Posts

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

Christ-Centered Obedience

Our day to day lives, our thoughts, our attitudes, our words and actions ought to be directed and fueled by the future reality of our victory in Christ when he returns! We move through days or seasons of our lives when it’s hard, we suffer and hurt. That’s when it’s especially needful for us to “set our hope fully on the grace that will be revealed when Jesus comes” and not to revert back to our former way of living before we knew Jesus.

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:13-16

 

Don’t Measure Me!

Having a covenantal understanding of God means we realize that in Jesus we have God’s pleasure, acceptance, favor, forgiveness and our identity is that of a son/daughter of the King. Because of the change in our identity we delight and find joy in obeying Jesus. In this message, Pastor Nate walks through the church’s “Measures”, which are questions designed to ask yourself, as well as others in the church about how we’re doing in our commitment to put Jesus first for the sake of others.

Scripture: Matthew 19:16-30; Hebrews 5:11-6:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10, 4:10; 1 John 4:18-21

 

The Pathway of the Blessed

Frank Sinatra’s song “My Way” expresses one of America’s highest aspirations/ideals, that of the self-made man, the self-sufficient/reliant woman; we don’t need anyone. I’m autonomous/independent. I’ll do things my way. I’ll make my decisions. I don’t need anyone else. That’s really the opposite of what we see in Scripture.

Psalm 1 teaches us that choosing our own road/pathway only leads to destruction/despair. In order to have hope we need to walk along the pathway of God’s instruction.

Scripture: Psalm 1

Submission: The Way of a Christian

In a world being ravaged by sin, and feeling the pain of God’s design forsaken, believing wives/husbands have the opportunity to demonstrate what true human flourishing looks like in the home BUT too often the home is a battleground. If we would apply God’s truth to our lives we would see a lot less turmoil in the home AND more God-honoring marriages.

Scripture: 1 Peter 3:1-7

Submission: The Way of a Jesus Follower

All authority comes from God and disobedience to those authorities is an insult to God WHO is the ground/foundation of authority…he gives us a fixed principle AND then Peter takes that principle and applies it to a couple specific situations/circumstances.

Submitting to authority is one way in which we preach the gospel of Christ, as Jesus submitted to authorities and consequently brought about the reality of the gospel.

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:13-25

What To Do When You’re Depressed or Discouraged

Do we see discouragement/depression in the Bible? Yes, we do! So what do you do when you’re depressed or discouraged? Psalm 42 is a passage of Scripture that teaches us what we should do amid difficult, depressing times.

We should do the following:

  • Be honest with God in our struggles
  • Ask God questions with a posture of faith
  • Preach truth to our heart
  • Hope in God

Scripture: Psalm 42; 2 Corinthians 1:8; Mark 14:34

Remembering Our Profession

As believers in Christ was must live in reverential fear because God judges, God judges impartially and God judges according to our deeds. In light of the fact that you’ve called on God as Father (who judges AND does so impartially and according to your life) Christians must conduct themselves with fear.

  • Deut 4:10 8:6 – why fear? Fear of the Lord informs all of life. D.A. Carson on how there isn’t enough fear in the church today. We don’t ignore God OR treat Him casually – fear of offending Him or living our Christian life in a sloppy manner.
  • Why fear God? God is gentle, compassionate, merciful, etc., BUT He’s also holy, righteous, just and He’s the Creator, King, Warrior, etc.
  • Not the fear of a ruthless master BUT a healthy and fervent respect a believer has for an all-powerful God

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:17-21; Matthew 25; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Deut 4:10, 8:6

Knowing Who We Are Through Difficulties

Peter wants to establish that Christians are people of hope — a living hope that is rooted in the resurrection of Jesus — so that as they go through suffering they’ll have a perspective that compels them to:

  1. continue to live obedient lives and
  2. not despair…as this is part of following Jesus.

No matter how disciplined, organized and faithful we are, the reality is that we are sinners living in a sin-cursed world with other sinners. Nothing we can do will ever change that reality. We are surrounded by discouraging, hurtful and sinful realities – Jesus is very candid about our diagnosis; it’s bad and we need help; we need a Rescuer AND he is that and so much more. All things need to be made new, but we are not the ones who will accomplish that renovation (Rev 21:3-5). We are exiles and strangers who see the promises from afar and believe them (Heb 11:13), but we are walking by faith now and not by sight.

Yes, a new day when everything will be put right, but in the meantime, while we’re living in the not yet, we need grace; we need Jesus; we need his help, his truth. And we don’t just need it a tiny bit; no, the truth is we are desperate for buckets of it. We need it every hour of every day. We need it when we remember that we need it AND we need it when all we can see before us is futility and trouble and disappointment, suffering, hardships. We need grace.

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:1-2

Doing Flows from Being

The Bible commands good behavior BUT good behavior flows from good character (Matthew 7:17). Doing flows from being—keeping this order is very important IF you want to understand the gospel well AND deepen in your love/pursuit of Jesus.

Our affluent society is an afflicted society for lack of love. Just imagine how many marriages would be spared the heartbreak of separation of divorce if there were true love in the hearts of men and women! Think of what comfort and encouragement would brighten the lot of the poor, sick, lonely and sorrowing, if only there were more love in this world. Who can tell what new vitality would stir the church, and draw others into its fellowship, if there were real love among the professed followers of Christ? It is love we need—Christian love.