The body of Christ living together in biblical community is one of the greatest ways that the Lord reveals himself and carries out his plans and purposes in the world. In this message, we look at four characteristics of biblical community from Ephesians 4:25-32. As we look at each one, we will also emphasize that we can only live in these ways as we live out of our new life in Christ.
As we prepare for our prayer service on Wednesday, January 16, we will be "Beginning with Prayer," taken from Paul's prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21. Many of us may feel that our prayer lives are inconsistent at best, so it is important for us to revisit this topic often in order that we may continue to learn to pray together. Please join us this Sunday as we consider this practice that is so crucial to knowing and experiencing God.
Galatians 5:16-24 - Often in this season we get wrapped up in all the things we need to do, and it invariably bleeds over into how we approach Christ. Instead of focusing on the many things we could be doing, may we take this time to hit the pause button and reflect on our relationship with Christ, our life with Christ, and our understanding of Christ, remembering that it starts and ends with grace by the work of the Holy Spirit.
II Thessalonians 2:13-17 - As we remember the first coming of Christ and look forward to his second coming, may we find comfort in the promise that "he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus."
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 - The presence of suffering in the world can be difficult to reconcile with the existence of a good God, and yet God used the suffering of Christ to accomplish his redemptive purposes. As we follow Christ, we share in his sufferings, and our suffering can also be used by God in ways that accomplish his redemptive purposes in our lives and the lives of those around us.
Isaiah 12 - The author of Hebrews warns us not to neglect the great salvation that is available to us in Christ. In this message, we take time to consider that Christ came to earth in order that he might become our Savior, one who saves us from our sin.
Psalm 119:49-56 - On this first Sunday of Advent, we look at how the psalmist encourages us to experience the Lord through his words. In doing so, we will remember that God's words to us in the Bible point us ultimately to Christ, who is described in John 1 as the living Word, one who came as a light into the darkness of our world and the darkness of our own hearts.
Luke 2:25-35 - As we enter into the holiday season that can often be filled with much noise, busyness, relational struggles, sadness, and disappointments, may we remember that God is one who offers comfort. And because Christ came to earth, died on our behalf, and rose again to new life, we now have access to God as our Comforter.
Psalm 107:3 says, “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.” The more aware we are of God’s goodness to us, the more our hearts erupt in thanksgiving to him. This message takes a closer look at Psalm 107 and helps us remember and recognize God’s goodness in our lives and to subsequently respond with thanks to him.
Mercy. A great Bible word that perhaps many of us don't quite understand. What is mercy? Why is it important? How do I get it? How do I practice it? How do we relate to God and others through the lens of mercy? All of these are questions are addressed in this final sermon in our "Guarding Our Hearts" series as we look at Matthew 20:20-34.
Matthew 19:27 - 20:16 - As a continuation from last week’s sermon, Jesus further explains the kingdom of heaven through dialoguing with the disciples and giving the parable of The Laborers in the Vineyard.
Matthew 19:16-26 - The idol of materialism is all around us and can easily make its way back into our lives without us recognizing it. Thankfully God is powerful enough and loving enough to fight this temptation for us through his grace as we follow Christ.
Matthew 19:1-12 - Whether one has the calling of marriage or the calling of singleness, Jesus teaches those in each category how to guard their hearts in ways that specifically reflect their calling. Ultimately, in both we are intended to be reminded of our consistent need for the grace that only Christ provides.
Matthew 18:15-35 - Because we all experience conflicts and hurts as we navigate our relationships with others, forgiveness can often be difficult. However, learning to practice forgiveness is one of the ways we demonstrate that we ourselves have truly experienced the forgiveness made available to us through Christ.
In Proverbs 4:23, we are told to "guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." Given the importance of our hearts, we must learn to not only recognize the sins that can subtly creep into our hearts but also learn to cultivate hearts that truly delight in the Lord. Our first topic of the series focused on humility and was taken from Matthew 18:1-14.
In our final "Life Together" series sermon, we focus on "The Permanency of Love." Though our love toward one another can often feel fleeting and short-lived, I Corinthians 13:8-13 reminds us that God's love toward us is steadfast and permanent. As we learn to rest in the love he has demonstrated toward us through Christ, we are freed up to enjoy the opportunities he brings our way to love one another.
I Corinthians 13:4-7 - Having looked last week at what love is NOT, this sermon focuses on what love looks like in very practical ways in the context of relationship with others. It reminds us that our love for one another is intended to be an overflow of the love we receive from God through Christ's death and resurrection on our behalf.
I Corinthians 13:1-3 Having wrapped up addressing spiritual gifts and interdependence within God's people, Paul now points to love as the defining characteristic of community. As we move into this emphasis on love in chapter 13, may we remember the love that the Lord has demonstrated toward us through Christ and walk in this love toward one another.
I Corinthians 12:12-27 - In this passage, Paul uses a fun picture of all the different parts that make up our physical bodies to help us think about who God desires for us to be as his church, the body of Christ.
Using I Corinthians 12:4-11, we will look at "Gifts of Grace," spending time considering spiritual gifts: what they are, why they're important, and how we use them. Ultimately, we will see how they are one particular way we experience God's grace through Christ and are also tools for us to use in extending God's grace to each other.