Sun, Apr 23, 2017
Duration: 46 mins 34 secs
The Law makes some of us feel elite over others while making others feel inferior. Both of these vantage points don’t take into consideration that every last one of us have utterly broken God’s law and have no righteousness and no hope outside of Jesus, who has kept the law perfectly. Through his death and resurrection, he gave us access to the Father and the free gift of his perfection imputed into us. This gift and re-creation into a new identity also gives us a re-creation into a new family that is based on Jesus’ righteousness rather than ours.
Sun, Apr 16, 2017
Duration: 41 mins 17 secs
Jesus has raised from the dead! He has decimated death, throwing fear and sin into the abyss as he rose from the ashes. Now the Risen Jesus meets us on whatever road we are on regardless of our scandalous past or our muddy present, inviting us to join him in His Resurrection as we trade our blindness for sight and our life-taking belligerence for life-giving service.
Sun, Apr 09, 2017
Duration: 36 mins 51 secs
All of Scripture is the Gospel, pointing to our need of rescue and to Jesus the rescuer. It reveals the meta-narrative that we were made for something great, something beautiful; something (and someone, and by someone) perfect. But Creation has been and remains broken, leaving us in infinite need of someone to fix it. As just about every story we come across reveals, and what we constantly find in all of Scripture, there is a huge problem with a hero that will come (and has come) to save the day; to save us. In the end, he re-creates an unbreakable and eternal “happily ever after”. Every letter of Scripture reveals our greatest need and how Jesus on the cross transferred his great life for our great death. As we see and believe this ultimate eternal truth, we are first called to BE transformed and then to LIVE transformed by following the Holy Spirit’s leading, even if we don’t exactly know why or how.
Sun, Apr 02, 2017
Inside every relationship there is a struggle between loving the person and loving what the person (or the love) does for us. This clearly enters into our faith and relationship with Jesus. Do we love Jesus, or what Jesus does for us? In this passage Simon, a publicly declared “great” local magician, is overshadowed by Holy Spirit miracles. Simon in turn was in awe of the power of God, and what that power could potentially do FOR him, but not by God himself. Ultimately his love wasn’t for Jesus but for himself. We often treat Jesus, church and one another in this exact way: “What’s in it for me?” However, Jesus, the embodiment of Love, was the opposite. He gave up all of himself; his greatness; his union with the Father in order to become less and be sacrificed for us and our inheritance. In doing this, he reveals our inherent anti-greatness while giving us the gift of his greatness.
Sun, Mar 26, 2017
The Gospel is One Rescue Story with God actively, aggressively and unstoppably pursuing his meandering people throughout time and space to give us righteousness, hope and life. His pursuit is consistent, with me in rebellion from the inside (sin) and persecution from the outside (trials) because we demand to create our own manageable rightness so that we can get credit without help from him. The final and inevitable solution was God sending Jesus, the personification of Righteousness, to exchange our perpetual unrighteousness with his eternal righteousness. And, just like we did to all the prophets before him, we killed Jesus. In so doing, we actually and inadvertently ushered in the Great Transfer of Rightness: Jesus’ to us, and our un-rightness to Jesus. Now he “stands” at God’s right hand as our Divine Defense Attorney declaring to the Father that all of his children are just and right. This declaration gives us the hope to live boldly even when the world’s (and our own) courtroom declares us guilty.
Sun, Mar 19, 2017
Duration: 37 mins 20 secs
The Word of God is the unshakable and essential foundation of The Church (all believers) but this cannot be the only focus. An ever-growing adoration of and dependence on Jesus’ love leads us to also care for those in need, beginning within “our own house.” Many times we fail on one side or the other; we focus all of our energies on “right theology” but fail to give ourselves away to others; or we serve with all our might, but hold loosely to God’s word. Here at the infant stage of The Church there was great diversity of “insiders” and “outsiders” getting various degrees of help. The leaders saw this tug-o-war and potential division, so they dedicated themselves to their calling of holding the strong Gospel Foundation of Truth while appointing a diverse group of other leaders to focus on the practical needs of the people within the church.
Sun, Mar 12, 2017
A vivid grasp of the Gospel creates a strong allegiance to Christ and a joyful obedience and bold witness to His word that endures -- even in the face of suffering.
Sun, Mar 05, 2017
Duration: 52 mins 39 secs
Bold Missional Community produces Sacrificial Generosity, Reverent Fear and Gospel Growth
This dynamic of worship, prayer, preaching, community, mercy and missional movement is so vitally important that God demonstrates His graceful protection of His church and the seriousness of sin through the “sign and wonder” of His exercise of church discipline which multiples the church’s growth exponentially.
Sun, Feb 26, 2017
Bold Worship and Bold Prayer propel Bold Outreach, Bold Community and Bold Generosity. These things are so seamlessly connected in this passage that it would be impossible, in my estimation, to emphasize one without the context of the whole.
Sun, Feb 19, 2017
Duration: 32 mins 42 secs
Jesus is simultaneously frustratingly exclusive and shockingly inclusive. He clearly claims that he is the only way to hope, life and salvation, while also offering himself freely to everybody without exception.
This “exclusivity” leads some to reject the Gospel for it’s supposed arrogance while leading others to follow Jesus while developing great levels of sinful arrogance because they are “in” while others are “out”.
The truth of the Gospel is that extremely diverse followers of Jesus ought to realize how unimaginably “powerfully weak” we all are: we are utterly without our own righteousness while also being utterly adopted and empowered by the righteousness of God. These two qualities produce in us the motivation and ability to Love God as our all in all while also loving all people, without exception, as “better than ourselves.”