God's Rest
Sun, Dec 29, 2013
Duration:37 mins
Restoring the Wonder of Christmas
Sun, Dec 22, 2013
Duration:46 mins
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. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, (Acts 17:26-27, ESV) I've never been close to someone really famous. I've driven around the streets of Hollywood and talked to a few movie stars and even met a few sports figures. But, I can guarantee I won't get a Christmas card from any of them. And, I'm sure none of them even remember my name. It seems that the bigger the "star" the greater distance they are from their fans--probably with good reason. God is infinitely greater than any actor or ball player. In fact, He is not even in the same category. He is completely "other." We are all mere creatures, and He is the creator. That's some distance: the infinite to the finite. God is greater and more glorious than we can comprehend. But, that reality makes what we will celebrate in a few days even more amazing; because this impossible gap is bridged, not by us, but by him. This Sunday, we will celebrate the final Sunday of Advent. It will be a great Sunday with readings, singing special music, and more. Please plan to join us, and hopefully you are bringing along a friend. This a perfect Sunday to invite someone along.
Living in Hope
Sun, Dec 15, 2013
Duration:41 mins
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7) Gaining humility, it seems, is like trying to hold water in your hands. While you can do it for a few seconds, it seems to seep out quickly. This week, as we close our series in 1 Peter, we will examine this important quality. It is one that was modeled by Jesus and to which we are called. But what does it look like? And how is it attained? Is it just having poor self-esteem or is it something else? Take some time to reread 1 Peter 5 to prepare your heart and mind.
Leading In Hope
Sun, Dec 08, 2013
Duration:49 mins
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;(1 Peter 5:1-2, ESV) I've been called a lot of things--not all of them good--Reverend, Padre, Priest, and even Father once. But Pastor is the most common.'s a weird title. Even though I've done this for a while, I still tend to look around when someone calls me by it. But what does it mean? What should it look like to be a pastor? Is it different than an elder? How did Jesus use these titles? And how did Peter use them? This week Peter turns to the leaders of the church. He wants them to care for and lead this suffering church. He calls them to lead in a specific way. To prepare your heart for Sunday, take some time to read through 1 Peter 5. We will also continue our celebration of Advent.
A New Life of Hope
Sun, Nov 24, 2013
Duration:48 mins
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. (1 Peter 4:1-2, ESV) Pain and suffering has a way of putting life into perspective. Or it can distort and consume our view of reality. Throughout 1 Peter, Peter desires that his readers suffer for the right things and with the right perspective. In this text, he returns to this recurring theme. But more than just enduring pain, he wants to see it produce something of lasting significance in their lives. As we continue in our journey of this book, take some time to read through 1 Peter 4-5. What does he hope suffering produces? How does it produce it?
Understanding God's Grace
Sun, Nov 17, 2013
Duration:41 mins
Understanding God's Wrath
Sun, Nov 10, 2013
Duration:46 mins
Hear this, you elders; give ear, all inhabitants of the land! Has such a thing happened in your days, or in the days of your fathers? Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation. (Joel 1:2-3, ESV) We are confused about what God is like. We tend to split him down into parts. And to be honest, there are some parts about him that at best confuse us, or at worst, offend us. We like to think of God in all the most pleasant ways. But when we read through the scriptures, we bump against descriptions and actions of God that don't fit neatly in our categories. Often times, we would rather not think about those attributes of God because they are unpleasant and are the fodder for angry, backwoods preachers. But they are there in scripture. So what do we do? Over the next two weeks, we are going to wrestle with who God is by looking at the small, minor prophet book of Joel. This book describes God and his actions in judgment. But, in the midst of it, we also find that God's judgment not only describes him but shows other angles of him as well. Kevin Mays will be taking this time to breakdown this book. I want to encourage you to read through Joel several times over the coming weeks so that as Kevin explains and teaches the passages, you will be familiar with the text.
Relating to Another in Hope
Sun, Nov 03, 2013
Duration:50 mins
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. (1 Peter 3:8-9, ESV) We all know the "Golden Rule," right? Treat others the way you want to be treated. We expect kindness in exchange for kindness. We expect our gestures of good will to be returned. But what happens when they aren't? What happens when they are met with disdain and disgust? How will we respond? If you have felt left out the last two weeks because you are not a servant (everyone is by the way) or a spouse, then this week is for you. Peter turns his attention to everyone. He wants us to examine how we respond to people within and outside the church, and especially those that are adversarial to the faith. If you have trouble "loving your enemies" (and we all do), then this week is for you. Take some time to read through the remainder of 1 Peter 3 to get a preview of this coming week. Then, I want to challenge you to write down and bring with you the names of a few people that you consider your enemies.
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