Tag Archives: Love

“Summer Reading-John: Nicodemus” (June 3, 2018)

from John 3:1-18

Have you considered what coming face to face with the Good News of the Gospel of Christ might truly mean for your life?

It has the power to shape the way you view your life, understand your purpose.  It has the power to change the way you view others.  It has the power to define who you are.

In this, Pastor David Hockett’s last Sunday with us, he proclaims a powerful, hopeful, and inviting message that is at the core of who we are invited to be as individuals, and who we are called to be as the church.

w/ David Hockett

“What You Believe” (April 8, 2018)

from John 20:19-31

What you believe determines how you live.  How you respond in a given situation is dictated by the set of beliefs upon which you’ve built your life.

What you believe about love determines who you are in a relationship.  What you believe about time determines how you use the time you have.

The same is true for what you believe about Who Jesus is…it impacts everything about how you live your life.

If Who you believe Jesus to be determines how you live, then what you have experienced in your walk with Jesus determines what you are living for.

w/ Vern Collins

“Set Free: Love” (September 17, 2017)

from Galatians 5:1, 13-25

This week begins an 8 week series looking at the Fruit of the Spirit Paul points to in his letter to the church in Galatia.

Living in the freedom that Christ offers is meant to look like something…the question is, are you living free or are you bound by things that have taken control in your life.  To live freely means that God is able to bring things from you that are produced by the Life that is in you…imagine how different things could be!

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

“Disordered Love: Pride” (April 9, 2017)

from Matthew 21:1-11

Pride affects not only our relationships with others, but our relationship with God.  It divides and pits us against the One Who came to meet us at that very point of our weakness…at the point of our need to be at the center…that our lives and our love might become rightly ordered.

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: 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

“You Asked For It: How Do I Deal With Fear?” (September 4, 2016)

from 1 John 4:7-21

There is plenty to be afraid of in our world today…perhaps it is the headlines recounting terrorist attacks, or it is racially driven hate crimes in our own communities…regardless, it seems that the world is more on edge than ever before.

And if those aren’t the things you are afraid of, then perhaps it’s the recent report from a doctor visit or worry about the future, or concern over the lives of your children…or maybe you’re just afraid of spiders…

While fear is not always a bad thing (it can keep us safe in some instances), at times it can feel crippling, and yet we are told in John’s letter that perfect love drives out fear.  This can feel like a trite Christian pat on the back that doesn’t really address what you may be dealing with.

What if John is not saying, DON’T have fear, instead suggesting that once you come face to face with the depths of God’s love for you, there is simply no longer room for fear to take up residence in your life?  Perhaps your outlook would change, and your desire for others to know the same freedom would move you to share that love with those around you…

w/ Vern Collins

“Rhythms: Generosity” (March 13, 2016)

from 1 John 3:16-18

Ad campaigns that promise more with the purchase of a product only to leave us wanting more, political campaigns that promise something new is coming only to see things remain the same.

In a world full of empty promises talk has become cheap.

Has the Good News of the Gospel of Christ and the hope of new life found in Him suffered the same fate?  Has the claim lost its power?  Has the promise been diluted to simply another option for a different kind of life?

You have something to say about it.  The church has something to say about it.  A life lived poured out on behalf of the world around it points to something worth living for and invites the world to encounter Jesus…the hope of something new.

w/ Vern Collins

“Foundations: Serve” (November 15, 2015)

from Joshua 24

Options.  Many live in a culture full of options.  Options for clothing, cars, the way you spend your time…upgrade options, warranty options, media options, options for the way you connect with others…it is a culture that caters to the consumer.

What if, however, we have become so accustomed to crafting this life to be the most comfortable it can, that we have made optional things that should not be?

Take serving and loving others for example…Jesus never presented it as an option…even in our Old Testament passage from Joshua, we see that amidst the options of lesser gods, Joshua makes it clear that those options are no option at all, really.

What if the way you served was a life style, not simply another option on your list?

w/ Luke Edwards

“Dreamers: The Dream Fulfilled” (September 20, 2015)

from Revelation 21:1-6

The dream fulfilled.  Everything you hoped for, everything you wanted, right?  What if the dream fulfilled wasn’t just about what you hoped to see happen in your own life, but about what God wants to see happen in the lives around you?
In the final week of our “Dreamers” series, we are challenged with the thought that being a part of God’s dream for this world, it not just about how it benefits you, but about you inviting others to in to the dream with you.
w/ Rev. Laura Beach

“Transitions: Love” (July 19, 2015)

from John 3:16-17

While it might just be a verse so familiar that you have become numb to the weight of it, John 3:16 carries for you a foundational truth that will anchor you in any transition or season of life you happen to find yourself in.  The keys to appreciating the power in these words of Jesus are recognizing the desperation of your situation, understanding the difficulty of this kind of love, realizing the reality of the remedy, and seeing the danger in keeping your distance from this life-giving truth.

w/ Vern Collins

“Questions God Asks: Do You Love Me?” (April 19, 2015)

*This week’s message includes the announcement about our senior pastor, Jason’s Byassee new appointment starting July 1st.  We are incredibly grateful for his leadership, we love he and his family deeply, and pray God’s blessing on their faithfulness in this call.

from John 21:15-19

People do crazy things for love…quit jobs, move half way around the country, get tattoos, change lifestyles…what do you do to show love to those you in fact love?  What are you willing to do to show love to someone?
Are you willing to protect them, willing to commit to them, willing to challenge them…would you be willing to jump out of a boat for them?  Peter did all of these things for Jesus.  Perhaps, the greatest example of Peter’s we have to follow, however, is his willingness to meet Jesus on the shore of his need for grace, hear the question, “do you love me?” and be willing to follow Him once more into a life of surrender to the cause of the Gospel.
What are you willing to do?
w/ Vern Collins