Though God made us to live abundantly, everyone in every generation wanders from His best. About 700 BC, God’s people drifted far away and even the kings and priests weren’t able to bring them back. Yet, a prophet named Micah announced that from Bethlehem a leader would come who would shepherd God’s people back in the strength and majesty of the Lord. On this 3rd Sunday of Advent we celebrate Jesus’ coming and are invited to return to Him, the Good Shepherd who alone can restore our abundant life! (To view the video included early in this message see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUngLgGRJpo )
In today’s ancient story we find Jacob succeeding and happy after taking advantage of his naïve brother and tricking his failing father. Isn’t this the way it goes? Dishonesty pays. A subtle manipulation gets the handshake, the promotion and the good life. Yet, what if the good life could be better? On this second Sunday of Advent we discover that satisfaction, happiness and power are for those who strive, but joy, peace and love are afforded to those defeated by and surrendered to an All-Prevailing God.
On this first Sunday of Advent, we begin in the beginning. The Triune God created the heavens and the earth and then He made His children to live with Him. Yet, temptation invaded, and for the first of many times His children exchanged joy in their Maker for something else. How would God respond? How would He deal with His children after their first wandering? His reaction in the garden, in His later advent and today is consistent. He’s a gracious God!
Why are some people so generous? What moves a woman, man or child to cheerfully share their food, home, clothing and money? Jesus observed that a woman who had been forgiven much loved much by generously anointing Him with her expensive perfume (Luke 7). While there are many motives for giving, in this message we consider gratitude to God for His grace as divine fuel for generous, sustained and joyful giving.
God’s vision for the church is love. Love for God, love for neighbor and love for one another. In this message we discover how to keep loving one another earnestly and with joy. More importantly, we learn why this command to love one another has implications that reverberate from the local church to the ends of the earth and beyond!
Why do so many followers of Jesus gather consistently with a group of friends during the week? After meeting to worship God together on the 1st day of the week why would anyone in their right mind add another commitment somewhere on the 2nd through the 7th? One of the many reasons why Christ followers have come together beyond Sunday for the past 2,000 years is to help one another live with and follow Jesus in all of life. Or, as King Solomon described it to his children, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise.”
Though we know prayer is important, it is easy to neglect it for many reasons. Busy schedules, tiring workloads and feelings of inadequacy. When God became man, He taught about prayer in ways that brought freedom. In this message we consider some of Jesus’ instruction on prayer and are encouraged to grow in the habit of simple conversations with God.
Busyness, work and increasing responsibilities can keep us from one of the greatest gifts in life – the habit of delighting in God’s Word. In this message from Psalm 1 we are reminded of the rewards afforded to those who cultivate the daily habit of delighting in God’s Word and we consider practical steps to grow in this essential habit for all followers of Jesus.
On the night before His crucifixion Jesus extended a new invitation to His followers, “Abide in Me.” To abide means to live in a close continual dependent relationship with our resurrected Christ through the presence of his Holy Spirit who indwells all who put their faith in him. In this message we discover move about […]
An essential ingredient for a growing relationship with God is belief (also known as faith). Faith is being confident in what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see (Heb. 11:1). This kind of belief is essential for beginning and growing in our relationship with God. As we begin this 4-week series entitled, Ways to Grow, we are encouraged to cultivate the ability that God has given us to see His unseen realities and be awakened to the certainty of them.