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.
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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.
Do you ever wonder: What is God's will for my life? And how am I supposed to know that? Maybe you're wrestling with a big decision: What field should I go into? Whom should I marry? Where should I live? When and how should I retire? Even in the smaller decisions of everyday life, how are we supposed to find God's will? And what if we make the wrong decision? Fortunately, the Lord has a ton of decision-making wisdom to offer us in the book of Proverbs. Join us this Sunday as we continue to submit and search for God's perfect wisdom together in his word.
As you read the Bible, you might find that God's word sometimes raises topics that you might otherwise avoid, like sex. The book of Proverbs isn't shy about sex--it devotes multiple chapters to it, in fact--but Proverbs paints a very different picture of it than the culture that surrounds us. Our proverb this week is mysterious and shocking, but meditating on it and applying it to our lives will bring incredible wisdom in how we can treasure this beautiful and powerful gift that God has given us. This Sunday is for married people and single people, younger people and older people, and for all of us who need God's wisdom and grace and healing.
Writer Annie Dillard famously said, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” For many of us, a large portion of our days is spent at work. In fact, the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime, about 1/3 of their waking hours. Fortunately, Proverbs speaks a lot about work -- both the glories and the pitfalls. How can we be wise workers? That's what this Sunday is all about.
The book of Proverbs has more to say about our words than anything else -- more than money, sex, or family. That's probably because the average person speaks hundreds of times every day. Yet it's not only because of their quantity, but also their power. This Sunday we're going to see why our words are so powerful and how we can use them wisely.
The New Year is a time to reflect on the past and resolve for the future. It's a time when many people aspire to improve their lives. We start diets, pack gyms, make reading lists, and set goals. But Proverbs says that our greatest aspiration for this year, and every year, should be to find wisdom: "Blessed are those who find wisdom...for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold...nothing you desire can compare with her" (3:13-15). So what is wisdom? Why is wisdom so valuable? How can we find it? Join us as we dive into a sermon series on Proverbs this Sunday.
Is there significance to the phrase "Jesus of Nazareth"? You bet there is! This was more than just a title or an address; the fact that Jesus was raised in the town of Nazareth says a great deal about who God is and what He is about. This Sunday we'll wrap up our Advent series, all about the unexpected way in which God became human and entered our world.
This passage shows us the reality of Christmas. Sometimes we think that this time of year is about being joyful and peaceful and ignoring the difficult aspects of our lives. Yet the reality of Christmas is not about ignoring our difficulties, but having joy, peace, and hope in the midst of them. That's what having a "Merry Christmas" is truly about, and that's what we're going to celebrate this Sunday.
Wouldn't you expect the "King of the Jews" to be worshiped by...the Jews? In another unexpected twist to the Christmas story, we see pagan astrologers as the first worshipers of the Jewish Messiah, while the Jewish leaders respond with indifference. What might this say about who Jesus is really coming for -- and also how we should respond to King Jesus? During Advent, as we reflect on Christ's first coming and look forward to his second coming, how are you responding to the King?
Joseph had a very unexpected Christmas. Usually, we focus on Mary's faith and courage during Advent -- and rightfully so -- but Matthew zooms in on Jesus' (legal) father. It is through Joseph's eyes that we see that the salvation that will come to the world will not come cheap. Following in the steps of Jesus is no easy thing, but that's what we're all called to as Christians today.