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  • That's Messed Up! (Week 5)

    That's Messed Up!
     (Week 5)

    July 1: Our Mess. God's Mercy.

                   

    The ending of Judges requires an adult I.D. to read. A woman chopped into pieces and mailed throughout Israel? That’s really messed up! But the Spirit inspired this story to prove two points. First, that life falls apart when everyone does what they think is right. Second, that God does not give up on people after the most disgusting sins.

  • That's Messed Up! (Week 4)

    That's Messed Up!
     (Week 4)

    June 24: Press On In Faith

                   

    Gideon seemed so good. The humble farmer who became a Sunday School hero. But the fame went to his head and good ol’ Gideon died as a spiritual adulterer and snare for his people. That’s messed up! But the story reminds us to fight the good fight through the final round, run the race until the last step, and worship God until our final breath.

  • That's Messed Up! (Week 3)

    That's Messed Up!
     (Week 3)

    June 17: Gender & God

                   

    A quivering commander. A female savior. A housewife who plunges a tent peg through a general’s brain. That’s messed up! But that’s what happened in Deborah’s day. Her unlikely story proves that God blesses and saves his people through those we would least expect—little children, common mothers, and a carpenter from Nazareth.

  • That's Messed Up! (Week 2)

    That's Messed Up!
     (Week 2)

    June 10: Saved By Surprise

                   

    A powerful king is murdered on his own toilet by a left-handed spy. That’s messed up! But it reminds us of the surprising facts of our salvation. It is surprising that we would turn our backs on God after all of his goodness to us. It is surprising that God would send a deliverer to save us anyway. And it is the epitome of surprise that God himself would be murdered shamefully to save us from our spiritual slavery.

  • That's Messed Up! (Week 1)

    That's Messed Up!
     (Week 1)

    June 3: Repeat Redeemer

                   

    God saves. His people sin. God saves again. His people sin again. That’s jacked up! The story of ancient Israel is almost hard to believe. Why would they give up the God who rescued them from Egypt and gave them the promised land? Yet they did exactly that. But instead of leaving them to the consequences of their sin, God heard their cry for help and redeemed his people time and time and again. Thankfully, the same God does the same thing for sinners who struggle with same problem today.

  • Jesus Say What?!? (Lent 2018 - Week 7c)

    Jesus Say What?!?
     (Week 7c)

    April 1: Easter Sunday

                   

    Jesus rose from the dead? Say what? And that means we don’t have to fear sin or death? Say what? That sounds like great news! (Mark 16)

  • Jesus Say What?!? (Lent 2018 - Week 7b)

    Jesus Say What?!?
     (Week 7b)

    March 30: Good Friday (St. Peter 2pm service)

                         

    March 30: Good Friday (CORE 6:30pm service)

                         

    My God! Why have you forsaken me? How is it possible that two people who share the same essence could be ripped apart on the cross? But Jesus was forsaken, treated as a sinner instead of the beloved Son of the Father. He died. Why? So that the curtain could tear in two and sinners could become sons, enjoying life in God’s presence. (Mark 15:33-39)

  • Jesus Say What?!? (Lent 2018 - Week 7a)

    Jesus Say What?!?
     (Week 7a)

    March 29: Maundy Thursday

                  

    Jesus, in his humanity, begged the Father for another way besides the cup of his wrath. Yet he submitted everything, even his own will, to honor his father and save his sleeping “friends.” Jesus’ love is perhaps never better seen than his willingness to stay awake and endure for those who did not. (Mark 14:32-42)

  • Death To Selfie (Week 7)

    Death To Selfie
     (Week 7)

    March 25: Death to Approval

                   

    You would think that an extravagant offering for Jesus would receive the approval of the church. Not so. Judas and others criticized the the woman who anointed Jesus. The same thing happens today. Follow Jesus and the world might not approve. You’re wasting time. Wasting money. Wasting energy. Wasting your life. But Jesus defends those who love him. His approval is what matters the most, since it lasts forever.

  • Jesus Say What?!? (Lent 2018 - Week 6)

    Jesus Say What?!?
     (Week 6)

    March 21: 
    Jesus Will Never Abandon You 

                  

    Who would have expected an apostle to betray the Son of God? No one would. Who would have thought the most devoted disciple of Jesus would disown his Lord three times? No one would. But the events of Thursday night remind us that we are not as strong as we think. Thankfully, Jesus knows and is willing to forgive those who are too confident of their own holiness. (Mark 14:17-31)

  • Death To Selfie (Week 6)

    Death To Selfie
     (Week 6)

    March 18: Death to Comfort

                   

    Jesus’ “pep talk” about the end of the age was less than comforting. Wars. Earthquakes. Flogging. Arrest. Hatred. Are we willing to walk with Jesus during the end times? Be hated? Die for him? If you know his promise of salvation and election, the answer is easy—Yes!

  • Jesus Say What?!? (Lent 2018 - Week 5)

    Jesus Say What?!?
     (Week 5)

    March 14: 
    Stay Woke & Worship

                   

    Keep watch! Jesus repeated the command to a snooze-loving culture. We assume there’s plenty of time until the Master returns, but he will arrive at an hour we do not expect. So, put to death your delayed repentance, your serious pursuit of God, and keep watch! (Mark 13:32-37)

  • Death To Selfie (Week 5)

    Death To Selfie
     (Week 5)

    March 11: Death to Fame

                   

    The rich gave massive offerings that day in the Temple. But Jesus didn’t say a word or hand out an award. Instead, he noticed and praised the poorest widow who quietly gave the “smallest offering.” In our day of public recognition, what would Jesus say? He would ignore those who praise themselves and praise those who serve God in secret.

  • Jesus Say What?!? (Lent 2018 - Week 4)

    Jesus Say What?!?
     (Week 4)

    March 7: 
    The Most Important Commandment = LOVE

                  

    What is the most important of the 600+ laws? Love! Love God and love one another. That is the most important commandment. In our hate-filled world, that kind of sacrificial love, given freely at Jesus’ cross, is what we so desperately need. (Mark 12:28-34)

  • Death To Selfie (Week 4)

    Death To Selfie
     (Week 4)

    March 4: Death to Defensiveness

                   

    The teachers of the law knew Jesus spoke his scathing Parable of the Tenants against them. Yet instead of repenting of their shocking sins, they looked for a way to kill Jesus. They cared more about their embarrassment than their relationship with God. How about us? Jesus is willing to embarrass himself to become the capstone of our faith. Will will you cling to your image? Or will he become marvelous in your eyes?

  • Jesus Say What?!? (Lent 2018 - Week 3)

    Jesus Say What?!?
     (Week 3)

    February 28: 
    Give To God What Is God's

                  

    Jesus’ enemies tried to pull him into a political trap, relying on the sharp divisions of their day. He escaped, by reminding them of a third option. In our world, Jesus would refuse to engage in the political divisions, instead affirming and critiquing those on both sides of the aisle. He pushes us beyond simplistic solutions to complex cultural problems. In the process, he reminds us that only God can solve our greatest dilemmas. (Mark 12:13-17)

  • Death To Selfie (Week 3)

    Death To Selfie
     (Week 3)

    February 25: Death to Authority

                   

    Authority. Jesus’ enemies adored it. They refused to submit to Jesus’ teaching, even when caught in their own duplicity. They missed finding true life because they refused to die to having the last word. Modern Americans face the same dilemma. Will Jesus be the Lord who gets the last word? Or will we cling to our plastic gavels and tell Jesus what to do?

  • Jesus Say What?!? (Lent 2018 - Week 2)

    Jesus Say What?!?
     (Week 2)

    February 21: 
    True Greatness Comes By Servitude

                  

    Even the apostles wanted to be great. But Jesus forced them to die to the world’s definition of greatness and turned them to true greatness—service and sacrifice. Just like Jesus himself was about to demonstrate to make them great in the eyes of God. (Mark 11:35-45)

  • Death To Selfie (Week 2)

    Death To Selfie
     (Week 2)

    February 18: Death to Our Wealth Affair

                   

    Jesus’ command shocks us as much now as it shocked his first followers back then. Sell everything you have. Give to the poor. It is hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. But Jesus knew exactly what the rich young man needed—to die to his idols. Jesus confronts our idolatrous loves too, but promises not only to save us from our sins, but to reward all those who die to the riches of this world.

  • Jesus Say What?!? (Lent 2018 - Week 1)

    Jesus Say What?!?
     (Week 1)

    February 14: Ash Wednesday
    Jesus Gives The Unexpected

                  

    Who would have thought that the Messiah would be tortured, spit on, and killed? But that’s exactly what Jesus predicted before his triumphant entry into Jerusalem. What expectations do you have as you go through life? What the culture has taught you about the Christian life? Or what God has promised? Expectations are everything, so expect a cross. And expect a crown! (Mark 10:32-34)

  • Death To Selfie (Week 1)

    Death To Selfie
     (Week 1)

    February 11: Death Wish

                   

    Jesus’ words shock us as much now as they shocked his first followers back then. You must die. You must deny yourself. You must crucify the old you in order to find the real you. Jesus confronts us with the flesh’s biggest foe—self. But he promises us true life in the kingdom of God, something so glorious and beautiful that every human being should wish to die to themselves and follow him.

  • Give, Save, Live (Week 3)

    Give, Save, Live
     (Week 3)

    November 19: God The Spirit Lives

                   

    God is in the joy-giving business. He is not a money-hungry owner that denies his money managers any personal pleasure. Instead, God created a beautiful world and gave us money to enjoy it. Some imply you should feel guilty for any personal spending (as if owning a TV was a mortal sin when so many people in the world are starving). But if we have given first and saved second, we do not need to feel guilt in living off the rest, to enjoying the places God created, the food God grew, the technology God allowed us to develop. He gives these things for our pleasure! So, be generous first and enjoy the rest to his glory.

  • Give, Save, Live (Week 2)

    Give, Save, Live
     (Week 2)

    November 12: God The Son Saves

                   

    The Proverbs picture a wise person as one who doesn’t squander every last dollar like a prodigal child. They leave an inheritance for their children’s children. Yet Americans have nothing left to save. The vast majority, despite the shocking wealth of our time, are living in debt. Why? Because we are trying to save ourselves from boredom (new toys), from being average (new clothes, bigger homes), from sadness (vacations and upgraded phones). Yet, the short-term pleasure doesn’t last long and we end up needing to be saved. But God saves. Jesus’ atoning work saves us from being separated from God. In his presence we find the secret of being content and are able to spend less and save more.

  • Give, Save, Live (Week 1)

    Give, Save, Live
     (Week 1)

    November 5: God The Father Gives

                   

    God so loved the world that he gave. Those famous words are the heart of our salvation, but they also show us the heart of God. He is a giver. Do you believe that? Everything we have and own and enjoy is ours because our Father in heaven is a giver. Every good and perfect gift comes from him. He knows what we need and supplies daily bread. Worry and financial fear dissolve when we see God as the perfect combination of endless resources and endless love. Only then are our hearts equipped to imitate God and become a cheerful giver.

  • [caps lock] JESUS (Week 8)

    [caps lock] JESUS (Week 8)

    September 6:  One Another Notes / Podcast

    The conclusion of Paul’s letters reminds us that Paul wasn’t a lone ranger in life or in ministry.  He spends paragraphs sending greetings to his friends and from his friends.  Even in prison, Paul was surrounded by “one another”.  In the same way, we are striving to be a church that doesn’t just gather to listen to a pastor, but truly does life with “one another”.  

  • [caps lock] JESUS (Week 7)

    [caps lock] JESUS (Week 7)

    August 30:  Me & Authority  Notes / Podcast

    Everyone deals with authority.  Either we are under someone else’s authority (as children, employees, etc.) or we are in a position of authority (as head of the household, parent, boss, etc.).  So, how does Jesus change our view of authority?  In a radical way!  Jesus gives those under authority the greatest reason to humbly serve and Jesus gives those in authority the greatest reason to humbly lead.  

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  • [caps lock] JESUS (Week 6)

    [caps lock] JESUS (Week 6)

    August 23:  God's Kids Do Good  Notes / Podcast

    Finding your identity in Jesus changes everything.  You set your mind on the things of Jesus because Jesus is your life.  You put to death the old sinful patterns and embrace the “new you” who is remade into the image of God.  Paul encourages the Colossians (and us) to fix our thoughts on Jesus in heaven and let our lives follow His ways.  

  • [caps lock] JESUS (Week 5)

    [caps lock] JESUS (Week 5)

    August 16:  Endangered Jesus  Notes / Podcast

    Every culture believes it has found something better than Jesus.  The Colossians battled Jewish ritualism, hyper-spiritual angel worshipers, and more.  That is why Paul trumpeted the “bigness” of Jesus.  Only Jesus is God in human flesh.  Only Jesus can make you spiritually alive.  Only Jesus can take away sins.  Therefore, cling to Jesus!  In 2015 America, there are plenty of philosophies that claim to be better than “old time Christianity” (e.g. vague spirituality, follow-your-feelings-philosophy, scientism, ritualistic religion, etc.), but none can offer the glorious blessings Jesus can.  So, cling to Jesus!  

  • [caps lock] JESUS (Week 4)

    [caps lock] JESUS (Week 4)

    August 9:  Labor Pains  Notes / Podcast

    Proclaiming a supreme Jesus is not easy.  Paul is suffering (and writing this letter from prison!) and knew he would suffer more for the gospel.  Yet, like a mother’s labor pains, this suffering has a purpose—to make people perfect through faith in Jesus.  In our day, we might suffer for bold gospel proclamation, yet those “labor pains” are producing beautiful sons and daughters of God!  

  • [caps lock] JESUS (Week 3)

    [caps lock] JESUS (Week 3)

    August 2:  We Believe In [caps lock] JESUS!  Notes / Podcast

    Some people think of Jesus as a guru, a guide, a rabbi, or a wise teacher.  But Paul insists Jesus is much, much more.  Jesus is the creator of Saturn, the respiratory system, and the water cycle.  Jesus is the One who ensures God doesn’t go to war against sinners.  Jesus is the one who gave his life so that sinners could be free from sin’s accusations.  Our Jesus is supreme.  Our Jesus is truly [caps lock] JESUS.  

  • [caps lock] JESUS (Week 2)

    [caps lock] JESUS (Week 2)

    July 26:  What Pastors Pray  Notes / Podcast

    Paul passionately prayed that the Colossians would walk with God (aka live a God-pleasing life).  That is why he prayed for their knowledge, both knowledge of God’s law, which would guide them down the right walking path, and knowledge of the gospel of Jesus, which would energize them to follow that same path.  In the same way, we pray passionately for a deep knowledge of both the law and the gospel.  

  • [caps lock] JESUS (Series Summary & Week 1)

    [caps lock] JESUS (Week 1)

    July 19:  Changed  Notes / Podcast

    When Paul heard about the Colossians, he couldn’t stop thanking God.  Their faith in Jesus and their love for people was obvious, and it was growing.  But Paul knew faith and love don’t produce themselves, but rather “spring from” the promises of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, he thanked God for transforming the Colossians’ hearts.  In the same way, our church leaders thank God when they see and hear about your faith in Jesus and the evident love you have for others.  

    [caps lock] JESUS (Series Summary)

    • July 19:  Changed
    • July 26:  What Pastors Pray
    • August 2:  We Believe In [caps lock] JESUS!
    • August 9:  Labor Pains
    • August 16:  Endangered Jesus
    • August 23:  God's Kids Do Good
    • August 30:  Me & Authority
    • September 6:  One Another

    Is Jesus enough?  That is the 2,000 year old question every religion, philosophy, and spirituality has been trying to answer.  When it comes to intelligence, wisdom, understanding, morality, salvation, forgiveness, marriage, money, work, and life, is Jesus enough?  The answer depends on what kind of Jesus you believe in.  [caps lock] JESUS is a verse-by-verse study of Colossians, Paul’s New Testament letter, which reminds us who Jesus actually is and how the real Jesus is actually enough.