Peace is the beautiful reality when things and people are in the right place at the right time doing the right things for the right reasons. We crave peace and yet it is so tough to obtain. Jesus brought peace and His approach was relational. As He lived in His Father’s love and presence, He honored relationships with those in authority and everyone around Him. In light of this, it makes sense why the God of peace calls the 1st century followers of Jesus in Thessalonica and us in Denver today to live with and love like our King, the Prince of Peace.
The death of those we love is confusing and severe. Where are they now? What will the future for them and us be like? Will we see them again? Today we learn what happens when a follower of Jesus dies and we discover that though clarity on what lies ahead does not remove the sorrow, it adds to our sorrow, divine hope.
In Godric, Frederick Buechner wrote, “Lust is the ape that gibbers in our loins. Tame him as we will by day, he rages all the wilder in our dreams by night.” Yet in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 our Infinitely Wise Creator calls us to “abstain from sexual immorality” and “the passion of lust.” In this message we learn why God issues such a counter cultural vision for our sexuality and we discover a way of life that He uses to help us more faithfully manage “the ape that gibbers in our loins.”
Birth, crying, rolling over, scooting, crawling, standing, wobbling, walking and ascending stairs. Life is typically a progression of developmental steps and so is life in a church. God created us to eschew the status quo by continually following the voice of Christ personally and collectively. Today we discover what this looks like for a group of 1st century disciples in Thessalonica and for us today.
Resistance is the heart of weight training and pruning is required in the vineyard. So, why is it that we who follow Jesus can get so frustrated with God and / or those who oppose us when we are afflicted for living the way of Jesus and speaking of Him in our city? In this second message designed to equip disciples to share the good news of God in action and word we are reminded that affliction is not to be unexpected. Rather, it is what we were, as Paul writes, “destined” for.
Religious pluralism is a reality in cities. For followers of Jesus in Denver, as in ancient Thessalonica, a natural question is: How should I live among those who don’t know and follow Jesus and what if anything should I say to them about our my Lord and Savior, Jesus? This message is designed to answer this question by looking to the example of the Apostle Paul. More importantly, you will discover a gospel reality that can set your heart on fire to live and speak as a loving and faithful ambassador for God in our city.
In 1897 Johnson Oatman wrote, “When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” These opening words in the hymn Count Your Blessings align with God’s heart for us. In today’s message we count some of God’s greatest blessings because living blessed is key to living faithfully with Christ throughout our city and beyond.
While living in metro Denver is a great privilege there are unique challenges for followers of Jesus here and in every urban setting. In this first message in our series through 1 & 2 Thessalonians we are encouraged to live in union with God the Father and His Son Jesus in all areas of life within this great metropolis.
Imagine the frustration of an eagle trying to swim or a dolphin longing to fly. Each and every creature of our God and King is designed for a unique purpose. Do you know why He created you? Have you received your calling? In the final encounter in John’s Gospel Jesus reminds and clarifies His calling for two men. In so doing, it’s as if He is saying to all, “Come and get clear on your unique purpose.”
Imagine living with God every day all day. What would this look like? What if you knew God was with you at work, at mealtime and everywhere in between? After His resurrection Jesus revealed Himself in a variety of ways to His followers. In this 2 part message we reflect on the day when the resurrected Jesus shows up to help His friends at work and then invites them to a shoreline meal over a charcoal fire. While Jesus gave many instructions, here’s one He doesn’t want you to overlook – “Come and have breakfast.”