from Matthew 18:1-4
For 4 weeks we have looked at life with Christ through the lens of stages in life. We started with the end and asked the question, “what will it look like for you to end well?” Following that, we looked at the “Legacy Years,” asking the question, “if people followed the path of your life, where would it lead them?”
We know the goal. We have the finish line…the question is, “how will you get there?” This world says we must work hard, we must strive for the goal at all cost, we must be willing to fight our way forward if we want to reach our goal. Jesus suggests the opposite. According to Christ, the only way to reach the end is not to go forward, but to go back…to childhood…
(w/ Vern Collins)
from 1 Corinthians 3:1-9/Luke 2:41-52
Adolescence is arguably the most mysterious, awkward, confusing, challenging season that we walk through in this life…and yet in adolescence we find two of the most important principles we can understand for a healthy, lifelong pursuit of Christ.
(w/ Vern Collins)
from Ephesians 4:11-16
We hit a point in childhood when all we want to do is grow up…yet, when we hit that midlife season, we often spend it trying to figure out how to go back, or at the least make time stop.
Yet, Paul challenges us on to maturity, and many of us may want that, may want to grow in Christ, but feel as if we have been stuck in the same place for so long…so we just give up on the journey.
What if we understood the weight of what it means to mature in Christ? What if we understood the hope filled implications of moving forward in our walk with Jesus rather than the frustration of simply remaining in the same place?
(w/ Vern Collins)
from Deuteronomy 34:1-12
How do you want to be remembered? What is the legacy you will leave behind?
In week 2 of our “Life Cycle” series, we look at the final journey of Moses; the final encounter he has with the Lord…he has just been shown the Promised Land and told that he will not be entering it…that his journey will end before crossing over into God’s promise, and yet his legacy carries on.
While you can’t determine your future, you can choose the legacy you will leave behind.
(w/ Vern Collins)
from 2 Timothy 4:6-8
As we begin our Life Cycle series, we look first at time in life when homecoming is imminent; when time has run out; when life is spent.
We begin with Paul’s second letter to Timothy written at a time when Paul believes that his time has come to depart this world. For us who fight age every step of the way, how are we ever meant to come to terms with meeting our end?
Perhaps if we knew what it looks like to end well, then we, like Paul, would celebrate our homecoming.
(w/ Vern Collins)
from Genesis 22:1-19
In week 2 of stewardship, we have the privilege of hearing from pastor Jeff McClain as he brings a challenging and encouraging word from the account of Abraham being asked to sacrifice his son Isaac to the Lord…
What might God be calling you to sacrifice? What have you been forced to sacrifice? What might you be resisting letting go of?
from Mark 12:41-44
Why does “steawardship” tend to come across like something ugly in church? Why do we approach a season of stewardship with some hesitation?
Perhaps it is because in our minds, stewardship has always been about money…what if we truly lived like Jesus didn’t give His life for our money, but our hearts? Then perhaps it would change our understanding of what it means to live surrendered lives…
In Mark 12, we find perhaps the most important example of surrender and sacrifice next to the Cross that we find in all of the New Testament.
-(w/ Vern Collins)
Story of Family
from Matthew 8:1-4
Have you ever been in a place or in a situation where you felt unwelcome? Have you ever experienced that uncomfortable feeling of being unwanted or just plain unnoticed?
Have you ever felt that way in the church? Perhaps not, but there are countless people in our very neighborhoods who are made to feel unwelcome and unwanted by the church by those who are a part of it.
Our passage from Matthew this week touches down with the unwelcome and the unwanted, and asks the question, “what if all were truly welcome in the body of Christ…how would that change things…how would that change us?”
Story of Family
from Romans 8:15-17
When you consider your life with Christ (or when you are considering life with Christ), do you often feel caught between the life you are called to with Him and the life that bears all of your baggage and scars and fear?
From Romans 8:15-17 we find that even in the midst of the life that is our “received narrative” (that is what we have been told about who we are by those with influence in our lives), we are being invited to take our role in a new story that is who we are as God’s adopted children…
from 2 Corinthians 5:11-21
We tend to allow the opinions of others and the values of this world to have entirely too much bearing on our identity.
What if our understanding of who we are did not rest in the opinions of others, but of the work of the One who saved us? And what if we allowed that identity to dictate not just who we become, but what we go on to do?
Faithfulness in: Tragedy
From 2 Kings 24 & 25
It is difficult to open a newsfeed or a newspaper and not come face to face with the tragedy that is unfolding all around us. Too easily, however, we move on to focus on what is right in front of us.
But what happens when you find yourself faced with some pain, or loss, or hurt, or mistreatment in your own life? Where do you turn in tragedy? How do you handle it? What does it do to you, or how does it undo you?
In week 7 of our Faithfulness series, we find ourselves in 2 Kings 24 and 25, and the destruction of Jerusalem and exile of God’s people. Once we can begin to learn the effects of tragedy in our own lives, we might just begin to see that God has been present all along.
Faithfulness in : Want
It is in times of want that we need to know God is faithful, yet it is often the time when we question Him most. From Exodus 16:1-8 we look at the wilderness journey of the Israelites and learn that perhaps the more we understand about the want of the wilderness, the more we find that God is right there with us.
“God’s Faithfulness in: Friendship
1 Samuel 18:1-4
w/ Vern Collins
Do you remember how easy friendship used to be? How effortless play was? Somewhere along the way as we grow, however, friendship becomes not only a source of joy, but of stress, drama, heartache and pain in our lives. Perhaps an understanding of what God-honoring friendship looks like might just change our understanding on what it means not only to have friendship, but to be the right kind of friend.
From week 5 of our “Faithfulness of God” series we look at the beginnings of the friendship between Jonathan and David found in 1 Samuel 18:1-4 and consider that in God-honoring friendship, we have one of the most tangible examples of God’s Faithfulness in our lives.
We tend to operate in predictability. Many of us work very hard to create a predictable flow in our lives. But what happens when something interrupts that or we are forced out of the predictable into the unknown?
From our Combined worship Gathering on August 17th, we look at Numbers 11:4-23 and consider where God might just prove Himself faithful in the midst of transition in our lives; in the midst of the unknown.
“Faithfulness in: Plenty” (w/ Jeff McClain)
from Deuteronomy 15:1-11
From week 3 of our our “Faithfulness of God” series:
We tend not to think of needing the fruit of God’s faithfulness in seasons of plenty, rather it when times are difficult that we need God to be faithful…
How might our lives look different if we began to understand that God might just be asking us to be faithful in those seasons of plenty, and in doing so we might see God’s faithfulness to others displayed through us?
“Faithfulness in: Covenant” (w/ Vern Collins)
from Genesis 17:1-8
What is the source of your hope? What have you placed your trust in? What is the substance of relationships that you have with others? Is it trust?
In week 1 of our “Faithfulness of God” series, we look at the foundation of God’s faithfulness…and from His encounter with Abraham in Genesis 17, we see that God is first, faithful to His promises. What if you embraced God’s promises for your life? What would change? How would you live each day? As we look at Abraham, we must consider that there is something transformative that takes place in us when we choose to walk on the foundation of what God has promised us.
“Signs of Life: Invite to Life” (w/ Vern Collins)
from Acts 17:16-34
In the final week of our “Signs of Life” series, we look at the outworking of all of our other measures: “When have I invested and invited others into life in Christ?” If you are a follower of Christ, then you know that sharing the Gospel is not merely meant to be a suggestion, it is meant to be what flows out of our lives, yet for many of us it feels awkward at best. Bringing the Gospel into the lives around us tends to feel out of context and trite in this world that offers everything, yet in reality it is the only thing that matters. What if we had a different perspective on what it means to share the Gospel and invite others into life with Christ?
“Signs of Life” Friends & Enemies” (w/ Vern Collins)
In week 6 of our “Signs of Life” series we look at the measure that both demands the most of us and is perhaps the greatest measure of whether or not we are becoming more like Jesus. From Acts 16:25-34 we see what seems to be an interesting response to an unpleasent situation…until we dig in to the heart of what Paul and Silas have experienced as followers of Christ.
“Signs of Life: True Worship” (w/ Vern Collins)
In week 4 of our “Signs of Life” series, we ask the question, “Where did worship send me this week?” In order to answer that question, we must deal with our understanding of worship. In Acts 13:1-3, we look at the calling and sending of Barnabas and Saul and what created the environment for God to call them and set them apart.
In week 3 of our “Signs of Life” series, we look at the Measure, “Have I walked with someone not like me this week?” From Acts 8:26-40, Philip’s encounter with the Etheopian Eunuch challenges us with what God is able to do when we are willing to enter into relationship with those “outside” of our natural circles…