Tag Archives: Gospel of Matthew

(September 29, 2019) “Ambitious Church: Service”

from Matthew 20:20-28

What is your ambition in life? That thing, or those things that you so desire to see happen, that you are willing to work diligently toward making it a reality…

In that pursuit, do you find that your ambition in competition with the ambition of those around you?

What if the lens through which you saw those around you led you not to think, “I need to be better than that person,” but instead led you to have the ambition of serving them in a way that reflects Jesus?

w/ Vern Collins

“Broken: How Sin Affects Our Relationships” (March 17, 2019)

from Matthew 5:21-26

We are meant to be a reflection of God for the world around us. One of the things that is true about God is the relationship in which God exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So, why are relationships one of the most difficult places for us to reflect Who God is? What if we began to allow God to bring healing to the brokenness that exists in our relationships with those around us?

w/ Vern Collins

“A Stewardship Journey: Choosing to Follow” (November 18, 2018)

from Matthew 4:18-22

What kind of follower are you?  In an age of social media, we “follow” any number of people and organizations.  Are you simply an observer, are you one who engages hoping to prove your self right, or are you one who follows until you don’t like what you hear or see at which point you are quick to “unfollow.”

Have you ever considered how who and what and the manner in which you are following in culture is impacting how you understand what it means to follow Jesus?

We can know everything we need to about stewardship and what that means for discipleship, but until we are willing to follow, until we are willing to take our first step or our next step we cannot experience the fullness of what God has for us and wants to do through us.

w/ Vern Collins

“Falling Into Goodness: Follow Jesus” (March 25, 2018-Palm Sunday)

from Matthew 21:1-11

What is the statement you are making with your life?

Is it one of security, or of uneasiness?  Is it a statement of confidence, or are you seeking identity in people and possessions?

Everything we do or say makes a deeper statement about who we are and what we believe…everything we do even makes a statement about Who we believe Jesus to be.

What if this Palm Sunday, you didn’t merely watch Jesus “pass by” on the road into Jerusalem amid shouts of “Hosanna!” but you chose to turn and follow Him?

w/ Vern Collins

“Falling Into Goodness: Choose the Humble Path” (March 11, 2018)

from Matthew 5:1-3

As we continue our series through the season of Lent, we are invited to consider one of Jesus’ keys to the kingdom we have been talking about in recent weeks…

Humility.

What if, instead of the way we tend to think of humility, as what we stand to lose by choosing the humble path, we dare to consider that humility is instead about what we might gain?

w/ Vern Collins

“God Is: Compassionate and Just” (January 28, 2018)

from Matthew 18:21-35

week 3 of our “God Is” series…

while it would be easier to be able to define God as having ONE attribute, the reality is we will never see God for Who He is, and will never live pursuing the life He longs to give as long as we continue to limit our view of Him.

w/ Vern Collins

“Church: Outside the Walls” (September 10, 2017)

from Matthew 28:16-20

In our final week of our “Church” series, we are challenged with the work that the church was tasked with: making disciples.

What if making disciples weren’t the terrifying thing we believe it to be?  What if making disciples wasn’t about forcing something on people?  What if making disciples was not about what you do, but about who you become?  What if making disciples was simply rooted in relationship?

It can be.  And God can do amazing things in and through you simply by a willingness to say, “yes.”

w/ Vern Collins

“They’ll Know We Are Christians: Outsiders” (May 21 2017)

from Matthew 25:34-40 and Isaiah 58:6-10

Instead of hoping for Jesus to arrive where you are, what would it look like for us to go where Jesus actually is?

With Vern Collins

“Pray Like Jesus: Deliver Us” (January 29, 2017)

from Matthew 6:13

It’s not just that we feel overwhelmed from time to time…many of us are living lives in a constant state of being in over our head…and yet we tend to spend our time and energy looking to people and powers and systems in this world to change things…to give us hope.  What happens when those are the very things that seem to be stealing hope from us?

In our final week on the Lord’s Prayer, we look to Jesus’ petition for our protection and deliverance…a protection and deliverance He would make possible because He Himself was not protected from suffering.

w/ Vern Collins

“Advent Conspiracy: Love All” (December 18, 2016)

from Matthew 1:18-25

Advent was never just about the single event of the birth of Christ…yes, it represents the waiting, the hope, the expectation…yes it connects us with those who hoped for so long to see God’s promised Messiah…and yes, it now offers us a framework as we wait for Christ to return.

But Advent was about much more than a significant event…Advent IS about much more than a significant event.  It is about the Kingdom Christ came to establish.  It is about reminding us that His Kingdom is still here and we are called to live in to it…to live into our new citizenship.

Worshipping Fully, Spending Less, and Giving More are all characteristics of the life of a Christ follower…but when we Love All we begin to look a lot more like Jesus Himself.

w/ Vern Collins

“Rhythms: Worship” (March 20, 2016-Palm Sunday)

from Matthew 21:1-11

It has been said that your doctrine determines your doxology…that is, what you believe about God or Who you believe God to be dictates your worship of God.  While there is truth to this, it places an awful lot of ownership on you to keep God at the center of your life in order that your worship might flow in the direction it needs to.

Perhaps worship is not only meant to be a response, but a means of focusing our attention and affection on God, that God might continue to reveal Himself to us through His Son Jesus.

What if worship weren’t just your response, but it also dictated the direction of your focus?

w/ Vern Collins

“Rhythms: Scripture” (March 6, 2016)

from Matthew 4:1-4 and 2 Timothy 3:10-17

You know the saying, “You are what you eat.”  The idea being, what you eat affects your health and your life in general.

In Jesus’ temptation to turn stones to bread, He responds by saying that it is not bread alone that we need to survive…rather it is God’s Word that truly sustains us and gives us life…the question is, are we consuming God’s Word the way Jesus suggests?

Imagine what might change in your life if God’s voice began to overpower the voices that tend to vie for your attention…

w/ Vern Collins

“Rhythms: Prayer” (February 28, 2016)

from Matthew 6:5-15

While prayer is one of the highest and holiest works to which we can strive, it is at the same time so simple a child can do it.

And yet it can be one of the most frustrating aspects of our journey with Christ.  We know it is something we should do, we know it is vital to our growth, our connection with God and with this world…but why is it so frustrating?  Why does it seem so difficult?

Jesus invites us, right where we are, into a deeper connection with the Lord…His concern is less with how we pray and more about what God is able to do in our hearts when we do.

w/ Vern Collins

“Rhythms: Fasting” (February 21, 2016)

from Matthew 6:16-18

In God’s economy things tend to work backwards.  Things seem counterintuitive to the way the world works…which is probably exactly why we need to consider it!

In week 2 of our series we consider how emptying yourself might just be the thing that allows you to be filled.

w/ Jeff McClain

“Overwhelmed: Headlines” (September 27, 2015)

from Matthew 24:1-8, Mark 4:35-40

How long, O Lord…how long?  So many around the world, those affected by the events told in the headlines and those who watch from afar, find themselves asking this question.
How long?  How long must this go on…this hurt and pain?
As we begin our 5 week “Overwhelmed” series, we do so by looking at the headlines.  We are overwhelmed with difficulty in this world…a world that is beginning to look much like that which Jesus describes to His Disciples in Matthew 24.
Perhaps, though, rather than worry about when, we would do well to worry about where.
Where is Jesus in the midst of this?  What if you lived knowing He was right in the middle of the storm with you?  In a place of peace, and faith?
w/ Vern Collins

“Dreamers: A Different Kind of Dream” (August 30, 2015)

from Matthew 5:1-12

Once we truly begin to wrap our minds and hearts around God’s dream for this world…that all will be made right…that even now, Christ, through His church is working to make things right, to bring hope, to bring healing, to offer something “more,” to a hurting world…once you find yourself open to that in your own life, it becomes a compelling invitation to make that dream real for the world around you.
But it is difficult.
While it is a dream the world needs, it is one that often seems out of place…like it is somehow competing with the dreams this world has and the things the world chases.
Perhaps a better understanding of the things Jesus values in the Kingdom He came to inaugurate gives us a better understanding of what God sees as beautiful…and a deeper willingness to embrace those things in your own life.
w/ Vern Collins