This World Needs Some Love
God's love is meant to transform us so we love Him and others. In a world where love is lacking, this can be easy to forget. Take a look at what Jesus says about the need for love and how you can "Never Lose Heart" with this message on Matthew 24:12-13.
It's often said, "When God shuts a door He opens a window."
But what do you do when the door is closing? See how we get to live as people of hope by digging into what God does in the lives of Moses' parents in Exodus 2:1-3.
If You've Ever Been Hurt By Someone, This Is For You. One of life's most difficult challenges is dealing with the ways people have hurt us. Thankfully, Jesus made reconciliation possible not just between God and us, but between us and others. He is "Healing Hearts."
1) When someone wrongs you, ask, "Am I in the place of God?" Then remind yourself what God's place is in all of this.
2) Christian forgiveness is not saying that the wrong someone did is okay or not a big deal. It means trusting that God is a God of justice who is setting everything right.
3) Our God is so big and so amazing that He can use the ways people break His world to bring healing to this world. That's what happened on the cross.
4) There is no wrong too awful that God won't use it to achieve something good.
5) There will be a day when your heart is completely healed and you are reconciled with others. The God who will heal you completely then is already at work in you now.
You're Going Somewhere
God has called you out so you can step forward in faith. Like Abraham, you're on "The Incredible Journey."
The Key to Significance
God worked through Noah to preserve humanity on the face of the earth. Talk about significant! What was central to Noah's life of significance can be central to ours as well. We are oBEdient.
Where real living begins!
We know we've been given a new life in Christ and want to live that way more and more. Sometimes it goes well. Other times, not so much. Sometimes it's a combination of the both. That's why we need to remember how this new life works!
1) We need God to carve out a pure heart in us that can be in His presence and partner with Him. When He does, it changes everything about how we live!
2) Even though God has accomplished great things in us, we all have been guilty of doing what is in our own best interest, with a complete disregard for others. None of us deserve God's favor or His Spirit.
3) Jesus was forsaken by God so justice could be served for our sins. Because of Him, we can confidently look to our God to give us life.
4) We get to ask God to give us a like-new spirit, solidly filling up our spiritual lungs so we can live.
5) God can bring us out into the light of His salvation, the light of Jesus and give us a willing spirit to step forward into life!
Are you hiding in the dark?
Stepping out into the light can feel scary. It means being honest about how we fall short. It means looking to God to cleanse every part of us. But there is a beautiful new life that's been given to us when we are "Living in the Light."
Is God Against Me?
Sometimes it can feel like everything in life is going against you, even God. But when we face life gets tough, we have every reason to embrace the love our Father is showing us.
Transformed through Christ we embrace lives of love!
1. Be disgusted by what is evil.
2. Be glued to what is good.
3. Value one another with brotherly love.
4. Be "all in" for God!
5. Joyfully anticipate good things to come, even when you are under pressure, through continual prayer!
You Have A Choice!
Choices can be difficult. But you've been given an amazing opportunity with "Your Choice. Today."
1) Even though God has done so much for us, there's a part of us that will sometimes feel like it's bad to serve God. We need to be honest about that.
2) If it seems bad to serve God, we need to ask ourselves, "What other god will we serve?" You were designed to worship. You will serve something or someone.
3) Serving God is not primarily about what we do for God but trusting what God has done, is doing and will do for and through us!
4) Even our ability to choose to trust God today is a gift from Him. It's all about His power!
5) When we're faced with the choice to serve God or another, it's an opportunity to turn to the God who has rescued us, is here with us and will always come through on His promises to us!
God Wants You To Grow!
But how are your growing conditions?
1) We can't make our faith grow. That's God's job. But we can remove barriers to growth and turn to Him to grow us!
2) When we want something different than what God offers, we're not ready to receive what He's giving. What wrong thing do you want or want the wrong way?
3) When our faith lacks deep roots, the pressure of life can make our faith shrink away. What stops your roots from growing deep? Self-reliance? Independence?
4) Biblical anxiety is when our mind is pulled in a variety of directions. When this happens, our faith may survive but it's hard to produce much fruit.
5) God turns our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. Spend time with your Father in prayer, look to His Word, Baptism and the Lord's Supper. See how much He can grow you!
You Don't Have It All Figured Out. But He Does!
It's hard to admit, but we really don't know what we need. God knows and thankfully we can trust the Spirit to speak for us and to guide us every step of the way!
1) Waiting to open a gift can be hard, especially when you're expecting something good but don't know what gift is in the box. Living our lives of faith can be the same way. We don't know exactly what resurrection life is going to be like and we don't know what good plans God has for this life!
2) At the core of everything broken about this world is the thought that we know what's good for us, not God.
3) The Holy Spirit knows what this broken world and we, as broken individuals, long for. He joins us, longs with us and expresses what we need to the Father.
4) The Holy Spirit expresses what we long for in a way that perfectly matches God's desire for us and our lives.
5) God set us apart for Himself and is guiding us according to His plan! Trust the Spirit who knows what our need and trust God to lead your life in a way that is good according to His plan!
You can't conquer it.
But it can't conquer Him.
Jesus is the NEMESIS of your NEMESIS.
Jesus rescues us - so we can now stand firm to the end as we look forward to a total revolution. Because Jesus lived a perfect life, died and rose again - He will return to bring the evil of this world to an end.
Feeling Stuck or Bogged Down?
Sometimes as we strive to live our faith we can feel stuck or get bogged down? When something similar happens with our computer or smartphone, a reboot does wonders! So, "What if you could Restart?
1) While God's law is good, it actually held us captive because it kept showing how we have failed to be what we were meant to be.
2) When God's law meets our sinful flesh, it actually energizes our sinful desires. This works in a variety of ways.
i. We magnify what we think about. If we think about what not to do, we magnify what not to do.
ii. If we focus on the law which shows how we fail, we magnify our guilt and shame.
iii. If we focus on the law and are able to follow certain parts of it well, we are susceptible to pride.
i. When we think too hard about what is meant to flow naturally, we make it complicated. Try thinking about breathing. It becomes difficult.
3) The problem with trying to overcome what's wrong in us by our own strength is that we're trying to overcome our sinful flesh with our sinful flesh.
4) But through Jesus' death, we died to that old way of the law, of sin and trying to do it ourselves. We've been restarted to live a new way!
5) We now live by the Spirit, the One who gives us faith to believe the promises of God. Believing the promises is eating the fruit that gives us a new life!
Is Your Life Heading The Right Direction?
We're bombarded every day with messages about what steps we should take next. How do we stay on track in our lives? Thankfully Jesus leads us "True North."
This Is Refreshing!
Feeling tired and worn? Refreshment is waiting! Jesus makes possible today for you to "revive."
1) Trees are pretty amazing, aren't they? As long as they're planted in soil with the right nutrients, they can thrive in the craziest of conditions. So can we!
2) You might not have noticed, but trees are central to your story.
a. We were meant to eat from the tree of life.
b. Our fundamental problem is that we take from the tree that looks good to us instead of the tree of life.
c. Jesus, by dying on the tree, is the new and greater tree of life.
d. Jesus is the vine, you are the branches and in Him you bear fruit!
3) When you stay in Jesus and His words stay in you, God will give you what you want because now you want what God wants!
4) Slow down. Stay in Jesus and let His words stay in you. You are transformed and God is glorified.
Maybe the Toughest Part About Being A Christian...
We love God and know He's good but there's power inside of us working against. Make some sense of what's going on, find confidence and hope for "The Battle Within."
Sometimes we live under restrictions that do not exist and act like we're under the power of something that no longer is master of us. It's time to live free and ask, "What Are You Standing Under?"
1) Through faith in Christ what's true of Him becomes true of you. He died for our sins so you died to sin. He rose to new life. Now you have a new life!
2) Temptation to sin is not merely a choice between right and wrong. It's a power struggle. When you sin you allow yourself to come under the power of something other than God.
3) Naturally we're born under the power of sin, missing the mark of what we were meant to be, unable to live the life we were meant to live. But no longer!
4) You've passed from death to life. The life you were meant to live has been given back to you!
5) You're under grace. God delights in you and so He gives you gift after gift, forgiveness, faith, power, purpose, calling, confidence, life that never ends!
"That sounds amazing God! So... How??? How do I experience that? How do I live this out? How do I receive it?"
Lean into the question "So... How???"
No Longer Depending On What Our Eyes Can See
Pastor Abrahamson shares a message from Hebrews 11:6. We get to live by faith and experience "What the Spirit Makes Possible...".
You Are NOT Powerless Today!
With all the stress that life pours on us and all the challenges to our faith, we can feel overwhelmed or even intimidated. But never forget who's working in you!
1) Believing in Jesus isn't just about knowing that Jesus did something for you. It's about being united with Christ. His story is now your story!
2) Jesus has done all the work of earning our salvation. Now we get to take what we've been given and work it out into our lives for the world to see.
3) Anytime you live out your faith, it is a result of God Himself working in you. This power never originates from you. He is your spiritual energy.
4) When the power of God is at work in us, it means living differently than the world around us. When we embrace this challenge by the power of God, we'll shine like stars!
5) God's Word is our charging station. There we're reminded that in baptism we've been connected to Christ. In the Lord's Supper we partner in Him!
Who/What Is Shaping Your Life?
Where we find our identity, purpose and fulfillment drives our lives. Thankfully, we've been given the gift of Sanctification (In the Narrow Sense) which means we get to live with the identity, purpose and fulfillment that God created us to have!
1) As beings who were made by a Creator for a purpose to achieve something significant, our need for identity, purpose and fulfillment is written into our DNA.
2) When we search for our identity, purpose and fulfillment in something other than God, we'll always miss the mark of what we were meant to be. We're living as slaves to sin.
3) We were baptized into Christ we died with Him. When He rose we rose. We no longer belong to a way of life that ends in death. We have real life!
4) Through faith in Christ we have been declared right with God. That means we are alive to:
a. God, the One who created us to be walking pictures of Him (identity)
b. Purpose (you have been given a life that is truly awe-some as a part of His plan)
c. Fulfillment (you've been set on the path of life with real, eternal significance)
When you know the truth, you have a new life!
Study John 17:17 and learn how God gives us "The Real Life."
Gifts Are Meant to Be Enjoyed!
Gifts are pretty amazing! It's great simply to open up the gift and see what's inside. But there's a second part. A gift is meant to be taken hold of and enjoyed!
1) When Jesus rose on Easter Sunday, He brought us the greatest gift. Like any gift, it's meant to be enjoyed!
2) We've embarked on a special new series called "Sanctification" which is all about taking hold of and living in the reality of the gift we've been given!
3) Naturally we were all born spiritually dead, unable to fulfill our intended purpose or live according to God's design.
4) Through faith in Christ, we are declared right with God. Simply because God delights in us, He has given us the gift of life! (Justification).
5) Every gift is meant to be enjoyed. God made us alive and prepared good works for us to do so that we can take hold of this gift and really live! (Sanctification)
We all want to live a good life.
God wants that for us too!
But what does a good life really look like?
Embark on a life-changing journey with our new sermon series digging into "Sanctification" and embrace the gift God has given us in "the good life."
Resurrection Is Real!
He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed! Those are such fun beautiful words. But even when we say those words, does the truth of Easter always sink into to our minds and hearts. This Easter season, may God bend our minds a bit with the truth of Easter!
1) Jesus finished the work of healing His world on Good Friday. He rested on the Sabbath. Easter morning was the time for new life to begin!
2) The empty tomb with an angel sitting in Jesus' spot left the women dumbfounded. But Jesus had prepared them for this moment.
3) We can see and hear what Jesus has done, and yet the truth of the event doesn't sink in.
4) But when we don't go running out to Resurrection, Resurrection came to us!
5) We live in a world where a man really died and then really rose, just like He said. Resurrection happened, is happening and will happen again!
Jesus finished the task.
The work is complete.
You're invited to join Him "Resting & Ready." Our final Lenten text from Mark's mini-series is chapter 15:42-47.
Time to Let Go!
When we look at Jesus on the cross we see more than just a dark scene of suffering. We see God giving us every reason to "Let Go" with Him.
1) God doesn't make us do things His way. He will let us go our own way if we choose and will let us experience the consequences that come along with it.
2) The ultimate consequence of our going our own way was let go on Jesus instead of us.
3) Jesus let go of His final breath because He had exhausted the power of sin and paid the debt that we owed.
4) When Jesus let go of His life, everything that separated us from God was let go as well! He is now up close and personal with us!
5) We get to let go of doing things our own way, of thinking we know what we need and how God should work. We get to let go and let God do it His way!
More Than Relatable
Our God entered our story. He suffered alongside us and for us. He understands us and rescues us. He is "The People's King."