Nov 15, 2020
Mission Minded Part 3: The Completely Unfair Mercy of God

This whole thing started with Jonah running from God and his mission and going to Tarshish instead of Nineveh, right? Why did he run? Not because he was scared of the people, not because it would be uncomfortable, although that probably played a part, but the main reason was because he didn't think it would be fair if the Assyrians repented that God would be merciful and save them. He knew that if he took the message of salvation to the Ninevites that they would probably repent and if they repented God would save them... and he didn't think that that was fair. Is he right? Is it fair? Perhaps you are like Jonah this morning and you struggle with the mercy of God poured out on sinners. Perhaps you are aware of this struggle... most likely you are not.

Of course that's not fair. None of these are fair. And that's the point. The love, forgiveness, and mercy of God to save us sinners is utterly and completely unfair. And in order for us to embrace the mission of taking the Gospel to the lost, we must accept this fact and more importantly understand why it's not fair. Why? Because if we are to become mission minded, we must understand the mind of Christ in saving those who do not deserve salvation. The point today is clear... The Mercy of God is Completely Unfair. That's Why It Cost An Equally Unfair Price

But what if you struggle with the unfair mercy of God and you don't even know it? I think most Christian would say... what's wrong with Jonah... why's he being like that... of course God mercifully saves sinners and thats a good thing. Why would we think of it as unfair. Okay, I get that... but let me ask you this. What about someone like Samuel Tannyhill who while robbing a dinner in 1955 was recognized by one of the waitresses who called out his name. He took that young waitress to a bridge where he shot her in he head and dumped her in the river. That waitress was someone's daughter... and Samuel just murdered her in cold blood. Surely he deserved the electric chair and the hot embers of hell that awaited him right? But he never felt the burn of those embers. You see, he repented of his sins while in prison and accepted Christ and now dances the streets of glory for all eternity. Is that fair?

So get this... God gave himself over to the most excruciating death anyone could ever endure to take his wrath upon himself... the wrath that we all deserved. We the creation who deserved hell, are spared hell, because God the creator endured hell in our place. Now, Is it fair that God had to send himself in the form of Jesus Christ to die in our place... the sinless for the sinful? Is that fair? Nope... it's the most unfair thing ever! So be careful when you ask for fairness. You've been given salvation, the most unfair mercy of all time.

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  • Nov 15, 2020Mission Minded Part 3: The Completely Unfair Mercy of God
    Nov 15, 2020
    Mission Minded Part 3: The Completely Unfair Mercy of God

    This whole thing started with Jonah running from God and his mission and going to Tarshish instead of Nineveh, right? Why did he run? Not because he was scared of the people, not because it would be uncomfortable, although that probably played a part, but the main reason was because he didn't think it would be fair if the Assyrians repented that God would be merciful and save them. He knew that if he took the message of salvation to the Ninevites that they would probably repent and if they repented God would save them... and he didn't think that that was fair. Is he right? Is it fair? Perhaps you are like Jonah this morning and you struggle with the mercy of God poured out on sinners. Perhaps you are aware of this struggle... most likely you are not.

    Of course that's not fair. None of these are fair. And that's the point. The love, forgiveness, and mercy of God to save us sinners is utterly and completely unfair. And in order for us to embrace the mission of taking the Gospel to the lost, we must accept this fact and more importantly understand why it's not fair. Why? Because if we are to become mission minded, we must understand the mind of Christ in saving those who do not deserve salvation. The point today is clear... The Mercy of God is Completely Unfair. That's Why It Cost An Equally Unfair Price

    But what if you struggle with the unfair mercy of God and you don't even know it? I think most Christian would say... what's wrong with Jonah... why's he being like that... of course God mercifully saves sinners and thats a good thing. Why would we think of it as unfair. Okay, I get that... but let me ask you this. What about someone like Samuel Tannyhill who while robbing a dinner in 1955 was recognized by one of the waitresses who called out his name. He took that young waitress to a bridge where he shot her in he head and dumped her in the river. That waitress was someone's daughter... and Samuel just murdered her in cold blood. Surely he deserved the electric chair and the hot embers of hell that awaited him right? But he never felt the burn of those embers. You see, he repented of his sins while in prison and accepted Christ and now dances the streets of glory for all eternity. Is that fair?

    So get this... God gave himself over to the most excruciating death anyone could ever endure to take his wrath upon himself... the wrath that we all deserved. We the creation who deserved hell, are spared hell, because God the creator endured hell in our place. Now, Is it fair that God had to send himself in the form of Jesus Christ to die in our place... the sinless for the sinful? Is that fair? Nope... it's the most unfair thing ever! So be careful when you ask for fairness. You've been given salvation, the most unfair mercy of all time.

  • Nov 8, 2020Mission Minded Part 2: The Miracle of Missions
    Nov 8, 2020
    Mission Minded Part 2: The Miracle of Missions

    It is a miraculous thing to see God working through frail and fallible people like us in order to see pagan people turn from their sin and turn to the salvation of our Lord. Think about it. If the goal of all life is to see God glorified, then why doesn't God just speak his message from Heaven and then let the lost determine whether or not to trust him in salvation? Why does God want us to be a part of the process?  He doesn't need us... so why does he want us? 

    It makes me think of Mopsy.  Mopsy is a stuffed animal dog that was given to me when I was two years old... almost 39 years ago. Mopsy has been through a lot. He doesn't have any stuffing in his body anymore, he's missing an eye.  He has loose threads, his leg is barely hanging on,  he's a wreck.  But for some reason I've decided to keep him around all these years.  Call it nostalgia... but i just couldn't get rid of him.  And it's a good thing I didn't, cause when Vera turned two years old, I introduced her to Mopsy.  Now Mopsy lives on her bed and gets snuggle times with Vera every night. And I love to see that my favorite stuffed animal as a child gets to be loved by my kids.  I didn't need to keep Mopsy but now I can use Mopsy to show love to my daughter.  

    We are like Mopsy.  We are worn out, ragged, and pretty much useless... but God keeps us around anyway.  God is kind of nostalgic about us.  And instead of just throwing us in a storage bin or taking us to Goodwill he says, you know what... I'm going to use you to share my love with others. Not because I need you, but because I love you and want you to be a part of the process. God is glorified not just when people are saved but when we are obedient to be his messengers of salvation and are a part of the process of seeing the lost come to salvation. 

    And this is exactly why he keeps giving Jonah second chances. Because he wants Jonah to be a part of the blessing of missions. He wants Jonah to be a part of the miracle. God wants to use Jonah and he wants to use us too.

    As you can see, God will draw men, women, cities, and nations to himself, if only we would be obedient to answer the call and be obedient to the mission. The struggle isn't whether or not God will save people, the struggle is whether or not we will surrender our lives to be used by God to see people saved. This morning I want us to see that The Miracle of Missions Isn't That God Saves Sinners, But That He Uses Saved Sinners To See People Saved.

  • Nov 1, 2020Mission Minded Part 1: Missing The Boat On Missions
    Nov 1, 2020
    Mission Minded Part 1: Missing The Boat On Missions

    The great commission isn't a special mission for those who have ascended to the greatest heights of our religion. Rather, it's like learning your shapes or colors in kindergarten. It is the most basic thing we are called to do. To be a Christian is to accept the great commission as our most basic mission. Rookie Christians are expected to be missionaries - to go and make disciples, and yet here we are where statistics show us that 90 percent of professing Christians in America have never shared their faith to a non-believer and only 1 percent of us have actually led someone to faith in Christ. Suffice it to say, we aren't mission minded. In fact, I think it's safe to say that we've missed the boat on missions.

    And so, we need to recommit to the mission of the great commission and learn what it means to be mission minded. Jonah was called to go on a mission very similar to ours, but just like many of us, he didn't want to go. He, like many of us, decided to make up his own mission and missed the boat. So as we begin this series by looking at the first two chapters of Jonah I want us to recognize this; Reclaiming The Great Commission Takes Repenting Of Grave Convenience.

  • Oct 25, 2020Culture Shock Part 7: Cancel Everyone (Ephesians 4:1-7)
    Oct 25, 2020
    Culture Shock Part 7: Cancel Everyone (Ephesians 4:1-7)

    If Christ has canceled our sin debt and forgiven us of all that we have done against him – how in the world could we ever think it okay to cancel someone else? Christ hasn't written us off... we can't write anyone else off either. We continue to sin, we continue to disobey, ignore, and rebel against our savior... and yet he says he will never leave us nor forsake us. Everyday we depend on the fact that Christ has not canceled us, everyday we depend on more mercy and more grace. And so, we must continue to show grace and mercy to everyone who needs it. How Can We Participate In Cancel Culture When Jesus Refuses To Cancel Us?

  • Oct 18, 2020Culture Shock Part 6: Christian Politics & the Presidential Election (Colossians 4:5-6)
    Oct 18, 2020
    Culture Shock Part 6: Christian Politics & the Presidential Election (Colossians 4:5-6)
    When you bear with one another in love you are engaging in politics. When you depend on Christ to reach the world with the Gospel to see lives completely transformed... you are engaging in politics. You can't avoid politics... and to try would be disobedient toward God. The great Martin Luther King wrote a famous letter, while sitting in the Birmingham, Alabama jail, which addressed this very subject. He said; “In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churches stand on the sideline and merely mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard so many ministers say, ‘Those are social issues with which the Gospel has no real concern.’” Let me be clear this morning, there are no social issues with which the Gospel has no real concern. All people matter to God. He has given them equal worth, equal ability, and equal love. They are created sacred in His image. Therefore, he desires equal justice for all of them, and that demands our political attention.  
    But we must understand this as well. Christian's don't live just for the welfare of mankind. We live for the Glory of God. And so our politics are going to be a lot different than the world's.  I want us to understand that while we must engage in politics to some degree we are not fighting for an earthly kingdom.
  • Oct 11, 2020Culture Shock Part 5: Sex, Sexuality & The Transgender Debate
    Oct 11, 2020
    Culture Shock Part 5: Sex, Sexuality & The Transgender Debate

    No matter how mainstream our media tries to make it... transgender people are, and most likely will remain marginalized. And fair or not, probably fair, they believe that they will be judged most harshly by one group, us. And some of us are okay with that. Some of us think they should be marginalized and judged and discriminated against. And that's sad.... because that is not like Jesus. Jesus loved the outcasts, the sinners, the fringe of society. He was truly without prejudice. Jesus was magnetic and enchanting to a world hungry for something fresh simply because he chose to love the people that no one else would love. And, these are the same people that Jesus has called us to love as well.

    So, when it comes to the transgender issue what is our response? I want us to see today that God is calling us to something unique in our culture. He's calling us to disagree with an aberrant ideology that stands in contrast to his Word and conflicts with our sense of normality, while at the same time loving and respecting the people who carry that ideology. Transgenderism Is Not A Part Of God's Plan, But Neither Is Rejecting Transgender People

  • Oct 4, 2020Culture Shock Part 4: A Righteous Response To Racism & Riots (Proverbs 31:8-9)
    Oct 4, 2020
    Culture Shock Part 4: A Righteous Response To Racism & Riots (Proverbs 31:8-9)

    Racism still exists in our world today. Racism still exists in our country, our culture, and in our community. And as Christians; as those who have been set free from hell, death, and sin... we should do everything we can to see all men and women, regardless of their race, set free from any form of injustice or discrimination. We must fight against racism and we must not tolerate racism in any form because that's what Jesus would do. Galatians 3:28 says that we as humans are not divided by race, socioeconomic status, gender or any other external factor, but we are all one in Christ. As followers of Christ we must condemn racism.

    But, in the same spirit we must also condemn lawlessness and violence in the form of riots. Even if those riots are meant to bring about an end to racism. Two wrongs don't make a right. Romans 12:17 says, repay no one evil for evil. This morning I want us to see that the way we in the church respond to racism and riots reveals to the world who our redeemer is. This morning I want us to recognize the truth of the matter; Where Riots Fail, Jesus Succeeds. The End of Racism is Christ In Me.

  • Sep 20, 2020Culture Shock Part 2: Covid Christianity (Luke 21:10-12)
    Sep 20, 2020
    Culture Shock Part 2: Covid Christianity (Luke 21:10-12)

    There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic is the core issue of 2020. It has reeked havoc on our society, it has wrecked our economy, and it has ruined our plans in ways we could never have imagined. Nothing like this has ever happened in our lifetimes. And we can choose to let it discourage us and defeat us, or we can allow it to be used for something greater than our misery.  And, this is where we are confronted with one of our greatest personal conflicts of this year. Here's where the real struggle lies. Many of us feel that we have been treated unfairly by God. Many of us probably feel that we have been oppressed by the government. We say things like, how could God allow this to happen, or how could our government be so restrictive and take away our freedoms? And in the midst of it all we are left simply thinking of ourselves. We are throwing our own private pity party. Isn't it a shame that some of us have been so focused on how this has affected us that we have neglected to see the struggles and the afflictions of those outside our homes? Or worse, we have grown bitter and disenfranchised to the point of blaming and then abandoning God.  And, so, that leaves us with a important question this morning; in the midst of Covid-19, how can we take our eyes off of ourselves, and our struggles, and focus on what God says in his Word?  As we dive into scripture, we discover what our reaction as believers should be to our God, to the government, and to our neighbors as it relates to this pandemic. What God shows us is that; "The way the Church responds to Covid could determine how the world responds to Christ." 

  • Sep 13, 2020Culture Shock Part 1: Welcome To The Twilight Zone (Matthew 24:1-14)
    Sep 13, 2020
    Culture Shock Part 1: Welcome To The Twilight Zone (Matthew 24:1-14)

    We live in a very shocking culture, with ever changing goal lines, and it can make you dizzy. I was talking with a friend the other day and he said that 2020 feels just like we've walked into an episode of the Twilight Zone. It feels almost like we are living in an alternate reality. We've never seen anything like this before.  But, be assured, Jesus makes it clear that this is where we are headed as we get closer to the rapture and the second coming of Christ. The closer we get to the day of the Lord, the worse things are going to get. So, in reality... we haven't entered a parallel universe, we haven't entered the twilight zone.. we are actually just seeing scripture fulfilled. It was always going to get shockingly worse before it got better. We are in the last days.  And instead of just ranting on Facebook, or protesting at the capitol, or cowering in our homes... we need to learn how to respond to all of this according to scripture. How do we confront all of this... in a righteous way that brings glory to God?  We can make a difference for Christ in a shocking culture!  Romans 12:2 says.... “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds... This is so true for us today. We are in the world but not of the world. We must change the world without chasing it. Today I want us to see that Our Culture May Shock Us But We Mustn't Let It Shake Us.

  • Sep 6, 2020Philippians Part 8: The Secret to Being Content
    Sep 6, 2020
    Philippians Part 8: The Secret to Being Content
    Series: Philippians

    The secret to being content, to finding satisfaction in every circumstance, to rejoicing in all situations is simple – It's Jesus Christ. He is your strength. When you can't in yourself, you can in his strength. Play the cards you've been dealt for his glory.

     And, when you are in need, the body of Christ is here for you. No need to worry or fret, if you have a local church, you are never alone. In his strength and through the church, my God will supply your every need according to his riches in glory. If you find your strength in Christ... and you find supply in the body of Christ, the church, you will find contentment in Christ. When Christ is All You Got, Christ is All You Need