Sermons

Banquet for the Beggars
Sun, Jul 16, 2017
"When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just." -- Luke 14:12-14 (ESV) Have you signed up yet for "Dinners for 8" or have gone to one? Have you a dinner planned with invited guests this summer or will you be an invitee to one? Well, this next parable about a planned dinner may give you some "food for thought" for your next dinner conversation. Jim Maynard will unfold this dinner parable found in Luke 14:12-24 this Sunday. So before you hear it, read and think about this passage, maybe even before you eat your next meal. Hope to see you at Hope this Sunday, and bring someone with you.
Shrewdness is Scriptural
Sun, Jul 09, 2017
"The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings." -- Matthew 16:8-9(ESV) We have all admired those stories about less than pure characters using only their brains to turn an impossible situation back to their advantage. Movies like The Sting, Ocean 11, and The Italian Job are modern stories like that. Jesus in Luke 16 uses a parable similar to those stories in an unusual way that teaches us some godly truths centered around a surprising character. This week, Lynn Oakes will be unraveling this strange parable about a dishonest manager in the first 16 verses of Luke 16. We encourage you to take a look at this parable before Sunday. Hope to see you and your friends there.
God's Joy in Redeeming Sinners
Sun, Jul 02, 2017
". . . . , What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? . . . . , Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? . . . . , 'It was fitting to celebrate and be glad for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.' " -- Luke 15:1-32(ESV) Have you ever lost something really important to you and then found it again? Imagine those emotions when you realized you found it. This Sunday, Michael Bell will be sharing the parables of lost things from Luke 15 that should evoke similar emotions. We want to encourage you to take a look at this whole chapter in Luke before Sunday. Bring someone with you, maybe someone who has lost their way in life.
The Unforgiving Servant
Sun, Jun 25, 2017
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” -- Matthew 18:21(ESV) Scandalous. When we hear this word associated with church, we all cringe. Another story. Another fall. Another blight. But what if it wasn’t. What if scandalous didn’t refer to our sin but God’s grace? God’s grace is so big, so extravagant, so freely given that it has been referred to as scandalous. Often this scandal isn’t seen or felt when God’s grace is applied to us. (Because if we were really honest, we feel we deserve it). But when God’s grace is applied to someone else, especially those we think fail the most, we think of God’s grace as scandalous. This week, we look at a difficult and pointed parable called the Unforgiving Servant in Matthew 18. The ideas here apply to sinners and those in any relationship. So in other words, all of us. I’d encourage you to take a look at this parable before Sunday. Kevin will be opening up the word to us. Hope to see you there, and bring someone with you.
The Good Samaritan
Sun, Jun 18, 2017
But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. -- Luke 10:29-30 (ESV) Who is your team? Until I moved to the south I would have answered this question with a casual nod to a NFL or MLB team. But on moving here, I was forced into a decision. I had to pick a side. If I didn’t, I would be considered an outsider, forever. But once I picked, people rooted for or against me. And to be honest it’s been a lot of fun. However, the problem with picking a team is that we end up making ‘enemies’. We all have others who we consider ‘those people’. How we think about and what we do with our enemies says much about us. Jesus tells us a story about them in Luke 10. I want to encourage you to not only read through this story but also to think about its context. In it, we find a sharp confrontation. This Sunday we will also will be sharing together in communion.
Pharisees and Sinners
Sun, Jun 11, 2017
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: Luke 18:9(ESV) Bell curves have generally been my friend. I did pretty well in school . But there were a few subjects that baffled me. Maybe it was me, maybe it was the teacher. One such subject was Physics. Our teacher, Mr. Rogers (seriously), had mantras that he would repeat, but explanation and application seemed to escape him. It was as if we would magically absorb the formulas and their applications merely by the multiplicity of the repetition. So when I received a 60ish score on an exam, I was in a bit of a shock. Until I learned he graded on a curve. And the top of the curve was 70! Grading on a curve is helpful - if you are on the top. But if you are on the bottom, it feels like an unscalable pit. How do you grade others? Do you give some a pass while looking down your nose at others? How do you grade yourself? Do you get a pass because you are aware of your thoughts, intentions, and actions? Jesus had something to say about how our righteous acts stack up to everyone else. This week, Kevin will be opening up the scripture to us in our series: Parables - Truth hidden in plain sight. I want to encourage you to read Matthew 18 to prepare for his teaching. And why not bring a friend with you. Also, make sure you are introducing yourself to the new friends God is bringing to Hope this season!
What are parables?
Sun, Jun 04, 2017
Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. Matthew 13:10-11(ESV) Some stories stick with you. Do you know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare? Or have you heard the one about the Little Red Hen? These childhood stories are cute but they are meant to teach greater lessons like persistence and hard work. Through the plot and characters of narratives like these, we come to learn valuable lessons. Jesus was a master at hiding truth in plain sight. He told stories to the masses. Some are easily and quickly grasped. Some have wholesome characters while others include unrighteous villains. But all of them contain spiritual truths about salvation, the kingdom, and on following Him. This summer we will explore these stories - the Parables. Join us as we seek to discover truths hidden in plain sight this Sunday at 10:30!
Grace Revealed
Sun, May 28, 2017
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. -- 2 Peter 1:16 (ESV) We live in a world of competing voices. You will define yourself and your story against other narratives around you. Who are you? What will you value? How do you know what is right? We would like to think that these are 21st century issues amplified by our connections to our world. But actually, these are questions that have resonated in the human heart since the the beginning with the fall. Peter wants his readers to know where they can turn to for these truths. After calling them to remember, he tells them where and how to rehearse these truths. I want to encourage you to read through 2 Peter 1. At the end of this chapter, Peter points to two sources. Take a minute and see if you can identify both of them.
Grace Amnesia
Sun, May 21, 2017
I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder -- 2 Peter 1:13 (ESV) One of my fears is succumbing to dementia. With a history of it in my family, there is a real possibility of it happening to me. And having recently seen the effects of it first hand, I can attest that it is a living death. At some point, however, the sufferer is spared by no longer understanding what is happening. But I also think there is an amnesia that is a greater danger - Gospel Amnesia. When we fail to keep in view what has been done for us in Christ, we stand in a risky, dangerous spot. When the grace of God seems regular and normal, we will venture into apathy or self-righteousness. Peter wanted to point his readers back to the basics. He calls them to remember. He calls them to return. And he wants to rehearse all of this. These restatements of the gospel are essential not only to our understanding or conversion, but to our continued growth in maturity and Christian living. As we continue to look at 2 Peter, I want to encourage you to read through that first chapter.
Grace Assured
Sun, May 14, 2017
For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. -- 2 Peter 1:9-10 (ESV) Have you ever doubted your salvation? Did you really mean the prayer you prayed? Have you done enough? How does God look at you? These are important and can be scary questions. When the answers to these questions linger we start to live in a circle of fear for our soul. Peter's statement here does not seem to quell those questions. Or do they? This week we will struggle with the ideas of assurance, election, and salvation. So it will be a light, easy sermon (Just kidding). I want to encourage you to read through 2 Peter 1 to remind yourself of the context.
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