Tag Archives: Sermon on the Mount

“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

“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

“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: 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

“You Asked For It: How Do I Interact With the World?” (September 11, 2016)

from Matthew 5:13-16

ou’ve likely heard that Christians should be, “in the world, but not of the world.”  This saying comes from something Jesus says in the 17th chapter of John’s Gospel as he is praying to His Heavenly Father on behalf of His disciples.  While this saying is not incorrect, too often we have a tendency to view it as the finish line when in reality, Jesus meant for it to be the starting point.

What if you began to think of being set apart as having purpose, rather than thinking about it as simply being sequestered from the rest of the world?  Imagine what your life, leveraged in every situation for the sake of the Gospel, might begin to look like!

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

“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