May 28 “The Art of Telling the Truth” (Proverbs 12:19; 17:4; 25:15)
Speaking the truth is usually harder than we assume. If we expect truth to be our simple default in ordinary communication we can easily miss how often self-preservation and manipulation get higher priority than honesty. Speaking truth is a spiritual discipline – a way of learning to follow Jesus. There’s an art to telling the truth, an art that includes faith, gentleness and patience. All ways of earning the privilege to speak truth into some else’s life.
May 21 “A Word in Season” (Proverbs 18:21; 12:25; 15:23)
Everyone probably has a story about something someone said that was just what you needed to hear at just the right time – an encouragement, some helpful info, a bit of wise insight. Proverbs calls things like that “a word in season.” Communication is our most powerful tool as human beings, and while we should respect the dangers of using it poorly, God’s ultimate purpose is to use the times we speak up to add life to others’ lives.
May 7 “So That…” (Proverbs 20:5; 19:21; 11:14)
Communication improves with a shared sense of purpose. The more we understand and share another’s motivation, the better chance we have of communicating well. God’s wisdom in dealing with believers is to give us a shared sense of purpose through the person and teaching of his Son Jesus. Jesus’ message is a purpose that not only unites us, but it also connects us with the divine plan that will outlast any other human goal.
April 30 “The Ministry of Listening” (Proverbs 20:12; 18:13; 21:28)
Communication is a vital skill for every Christian, not just teachers and leaders. Every Christian life is meant to communicate the gospel message: “God is good, and Jesus Christ is Lord!” The better we communicate, the more clearly that message goes to the world. Good communication begins, according to the wisdom of Proverbs, not first with speaking, but rather with listening. When we seek both sides of a story and hear people out, we become ready to communicate in lasting ways.
April 23 “Tired?” (Matthew 11:25-30)
Just like medicines can warn that it’s hazardous to drive or operate machinery when you’re tired, spiritual tiredness can be a dangerous condition if not acknowledged. When church keeps us busy or we’re burdened with conflict or uncertainty we run the risk of believing that God depends on us. In response, Jesus offers his own unique, gracious rest – not a yoke to drag God along, but a yoke that gently leads where Jesus is going.
April 16 “The One Place Jesus Isn’t” (Matthew 28:1-20) [Easter Sunday]
The repeated assignment of Matthew’s Easter story is “Go and you will see!” When Jesus rises from the dead he seems to be almost everywhere – except one place. The tomb where everyone expected him to be! For us the Easter assignment still remains, to go follow Jesus outside of the typical “religious” walls and see him at work where we don’t expect!
April 13 “In Memory of Her” (Matthew 26:6-13) [Maundy Thursday]
“Wherever the gospel is proclaimed throughout the world what this woman has done will be told in memory of her.” This is the incredible promise that Jesus gave to an anonymous woman who did an extravagant thing – pouring an entire bottle of expensive ointment over Jesus’ head as a sign of love. Some brief meditation on this woman’s deep love for Jesus helps prepare our hearts for not just observing but experiencing the Passion of our Savior.
April 9 “A Good Excuse to Party” (Matthew 21:1-17) [Palm Sunday]
When Jesus fulfills Israel’s ancient promise of a savior king by riding into Jerusalem on a donkey it’s no wonder a party broke out. However, within 100 hours this same king was in big trouble for disrupting the status quo at Israel’s temple. To this day Palm Sunday is worth celebrating – Jesus is King! But in Holy Week and our own lives where on it’s worth asking: Do we want a king or just a good excuse to party?
March 26 “Forgiven Forgivers” (Matthew 26:20-35)
Through the new meaning he added to bread and wine on the night of the Last Supper Jesus created a union that is essential for forgiveness. Because of spiritual union with Christ believers can trust in the power of genuine forgiveness. Sin has been paid for in Christ’s death, and new life is already here in Christ’s resurrection. If by faith we are united with him, we can forgive knowing that we too are perfectly forgiven.
March 19 “The Road to Reconciled” (Matthew 18:12-20)
If you’ve ever experienced what it feels like to be let out of the “doghouse”, you know what a gift it is to be reconciled with someone. Forgiveness, according to Jesus, is the doorway to a broader goal – the road to reconciled. By the power of Jesus we can not only learn to heal from wounds between one another, but also we find that enemies can become friends. If we take seriously the careful, step-by-step guidance Jesus gives we can learn how to genuinely make things “good” between us and another once again.
March 12 “How Does Jesus Forgive? (Matthew 9:1-13)
There are plenty of definitions of forgiveness that can work in theory, but genuinely acting on forgiveness is the ultimate test. In calling the tax-collector Matthew to be his disciple Jesus models forgiveness that is and must be loving and truthful. As his followers Jesus calls us not to copy him, but to stay connected with him so that his same generous and genuine forgiveness can flow to others.
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March 5 “He Came to Forgive” (Matthew 9:1-8)
The church season of Lent highlights a period in Jesus’ life where the focus shifted to his ultimate and mysterious mission on earth: to forgive sins through his death and resurrection. When we as Christians want to tackle the often tough question of forgiveness in our own lives, it’s good to simply start with values. Jesus valued his call to forgive over everything else he did on earth. What if we too were to believe that there’s no good life without forgiveness?
January 22 “Letters from Ecuador” (John 15:12-17)
After three years of mission team visits to La Concordia, Ecuador we have helped finish the project of raising the roof over La Luz Evangelica Escuela (Light of the Gospel School)! For this Sunday’s service we hear letters from team members to share their experience while they are headed back home.
Sermon Archive: Check Out Previous Messages & Sermon Series
Discernment Feb 2017
A Word to You (Advent Series) Dec 2016
Christians in a Time of Politics Sep 2016
The Lord’s Prayer Jul-Aug 2016
Ordinary Courage (Lessons from the Life of Elijah) Apr-Jun 2016