Tag Archives: Gospel

“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

“Jesus As: King” (November 26, 2017)

from Philippians 2:1-11

What determines your priorities?  What drives your life?

Is it Jesus?

Many who consider themselves Christians, while grateful for the saving work of Christ on the Cross, are still content to follow, “little kings,” as they work to establish their own, “little kingdoms.”  And yet, based on Paul’s use of what is likely an early church hymn, we find that there is really only One Who is worthy of being called King.

Imagine how your life might change if you not only looked to Jesus as Savior,  but submitted to Him as King!

w/ Vern Collins

“Jesus as: Priest” (November 19, 2017)

from 1 Peter 2:4-11

What drives your life?  For many wrapped up in whatever they may do is a search for an identity, or a means by which they are defined…

What if rather than working so hard to create an identity for yourself, you embraced the identity God longs to offer you through His Son Jesus?  And what if that identity called you to live your life on behalf of those around you…regardless of where you find yourself planted?  Part of a royal priesthood…that the world may know.

“Set Free: Self-Control” (October 29, 2017)

from 2 Peter 1:1-11

If you could control anything what would it be?  Time?  Distractions? The weather?

What about yourself?  What about those things that might be a distraction or a hindrance to experiencing, enjoying, and living in the fullness of life with Christ?  What about those things that hinder and harm relationship with others, or those things that affect how you feel about YOU?

Imagine how your day or your week might begin to look different if you took seriously Peter’s words that one of the results of our faith in Jesus should be self-control.

w/ Vern Collins

“Set Free: Patience” (October 8, 2017)

from Psalm 27

Eugene Peterson speaks of the Christian journey as a, “long obedience in the same direction,” and is quick to note that this world does not encourage such a view of anything, much less Christianity.  Impatience marks our interactions with others and with the world around us…and has seeped into our walk with Jesus.

And yet, Paul is clear: patience is meant to be one of the characteristics that marks our identity as Christ-followers.  With situations that we want to get to the other side of, or people with whom we have little patience, how is it that we can cultivate this fruit that exemplifies God’s attitude toward us?

What if instead of pursuing a hundred little things (most of which we grow impatient with), you spent the remainder of your lifetime pursuing the One Thing that can change your perspective?

w/ Vern Collins

“Set Free: Peace” (October 1, 2017)

from John 14:22-31

What keeps you awake at night?  What makes you nervous or anxious?  Is it a relationship, concern for a loved one?  Is it the state of the world right now, or our country?

How do you navigate that anxiety or unrest?  Where do you turn?  Do you just hope to survive it, or are you willing to believe that God is present in it?  Imagine how things might begin to change if you believed that not only was God present in your worry, but offers you peace in the midst of it.

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: Out of Order” (May 14, 2017)

from Luke 7:36-50

Do we have any hope of reclaiming the adage, “They’ll Know We are Christians…by our LOVE?”

Christians are known for a number of things today…is love…the love that Christ offers us, the love that Christ modeled for us, and the love that Christ calls us to one of them?  Or are we known for our hypocrisy?  Are we known for our self-centeredness?  Are we known for our exclusivity, or our neglect of those not like us?

What if the church came to be known as a place for those no one else wanted?  What if all of the, “wrong people,” showed up?  How beautiful it might just become.

But how is that possible?

Only by allowing Jesus to re-order our lives…

w/ Vern Collins

“Life Giving Rhythms” (April 23, 2017)

from Daniel 6:10

What if rather than working in order to be able to rest, you began resting in order to work?  For many of us that would be a seismic shift in our way of life…and yet, not only is it not outside the realm of possibility, it is actually the rhythm you were CREATED for.

A rhythm in relationship with Jesus that feeds your soul, changes your heart for others, and transforms your perspective on those things God has placed before you to do.

From Daniel’s life, guest preacher, Reverend Ken Shigematsu invites us into a rhythm of relationship with Jesus that doesn’t feel burdensome, rather it actually lifts us and supports us in the things we are navigating day in and day out in this life.

w/ Reverend Ken Shigematsu

“Easter: Not the End” (April 16, 2017)

from Mark 16:1-8

In each of the Gospels we are given an account of the resurrection of Jesus…that moment, that event which took place on the third morning when Jesus walked out of the tomb.  The event that changed everything.  The hope of the church, and the world hangs on that one event.  The one that says death and sin DO NOT have the final say.

We hear that story each year on Easter morning…hear that hope proclaimed.  But how do you make more than just the retelling of an account of something that happened 2,000 years ago?  How do you, like Peter for example, EXPERIENCE the resurrection…the LIVING HOPE of the resurrection…the hope that affects your life NOW right where you are?

Mark’s Gospel gives us an idea of how we might go from hearing an account to be transformed by this Savior!

w/ Vern Collins

“Disordered Love: Greed” (March 12, 2017)

from Luke 12:13-21

Is enough enough?

It seems like a simple enough question…perhaps even a bit ridiculous, but when you consider what you really need for this life…is enough enough?

On top of that, when you consider what you have been so freely given in the sacrifice of Jesus so that you might have life…what more do you need?

When does abundance become greed?  When does blessing become excess?  In Jesus’ parable in Luke’s Gospel, he challenges our tendency to want to “store away” for a future…a future that God has already secured.

w/ Vern Collins

“Disordered Love: Gluttony” (March 5, 2017)

from Matthew 6:25-33

As we enter the season of Lent, we begin by considering St. Augustine’s idea that one of the marks of a Christ-honoring life is that our love is properly ordered….God first, other, even enemies, as well as self.  While this seems good and right, the truth is, we spend much of our life loving in a way that is disordered…and at the core, the result is sin.

What happens when we love the things of God more than God?  What happens when we use the things God has given us as a substitute for God, or when we turn to those things as a way of escape?  When we worry about having, not just what we need, but what we want…and enough of what we want, then we have allowed our love to disorder our understanding of what is necessary in this life.

What if the goal was not all?  What if the goal was not even enough?  What if the goal was God?  What if rather than covering your weakness with excess, you took this season of Lent to rest in your brokenness and frailty and allowed God to meet you in that place?

w/ Vern Collins

“Life Together: Redeemed” (February 26, 2017)

from 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

The foundation for our call to relationship with others is found in the relationship made possible by God’s willingness to look at our broken relationship with Him and move to make things right.  Not because God had somehow wronged us, but because God is gracious to we who have wronged Him.

We are called to take up the cause of bringing the world around us to reconciliation with God…but in order to do that we have to be willing to step outside of our small worldview and live lives in response to the grace offered by God to us through Jesus.

When we view that sacrifice for what it is and what it accomplished, then our view of the world around us begins to change.

w/ Vern Collins

“Life Together: Loving Well” (February 19, 2017)

from Romans 12

Loving well is not like sleep well.  IF things go smoothly during the night, if there are no worries, if kids don’t wake you up, if there are no nightmares then maybe you will sleep well.

But loving well should not be left up to such chance.  God is not a God of luck, God is a God of intentionality…in the way He loves us and in the way He calls us to love others.

Paul gives us a model for how we are to achieve the kind of love that is a reflection of the relationship from which we were created…the relationship of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

It begins with grace.

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

“Advent Conspiracy: Spend Less” (December 4, 2016)

from Matthew 6:19-21, 24

In all of the natural world, humans have the greatest proclivity toward collecting things.  Sure, there are animals that store away food, but with the intention of consuming it when there is no food to gather.  Humans, however, collect things that may never have an purpose beyond essentially taking up space.  Whether you hold on to furniture, trinkets, finances, or the latest technology…chances are there are things you have that you simply do not need.  And yet, too often, it is the “stuff” that holds our focus more than anything else.  Having it.  Acquiring it.  Longing for it.  Keeping it safe.  We worry a great deal about things in our world that ultimately only have a fleeting value.

Jesus, on the other hand, suggests that the treasure we store up ought to have an eternal value to them…that instead of storing up treasure on this part, we store up treasure in heaven.  When we hold that teaching up next to the simple manner in which Jesus was born into this world, then storing up Kingdom treasure looks a lot less like material investment and much more like becoming preoccupied with the hearts of others.

w/ Vern Collins