Part 1 of the series “Why the Scriptures Are Trustworthy.” Is the Bible trustworthy? If your answer is, yes, how well can you articulate and defend this belief? This sermon series will instill in you, or at least remind you, why you can trust in the written Scriptures completely, how you can strengthen your confidence in the Bible's original source, in the integrity of God's communication within its pages, and in your ability to translate the power and effectiveness of God's living Word to those who need to know its truths.
Part 2 of the series “Why the Scriptures Are Trustworthy.” By what criteria does either your trust or skepticism in the Scriptures come? Are you a person who trusts more in evidence, what is seen or can be tested from within the physical world? Or are you someone who trusts more in faith, that which is unseen, heavenly, and mysterious, that which cannot be tested or approved by human means? This message makes the claim that to trust in the Scriptures we must live in an apparent contradiction, a paradox where we elevate both evidence and faith, or better said, the evidence of faith. This is the only way to please God and to see his written revelation revealed for what it truly is: the infallible, authoritative, inerrant, sufficient, life-giving, and trustworthy Word of God for us and all mankind.
Part 7 of the series “Why the Scriptures Are Trustworthy.” This series has provided many tools to help build our trust in the source and integrity of the written Scriptures. But the ultimate test of truth is whether the Bible actually delivers on its stated purposes: whether the Bible leads us to an eternal, saving, transformational relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and whether the Bible answers to our satisfaction fundamental life questions such as our origin and destiny, life's meaning, and how we should live. Ultimately, our fullest confidence in the integrity of the Scriptures can't be derived only through a search for evidence or a desire for faith. It must ultimately be discovered through an abiding relationship with the author of the written Word, God himself. This relationship must begin with the belief that there is something...or Someone...greater than ourselves. It is only in submitting to him where our ultimate certainty that the Bible is true will come.
Part 1 of the series, "Entering God's Rest" (July 2019). If you're like most modern people, you have some trouble with rest. Most of us spend our week chasing the never-ending demands of work, whether it's job deadlines, needy children, or unending laundry. But as disciples of God we don't only have the benefit of rest promised to us, it is also a holy expectation. Are Christians meant to observe the Sabbath? Perhaps not in the way they did in the Old Testament. But our very growth and health in the Christian walk is dependent upon us following the rhythm of God's creation. This starts with regularly stopping what we are doing to conquer our world...to pause and sanctify the God who created everything. Entering God's rest is the only way we can give our work the dignity and effectiveness we so greatly desire.
Part 2 of the series, "Entering God's Rest" (July 2019). As developed in Part 1 of this series, Christians aren't required to observe the Sabbath in the ways Israel was in the Old Testament, but Hebrews 4 does encourage us to strive to enter into God's rest. This message suggests practical ways we can do so. Like the relief we felt when our parents pulled off the interstate on summer vacations to stop and regroup at a rest area, there are many rest areas we can enjoy with God as well. These rest areas are accessed by first detaching from our own works (or the things that pull us away from focusing on God as our Creator and Provider), and then attaching to the things of the Spirit. Disciplining ourselves to regularly pull off to the side of the road in our daily lives to rest in God will give us strength and purpose for life's journey.
Are you living life distracted? Consider your use of the internet, social media, online streaming, and the amount of time you may spend obsessed with national news, politicians, and celebrities. While there may not be anything inherently wrong with these things, it's important to realize that these areas reflect a secondhand version of life, and can distract you from focusing and living in the world right in front of you. The goal isn't necessarily to remove technology from your life, but to understand its power, and to use it as a tool for God's Kingdom rather than let it use you. Don't live in the shadow of the treasures that deserve a primary place in your heart and actions.
Do you pursue self awareness? Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Jesus once said that in knowing the truth, we would be set free. This message makes the assertion that the truth we should seek isn’t just the truth about God, but also the truth about ourselves. Without self-examination, we can never fully transform into Christ’s image and find the freedom his disciples enjoy.
Part 9 of 23 in the extended series "Belonging to Him," which takes an in-depth look at the Gospel through the lens of personal relationship. As it says in 1 Corinthians 13, love is the greatest thing. But is love all we need? We certainly need loving relationship where God accepts us as we are. But like with any good parent, mentor, or teacher, the fuller scope of God's love doesn't just include acceptance, it also includes expectation. God accepts us without condition, but because he loves us and wants the best for us, he also wants us to grow up and mature, becoming more like him. And so, in addition to God's love, we also need God's truth. We need God's true love (sermon recorded in 2018).
Part 10 of 23 in the extended series "Belonging to Him," which takes an in-depth look at the Gospel through the lens of personal relationship. So many are in our world are searching for truth. But for most of us, the deepest needs of our hearts aren't fundamentally satisfied by an awareness of truth, but by the integrity of our personal relationships. So, yes, we should ask, "What is truth?" But we also need to ask, "Who is faithful?" "Who will keep their promises?" To satisfy the deepest needs of our heart, we must also ask, "Who is true?" (sermon recorded in 2018).
Part 11 of 23 in the extended series "Belonging to Him," which takes an in-depth look at the Gospel through the lens of personal relationship. Words have power. They shape our world. They inspire and instruct. They create and destroy. God's words, or God's Word (the Bible), does all these things too. But God's Word also transforms us. And God's Word ultimately, as the living embodiment of Christ himself, is the chief means God uses to invite us to live in relationship with him...and belong to him (sermon recorded in 2018).
(Note: We're taking a break from the "Belonging to Him" series for the holiday season and will pick back up with Part 2 on January 17th. This week, you’ll be hearing the first sermon John shared from the series, "A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven" while pastoring a church in the country of Honduras.) Every year around New Year's Eve, people take stock of their lives and make a New Year's resolution. They look forward into the coming year. They look back at the year that was. But looking forward and back again with God offers you a resolution—and revolution—for how to view time itself.
(Note: We're taking a break from the "Belonging to Him" series for the holiday season and will pick back up with Part 2 on January 17th. This week, you’ll be hearing the second sermon John shared from the series, "A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven" while pastoring a church in the country of Honduras.) Most every day of our lives, we ask ourselves or others, "What time is it?" We find it important to live according to the expectations of time: minutes, hours, years, holidays, life events, etc. The biblical view of knowing the time is to understand that God uses time to fulfill his purposes, including our purpose under his guidance and care. So, what time is it where you are? Your answer will help you better live out God's purpose in your life.
Part 17 of 23 in the series, "Belonging to Him". Jesus once asked his disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" In our encounters with Jesus, we should also answer this question, but then we should ask, "Who does God say that I am?" Understanding and claiming our identity in Christ should be a foundational and constant confession of faith. Because who we are is shaped by who we're with. And who we are in Christ will define what we have in him and how we then choose to live (recorded in 2019.)
Part 18 of 23 in the series, "Belonging to Him." How do you relate to the Bible? Is it just a textbook or rulebook? Is it just required reading to become a good person or go to heaven? Or is it also the very essence of God himself? If the Bible is truly the "Word made flesh," then its benefits will surpass simply becoming wiser or a better person. It can be a way to relate to God in the most personal way imaginable (sermon recorded in 2019.)
Part 20 of 23 in the series, "Belonging to Him." How do I relate to worship? Is it just about making it to church each Sunday? Is it just singing songs and hymns? Is it just something you’re supposed to do, but I rarely feel connected to God when I do it? Worship should be a chief focus in nurturing divine intimacy. But if we limit it to just Sunday morning or devotional time, we can miss the power of God's presence in all areas of life. Practicing the presence of God in everything we do will empower us to better glorify him, enjoy him...and belong to him (sermon recorded in 2019).