Tag Archives: Gospel

“Paul: All In” (June 12, 2016)

from 2 Timothy 4:1-8

If someone were to observe the way you use your time, what would that tell them about your priorities in life?  Too often, the way we use time is not an accurate reflection of what is important to us because much of our time is often dictated by others…employers, educators, children, parents, even friends.

Rather than allow ourselves to become frustrated when time doesn’t play out the way we hope, what if we began to see our time less about what we can acquire, accumulate, and accomplish and more about how we can leverage it for the sake of the Gospel?

w/ Vern Collins

“Paul: Weak Made Strong” (June 5, 2016)

from 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

Think about the amount of time you spend ensuring that you, “measure up,” in the eyes of those around you.  Whether it is in the work place, in your relationships with others, as a student…or simply in the things you pursue.

We don’t want to be found lacking…we don’t want to be seen as weak…we often answer the question, “how are you doing?” with, “fine,” regardless of how we might be hurting.

Paul offers us encouragement in what just might be possible if we are willing to embrace our weakness rather than avoid it…perhaps we just might find that God becomes all the more powerful, loving, and full of grace if we are willing to offer Him those parts of us that we would hide from the rest of the world.

 

w/ Vern Collins

“Paul: Driven by the Gospel” (May 29, 2016)

from Romans 1:1-17

What drives you?  That question is best answered with the question, “what day is it?”  Simply put-what drives us is often determined by the season in life, the predicament, or the circumstance in which we find ourselves. It is determined by the life we seek for ourselves or the goals we have in front of us.

What if all of those things were filtered through a central driving force?  What if your life were driven by the Gospel of Christ?  What if it informed and determined everything else that drives you?

Week 2 in our series on Paul considers a life “set apart for the Gospel of Christ.”

w/ Vern Collins

“New Life: Fragile” (April 17, 2016)

from John 15:1-11

A mark of maturity is independence.  Whether it is making decisions on your own, setting your own curfew, paying rent, buying a car, owning a home, attaining a job, trying something new, or starting a career, the ability to think, act, care for oneself shows independence…which translates to this world as a sign of maturity.

The problem comes when that thinking or that value system begins to affect our understanding of life with Jesus.  No matter how much we accomplish, we are all fragile people living fragile lives.

What if, your maturity in Christ weren’t about exercising your independence, but becoming more deeply dependent on Jesus?  In John 15, Jesus calls that, “remaining,” or, “abiding,” in Him.

What would it look like for you to embrace your fragility, rather than try and cover it up with all that you are chasing or accomplishing?

w/ Vern Collins

“New Life: Things Have Changed” (April 10, 2016)

from Luke 24:36-53

Paul promises in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians that if anyone is in Christ then they are a new creation…he goes on to say that the old has gone and the new has come (from 2nd Corinthians 5).

That is quite a promise for those desperate for change.  It is a promise that is full of hope that things don’t have to continue to be as they are…that the struggles we currently have we might just be able to lay down, right?  Well, yes…sort of.

What if the change that is promised does not have anything to do with your circumstances, but you within them…or your perspective about them?

We tend to get frustrated when we don’t see the change we long for as followers of Christ, but perhaps we are looking for change in the wrong place.

What if the reality were you were just  few adjustments away from experiencing the change you long for in Jesus…change that sets you loose on this world as one who can shape it for God’s Kingdom?

Things change when things have changed.

w/ Vern Collins

“New Life: What Just Happened?”

from Luke 24:13-35

It is not uncommon for significant change in life to be met with confusion, self-doubt, unrest about how it affects both the present and the future.

Encountering Jesus can be no different.  If you’ve given your life to following Jesus and welcoming Him as Savior, then what happens once the novelty wears off?  What happens when the music stops, when the weekend is over, when life creeps or crashes back in?  Doubt.  Fear.  Uneasiness.  Confusion.

When these feelings start to creep in, guilt is not often far behind.

Take heart…for it is right in the midst of their confusion and fear and doubt that Jesus met the Emmaus road travelers and journeyed with them through it.

w/ Vern Collins

“Rhythms: God’s Symphony” Easter Sunday (March 27, 2016)

from Luke 24:1-12

Whether you’ve grown up in church or not, the story of the Resurrection is at least mildly familiar.  Each year the church looks to an empty tomb and proclaims the Hope that walked out of it…but by the end of the week is the hope still a reality, or have we allowed life to dull the song of salvation and cloud the light of a new dawn?

How is it 2,000 years later the Resurrection might still have the power to transform, the power to call us to life, the power to break the chains that bind us, and the power to send us into the world?

Perhaps it is time, like the first disciples, to allow ourselves to be surprised…maybe even confused by the Resurrection again.  Perhaps it is time to stop stopping short at an empty tomb and look for the One Who walked out of it.

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

“New Beginnings: Old News” (January 24, 2016)

from Luke 4:14-21

Often when we think of new beginnings, we look forward to what is coming in hopes of forgetting what is behind.

In a culture of the next new thing, what do you expect from the Lord?  What do you expect when you gather with the church in worship?  What do you expect to hear?  What do you expect the church to be about?

Something new?  Something fresh?  Something flashy and engaging?

What if what you heard was the same old news?  Would it be enough?

What if when you sought the Lord all you got was the same old news?  Would it be enough?

w/ Vern Collins

“New Beginnings: The Best” (January 17, 2016)

from John 2:1-11

How would things change if you knew you had not yet seen the best that God has for your life?  How would it change your perspective?  How might you live differently knowing that the best was yet to come?

Now, what would God’s best for you look like?

What if it has little to do with what God wanted to do for you, and more with what God wants to do THROUGH YOU?

w/ Vern Collins

“New Beginnings: Identity” (January 10, 2015)

from Luke 3:15-18, 21-22

You often look at the start of a new year as an opportunity to examine your life and make changes toward becoming the person you really want to be…

Whether that is to be a healthier person, a kinder person, a more patient person, a more prompt person, a stronger person…whatever the case, a new year tends to mean a fresh start…a chance to make a change.

The question becomes, why is making a change so important?  Why do we spend so much time and energy and money toward making these change?  Because for so many people, identity is found in how one performs, how one perceives self…how one is perceived by others.  The problem is, this can be an exhausting roller coaster of self love and self loathing, of being sure of who one is and in the next moment have more questions than answers when it comes to self.

The reality is, we are all a mess…and yet there is a truth we find and embrace in baptism that calls us to the end of our search for identity…because in baptism, you are invited to embrace the truth that before you acted-good or bad, you are the beloved of God.

*NOTE-in this week’s recording we have chosen not to edit out the invitation to baptism and remembrance of baptism.  Normally, the audio would not include the invitation to respond (be it to prayer, communion, or in this case-baptism), as it is to receive something tangible for those who are gathered on Sunday morning.  However, it seems appropriate given the message to include the invitation…it is an invitation to all, to remember that you are the beloved of God, or to embrace for the first time the truth that you are the beloved of God…may you find your identity in that hope!

If you would like to speak with one of our pastors you may do so by finding us online at www.booneumc.org

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

“Expectations: Pointing the Way” (December 20, 2015)

from Luke 1:57-80

Have you ever thought of yourself as a tour guide?  While you may not make a living directing sightseers, you are living a life that people are watching.

With that said, the question becomes: what is the life your living pointing to?  In the way you spend your time, energy, finances…the passions you pursue…what does your life point to as being of utmost importance?  Is it truly worth pointing others to?

What if, in this Christmas season, you began living a life pointing to Jesus?

w/ Vern Collins

“Foundations: Worship” (November 1, 2015)

from Revelation 7:9-16

Silent Mediation.  Old Hymns.  Traditional.  Contemporary.  Praise and Worship.  There are as many different opinions about what worship should be as there are people worshiping…or as there are people in church.

As we begin our “Foundations” series by looking at both foundations of the faith and foundations of who we are as a church and how we accomplish our mission of, “Loving our Community and inviting all to discover life in Christ,” we begin with worship as being a vital piece of that identity.

What your worship were not a matter of preference of style, but was the, “True Worship,” Jesus refers to in John 4, and that we catch a glimpse of in the vision of the throne in Revelation 7?

 

w/ Vern Collins

“Overwhelmed: Life”

from 1 Timothy 6:11-19

Time, Relationships, Headlines, Money…these are just SOME of the things in life that overwhelm us.  For the past four weeks, we’ve considered what it looks like to navigate those times when you feel overwhelmed by one or any number of these things.

What if the key was not just to navigate the overwhelming things, what if the goal was not just to get through them…what if the goal was to live an overwhelmed life?

A life overwhelmed by the reality of the goodness, and faithfulness, and love of God…present right in the midst of the rest that you are carrying.

Perhaps then you would find as Paul says, “the life that is truly life.”

w/ Vern Collins

“Overwhelmed: Money” (October 11, 2015)

from 2 Corinthians 8:1-7

Whether it is the worry associated with not having enough, or the pressure of knowing how to steward if you have it, money continued to be for many one of the greatest causes of stress in many people’s lives.

While it is a necessary part of living in this consumer-driven culture, surely God’s intention was never for it to become the burden that it is.

In 2 Corinthians 8 Paul is telling of a group of believers who though they find themselves in the midst of severe persecution and poverty, are begging for the opportunity to participate in the offering for the Jerusalem church.

How is this possible, when many of us stress over paying bills for the roof over our heads.

Perhaps our problem is less a money issue, and more one of perspective…imagine how you would view the things in your life, money included, if you had a bigger view of God.

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

“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: Taking Hold of the Dream” (September 6, 2015)

from Philippians 3:3-16

What goals have been set before you?  What are you chasing?  What are your dreams for your life?  Have you accomplished any of those goals?  Are you in the midst of chasing them?  What happens when you’ve completed them?  What happens when you accomplish your goals?
What are you going to do now?
How does that accomplishment leave you feeling?  Satisfied?  Empty?  Worn thin?  Like you have purpose, or like life has been stolen from you?
What if you pursued the dream that Jesus and the dream He has for you with the same drive that fuels the pursuit of your own dreams?
What if the dream Jesus has for you was enough?
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