Sun, Nov 14, 2021
Duration: 44 mins 12 secs
Esther's second feast has begun. King Xerxes has run out of patience. Haman is covered in shame. When the king asks Queen Esther for her petition and requests, she offers a brilliant, calibrated response, which exposes her Jewish identity and accuses Haman of attempted genocide. Things go from bad to worse for Haman, when the king catches Haman draped over his wife. Now he has a reason to impale Haman, who ends up dead on the very pole he crafted for Mordecai's execution. Reversals continue in this dramatic book: here it begins when Esther comes out of hiding.
Sun, Oct 03, 2021
Duration: 45 mins 45 secs
Exile dramatically shaped Jewish history. It was their low point, rock bottom. In exile, they began to reinterpret the past, pour out their laments, and grasp for hope. Some Jews in exile grew rigid. Others became fragile. Those that comprised the faithful remnant remained flexible: seeking the peace of the foreign city while staying faithful to God's commands. Esther 2:5-20 provides an historical glimpse into this period of exile and how two Jews--Mordecai and Esther--sought to live faithfully, albeit imperfectly, in the age of exile.
Sun, May 16, 2021
Duration: 52 mins 46 secs
Sexual identity has become a central aspect of cultural changes in the past few decades. Not only has society broadened its sexual ethic and expanded its definition of marriage and family, evangelical Christians have wrestled to understand and welcome openly gay believers like they understand and welcome those whose lives are colored by alcoholism, anxiety, greed, and pornography. In short, the balance of grace and truth is challenging. This sermon provides a brief history of the LGBTQ ascendance, key terms, a look at key texts about gay sexual practice, and four postures for responding like Jesus.
Sun, Nov 01, 2020
Evil exists in our world. If we're not careful, we'll feed it or fall into its trap. Fortunately, the apostle Paul describes a posture, perspective, and protection available to us as we battle spiritual powers. And, when in doubt, we can pray: it is the bottom line weapon in apprehending God's protection over us.
Sun, Oct 18, 2020
Duration: 50 mins 18 secs
Sometimes we can buy knock off brands and generic products. They're close enough to the real thing that we'll gladly accept them. But no one likes a cheap imitation. RC Cola can't rival Coke. Rose Art can't copy Crayola. In Ephesians, the apostle Paul calls us to imitate Jesus. He's the real thing. We can imitate him by living a life of purity, mission, and wisdom. Without these attributes or the aid of His Spirit, our lives are a cheap imitation.
Sun, Feb 24, 2019
Duration: 43 mins 51 secs
We seek and receive identities from every sphere of life. We are known by our family role, work title, recreational habits, ethnic background, academic achievements, and personal quirks. Doctor. Dad. Delinquent. Sister. Snob. Southerner. God gives us our truest identity: adopted sons and daughters. Jesus secured this new identity for us, sending his Spirit to imbibe us. It is our task to embrace this new ID.
Sun, Jun 10, 2018
Duration: 46 mins 18 secs
The churches in Revelation dealt with timeless problems. The church of Sardis struggled with an identity crisis. God sees through their religious act; He knows their spirits need renewal. As do ours. This message encourages us to find our true name in God.
Sun, Mar 19, 2017
Duration: 46 mins 29 secs
Christians feel tension today, especially as they engage culture from the margins. Hot topics like gender, sexuality, politics, race, immigration, and the Bible make people's blood boil. Followers of Jesus must practice humility and resist the urge to drift in their convictions. However, Peter's final encouragement to his readers does not center on standing firm on moral convictions, as much as standing firm in their fixed, future standing as God's called out people.
Sun, Jan 29, 2017
Duration: 40 mins 13 secs
We think of honor as something we earn, win, or achieve. In Peter's day, honor was one's inherited or ascribed worth, but symbolized by one's titles, dress, headpiece, and seat at the table. Strangers and foreigners had no honor, unless ascribed by a higher authority. Fortunately for Peter's audience (and the modern church), the Heavenly Father grants honor to His people. He granted them a new and marvelous identity in Christ: chosen race, royal priesthood, holy nation, God's possession.
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.