Growing in Friendship

To be wise is to understand how to choose friends, cultivate your friendships and understand where the power of friendship comes from. In fact, you won’t live a wise life and you won’t make it in life if you’re not skilled in choosing, seeing and cultivating friendships. Solomon, in Proverbs, even goes so far to say that fools (individuals who lack wisdom) perish for a lack of friends.

Let’s walk through a portion of the Book of Proverbs and see what God tells us concerning friendship.

Scripture: Proverbs 17:17, 18:24, 27:5-6, 9, 17; John 15:12-17

Being Set Apart By The King

In Matthew 28:16-20, we come to the end of a journey with Jesus – birth, life, death, burial and resurrection. These five verses are called the Great Commission. What does it mean to be great? Great seems to be a shallow word because it’s used so regularly. Great game, great food, great wedding, great product. The Great Commission speaks to the fact that no other mission is more significant than this one. It is the greatest commission. To go to the ends of the earth to declare the Kingship of Jesus.

Scripture: Matthew 28:16-20

Jesus Our King

Jesus is not the king we (or Israel) asked for or wanted, but He is the king we desperately need. He is a paradoxical king. He didn’t come to overthrow the Roman empire or to establish a political party. He comes not to save us from the political powers that rule over us but the sinful powers that rule in us. In short, Jesus didn’t come to rule a nation, but to rule our hearts.

And just as any new King, President or Prime Minister does when they come into power, they clear house. When Jesus is king of our life, He sits on the throne of our heart. All other sources of authority and forms of empty faith are removed.

If we’ll evaluate our retirement portfolio’s year-end performance or measure our academic success through our GPA, how much more should we make a habit of evaluating our heart this upcoming year? Below are our church’s five measures for evaluating our hearts and whom is in control of them.

1. Have I spent time with God today?
2. Am I living the life of a generous giver?
3. Am I close to someone far from God?
4. Do I look like Jesus to all the people and places He has sent me?
5. Am I seeking forgiveness and forgiving others as needed?

Scripture: Matthew 21:1-11

Jesus Is Our Great High Priest

Jesus is our great high priest who offers Himself for our atonement, which means He steps in on our behalf and pays the penalty and consequence for our sin.

As our great high priest we 1) hold fast our confession of Jesus as the prophet, priest and king and 2) we draw near to Him. Jesus sympathizes with us in our weakness and our prayers, efforts are met with kindness and compassion.

Jesus Our Prophet

In the Old Testament, God anointed people for special roles. He anointed prophets to be the change agents for society, speaking His word to the people. He anointed priests to be mediators between Himself and the people, and He anointed Kings to lead, protect and provide for His people. Put together, these three designations act like lenses that help us get a clear picture of who Jesus is so that we would know Him more fully, trust Him more deeply and follow Him more closely. As our prophet, Jesus brings us the truth, He is the truth and He saves and sends us with His truth.

Scripture: Hebrews 1:1-3; Acts 3:17-26

Don’t Trust In Yourself

Prayer is a window into our soul → prayer lays bare the human heart and Jesus time-and-time-again tells us He’s concerned with the heart. This parable tells us many things – one undeniable truth is that “God knows the difference between a parade of righteousness and the intention of the heart.” -James Edwards

Scripture: Luke 18:9-14

The Great Reversal

The main point of this passage → It’s not that poor people go to heaven while rich people go to hell. The point is that people who live, love and trust in the things of this world will find that heaven is not their destiny, while those who live, love and trust in heavenly things, namely, Jesus, will find that heaven is their home.

Scripture: Luke 16:19-31

From Pink Slip to Promotion

Far too many people only plan and prepare for their immediate future rather than where they will spend eternity. Here in Luke 16, Jesus presses home the truth that we need to plan and prepare for the future not just the here and now.

Scripture: Luke 16:1-13

Keep Your Eyes On The Road

We continue in our series, The Power of Stories, as Pastor Nate Millican takes us through Luke 15:11-32. Listen to hear how, as believers, we are to not check out, but to be intrigued and in awe of the amazing, redemptive love God has for us and all lost souls, and to keep our eyes on Him.

Scripture: Luke 15:11-32

Lost, Found, Joy

Jesus tells a story about a lost sheep and the shepherd who searches for it, and brings it home with joy. He tells a story about a lost coin and the woman who sweeps her house for it and when she finds it, she celebrates! Then Jesus says He’s not talking about a sheep or a coin, a shepherd or a woman. He’s talking about people who are lost, the God who cares for them, loves them and searches for them, and when He finds the lost, He brings you all the way with great joy. Jesus’ story is meant to convict the “insiders” about their lack of love and concern for lost people, and comfort people who are lost, that no matter how far you may feel you are from God, He loves you enough to seek you out until He finds you and brings you home!

Scripture: Luke 15:1-10