Tag Archives: Sin

(September 15, 2019) “Ambitious church: Relationship”

from Colossians 3:1-15

While we were created for relationship…first with God, and then with one another- in the hopes that those relationships would be a reflection of the fullness of Who God is…while this is part of the means by which we experience the full life that Jesus promises us…the reality is that relationships can be the source of some of our greatest challenges and deepest hurt in life.

In Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae, we get a window in to how we might just be able to live in to having healthier and more Christ-reflecting relationships.

w/ Vern Collins

“Broken: How Sin Affects Our View of Money” (April 7, 2019)

from Luke 12:13-21

We have a tendency to equate things like security, peace, worth, and identity with the accumulation of money or possessions. Or even more simply, maybe there’s just this one thing you feel like you have to have, and if you can somehow have that thing…

The question you must wrestle with is: While more wealth or more square footage or more possessions might change your circumstances, will they transform your heart?

We have from the beginning felt the tension of feeling like we need more…but what is it we really need more OF?

w/ Vern Collins

“Broken: How Sin Affects Our Time”

from Luke 21:25-36

If you knew how something would end, would it change the way you give yourself to being a part of it?

While, we might tend to think of such a question as it relates to a business opportunity, saying yes to a relationship, or a financial decision and the potential risks or rewards associated with any of the above…what if instead of decisions that are made based on how we think life should go, we make those decisions based on how the story of God at work in this world ends?

One of the ways we see sin create brokenness in our lives is in the way we view and use time. We worry that there isn’t enough. We waste the time we have. We don’t honor the time of others.

What if we stopped being so short-sighted and started taking a long view of the way we see God’s time and timing? What if that could change the way we live right now with the time we have?

w/ Luke Edwards

“Broken: How Sin Affects Our View of Others” (March 24, 2019)

from Ephesians 2:11-22

By nature we have a tendency to form teams. We gravitate to or surround ourselves with people who share things like our ideals, our values, and our view of morality. While this is not inherently wrong, what happens when our forming teams becomes choosing sides and choosing sides sets us at odds with those who aren’t like us or don’t agree with us…those who are outside of our circle? When this happens in the church, how does the way we treat those who are “outside” have any hope of looking like the Gospel?

What if God is calling you into relationship with those not like you so that God can work in you…and God can work in those relationships?

w/ Vern Collins

“Broken: How Sin Affects Self” (March 10, 2019)

from Isaiah 30:8-18

As we begin this season of Lent and our new series, “Broken,” you are invited to come to terms with, to name the brokenness in your life. Sin is the great equalizer…not of are exempt from its effects, and yet in Christ we find that not only does God know something about our brokenness, but is willing to enter in to it.

Over the next several weeks we are going to consider how our sin creates brokenness in different areas of our lives…beginning with how it affects your relationship with God. While you are being invited to come to terms with your brokenness, know that God longs to bring healing…that God longs to and promises to take that which is broken and redeem it, turning it into something beautiful.

w/ Vern Collins

“New Year Resolution: Broken Already (Jesus Knows)” (January 13, 2019)

from Ephesians 1:5-10 and John 4:1-18

Many of us see the turn of the calendar year as an opportunity for a fresh start, a chance to make some changes, to improve some things about who we are. We enter a new year with a sense of hope and possibility.

What happens when we fall short of those things we want to see change?

What happens when this seems to be the pattern not only in our resolutions and goals, but more importantly in our walk with Jesus? How do you navigate the feeling of falling short once again? Is there guilt? Shame? Weariness? How does it affect your relationship with God? With others?

How might things begin to look different if you approached those disappointments with the understanding that…Jesus knows…and loves you anyway?

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

“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

“As For You: This Grace Was Given” (October 16, 2016)

from Ephesians 3:1-13

To have an understanding of Gods’ grace in your life is  to know the power of forgiveness, the power of hope, the deep value in knowing that you are loved and desired, and ultimately that the God of the universe is FIR YOU.  This is displayed in the lengths God was willing to go to in order to present His Son, Jesus as a sacrifice for your sin, thus opening the way for you to be invited into life with Him.

What if that grace wasn’t meant to stop with you?  What if it wasn’t so much about how it makes you feel loved and accepted and believed in?  What if you stewarded that grace in such a way that it wasn’t trivialized…rather it was leveraged for the transformation of lives around you?

w/ Vern Collins

“As For You: Grace” (October 2, 2016)

from Ephesians 2:1-10

We have somehow allowed the life of a Christ follower to be boiled down to doing more of the right things and less of the wrong things in hopes of looking like one is at least moderately connected to Jesus.  We make plans and ask God to bless them, and we go on living our lives keeping Jesus just close enough so that He is accessible in times of trouble.

What if, life were less about what you can get out of it and what you can accomplish and more about embracing the weight of the grace by which our small lives were saved?  Then perhaps it would be less about achieving your 5 year plan and more about realizing you have something to live for no matter where you land.

w/ Vern Collins

“New Beginnings: Things Get in the Way” (February 7, 2016)

from Luke 4:1-13

How do you handle interruptions to your plans?  What do you do when it seems that things are starting to run off the rails?  How do you handle those obstacles?

What about the obstacles and interruptions in your relationship with Jesus?  How do you handle giving in to temptation?

The moment you decide to make a new beginning in Christ is the moment the enemy will begin working against you.  May you find strength and comfort and hope for the rest of the journey in knowing that Christ allowed himself to be tempted on your behalf…so that you would find grace and strength when you face those things that get in the way.

w/ Vern Collins