Tag Archives: Ephesians

“Broken: How Sin Affects Our View of Others” (March 24, 2019)

from Ephesians 2:11-22

By nature we have a tendency to form teams. We gravitate to or surround ourselves with people who share things like our ideals, our values, and our view of morality. While this is not inherently wrong, what happens when our forming teams becomes choosing sides and choosing sides sets us at odds with those who aren’t like us or don’t agree with us…those who are outside of our circle? When this happens in the church, how does the way we treat those who are “outside” have any hope of looking like the Gospel?

What if God is calling you into relationship with those not like you so that God can work in you…and God can work in those relationships?

w/ Vern Collins

“New Year Resolution: Broken Already (Jesus Knows)” (January 13, 2019)

from Ephesians 1:5-10 and John 4:1-18

Many of us see the turn of the calendar year as an opportunity for a fresh start, a chance to make some changes, to improve some things about who we are. We enter a new year with a sense of hope and possibility.

What happens when we fall short of those things we want to see change?

What happens when this seems to be the pattern not only in our resolutions and goals, but more importantly in our walk with Jesus? How do you navigate the feeling of falling short once again? Is there guilt? Shame? Weariness? How does it affect your relationship with God? With others?

How might things begin to look different if you approached those disappointments with the understanding that…Jesus knows…and loves you anyway?

w/ Vern Collins

“Life Together: Community” (April 15, 2018)

from Ephesians 2:11-22 and Psalm 133

As we begin a new series inspired by Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s classic work, Life Together, consider what makes you unique?  Or what is one unique thing about you?

All of us…all of humanity possess some unique quality that distinguishes us from others.  The question is, how is it that our distinctions can become the things that divide us?

It is perhaps one of the greatest arguments against the church…that the Body of Christ is often as fractured as the world around it.  What if, instead of defining ourselves by the things that set us apart, we find our distinction in the One thing that unites us?  Christ.

w/ Vern Collins

“As For You: Submit” (November 13, 2016)

from Ephesians 5:21-6:9

How are we meant to respond when there is disagreement with those around us?  How are we meant to prove our point?  How should we go about winning the argument?  How are we supposed to convince others to see things the way we see them?

What if, even in the face disagreement that is so difficult, our goal is not to win the day, rather to offer a new way forward…not a way born out of a rock solid argument, but out of choosing a different posture?  A posture of submission…of service.

Perhaps the key to navigating relationship is not guarding what is right, but pointing to what is Good.

w/ Vern Collins

“As For You: A Life Worthy” (October 30, 2016)

from Ephesians 4:1-16

It does not take long in this life before we begin working to be seen as being worthy…worthy of affection, worthy of attention, worthy of responsibility, worthy of advancement, worthy of acceptance.  Too often, we will go to great lengths to prove our worth, and too often come away feeling more unworthy for what we sacrificed in the process.

What if you began to live out of the worth you are already given in Christ?  What if you rather than living to prove your worth, you strived to live a life that reflects the fact that you have already been called, “worthy.”

And what would it look like to do that in the context of the Body that is the Church?

w/ Vern Collins

“As For You: This Grace Was Given” (October 16, 2016)

from Ephesians 3:1-13

To have an understanding of Gods’ grace in your life is  to know the power of forgiveness, the power of hope, the deep value in knowing that you are loved and desired, and ultimately that the God of the universe is FIR YOU.  This is displayed in the lengths God was willing to go to in order to present His Son, Jesus as a sacrifice for your sin, thus opening the way for you to be invited into life with Him.

What if that grace wasn’t meant to stop with you?  What if it wasn’t so much about how it makes you feel loved and accepted and believed in?  What if you stewarded that grace in such a way that it wasn’t trivialized…rather it was leveraged for the transformation of lives around you?

w/ Vern Collins

“As For You: Reconciled to Reconcile” (October 9, 2016)

from Ephesians 2:11-22

We could agree that walls are important in providing stability, creating a structure that is safe…and yet so often we erect walls that are harmful and divisive.

What if instead of building walls between you and the rest of the world, or adding bricks to those that already exist, you instead began to work to break them down, just as Christ has broken down the walls that separate us from God?

w/ David Hockett

“As For You: Grace” (October 2, 2016)

from Ephesians 2:1-10

We have somehow allowed the life of a Christ follower to be boiled down to doing more of the right things and less of the wrong things in hopes of looking like one is at least moderately connected to Jesus.  We make plans and ask God to bless them, and we go on living our lives keeping Jesus just close enough so that He is accessible in times of trouble.

What if, life were less about what you can get out of it and what you can accomplish and more about embracing the weight of the grace by which our small lives were saved?  Then perhaps it would be less about achieving your 5 year plan and more about realizing you have something to live for no matter where you land.

w/ Vern Collins

“As For You: Hope” (September 25, 2016)

from Ephesians 1:15-23

Too often we allow our circumstances to determine our perspective…when you are having a good day or things are going your way, then life is good, right?  But, when you’re in a tough season, or you’ve just gotten some terrible news, then life is NOT good.

What if, instead, you allowed your perspective to determine how you view your circumstances?

There is reason to hope…hope that penetrates and permeates any circumstance you might be walking through…and it is a hope born out of the power of the resurrection.

w/ Vern Collins

“As For You: Identity and Purpose” (September 18, 2016)

from Ephesians 1:1-14

At any given point in life you may feel like you are in the midst of an identity crisis…if, “crisis,” feels too strong, then we could call it an, “identity challenge.”  From the moment you become self-aware, you also become conscious of how that self fits into the world around you, and whether or not others’, “selfs,” like what they see in yours…

And it’s not just a constant evaluation of self that you have to worry about…as you get older, you then begin to ask what your purpose in this world is.  That combined with the worry over identity and we are often left not sure if we like who we are because we’re not sure we know what we are supposed to do.

We begin our series through Ephesians by starting with these two basic struggles and find that in Christ we are offered the answer to both…

w/ Vern Collins

“Revelation: Power to Serve” (January 3, 2016)

from Ephesians 3:1-12

The season of Epiphany is about the hope of humanity being revealed in the birth of Christ.

Epiphany.  Revelation.  The Ah-ha moment.  The time when things become clear…when there is knowledge of something not previously possessed…if knowledge is power, it begs the question , “what kind of power are you in pursuit of?”

Paul has experienced a deep revelation of Christ…and it has empowered him in significant ways…but perhaps not in the way we tend to think of power…

w/ Vern Collins

“Overwhelmed: Relationships” (October 4, 2015)

Ephesians 2:11-22

In the Creation story in Genesis we see that were not only born out of the relationship of Who God is in Three Persons, but we were created with relationship in mind.  Add to that science’s understanding that physically and emotionally we have to have relationship (because without it both the mental and physical state of our bodies suffer), and we know we need relationship.

If this is the case, then why are relationships often one of the biggest burdens and largest source of stress in our lives?  Because we are broken people trying to be connected to broken people.

What if you approached relationship differently based on the relationship God has mended with you through Jesus Christ?

w/ Vern Collins

“Transitions: Rooted and Sent” (July 26, 2015)

from Ephesians 3:14-21

For many the idea of committing one’s life to Christ is committing to a life full of rule-following and void of freedom.  In Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesus, he prays that they would be rooted and established…but he is not praying that they would be rooted and established in RULES, rather in LOVE.
Perhaps it is not about a loss of freedom that Paul is after for followers of Christ, but that they may know what freedom truly is.  A freedom from fitting the mold the world tries to force you in to, so that you are open to inviting the world into a life grounded in the One Thing that doesn’t change.  God’s love for humanity and His desire that they may know the fullness of life only found in Him.
w/ Vern Collins