Sermons

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous
Sep 2013 - Apr 2020

Sermons in this series

Good Friday - A Harmony of Account
Fri, Apr 10, 2020
For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. - 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 (ESV) You have heard the numbers. You have read the stories. You have seen the pictures. All of these things make me consider my mortality. I've had times in the past when I've physically suffered or when I've narrowly avoided an accident that for a little while the illusion of my invincibility has been pierced. In these days we consider what is dangerous and ultimately deadly. While this is a frightening reality to live in, it also forces us to confront the truth. We will all face death. Good Friday and Easter point us toward one who confronted death, used it, and will ultimately make it obsolete. This is a reason, at this time, to pause and consider who He is. Today we released a video where members of our congregation will read to you a Harmony of the Account of what happened on Good Friday. I want to encourage you to take 20 minutes and stop to watch or listen to this account.
Five Choices in Chaotic Times
Sun, Mar 15, 2020
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Romans 8:15–17 (ESV) Fear is cruel master. It grips and paralyzes us. It causes us to act irrationally. It isolates and imprisons us, but these words from Paul are words of gospel freedom. We know what family we are a part and we are assured of our relationship to God. That reality provides a bedrock for us to move through a fearful world. Especially in light of current uncertainty we need to understand and trust these truths. This week I want to address it directly as we consider this moment. Here's what is going to happen. We are monitoring the situation and have been listening to local authorities. We are planning on meeting at 10:30 am for worship together. We will be suspending our normal greeting time and not take communion on our normal end-of-the-month schedule for now. If you are sick or have a compromised immune system we ask you to stay home. If you are in a vulnerable state due to pre-exisiting conditions or age, we are encouraging you to stay home. We will work hard to make sure all of the service is streamed starting at 10:30 so all can connect. We will work to post the service online as soon as possible afterward. We will be considering other Hope activities on a case-by-case basis such as youth or community groups. We will communicate about those soon. Watch the FB group for the most immediate info. We have limited info on non-Hope activities (outreaches), but anticipate most will be postponed or cancelled. We will let you know when we know.
What We Long For
Sun, Feb 09, 2020
What does it take to see renewal in your life? Life's a mess but God can make something beautiful out of it. This book will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this book.
Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude
Sun, Dec 29, 2019
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. - 1 John 5:1–3 (ESV) What do you want to change in 2020? What resolutions are you making? How will 2020 be different then 2019? These are the types of questions that seem to be inescapable after Christmas. We reflect on what 2019 brought and we think about what is ahead. What I can tell you is that change will come in 2020. Some of that change will happen because of your effort. Some change will happen because of decisions you make - good and bad. Also, some changes will happen from forces outside of your control. How do you think of change in your spiritual life? Is that important? If I just read my Bible, go to church, and pray, will I change? I'm not a fan of resolution-type sermons, but I'm talking about our spiritual progress. It may not involve grand plans or checklists and probably won't emerge from what you think. Take some time to read in 1 John 4-5. In these chapters the old apostle John encourages his readers to evaluate and mature.
Absent or Present
Sun, Nov 17, 2019
On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha and Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty, for she was lovely to look at. But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command delivered by the eunuchs. At this the king became enraged, and his anger burned within him. - Esther 1:10-12 (ESV) Do you ever look around this world and wonder where God is in all of this? Does it feel like he is absent? Or maybe He just doesn't care? It's not an uncommon feeling even among honest Christians. Did you know there is a book of the Bible where God is absent. It's the only one where He is never even mentioned. This Sunday, I'm happy to have Jonathan Haefs with us. He is the pastor of Shades Valley Community Church in Birmingham. It's our sister EFCA church in the state. This Sunday he will be with you to open up the book of Esther. In this book God is unseen and unspoken. But is He uninvolved? What might this narrative tell us about our day? And what might it encourage us to consider when we feel like He isn't here?
Provision For The Soul
Sun, Sep 15, 2019
Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face. This will be my salvation, that the godless shall not come before him. - Job 13:15-16 (ESV) So today is Friday the 13th. It's the day that no one is supposed to feel lucky. Fortunately, for you our family celebrated it a week early, so none of you have anything to worry about. It's been quite a week around here... Seriously if we believe God, we know that He is the one who rules over everything including both the universal story and our personal one. In the trenches of life, that is often hard to see and harder to understand. Awful things happen to us. Evil things are done. Life falls apart. Permanent damage is done. How do we try to understand this? What do we do when the pieces of life don't fit? This week we have the opportunity to look into the life of a man who seemed to be living Friday the 13th over and over and over. His name was Job. In looking into his story we can not only see his struggle, but also how we can get our bearings as we struggle in our tragedies. I'm looking forward to hear my friend, Jim Dietz open up the Word for us. Jim ministered many years ago alongside my father, and has since held positions as a pastor, seminary professor, and now a chaplain.
Community
Sun, Sep 01, 2019
And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. - Acts 2:44–47 (ESV) There are some amazing pictures for what God does when He saves us. He redeems us. He frees us. He rescues us. He pays our debt. He adopts us. The first few lets us see what God has done for us and between Him and us. However, that final one adds another dimension. We are called, not only to Him, but also into a family. We (together) are His kids. We are going to talk about this idea this coming weekend. Mickey Counter will be opening God's Word to challenge us about our need to not only be connected to God through Christ, but be connected to each other because of Christ. One of the ways we do that at Hope is through Community Groups. Community Groups are smaller gatherings of households who meet regularly for study, encouragement, prayer, and outreach. We want to challenge everyone to make this type of connection with other believers at Hope.
Death Over Dinner With Jesus
Sun, Apr 21, 2019
But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. - Hebrews 2:9 (ESV) We are all inexperienced when it comes to death, but it will be a reality for everyone. Yet we avoid thinking or talking about it, but it is something everyone must face. On Easter we celebrate One who has tasted death and won. This unique event changes our perspective and our eternity when we consider our own mortality. This Sunday we come together, as we do every Sunday, to look toward this One, namely Jesus. We will see how the resurrection opens a way through grace for us. Take a few minutes to read through Hebrews 2 to prepare your heart and mind.
A Different King for a Different Kingdom
Sun, Apr 14, 2019
But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” - Matthew 20:25–28 (ESV) The murmurs began to rise out of the growing crowd. They daily felt the oppression of the current regime, but it had never extinguished the hope that lingered from long ago. They had heard from the parents and grandparents that one day a king would arise. He would step into his rightful place and all would be set right. As they saw a figure grow over the horizon they wondered if all those hopes would meet reality. They had heard rumors he had been visited in childhood by mysterious men seeking a king. Some had heard him speak of a kingdom. Others had seen him command a crowd with his teaching. There had been others who sought to grab the throne, but none lasted. This felt different. In a moment the whispers broke out from their hushed undertones to outright declarations. 'Hosanna' someone in the back declared, and with that the flood was unleashed. This Sunday we celebrate Palm Sunday. It begins our Passion Week celebration and it reminds us of the rightful place of Jesus as King. This king and his kingdom would not be like anyone expected. Join as we explore the King and His Kingdom.
Abound in the work of the Lord
Sun, Dec 30, 2018
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. - 1 Cor 15:58
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