Holy Confusion

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Christians believe in the Holy Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit often gets the silent treatment. Whether we don’t understand the Spirit or fear what submitting to the Spirit might look like, we all have objections.

What happens when we acknowledge and face those objections? What happens when we let the Holy Spirit into our lives?

Are You Still Thirsty?

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When we’re thirsty, we have to take something outside of us (water) and put it inside of us, in order to satisfy our thirst.

“Are you still thirsty?” Jesus asks.

God intentionally us to be thirsty beings. We are made to thirst for him, since Jesus, the living water, will fill us to overflowing.

Been Poolside Lately?

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In John 5 Jesus asks a blind man a startling question: “Do you want to be healed?”

Still more startling is what Jesus does not ask the man: “What do you believe?”

Is it possible that God operates on his own terms and not ours? Is it possible that Jesus touches whomever he pleases regardless of whether we deem them worthy?

The Eyes and the Heart and the Eyes of the Heart

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In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus begins to confront us with a shocking high bar for morality. This morning he makes this bold claim: “I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Is Jesus just being dramatic? A killjoy? What heart conditions does he have in mind, and how do we pursue the purity of heart to which Jesus calls us?

Love and Loopholes

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In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus begins to confront us with a shocking high bar for morality. He begins this morning by equating anger with murder.

Is Jesus just being dramatic when he says anger and murder carry the same consequences? Or is he unearthing deeper matters of the heart?

Child-like

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When Jesus’ disciples asked how they could “get ahead” in God’s kingdom, they didn’t expect him to respond, “Be like a child.”

This year during our annual Children’s Day celebration we reflect briefly on what childlike faith means. It is simple, dependent, and trusting.

Salt and Light

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Jesus loved to use everyday illustrations to illustrate profound truths. This morning we look at two famous statements: “You are the salt of the earth” and “You are the light of the world.”

What does it mean that we are salt and light? What does “salty” faith look like? And how can we be a light in a dark world?

Upside-Down Kingdom pt. 2

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We all want to be blessed in life, but what does it mean to be #blessed? Does it mean a great vacation, or a brand new car? Is being blessed the same as being successful?

Our desire to be blessed is natural – God himself planted that desire in us. In fact, Jesus tells us exactly what the blessed life looks like. It may not be quite what you expect.

Upside-Down Kingdom pt. 1

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We all want to be blessed in life, but what does it mean to be #blessed? Does it mean a great vacation, or a brand new car? Is being blessed the same as being successful?

Our desire to be blessed is natural – God himself planted that desire in us. In fact, Jesus tells us exactly what the blessed life looks like. It may not be quite what you expect.

Believing is Seeing

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After Jesus is raised from the dead John gives four quick sketches of some of Jesus’ closest followers. Eventually they all believe that Jesus was raised from the dead, but in very different ways. Yet Jesus meets each of them right where they are. He doesn’t demand that they reach up to him; he reaches down to them. As you listen to the four sketches, which is most like you?

Seven Last Words: Into Thy Hands / It Is Finished

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“Into thy hands I commit my Spirit,” Jesus says in Luke 23; and in John 19, “It is finished.” These are Jesus’ very last words before he dies in each respective gospel.

The more we understand the context in which the words were said—especially in light of the temple curtain which was torn in two—the more we see how Jesus’ death is significant for our lives. This is no mere academic exercise; Jesus’ death means the forgiveness of all our sins and a radically new life for the Christian.

Seven Last Words: I Thirst

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“I thirst,” Jesus said as he neared his final breath. It would be easy to overlook these two words, but they are loaded with significance. What does Jesus’ thirst mean, both for him on the cross, and for us today? Jesus, the living water of God, poured out living water into our souls, emptied himself, and took upon himself the eternal thirst of hell on our behalf, so that we might never be thirsty again.

Seven Last Words: God-Forsaken

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One of the most haunting cries in all of Scripture: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” As Jesus hangs there and laments the loss of the presence of God, we can’t help but ask: Did God really forsake Jesus? And if so, does that mean he might forsake me? This morning we hear Jesus’ heart-rending cry and learn why Jesus’ great anguish leads to our great assurance.

Seven Last Words: The Family of God

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As he hangs on the cross Jesus tells his mother, somewhat cryptically, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and then immediately to John, his disciple, “Here is your mother.” In saying this he emphasized that his followers—the church—are family. We are not like family; we are family. How does the crucifixion make that possible, and how do we live as family with one another?