Psalms are real talk, real prayers, real songs, of real people. So they’re a beautiful thing. We get to see authentic believers struggle in prayer with God. We get to see believers wrestle and even get upset with God. We hear them cry out in desperation. We hear them sing out with joy. We hear them worship. We hear them pray. We hear them preach. We hear them complain. We hear them struggle. We hear them yell at God. We see them fall into his arms. The psalms are full of real people living in a real, living, breathing, wrestling, open and authentic relationship with God. Over the next few weeks, during our Sunday services, we’ll be looking at some of the psalms of Advent. Today, we’ll start with Psalm 24.
Nobody likes to wait and it has only gotten worse. In this day when we can get just about anything on demand. If we want to watch a movie, go rent it from iTunes; go watch it on Netflix. If you want something, just get on Amazon and you can have just about anything that same day, without even leaving the comfort of your own home. We just pop some food in the microwave and voila, it’s done. Nobody likes to wait and its only gotten worse.
In this evening meditation, we learn from Abraham and God’s Word how to wait on God to keep his promises, no matter how long it may take. We take a hot air balloon ride over Abraham’s life and see how God helped through his long wait.
This was going to be a sermon about budgets and money management - God's way. But God's Word has a way of guiding our thoughts in a different path. And so this will not be a sermon about budgets. This is not a sermon about money. This is a sermon about vocation. This is a sermon about our callings. This is a sermon about how God does his work in the world. And wonder of wonders, he let's us be a part of it! Listen in and marvel with us.
Today, as we wrap up this series, Jude lays out a strategy for us to fight for the faith and to keep ourselves in God’s love. God keep us in his love as we grow, pray and wait for his return. Jude 17-25.
As America moves further and further away from being a “Christian nation”, culture and even church opposition continues to increase. There is a greater need than ever for perseverance, wisdom, and courage to stand with Christ. There is a greater need than ever to stand on the Scriptures and to cling to Christ. Jude calls us to this fight and urges us to “Fight for the Faith” in this one-chapter book. Today, as we learn a valuable truth from Bible history, the story of God’s faithfulness throughout the ages. It’s a powerful and comforting truth that we see as we unpack the words of Jude and see God’s defense for us. Listen in and know the victory that you have even when the Devil fights to have you eternally.
Telling the truth is tough business, especially with our closest friends. But that is exactly what they need from us and precisely what we need from them. Love teaches and helps us to speak carefully and with candor about even the toughest subject.
True friendship is an intimate and a deep relationship. We share a deep emotional connection with another person. And so our friends ride life’s roller coaster with us – and we with them. They carefully stand by us – and we by them – so that they might fill us up in just the right way, at just the right time. Jesus gets us and he is always right there with a timely word and timely help in our time of need.
In faith as in life we need friends who are constant and who will stand by us through thick and thin. Jesus is that friend for us. God help us be and find that constant friend.
What makes a good friend? A great friend? The disciple John once recorded his best friend's words, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friend” (John 15:13). Learn how growing in relationship with our most faithful friend, Jesus, changes our relationships with others.
It's time for death to stop killing life. It's time for us to put death to death and start living again. Paul shows us that Jesus already did; in him we do too! Romans 5:12-15.
“I am so eager to preach the gospel to you.” Those were Paul’s sentiments to the Romans whom he had never met, but whom he longed to visit so that he might preach the gospel to them. But before he even visited them or met them face to face he launched into this beautiful letter to them detailing the gospel about Jesus. He was not ashamed because it is that very gospel – whether preached face to face or through a letter – that would save them. We also are very eager to unpack these powerful, saving words of God given through Paul because it is through these words that we too are saved. Romans 1:15-17.
The Christian church on earth is a greatly splintered thing. The Christian church on earth is a greatly troubled. It’s why many people stay away from the organized church and congregation. The organization is messy and splintered. It's a construction zone. God is working on his people. God is building a church, one church, founded on the cross of Jesus. Tomorrow we find our joy and comfort in God's work in us and on us. There is no architect or builder like him. 1 Peter 2:1-10.
We sometimes act like lambs to the slaughter, defeated, deflated and discouraged. And that’s the way that the world sees us too. Christians are sheep. They just go without thinking. They just follow blindly. They just believe as if they had no brain. At least that’s the thought process and the accusation. But we’re not at all. Not even close. We are lions roaring with a confidence that doesn’t come from inside us. We are lions roaring with a victory that isn’t ours. We are more than conquerors through him who loved us and gave himself for us. Romans 8:31-39
Do you ever do things you don't want to do? Think things you don't want to think? Feel things you don't want to think? Yeah, me too. It's frustrating. But there's hope and there's freedom. Listen in as we start our Gr8er series on Romans 8:1-11.
Jesus prayed a powerful and deep prayer on the night he was betrayed. He prayed about his work that he was about to finish. He prayed for the faith of his disciples. He even prayed for us! This is an amazing prayer from an amazing prayer (Jesus). John 17.
No one really knew or understood what was going on that week when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The crowds sang and shouted, but they didn’t really understand. The crowds crowed and called for his crucifixion, but they didn’t really get it. Pilate didn’t understand Jesus. No one, but Jesus understood. And thank God that he did. Because Jesus was condemned, the condemned can go free! Mark 15:1-14.
Sin is such a powerful thing. Temptation tugs at us every step of the way. Our fall into sin and a denial of Jesus isn’t a matter of if, but when. Through it all, however, Jesus is right with us. He warned Peter before his denial. He called him back during his denial. He forgave Peter and received him back after Peter’s denial and repentance. He will not leave us. We will not be ashamed. Mark 14:26-31, 66-72
We are all tempted, but God always has a way out. We pray that God would keep temptation far away from us (not just me, but other Christians too). Matthew 5:13
Two things are certain - death and taxes. Taxes are due in just a few weeks. But who knows when death will overtake us. Then, and at that moment, we will stand before the ultimate judge of all. For you, Jesus stood before human judges and even God himself. He, who is the ultimate Judge, became the judged judge. And because he did three things are now certain, “Death, taxes, and justification.” Mark 14:53-65
The 5th petition is about not giving people what they deserve. We ask it every day from God in our confession and God wants his mercy to drive karma out of our lives. Don’t give people what they deserve. Forgive as God has forgiven you.