Our overarching guide this year is vision. We have talked a lot about vision. This morning we will take a longer and more extensive look about the nature of clear vision, the affect it has on our mission, and what scripture has to offer us in this subject. The language of mission, values, and mission is often associated with the corporate culture, and we tend to resist such things in the church. However, I think if we look closely, we will find that it is not only helpful, but concurrent with scripture and God’s will for his people to be a people of mission and vision. Our God has set the bar high for his people. As visionary people of God, we will place ourselves in a position to be more aware of the mission he has for his church, the opportunities he places before us, and the guidance of his Holy Spirit in our lives.
Lamentations is not a book we study very often. It is often one of the books we skip past when going through a reading schedule. But there is a lot to learn from such writing. Jeremiah reflects on the collapse of Israel's culture and their relationship with God, and grieves over the sin that caused such a great loss. As we look at the way Jeremiah expresses his grief balanced with his hope in an unfailing, uncompromising, and faithful God, we are offered a pattern of how we may express pain and loss with faithfulness and grace.
When we think about the Pharisees and other “teachers of the Law” we tend to conjure in our minds an image of opposition with Jesus. But the Pharisees were not enemies of Christ, they simply could not see him for who he was. Their view of the Law, the prophets, and the prophecies was flawed. But that flawed way of thinking had been so entrenched in their hearts that they not only misunderstood God’s intention with the Law, but they also blinded themselves from seeing God in the flesh standing in front of them. They missed it completely. Jesus makes multiple attempts to bring them along with him. He tries to pull them out of their legalistic frame of mind to see what the Law they were trying to protect was teaching them to be. As we seek out a vision for who God is calling us to be, let us be attentive to his Spirit and faithful to his calling. Let us be willing to stretch and grow that we may be empowered.
Elijah received a special calling from the Lord. He was called for a purpose - a specific purpose. to accept and follow the calling, he had to show great humility, obedience, perseverance, and faithfulness. We have been given a calling as well. The church has been called in a unique way to minister to the lost in this critical time in our history. How will you respond?
We've studied prayer before. Usually we stick with the mechanics and the make up of what it means to have a conversation with God. Over the next 8 weeks, we will dive deeper into what it means to pray earnestly, to seek a richer more empowering connection with the Holy Spirit of God who works in us, and to
The election season has come and is now in the process of moving on. However, in the wake of this cycle, there is an abnormal amount of woe, despair, and hatred in our midst. The church has found itself in a unique position to speak life into the decay and the darkness. The question is, will we have the courage to say what needs to be said? And will we have the ability to do the work necessary to make our voice heard? How do we be Christians in a wildly unChristian culture and serving an unChristian government?
Scripture is so frequently misunderstood and misused. We abandon context, spiritualize stories unfairly, and completely ignore an author's original intent in writing. This series will look at a number of texts that are commonly used improperly and see how we can more effectively and responsibly interpret an dapply thw word of God.
Throughout scripture, there are a number of names attributed to God. Some are claimed by God himself while others are given to him by one of his servants. Each name highlights a character trait of the God we serve. By taking to heart all of the names used to address Yahweh, we can connect and engage on a much deeper and more intimate level with the Creator.
There are times we find ourselves in a position of difficulty and tribulation. During these times, it can be easy to begin to doubt our faith or our God. We also then associate our doubt with a lack of faith, but doubt does not equal a lack of faith. Let's explore the relationship between faith and doubt in order to see the role that doubt plays in the strengthening of our faith.
There are a number of stories in scripture that make you step back and say, "Say what?!?" There are some interactions that you have to go back and reread just to make sure you read properly. There are others that make sense historically, but the reason for their preservation is a little more abstract. In this series, we will look at some of these stories and see what we can learn about the character of God, the way he interacts with his people, and what he expects of us.
Philippians has traditionally been known as the book of joy. While it is true that Paul speaks repeatedly about joy and rejoicing, It is quickly evident that Paul's joy is completely dependent on the restoration of relationship and the reconciliation of two sisters. Reconciliation is so heavy on Paul's heart, he is willing to postpone heaven in order to rectify this situation. Self-sacrifice in the emulation of the Savior is the resolution.
The whole of scripture is the story of God's plan to redeem his creation. From beginning to end, it is a carefully crafted historical narrative through which we learn about the Creator and his creation. Let's look at the metanarrative of scripture and observe how we fit within this continuing epic saga.
That we may be... There is something about the way God works. It seems that over and over again, God uses the unlikely - unlikely circumstances, unlikely people, unlikely results. He chooses the weak when the strong is the obvious choice. He humbles the proud and exalts the humble. In order for someone to save his life, he must first sacrifice it. Over the next few weeks, let's take a look at a few of these examples.