As we've seen over the last few weeks, the book of James challenges us to honestly examine our lives and our faith. This week's passage is no different. We may claim to have faith in Jesus Christ, but if that faith is not accompanied by good works motivated by Christ's love, then according to James, our faith is "useless" or "dead." This Sunday we'll look at the difference between faith that is dead and faith that is alive.
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When someone walks through the door, it's human nature for us to size them up, to make assumptions. Are they rich or poor? Attractive or unattractive? Educated or uneducated? These assumptions lead to judgments and judgments lead to actions. In this week's text, James is warning us about this seriously sinful tendency we all have to show favoritism. In fact, he says, it contradicts the very gospel we claim to believe.
It doesn't take much reflection to become overwhelmed with the depth of our sin--in our desires and thoughts and speech and actions. And this comes out most readily in times of trial and distress. How does James command us to fight against our sinful tendencies? Listen up!
Trial often leads to temptation. When we're disillusioned and disoriented by difficult circumstances surrounding us, it becomes easy to doubt the goodness of God and be tempted to abandon his will. How can we battle this temptation in our trials?
If you truly believe it, James says, you’ll live it. A faith that works is what his letter is all about. In this week's text, James applies this to our money--or more specifically, our perspective on wealth. In this punchy passage, he gives an encouragement for the poor and a warning for the wealthy.
We begin our summer sermon series this week in the book of James. Instead of complex theological discourse, this letter is full of practical wisdom--nearly every other verse is a command. So what is James' purpose? To show us that true faith in Christ works itself out practically in every area of our lives. James dives right into his letter from the start, addressing faith that works in trials.
This week Linda Smith, one of our elders, completes the 2-part series she began last week entitled "The Little-Known Women in Moses' Life." Last week we read about the midwives, Moses' mom and his foster-mom, all of whom played a vital role in caring for him, supporting him, and even saving his life, so that God's purposes for Israel, and ultimately for the entire world through Christ, could be fulfilled. This Sunday, we'll learn about Moses' sister Miriam and the role she played in Moses' life.
Linda Smith, one of our elders, begins a 2-part series entitled "The Little-Known Women in Moses' Life." This week we read about the midwives, Moses' mom and his foster-mom, all of whom played a vital role in caring for him, supporting him, and even saving his life, so that God's purposes for Israel, and ultimately for the entire world through Christ, could be fulfilled.
We come to the climactic parable in Jesus' argument with the Pharisees and teachers of the law. The story that has traditionally been called "The Prodigal Son" is really about two sons--both of whom are lost. In this final text of our series in Luke 15, we'll see that Jesus is teaching a new perspective about sin, about salvation, and about God himself.
This week we continue in Luke 15 with the parable of the Lost Coin. We'll see how Jesus continues to illustrate God's heart for the lost and call the Pharisees--and us--to value lost people no matter what.
Now that we have some context from last week, we'll dive into the first parable Jesus tells in Luke 15: The Lost Sheep. In this story, we'll see God's priorities, God's heart, and ultimately what most makes God happy so that we might align our priorities, our heart, and our happiness towards His purposes.
This weekend we begin a four week series on Luke 15, which includes three of Jesus' most famous parables: The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, and The Lost Sons. However, before we dive into these famous parables, we explore their important context that is crucial to understanding them properly. We'll see that Jesus in the middle of an argument about what it means to be truly lost and truly found.
On Easter Sunday, we look at Luke's account of the very first time Jesus' disciples heard the news of the resurrection. Did they immediately believe? Did they rejoice? Did they realize the world was changed forever? Not exactly. But eventually their skepticism transformed into wonder about what God had done. May it be the same with us.
We conclude our short series on evangelism this week with Pastor Edgardo Rosa joining us to preach from the prophet Ezekiel. Pastor Edgardo serves as Assistant Pastor at First Baptist Church of Sudbury, Mass. We'll hear through this Old Testament prophet an exhortation for each of us to be faithful watchmen for the Lord.
We continue our "Share" series as we persevere in prayer for our “Take 5” friends. This week, we look together at a familiar passage--The Woman at the Well--from a slightly different perspective. In John 4 we'll see the ingredients for faithful evangelism from an unlikely source and be inspired by the explosive power of the gospel in both our lives and those with whom we share our faith.
This is the first installment of a short sermon series on evangelism called "Share." We had the privilege to welcome a guest preacher! Pastor Andrew Belli serves as Associate Pastor at Redeemer Fellowship Church in Watertown, MA. Pastor Andrew shows us from Acts 4 how ordinary people like us can be extra-ordinary witnesses for Christ.
What is heaven like? It's a question that almost everyone has at least considered before, at least if sales of "heaven tourism" books over the last decade are any indication. But our passage this Sunday offers us something much more reliable than these dubious accounts of near-death experiences. In the final chapter of the final book of the Bible, the Apostle John shares with us his final vision of Christ. And it's here that we get a glimpse of what heaven will be like for those who trust in Him.
We come to one of the most confusing and controversial chapters in all of Scripture. And yet amid all the intellectual debate, this passage is incredibly practical. It overviews the history of the time from Christ's ministry to the end of the world, and then it provides us with one of the clearest pictures of the final judgment in Scripture. As Christ opens God's book of history, we see that our eternal state depends on another open book of life.
In most jobs you receive a "job description": a formal list of tasks and responsibilities for your position. This Sunday's passage shows the church our cosmic job description in light of eternity. It's Revelation's "Great Commission" passage with a weighty twist. In light of the two contrasting pictures of eternity in Revelation 14, we'll see clearly our purpose, our job description, for today.
It's so easy to feel overwhelmed with all the sin and suffering in the world around us. Whether in the news or in our social media feeds or even in our own experiences, sometimes the world just seems like chaos. For those of us looking for hope and purpose and goodness in the chaos of life, Revelation 4-5 paints us a picture we have to see. This week we explore John's second vision of Jesus: a glorious glimpse of what's really going on in our world and our own lives.