Sermons

Return to God
Sun, Jan 10, 2016
Duration:38 mins
Therefore say to them, Thus declares the Lord of hosts: Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 1:3 ESV)
What Worry Forgets
Sun, Dec 27, 2015
Duration:49 mins
Fear Not, Matthew 6:25-34, Worry denies God's Creation of you, Worry denies God's Provision for you, Worry denies God's Power, Worry denies God's Mission for you
Christ: God with Us
Sun, Dec 20, 2015
Duration:30 mins
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). - (Matthew 1:23 ESV) Have you ever felt the presence of God? Was it one of the holy moments? Those times seem rare, isolated to moments of special venues and secret times. They are hard to describe and even harder to recapture. But what if God was here? Right where you are? That time and space would become sacred. Not in a mysterious hidden temple kind of way but at a spot where you met the only one who knows you thoroughly because he created you. We are told that in Jesus we are promised not a God that hides on lofty mountains or in secret temples, but someone who dwells with us! He is ‘God with Us’! Will you join us this week as we explore and celebrate Immanuel? Will you bring someone with you? Earlier this week, we sent you a digital invite. Forward it to your friends, family, and neighbors. Share it on social media. Get the word out. This Sunday @ 10:30 am we will have carols, a special children’s presentation, the advent wreath, and more. And then next Thursday, December 24th, on Christmas Eve, we will have a special family Christmas service with the Christmas story, carols, the final advent candle, and more songs by candlelight. It will be a great way to begin your celebration of Christmas.
Spiritual Gospel
Sun, Dec 13, 2015
Duration:54 mins
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Galatians 5:13 ESV) “Liberty means responsibility. That’s why most men dread it.” - George Bernard Shaw. The book of Galatians has been a declaration of freedom. The gospel is freedom from sin, from Satan’s kingdom, and ultimately from death. But it’s also freedom from self-salvation projects. We are not trying to earn God’s love for us. The gospel tells us we already have it! Amazing! But now, what do we do with that freedom? Are we to live however we want? And what, or maybe better, who helps us discover life in this newfound freedom? This week we begin to explore this new life, a life in the Spirit. I want to encourage you to read Galatians 5 to prepare your heart and mind for what we will explore this weekend. Why not invite someone along to celebrate the Christmas season. We will have our advent wreath and reading along with singing more carols this week.
Gospel Freedom
Sun, Dec 06, 2015
Duration:40 mins
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 ESV) I feel in some ways, we live in an age with schizophrenic cultural dialogue. There is a call for tolerance and acceptance. And at the same time, there seems to be no place for those that disagree with whatever the cultural status quo is at the moment. Reading our upcoming passage, I don’t know how well Paul would have fit into our age. As we begin Galatians 5, Paul comes full force at the false teachers. But he also exposes how the gospel both frees and offends. He shows that Christ and salvation by grace is an exclusive offer and how adding even the slightest requirement re-engineers it. Take some time to read through the passage to hear Paul's strong words.
Sarah's Gospel
Sun, Nov 22, 2015
Duration:58 mins
Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. (Galatians 4:21-22 ESV) We are weird creatures. Given a choice between slavery and freedom, you would think our instinct would be to choose freedom. But that’s not always the case, especially when it comes to our spiritual life. While we may say we want the freedom the gospel gives us, we easily and regularly choose the slavery of sin and self-salvation. We think by doing this, we will gain God’s favor and increase our merit. But the whole book of Galatians has been warning us away from such a path. In this final appeal, Paul goes back to an Old Testament story to illustrate our heritage of faith in the gospel. And he shows how when we step outside of that faith, it comes with dangerous consequences. To get you familiar with the story, take some time before Sunday to go back and read through Genesis 16 & 21. This will set the context for what Paul will explore in Galatians 4. Also, would you take some time to begin praying for someone you can invite to Hope during the Advent season? It’s a natural time for folks to visit a church. An invite from you might be all the encouragement they need to visit Hope. Begin praying now!
The Personal Gospel
Sun, Nov 15, 2015
Duration:48 mins
It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! (Galatians 4:18-19 ESV) Who do you think is better off spiritually: a person stuck in Buddhism; an atheist; or a church-going, rule following Christian? You might be tempted to create a scale. On one end are the people without any kind of spiritual beliefs, and on the other end is the card-carrying Christian (and somewhere in-between is the "spiritual" person). On the other hand, we might think it's better to have nothing than to have the wrong thing. However we arrange it, I’d like to challenge you to shake up your thinking. In our upcoming passage, Paul challenges the Galatians with the thought that they are in imminent danger of worshiping the wrong thing, themselves. This week, we will explore Galatians 4:12-20. I’d encourage you to take some time to read through the passage. Listen to Paul’s personal appeal. Through it I hope we will not only understand more of the gospel, but pick up Paul’s passion for people around him to be shaped by Christ.
The Fatherhood of God
Sun, Nov 08, 2015
Duration:49 mins
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:4-7 ESV) The Fatherhood of God is basic Christian teaching. It's fundamental. In fact, the 19th century so closely associated it with the message of the whole Bible, they felt they could reduce its teaching to two ideas--the brotherhood of mankind and the universal Fatherhood of God. While it might be a bit of an oversimplification, it points to the idea that addressing God as Father is fundamental. But it might be new to you to realize that before the New Testament, this idea was faint, if not completely absent. And, I'm guessing that while we use it often in prayers and discussions, we have done little thinking about the origin, meaning, or implications of God as our Father. I confess I was a little captured with the idea when we ran across it last week in Galatians 4. So I want to take a week to explore it a little further. This is not going to be a drive-by guilting on being a better father (there will be something there for the ladies too). But it won't be a theological elocution about Trinitarian Spiration (yes, those are theological terms--I didn't make them up). But I want us to understand, enjoy, and live as children of our Father. So plan to attend and bring someone with you.
The Family Gospel
Sun, Nov 01, 2015
Duration:50 mins
So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. (Galatians 3:24-26 ESV) What if I told you that you had an unknown rich uncle that had recently passed away and you are the lone heir to his fortune? Would it change the way you look at life? Would it change your plans? What would you do that you can't even consider now? How would it change how you look at the future? In our upcoming text in Galatians, Paul shares the truth that our identity and future have been altered because of what Christ has done. Yet, I wonder how often I forget or fail to live with this in mind. I've changed families, my identity is different. And my future is secure. But I live in the present as if it's shaky. I want to challenge you to read through Galatians 3:23-4:7 and consider the fundamental changes that have happened if you have come to faith in Christ.
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