In our text this Sunday, Abraham faces the test of his life. How much does he really trust the Lord? Will he really put the Lord first, over even the dearest parts of his life--even his own beloved son? This passage raises numerous questions for us: Does God test us? If so, how can we prepare so we can pass the test like Abraham did? Join us as we explore the roots of our redemption in this infamous story.
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Finally. In Genesis 21, the Lord finally fulfills his promise to Abraham and Sarah "at the very time [He] had promised." God keeps his promises! In this week's passage, the sovereign, faithful, loving-kindness of the Lord rings out--but not just for Abraham and Sarah, even for Hagar and Ishmael, too. On Sunday, we'll be encouraged by God's character and examine how can we grow in trusting his promises.
Do you wrestle with a habitual sin? Something you just can't seem to get past? Maybe it's sexual sin, or a short temper, or anxiety over your finances or future. The good news is we're not alone. In this Sunday's passage, the great, faithful patriarch Abraham blows it again. It's déjà vu from chapter 12. Even though he is decades older and has had numerous personal encounters with God, Abraham falls into the same old sins. In God's word this Sunday, we'll find encouragement and hope for overcoming our habitual sins. But most of all: grace.
In our text this Sunday, Abraham asks a question probably all of us has asked at some time: "Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" In other words, is God really just in his judgment? Is he truly fair? The story of Sodom and Gomorrah's destruction is perhaps best known for the "fire and brimstone" that fall on the city. God's word for us this week is challenging, but in the midst of all of this sin and suffering, we will see God's patience, kindness, and grace.
Do you ever struggle with doubt? Do you sometimes wonder if God really hears us when we pray? Or, even if there really is this all-powerful, all-loving God we see in the Bible? In this week's text, we see clearly Sarah's struggle with her faith, which seems to have deteriorated into cynicism. This Sunday we'll talk about dealing with our doubts and see where can we find reassurance in our faith.
This Sunday we are pleased to welcome special guest Chip Sanders. Chip and his wife Kathy were members of Ruggles in the 1980's and 90's, and have been missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators and SIL International for over 20 years. Chip is in the Boston area for the next couple of weeks, and we are privileged to have him preach God's word to us this Sunday.
After a 4-week break for Boy Meets Girl, we're picking back up our sermon series on the book of Genesis: Roots of Our Redemption. In this week's text, the Lord again renews his covenant with Abram--a new name and a new sign of this divine-human relationship. In this ancient narrative we see the importance today of our identity in Christ and our own sign of our relationship with him.
Now we come to the final week of our relationships series. Jesus actually has a lot to say about singleness in Matthew 19. We'll explore questions like: Is singleness a second-class status? What if my singleness isn't my choice? How do I find fulfillment in the midst of singleness? I hope you'll join us.
Jesus' teaching on marriage in Matthew 19 naturally raises the question of how we're supposed to go about getting married. Yet there is nothing in Matthew 19, or really anywhere in the Bible, that directly addresses our modern phenomenon of dating. However, there are some passages that tell stories of people who intentionally move from singleness to marriage. Today we're going to look at 2 of these stories--one that turns out well and the other not-so-well--and try to discern some biblical principles for dating today. And even if you never plan to date or are already married, there is something in these stories for you.
Our culture is fascinated with sex. From politics, to movies, to our personal lives, we think about it, read about it, sing about it, and, of course, do it. In Jesus' teaching on marriage in Matthew 19, sexual activity is the only grounds for divorce. It raises the question: Why is sex so significant to Jesus? Last week, we saw that God is the creator/inventor of marriage. And this Sunday, we're going to explore why God created not just marriage, but sex, too.
We’ve all probably asked for, and given, some kind of relationship advice before. But have you ever asked God for relationship advice? Jesus actually has a lot to say about this! So over the next four weeks, we're going to take a break from our Genesis series and explore Christ's teaching on marriage, sex, dating, and singleness in Matthew 19. We begin this week with marriage. Not just how to have a good marriage, but how all of us--married or not--should think about marriage from a biblical perspective.
This Easter we'll examine whether life is more like a tragedy or a comedy, and why an event from 2000 years ago can and should change our lives today.
This Good Friday sermon calls us to spend time in somber reflection on the weight of our sin and in worship of our Lord's atoning sacrifice on the cross.
We go from the mountaintop of chapter 15 to the valley of chapter 16. Abram and Sarai do here what we all have done, in a way. It's Genesis 3 all over again. In their actions we see both the root and the seriousness of sin. Yet in the midst of this ugliness, we again see our Lord's glorious grace.
How do you respond when things in your life don't go as you planned? In our text this Sunday, Abram talks honestly with the Lord about how his life has not gone as he thought it would. He is still without a son and heir, and he is still a stranger in the land that is supposed to be his. In this remarkable interaction we see the Lord gently encourage and reassure Abram to comfort his discouragement and doubt...and to comfort ours too!
We're taking a break from the book of Genesis this week to look at this great passage from the New Testament book of Romans. Paul has spent the first 11 chapters of this book explaining and defining God's mercy. Now he answers the question, "So what?" with some very specific ways that we can serve each other as we live under God's mercy. For those of you who like something concrete to take away from the sermon, you're in luck-- we're going to get real practical!
Here in Genesis 14, Abram courageously goes to war to rescue his nephew Lot. (The first ever war recorded in the Bible.) But in this resounding military victory, it is clear there is something deeper going on here. Though he is invisible, God is still the main character of Genesis 14. The mysterious King Melchizedek reminds Abram that God is the true warrior who gave him victory. How can we acknowledge God's presence and power in our lives even though he is unseen?
How do you respond when someone treats you unfairly? After his failure of faith in Egypt in chapter 12, here we see a renewed Abram who is generous and faithful even in the midst of unjust treatment from his nephew Lot. This seemingly innocuous passage from God’s word actually teaches us quite a bit: the source of renewed faith, the power for obedience, and the way we can grow in trusting God and living generously even in the midst of opposition.
We often view the Old Testament patriarchs as heroes, men who followed God with incredible faith. But in this Sunday's passage, we see Abraham's faith falter. The father of God's people, the one through whom God would bring salvation to the world, becomes fear-driven instead of faith-driven. He fails miserably. Have you ever been afraid? Have you ever doubted God? Have you ever acted selfishly and hurt others, even those closest to you? Then this Sunday is for you.
We conclude our journey in Proverbs on the subject of justice, with two short sayings from King Lemuel. Throughout Scripture, God identifies with and concerns himself with the poor and needy. And this proverb says that it is wise for us to do the same, specially to act against injustice. We'll talk about why this is so crucial, and so wise, and explore how we might apply this wisdom to our lives.