In the Beatitudes, Jesus declares, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy." In the first of two sermons on this Beatitude, we consider the connection between mercy and Jesus' declaration that He came not to call the righteous but sinners.
We would all agree that we want our world to be marked by justice. Yet, how do we define justice? What is it, and what does it require? How do we pursue it in this broken world? And how do we stay involved for the long haul?
According to a former U.S. Surgeon General, loneliness is a "growing health epidemic." In a recent survey, 2 in 5 Americans said that they sometimes or always feel that their relationships aren't meaningful (43%) and that they are isolated from others (43%). Earlier this year, the U.K. appointed a "Minister for Loneliness" to try to address the issue. Loneliness and social isolation are a growing issue throughout late-modern societies. In such a context, what, if anything, does the church have to say and do?
If asked to write it down, what would your life's mission statement be? Just as, or even more, importantly, how did you go about answering that question? Underneath these questions are two of the central questions of life: What is our purpose, and how can we know it?
How would you describe your relationship to money? Are you a Spender of money? Are you a Saver of money? Are you a Servant of money? Or are you a Servant with your money? As we conclude our series on Stewardship and Generosity, we consider what it looks to have and live out a vision where we serve others with the resources that God has entrusted to us and how that leads to our freedom and joy, the blessing of others, and ultimately the glory of God.
(Note: The chart referenced at the 28:00 mark can be found here.)
How should Christians feel about money, material things, and created goods in general? Should we enjoy or be wary of them? Is it ok for us to have more than we need, or should we simply meet our necessities and give the rest away? Can created goods help us in our relationship with God or are they a distraction at best and an obstacle at worst?
In the broadest sense, blessing others involves anything we do that helps others live as God intended them to live, i.e. in right relationship with Him, ourselves, others, and creation. As we continue our series on Missional Habits, we consider two additional ways that we can bless others: gifts and service. To hear how each of these can help others flourish spiritually, psychologically, relationally, and/or vocationally, you can listen to our sermon from this past Sunday.
Being missional isn’t first about doing a whole bunch of new things but about doing what we already do with an eye toward blessing others. Well, there’s nothing we do more than talk. And that’s even more true if we include emails, texts, etc. But what are our intentions in all of those words, and what effect do they have? What if we took this thing that we do more than anything else and sought to bless others through it? What might it look like? How might God use it? And how can we become such a people?
Eating and drinking are among the most foundational and common things we do. But what if they point beyond themselves to redemptive realities and, as a consequence, are some of the most powerful missional habits we can develop?
If God answered all your prayers from this past week, how many people would have come to saving faith? How would people in your church have been blessed? How would your city be better? If we struggle to answer these questions, is it possible that our prayers are inadvertently deepening our self-centeredness rather than helping to free us from it? We reflect on these and other questions as we consider “missional prayer” in our latest sermon.
In Ephesians 2:10, Paul writes that we are God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Similarly, in Titus 2:14, Paul writes that Jesus “gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” A central reason that God saved us so that we would be a people who zealously do good works. But how does God equip us to do those works? We consider this question and others in this week’s sermon.
One way to understand the book of Ruth is that it's a book about heroes. However, these aren't superheroes with extraordinary powers trying to change the world. Rather, they're everyday heroes trying to love the person(s) in front of them. And yet, as they do so, God uses them to do just that - change the world. To hear more, you can listen to our sermon from this past Sunday.
In our broken and messy world, we must sometimes take risks that will put us in uncomfortable and uncertain situations if we're to be a redemptive presence. To hear more, you can listen to our sermon from this past Sunday based on Ruth 3.
Listen to this week's sermon as we look to the earliest church and consider what practices we ought to devote ourselves to as a community centered around Jesus.
John 20:19-22; Ezekiel 47:1-12
Thank you to everyone who joined us on Sunday! It was a sweet time and we were thankful to have each of you. If you weren't able to join us *last* Sunday, fear not! Come by *next* Sunday at our service on October 2nd, 11am!
You can listen to this past Sunday's sermon, entitled "Comforted and Commission," here. In it, Mike describes what we hope to be about as a church.