Part 3 of 6 - (Matthew 6:11) – February 24: God is the marvelous Creator of the entire universe. Does God really care about the details of our daily lives? Does He have the time to notice little me? In this part of the Lord’s prayer, Jesus teaches us that bread is symbolic for everything we need for life including food, a healthy body, good weather, a house, our relationships, peace, and safety just to name a few, and as we’ll learn, God really does care!
Part 2 of 6 - (Matthew 6:10) – February 17: A big reason many are not able to pray with confidence is they don’t know what to pray for. This is where Jesus steps in and teaches us to pray in a different direction. The real business of prayer is not necessarily getting what I want; it’s getting what God wants in Heaven done on earth.
Part 1 of 6 - (Matthew 6:9) – February 10: Jesus came to show us the Father and revealed him as Abba or daddy. Have you ever thought of God in those terms? Yet in the very same sentence, Jesus reminds us of God’s unapproachable, perfect holiness. Which is it? Could it be both? Almighty God is our Holy, Exalted heavenly daddy.
Part 5 of 5 - (2 Samuel 12:11-13; 13:12-15; 14:32; 15:10, 23-26; 17:7-9; 18:5-8, 19; Psalm 25:1, 5) – February 3: Plans are great. Reality is greater. Reality wins. Things don’t always go as planned. Some dreams don’t come true. So, what do you do when you discover your dream can’t come true?
Part 4 of 5 - (1 Samuel 16:6-12; 18:18; 24:4-6, 12-13; 26:7-11; 2 Samuel 4:8-12; 5:1-4; John 13:1-5, 14-15; Mark 10:45) – January 27: Few things are as repulsive as a leader, parent, boss, or politician who leverages influence for his or her benefit to the neglect of whom he or she is responsible. Few things inspire more than a leader who says no to himself or herself in order to say yes to those for whom he or she is responsible. So how can we lead well when authority is placed in our hands?
Part 3 of 5: The way of God isn't appealing when we have been wronged by someone else. Our natural urge is to try to get even. We want to
Part 2 of 5: (1 Samuel 20:30–31; 21:1–4, 6, 8–9; 17:47; 22:10–11, 13–17, 22; Psalm 9:9–10; Matthew 11:28–29) – January 13: The way of God is most unappealing when we are angry, isolated, or afraid. That’s when we consider things we would never otherwise consider. It's when we feel compelled to do something . . . anything. But maybe there's a better way.
Part 1 of 5: (1 Samuel 17:1-4, 7-11; 8:1-7; 17:11, 26, 36-37; Psalm 25:1, 3, 5) – January 6: David went from humble shepherd to national hero to great king. But he wasn't great because of his reputation or military prowess. He was great because of where he'd learned to place his hope.
Part 4 of 4: (John 1:14; Mark 2:24, 27; Isaiah 1:11-17; Matthew 22:37-40) – December 16: We want answers for life's mysteries. Is there an afterlife? Will I see my mom again? What does the Bible say about divorce? Religion tries to answer those questions. Religion is about answers, order, and predictability. Unfortunately, life isn't about any of those things. Life can be messy. Religion has a place in our lives, but Jesus taught us it shouldn't be in first place. When religion takes first place, it begins flexing its muscles at the expense of mercy. Jesus came to put religion in its place.
Part 3 of 4: (John 1:14; Luke 7:39-40; Romans 5:7-8) – December 9: We've all been picked on for something we had no control over. It's dehumanizing. In all likelihood, you've also picked on others. It's such a strange thing. It's such a human thing. The easiest way to feel superior is to find a person or group we think is inferior and power up. We've probably all been guilty of this outwardly or inwardly. One of the reasons Jesus came into the world was to change all that.
Part 2 of 4: (John 1:14, 18; 9:1-38) – November 25: If there is a God, we all want to know what he's like. We're curious. We tend to look at nature, outer space, or within ourselves to find clues about him. However, it only provides us with an incomplete picture. Jesus made a radical claim. He said if you want to know about God, look no further than him. If you've seen the Son, you've seen the Father.
Part 1 of 4: (John 1:14; 14:1-11; 1:18) – November 18: Why would God leave the comfort and recognition of heaven to live on this ball of dirt in a time when the best of conditions barely paralleled the worst of modern-day conditions – before morphine, before air conditioning, and before indoor plumbing? Why? We think we know why he died, but what compelled him to live as one of us?
Part 4 of 4: (Romans 12:1-2) – October 7: We get what we really want when we surrender to what God really wants for us. What you naturally want is often in conflict with what you ultimately value. But your heavenly Father knows what you need. He wants for you what you really want. So, how do you put aside those natural wants and pursue what you ultimately value?
Part 3 of 4: (Romans 7:15; Galatians 5:22-23, 25-26) – September 30: Discover what you value, value what you discover, and don't be surprised if you discover God in the process. What do you want? What do you really want? We’ll never get what we really want until we discover what is most valuable. And what we naturally want is often in conflict with what we ultimately value. So, in order to figure out what you really want, you have to figure out what you value.
Part 2 of 4: (Romans 7:15–16, 18–19; Galatians 5:19–21 (NLT); James 1:14–16) – September 23: What we naturally want is rarely what we ultimately want. We’ll never get what we really want until we discover what is most valuable. But choosing what’s valuable isn’t natural. We’ve all had the experience of getting what we naturally want, only to discover it's not what is most valuable—it’s not what we ultimately want. But how do we avoid being deceived by our short-term desires?
Part 1 of 4: (James 4:1-3) – September 16: If you don't know what you really want, you'll probably end up with exactly what you don't want. We all have wants. But actually getting what we want can be tricky . . . and even dangerous. It usually leaves us wanting more. If what we want leads to a cycle of wanting more and more, maybe we want the wrong things. So, what do you really want?
Part 8 of 8 - (Matthew 18) – September 2: When you’re in over your head, there is an unexpected resource that just about everyone overlooks. Even if you know it exists, pride and fear play a significant role in keeping you from getting the help you need. When you push through, however, the right support will arrive.
Part 7 of 8 - (Proverbs 9:9; 12:15; 13:19; 15:32; 17:10) – August 26: Even when criticism is inaccurate and unkind, it can still be a blessing and help you grow if you apply this one filter when you listen carefully. When you apply this filter to your life, you will be able to welcome any criticism in your life.
Part 6 of 8 - (Matthew 7:12; Ephesians 5:1-2) – August 19: Judge not lest you be judged! Does the Bible really mean all that? How does God want us to judge the wrongs that have been done to us, and what difference will it make in the people that have hurt us so badly.
Part 5 of 8 - (Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 6:12; 1 Corinthians 13:5) – August 12: Sometimes relationships are so destroyed and offenses so severe that there is only one thing left to do. When you get this right, it changes everything!
Part 4 of 8 - (Matthew 7:3-5; 1 John 1:8-9; Proverbs 28:13) – August 5: There’s one approach that brings refreshment in almost every conflict, but we’re usually not very good at it. Join us this Sunday for seven things that will change your entire approach and provide you the best chance of restoring peace and harmony.
Part 3 of 8 - (Matthew 7:3-4; Philippians 2:3-4; Ephesians 4:32) – July 29: When things get heated, people are naturally quick to judge the actions, attitudes, heart, and even intentions of others. Following this one principle will ensure you have the right heart from the start.
Part 2 of 8 - (1 Corinthians 10:31) – July 22: Conflict is a difference in opinion or purpose that frustrates someone’s goals or desires. Success in dealing with this difference in opinion or purpose is not so much a matter of specific results as it is about having the right focus.
Part 1 of 8 - (Matthew 5:23-24) – July 15: There’s one thing that is the biggest destroyer of all relationships. It’s the same thing at home, work, with friends, or casual acquaintances. If you get this one thing right, you will be far ahead of most when it comes to peaceful relationships.
Part 4 of 4 - (1 Samuel 18-29; 24:1-12) – July 1: Don't add water to the flood. Don't make your chaos event more chaotic-er. Do the right thing. When you have a chaos to address, first options aren’t usually the best options. First options often make chaotic messes more chaotic. In this message, pastor explores an approach that can take the -er out of your chaotic situations.
Part 3 of 4 - (Philippians 1:3-6, 9-11) – June 24: The Christian experience is not about avoiding another chaos. It's about becoming something. A common misperception is that the Christian life is all about avoiding chaotic messes and staying out of trouble. But following Jesus isn’t about avoiding something; it’s about becoming something.
Part 2 of 4 - (John 3:17; 8:12; Matthew 7:26, 24-25) – June 17: The chaos that brings us together brought God near. Your chaos can be the avenue that brings God near to you. I know a chaos when I see one because I am a chaotic mess. When we acknowledge our chaos, we're a baby step away from acknowledging God. Your chaos has the potential to bring God near you.
Part 1 of 4 - (Romans 3:19-20, 23) – June 10: If you can see your chaos, you can see God. To recognize one is to acknowledge the other. Whether we’re religious or not, we’ve all been in, are in, or are only one decision away from a chaotic mess. But there’s a powerful connection between your chaos and your relationship with God.
Part 3 of 3 - (Mark 1:4-5; John 1:15, 19-27, 29, 35-37; 3:26-28, 30-31) – May 13: Remember who it's from and who it's for. We all want to be friended, followed, liked, and mentioned. We all want to be recognized, admired, sought after, and envied. We hunger for approval. We want applause. We want to be known. But what do you do when there is no amount of “known” that will satisfy your appetite?
Part 2 of 3 - (Luke 16) – May 6: Power, prestige, and possessions are a stewardship; they are temporary. We are accountable. Maybe you’re a “Three P” person—you have power, prestige, and possessions. You have influence. You are envied. People take you seriously because of what you’ve accomplished, what you look like, or to whom you’re married. There’s nothing wrong with being a “Three P” person. But when it comes to pride, “Three P” people face a unique challenge.
Part 1 of 3 - (Psalm 10:4; Philippians 2:7-8) – April 29: Saying “no” to pride is saying “yes” to God. Pride is a sin that is so common to the human experience, and it is the gateway to all other sins. It promises to make us bigger, better, and more important, but it only makes us smaller, meaner, and less significant. It strips us of our capacity to connect with others. It stands between us and our heavenly Father.