Sermons

No One Like You - God is Triune
Sun, Jul 05, 2020
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." - Matthew 28:16-20 (ESV) The Trinity is a mysterious and difficult idea to understand. No analogy does it justice (in fact most of them lead into or are at the edge of a heresy). Yet it is true that we worship One God in Three Person - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This week we continue our series of No One Like You as Mickey Counter opens up God's word to us.
No One Like Him - God is Love
Sun, Jun 28, 2020
we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. - 1 John 4:16-21 (ESV) If there is one attribute of God that people know and generally are comfortable with it is that God is Love. When most people conceive of a god, they make him as a benevolent deity. It is one of the three things that scripture directly and specifically says that God is. (Spirit (Jn 4:24) & Light (1 Jn 1:5) are the other two). That should make this week easy, warm, and non-controversial. Right? Well, not exactly. The problem we encounter is just like other attributes we want to make God like us. We want to think of His love in very human terms or we want to make His love the overarching, predominate attribute. Most of us conceive of God's love as first and primarily directed toward us. When we do we will shrink Him and His love into a creature-sized package. This week we continue in our series - No One Like You - to talk about God's Love. What we find in the scripture is surpising and encompassing. It will confront (and empower) us. I want to encourage you to take some time to read through 1 John 4 and consider God's Love.
No One Like You - God is Perfect
Sun, Jun 21, 2020
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. - Matthew 5:44-48 (ESV) In a post on the Thought Catalog, Lindsay Zdep wrote "You know that person who seems to have it all? Well, that's me. I am, and always was, considered the "golden child" and am living a life that many would consider "perfect." A dream filled with a tree that grows money, the ability to eat cake and not get fat, and relaxing afternoons lying on a hammock. An existence where nothing goes wrong and I seem to float effortlessly through it all." She goes on to say that's not true at all and explores things she's learned being labeled "perfect." My bet is that some of us fall into this category of having most things feel/look perfect and maybe "seem to float effortlessly through it all" and others torture ourselves for not being perfect, or at least "good enough." But we, as Christians, are called to be perfect. Matthew 5:48 reads "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." How in the world do we accomplish this and what does it mean to be perfect anyway? More importantly what does it mean that our God is infinitely perfect and do we really believe that? Join us this Sunday as we export that our God is infinitely perfect and how we are to accomplish the encouragement in Matthew 5:48.
No One Like Him - God is HOLY
Sun, Jun 14, 2020
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!" - Isaiah 6:1-3 (ESV) Isaiah 6 is written in a time of uncertainity and unrest. Israel had settled leadership in King Uzziah. He had led them into a era of prolonged prosperity, but now he was dead. What would happen next? Who would rule? How would they guide the nation? Would the enemies of Israel take advantage of this moment of weakness and confusion? In the midst of this Isaiah had a vision. It's a picture of another throne room. It's a picture of a greater king. With so much uncertainty, I would have expected the Lord would have declared Himself as - sovereign, sovereign, sovereign. That's not the call of the angelic heralds. Instead they declare - Holy, holy, holy! What do they mean? What is God's holiness? What does that have to say to our world that's in unrest? This week we look at God's Holiness in our series - No One Like Him. I'd encourage you to read Isaiah 6 in preparation. Derek Flesichmann will be opening up God's word for us.
No One Like You - God is Creator
Sun, Jun 07, 2020
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. - Acts 17:26-27 (ESV) The world is one of design. On both the micro and macro levels there is a pattern and imprint that can be see of a Divine hand. It's hard to miss, but people do. We do. When we dismiss this critical idea it skews not only our understanding about God but about ourselves, the people around us, and the world itself. This week we are going to continue our series: No One Like You. This week we will talk about God as our Creator. Take some time to read through Acts 17 as Paul describes God.
No One Like Him - God's One-ness
Sun, May 31, 2020
He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it. - Isaiah 44:14-15 (ESV) We are monotheist. We believe and confess that there is one God. That's one of the things that makes Judeo-Christian belief unique both historically and among world religions. We almost take it for granted that people would believe otherwise. But what does that mean? How does the scripture talk about it? And why is that important? This week we begin to look at the attributes of God through our doctrinal statement by considering the Oneness of God. I want to encourage you to read through Isaiah 44 as we start this study. This will provide an important grid for the rest of our study.
No One Like You: Intro
Sun, May 24, 2020
The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens! Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth? - Psalm 113:4-6 (ESV) Zeus, Apollos, Hercules, and Aphrodite are a few of the names I remember. Reading Greek and Roman myths are a mainstay in most educations in the humanities. This pantheon of gods are a heavenly soap opera that's used to explain the world around us and the difficulties in it. These immortals suffered from all the human foibles, just super-sized. Is that what the God of the Bible is like? Is He just a super-sized version of us?
Man on the Run - Pt2
Sun, May 17, 2020
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who addressed the words of this song to the LORD on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said: I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. - Psalm 18:1-3 (ESV) It was terrifying. A yard school Goliath stood between me and freedom. He was probably only 4 feet tall, but he might as well have been 15 feet high, had impenetrable armor, nuclear weapons, and laser eyes. Here I was without even a single pebble or rubber band slingshot, just a bag of insecurities and fear. At the moment that I knew I was about to be crushed into dust, his face suddenly transformed from intimidation to terror. He looked, how I felt. His eyes were wide and his stance changed from fight to flight. And then he was gone. What changed? Maybe in that moment of stress I'd become the superhero I'd always known I was in my mind. No. He'd just seen my high school, middle-linebacker friend Mark get out of his car and head toward me while calling my name. In the moment of fear I'd forgotten he was my ride that day. Been there? How did you respond? Did you puff up your chest proud of how tough YOU were? Or were you fawningly thankful for a friend like Mark? David was a man on the run. He'd escaped death numerous times. He wasn't afraid of battle. He'd won many, but with relentless energy Saul had pursued him, but now Saul was gone. How would he think about those years? How was he still here? Who had stood behind him? This week we close out our series in 1 Samuel, by looking at another Psalm. In Psalm 18, David reflects on how he was saved from his enemies including and especially Saul. This must have been a lyric that he sang often because not only is it in Psalm 18, but it is recorded in 2 Samuel 22 as some of the closing words of David's life. I want to encourage you to take a few minutes to read through it. We are going to consider how God is the one that delivers us.
Man on the Run - Pt 1
Sun, May 10, 2020
David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father's house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became commander over them. And there were with him about four hundred men. - 1 Samuel 22:1-2 (ESV) Life was good. He had single-handedly driven back the nation's greatest enemy. He had won subsequent battles. He was the darling of the people. He had married into the royal family and was going to be the next king (even though it was still secret). Now everything was unraveling. His father-in-law, the current king, had become his rival instead of his champion. He was constantly looking over his shoulder. He was even running to his previous enemies looking for anywhere to hideout. Where could he turn for comfort, rest, and hope? In the next few weeks, we will wrap up our 1 Samuel study. David is a man on the run, but out of this moment he has something to teach us about living in crisis. I want to encourage you read through the story of 1 Samuel 20-31 to prepare your heart and mind for Sunday.
Rivals And Revenge
Sun, May 03, 2020
Saul was afraid of David because the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul. So Saul removed him from his presence and made him a commander of a thousand. And he went out and came in before the people. And David had success in all his undertakings, for the LORD was with him. And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them. - 1 Samuel 18:12-16 (ESV) Relationships are ruined through rivalry. When there is a competition for who is the fastest, smartest, bravest, or best within a friend group there is sure to be conflict. It's in our nature. We hate being bested. But when you add power, position, and politics in the mix expect an explosion. This is the situation with Saul and David. David is coming off the heels of an amazing victory over Goliath and the Philistines. His star is rising quickly. And Saul is seething. It's not that the nation had turned on Saul. They just have a new hero. In these chapters, that are filled with intrigue and escapes fitting for an action movie, we see the relationship go from admiration to anger. But where is God in the midst of all of this? And how is this part of his purpose and plan? I want to encourage you to take a few minutes and read through 1 Samuel 18-19 as we continue our series: We Need A King. If you have ever asked, 'Where is God?' in the midst of your crisis and pain these chapters will help provide insight through the life and experience of David.
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