Tag Archives: Matthew

“Falling Into Goodness: Dwell With God” (February 18, 2018)

from Matthew 4:1-11

As we begin our journey through the season of Lent, we invite you to consider Lent perhaps differently than you ever have before.

What if, instead of surrendering some habit you are trying to break, or feeling guilty about the things you can’t surrender or simply don’t want to surrender, you saw Lent as a time to rest?  A time to rest in the ground of God’s goodness, and allow God to speak to you about who you truly are as one loved deeply by Him.

w/ David Hockett

“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

“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

“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

“Pray Like Jesus: Forgive” (January 22, 2017)

from Matthew 6:12

We live in a world that is full of hurt, and many of us carry that hurt around inside us.  Whether we hurt over the things we have done that we feel guilt over, or whether we have been hurt by others…our lives are marked with pain of some sort.  The question is, what do we do with that hurt?  Do we simply learn to deal with it, or are we willing to release it?  To seek forgiveness, to be forgiven?  What about forgiving others?

Are we willing to name our pain, and trust that God can release us from it?

Are we willing to release others from the pain they have caused us?

Too often not…but it is not impossible.  Perhaps all it takes is a new understanding of forgiveness, what happens when we are forgiven, and what can happen when we forgive.

w/ Vern Collins

“Pray Like Jesus: Thy Kingdom Come” (January 8, 2017)

from Matthew 6:10

At the heart of the prayer Jesus offers as the example for His disciples to follow is surrender.    It is naming the work He has been called to do and committing Himself to that work…the work of seeing God’s purpose accomplished on this earth.

In inviting His disciples and all who would follow to pray in this way, Jesus is also inviting us to name and commit ourselves to being a part of God’s rescuing and restorative work on this earth.

And yet, our tendency is to build our little kingdoms and then ask God to bless them.

What if instead, our lives were spent building the Kingdom that Jesus came to inaugurate?  What if we began to bend ourselves to the work of God rather than trying to bend God to our work on this earth?

Imagine how different our lives might look.

w/ Vern Collins

“Pray Like Jesus: Our Father” (January 1, 2017)

from Matthew 6:7-9

If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated by prayer, if the mystery that surrounds prayer, the fact that it seems like prayers too often go unanswered or aren’t answered the way you’d like…if you’re not even sure what or how to pray most of the time, then you’re in good company.  Even the Apostle Paul wrote that when we don’t know how to pray or what to pray, the Holy Spirit would be faithful to lead us.

That’s good news, but many of still feel unsure as to where or how we begin.

Jesus’ disciples longed for more in their prayer life too, and so they asked Jesus to teach them how to pray (Luke 11).  While Jesus didn’t answer every question they asked, or respond to everything they desired to see happen, He felt this request important enough to respond to…and so He gave them what we have come to call, “The Lord’s Prayer.”

As we work through this series, beginning with “Our Father,” may your heart for prayer be rekindled, may you encounter the power that are in these words, and may you be transformed.

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

“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