Sermons

Jonah 2 – Salvation Belongs to the Lord

What do you do when you realize that it is because of your actions, your disobedience, your struggles that mess around you has occurred. The normal human reaction when we have made a mess of things is to try harder, to muster up more discipline, to garner up more will...

What Happens When We Disobey – Jonah 1

We aren't perfect people. In fact, we disobey God every day. Sometimes it is knowing disobedience and others it's unconscious. The question is; what happens after we sin? Should we work really hard to do some good things to make up for it? Should we not sweat it...

Can I Know God Personally?

My hope and dream for my kids has shifted from issues around school grades, friends and what they'll be when they grow up to two primary desires. I pray that my kids know Jesus as their Savior and that I would have a good relationship with them when their adults. This...

Is the Bible Reliable?

"The Bible is full of errors." Is that statement true or false? There is a proliferation of the idea that the Old and New Testaments, as we have them today, can't be trusted to have maintained their resemblance to their original autographs. The charge is leveled that...

Why Does God Allow Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering is a fact of life. No one is exempt from going through it. Rich, poor, young, old, educated or not, everyone will be visited by suffering at some point in life and for most it will be multiple times. What do we do in the midst of suffering?...

Is There a God?

I can't prove to you that God exists. By which I mean I can't prove God's existence like I can prove the sky is blue or the grass is green. Therefore, to believe in God takes faith. However, the person who disbelieves that God exists also needs faith to make that...

Does Life Have a Purpose?

I want to live a life of meaning. I want to make the world a better place. I want to make a difference. And so are some of the common answers to the question; What is the purpose of life? I'm not one who enjoys philosophical debate but it seems that many of the people...

Fall Vision Cast 2015; John 21:1-19

When you set up an account with Twitter one of the items that gets filled out is the "about" section. For the most part this is a terse description of a person's like, dislikes, interest and work expertise. Sometimes the entries are humorous while others strike a more...

Intentional Friendships 3; Col 4:2-6

We believe that God in Christ has done a powerful thing in the heart of the believer such that they need not be afraid of sin in the world around them. They can go out with confidence, seeking the salvation of others. As they go out their lives are marked by love:...

Intentional Friendships 2; 1 Peter 3:8-12

We are interested in interesting people. It is why the magazine rack is filled with offerings that talk about all the happenings in the lives of the rich and famous. Part of the human interest in others is sinful when it shows up in gossip and voyeurism. But our...

Intentional Friendships 1; Luke 7:33-50

We tend to like people who are like us. We like to spend time with people who act like us, think like us, talk like us, and like to do the same things we enjoy. This isn't wrong necessarily, except if this category of individual is the only type of friend we have. At...

Our God Delivers; Esther 7-10

Many great movies are stories of deliverance. From Saving Private Ryan, to Lone Survivor, to every fairy tale Disney has produced, we love stories where the heroes are delivered from certain doom. These stories strike a universal chord because they give voice to what...

Living Out Our Obedience; Esther 5-6

There is a world of difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it. Lots of people know how to eat healthy. Far fewer actually order the kale salad with grilled chicken instead of the burger and fires. All married people know they must love their spouse...

God’s At War; Esther 3

Esther chapters one and two describe the setting of the story such that the world that the Jews live in is one in which God is not regarded but he is at work in spite of negative appearances. Chapter three takes a dark turn. What seems to be a personal conflict...

God Uses Imperfect People in Imperfect Times

How do we live in a world that opposes God and thereby opposes all of God's people. Last week, in Esther chapter 1, we examined the world of Persia and how it mirrors the world we live in. Both of them worlds that have little, if any, regard for God. In this week's...

When There is No Regard for God; Esther 1

The time and place in which we live is increasingly paying no regard to God. Whether one looks at the prevailing attitudes on morality, marriage, or why people do what they do, today's culture has no regard for what God has to say on the issue. This however is nothing...

Sent Ones

The call on every follower of Jesus is to "go." Christians are a people who are brought in by the cross and the forgiveness it offers and then sent out by the Savior to proclaim the message that has saved them. This call is not for clergy, missionaries or a special...

Persist in Prayer; Luke 11:1-13

Walt Disney was fired from his first illustrator job for lack of creative ideas. Michael Jordan was cut from his junior high basketball team. Abraham Lincoln lost eight elections before he was elected president. These three and countless others learned that in life...

Praying Our Daily Bread; Matthew 6:11-15

We are all needy people. Whether we are rich or poor, educated or not, young or old, we all are needy. The weakest among us are no more needy than the strongest and those with strength are just as needy as those who lack the same strength. The tragedy is when a needy...

Praying for What’s Primary; Matthew 6:10

The order of things matter. It matters what order the letters come in, just ask a kid who has to take a spelling test. It matters what order you learn a job, that's why we start with "training." It also matters the order in which we pray. When we pray there should be...

We Must Pray

****Please NOTE: the first 1:25 seconds of the recording have static. It clears up after that!***** There are a lot of things that make parenting hard: the sleepless nights with newborns, the sleepless nights waiting for teenagers to get home and struggling to instill...

Men of God: 1 Tim 3:1-7

What does it mean to be a man? In years past the definition of what a man was and did seemed to have more clarity. For right or wrong the lines have blurred of late. Some of the changes have been good but some have made it much more difficult for a man to know what...

What Do We See at the Empty Tomb?

I had a great USMC career that I am thankful to God for. But I missed a fair bit of it. Flight School and squadron life is pretty competitive. As a student you are graded on every flight and measured against the minimum standard and the other pilots. If you make the...

Preparing for Easter: Which Path Are You On?

Your life is on one of two paths. The narrow path with Jesus and the wide one without him. There are not three paths or variations to the two. Two is all there are. Since this is case it makes all the sense in the world to ensure that we are on the narrow path. We can...

The Way, The Truth and The Life; John 14:1-6

The disciples had been with Jesus for three years. There were hard times in storms at sea, there were good times with laughs at a wedding banquet and there was an expectation of a future glory with their Lord. This made Jesus' statement all the more jarring when he...

Spiritual Warfare 2; Eph 6:10-17

Spiritual warfare is a real war. Revelation 12:17 states, "Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus." The Bible is clear that war...

Spiritual Warfare 1; Eph 6:10-13

There are two errors that people often run into when dealing with evil in the world and specifically when dealing with Satan and demons. The first error is to underestimate their power and existence. This error is common in the West as we have largely moved beyond the...

Fathers Raise Up Your Kids; Eph 6:4

Raising kids is hard. And by "hard" we don't mean 100 push-ups is hard but 1,000 push-ups is hard. They don't come with an instruction manual. They can't explain to you a lot of the time what is bothering them. They can't articulate why they just did the crazy thing...

Children, Obey Your Parents; Eph 6:1-3

We were all kids once and had days, many of them we must admit, where our obedience wasn't quite up to standards. We may be parents now and we know for certain there are days, seems like many of them we have to admit, where our kids aren't as obedient as we desire....

Good Theology = Good Marriage

The Bible is not an encyclopedia. It is not arranged topically such that we open it when we have questions on a certain subject. What does the Bible say about marriage? Turn to the marriage section. What does the Bible say about parenting? Turn to the parenting...

The Role of a Wife; Eph 5:22-24; 33

My little girl loves fairy tales. Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are among her favorites. Often, after watching one of these classics, she will reenact the story with her dolls, many of which are the Disney replicas. I'll watch as she plays and...

The Role of the Husband; Eph 5:25-33

Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. The command of God seems simply enough for men to follow but every guy who has been married for longer than five minutes knows that it is extremely difficult. Yet, in His grace, God gives...

The Problem in Marriage; Eph 5:22-33

If we endeavor to do marriage with the purpose that God has given us, namely that our marriage is to be a picture of the Gospel to the world (see last week's sermon for more on that), then we will have problems. Marriage already has problems that we all are familiar...

The Purpose of Marriage: Eph 5:22-33

Cultures around the world have come up with a lot of different ideas as to what the purpose of marriage is. Some see marriage as an avenue to provide heirs, in particular, male heirs to continue the "family line." Some cultures believe that marriage is for providing...

A People of Action; Eph 5:15-21

We don't want to waste the precious days we have. We don't want to get stuck in the "I'll get to that tomorrow" pattern where the tomorrow of change never comes. We want to be people who "make the best use of our time." We want to be people of action. We want to...

Living in the Light: Eph 5:7-14

As a follower of Jesus we are called to be ambassadors for our Savior. We are to live our lives as though God were speaking through us to reveal His truth to those who do not yet have a relationship with Him. The difficult piece of this reality is figuring out what...

Learning to Walk in Love; Eph 5:1-2

Life is all about change as we move through its different stages. When we entered our teenage years we did not stay the same. When we entered our first job we changed. When we got married and had kids we underwent change. The Christian life is no different. When we...

Forgive One Another; Eph 4:31-32

Forgive one another as God in Christ forgave you. The simpleness of that Scripture belies its tremendous difficulty in living it out. We struggle to forgive. We struggle because we have a sense of justice that cries out for vindication. We struggle because we have...

My Words Matter to God; Eph 4:29-30

We all know what it is like to have encouraging words spoken to us. Words that help us keep going. Words that help us see who we could be some day. We also know what it is like to have words spoken to us that tore us down. Words that made us want to give up. We know...

My Job Matters to God: Eph 4:28

Work...some days we love it, some days we hate it and some days we really hate it. We know we have to do it. The bills have to get paid don't they! So are we simply to endure our work, struggle through it or is there a way we can think biblically about our work to...

Christlike Anger: Eph 4:26-27

There are some truths in the Bible that at first glance make us scratch our head. They don't seem to be true, or actually work in the world we live in, but they do. For example, the Bible tells us to be generous with our money and get more of it, while warning that if...

We Speak the Gospel: Eph 4:25

It is not a surprise for anyone who is remotely familiar with Christianity that one of its primary commands is to share the Gospel with those who don't believe or haven't heard. Jesus said that "as the Father has sent me so I am sending you." (John 20:21) The way in...

How Not to Live; Eph 4:17-19

There is a way to live and there is a way, "not" to live. Sometimes we know the difference and sometimes we don't. Sometimes we know when we are living in a way we shouldn't be and sometimes we are unaware. The reality is however we are usually a mix of the two. There...

How to Be Rich: Matthew 6:19-24

Nobody likes to talk about money! However, since Jesus talked about money, and did so more than he talked about hell, and the Bible addresses money, we can't overlook the subject. It is actually God's grace to us to take a good hard look at money because we can't get...

The Mission of Mission

Every person has stress, issues, struggles, problems, etc. No one is exempt. That means we all are looking for solutions to our problems and hope in the midst of them. But what we realize in life is that the stress keeps coming and problems never totally go away,...

We Speak the Truth in Love; Eph 4:14-16

In today's passage we close out the first section of Ephesians 4 (4:1-16) which is all bout God building a unified church in Jesus through the gifting he has given to the members of the body of Christ. These gifts are to be used to equip the saints for the work of...

We Have Been Gifted to Serve Others; Eph 4:11-13

"God has made me for a purpose, for China, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel his pleasure." --Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire This quote epitomizes two amazing biblical truths. The first is that God has blessed every one of his kids with gifts. He has...

God’s Grace Our Gifting; Eph 4:7-12

Kid's personalities are different. Not just kids from different families as you might imagine but kids in the same family have different wiring. Some are rule-keeping, hard-working first borns. Some are free-spirited, life of the party children. Some kids are quite,...

We Live Worthy of Our Calling; Eph 4:1-6

John Wooden, iconic Basketball coach of the UCLA who won 12 national championships, took time in his first practice each year to teach his players how to tie their shoes. NFL teams practice blocking and tackling during training camp. MLB teams practice running the...

We Are Strengthened; Eph 3:14-21

There are two people building your life right now. You certainly are at work building your life. You get up every morning and set about to build and strengthen and grow in the ways you desire. You use the materials, ideas and cultural icons that are at hand to build a...

The Mystery of the Gospel, Eph 3:1-6

The murder of JFK will most likely remain a mystery. The theories and speculation will probably not be relieved by the finding of a "smoking gun," no new theory will lay the issue to rest and no one will ever know what really happened and certainly not why it...

We Are God’s Workmanship: Eph 2:10

A craftsman is proud of the work he creates. He is pleased with the final product, the work of his hands. He is pleased with what he creates not only because of its quality but its utility. The reason why the craftsman plies his trade is not merely to produce that...

We Were Dead; Ephesians 2:1-3

The Apostle Paul traveled through what is present day Turkey and found himself in the western port city of Ephesus. He met some disciples there and began to teach them and preach in the local synagogue and Hall of Tyrannus. He stayed there for two years and the...

We Are Empowered; Eph 1:19-23

The sun around which our planet orbits is a pretty powerful ball of gas and plasma. Every second our star produces an amount of energy equivalent to a trillion, 1-megaton bombs. To put that in perspective, every second the sun puts out enough energy to power our...

We Are Prayed For, Eph 1:15-18

There are specific things I want for my kids. First and foremost I want my kids to meet Jesus. I also want them to develop in their gifting and find their true passion in life. I want my kids to make good friends and experience health, physically, emotionally and...

God Calls Us to Remember

On this Memorial Day weekend it is good to think about what it is we are making a memorial of. As history tells us, at the end of the Civil War it was decreed that as a nation we should stop to have a memorial to the countless lives laid down to preserve the nation....

I am Redeemed in Christ, Eph 1:7-10

Is it possible to do enough good things to make up for the bad things we do in life? We all start from the position that it is possible pull off this good-bad counterbalance. We think that if we do enough good religious things then that will make up for our bad stuff....

I am Blessed in Christ, Eph 1:3-6

Every parent knows the frustration of having to deal with a child that is whining and complaining over not having a specific toy that they think they need. The protest that if they don't get it their life will be over. It isn't so bad that they desire the new toy,...

I am Set Apart in Christ

Who are you? The answer to this question is one of identity. Who we think we are determines our identity which determines who are friends are, how we spend our money, what kind of job we take, who we marry, where we live, our stress level and ultimately where we spend...

Church + Family = Disciples

There are some great combinations: bacon and eggs, pb & j, spaghetti and meatballs, a sunny day and baseball, husband and wife. The great combination we want to have is our church and families. The reality is that the church is not responsible for ensuring the Gospel...

God is Our Security

We are all looking to find security somewhere. We look to our careers, or our savings account, or our relationships, or our talents or our youth, or our kids, but we are all looking. This life has too many ups and downs not to be hedged by something we tell ourselves...

The Life of Evangelism

We readily and naturally tell others about the great new restaurant in town, the new movie we saw that they "have to" check out and the new book we just read. No one has to prompt us, we don't have to make specific time to do it, the sharing of what we love comes...

Do Not Lose Heart

No one wants to lose heart. No one wants to give up when the going gets tough. Life however is hard and the reality is that there are circumstances, losses, deaths, struggles, obstacles, failures, setbacks, that will make us lose heart. There is a secret however,...

Honoring the Lord’s Supper

The Lord's Supper is one of two sacraments God has given to the church (baptism the other). The importance of a sacrament lies in its "grace imparting" nature. During a sacrament we believe that God is present in a special way that he is not present usually with us....

God’s Call on Women

What is God's call on women? What is it that God desires for women to be and do? We could conclude rightly that God's call is for women to love him and love others, but that would be a more broad call that he has for all people. God's call on women in particular is...

God’s Call on Men

The war is won or lost with men. The battlefield on which this planets greatest fighting occurs is in the hearts and souls of men. You can control for any metric available when you study society (race, ethnicity, education level, income) but the number one factor,...

Investing Your Life

If you had invested $5,000 in Apple Computer at its IPO in December 1980, and not touched your shares, you would currently have (insert drum roll here) over 1.2 million dollars. Not too bad for writing a check and then going on with your life for 34 years. I am sure...

Authentic Community

The movie "Lone Survivor" gives a great picture of what it means to be a part of group of friends who will literally lay their lives down for one another. This war-time illustration of authentic community is at its heart what God desires for us all to experience. We...

Living Gospel-Centered

We believe that no passage of Scripture is rightly or fully understood until it is connected to the person and work of Jesus. This means that the entire Bible can and should be interpreted through the Gospel message since all the passages of the Bible are telling that...

Life on Mission: Glorify God and Make Disciples

There is one singular task which God is about all the time. He has been about this task since the moment of creation and it he will be about it for eternity. God is about his glory. He is about garnering more glory for himself. This is the focus of everything he has...

The Gifts of the Wise Men

The best gifts are always those that connect to something in the recipient. A gift that matches a person's character, interests or personality, that speaks to who they are and who God made them to be, this is the best gift. The "wise men" are good gift givers. The...

Immanuel, God With Us

For those who have some framework of Christianity, they would not be surprised to hear a Christmas message on the importance of Jesus. That would not be shocking. The problem however is that most people will not have thought through they "why" of Jesus' importance....

The Gospel and Eternity

What we hope in for the future dictates how we act in the present. We work hard at work because there is a hope of promotion and increased salary. We are romantic with our wives, gentlemen, because there is a hope of intimacy. We work with our kids as they're growing...

The Gospel and Our Work

Do you love your job? When you are working do you sense God's pleasure in what you are doing? Do you see your job as part of what God has gifted you to do as part of His mission in the world? For most people the answer to these questions is a resounding, "No!" For...

The Gospel and Our Witness

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus calls his followers to let their light (their good works) shine in the world such that it brings glory to the Father. The collective light of the members of a church are to be brought together such that the collective brightness shines...

Cultivating a Giving Heart

Jesus spoke on money more than faith, more than heaven, more than hell. I today's pastors taught on money as much as Jesus they would do so every 3rd Sunday. It must be a big deal. The realty is money is very dangerous. Jesus said that where our treasure is there our...

The Gospel and Community

The theme song from the old TV show "Cheers" talked about being in a place where, "everyone knows your name, and they're always glad you came." It succinctly and powerfully captures the human need for community. Everyone has a hard-wired desire to have friends and be...

The Gospel and The Heart

Some people are savers, they hold on to every dollar. Some people are spenders, they like to use money to have a good time. Some people are structured, they like a life that's manageable. Some people are more free-spirited, they like a life with more spontaneity and...

The Gospel and the City

We live in a world opposed to God. Through humanity's rebellion and the influence of Satan, followers of Jesus find themselves in a world hostile to the message they proclaim. This reality is exactly how God has set things up. Christ followers should not be caught off...

Proverbs 27:1-10: How To Be A Friend

Do you remember your super-close group of friends you had growing up? Of course you do, you guys did everything together and had "the best day ever" doing them. Now that your out of high school or college, you miss having friends like that. It isn't as easy as it once...

Healing A Wounded Heart

Everyone knows the joy that permeates all of life when our hearts are joyful. We are also all experienced with the struggle that touches everything when our hearts are wounded and broken. The grace of God in this truth is that our hearts condition not our circumstance...

Proverbs 4:10-27: The Heart of Wisdom

All of the little decisions we make every day predetermine the big decisions we make every once-in-a-while. We think that when we come to a "big" decision we need to sit down and think it through. That is a great method, but what we forget is that our lives are made...

Proverbs 1:1-7: The Beginning of Wisdom

We don't always make the wise choice in life. As we look back over our lives we can see moments where we made a foolish decision and paid a price for it. Hopefully we learned from our error but many times we did not and made the same choice again receiving the same...

God’s Mission for Our Church

We have a purpose. God has built this world to have purpose and everyone human being has a purpose in it. This pervasive purpose means that we now have a choice. We can live to fulfill God's purpose or we can try to find one for ourselves. This is a futile search and...

Mark 14:53-65: Jesus on Trial

Jesus went on trial for us. As part of his redeeming work, Jesus endured a mockery of a "trial" where he was unjustly convicted and sentenced to death. He did this to take our place and take our verdict for us. We should be the ones on trial for our sin against God....

Mark 14:32-42: The Cup and The Garden

Has my life been worth it? If you've seen the movie, Saving Private Ryan, you know that this is the question Pvt Ryan asks himself as an old man reflecting on the lives given to bring him home. This is also the same question that we ask in light of Jesus' sacrifice in...

Mark 14:26-31; 66-72: Failing With Jesus

We all have failed. Whether it was on a test in grade school, during tryouts for a sports team, or on a job interview; We all have failed. Our failures however, need not be our demise. We tend to learn more from our failures than our successes. We tend to be shaped...

Daniel 9-10: Prayer: Knowing God and Knowing Myself

There are some things we know about prayer. We know we are supposed to prayer as often as we can. We know that God hears our prayers. We know that God works through our prayers. As we pray however, we need to know something about God, who He is and what He is like. We...

Mark 14:12-25: Jesus the Passover Lamb

We love days of feasting. We love days where family and friends get together and share a huge meal together. And if there happens to be football on TV, so much the better. In Jewish culture, one of the biggest feasts is called Passover. It commemorates God's...

Mark 14:1-11: Worship Jesus Alone

God created all of us to worship. As such, we worship 24 hours a day, seven day a week. We can't stop it. He designed us this way so that we would have Him as our object of worship. Sin however has corrupted us. Instead of worshipping our Creator, we now are bent to...

Mark 13:1-23: On Our Guard

God wants us to strike a balance; a balance between being informed by the what He has told us about the future and being "on our guard" in the present. There are two possible extremes. We can be focused on the future and inactive in the present, or we can be focused...

1 Corinthians 12: Every Believer Has A Place

The work of the church, the work of advancing the kingdom of God, is not, nor has it ever been, the purview of a select few talented individuals. Jesus has organized his church so that everyone has specific talents and everyone has a place to use them. The gifts are...

Mark 12:28-34: Love God and Love Others

We want to get to the bottom line. In a world filled with information that is nice to know but not vital to us, we must filter the data to get to the bottom line. Today's passage gives us the bottom line command of the Bible, which is actually two inseparable...

Mark 12:18-27: Being Teachable

It is tough to be a teachable person. It is tough to remember that we don't know it all and need God and others to correct us from time to time (and really, a lot of the time). When we find ourselves not listen to the advice/counsel of others it is an indication of...

Mark 12:1-12: What God Requires of Us

There are a lot of requirements to meet in life. We have requirements at work, in relationships with family, with our spouse, and with our kids. How about as it pertains to government? Try not meeting the requirement of paying taxes and see how that goes. Well, God...

Mark 11:22-30: Have Faith In God

It is impossible to please God without faith (Heb 11:6). No one wants to "displease" God but faith is often a difficult concept to grasp, especially as we live it out in practice. Faith is not as linear as murder, adultery or lying, three clear prohibitions from...

Mark 11:12-19: How Our Church Bears Fruit to God

If we abide in Jesus we will bear fruit evidencing our relationship with Him and glorify God the Father (eg. John 15:5). It is was a failure in this area that caused God to remove Israel as the people through whom He was working in the world. In today's Mark passage,...