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Sun, Jan 08, 2017
Duration: 40 mins 44 secs
We belong to God. This truth has special appeal to followers of Jesus who do not fit into the surrounding world. Peter wrote to a band of misfits and exiles, but called them elect and beloved. He assured them they belonged to God even though they faced hardship. Indeed, belonging to God is the most exceptional thing about a Christian.
Sun, Jan 01, 2017
Duration: 42 mins 48 secs
Staying in bounds strikes against ego and ambition. We tend to push against limits -- age, health, sleep, time, budget, morality -- and hurting ourselves and others. God provides boundaries to help us, teach us, and expand our impact. The apostle Paul impressed this notion on the Corinthians, who were persuaded by external comparisons and low standards of success. Great impact comes from embracing boundaries, not exceeding them.
Sun, Dec 11, 2016
Passage: Luke 2:8-20
Series: Christmas
Duration: 32 mins 45 secs
Christmas season comprises many wonders - lights, songs, family traditions, and commercial delights (e.g. Santa). It also boasts the most wonderful story: the birth of Jesus. The gospel of Luke captures this wonderful theme in its telling, but also implies there's something more than wonderful. There is worship. It is why God came: to defy the odds, break the norm, shatter strongholds, and make rebels into worshipers.
Sun, Dec 04, 2016
Duration: 42 mins 26 secs
God is our refuge and strength. Those who have persevered in their faith know God is a present help in trouble. And trouble will come, in various shapes and forms. To hold out for God instead of relying on self results in perseverance.
Sun, Nov 27, 2016
Duration: 40 mins 4 secs
Our hearts are prone to idolatry. They are allured by the local, functional, manageable nature of graven images. God's people played the harlot with idols, effecting the crisis of exile. Jeremiah challenges their "handmade cisterns," which they traded for the Living God. Unfortunately, idolatry is not only a "thing" problem, it is also a theology problem. Having an errant or insufficient view of God makes Him into an idol of the mind. We must avoid these graven images and embrace the Heavenly Father.
Sun, Nov 20, 2016
Passage: Job 1:1-2:13
Duration: 45 mins 39 secs
Job suffered. It was not because he deserved it. No: He was righteous. But good works don't always merit you a good life. In fact, sometimes bad people enjoy good things. God knows His world is not always neat and tidy. He allows us to suffer to refine our faith. And as we face misfortune, prayer keeps us God-focused.
Sun, Nov 13, 2016
Duration: 36 mins 56 secs
Crisis will come in life. We cannot escape it; there is no crisis-proofing life. However, when we view crisis as God's curriculum for a resilient faith and take action through trust, prayer, reason, and perseverance, we see God use hard times for His good. Joseph serves as a profile of resilient faith. His personal crises - betrayal, slavery, slander, imprisonment, and separation from his father - build his trust in God and allow him to help others.
Sun, Nov 06, 2016
Passage: Luke 17:11-19
Duration: 40 mins 52 secs
One of ten lepers Jesus healed was exceptional. By his gratitude he stood out from the group. This Samaritan outcast returned to Jesus to express his thanks and set a precedent for all who want to experience the full, whole, healed life. Gratitude is essential to following Jesus.
Sun, Oct 30, 2016
Duration: 41 mins 30 secs
God calls us to kill the bitter root growing within our hearts (not kill our enemies). We all have traces of bitterness, whether directed toward politicians, celebrities, or people who have slighted us in our past. This emotion is not foreign to the Bible. In fact, God's people felt bitter rage in a foreign land. "By the streams of Babylon, I sat down and wept," beings one of the rawest psalms. It moves from bitter weeping to nostalgia to rage. God hears our rage, and asks us to hand it to Him.
Sun, Oct 23, 2016
Duration: 40 mins 51 secs
God's world inspires wonder. He has stamped creation with diversity, complexity, enormity, abundance, and personality. Reflecting on the creation account of Genesis 1-2, Psalm 104 restores our WonderLUST and moves us to praise our Wise Creator
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