Aug 14, 2022
Outcasts Part 2: John The Martyr (Matthew 11:1-19, Mark 6:14-29)
Series: Outcasts
It's often been said that Stephen was the first Christian Martyr but that's not the case. John the Baptist was. He was killed because of his faith in Christ and His unwillingness to waiver on the truth of the Word of Christ. And this is where we need to learn a very hard truth this morning. Though one of Christ's plans in creating us and saving us is that we would be satisfied in Him in this life, our greater purpose has very little to do with our satisfaction. As Paul says in Romans 14:8, “for if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.” Our purpose is to live and die for the Lord. It doesn't matter whether you are physically or financially blessed in this life as a Christian, all that matters is whether or not your life and death glorify God. It doesn't really matter in the greater scheme whether or not you can find satisfaction in your hardship. All that matters is whether or not you fulfill your purpose for the kingdom.  And yet, what a joy to be able to find joy and satisfaction in the hard times. What a joy to be set free from the pain and find a peace that passes all understanding. God will do what he must, but we can still be blessed by learning how to find satisfaction in the hard times. This is God's desire for you and for me. I can assure you, John the Baptist fulfilled his purpose, and I hope he found satisfaction in knowing that Jesus was using him for a much greater plan then he could ever understand. The main point this morning is simple, blessed are those when hard times come, they are not offended by God who has purpose in their hardships.
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  • Aug 14, 2022Outcasts Part 2: John The Martyr (Matthew 11:1-19, Mark 6:14-29)
    Aug 14, 2022
    Outcasts Part 2: John The Martyr (Matthew 11:1-19, Mark 6:14-29)
    Series: Outcasts
    It's often been said that Stephen was the first Christian Martyr but that's not the case. John the Baptist was. He was killed because of his faith in Christ and His unwillingness to waiver on the truth of the Word of Christ. And this is where we need to learn a very hard truth this morning. Though one of Christ's plans in creating us and saving us is that we would be satisfied in Him in this life, our greater purpose has very little to do with our satisfaction. As Paul says in Romans 14:8, “for if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.” Our purpose is to live and die for the Lord. It doesn't matter whether you are physically or financially blessed in this life as a Christian, all that matters is whether or not your life and death glorify God. It doesn't really matter in the greater scheme whether or not you can find satisfaction in your hardship. All that matters is whether or not you fulfill your purpose for the kingdom.  And yet, what a joy to be able to find joy and satisfaction in the hard times. What a joy to be set free from the pain and find a peace that passes all understanding. God will do what he must, but we can still be blessed by learning how to find satisfaction in the hard times. This is God's desire for you and for me. I can assure you, John the Baptist fulfilled his purpose, and I hope he found satisfaction in knowing that Jesus was using him for a much greater plan then he could ever understand. The main point this morning is simple, blessed are those when hard times come, they are not offended by God who has purpose in their hardships.
  • Aug 7, 2022Outcasts Part 1: John The Baptist (Luke 1:5-25)
    Aug 7, 2022
    Outcasts Part 1: John The Baptist (Luke 1:5-25)
    Series: Outcasts
    Jesus had a circle of friends, but in this circle every single one of them was different; they didn't fit. From lowly fishermen, to adulteresses, from tax collectors to pharisees, Jesus was known for keeping company with the fringe of society. And this of course was for a reason. He wanted different. He wanted to take those which others thought were incapable of great things and use them to show the power of God. They were outcasts, and they would change the world. 
    One of those outcasts was John the Baptist. What did Christ see in him and how did he use him for his glory? We should all want to be used for God's glory right? We should all want to be seen as a one who prepares the way for the Lord, right? And shouldn't we all want Jesus to say of us, as he does of John in Matthew 11:11, “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist." In this sermon we are going to focus on two of John's greatest attributes, his righteous indignation and his humility. Like John, we must be different from the world in the ways we unwaveringly stand for the truth and redirect the spotlight towards Christ.
  • Jul 31, 2022The Stories of Jesus Part 12: Persistent Prayer (Luke18:1-14)
    Jul 31, 2022
    The Stories of Jesus Part 12: Persistent Prayer (Luke18:1-14)

    We definitely need to pray and we definitely need to be constant, consistent, and persistent in prayer. But there are a couple of things to remember. God isn't just going to give you everything you ask for. He is always going to give you what he has promised to give you. And if he doesn't give you what you want he is giving you something better. It doesn't always feel better but I assure you it is. And, we have his assurance that no matter what, he will give us the peace, patience, and fortitude to walk through it. Just don't give up praying! Secondly, always pray with humility and repentance. Never stand before God with your self-righteousness. You aren't! He is! The more your acknowledge it the more you are going to grow in your walk with him.

  • Jul 24, 2022The Stories of Jesus Part 11: Rich Fools (Luke 12:13-21, 16:19-31)
    Jul 24, 2022
    The Stories of Jesus Part 11: Rich Fools (Luke 12:13-21, 16:19-31)

    Today we are going to be looking at two parables that cover our favorite topic here, money. Of course I'm joking, no one likes sermons on money, especially me, but it's in the scriptures, and Jesus cared enough about it to make it his most talked about topic. In fact, if you've been paying attention, 11 of his 39 parables deals directly or indirectly with the issue of money. The two we will tackle today are the two which talk most directly about the issue. Why did Jesus talk about money so much? Could it be that he knew that the one thing we would struggle with more than anything else would be the pursuit of money, the love of money, the lack of integrity when dealing with money, and the misuse of money?  Jesus knows this is a struggle for us. In Luke 12:15 He tells us to “take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. It is clear this morning that... we need to be reminded frequently that our wealth should be used for things of eternal value rather than temporary trinkets.

     
  • Jul 10, 2022The Stories of Jesus 9: Spiritual Stewardship (Matthew 25:14-30)
    Jul 10, 2022
    The Stories of Jesus 9: Spiritual Stewardship (Matthew 25:14-30)

    Those who use what they have to build the kingdom of God, they will not be forgotten. When we invest the kingdom in others we will see a return. We cannot escape the fact that we are all called to be Stewards of Christ's love and salvation. And, we most certainly cannot determine to merely exist as “Christians” and do nothing for the kingdom. The Bible tells us that those who take the salvation of Christ and all that that entails and refuse to reproduce it in the lives of those around them, that they are wicked and lazy.  Some play it safe and choose not to risk their lives for the sake of building the kingdom of God, while others risk it all to please their God and multiply themselves in the lives of others. Some have no thought of how to strategize and plan to see Christ glorified through the transformation of a dark world into light, while others methodically, and tactically plot ways to grow the kingdom of God in their community. The question to us is simple: “When It Comes To Being A Steward Of The Kingdom Of Jesus Christ, Are You Going To Play It Safe, Or Risk It All?”

  • Jul 3, 2022The Stories of Jesus Part 8: The Wedding Feast (Luke 14:17-24, Matthew 25:1-13)
    Jul 3, 2022
    The Stories of Jesus Part 8: The Wedding Feast (Luke 14:17-24, Matthew 25:1-13)

    Are you ready for the kingdom of God? What is it that you are still holding onto? Is it your pride? Learn to humble yourself before others and your God. Is it your wealth and possessions? Learn to serve the poor and needy as unto the Lord. Is it your schedule? Are you not available for the ministry of our God? Then you must dedicate your life to him and prioritize your life around his kingdom. Is if your devotion? Make yourself ready for the kingdom by putting oil in your lamps, by not quenching the work of the spirit in your soul, and by living every single day as unto the Lord.

    We must respond to God's wedding feast invitation with humility, generosity, availability, and readiness. Otherwise it will be just like eating a small portion of cake instead of eating like a king at the wedding feast our Lord has prepared for you! Many are called but few are chosen. Which one are you? We Shouldn't Settle For A Measly Piece Of Cake When The Lord Has Prepared For Us A Huge Wedding Feast!

  • Jun 26, 2022The Stories of Jesus Part 7: Unworthy Servants (Matthew 18:21-35, 20:1-16, Luke 17:7-10)
    Jun 26, 2022
    The Stories of Jesus Part 7: Unworthy Servants (Matthew 18:21-35, 20:1-16, Luke 17:7-10)

    Let me ask you a question. What does it mean to be a servant of God? Perhaps when you hear the phrase, “servant,” you balk. Perhaps you feel that the word is too demeaning or patriarchal. I think many think the word “servant” is a word reserved for a more primitive time in our past. No one should be a servant in today's progressive world of freedom and civil rights.  And this is where we as believers must adopt a different philosophy than the popular opinion of the day. The Bible speaks about servitude a lot. All the way from the beginning to the end. Genesis to Revelation. Even in the perfect Garden of Eden, Adam was told to serve the planet and the animals, Eve was told to serve her husband; Adam, and as husband and wife, they were told to serve each other. After the fall, Noah was told to serve God by building a cruise liner for animals. Abraham was told to serve God by leaving his homeland in search for an unknown place. Abraham was later told to serve God by sacrificing his son Isaac on the altar. Moses was told to serve God by leading the Israelites out of Egypt. He was also told to serve the people for 40 years while they wandered in the wilderness. Joshua, the Judges, David, Solomon, they were all commanded to serve God and to serve others.  And of course there is Jesus, who being God in the flesh served the Father by humbling himself to become a man and die on the cross for our sins. There is no greater act of service than to die for others. And this is what Jesus has called us to do as we follow him.  When you think about it, there is no such thing as a Christian who doesn't serve. Our faith and religion is defined by who we serve and how we serve. To be a Christian is to be a servant. In a world filled with people longing to be served by others, we are called to serve others and God, sacrificially, without hesitation. It is through our service that we show the love of the God we serve. Though Servitude Can Seem Demeaning, And Though We Are Called To Serve God And Others, We Are Still Unworthy Of Such An Assignment

  • Jun 19, 2022The Stories of Jesus Part 6: Fathers & Sons (Luke 15:11-32, Matthew 21:28-32)
    Jun 19, 2022
    The Stories of Jesus Part 6: Fathers & Sons (Luke 15:11-32, Matthew 21:28-32)
    It's not easy to be a father, and it's not easy to be a son. It's a constant balancing act trying to be a dad. You want to be loved but you also have to train and discipline. And sons want to love their fathers and find favor in their eyes, but they also want to stretch their wings and the boundaries of their freedom at every turn. And because of this there is often great tension between Fathers and Sons.This sermon explores that tension and what Jesus says about things like obedience, rebellion, forgiveness, and grace as it pertains to the Father Son Relationship. When It's all said and done;  Praise God For Sons Who Come Home And Fathers Who Welcome Them With Open Arms.
  • Jun 5, 2022The Stories of Jesus Part 4: Lost & Found (Luke 15:1-10)
    Jun 5, 2022
    The Stories of Jesus Part 4: Lost & Found (Luke 15:1-10)

    The pursuit of sinners supersedes the need to disciple the church and fellowship with the saints. Yes we all love being together and worshipping together and sharing our lives together, the early church did the same. And yes, we need to be in small groups and D-groups so that we can grow in our maturity together as believers. We must never neglect intentional discipleship. But, when it comes to prioritizing the purposes of the Church, reaching the lost with the Gospel takes precedence.

  • May 22, 2022The Stories of Jesus Part 2: The Kingdom of Heaven is Like… (Matthew 13:24-52)
    May 22, 2022
    The Stories of Jesus Part 2: The Kingdom of Heaven is Like… (Matthew 13:24-52)

    We are in a series talking about the Stories of Jesus. Don't you just love stories? I like a good story just as much as the next person. Sometimes the plot is pretty straight forward, but sometimes they catch you off guard. Have you ever read a book or watched a movie that you thought was going in one direction and then at the end it goes a totally different way? We call that a plot twist.

    Think about the most famous plot twist you can think of. For me it is the fact that in Star Wars, Darth Vader is set up to be this notorious villain which Luke must face in order to destroy the evil Empire. It's a pretty straight forward plot. But plot twist (and spoiler alert for all of those who have yet to see Star Wars, I mean its only 50 years old now), Darth Vader turns out to actually be Luke's father. Crazy right?

    But even more crazy is the fact that the Jewish people thought that the story of the Messiah was also pretty straight forward. When he came, they thought that he would come with great power, overthrow the Roman occupation, and reestablish Israel as the world's greatest kingdom! But, plot twist! Jesus, the true Messiah, didn't come to establish his kingdom here on the earth, but rather in the hearts of his followers. And guess what; some people couldn't understand this; they couldn't grasp it. So to explain it to them, Jesus gave them parables.

    Last week Jesus explained the Kingdom of God like this; “a sower went out to sow seeds.” In that parable the Kingdom of God is revealed to be Jesus the sower and the Gospel His seed. Those seeds which fall on good soil; good and faithful hearts, will grow to be a part of His kingdom.

    This week we are going to look at the remainder of the kingdom parables in Matthew 13. A kingdom parable is a story used by Jesus to explain the differences between men's expectations of Christ's kingdom and it's actual spiritual realities. And as we look at them we will find that too often what we expect from Jesus and what we get from Him are quite different, but in the end it is exactly what we need. Though The Kingdom of Heaven May Be Different Than What We Had In Mind, It Is Still The Greatest Kingdom We Could Ever Hope For.