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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

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

Repent and Believe or Perish

Each decision we make involves a certain belief about the future. So what if we knew the future precisely? If you knew there was going to be an attack or horrible accident at work the next day, would you go? No, and you’d warn your coworkers as well. Similarly, if you knew there was a day of judgment coming, and you could be saved by repenting and believing in Jesus, would you?

Jesus knows the future and pleads with us to make the decision to repent today in light of the future day of judgment.

Scripture: Luke 13:1-9

 

A Word from Jesus to our Covetous Hearts

Seneca → “Be harsh with yourself at times.” Sometimes. Not always. At certain moments in life, lean into the bathroom mirror, squint your eyes and project pessimism at the person you see.

Scripture: Luke 12:13-21

*There were some issues with the recording of the audio in the video and unfortunately the audio quality is poor. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Whose Neighbor Are You (and why it matters)?

To love God is to love our neighbor. But who is our neighbor? Is Jesus referring to the person who lives next to us or is there something more going on here?

Scripture: Luke 10:25-37

Humble Dependence Upon the Father

Too often we live our lives apart from a dependence on the Father. One pastor said that inattentiveness is the main reason for a difficult and unhealthy relationship. In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus teaches us how to pray, and foundational to all, it is a reliance upon Him, rather than ourselves.

Scripture: Luke 11:1-4

What Did Jesus Just Say?!?

When you hear the word father what comes to your mind? For some, positive images and experiences pop into their mind. For others, nothing but heartache and discouragement. People have all sorts of perspectives and experiences when they hear the word dad; some good and some not so good. In the same way, when you hear the word “judge” or “judgment” what comes to mind? For most, I would imagine, less than encouraging experiences or feelings come to mind. And yes, Jesus speaks to how we are to judge. What does He mean? Surely, He doesn’t mean what we read about in Matthew 7:1-5?!? Let’s walk through this passage together and figure out what Jesus meant and what He didn’t.

Scripture: Matthew 7:1-5

Kingdom Life

Who is Jesus? In his Gospel, Matthew shows Him to be the One who brings the life of Israel to completion. He brings the Kingdom with Him, and preaches the Good News that Kingdom Life can be experienced both now and forever through repentance and faith in Him. Living this kingdom life is impossible on our own. We are called to be Kingdom people today, and for that we must have…

A new heart
A new perspective, and
A new Master.

Scripture: Matthew 6:19-24

Jesus on Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage

The rate of divorce and remarriage among both Christians and non-Christians reveals that marriage has been reduced to a consumer relationship for most people. Jesus teaches us that divorce is an assault on the character of God, and smudges the picture of God’s purposes in the world because He is the One who makes covenants and always keeps them. He is always faithful and true. Marriage among followers of Jesus ought to point people to the love, faithfulness and glory of God. We believe that when we submit to the Gospel in our marriages, repentance of sin, forgiveness, reconciliation and a growing joy in your marriage is always possible.

Scripture: Matthew 5:31-32; 19:1-9; Deut. 24:1-4

Jesus Taught His Disciple (Part 2)

Jesus taught His disciples (those who were committed to following Him) what it meant to be His disciple. He gives a series of “blessed’s” or promises that will fully come to fruition when Jesus returns for the people of God. But these blessed’s/promises will certainly alter the lives of those who are following King Jesus while here on earth. It will alter their life in four ways based on Matthew 5:7-12. Those who are following Jesus will be merciful. They will be pure in heart. They will be peacemakers. They will indirectly be persecuted because of their faithfulness in obedience to King Jesus.

Scripture: Matthew 5:7-12