Toward Wisdom & Into the Fear of God
Sun, Jun 02, 2013
Duration:54 mins
Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.(Proverbs 1:5-6, ESV) Common sense seems to be not so common anymore. It seems like every time I see the news, another story is popping up that I just shake my head in response. I thought we were supposed to be getting smarter. This week we start our summer series Proverbs: Uncommon Sense. In it, we will unfold the source, nature, and content of real knowledge as we examine the book and many of the subjects it covers. If you want to begin to get a handle on it, an easy way to start is to read one chapter each day corresponding with the date. (i.e. chapter 1 on June 1). Hopefully we will all become wiser as we listen and learn from the wise.
Sun, May 19, 2013
Duration:58 mins
So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24, ESV) I think reconciliation is like flossing or exercise. We know that we should do it but we never seem to get around it to it. We feel guilty that we don't, but it's just easier and more comfortable not to start. But, we have been learning through the journey of Philemon that reconciliation is not only necessary, but a beautiful picture of the gospel. This week we will close out our series by asking the question, "How do we get started?" What baby steps can you take to begin a path toward reconciling with those you are in conflict with?
Sun, May 12, 2013
Duration:50 mins
Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love's sake I prefer to appeal to you-I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus- Philemon 8-9 While the words I heard were, "Yes, sir" and the action I saw was doing what I asked, I could sense from both the clenched muscles and attitudes, that obedience was more forced than willing. As someone has said, "She was sitting down on the outside; but on the inside she was standing on her chair in defiance." We would like to think that our obedience to Christ is not that way. With our hearts tuned to the Spirit, we are gently led by Him. But honestly, it just isn't true, especially when it comes to reconciliation. It goes against our inclinations and emotions to move towards those that have hurt and betrayed us. Yet, that's what we are called to do. This week, we will continue in our series, Reconciled. In this section Paul's appeal is not out of authority but driven by a deeper motive. I want to encourage you to read through the short 25-verse book again and note the basis for his appeal.
Broken and Betrayed
Sun, May 05, 2013
Duration:53 mins
I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. (Philemon 1:4-6, ESV) Broken. Betrayed. Hurt. Bitter. Stung. When I read those words, my mind is flooded with the faces of people who have moved through my life and left destruction behind. Maybe, you can relate. Maybe, you are gun-shy to enter into relationships because of your history. Enter the gospel. When it enters our life, it hits the 'reset' button on our primary relationship with God. And when that happens, it must impact our relationships with those around us. In May, we will take a couple of weeks to examine the small personal letter of Philemon. In it, Paul writes to his friend, Philemon, who had been betrayed by his slave Onesimus. We will get a front row seat to see the how the gospel reorients our relationships and makes them a living demonstration of the cross. Don't miss it. Get a preview by reading through the short book of Philemon before Sunday. It's just 25 short verses.
Walking with the Whys
Sun, Apr 28, 2013
Duration:43 mins
Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see." Jesus wept. So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!" (John 11:32-36, ESV) I should have had something to say. After all, I am THE pastor. But I was speechless. Everybody was. All anyone could think to say was "I'm sorry." The moment was heavy and tears were abundant. We all just sat and cried. Ever have a moment like that? It seems when tragedy strikes friends and relatives, we are paralyzed. What do we do? We want to provide comfort and words of encouragement, but we often have no clue on how to do it. This week we are going to close out our series, Habakkuk: Why do Bad Things Happen to Bad People, by talking about those moments. What can we do? What should we say? I want to provide some practical help for you about "How to Walk with the Whys. "
From Why to Worship
Sun, Apr 21, 2013
Duration:1 hr 1 min
O LORD, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O LORD, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy. (Habakkuk 3:2 ESV) We live in a sin-cursed world. If you had somehow been lulled into a fog of forgetfulness, the events of this week will douse you with the cold water of reality. The events in Boston are just another level of the why questions that haunt us. As Habakkuk has struggled with many of these same questions, we have walked alongside him. If you missed any of this, I would encourage you to listen to the previous weeks. This week, however, is a massive shift. In chapter 3 of Habakkuk, the why questions are not answered, but the perspective of the prophet radically changes. I want to encourage you to read through chapter 3 before Sunday. What is the difference between chapter 3 and 1 & 2? Come & see.
Justice for All
Sun, Apr 14, 2013
Duration:55 mins
I will take my stand at my watch post and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. (Habakkuk 2:1 ESV) Habakkuk was captured by the question, "Why?" It rattled in his head like an unforgettable tune. But when God answered the question, it didn't provide clarity, only cloudiness and complication. And so he struggled and waited hoping that God would explain in greater detail the vista of his sovereignty. This week, we venture into God's answer. It is great and more sweeping than Habakkuk, frankly, we could imagine. In fact, his answer was so captivating that not only the apostle Paul, but also the reformer Martin Luther, were enthralled with it. And it provides an important link for us as we live out this life of questions. Take some time before Sunday to read Habakkuk 2. And if your burning question is "Why in the world did Andy subtitle the series 'When bad things happen to bad people,'" this is your week. Don't miss it!
Sun, Apr 07, 2013
Duration:49 mins
O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you "Violence!" and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Habakkuk 1:2-3 Let's be honest. Sometimes life just doesn't make sense. We look around and wonder, "What happened?" Sometimes it comes on a large scale like a tornado or local tragedy. Sometimes it's much more personal like a death, a loss of a job, or a sickness. It's in those times that we question our direction, our faith, and even God. But, if we are "good" Christians, then sometimes we feel guilty for questioning at all. But should we? This week we begin the book of Habakkuk. In this book, the prophet is struggling with these why questions. He wants God to answer for the state of the world and hear his plan to change it. This week, I want to share with you some of my own questions and then dive into Habakkuk to see what this prophet can show us in his struggle.
Sun, Mar 31, 2013
Duration:53 mins
Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know-this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. (Acts 2:22-23 ESV) The crowds had gathered chanting his name and singing his praise. But, during the course of the week, things had taken an unexpected turn. On Sunday, the disciples were riding the wave of fame, hoping that power and position would soon follow. But by Thursday evening, they were scattered and scared, hoping that no one would recognize them. While the events of those days caught everyone by surprise, God sovereignly ordained them for salvation of mankind. This weekend we remember, mourn, and celebrate God's glorious, grand plan for the redemption of humanity. On Friday at 6pm, we will have our solemn and reflective Tenebrae service as we consider Jesus' final words from the cross. Plan to join us as we sing, recite, and pray our way to the cross. Then on Sunday, we will gather to celebrate the cords of death and sin that have been broken when God raised Jesus from the dead. It is going to be a great celebration together at 10:30. Our ensemble will be leading us in worship, and we will have several other special things.
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