Rest: More Than a Feeling
Sun, Aug 28, 2016
Duration:47 mins
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:11 ESV) Exhausted. Tired. Dragging. Need Coffee. In the midst of all of our jokes about the pace of life and the weariness of our minds and bodies, there is a truth that we often ignore. We need rest. Unfortunately, when we think of rest, we are stretched and tired even considering it. We might feel we can’t afford it. Or we might run the to-do-list both at home and at work that would never allow us to step away. Many times, what adds to our busyness is our spiritual lives. We add things like prayer or bible study to the list and our sense of frustration grows. In Hebrews 4:1, we get an almost paradoxical command about rest. You must struggle, work, and strive to rest. Wait, what? Wouldn’t that make rest work? This Sunday, my friend Ryan Haskins will be unpacking this idea of Rest. I will be gone, participating in a local race (Not a lot of rest there!). I encourage you to read through Hebrews 4 to get the context of this important command.
Real Church
Sun, Aug 21, 2016
Duration:46 mins
Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. (Acts 6:1 ESV) Church government and constitutions are not exactly the most exciting subject. When people want to talk about it, it usually means they have either had a rough experience somewhere, are Biblical nerds, or need some thing to help them fall asleep. Just kidding. Sorta. But this week, we are going to at least touch on the subject. In Acts 6 we run into something that churches are exceptional at - having conflicts. In order to solve it and to protect the calling of the Apostles, something important happens. As we read through this narrative, we will begin to uncover several things about the nature and organization of the early church. Read through Acts 6 to prepare your heart and mind for this Sunday. And make sure you read through the important updates below as well.
Gospel Disobedience (Part 2)
Sun, Aug 14, 2016
Duration:57 mins
Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. (Acts 5:41 ESV) Persecution - it’s something that we fear. It’s a circumstance that we seem to think is always around the corner. The real question, I think, is not from what direction persecution will arrive, but are we prepared mentally and spiritually when it happens. I don’t think that preparation comes from just getting tougher or being ready to ‘take the hits’, but by truly understanding our salvation, identity, and security. The narrative in Acts provides pathways for us to do this as it recounts the conflicts which the church was birthed and grew in. This week we continue to look at the second half of Acts 5. If you missed last week, you can catch up online with last weeks sermon. I’d encourage you to read the chapter as we go back into it. How do you think you would respond to the pressure? Why do you think we seem to fold so easily to social pressure in the area of faith? What do you think it looks like to fight for our faith? It might be different than you think.
Gospel Disobedience (Part 1)
Sun, Aug 07, 2016
Duration:56 mins
And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us.” (Acts 5:27-28 ESV) I bet you consider yourself a ‘law & order’ kinda person. I don’t mean the TV show, but the inclination. You pay your taxes. You vote. You obey the laws, except maybe the speed limits. You support the police. You might even turn to a passage like Romans 13 to support and encourage that view. That’s important and I’d even say biblical. We are called to be supportive, submissive, prayerful citizens of the nations in which we live. But are there exceptions? Are there times for civil disobedience? This week we are going back to our series in Acts called The Gospel on the Move. We are headed back to Acts 5. In the incident described, the Apostles were brought face-to-face with this conflict. How did they respond? What does this tell us what our response should be? I’d encourage you to read through the chapter to be reminded of the context. And come on Sunday to worship together. Why not invite someone along? Or call up someone you haven’t seen in a while?
The God Who Feels
Sun, Jul 31, 2016
Duration:40 mins
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. (Psalm 22:1-2 ESV) What does the ‘normal’ Christian life feel like? This summer, we have tried to address this question by exploring the Psalms. Seeing the joys, fears, pains, and hopes of the psalmists rewires our perspectives through faith. And it shows us that Christians don’t avoid the bad and amplify the good feelings, but places them in a context of the gospel. This week as we conclude the summer series, we want to not only review but show how each of the emotions we cover connects and points us to Christ. Together we will celebrate the Lord’s table and worship together. So plan to be there!
Sun, Jul 24, 2016
Duration:1 hr 1 min
For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am a man who has no strength, (Psalm 88:3-4 ESV) Darkness, sadness, hopelessness, or depression - these heavy-hearted feelings go by several names. They have varying levels of severity and length. They can have discernible causes or no cause at all. Everyone has felt it at some level. How do we respond? Does the scripture ever express such a feeling? Does it provide any guidance or hope? This week in our series in the Psalms: Devotion and Emotion, we deal with the emotion of despair. I want to encourage you to read Psalm 88. One commentator called it the ‘darkest corner of the Psalms’. I so appreciate it’s honesty and crying rawness. Take a few minutes before Sunday to read and listen to this Psalmist's heart. I promise this week will not be a ‘take-two-verses and call me in the morning’ solution for depression. But, I believe it will provide some perspective and hope for us as we struggle in our dark moments. Plan to be there.
Sun, Jul 17, 2016
Duration:36 mins
You have made us the taunt of our neighbors, the derision and scorn of those around us. You have made us a byword among the nations, a laughingstock among the peoples. (Psalm 44:13-14 ESV) To recall our memories is to often times rehearse our regrets and shame. We see our failures with greater clarity than our successes. Sometimes we hear from others that in order to be truly free we need to abandon shame and move forward. But is that the best? Is there something between wallowing in our shame and forgetting about our mistakes and sin? Could there be something redemptive in shame? This week, Kevin will be opening up Psalm 44 and dealing with the emotion of Shame. I encourage you to take some time before Sunday to read through this Psalm.
Sun, Jul 10, 2016
Duration:43 mins
He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” (Psalm 2:4-6 ESV) “Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt me” This old rhyme is true on a physical level but completely false on an emotional one. The words have the ability to rip our souls apart. Words of hatred. Words of gossip. Words of anger. Words of contempt. They can all do damage that is deep and life altering. We can all think of things that have been said to us, hopefully both in the positive and negative, that have directed our lives and thoughts. So this week we want to deal with the emotion of contempt. It often comes out in our words. How should our feelings about other people be shaped by God. In Psalm 2, the psalmist tells us that even God mocks and hold some people in contempt. Are we to do the same? Is he talking about the same emotion? Jim Maynard will be opening up the scriptures for us this weekend. I encourage you to take a look at the Psalm and come ready to be challenged.
Sun, Jul 03, 2016
Duration:39 mins
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever! (Psalm 30:11-12 ESV) It is easy to let our emotions overwhelm us especially the negative emotions. Fear. Worry. Shame. We can be paralyzed by them. And when we talk about emotions at all, we tend to focus on trying to avoid these negative emotions. But this Sunday we want to look at joy. How do we foster joy? Where does it come from? Or even more basic: what is joy? And is it different then just happiness? We will be examining this emotion through the lens of Psalm 30. It’s a story of deliverance, thanksgiving, and joy. I want to encourage you to read it through before coming together this week.
Jealousy & Envy
Sun, Jun 26, 2016
Duration:40 mins
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26 ESV)
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