Sermons (Page 2)

Empires and Exiles

Empires & Exiles – Part 3: Trial By Fire

You go to a movie with friends and find that you’re probably the only one uncomfortable with certain scenes that depict gratuitous violence or sex. You sign up for a sports team and learn only later that they require everyone to attend their Sunday morning practice, when you’re at church.  A mom in your neighborhood is struggling with her daughter’s decision to have an abortion and asks you what you think while you’re standing in front of her friends.  It may be easy to read the third chapter of Daniel and assume that you will never be “thrown into a fiery furnace” the way Daniel and his friends were – but we encounter situations every day that place us squarely at odds with our faith and personal convictions, whatever they may be. What kind of biblical advice can we expect in those situations when we face our own Trial By Fire. 

Empires and Exiles

Empires & Exiles – Part 2: Empires

History (and superhero movies) are full of examples of villains who would deal ever so severely with their perceived enemies, without blinking an eye. As we continue in the book of Daniel, we become acquainted with a king who had a reputation of making impossible demands – and of destroying anyone who did not obey. This king’s best advisors could not do what he had asked them to do – interpret a dream that was bothering him tremendously. The main character in our story – Daniel – had a reputation too, but quite a different one – that of serving a God and a kingdom that this king was unfamiliar with.  Daniel had also earned a reputation of being “ten times better” than all of the king’s advisors.  So the king decided to consult Daniel.  What can we learn from these dynamics that also reveals real struggles today between good and evil in our world, and what it means to uphold our integrity and convictions in difficult circumstances.

Empires and Exiles

Empires & Exiles – Part 1: Exiles

Have you ever experienced homesickness, the longing for your home away from home? In the book of Daniel, we read about a people that were experiencing much more than homesickness. They had been removed from their homeland, culture and everything they held dear, and thrust into exile in a foreign place and culture. Yet, despite the challenges, they thrived. What was the key?

Over the course of the next 7 weeks we are going to be diving into the first half of the book of Daniel. Daniel is full of great narratives and vivid imagery, that tell the story of God’s works in the midst of the most difficult of circumstances. It’s an encouragement in faithful living in exile.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Message

What was the last thing you were consciously thankful for? If you are like most people, the things that we have concern about seem to outweigh the things we are thankful for. A 2014 Forbes magazine article entitled, “7 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Gratitude That Will Motivate You To Give Thanks Year-Round” stated that research backs up the notion that being thankful is good for us. Why is being thankful about the good things in our lives more difficult than dwelling on life’s challenges? As we celebrate our national holiday of Thanksgiving we will look into God’s word to discover more about this subject.

Unfiltered

UNFILTERED: Big Questions. Honest Answers – Part 4

Christians talk a lot about the love of God – about a good God – sometimes to the point where it becomes difficult to comprehend how a good God can send people to hell – a place of eternal suffering. Didn’t Jesus accept everybody – tax collectors and prostitutes? The question of whether hell is real or whether God sends someone to hell or whether we make that choice ourselves – is not an appealing one. No one likes the idea of many people suffering judgment in the life to come. Why talk about it at all? Over the past few weeks we’ve been tackling some big questions with honest answers. We’ll conclude the series with this very question ‘How can a loving God send people to hell?’

Unfiltered

UNFILTERED: Big Questions. Honest Answers – Part 3

Today, it seems like anything goes. Lying is ok if you’re trying not to hurt someone’s feelings. Cheating is ok as long as no one finds out. If you act out violently against someone, you might think he deserved it. You hit someone’s car while parking and blame the other driver for parking so poorly. It’s ok to cut corners in a building construction to get the job done faster and save money. The saleslady gives you back too much change but it’s ok because it’s her mistake. It’s ok to have sex outside marriage because everyone is doing it. You might look at the values of the Christian faith and decide it’s too restrictive. There seem to be too many ‘thou shalt nots.’ Isn’t Christianity repressive? Good question. We’ll take a closer look at this.