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Created for Creation: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” -Psalm 24:1
We continue our exploration of the Psalms this week with a look at how we are Created for Creation. The Psalms help us unite the experiences of Earth with the realities and mysteries of Heaven. We learn to pray and sing with all the earthiness of earth. We were never meant to be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good.
The Psalms are not a religious fantasy or a young person’s diary of unattainable dreams and gushings. They are a companion for your pilgrimage, a sage for you sufferings, a fountain for your joys, a canyon for your screams, a soft field for your recoverings, a orchard for hunger, a well for thirst. They are the words given to you to sing and pray out your life. They are eternal words meant for the creation and recreation of all things. Holy words, powerful speakings that God has provided for us when we know not what to say, sing or pray. This sermon gives a introduction to the psalms and why your world can be remade through living, reading, praying and singing them.
Healthy friendships are foundational to living a life of meaning and fruitfulness. God said at the dawn of human creation that is not good that we are alone and that all need helpers. (Genesis 2:18). Unfortunately we often hurt more than help one another in life. This sermon examines Job’s friends and the types of signs we can see in their words that will help us determine if we are building friendships that truly help or hurt us.
In this sermon I discuss Job and mental illness. I share from my own journey, scripture and science on why you can be spiritually healthy and mentally ill. I know that might sound like a premise that is somehow incongruent with how many people present the Christian life but I ask that you listen and judge for yourself if my premise is tenable.
1. God stands with you and will defend you: Job 42:7-10
2. God won’t abuse you: Matthew 12:15-20
3. God won’t abandon you: Romans 8:38
4. God is the anchor of your soul: Hebrews 6:13, 19-20
5. God can bring meaning out of our pain and suffering: Isaiah 58:9-12
The Wisdom Books of the Bible Series: Do you want help figuring out how to live in such a way that brings meaningful success? Do you want to be better prepared to face the opportunities and challenges of day to day life in school, work, marriage, parenting and relationships? Do you want to find answers and solutions to the problems you face? Do you want to be able to take the knowledge you have and be able to apply it to your life in a workable manner so that it brings greater happiness to yourself and others you care about? The key to managing all these spheres of life is pursuing what the Bible calls…Wisdom.
Series: The Household of Faith: Genesis 27:41-45, Genesis 33
-Affirming that all Christians are commanded by Jesus to walk in unity even in our disagreements of faith and practice.
-Refuting the idea that substantive disagreements between Roman Catholicism and Protestants means we can’t walk in unity or expect another reformation of equal historic change.
On the 500th year Anniversary of the Reformation, we have spent 3 months digging into the influence, impact, convictions and conflicts that led up to and followed the birth of Protestantism. Part of this study has been aimed at showing the theological and ecclesiastical reasons for the Reformation. Part is to better equip us to stand in the faith against anything that would diminish Christ, lead us away from sacred scripture and unnecessarily divide the body of Christ. One of the primary intentions at the end of this series is to inspire and envision a new reformation and revival, equal to the impact and influence of the last. This reformation and revival, would be directed towards unity in Christ, rooted in scripture and a shared historic creedal tradition and in missional intentionality for the advancement of the gospel in this age.
In light of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, what can we learn from the hate, horrors and heroism in the wake of the reformation? Is it a fair charge that the divisive and combative rhetoric, the demonization of opponents, the betrayal of pious principles and the afterbirth of politics and faith have contributed to the modern era’s revulsion and rejection of religion? How do we “contend for the faith” without becoming caustic, crass and contentious? Why did the Prince of Peace say he came to kindle fire on the earth and described his message as a sword that would divide our most treasured relationships?
The Bible confirms this life of good works that is a result of faith all through out the New Testament by example, teaching and reason. The truth of this is even echoed back to us in the critiques and condemnations of the unbelieving world whenever they see or experience a church that is all talk and no walk. People who profess faith but are not good people are anathema to the sincere and seeking people of the world. A faith that claims Christ but does not look like Christ is not a biblical life and it would not be the life the reformers would of approved. Christ’s goodness is the the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. That means being good people and doing the most good for the most people, glorifies God.
Series: ‘The Household of Faith, reaffirming the core convictions of the Reformation on it’s 500th Year Anniversary.
“And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved One; listen to him!” And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone..” -Luke 9:35-36
Christians and churches talk about a lot of things these days, but Christ is not often in the forefront of what matters most. Christianity is not faith in Jesus and…it’s Jesus, alone. You may be surprised how other things have moved in and clouded our eyes and ears from seeing and hearing Jesus. Reclaiming the place of ‘solus Christus’ in our faith, helps us move away from the distractions and divisions that plague us and reorient to the unifying centrality of Christ.
The Household of Faith: John 9:1-41:
We should be quite familiar with the idea of looking to Jesus for Him to do what we cannot do because the four gospels set the stage for this understanding of faith through the miracle ministry of Christ. All throughout the gospels we are continually presented with some problem that calls for people to place their faith, not in themselves, not in others, not in the temple, priests, sacrifices or the traditions of men but in Christ alone. Over and over again, Jesus calls on people to place their faith in Him, to ‘only believe” a phrase that becomes the core convictions of the reformation teaching of: “by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone as the biblical basis for Justification”.