and His bride, the church. Negative connotations of submission are dispelled, and the correlation between a humble and supportive attitude toward leaders are also discussed.
Passages: Ephesians 5:32
Paul explains that this marriage and this union of a man and a woman coming together and becoming one flesh was just a picture of something far greater. It is the thought that God and his child would become one. This isn’t just about having a happy marriage so we can have a happy families. We are involved in something much bigger here than creating a home down here on earth. We are supposed to show the world a picture of Jesus Christ by the way we love our spouses and children.
Passages: Luke 2:4-7; Matthew 2:7-16, 19-23
Jesus was unrecognizable to his world because He had a simple birth to a poor family, a scary sojourn in a foreign land and a quiet upbringing in an obscure place. God knows what it's like to struggle because Jesus, His Son, did.
Paul, in prison, pleads to keep his new convert, the slave Onesimus, to minister to him. Paul writes to his Christian brother Philemon that the reason his slave was separated from him for a little while was that he might have Onesimus back forever no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. Onesimus is no longer just a slave, but a beloved brother in the Lord.
Passages: Mark 10; Luke 15:1-2; 19:10
The Christmas classic, "Elf"is a perfect picture of reconciliation. God's love always allows us to choose. God is passionate to find you. God's will is that no one would be lost.
Overflow with hope, the word overflow means to super-abound, to be filled to the brim, it would speak of a container that is filled where you can’t pick it up, you’ve got to lean over and take the first sip. This is our birthright as children of God and as followers of Christ. Hope is the belief that tomorrow is going to be better than today, and when you believe that and when you believe in eternity, then that has the power to revolutionize your life.
Passages: Selected Scriptures
Why do we become tight-fisted during the holidays? The whole message of God is about generosity and grace. He showed unconditional grace to the laborers in the field, regardless of how long or how hard they worked. He showed unlimited forgiveness to the Prodigal Son who had left his father to live a profligate life.
Who is the Christ Child? Paul in Philippians 2 teaches the amazing condescension of God coming in human form to die. Secondly, Isaiah teaches the baby would be Messiah, the Sent One of all of Israel. Finally, Psalm 110 shows the picture of Christ's return at his second coming.
Passages: Matthew 7
We subconsciously feel like we need to bribe or blackmail God, that somehow for us to get what we want, we need to manipulate God into it. We employ the same tactics. We are not as overt but if we really analyze our prayers lives, how many would fall into these two categories – God if You do this, we’ll do that; or – God if You don’t do this, we won’t do that. Those are just sugar coated forms of bribery and blackmail. You don’t need to do that, because number one – they don’t work; and number two – you don’t need to do because it is the nature of God to give us good gifts.
Passages: Matthew 1:27-28; 7:21; 1 Timothy 6:16
Francis Chan speaks of his travels around the world and discovers what is truly important. We must live a life that makes sense. We must live in a manner worthy of the Gospel. If you were to weight the eternal value of your life, what would it be?
Passages: Selected Passages from James
Pete Briscoe teaches on the application of Scripture and what it means to be a "doer of the Word" instead of merely hearing it. When reading Scripture, Pete encourages us to ask ourselves "How does God want me to think differently, feel differently, and what does He want me to do differently," as a result.
In this passage about Elizabeth's unborn child, John the Baptist, the word "baby" is used to describe Jesus while He was still in His mother's womb. What Luke is doing is treating this child in the womb as a person. He uses the word baby which he later uses for Jesus in the manger. He uses the word joy, which is what persons feel. He uses the phrase “filled with the Spirit” which is what God does to persons. He simply assumes he is dealing with a human person in the womb. And therefore so should we. It is the forming of a human person in God’s own image who will live forever. Let there be at Bethlehem, and beyond, a joyful, grateful reverence for the gift of human life from conception to eternity. Never cease to be amazed at the gift of life—the gift of children. www.desiringgod.org
Passages: Song of Solomon 1
King Solomon in Song of Solomon teaches us what to look for in a mate, preparing yourself for marriage, the right way to build a relationship. When God is number one, sex is great! Sex is an integral part of the marriage relationship and should be enjoyed and treasured. Sermon Video is in 5 Segments. Watch them from top to bottom.
Having money to spend is power and the way we spend it impacts people's lives. The prophet Micah teaches that we must live a life in submission to God's will, treat people with grace and compassion and never ignore injustice. Help the poor and vulnerable.
Passages: Galatians 6:1-10; Colossians 3:12-15
What do you do when a member of your church body falls into sin? How do you help them, rescue them, and not fall into the same temptation yourself. Grace gently brings back to God the errant believer and helps him be restored to his church family. Christians must be holy, not soft on sin. Christians must be loving-with Christlike love.
Passages: 1 Timothy 4:1-16
Getting the gospel right matters. We must see God correctly, and teach the right view of God. When we model the Christian faith, our sheep see what a true believer looks like. Have you soft-sold the message of the gospel to hold onto the people? The church of today needs repentance. desiringgod.org
Altars are markers that remind us of God's work in our lives. Four altars we can construct are for remembering God's revelations, for remembering decisions we have made, for giving thanks and for remembering dreams of what God is going to do.
False teachers are often hard to spot. They appear to be righteous, but pander lies of relativism, subjective morality, social gospel, and universalism. Christ wants us to base our beliefs and behaviors on the Word of God.
The image of God on the earth should show in the lives of Christ's followers. Others should be surprised to see the love, forgiveness and spiritual power in our lives. Jesus said we are to be different-to "stand out."
Passages: Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Being a good parent begins by loving God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength. Listen for God's voice to guide children need to hear you pray. Make bedtime a sacred opportunity. Model a pure Christian life. Place scripture reminders around your home.
Passages: Acts 2: 14-40; Joel 2:28-32
When Jesus was preparing to return to his father, He commissioned his friends to go—to astronomically expand the impact of their lives. He called them to action in Acts 1:8; to a mission that spanned the globe. “You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” Our mission is the same today, though our individual areas of impact vary. So I invite you to ponder your place in the mission: Where is your Jerusalem? Your Judea? Your Samaria? Are we reaching “the ends of the earth?” Are we being witnesses of Jesus in our towns, our nations, and our world? The world is waiting for the witness and presence of God’s people. http://www.upwords.com
Passages: Colossians 3:12-17; Romans 12:2
Christ has created us to put off our old sinful natures and to become compassionate, kind, gentle, humble, grateful people. We must demonstrate patience toward others, because Jesus reigns in our lives.
Keys to overcoming temptations, according to James, are taking responsibility for one's actions, avoiding deception, changing direction, getting help. The four stages of temptation are desire, deception, disobedience and death.
"Paul warns the Galatian church not to disparage God's lavish gift of grace in the Salvation of Jesus Christ. To set aside such a gift and replace it with a system of works and self-effort that could never please God."
Passages: Philippians 1:18-30; Mark 8:34-36
Our lives must be lived in complete surrender to Jesus, constantly from and eternal perspective. Our daily work and ministry will be fruitful as we obey Him. Even though heaven is better, we are here to further His Kingdom by all means. Live for eternity, serve today.
Jesus' disciples couldn't comprehend why Jesus could sleep in the midst of the storm. We must remember to relinquish control, fear not and trust. Dr. Lucado lends his valuable insights at Chase Oaks Church in Plano, Texas. Visit http://www.upwords.com. Purchase Max's book: Fearless
Passages: Hosea 1-3
God used the unique commissioning of the prophet Hosea to teach the children of Israel (and us) about His unfailing, redemptive love to a faithless people. Ted Roberts gave a fictional firsthand account from Hosea’s standpoint, saying that the lovesickness and betrayal that Hosea would feel – not just as a result of marrying a prostitute, but even having her bear children to other men, would “qualify him” to bear the message of God’s own heartache and love for His wayward people. He said that the bible doesn’t shy away from any topic, and even sexual addiction is no exception. From 67-70% of men in the church, plus 24-30% of women are sex addicts. Only 3% of high school seniors have not used pornography. God cannot bring revival to His church while blatant sin is not dealt with. God also will usually not give us “pre-flight instructions” before we find ourselves in heartbreaking circumstances that may not be of our own choosing. He asks us, however, to trust Him to keep us and instruct us through those circumstances even though we don’t understand them, or – like Hosea – are not the cause of them.
Passages: Romans 16:17-20
We must love people but also love the truth. (1 Corinthians 13:4). Paul teaches we need purity for the sake of unity. We must watch out for those who cause divisions and avoid them. Leave room for loving your enemies. False teachers seem nice, but serve their own appetites. Desiring God.org
Passages: Selected Scriptures
Acclaimed writer and speaker Ed Stetzer leads a plenary session for the 2011 Desiring God National Conference. He encourages us to be missional beginning with our closest sphere of influence to a global outreach. For more information on the Desiring God National Conference, go to desiringgod.org.
Passages: Hebrews 12:5-11
Hebrews 12 is a marvelous guideline to lovingly discipline and mentor your children. Always discipline your kids with the big purpose in mind. Don't fall into traps of poor discipline by over-controlling, shaming, comparisons, overly harsh discipline, anger or fault-finding.
Passages: Selected Scriptures
Craig Groeschel discusses the schemes of Satan to separate the older and younger generations in Christian ministry. Older generations are encouraged to invest in the younger generation, and fight a resistance to change. It's also important to delegate authority to younger leaders. Age and experience, authenticity, wisdom and compassion of older leaders can transform and ground the lives of the younger Christian leaders. Message delivered at Catalyst West 2010. Used by permission.
Passages: Deuteronomy 29:26, Isaiah 40: 17-18; 43:10-11; 45:5; 46:9; 1 Timothy 6:15-16; John 8:58-59; Isaiah 9:6; Genesis 1:1-3, 26; John 1:3, 2 Corinthians 3:17; Romans 8:9; Revelation 4; Zechariah 4:2
The mysterious, magnificence of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit is discussed through a number of Scriptures and segments of prayer and video are also included. God is one, there is no one like Him, He is inscrutable. All the verses that describe the Holy Spirit as part of the Godhead are discussed from Genesis to Revelation.
Heaven, according to Scripture, will be a place of continual discovery, meaningful work, perfect rest, loving relationships, unequalled pleasures and awesome worship.
Passages: Numbers 22:18-35
The miracle of the talking donkey is about obedience to Christ. When Balaam refused to listen to God's commands, God used a donkey to prevent him from blessing God's enemies. Sometimes God's most amazing miracles are simply getting in the way of where we want to go. They feel like detours and we get frustrated. But God uses them to not just re-route us, but change us.
Passages: Romans 1:1-32
What are the effects of the fall on our minds? First, our reason is now opposed to God. The fallen will produces a fallen reason. This doesn’t mean that unbelievers know nothing. The reason is not destroyed. It is given over to sin. An unregenerate person can know that two plus two equals four. But when it comes to the fundamental issues of meaning, that is where our reason is most corrupted. The unregenerate mind sees the gospel as folly. The fall can produce ignorance, distractedness, forgetfulness, prejudice, faulty perspective, intellectual fatigue, inconsistencies, inability to draw correct conclusions, apathy, dogmatism, pride, vanity and miscommunication and partial knowledge. Avail ourselves constantly of the Word of God. As believers with renewed minds, we must avail ourselves constantly of the life of the local church, depend constantly upon the corrective power of the Holy Spirit present in our lives to conform us to Scripture. We must keep thinking until Jesus comes. 2010 Desiring God Conference Plenary Address.
Keys from the "love chapter" can set a new tone in your home. Defy relational gravity. Overcome evil with good. Defy logic. Believe the best. Find the most generous explanation for each other's behavior and believe it. Keep on loving. Defy entropy. Pray.
Passages: Psalm 100
The service begins with a video of the "Children's Hunger Fund" which received one million dollars from Cornerstone Church. The video is followed by a powerful message from Psalm 100. Focusing on God in nature, lifting Him up for His attributes and works is life-changing and increases our faith. We become grateful, energized Christians.
Passages: John 3:22-30
The life of John the Baptist expressed how Christ can be reflected powerfully in our lives by being unconventional, uncompromising, bold and truly humble. So John sums up God’s work in verse 30: “He must increase and I must decrease.” He must. This is the plan of God. The Son of God, the bridegroom, will be exalted. He will be glorified. He will increase in the eyes of man. Or as verse 21 says, it will be “clearly seen” that the new works of all his people are his work.
Passages: Selected Scriptures
How is Christ most powerfully expressed in today's culture? And how does His church relate His true nature in a compelling, relevant way? Mark Driscoll gives some answers. Address given at a National Desiring God conference.
Are there tears in heaven for believers? Of course, we are saved by faith, but Scripture teaches that God "will wipe away" every tear. Certain passages teach that our judgment will include both rewards and loss, that we will be judged by actions and motives. One day our closet motives will come to light. Everything we take pride in ultimately was received from God and will be laid at His feet.
Passages: Galatians 5:1-15
The service begins with the baptism of a young girl who was supposed to be dead in the womb after a DNC. Instead, she survived and became a powerful testimony for Jesus. Human love is so different from Divine love. Divine love is undeserved, unconditional and eternal. A church community filled with God's love is completely committed to God and others. David Brainerd said "As long as I see anything to be done for God, life is worthy having, but O how vain it is to love for any lower end."
God takes human life very seriously. God is much better than an earthly father. He is rich in mercy. The key is: You have a Father in heaven. He loved you and sent his Son to die for you. He is all-powerful and all-wise, and is more ready to help you when you call than the best earthly father in the world. I plead with you. Don’t choose between rescuing people from suffering in this world and rescuing people from suffering in the next. Embrace them both. Taken from Desiring God. Used by Permission.
Passages: Selected Scriptures
This is a diagnostic test for pastors and church leaders to determine if their church culture is "guy-friendly" or not. Each question covers a different aspect of how your church can reach men for Christ.
Passages: Revelation 3:14-22
The church at Laodecia was called lukewarm by Christ because they were apathetic, materialistic, and self-sufficient. We must not be satisfied with our spiritual condition. We must be humble and repentant-ready to meet the needs of the poor and needy in the world around us.
God promises spectacular blessings to those of you who remain single in Christ, and he gives you an extraordinary calling for your life. To be single in Christ is, therefore, not a falling short of God’s best, but a path of Christ-exalting, covenant-keeping obedience that many are called to walk.
An idol is usually a good thing that becomes a god thing. We worship what we love and pursue most with our hearts and our actions. God says it is good to tithe, spend, save, invest, and give generously. But we must not love it place hope in it, or be enslaved by it.
Some idols lie by presenting themselves as a Savior. Sometimes an idol lies by telling you that it can mediate between you and God. One reason an idol is enticing because it gives you an identity. Idols lie by telling you they can make you righteous. Idols tend to be good things that are turned into god things and they become bad things. There are several idols that can be followed in leading a church. Attendance, innovation, leadership, ministry-all can be used in the wrong way instead of in the worship perspective God intended. From Desiring God Conference Advance 2009. Used by permission.
We have received all things by the grace, the unmerited favor of God, but all our work is done in the light of that truth and in the strength of God’s power. If we are motivated by pride and fueled by self-effort, we will never realize the potential for abundant life that God has for us.
The psalms are inspired by God and are meant to instruct us how to think about God, man and the world. Zeal for God's glory, pleading for rescue and crying for help are included in this poem. Imprecatory psalms show an approval of God's judgment, a foreshadowing of Christ's ministry and incentive to forgive.
When Jesus was preparing to return to his father, he commissioned his friends to go—to astronomically expand the impact of their lives. He called them to action in Acts 1:8; to a mission that spanned the globe. “You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” Our mission is the same today, though our individual areas of impact vary. So I invite you to ponder your place in the mission: Where is your Jerusalem? Your Judea? Your Samaria? Are we reaching “the ends of the earth?” Are we being witnesses of Jesus in our towns, our nations, and our world? The world is waiting for the witness and presence of God’s people. Billions of people live below the poverty line, millions of children go hungry around the globe, and preventable disease claims thousands of lives daily. But we each have the opportunity to make a difference. What would happen if we seized the moment? http://www.upwords.com Outlive Your Life, Max Lucado, purchase here.
The Exodus is a picture of the Christian life. We were in a foreign land. We were in bondage, but took shelter under the blood of the Lamb. My mediator, Jesus Christ, led us out and we crossed over, and now we are on the way to the Promised land. We are not there yet. But He's given us His Law to make us a community. Gospel Coalition Conference 2011. Used by permission.
Passages: Galatians 6:1-10; Colossians 3:12-15
Paul gives us a picture of loving restoration in Galatians 6:1-10. We must restore people who have fallen into sin by gently counseling them and bearing their burdens. As a community of believers, we are responsible for each other. Humility and compassion are keys when we share God's Word and restore others, and we must be careful not to fall into sin ourselves.
Passages: Hebrew 5:11-6:3
We often lose our desire to grow because of apathy, bad spiritual experiences, unconfessed sin and unforgiveness. Healing can take place by worship, connecting, taking a step forward to forgive and confession. As we grow, we learn to appropriate the spiritual disciplines: Bible reading/meditation, Prayer/solitude/fasting, Journaling, Reading/Study, Community, Service, Generosity, Simplicity, Worship and Submission
Trying to explain God's thoughts on hell must be approached with humility-not with heartlessness, arrogance, or carelessness. People's eternal destiny is at stake. We must never put God's actions in submission to our reasoning, but earnestly study His Word, with prayer, fasting and an open heart. Message from Cornerstone Church 6/19/11. Used by permission Order Francis Chan's new book on Erasing Hell here.
A dynamic, in-depth look at the church throughout history and what does and does not constitute church today. Don't miss this one! Powerful insights. Delivered at Catalyst West 2010. Register for Catalyst Conferences.
We need to suffer in order to reign with Christ. When you are in the middle of suffering and you doubt that Jesus cares for you, picture Him stretching His scarred hands and showing you proof of His love for you. Desiring God Conference, Used by permission.
How do you deal with a rebellious child? When they insist on leaving, let them leave. When things get tough-don't run to the rescue. If they come back, run to greet them. After they're back, don't punish the obedient.
Invest with the right team. Pray now or pay later. Past obedience guarantees future usefulness. Real discipleship affects our wealth, comfort, power and fame. For the disciple, this world is as close to hell as they will ever get. For the non-believer, this world is as close to heaven as they will ever get.
Passages: Acts 11:19-30; 13:1-52; 14:1-28
As followers of The Way fled persecution in Jerusalem, they carried the message of salvation with them to places previously unreached by the Gospel (Acts 8:1-4). But it was in Antioch of Syria where the church first became intentional about sending missionaries to the “ends of the earth”. From three different chapters in the Book of Acts we gather the story of the Antioch Church so that we may study a model of a church with a heart for obeying God’s mission.
Passages: Isaiah 58:5-9: Psalm 27:4
Believe in the God of power. Cry out, He'll answer. Stay with God and stay in his presence? That’s what this verse is about—just gazing upon his beauty and spending those sweet moments with him. It takes so much faith to abide in Christ and to dwell in the house of the Lord. That is what people want to see when they come to church. They want to see a people of God who are connected. Elijah was a man just like us, just like me. We should follow his example. 2011 Pastor's Conference. Desiring God.
When we see and experience God's glory, we receive grace. Our task is to help people to see Him. Beholding the glory of God (according to 2 Corinthians 3:18) is the means by which transformation happens. We must understand the love of God for us, what is means to feel loved by God, and recognize that God's love takes supernatural power to experience.
Passages: Romans 6:1-14
Paul teaches us that we can know that we are buried with Christ, and raised to new life with Him. We can count ourselves dead to sin and alive to Christ. Therefore, we offer ourselves to Him to follow Him and serve Him completely. Every time we have the opportunity to sin, we have a choice. We don't ever have to sin again!
Passages: Selected Scriptures
Does God answer prayer? We should make legitimate requests offered with respect and kindness, like a child to a father, and fitting into the scope of what God wants to do on earth. Suffering is often a crisis of faith because of unmet expectations. Paul teaches that our sufferings are "lightweight" compared to heavenly glory. Anxiety about tomorrow writes a check on today's joy. Regarding prejudice, your skin color and culture were God's idea in His infinite creativity. Don't tolerate racism in any form.
Passages: Selected Scriptures
Do not refuse to change because you are attracted to what happened last week or last year. Do not take the safer, easier route. You have a platform for your art. Don't waste the revolution. Find your tribe and move to this connected, revolutionary world. Catalyst, 2010. Used by permission.
Passages: Ezekiel 13:10-16
False prophets tried to lie to Israel about the coming judgment upon their nation. Ezekiel the prophet was trying to help them with their blind spots by telling them truth. How do we live with the truth about ourselves? We must recognize that we have blind spots, and make mistakes. We must listen to wise counsel and build a hidden life with God.
Passages: Philippians 3:1-11
Watch out for the "dogs" who teach works instead of faith by grace alone. We must count everything as loss for the sake of Christ, and always boast in Him.
Brain cancer survivor Matt Chandler talks about making the most of every moment by rejoicing in God and remembering His goodness, His redemption and His sovereignty. Every day, we are several hours closer to stand in front of our Great Father. Sermon courtesy of The Gospel Coalition.
Honesty is not something that can simply be taught in a sermon. It is revealed by the light of God's truth and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Only then are we able to see Satan's deception and repent to live lives of integrity.
Passages: 2 Corinthians 5:17-18; Isaiah 58:9
If we have a restoration mindset we’ll realize our job is to not state the Good News but to show up and be the Good News.Isaiah 58 says:…we will be restorers of streets to dwell in.This is our opportunity.The next generation isn’t leaving the Church because they don’t want to be Christians.The next generation is leaving the church is because they are looking for a church that is showing them how to be a Christian in a culture that is changing.
True humility is not self-focused, but consumed with thoughts of God and compassion for others. How can we build them up? Do you want to brag about something? Brag about the fact that God knows you. Don’t boast about how much you know. Boast about the fact that the God of the universe calls you by name. Some of you have been studying Christ for years. But does your life look anything like his? Can you say like Paul, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ?” Do you look like Jesus? Do you love like Jesus?
Pete Briscoe teaches on the application of Scripture and what it means to be a "doer of the Word" instead of merely hearing it. When reading Scripture, Pete encourages us to ask ourselves "How does God want me to think differently, feel differently, and what does He want me to do differently," as a result.
Whether or not you endure in your Christin life is dependent upon who you become. Life is done by little decisions. Choose wisely. May heaven be your motivation. Clothe yourself with humility.
Passages: Matthew 5:27-30; Ezekiel 16:13-59; Ephesians 5:23-27; Revelation 19:9; Genesis 4:1; Matthew 1:24-25; 11:27; Hosea 2:14-20; Jeremiah 31:34; Romans 1:23-28; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; 1 Peter 1:3-4; Colossians 3:10; John 8:31-32; 14:6; Hebrews 1:9; John 15:11
Sexuality is designed by God as a way to know Him more fully. Knowing God is designed by God as a way of guarding and guiding our sexuality.
The concept of loving submission for the wife and gentle protection of the husband is discussed in Paul's letters. Why use this model? Because it deepens love and friendship between marriage partners and honors God.
Passages: Isaiah 40
You’ve got one decision to make. Are you going to be an eagle and soar above the storms and the nervousness and make love in the air, or are you going to be down here on this three-foot level jumping up and down, waiting on Colonel Sanders to put you out of your ministry? Out of your misery. Ministry, misery, which? I believe God is speaking to you, to spread your wings as far as they can reach. To overcome the storms and the hostility and the lack of civility of our times, and let it push you up, not down. And as you go back home to lead your church, your ministry, and as you go back home to bring people into your life that irrigate your understanding with fresh perceptions of what the world is now, spread your wings. Because I believe that you can fly.
If you are parenting in the worst of times, or want to get ready for parenting in the worst of times, or simply want hope in the worst of times, look at Micah and look at Jesus and take this posture: brokenness because of your sin, and boldness because of Christ. Then in the power of the Holy Spirit, set your heart on being the best imperfect parent you can be—for Jesus’ sake.
Passages: Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8
God's big heart is passion-filled with love for His creatures. He's called us to be an integral part of His redemptive plan. what fences do you need to jump to reach others for Christ? What cubicles do you need to poke your head around? What school desks do you need to stop hiding behind? What empty chairs do you need to see?
Passages: Romans 16:17-20; 15:25; 8:33-34, 38; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; 1 Corinthians 14:20; 15:25; Matthew 10:16; 1 John 3:8; Genesis 3:15; Colossians 2:14-15; Hebrews 2:14-15; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Ephesians 1:22; Luke 17:26-31; 2 Peter 3:3-4
Satan has been decisively defeated in the death and resurrection of Christ through Christians who believe and speak the Word of God and wear His armor. Satan will finally be vanquished and thrown into the Lake of Fire, never to deceive and torment the world again. God will give grace for the battle.
Passages: Selected Scriptures
What is commonly known as DNA today was originally called "so pretty!" When DNA was discovered years ago, this divine design also informs Gods blueprint for the church. In this seminal work, he shares the woven strands that form the church: missional, relational, and incarnational. Far from a novel idea, Sweet shows how this structure is God's original intent and shares the simply beautiful design for His church. PROMOTIONAL VIDEO, 47-PAGE STUDY GUIDE, PODCAST @ www.leonardsweet.com
The story of the complaining Israelites in the wilderness teach us many lessons. God gives us salvation and freedom, but often, God’s people are impatient and complain.God disciplines us in order to bless us. When we repent and look to Jesus, He saves us.There will always be something to complain about. It’s ok to complain to God, but not against God. There is a great disparity between knowing the truth and believing the truth. There are some things only God can heal.
Passages: Selected Scriptures
The son of one of the most revered leaders of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas renounced his religion to move to America and become an evangelical Christian. He gives his testimony at Water of Life Church.
Ungodly companions offer bad advice, encourage us to make unwise decisions and lower our ethical standards. Who advises me? To whom do I look for approval of my choices? What is my ultimate guide-the Word or the World. Jesus wants us to be friendly to everyone, but to choose our friends wisely.
Passages: Judges 6-8
Gideon is a man with a major inferiority complex, as we learn right away. We see early in the story that he considers himself a loser of all losers. He tells God that he is the least of his family, which is the least of all the families of Israel. But God chooses him, because he wants Israel to learn a lesson. A lesson about what it means to depend on God for strength and success, rather than ourselves.
Passages: Acts 4:1-31
Peter and John encountered a man over 40 years old, begging outside a Temple gate. He was lame from birth and probably excluded from full access to the Temple all his life (Lev. 21:17-20). They healed him in the name of Jesus which attracted a crowd, preached the Gospel which increased the number of believers to 5,000, riled the Jewish authorities, were held in jail overnight, and then were brought before the Council the next day.
Passages: 1 Timothy 6:6; Genesis 25:25-32
We often trade what we've decided and what we know is most important for a bowl of stew. What’s true of Esau is true of you. You have no idea what God wants to accomplish through your life. You have no idea what God wants to accomplish in your church, ministry, community. And nobody is going to be standing beside you to help you re-frame the temptation. But God knows and you are going to want to be there. So re-frame and then refrain. But whatever you do, don’t trade your future for a bowl of stew. WAIT A BRIEF MOMENT FOR AUDIO TO BEGIN. From Catalyst Leadership Conference 2010. Register for Catalyst HERE.
Passages: Judges 13-16
Samson: what a sad end to such a promising start! He had taken for granted all that he had going for him, and used it only for himself. He never connected to his bigger purpose. God still used him to weaken the Philistines, but did so despite Samson, not in partnership with Samson. With the unique start and status of Samson, he could have been the most amazing leader in the history of the nation of Israel. His story could have been the greatest of all the Old Testament stories—but it wasn’t. Do you ever take God's grace for granted? Are you wasting the unique calling He has given you?
Passages: Genesis 3:1-15; 1:31; 2:17; Matthew 13:19; Mark 1:27; Revelation 12:9; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Jude 1, 6; Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Romans 16:20; Hebrews 2:14; Colossians 2:14-15; Romans 8:37-39; Daniel 4:17; 1 Peter 3:17; 5:8-9
Expect evil, hate evil, endure evil for God's purposes. Pray for escape from evil. Give thanks for its refining effects, overcome evil with good. Remember that God is in control and He is righteous and just. He can use evil for His glory. God is always for you.
There's a vast difference between legalism and holiness. There is also a great difference between asceticism and suffering. Colossians 2:16-23 talks about true spirituality and identifying its substitutes.
Is temptation the work of God, Satan or self? God's free gift of salvation frees us to live pure lives in intimacy with God.
Passages: Judges 11; Colossians 2:1-4; 6-8
Ignorance, especially passionate ignorance is a dangerous thing. Jephthah made a tragic mistake by making a vow God never asked him to make. He killed his daughter in the process. The antidote to ignorance is to dig our roots deeper into God's knowledge and wisdom.
We must have a God-centered, not man-centered theology. Therefore, it is our obligation to keep Christ's Bride, the Church, pure. If we do not judge and discipline perpetual sin inside the church, we lost the chance to be salt and light in the world.
James teaches that being a servant of God is a joyful life. Great servants like Moses, Joshua and David are described. We are encouraged to serve God willingly and gladly.
Passages: John 1:43-51
What is the difference between necessary judgments of probability and sinful prejudice? How did Jesus respond in these situations. In a reflective look of Martin Luther King's life and Roe vs. Wade, John Piper gives his thoughts.
Passages: Judges 4:1-21; 2 Timothy 1:7
Deborah was both a prophetess and a civic judge, one of the few godly leaders from the book of Judges. Her boldness and faith encourages us to pray big, dream big and act big-stepping out on faith and trusting a big God.
Passages: Psalm 42
How does the psalmist respond to discouragement? He asks God why. He affirms God's sovereign love. He sings. He preaches to his own soul. He remembers past experiences. He thirsts for God. He sees the face of God (as we do now in the face of Christ.)
We live in a tired society, a weary generation. Will you choose to go back to the slavery of Egypt like the faithless Israelites? God had delivered them. Will you choose, after being saved and redeemed by God, to work for your salvation, trapped by legalism? You can rest now.
Passages: Philippians 2:1-11
Christ modeled humility for us by laying aside His heavenly glory, living on earth and dying for our sins. There are several ways we can model His example in selflessly serving others. Another essential aspect of humility is humbling ourselves before God. The natural outgrowth of worshipping in God's presence is seeing the needs of others and helping them with compassion.
In a sermon preached at Water of Life Community Church, Lee Strobel gives insight into what will be significant in our last moments of life. The "hour glass" reminds us of regrets over words not said. The hourglass helps us realize our remorse over risks not taken. The hourglass helps us refocus on relationships. The hourglass helps us reaffirm our reliance on God.
Passages: Acts 28:11-31
When Paul said his last good-byes to the churches he had planted on the three missionary journeys, he considered his work finished in that part of the world (Rom. 15:23). He would in the future continue to write letters to these churches, but his desire was to preach the gospel where Christ had never been preached (Rom. 15:20). He chose a course which would take him to Jerusalem, planning to go from there to Spain to begin a new work. On his way, he intended to stop over in Rome, where he had never been, to visit the believers there. However, his life did not happen as he had planned. He was arrested within days of his arrival in Jerusalem, and held in custody for two years. He eventually appealed to Caesar to escape his enemies, sailed for Rome as a prisoner, survived a storm, a shipwreck, and a poisonous snake bite – and finally arrived in Rome. The Book of Acts ends without telling the end of Paul’s life, but with the story of the spread of the gospel going onward – and continuing to this day. Visit http://www.upwords.com.
How do we discover God's will? By personally interacting with Scripture, by praying for and acting upon received wisdom and by seeking counsel from those living Christ-honoring lives. Excerpts taken from Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung
Words like "submit" and "do as you are told" are foreign to our culture. But Jesus said that He did nothing on His own-only what His Father told Him to do and only what His Father told Him to say. We should follow His model to live in spiritual power.
Passages: Proverbs 4:1-13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-15
Selecting a marriage partner should be a divine appointment. We should seek God for the partner He has for us. We must be spiritually compatible, start with the end in mind, be patient and be picky!
Passages: John 5:30-47; Romans 4:20; 8:30
Why is the love of human glory, rather than God’s glory, so contradictory to faith? One is that true faith in Jesus gives all glory to God and none to ourselves. When you come to Jesus in faith, you surrender the right to claim any glory for yourself. He owes us none. He will glorify us in due season. The other reason the love of human glory is contradictory to faith is that faith is a drinking of living water for the satisfaction of our souls. And the well of that water is the glory of Christ. And when we are satisfied with him, the enslaving power of the craving for human glory is broken. Broken by the power of a superior satisfaction. When you have tasted the beauty of God and the approval of God in Christ, the addiction to human approval is broken. And you are free.
Passages: Psalm 51
Psalm 51 is a great pattern for confession and repentance. After visiting a church in the midst of a great revival, Pastor Chan believes the key to revival and spiritual victory is to identify and confess the underlying sins and motives in your life. Do you have a core issue that is clouding your relationship with God?
Our heavenly body, according to Paul, is built for heaven, not for earth. It is perfect, powerful and spiritual. Our life here on earth is like a “job interview” for our role in Heaven. In Philippians 4:17, Paul spoke to the Philippian church about “crediting to their account” how their “job interview” was going. It only makes sense to do the same in our lives – take account of how our “job interview” is going.
Passages: Matthew 5:31-40
The parting words of Christ were calling his disciples to action. When we feed the hungry, minister to the hurting, we are doing these acts of kindness to Him. The world is waiting for the witness and presence of God’s people. Billions of people live below the poverty line, millions of children go hungry around the globe, and preventable disease claims thousands of lives daily. But we each have the opportunity to make a difference. What would happen if we seized the moment? Visit http://www.upwords.com.
The first part of the message deals with the passion and compassion a church should have. The second part of the message deals with the topic of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a person, not a power, who intercedes for us according to the will of God. His attributes of holiness, comfort and conviction will transform the life of the believer. He also grieves over our sin. Hindrances to the work of the Holy Spirit are discussed. Please note 60 seconds of silence in audio between minutes 10 and 11 for visual presentation.
The Israelites didn’t want to be facing the Red Sea with the Egyptian Army breathing down their necks. They thought God made a mistake. But it’s because we are totally focused on our problems, we think that God’s ultimate objective is our comfort! That’s how many of us operate, myself included. But that’s not how He operates, He wants to reveal his glory in us, through us, and that rarely happens in comfortable circumstances. You know when it happens? It happens when you’re between an Egyptian Army and the Red Sea and you have nowhere to turn but to God.
Passages: 2 Corinthians 1:1-11
Why does God allow a financial recession? He intends for a recession to expose hidden sin and so bring us to repentance and cleansing. He intends to wake us up to the constant and desperate condition of the developing world where there is always and only recession of the worst kind. He intends to relocate the roots of our joy in His grace rather than in our goods, in His mercy rather than our money, in His worth rather than our wealth. He intends to advance His saving mission in the world-the spread of the gospel and the growth of His church-precisely at a time when human resources are least able to support it. He intends for the church to care for its hurting members and to grow in the gift of love.
Passages: 2 Peter 1
The parting words of Peter were urgent pleas to seek the Lord in His Word and live life from an eternal perspective. Pastor Chan concurs and challenges us to study God's Word for ourselves and follow God's voice in our daily lives.
Passages: Luke 2; Jeremiah 29:11; Revelation 12:11
Every story has key elements: a protagonist, an antagonist, a struggle and a climax. God's story culminates in the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You can change your story from boring to exciting by following Him in an adventure of eternal significance. What is your story?
Intentionality in the discipline of private prayer where no one else can hear us is a fruit of the gospel. We must obey our Savior, desire to receive more and know that all our needs are met in Him.
Jesus did not live a conventional life. He chided the religious leaders and ate with tax collectors and sinners. Christ came to do transplants, not cosmetic surgery. This is good news for the sick who want to change. This is bad news for the sick who won't admit it. Christianity is the only club where you have to be unqualified to get in.
Passages: Acts 2:38
What is the difference between the baptism and filling of the Holy Spirit? How do you interpret the momentous events of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2? Pastor Chan gives his insights into the work of the Holy Spirit.
Help the children believe in God’s sovereign wisdom and goodness in creating them with the body that they have, to believe in God’s sovereign wisdom and goodness in making other people with the body that they have. Help the children believe that they and all other children and adults are made in God’s image. Treat them according to the Great Commandment. Teach the children and model for them that their own sin is uglier than anybody they think is physically unattractive. Teach the children that God loves them in spite of the ugliness of their sin and that he proved this by sending his Son to die for our sins and give forgiveness to all who would trust him. Teach them that because Jesus died for them and rose again, he becomes for them an all-satisfying Friend and Treasure. Teach the children to love others who are different from them, not in order to be accepted by God, but because they already are accepted by God because of Jesus.
Passages: John 14:15-16:15
The Holy Spirit, our Comforter and Counselor, is the key to loving God and loving others. In this sermon, we learn more about His power and work.
Self-examination is a lost spiritual art. This message will help you learn to discern and make sure you are "in the faith." Preached at National Community Church. Please wait for video to load.
This dynamic service features a newspaper reporter's observation of revival among the college students in their service. A powerful testimony of Clayton, an 18-year-old boy dying of leukemia, is preaching to his friends and fellow believers about life and death and following Christ. Pastor Chan preaches on true religion and prays with the congregation for the next generation.
Passages: Philippians 4:10-15
Sermon begins with commissioning missionaries to Indonesia, followed by a teaching on complete surrender to Christ from Philippians 4. Voltaire once said, “God created man in his own image and now man is returning the favor.” We want to recreate God in the way we want to be. One author wrote, “The American church has created a middle-class Jesus.” Following Jesus on His terms comes first. We need a radical Jesus, the Christ of the Bible. We must not settle for a middle-class Jesus.
Passages: Matthew 7: 1-6, 12
Christ calls us to be grace-filled, humble people. We are to love others and pray for them rather than nagging and trying to change them. Self-awareness and self-righteousness are contrasted.
Passages: 2 Timothy 4:1-10; Isaiah 55:11
The series on 2 Timothy concludes with teaching on how we should conduct our lives in the end times. Paul said, Preach the word; always be prepared. Correct, rebuke and encourage because the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, they will listen to teachers who say what their itching ears want to hear. But we must be alert and aware, enduring hardship, evangelizing and ministering daily.
We learn from Paul's bout with the stormy Mediterranean Sea that all of us occasionally face "the perfect storm." When a sequence of catastrophic events rock our world, Paul reminds us to listen to rebuke when needed, remember that we belong to God and we are not alone. Finally, God will keep us in His service until His work through us is complete. Visit http://www.upwords.com
Passages: Nehemiah 1:1-10; 2:11; 4:6
Nehemiah, the king's waiter turned national leader, mobilized the Jews and rebuilt the walls around Jerusalem. He was a leader of power, passion, and limitless faith. We can also be involved in leadership and ministry as well.
Passages: Luke 12:49-56
The “ready” position is the stance that an athlete takes to be prepared to take on any challenge. If you're ready, you are not afraid. Don't be afraid of tyrants, financial ruin, life or death. Fear God and you don't have to fear anything else.
Paul describes his own religious credentials in Acts 22, and Philippians 3. However, when we read the story of his conversion, we know him only as a leader in a Jewish movement to persecute, terrorize, and destroy the rapidly expanding church. If Saul could be struck down by the Light of the world and turned to follow Jesus Christ, then there is hope for anyone.
Passages: Luke 13:6; John 15:15
When it comes to measuring spiritual maturity, it's about the fruit of the Spirit. If you plant yourself in the right place and let your roots grow deep, your impact will exceed your expectations.
Passages: Acts 1-12
“When Jesus was preparing to return to his father, he commissioned his friends to go—to astronomically expand the impact of their lives. He called them to action in Acts 1:8; to a mission that spanned the globe. “You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” Our mission is the same today, though our individual areas of impact vary. So I invite you to ponder your place in the mission: Where is your Jerusalem? Your Judea? Your Samaria? Are we reaching “the ends of the earth?” Are we being witnesses of Jesus in our towns, our nations, and our world? The world is waiting for the witness and presence of God’s people. Billions of people live below the poverty line, millions of children go hungry around the globe, and preventable disease claims thousands of lives daily. But we each have the opportunity to make a difference. What would happen if we seized the moment?
Passages: Philippians 4:2-9; Nehemiah 8:10
What is the source of your joy? Why do you get anxious? God reveals through Paul His plan for inner peace and strength. WATCH CLAYTON'S STORY
Passages: Philippians 4:1-8
The apostle Paul wrote the letter to the Philippians from a dark prison cell in Rome. We learn much about inner joy and contentment from his story.The prisons of loneliness, negativity and greed each have unique ways of trapping us. We have been granted three strategies to combat them: relationships, prayer and generosity.
Heaven is the place where God will bring good from bad. The greatest stories have powerful beginnings and triumphant endings. In the middle, things go wrong. Jesus is the God-Man who will bring good from evil and redeem us to be heirs and rule over God's renewed creation. VIDEO ONE-FULL LENGTH SERMON FROM OAK HILLS CHURCH (Transcription included) VIDEO TWO-VIDEO BLOG ON HEAVEN
People who are searching for Christ are frustrated by feeling they have to keep a set of rules to please God. The concept of receiving unconditional love is foreign to them. The church needs to express grace and teach them about the free gift of salvation.
Coming into God's presence for worship requires us to humble ourselves, listen, and put away any uncleanness that can scar our lives. God's revelation of His holiness and glory will forever change us.
Passages: Ephesians 6:1-3
Obedience is connected with a here and now promise. Children, like adults are sinful and prone to sin. Obedience is connected with the life God has called us to live. Obedience is significant because it points at something more significant: honor. Parents have a responsibility to make sure their children obey. There must be consequences. Make obedience simple, expectations clear, and provide children with sufficient oversight and creative outlets. We obey because Christ obeyed and honored his Father. Our children must be valued and respected. They should be participating in church and learning. They not only can accept Jesus, but can and should participate in the life of the Christian community.
The story of Paul and Ananias teaches us much about healing relational scars. Take your hurt and be honest in the presence of God. Articulate your pain and anger to Him. Allow God to bring His redeeming love into your story. When we are in pain, we pull away from others, the very people God brings into our lives to help us to receive healing. Because Saul was able to receive forgiveness for the people he scarred, he was reconciled to God and was able to make an impact for the Kingdom. We can, too.
Passages: Ephesians 1:15-22
What should we continually pray? Should we just pray for the ordinary needs of our lives-safety, security and happiness? Paul encourages the Ephesian Christians to continually pray for a deeper walk with Christ. When we come to God in heart-felt prayer, He wants to manifest His glory in us in a new way. God will ALWAYS answer that prayer!
Passages: Ephesians 4:1-4
Paul the apostle teaches that if we know who we are and believe who we are, then we must live who we are-walking worthy of Jesus Christ. We reflect His character by being humble, gentle, compassionate and patient.
Passages: Philippians 1:1-18
Living courageously means sharing Christ fearlessly. We bond together as co-workers as we reach the world for Christ. Church-goers are not to be consumers, but committed followers of Christ.
Passages: Matthew 18:21-35
God's forgiveness of us is contingent upon our forgiveness of others. If we don't forgive others, we put ourselves in a spiritual prison. The only way to be set free is to forgive.
Pastor Francis Chan deals with the moral failure of a church leader in a wise, compassionate, godly fashion. Sin must be dealt with, but our focus in facing the issue of compromised morality in the church should be godly fear and self-examination rather than condemnation and arrogance.
We completely underestimate the power of Jesus. What often happens when you hear the name “Jesus”? Is He namby-pamby or the God of the Universe? Pastor Francis Chan takes a tour through every chapter of Matthew to reveal the all-powerful, confrontive Christ who called men to fearlessly follow.
Passages: Matthew 10:34-35; Mark 8:34-36; Luke 6:24-26; John 15:18; Acts 5:40; Romans 8:16-18; 1 Corinthians 15:9,30-32; 2 Corinthians 1:5-7; Ephesians 6:11-12; Philippians 1:29; Colossians 1:24; 1 Thessalonians 3:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:5; 1 Timothy 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:
Suffering for the sake of Christ is not optional. If we truly follow Jesus, we will suffer as He did. Pastor Chan tours teaching on suffering from every New Testament book.
Passages: I Peter 1:1-4; 24-25
Take time to really listen to the people God places in your life. Take time to listen to God and get alone with Him and His Word. Only a personal connection between you and God can fill your heart. You only have a brief moment on earth-one chance to live this life well.
Passages: Mark 1:14-21
Jesus' goal is for us to follow Him and to do in the lives of others what someone has already done in our own. To follow Christ means to fish for men. In following Him, we are transformed.
Passages: Ephesians 5:15-23
In Ephesians 5, Paul encourages us to open our hearts to God the Holy Spirit so that we can be infused with the character and power of the Living Christ. We cannot hold onto our secret sins and selfish way, we must surrender to God's will.
Passages: Ephesians 4:14-16
As we mature, we take on the character of Jesus Christ and are different than worldly people. Spiritual adults draw others to Jesus.
Passages: 2 Peter 2:10-22
The backslider is described by Peter as corrupt, enslaved to evil. God commands us to live a life of freedom by surrendering to Him.
Passages: 2 Peter 1:5-11
Peter writes in his letter that we should make every effort to cultivate Christ-like character qualities. Righteousness results from intimacy with Christ.
Passages: Psalm 2; Hosea 11:4; Luke 1:35
The psalmist writes of Israel's expectation of God's Messiah, and the preservation of God's plan who produced the incarnation of God's Son.
Passages: John 1:1-14; Philippians 2:1-11
How can we honor the Lord on his Birthday according to the Bible? In Philippians 2:5-7, Jesus came down to earth and made himself nothing, and became a servant. How this Christmas can we serve others to truly worship the Lord? The Bible tells us that is we take care of the least of these (others in need), then we are taking care of Jesus. Re-capture the wonder of Christ's condescension and be amazed at His incarnation. Take time in this busy season to meditate on God's great gift. Be still and listen to Him.
Passages: Ephesians 4:17-32; Colossians 3:9-10
Paul teaches us that Jesus is the content of our message. Jesus is the messenger, and Jesus is the context in which we learn and hear.
The prophet Isaiah told Israel of a Messiah who was not only God, but He was their Prince of Peace and their Counselor. He walked in their shoes and was able to understand their deepest problems. We need a sympathetic Savior.
With so many alternatives, why should we attend church, live in community and serve God? The church is God's means for growing up His children. God gives gifts to His people, and He gives people as His gifts to the church.
We must recognize that love trumps knowledge. Freedom has two boundaries: God's commands and love for others. Paul teaches us that there are three kinds of weaker brothers: the true weaker brothers, the professional weaker brothers and the phantom weaker brothers. Paul chose sacrifice over his own personal rights. We must beware of legalism and excess liberty.
Three Questions: Ever had someone tell you they had good news and bad news to tell you? Did they give you a choice of which one you wanted to hear first? Which one do you typically choose first? When Jesus Christ started his earthly ministry, he preached "good news" that sounded like "bad news" to some. In this teaching, we seek to understand what the "Good News" is all about. Watch "Bad News, Good News" HERE.
Passages: 1 John 4:1-10
The athiest says "there is no God." The agnostic says "I can't know there is a God." Christianity claims that Jesus became a man embodying God's love for humanity and sacrificed Himself for the sins of the world. We must receive His free gift of salvation.
The Lamb of God is also the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. When Christ cleansed the Temple, He became furious at the blatant, presumptious sinfulness of God's people. We are God's Temple and must live holy lives.
Passages: Ruth 1
Life happens. If we aren't in a mess right now, there is probably one on the way. When the mess comes, where is God? As we will learn through Ruth, He is right there all the time, working for the good of those who follow after Him. When it comes to messes, we all decide how we will cope-may we all choose like Ruth.
Passages: Ruth 3:1-18
Ruth, the destitute Moabite widow, took a leap of faith to follow her mother-in-law to Israel. In doing so, God sent her a husband and she became an ancestor of the Messiah. Finding God's Will in our lives will require us to take risks. Stepping out in faith as a response to God's prompting will move us forward in our Christian journey. Watch "Risky Business" here.
Passages: John 10; Luke 15
Old Testament shepherds sacrificed their sheep. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, sacrificed Himself for us, His sheep. False shepherds only care about fleecing the sheep and stealing away their lives and their joy. Our only success in fulfilling our purpose in life is due to the unselfish love of the Good Shepherd, our Guide and Protector.
Passages: Ephesians 4:31-32
Paul teaches us the progression of sin, how to change our model of repentance, the progression of the cure to sin and how to transform our model of forgiveness.
Passages: John 20:1-18
Mary Magdalene learned from the resurrected Christ that God is real, He loves her deeply and eternally, and she had a purpose to share Jesus with a broken world. Truly, Mary was the first missionary.
Passages: Hebrews 9
Christ is superior to angels. He is our King and High Priest.
Paul gives us three pictures of the church in this passage. As members of the family of God we have the priviledges of belonging, companionship, provision and protection. We also have the joy of making a unique contribution to the family.
Passages: Luke 6:20-36
Jesus tells us to love our enemies, to do good to them, to speak well of them, and to pray for them. This is "crazy love."
Every Christ-follower needs to claim their place of belonging in God's family, the church. God has gifted us uniquely to serve in the body and meet the needs of others.
Passages: Luke 6:17-26
Everyone loves a rags to riches story, a tale of success created by someone's grit and determination to make it in this world. Most of us think that if we just had more financial security that we would be fulfilled. But Jesus preaches something different. He upholds the riches to rages story as our only means of satisfaction. Watch Pastor Mark Preach!
Passages: Romans 6
If you trust you "sin struggle" is always going to win, Romans 6 has some great news for you! In this text, Paul reveals a great truth that points to victory and life.
Passages: Ruth, Selected Scriptures
Ruth, the Moabite widow, found herself in a dilemma when her husband died. She relied upon God to be her help and provider and He answered her prayers. When we deal with the "messes" in our lives, we need to call upon God. When we minister to others, we must have compassion for their "messes" as well.
Passages: Ruth 2-4
Boaz exemplified the generosity and condescension of Christ as he bestowed upon Ruth his undeserved favor. We should be grateful for grace and having received it, we give it.
Passages: Mark 12:41-44
We must live lives of generosity that reflect the character of a benevolent God. God ordained His work to be financed by the gifts of His people. Worshipful giving is determined by what is in the heart of the giver.
Passages: John 8
Jesus, the Light, is the singular source of life, the ultimate revelation of the character of God. His truth teaches us to discern between good and evil and helps us chart our course through life.
Passages: Ephesians 1:7; 5:15
People are so narrowly focused that they often miss the obvious. As believers, we are chosen and called for the praise of His glory. We must be careful to live with precision, intensity and integrity.
Passages: Ephesians 3:14-18
How do we know something unknowable or measure something immeasurable? There is only one way to lose self and that is to love another and be lost in Him.
God chooses us and we choose God. How do we understand the concept of election? How can we be sure that we are eternally secure? Jesus tells us in John 6.
Passages: Ephesians 3:7-10
God's intent for the church is to provide grace gifts for His people. All ministry is done in His supernatural power. He takes the worst of the worst to transform us to be the best of the best.
Passages: Ephesians 2 :13-21
Christ also destroyed a wall between us and God so that we may know him personally and intimately. Christ can bring peace and reconciliation in our personal relationships as well.
Passages: John 20
Sometimes there are compelling realities to life that move us to action. The resurrection should move us to take a risk with no reserves, no retreat and no regrets.
The apostle Paul is so precious to us because he was Christ-centered, a steward of God's grace, a messenger of the mystery, a champion of the church, and a recipient of service. Paul is a pattern for us as believers.
Passages: John 15:15
Jesus not only proclaimed Himself to be our shepherd, king, the Way, Truth and Life. He also chose to call us friends. A friend is someone who knows all about you and likes you just the same!
Passages: Philippians 1:27
Paul challenges us to live as good citizens of heaven while we are still on earth. We are to stand in one spirit with unflinching courage for the cause of Christ.
Passages: Philippians 2:3-11
God loves us unconditionally and simply asks us to love Him intimately, humbly serve Him, and to walk with Him in submission and obedience.
Passages: Mark 14:1-9; Isaiah 53
The Messiah was broken and battered for the souls of mankind. Mary of Bethany's broken bottle of perfume symbolized her unconditional love for Jesus and her unconditional acceptance of His will. We are made in Christ's image when we experience brokenness through difficulty.
Passages: Acts 17:16-32
Unless we become like children-humble, teachable and trusting-we will never grow into the spiritual people God intends for us to be. The intellegencia in Athens were too proud to receive the Gospel.
Passages: Philippians 1:1-5
Paul expressed his thanks to God for his brothers and sisters in Christ. He prays for grace-the underserved favor of Christ to be upon them. He prays for the peace that results as we live our lives for His glory. We must believe the best of our brothers and sisters in Christ and forecast achievement for them.
Passages: 1Timothy 2:1-7
Paul encourages young pastor Timothy to pray always for those in authority so that the Gospel may be propigated throughout the world. God wants to seek and save the lost.
Passages: Ephesians 1:1-18
Our self-image must come from who we are in Christ. We are blessed, blameless, chosen, adopted, forgiven and redeemed by the work of Jesus on the cross.
Christ taught that He was one with God the Father, the only way to heaven, the Truth and the Life. Though man would insist that there are other ways to reach God, Jesus was perfectly clear that He was the only Savior. His resurrection from the dead validated that claim.
Passages: Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8
Christ not only wants to save our souls for eternity, but He longs to redeem our lives here on earth by giving us a purpose in living. We can bring in His Kingdom by sharing the Gospel with the world and creating communities ofr justice, compassion, forgiveness and wholeness.
Passages: Psalm 16
David, in the midst of his troubles, had learned the "golden secret." He taught that we must be stirred to love God and focus on Him, and He will not allow us to be shaken by our trials.
Passages: Matthew 4:12-16, 23; John 1:1-4
Light and darkness in the material world provide powerful metaphors for the revelation of Christ's glory and man's response. For whom is the Light and how do we receive it?
Worry is unproductive and ultimately lead to disobedience. God's joy is to provide faithfully for His people. We must simply carry out the tasks He has given us to do and walk in intimacy with Him.
Passages: Philippians 1:8-12
Many of us live our lives by flipping a coin to discover our next move. Paul writes that the one thing we should seek is to know Christ intimately and to love Him deeply. We live to honor Him.
Passages: Philippians 2:19-29
Paul’s companions, Timothy and Epaphroditus, epitomized godly character: compassion, loyalty and integrity. When people see authentic faith in God’s people, they are drawn to the Savior.
Passages: Philippians 2:5-11; 4:1-7; Isaiah 53:6
Paul enjoins two arguing Christian women to agree in the Lord. We must live harmoniously, responding to our opponents with grace and patience, even as Christ demonstrated humility and condescension to mankind.
Passages: Luke 1:26-38
Mary asked the angel two questions: Is this Jesus worth it, and can God do this? We ask the same questions every day. Is following God worth the sacrifice, and can we truly trust His supernatural power to accomplish His work?
Passages: Matthew 1:18-23
If God, Joseph and Mary went to such great lengths to bring salvation to us, so should we take the trouble to share the gospel with those around us.
Passages: Genesis 1
We learn much in the first chapter of Genesis. The starting point of all things is sovereign God. He calls us and His nature and love is unchangeable.
Passages: Hebrews 10
Jesus Christ, as our High Priest, made a once-for-all sacrifice for our sins. As we experience His complete forgiveness in our own lives, we should extend that same forgiveness to our spouses.
Passages: James 1
James teaches that the problems in our lives can be used to conform us to the image of Jesus. We can ask God for wisdom and grace as we go through these trials.
Amos chides God's people for living in luxury and apathy, and refusing to have compassion upon the poor. He encourages them to wake up and see the needs of others.
Complaining makes life miserable. Complaining causes us to miss what God is doing now, damages the gifts He gives us and hurts our testimony. If we speak instead with gratitude and contentment, we enhance our relationship with God and others, and we receive heavenly rewards.
We are stewards of all the earthly possessions God has given us -- our mates, children, homes, cars, education, skills and more. Because of His great gifts, we must be pure, vigilant and careful. In the same way, church leaders must care for their flocks understanding that the followers belong ultimately to God.
Pastor Brad Tuttle teaches the value of integrity in the life of the believer. Integrity may be defined as "wholeness" or "authenticity," unity between what we say and what we do. A Christian who exhibits this powerful character quality has a strong testimony to an unbelieving world.
The ability to work is a gift from God. We should do our work as unto Him, reverently, diligently, loyally and with excellence. God will reward our labors. For more sermons by Brad Tuttle, go to http:www.theharvestchurchinternational.com
Passages: James 1:1-12
Trials are unpreventable and necessary for building our faith. Perseverance in the midst of trials demonstrates the Lord's work in our lives. Even in our weakness, God gives us wisdom generously -- when we believe.
In his "Life-Change" series, Pastor Tim Bourne encourages us to understand the nature of Christ as He calms the sea and heals the sick. For life change to occur, we must actively practice our faith, show compassion, trust God's Word completely and be willing to move on.
Life change can only occur in the context of forgiveness and mercy. Jesus' parable of the ungrateful servant shows us how much we need to extend grace to those who have wronged us. When we understand the depth of God's forgiveness for our transgressions, we can begin to forgive the offenses we suffer.
Passages: John 2:1-12
The gospel account of Jesus turning water into wine reveals two important truths. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a model for evangelism at its best. She simply points to Jesus. The passage also demonstrates Jesus' purpose to reveal His Father's glory so that we can enter God's kingdom of abundance and overflowing grace.
Passages: Ephesians 2
In Ephesians 2, Paul takes us down to the Death Valley of the soul and then up to the Heavenly Realms in Christ Jesus in order to answer one question: What kind of savior do we need? The journey's contrast will enhance our appreciation for Christ and will influence the way we live.
Passages: Ephesians 3:2-11
Our God is a missionary God who sent His Son as a missionary to earth to save and unite His people to Himself and to each other. As members of God's body, we are called to reveal Christ's beauty through community. We need to reprogram ourselves to touch the lives of those around us with the gospel.