Ancient wisdom affirms, “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” (Proverbs 18:1, ESV) Yet, according to the General Social Survey reported in Time magazine, “the number of Americans who say they have no close friends has roughly tripled in recent decades. ‘Zero’ is the most common response when people are asked how many confidants they have.” (Time March 18, 2015). During His time on earth Jesus lived in loving community with a handful of friends. Before His departure He commanded His small group to love one another as He had loved them. In this message we consider a few of the many reason why followers of Jesus should unite with a few others as one way to obey Jesus’ command to “love one another.”
Compartmentalization is a subconscious defense mechanism used to avoid mental discomfort and anxiety caused by living with conflicting values, beliefs and behaviors. Compartmentalization allowed the Pharisees to believe one thing and live another. In reality, we all (with one exception) compartmentalize. Jesus lived a perfectly integrated life and in this message, we discover how He did it. Centering on the Great Commandment, Jesus reveals what brought perfect alignment in His life and He shares God’s vision for all of us to also live pure and integrated lives.
God is looking for true soldiers not chocolate soldiers. Which one does your life look like? Hear about what it looks like to join God’s mission and obey Jesus as a true soldier would!
As fall approaches many things are changing in our world, nation, city, church and lives. To the first disciples in a season of change and to us, Jesus declares that He is our amazing all-powerful King who has a phenomenal purpose for us to carry out as well live in union with Him.
After decades of meditation on God’s Word, John Machen concluded, “The very center and core of the whole Bible is the doctrine of the grace of God.” The Bible’s opening sentence declares God’s generous creative grace. It’s closing sentence is a prayer for grace. Every page between shines forth God’s grace. What is grace? Why are some people so extravagant in grace? How can we grow in God’s grace? While this message answers these questions it’s primary aim is to invite all who have ears to hear to avail themselves more and more to the God of all grace that we may revel more and more in His grace until that day when we see Him and discover that His grace is even more amazing than we had ever hoped or dreamed.
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.”
Part 2 of 2: Today we focus on 1 Thess. 4.12, where Paul gives clarity as to the why behind his instructions around work: so that we can demonstrate a different way of living, and be dependent on no one. However, the unfortunate reality in our culture today is that you can work – even full-time – and still be dependent, due to stagnating wages and rising costs of living, particularly in our city. The sobering reality is that the challenges of finding good work for many in our society, particularly since the Great Recession, has led to significant increases in drug use and overdoses, alcoholism, and suicides. People despair when they can’t find dignity in their work. This presents (1) an incredible opportunity for the church to be the agent of hope and light it is designed to be, and (2) a particular call for business owners and supervisors who declare that Jesus is King, to exemplify true discipleship in the way they employ and supervise!
Part 1 of 2: The ancient Greeks separated the “contemplative” life from the “active” life, and judged labor as something to be avoided. This cultural aristocratic understanding of work likely contributed to some in the Thessalonian church desiring to be a part of the leisure class and avoid work. However, Paul makes it clear that […]