The subject of calling can be a confusing one. In common vernacular we talk about “finding our calling” and it mostly has to do with following our dreams. Many of us can feel a sense of angst if we haven’t “found” it. But if there’s a calling, then there is a caller. And if there […]
Paul forsook comfort as he traveled to many places, spiritually invested in lives, and did ministry that looked a lot like the ministry that Jesus did. What compelled Paul to live such a radical life? – Jesus as King. The Kingdom: Paul’s burning love for Jesus, heart for other people, and resulting desire to make […]
There’s nothing like a near-death experience to give one clarity about what’s most important. It’s in this context that Paul got thinking about succession: leaving a legacy, establishing a lasting influence, and investing in the next generation. In this text we see the shift in Paul from being primarily a sower, to becoming both a sower […]
Discovering the purpose for which God created us is deeply satisfying. Yet, often others will try to discourage us from becoming all that God intends for us to be and do. After healing a lame man and then explaining to the crowd that Jesus was the source of this man’s healing, some people in positions of authority were “greatly annoyed” and “charged” them not to do these things (the exact things that God had created them to do) any more. How these first disciples responded will expand your view of God and encourage you to remain faithful to His purpose for your life no matter what!
Often we begin our careers with high aspirations and hopes, but “reality” often collides with our dreams. The early disciples – who witnessed their Master die on a cross – must have felt the same: a crushing disappointment. Yet, as the early church remembered Jesus’s death and resurrection with wine and bread, the eucharist, their suffering was transformed into words and deeds that gave life to their neighbors. In this message, Jeff Haanen shows how our daily work can be transformed in light of Jesus’s gift of His body “for the life of the world.”
Has life been more difficult than you expected? If so, December may be a tough month as you see others celebrating while you struggle. On this second Sunday of Advent we recall a series of disappointments in Joseph’s life and we discover how these difficulties were used by God in a way that Joseph could have never imagined. His setbacks paved the way for the coming of Christ for the good of the whole world. In his first advent (“coming”), Jesus also modeled bowing in the midst of unexplainable difficulty and He taught His disciples to do the same. Therefore, we bow to our Sovereign God to plead our case, worship in our pain, and trust with full confidence that our difficulties in this damaged world will contribute (most likely in ways that only God currently knows) to God’s glory, our future joy and the restoration of all things.
When heaven is silent we often wonder, “Where is God?” and “Does He care?” Beginning in the mid 400’s BC God’s voice was suspended from Israel and many gave up hope. Yet everything changed in 5 or 6 BC when God announced and then sent His promised Anointed One through a virgin in David’s town. Some received Him, others did not. This message travels from the days of Caesar Augustus to our own because He came not only to be with 1st century Jews but He came to be with you as well.
In 931 B.C. God’s people tore into two nations and sometimes God’s people still divide today. Schisms destroy our joy and our ability to fulfill God’s call to bless all the families of the earth. With so much at stake, God reveals in I Kings 12-16 that relational division is actually the result of one or more people drifting away from God and His ways. For all who know the angst of relational conflict and division, in Christ there is help and hope.
God made a promise to make Abram into a great nation through whom He would bless all nations. While Abram and his wife, Sarah, had to wait many years, God kept His promise. In this message we discover God’s vision for the world as well as His commitment to use ordinary people like us in order to fulfill that vision.
We all face change and change can be hard. In this message, Dr. Scott Wenig shows from Prov. 3:5-6 how God wants us to grow in our trust in Him in the midst of change. When we learn what “trust in the Lord,” “lean not on your own understanding,” and “in all your ways acknowledge Him” really mean God’s promise for us is sure. He does not promise the absence of difficulty but to give us direction, purpose, fulfillment, a positive impact in our world and then when we die God will lead us straight into His presence to spend an eternity with Him.