Deadly pandemic. Social strife. Political division. Everywhere you look, the world is in trouble and experiencing very hard times. The good news is, we have the hope that people are searching for – and it’s only found in Jesus.
Gospel Centered Proclamation
Advent did not begin in a stable in Bethlehem but in a Garden in Eden. Anticipation, waiting, expectation of hope did not start with shepherds out in the field, or three wise men BUT with the promise of hope in the face of failure and of grace in the midst of disobedience.
What does it mean to be live out as the people of God in the kingdom of Heaven? Matthew's gospel opens with three chapters containing Jesus' longest recorded message – a sermon given to His disciples early in His ministry to articulate what the life of a Christ-follower would look like. The Sermon on the Mount is the most complete delineation in the New Testament of the Christian counter-culture. We are going to study what life in the Kingdom of God is, fully human but lived under the divine rule of Jesus.
We live in a fallen world full of people with sinful human natures. As a result, we are a broken people fractured by past hurts, emotional wounds and traumatic experiences. But the good news is that God can bring genuine restoration in our whole personhood of spirit, soul and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24). It is God alone who can work wonderfully to bring "... a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair" (Isaiah 61:3).
Have you ever said something that you wish you can take back? Whether it's gossip, lying, cursing, slander, or keeping a secret--taming the tongue is no easy task. James the half brother of Jesus, describes the tongue as a restless evil full of deadly poison (3:8). Let's turn to James 3:1-12 and discover with God's help how we can manage our mouths.
There is no better way to start the year than seeking God through prayer and fasting! If you desire breakthrough in your life please join our church-wide campaign of connecting to God in prayer and disconnecting from the world in fasting. Let's be expectant for God to show up and show off!
There are so many things crowding out Christ in our life that this year we setting our hearts to set aside everything that would take up space from what matters most. The Inn in Bethlehem isn’t the only thing that had no room for Jesus during the Holiday Season. When we make room, God will accept our invitation. Join us this Christmas Season for an Advent Series on watchfully waiting for Jesus.
Faith... Works. This is the message of James. We, in our own strength, cannot stand in the face of adversity. We could never find the strength to trust without faith because we don't have the capability to see above the trials we meet, to keep our eyes focused on the King while counting the situation we are currently experiencing as joy.
Faith is lived out in the context of relationships. The New Testament gives us a lot of “one another” instructions on how we should treat each other in the family of faith. “One Another” is used 100 times in 94 N.T. verses. 47 of these verses give specific instructions to followers of Jesus. Join us in this journey of how we can thrive in our relationships.
The teaching ministry of Jesus is described in him speaking often many things in parables (Mark 4:2; Matt 13:3). In fact, about a third of his teaching about the kingdom of God is in the narrative form of parables. If you want to know Jesus and understand the kingdom of God we must come to come to terms and wrestle through the parables. Join us as we connect our stories to the stories of Jesus.