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Bent Oak Church
Pastor Chase Replogle
This is the sermon podcast for Bent Oak Church. Each week we preach through scripture, book by book. You can find more information about the church at bentoakchurch.org
Jan 20, 2021
Behold (John 1:19-34)
John the Baptist was questioned by religious leaders from Jerusalem. "Who do you say you are?" they asked him. John wasn't interested in that question. He wasn't interested in himself. John was helping Israel see the one standing in their midst. "Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world."
Jan 11, 2021
The Word Became Flesh (John 1:6-18)
John builds our anticipation for who this word is. He takes his time to get to the answer, explaining the problem of our preferring darkness and the divine solution of the word becoming flesh. The result is that we have seen God's glory and finally, John reveals it is seen through the flesh of Jesus Christ.
Jan 5, 2021
In the Beginning (John 1:1-5)
John begins his gospel with a prologue. In the beginning, was the word... Before we are introduced to John the baptist or to Jesus, we a reminded of what is at stake. The eternal word of God made flesh. This is a story that is set in the context of eternal salvation.
Dec 17, 2020
Immanuel: Susan Tolbert
Dec 9, 2020
Immanuel: Destin Harrison
Destin Harrison shares his story of how God has revealed himself through a long series of "things not working out."
Dec 2, 2020
Gratitude and People (Romans 16)
Paul finishes his letter to the Romans with a long list of names. They are people he knew and people he expressed deep gratitude for. It's amazing we still have these names. We know so little about them but they remind us of the central place of people in following Christ.
Nov 27, 2020
Unfulfilled Dreams (Romans 15:14-33)
Paul longed to visit the believers in Rome and to continue on to Spain. Spain was still unreached and Paul's deepest passion was to take the gospel to unreached places. But Paul's dream would not come true. So many of our's don't either. Romans 15 offers a look into Paul's life and how he handled failed plains.
Nov 18, 2020
Abounding in Hope (Romans 15:1-13)
Special thanks to Brad Lombardi for bringing us a word from Romans 15 on the abounding of peace through maturity in our fellowship together.
Nov 9, 2020
Arguing, Stumbling, and Acting from Fatih (Romans 14)
Paul had a difficult problem to address. Apparently, arguments and disputes were threatening the unity of the church. Worse, the arguments were causing people to take sides and change their behavior not motivated by the gospel but by fear, anxiety, and social pressure. Paul needed to push the conversation deeper. It's an important lesson for all of us.
Nov 6, 2020
Submitting to Governing Authorities (Romans 13)
It is election week, and as millions participate in voting for key government positions, we ask the question, what does Paul mean that Christians should submit to the governing authorities? How do we submit in 2020 when we are given the privilege of participating in those decisions?
Oct 29, 2020
A Living Sacrifice (Romans 12)
Paul now transitions to the implications of the gospel for how Christians live. Paul argues that in light of the mercies of God, the most reasonable thing is for us to die to ourselves and to surrender our past, present, and future to Him as a living sacrifice.
Oct 23, 2020
Humility, awe, and the Mysteries of God (Romans 11)
Paul looks towards the future and his hope for the nation of Israel. But he admits these things are a mystery. Our rightful response is not pride or arrogance but faith, worship, and fear of the Lord—fear that frees us from the anxieties of this world.
Oct 15, 2020
Believe in Your Heart and Confess With Your Mouth (Romans 10)
Paul continues to explore the anguish he feels over his own people disbelieve. What does Paul make of Israel's refusal to acknowledge Christ. Romans 10 is an explanation of that question but it is also an expression of the hope and trust Paul has in God. As he quotes Isaiah, "I was found by those who did not seek me."
Oct 7, 2020
Is there injustice on God's part? (Romans 9)
Paul anticipates that many may feel like God is abandoning his promises and history with Israel. Paul wrestles with the question and acknowledges that for him, this topic comes with great anguish of heart. Paul longs for all of Israel to receive Jesus as their messiah. But Paul acknowledges that God's ways are above ours. Even reflecting on their own history, who could have predicted or planned what God had done.
Oct 1, 2020
What Can Separate Us (Romans 8:31-39)
Paul concludes Romans 8 with his strongest words of assurance. What can separate us from the love of God? Nothing. We explore the culmination of Paul's word of assurance for believers.
Sep 25, 2020
The Spirit that Prays for Us (Romans 8:18-30)
Paul continues to build his case for the assurance we have through the Spirit. Previously, Paul said that our ability to pray, "Abba, Father," was proof of the Spirit working in us. But now Paul adds that even when we don't know what to pray, the Spirit prays for us.
Sep 15, 2020
Heirs with Christ (Romans 8:12-17)
Paul turns his attention to this new life in the Spirit and he connects the two images of a debtor and a child. It is a part of a bigger topic for Paul, how can we be assured of this new way? How can we be assured of our salvation?
Sep 3, 2020
Who Will Save Me? (Romans 7:7-25)
Paul draws his discussion of the law to its final conclusion. "Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" Paul explains how the law brings us to that final conclusion. We are in need of a savior.
Aug 26, 2020
Married to the law, Married to Christ (Romans 7:1-6)
Paul was willing to use any analogy he could to help clarify the relationship between Christ and the law. In Romans 7, Paul turns to the image of marriage.
Aug 20, 2020
Slave to Sin, Slave to Righteousness (Romans 6:15-23)
Slavery is a common way the Bible depicts sin. It does so with the knowledge of Israel's long history under Egyptian slavery. But Paul takes the image further. He explains how believers are now a slave to righteousness. What does he mean?
Aug 6, 2020
Learning to Receive (Psalm 133)
As we near the end of our psalms of ascent, the pilgrim's attention is turned to the community ahead—a nation worshiping together in Israel. It can all seem like our accomplishment: our journey, our success, our worship. But Psalm 133 teaches us that community is never an achievement. Psalm 133 teaches us to receive.
Jul 28, 2020
Obedience and Memory (Psalm 132)
Psalm 131 remembers the faithfulness of David through difficulty—suffering inflicted by others and his own personal failures. Still, David persevered on. The Psalm also recounts the faithfulness of God. It teaches us the relationship between remembering and obeying, that faithfulness is always marked by a memory of God's faithfulness.
Jul 20, 2020
Occupied With Things Too Great For Me (Psalm 131)
Psalm 131 is a maintenance psalm, a kind of soul pruning for our hearts and eyes. The psalm teaches us to have hope in God, a kind of hope that leads us to a deeper rest and contentment in him. It is a lesson many of us need to be reminded of. As the world seems to unravel, we focus our hearts and eyes on what matters most. Hope in the Lord, now and forever more.
Jul 9, 2020
Suffering and Righteousness (Psalm 129)
Psalm 129 is about the reality of trials and suffering. God's people can always speak of their trials. It is a part of this journey. Even today, around the world, brothers and sisters of faith continue to face persecution and trials. But Psalm 129 interjects an equal reality. God is righteous.
Jul 2, 2020
Those Who Fear the Lord (Psalm 128)
Psalm 128 describes what it is like to fear the Lord, but it's images are surprising. Fearing the Lord requires a recognizing of dependence, but with that recognition comes the opportunity to receive: food, family, and health.
Jun 25, 2020
Unless the Lord Builds the House (Psalm 127)
Brad Lombardi delivers a Father's Day sermon on Psalm 127.
Jun 18, 2020
Joy and Perspective (Psalm 126)
Psalm 126 is about perspective. The Psalmist teaches us to look back on the amazing things God has done for his people, to realize God is good in the present, and to anticipate all that God has in store. The effect is gladness and joy.
Jun 12, 2020
Doing Good (Psalm 125)
God promises he will do good for his people. He promises not to let wickedness rule over his people as to tempt them to wickedness. The faithfulness of God's goodness motivates us to continue doing good.
Jun 4, 2020
God is For Us (Psalm 124)
Had God not been for us we would have been swallowed alive. How did Israel survive? How after invasions and enslavement and assimilation did God persevere a remnant? Because God was with them—form them. Psalm 124 looks at the miraculous gift of God's Faithfull perseverance.
May 25, 2020
Freedom and Mercy (Psalm 123)
Not everyone thought the psalmist's pilgrimage to Jerusalem was a good idea. The psalmist admits feeling the disdain of others. So he turns to God in prayer. Show us mercy. As we fix our eyes on you, turn your attention to us.
May 21, 2020
Peace for Jerusalem (Psalm 122)
As we continue our way through the psalms of ascent, Psalm 122 looks ahead to the final destination—Jerusalem. The psalmist anticipates the joy of passing through her gates and being a part of Jerusalem's community for worship. The psalm concludes with a series of prayers for peace.
May 15, 2020
Where Will My Help Come From (Psalm 121)
As we continue on the path, guided by the Psalms of Ascent, the psalmist begins to worry about all that can go wrong: accidents, weather, evil. Psalm 121 asks a very practical question. Where will our help come from?
May 15, 2020
Beginning the Ascent (Psalm 120)
This week, we begin a new section of the psalms known as the Psalms of Ascent. They were often read by travelers as they approached Jerusalem for one of Israel’s religious festivals. They have long been used by other believers as an analogy for their own pilgrimage toward God. They teach us to reflect and pray about things we otherwise might not have considered.
May 15, 2020
When I'm Under Your Wing (Psalm 91)
If there is one psalm that might be most associated with our current crisis, it is surely Psalm 91. With its specific reference to protection from a plague, it’s not hard to see why. But Psalm 91 says something more—something better. We’ll attempt to see the whole psalm and how its promises build toward things we would never have had the boldness to request.
Apr 24, 2020
When I Follow (Psalm 23)
Psalm 23 is one of the most well-known passages in the Bible. But that familiarity comes with a challenge. Its images and ideas can pick up a sentimental nostalgia that keeps us from feeling the real impact of its message. Psalm 23 offers us the remarkable realization that the valley of death's shadow can be the very place the shepherd leads us to find green grass and calm water.
Apr 24, 2020
When I Worship (Psalm 118)
Happy Easter! The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. There was no amount of power or money that could cover up his resurrection. Jesus was alive. It was all as he had predicted. And in predicting his vindication, Jesus turned to Psalm 118. It is a psalm of worship which captured the remarkable reversal of God's blessing on those men had rejected. It may have been this very psalm that was on Jesus' mind as he headed to the cross and that first morning of his resurrection.
Apr 7, 2020
When I'm Alone in Darkness (Psalm 88)
The Bible is never sentimental about our suffering. It never peddles easy solutions or gimmicks. It is honest about the ways suffering leaves us feeling isolated and in darkness. But there is a kind of mercy in that this psalm even exists—that the Bible is willing to be this honest. That mercy trains us for our own days of suffering. Psalm 88 is known as an imprecatory psalm. It is one of the most extreme laments in the psalter. Yet it too has been a part of believer's worship for centuries.
Apr 7, 2020
When I'm Not in Control (Psalm 62)
David had accumulated everything a person could, wealth, power, position, but the rebellion of his own son Absalom left him devastated and fleeing for his life. It exposed how little control David actually had, how little control any of us have. Psalm 62 is David's reflection on this devastating time and how he urged himself to still trust in God's power and steadfast love.
Mar 23, 2020
When I Am Afraid (Psalm 56)
The Psalms are characterized by frankness and honesty. And they don't imagine that believers escape the experience of human emotions. Instead, the Psalms catalog the human experience and instruct us on how to pray through our emotions. David's fearful prayer of Psalm 56 is a perfect example.
Mar 18, 2020
Remember, Count, and Present (Romans 6:1-14)
Having established how believers had received justification and reconciliation, Paul turned his attention to the power of sin. If god's grace is free and more abundant where sin abounds than should Christians even worry about sin? Should we go on sinning so more grace will abound? Paul describes how believers have shared in the death and resurrection of Jesus. How can those who have died to sin now live in sin?
Mar 11, 2020
By One Man (Romans 5:12-21)
Having addressed how Jesus' death and resurrection had made a way for humanity to become righteous by faith, Paul next turned his attention to the problem of sin. If we were now reconciled to God and if God was making us righteous through Jesus, why do we still experience sin and particularly sin's consequence of death?
Mar 4, 2020
Peace, Access, and Hope (Romans 5:1-11)
Having explained how God is welcoming humanity into his covenant through faith, Paul next turns to explain the implications of what this reconciliation means. We now have peace with God, access to his presence, and the ability to rejoice in the revelation of his glory. Even in suffering, we are compelled to hope.
Feb 26, 2020
What About Abraham (Romans 4)
Paul often anticipates the objections of his audience and in chapter four, he not only anticipates their interest in Abraham but uses this Old Testament character to deepen his point about faith. Abraham's faith grew stronger as he gave glory to God, hope against hope.
Feb 19, 2020
But Now, Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21-31)
By the end of chapter three, Paul had finally reached the culminating point of his explanation, Jesus. Though humanity was lost in sin and no one was searching for God, God had now intervened.
Feb 12, 2020
No One is Righteous (Romans 9-20)
After three chapters of discussing sin, Paul reached his final conclusion: no one is righteous. For Paul, that is best described by the phrase, "all are under sin." Sin is not just mistaken choices or wrong decisions. Sin is a force that influences all of who we are. This is the problem facing humanity. The power of sin's influence.
Feb 5, 2020
So, Is There Any Advantage? (Romans 3:1-9)
Paul knows that what he has been writing could be misunderstood or intentionally manipulated. In what is one of the most complex passages of scripture, Paul answers objections to the points he's been making. Is there any advantage to knowing the revelations of God?
Jan 29, 2020
A Circumcised Heart (Romans 2)
Having described the way that sin distorts our thinking and desires, how we suppress the truth, Paul now turns his attention to those who know the truth. But as Paul will soon point out, possessing the law isn't enough. Those who know still fail to do.
Jan 23, 2020
They Refuse to Give Thanks (Romans 1:18-32)
Before Paul addresses specific questions in Rome, he turns his attention to leveling the playing field. In chapter 3, Paul will declare that no one seeks God. He works his way there by explaining how the human heart suppresses the truth and refuses to give thanks to God. For Paul, a lack of gratitude is at the heart of sin.
Jan 8, 2020
Not Ashamed of the Gospel (Romans 1:1-17)
In this introductory sermon, we take a look at the historical background of Paul's letter, both in Rome and with Paul. We also look at how Paul consistently approaches challenges with the gospel. As he put it in this first chapter to the Romans, "for I am not ashamed of the gospel."
Dec 27, 2019
Christmas Eve 2019
Join us for our annual Christmas Eve service as we reflect on the meaning of Christ's birth and the significance of how Christ was born into the world—a divided world.
Dec 27, 2019
Immanuel: Dan Boever
Dan Boever shares his personal testimony and explains how God has proved himself to be present even through challenging times.
Dec 20, 2019
Immanuel: Jonathan Lopez
Jonathan Lopez shares his personal testimony and explains how God has proved himself to be present even through challenging times.
Dec 11, 2019
Immanuel: KyAnne Weaver
KyAnne Weaver shares her personal testimony and explains how God has proved himself to be present even through challenging times.
Dec 4, 2019
Immanuel: Paul Smith
Paul Smith shares his personal testimony and explains how God has proved himself to be present even through challenging times.
Nov 27, 2019
Immanuel: The Promise of God With Us
This week, we kick off our annual Immanuel series. We look at the promise in Isaiah that one day a virgin will give birth to a child and his name will be Immanuel.
Nov 20, 2019
For several weeks we have been comparing the growth of a church with the growth of a tree. But trees are rarely alone. They grow in the surrounding of other trees—woods. It's easy to focus too much attention on our church and miss that God is working in churches across the street and around the world. God calls us to a perspective broader than ourselves.
Nov 13, 2019
The most visible life of a tree is its leaves. They are a sign of health and often the first to signal sickness. For a church, the most visible sign of life is how a community of believers cares for one another. As Jesus pointed out, "they will know you are my followers by the love you have for one another."
Nov 5, 2019
Branches: Songs, Scripture, Communion, and Prayer
What is it that a church does when it meets together? In Acts 2, the church commits itself to teaching, fellowship, communion, and prayer. These have often been called the four marks of the church. We look at the importance of these marks and how they shape who we are as a church.
Oct 30, 2019
"They love Jesus but not the church." We've all heard it and sometimes felt it as well. But for thousands of years, the church continues to exist with its traditions, structures, and history. What's wrong and what's right with the church as an institution?
Oct 23, 2019
This week we look at our third value—worship. What does it mean for the church's primary purpose to be worship and how does this value impact everything else the church does?
Oct 15, 2019
Soil and Roots: Common Life and Gospel
Every church exists in a particular place with particular people. A church is not abstract and neither is the gospel. God's kingdom comes not just into church services but into office cubicles, bedrooms, and around dinner tables. But like a tree growing roots into the ground, the gospel often does its work slow but faithfully.
Oct 9, 2019
Who Will Rid Me Of This Prophet (1 Kings 22)
1 Kings ends with the final appearance of Ahab. He is determined to attack Syria and reclaim his land. Enlisting the king of Judah, things seem to be coming back together. Could Ahab have finally found his way, God's way? But soon enough, Ahab reveals his true self. He is doing everything he can to avoid the word of God and his prophets.
Oct 1, 2019
You Become What You Worship (1 Kings 21)
This week we continue with Ahab's story, but this time the story turns more personal. Ahab is frustrated by his inability to purchase a nearby vineyard. His frustrations reveal more of his character and the concluding prophetic word links his character with his idol worship. We become like what we worship.
Sep 24, 2019
Ahab's Artificial Courage (1 Kings 20)
Chapter 20 turns our attention to Ahab. He has been characterized by passivity and timidity, constantly tossed around by other's advice. That pattern continues into war, but through God's miraculous victory, Ahab appears to find new courage. But an unnamed prophet soon exposed his courage for the same underlining fear. The prophet shows us the character and source of true courage.
Sep 16, 2019
Elijah in Isolation and Fear (1 Kings 19)
How could Elijah go from running in optimism to running in fear? Elijah became so frustrated that he abandoned Israel and prayed that God would end his life. It's remarkable that the Bible offers us inside looks at the struggles of these remarkable Biblical heroes. Elijah was a man just like us. And God would not abandon him. Elijah would soon discover that he was not alone. He never was.
Sep 11, 2019
The Contest on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:20-46)
Elijah's showdown with the prophets of Baal is one of the most familiar stories from 1 Kings. But there is more to the story than we may have realized. Elijah's prayer was that Israel might recognize that God was changing the hearts of his people.
Sep 3, 2019
Elijah and Obadiah (1 Kings 18:1-19)
After three years of drought, Elijah was called back to Israel. But before his dramatic showdown with the prophets of Baal, Elijah meets Obadiah. While Elijah had been faithful in obscurity, Obadiah was attempting a similar faithfulness in the halls of power. But Elijah's appearance creates a temptation for Obadiah, one he finally overcomes.
Aug 28, 2019
Elijah Gives Life to a Boy (1 Kings 17)
Out of the long line of degenerating kings steps the prophet Elijah. His boldness makes him the target of Abab and one of the most important voices in Israel. But he is on the run. And God sends him to the most unlikely place for help. Elijah must be saved by a widow and her son.
Aug 19, 2019
God Looks at the Heart (1 Kings 15-16)
Chapters 15 and 16 are transitions between the stories of David, Solomon, and Reheboam and the coming stories of Elijah. The chapters seem to be summary statements about a line of Israel and Judah's kings. But upon a closer look, each king is evaluated by a single feature. It is not their achievements, wealth, or power. They are evaluated by their heart.
Aug 13, 2019
The Disguise of Control (1 Kings 14)
We've seen how Israel's kings continue to grasp for control. And we've seen how the more they attempt to maintain control the more God thwarts their attempts. But these kings live like we so often do. When their lives fall apart, they go on pretending everything is perfectly under control.
Aug 5, 2019
The Puzzle and the Prophets (1 Kings 13)
Just after learning of Israel's division into two kingdoms, we are given the strange story of the two prophets. It's a puzzle, a kind of parable. It suggests, that the Bible is not naive to the puzzle of our own situations. But there is always a discernible thread, the words of God.
Jul 30, 2019
The Division of the Kingdom (1 Kings 12)
Solomon had left his kingdom ready to collapse, and upon his death it did. How could the great kingdom of Israel be so deeply divided? Surprisingly, through the voice of a prophet, we discover that God is its cause.
Jul 23, 2019
Solomon's Collapse (1 Kings 11)
For ten chapters, Solomon has appeared to have success after success. But as his story continues, he becomes less the center of his own story. Though Solomon imagines he has everything under control, he is less in control than ever—and that is a good thing.
Jul 16, 2019
Solomon's Wealth (1 Kings 10)
Solomon's wisdom expresses itself in not only wealth but also in the respect of foreign kings and queens. Even the Queen of Sheba would glorify Israel's God because of Solomon's success. But like so much of 1 Kings, the attention will prove more than Solomon can handle.
Jul 9, 2019
The Dedication of the Temple (1 Kings 8-9)
Solomon had finally finished the temple. An in an event fitting for its achievement, Solomon dedicated the temple before all of Israel. Yet in his accomplishment, God continued to speak to Solomon. Each time he offered the same message—obey.
Jul 3, 2019
The Temple and the Garden (1 Kings 6-7)
The temple is one of the greatest achievements in Israel's history. And Solomon is remembered for his leadership in having completed it. Solomon appeared to be fulfilling all of Israel's greatest hopes. The temple was the new garden of Eden. But not all things are as they appear.
Jun 25, 2019
Doing Things For God (1 Kings 5)
Having established his kingdom and secured peace, Solomon turned his attention to doing something great for God. Solomon would build a temple for God. It's hard to imagine anything could be negative about a project that focused on the glory of God, but once again, there is more to this story. Solomon's project is a warning about the ways we lose God in the process of doing things for God.
Jun 19, 2019
Signs of True Wisdom (1 Kings 4)
Having received God's gift of wisdom, we jump to the conclusion that Solomon's administrative success must be the outcome of his blessing from God, but there are signs of more complex things beneath the surface. Success is not always an indicator of success.
Jun 11, 2019
God's Patience (1 Kings 3)
Solomon's character continues to be questionable. By chapter three, we are wondering if he is fit to be king. We wonder if God could find someone better. But when we least expect it, God demonstrates kindness and paitence in a way we wouldn't expect.
Jun 5, 2019
Subtly of our Self-centeredness (1 Kings 2)
Before his death, David offered Solomon his final advice. Much of it sounds like the God-centered encouragement we would expect from the author of the psalms, but David quickly slips into vengeful self-centeredness. Solomon will soon find himself pulled in by the same force.
May 28, 2019
Power and Expectations (1 Kings 1)
As David prepares today, questions of succession began to spread amongst his family. Adonijah seems the frontrunner, but Solomon will take the crown. But where is God in this process?
May 21, 2019
Through Him (Philippians 4:10-32)
Many are familiar with Paul's famous line, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." But what catches our attention is "I". Paul was not describing a superhuman ability that Jesus grants us, he was describing how the glory and riches of Christ so shifts our perspective as to change the things that matter most to us. What we are left with is a deep contentment.
May 14, 2019
Think About These Things (Philippians 4:1-9)
As Paul reaches the end of his letter, his attention turns to known people and the reality of existing conflicts. But Paul turns those involved inward to consider their own anxiety and our struggle with finding peace.
May 6, 2019
Pressing Toward the Prize (Philippians 3:12-21)
In the second half of chapter 3, Paul continues to describe how knowing Christ is more valuable than all of his previous accomplishments. Paul turns now to an analogy of a runner pressing for the finish line. Paul calls the Philippians to continue pressing to know Christ.
Apr 30, 2019
Power of His Resurrection (Philippians 3:1-11)
Having urged the Philippians to sacrifice their self-interest for one another and having shown them how Christ was their example, Paul now turns to his own life and offers the Philippians his greatest desire: that he might know Christ more.
Apr 23, 2019
Brad Lombardi shares a special Easter message with us as we reflect on the death and resurrection of Christ.
Apr 15, 2019
Examples of the Gospel Lived Out (Philippians 2:19-30)
Paul has offered some of his most moving language to describe the incarnation of Christ and his own willingness to sacrifice his life. But Paul also wants to offer the Philippians examples of how Christ's humility can be lived ou tin the everyday world of Philippi. Paul offers them the examples of Timothy and Epaphroditus.
Apr 8, 2019
Not Something to Grasp (Philippians 2:1-13)
"It seems to be a fact that you have to suffer as much from the Church as for it but if you believe in the divinity of Christ, you have to cherish the world at the same time that you struggle to endure it.” — Flannery O'Connor Paul knows how difficult Christian community can be. Our tendency to reach for our own benefit constantly poisons the possibility of true friendship and love. But Paul offers another way. Paul offered the Philippians the example of Christ, who didn't count his Godhood something to take advantage of but humbled himself to take on the most humbling of human experiences. This is what Paul calls the Philippians to work out, their salvation offered through Christ's self-emptying.
Apr 1, 2019
Worthy of the Gospel (Philippians 1:19-30)
Chris Lamberth takes a look at Paul's call for the Philippians to live "worth of the gospel." Chris helps us understand how the gospel reshapes our motives and how it teaches us to deny ourselves and live for him.
Mar 25, 2019
Abounding in Love (Philippians 1:1-18)
In this introductory sermon, we cover the background of Paul's letter to the Philippians as well as his prayer for this church.
Mar 19, 2019
Beginning (Acts 28)
We have finally reached the end of Acts, but it's not what you might have expected. Luke seems to stop the story without an ending. It is a freeze-frame, Paul proclaiming the Gospel in Rome with boldness and without hindrance. As a reader, we are left to decide how this story should end. We are pulled into it. Participants in the kingdom's work.
Feb 25, 2019
Light (Acts 25-26)
Paul makes his final defense before Festus and King Agrippa II. Luke draws together the developing themes of Paul's three speeches into a dramatic and poignant final moment. For Paul, his message is clear. Jesus suffered and was raised from death as the first of a great resurrection to come. This message is the light which had transformed Paul's life and was now being declared to Jews and Gentiles. but that message was not received by Agrippa or Festus. One saw it as madness the other wasn't so quickly convinced.
Feb 18, 2019
Hope (Acts 24)
Under threat of assassination, Paul was transferred to Felix where he would again face Jewish accusations. Paul again shows himself courageous even in the face of an unjust ruler and court. Paul places his confidence not in his citizenship, his case, or the judge but in the hope he has in God.
Feb 11, 2019
Conscience (Acts 23:1-11)
The Roman tribune was attempting to gather information about Paul. He decided to gather the Sanhedrin. Things deteriorated quickly. But Paul shrewdly navigates the political and debate to reveal the truth, he is hardly the instigator.
Feb 4, 2019
Confusing (Acts 21:17-22:30)
Paul finally reached Jerusalem and as expected, there were those unwelcoming to his return. Paul's attempts to go to the temple are met with a mob and public beating, eventually interrupted by the Roman Tribune and his soldiers. Paul reminds us that our Christian faith rarely fits into the powers and politics of our world. Yet still, Paul manages to demonstrate that far from being an enemy, he is much like the Jews and the Romans who beat him. We are in this world but never of it—citizens of heaven.
Jan 28, 2019
Called (Acts 21:1-16)
Paul continues his trip to Jerusalem. As he goes, he is continually warned about what he faces. Still, Paul is determined, driven by the Spirit, compelled to give. Josh walks us through the passage and helps us recognize how each of us is called and the inevitable sacrifices that calling requires.
Jan 21, 2019
Give (Acts 20:17-38)
Before Paul arrives in Jerusalem, he stops in Miletus and gathers the church leaders of Ephesus. There he says his final goodbyes. He offers them final words, knowing that they will never see each other again. Paul's final words are striking, a summary of the way in which he had served, ministered, and lived among them. It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Jan 15, 2019
Sleep (Acts 20:1-16)
Paul has begun his journey back to Jerusalem. he knows that what awaits him is the risk of riots, arrest, and possibly execution. As a reader, we assume that what follows will be Jerusalem, but Paul stops in at Troas. At Troas, we are introduced to Eutychus, a young man who drifts off to sleep during Paul's sermon. Asleep, he falls from a third story window to his death. Paul, speaks life over him, passes out communion, and goes back to preaching until sunrise.
Jan 7, 2019
Brad Lombardi: Signs of God With Us
God's with us finds its first promise in Isaiah, to a king terrified by the prospects of war. The radical message of Christianity is that God would go to such lengths to reveal himself to us, to give us a sign of his presence.
Dec 27, 2018
Josh Havens: God With the True Us
Josh Havens shares his personal story and how Immanuel requires us to be honest about who we really are.
Dec 17, 2018
Chris Lamberth: Christmas and Our Unfinished Story
Chris reminds us that God proves himself most with us not just in the conclusion of life but all along the complex narratives of living. Christmas is the season of Advent, a time of waiting and anticipating. So too, all of life is Advent: a careful watching and waiting for Christ's return and the restoration of all things. Between Christ's birth and his return, we are not alone. We are given the spirit, made a temple of his presence. God with us.
Dec 10, 2018
Emmanuel: God with Us — Justus Boever
Justus Boever begins our Christmas series by describing his heart for missions and how Christmas is a missionary event, the God who came into the world to reveal himself and save even the one.
Dec 3, 2018
Responses (Acts 19)
Luke chooses Ephesus as the final image of Paul's missionary work. It proves to be fruitful and frustrating with miracles, converts, riots, and persecution. Luke uses the stories to give us a picture of how we respond to the gospel. It's an important final perspective.
Nov 26, 2018
Preaching (Acts 18:18-28)
Paul was finished with his second missionary journey and on his journey back to his home church in Antioch. But Luke takes us back to a new character, Apollos. Apollos is a common name in the New Testament but a relatively minor character in Acts. It's puzzling why Luke would take the time to introduce us to him without him ever being mentioned again in Acts. Eventually, Luke's reasons come through. For as prominent as Paul is in Acts, this is not Paul's story. This is the story of how Jesus is continuing his work through the Spirit. Luke leaves no room for celebrities in his story.
Nov 19, 2018
Discouragement (Acts 18:1-16)
Corinth is Paul's furthers point from home on his second missionary journey. It's also a time, in his own words, of fear and trembling. Paul had been beaten, stoned, jailed, isolated, smuggled out of towns and drug before rulers. Arriving at Corinth, Paul was alone and worn down. He couldn't have imagined how his time in Corinth would have proved so encouraging.
Nov 12, 2018
Resurrection (Acts 17:16-34)
Paul arrives in Athens. The great church apostle is in the great city of Greek philosophy. The Greeks weren't too impressed with his preaching. They taunted him as a babbler and after listening to his message mocked his hope in the resurrection.
Nov 5, 2018
King (Acts 17:1-15)
It is hardly the first time accusations have been made against Paul or the church. From the beginning, Christians found themselves defending their faith before religious leaders and politicians. But unlike the great speeches of Peter and Stephen, these accusations against Paul go unanswered. They are left hanging—left for us to consider. Wherever the gospel is preaching, the world is turned upside down; Christ is king.
Oct 29, 2018
Disrupted (Acts 16)
Oct 22, 2018
Reconciliation (Acts 15:36-41)
No sooner had the church reconciled its disputes at the Jerusalem council than we discover another dispute, this time in the most unexpected place—Paul and Barnabas. Two of the church's most prominent leaders ended up in sharp disagreement, and this time there was no reconciliation. Frustrated, the two friends split and each when their own way. Luke is careful not to take sides, but he doesn't white-wash the embarrassing moment. He wants us to see how easily our personalities drive wedges between friends. He also hopes we will see how God works even the worst of our personalities for his good.
Oct 14, 2018
Conflict (Acts 15:1-35)
No one likes talking about conflict, but we all experience it. For all of the early church's successes, they weren't exempt from conflict. Paul and Barnabas are surprised to find teachers from Jerusalem teaching their congregations in Antioch that without circumcision, you can't be saved. Paul adamantly disagrees. The dispute leads to the first church council in Jerusalem. It's not a blueprint for handling conflict, but paying attention to their conversation helps us learn about how to better handle our own.
Oct 8, 2018
The Crowd (Acts 14:19-28)
The crowds are becoming a major theme in the book of Acts. From Pentecost to the preaching in the temple, from the mob of the Sanhedrin at Stephen's stoning to the frenzy of the crowd at Lystra, crowds play an increasingly important role in the narrative. But look never presents the church as a crowd. Christians never take to the streets to make their points. Instead, we are given the stories of individual lives: Ananias, Cornelius, an Ethiopian servant, Dorcus, Joseph, Rhoda.
Oct 1, 2018
Humility (Acts 14:1-18)
Paul and Barnabas were becoming used to persecution. They were frequently being run out of town. But not at Lystra. At Lystra they were declared Gods. The Bible routinely warns us of the temptation to play God. Paul and Barnabas recognize it. They go running into the crowd, tearing their clothes, and declaring, "we are men just like you." In what ways are we tempted to be God? What does it mean to be human?
Sep 23, 2018
Confrontation (Acts 13)
Where the gospel is preached there is confrontation. When the Lord called Saul, he called him to be an instrument to preach before Kings and Gentiles. He also promised that faithfulness to that calling would bring suffering. It doesn't take long for that suffering to begin. But the confrontation of the gospel begins first in Saul's calling itself. The gospel always confronts us before it confronts others through our message.
Sep 16, 2018
Politics (Acts 12)
Acts 12 begins the transition away from the Jerusalem church and to the missionary stories of Paul. That makes this final image fo the church so significant. The world around them moves under the control of political manipulation, but the church gathers in prayer. By their prayers, they are more in touch with reality than all the kings and crowds.
Sep 10, 2018
Led by the Spirit (Acts 11)
Acts makes it clear that it was the Spirit that pulled the church into the world. The challenge the church faces is how to recognize what God is doing and join in that work. Paul will describe this process as "walking in step with the Spirit." But that process isn't easy. To recognize the Spirit means facing our prejudices honestly. Peter and Barnabas become models to help us learn that process.
1 hr 1 min
Sep 2, 2018
Clean (Acts 10)
Peter and Cornelius could not be drawn in stronger contrasts. One a devout Jew and leader of the Jerusalem church who had never broken the food laws; the other a military man, a cog in the occupation force of Rome. Yet both receive visions from God and drawn together under one room by the Holy Spirit. As they talk, it becomes clear that neither Peter nor Cornelius is leading the conversation. God is. It is our prejudices—our pre-judgments—that often keep us from recognizing how the Spirit is at work around us. As we go about drawing conclusions about people and experiences, we deeply stunt our ability to recognize a God who is at work in places and ways we often write off.
Aug 26, 2018
The Way (Acts 9:1-22)
The conversion of Saul on his way to Damascus is one of the most famous passages of Scripture. But tucked into the story is another man, Ananias. His story, like Saul's, shapes not only the way we think about the initial moment of our conversion but also how we continue in the way of Jesus.
Aug 20, 2018
Go (Acts 8:26-40)
Philip is given the command to go. He isn't told where. He isn't told why. Only go. He obeys. His obedience leads to the conversion of an Ethiopian on his way home. Through Philip alone, the gospel has gone to Samaria and to the ends of the earth. The call feels absurd, but often it is the miraculous opportunity of the Spirit's leading.
Aug 12, 2018
Amazed (Acts 8:1-25)
With new persecution in Jerusalem, the church began to spread and as they went they continued to preach. Philip was just one of those who covered the Judean and Samaritan towns with news of the Gospel. In Samaria, Philip met Simon, a magician who dealt in amazement. But Simon's faith is more complicated than it first appears. Simon's faith is not interested in change but in the acquisition of control and power.
Aug 6, 2018
Defense (Acts 6-7)
The death of Stephen is the culmination of an escalating tension in Jerusalem. The religious leaders had finally had enough. Stephen would become the first martyr of the Christian church, but not before he could deliver one of the most important speeches in Acts. Stephen's speech is the largest portion of Acts 7, but it was more than his words that are remembered. Stephen was given a vision of Jesus Christ. His vision is a powerful word to the church.
Jul 31, 2018
Truth (Acts 5)
Luke offers us two examples of life inside the church, Barnabas and Ananias with his wife Sapphira. We are most familiar with their story as an example of financial giving. But close attention reveals more going on. Acts 5 is a warning that the greatest threats to the church are not external but internal.
Jul 22, 2018
Boldness (Acts 4)
Storm clouds of persecution are blowing in on Jerusalem. The threat Jesus had posed to the political establishment was now being found in his followers. You would imagine prayers for favor and protection, but the first Christians prayed for boldness. What is unique about the boldness of the apostles and the first-century church.
Jul 15, 2018
Restored (Acts 3)
With God's spirit poured out at Pentecost, a new truth was settling in. God was on the move. The healing of the crippled man, outside the temple gate, was proof. God was not waiting, he was meeting and restoring brokenness. The kingdom was coming and with it the restoration of all things.
Jul 8, 2018
Devoted (Acts 2:42-47)
Luke doesn't end the Pentecost events with the miraculous salvation of 3,000. Instead, he ends with a picture of the church's common life together. It is a passage that has been abused by many, but it's image challenges all of our ideas and expectations concerning community.
Jul 1, 2018
Witness (Acts 2:14-41)
Peter stood to bear witness to what the crowd was experiencing. This had always been Jesus' promise; they would be his witnesses once they had received the Holy Spirit. Jesus doesn't give them the command to witness but knows that they will having experienced his presence through the spirit.
Jun 24, 2018
Spirit (Acts 1:15-2:13)
When Pentecost came so did the Spirit. Thick with layers of Biblical imagery, Luke's picture of the church's spirit baptism is a powerful depiction of God's presence with his people. It was a crucial moment for the church and a necessity in fulfilling their purpose. The disciples needed 40 days of education from the resurrected Lord, but knowledge was not enough. They needed an experience of God that would compel them into worship and witness.
Jun 17, 2018
Waiting (Acts 1:1-14)
The book of Acts is a story of action—miracles, riots, persecution, Spirit-empowered speeches, missionary journeys, and explosive growth. The story is epic, one of the great stories of all times. But it doesn't begin as we might expect. Jesus last command to his disciples before his ascension was to wait. Waiting is the opening stance of the church and waiting is the action which drives forward the events of the early church.
Jun 10, 2018
Guest Speaker: Kevin Weaver
Jun 3, 2018
The Final Image of David
Chapters 21-24 provide us with the final image of David. Like so much of his life, it is a mixed bag. Complicated stories, deep friendships and honest prayer before God. At the center of this image are David's final words, a psalm. And in that psalm four titles which have come to define David: psalmist, anointed, exalted, and son. Those titles walk leave us with the final image of David; a life of integrity; a man after God's own heart.
May 27, 2018
The End of David's Story
Chapters 19 and 20 bring the chronological story of David to a conclusion. David, having defeated Absalom's rebellion makes his way back to Jerusalem. Our expectations are of fanfare: victory parades, speeches of reconciliation, and the restored hope of a divine throne—a man after God's own heart. But the story takes a bizarre and unexpected turn. Your expectations are dashed as the story unravels into ambiguity and chaos. What do we do when there is no "happily ever after?"
May 20, 2018
The conflict has been inevitable; David and Absalom will face off in battle. But David's men won't let him join the fight. David is dismissed from his own story. He is forced to acknowledge that his own future is not in his hands. Worse, David faces an impossible situation. To save his life will mean the death of his son. To save his son will mean the loss of his life.
May 13, 2018
Thomas Paine famous expressed, "These are the times that try men's souls." The crisis doesn't make the man, it reveals him. David's faith was immerging through the conflicting advice he was forced to navigate. Now we turn to Absalom. Absalom with face a critical decision between his two advisors. It will prove to be a time that will, in fact, reveal his soul. Absalom chooses foolishly.
May 6, 2018
David and the Cursing of Shimei
As David flees Jerusalem, he encounters various individuals. Some speak of faithfulness, others violence, and Shimei comes with words of condemnation. As David passes, Shimei shots down curses. We don't like to surround ourselves with people like Shimei. In looking for advisors, we prefer affirmation and positivity. But David is willing to hear Shimei's words. As one commentator put it, Shemi's curses "stripped off the royal veneer" of David's public image. Shemei's curses forced David's integrity, the truth of who he was, to become his public reality.
Apr 29, 2018
David and God's Faithfulness
The consequences of David's sins are real and painful. But Absalom seems most angered by the fact it hasn't cost David the throne. For all that David has done, he continues to be God's chosen king. Absalom see's God's faithfulness as injustice and is determined to take the throne for himself.
Apr 22, 2018
David And The Consequences of Sin
David was honest in the confession of his sins. And though God's first words were forgiveness, he was also told that the sword would not depart from his house—there would be consequences. That's hard to hear. We hope that forgiveness means a way out of the consequences. But David's life challenges our view of forgiveness and shows us a better way.
Apr 15, 2018
David and Nathan
God wouldn't allow David to live a divided life. God sent for Nathan and Nathan delivered a powerful message to the King—you are the man! With that simple realization, David's world is forced back into its proper place, aware of God. David responds with confession and breathtaking faith.
Apr 8, 2018
David and Bathsheba
It's not an easy chapter to read. The story of David's fateful night with Bathsheba will have repercussions for many chapters to come. But for those who have paid careful attention, we aren't entirely surprised. Slowly David's character has been developing into two selves: a public image and a private reality. Deeper than his adultery, David's life has become disengaged from God. It's there we find the greatest risk.
Apr 1, 2018
Passion Week: Easter
Join us in celebrating Easter, the resurrection of our Lord.
Mar 30, 2018
Passion Week: Good Friday
Join us for our annual Good Friday communion service.
Mar 25, 2018
Passion Week: Palm Sunday
Barry Kinzer begins our passion week observations with a message on Palm Sunday.
Mar 18, 2018
David's Kindness Rejected
We have been surprised by David's kindness. In chapter ten, his kindness stretches even to his enemies, the Ammonites. But that kindness is rejected—thrown back at him as a humiliating insult. The limits of David's love is put to the test. The Bible holds no naive or sentimental ideas about love. Love always leaves us vulnerable and often makes our lives far more complicated. But in the midst of the complexities we are given a word of courage—faith.
Mar 12, 2018
David's Kindness to Mephibosheth
God was giving David victory wherever he went. It got David thinking about a promise he had made years ago. David had promised never to forget his friend Jonathan. So David went looking for someone from Jonathan’s house to whom he could show kindness. David’s kindness is an important word in the Hebrew bible—hesed. David is in a unique position to help us better understand this word, both by his kindness and by the kindness he has received from God.
Mar 4, 2018
House of David, House of God
David has come a long way from hiding in caves in the wilderness of En Gedi. Now he sets in a palace of cedar. But that got him thinking. David lives in a palace, but the ark is in a tent. David has an idea. He will build a house for God, a temple as impressive as his palace. There is one problem with his plan; God won't allow what David is doing to obscure what God is doing.
Feb 25, 2018
David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem
The ark's return to public worship was a monumental event in Israel's history. For too long it had been in hiding. David was determined to give it a place of honor in his new city of Jerusalem. The parade that day must have been awe-inspiring. 30,000 of David's finest troops worshiping and singing as the ark rolled along guided by Uzzah and Ahio. Everything was going so well until the ox stumbled and Uzzah reached up to steady the ark. Immediately he was struck dead.
Feb 4, 2018
David Hates the Lame
David was finally crowned king. His first move was to secure a new capital city, Jerusalem. The chapter moves from success to success—captured cities and military conquest, children and royal palaces. But subtly another story is developing beneath the surface. David's life and motives are more complicated than we initially realize.
Jan 28, 2018
Civil War And A Test of Patience
As Israel's civil war drags on across years, David faces a test, patience. Everywhere he is surrounded by desperate and determined men. Betrayal, deception, manipulation, assassination, politics, bartering over the lives of women and concubines, trials and judgments, death sentences and executions. It is into this complicated moment David is called to follow and to wait on the Lord.
Jan 21, 2018
Conflict For The Crown
Israel is without a king. It doesn't take long for conflict to break out. Abner and Joab find themselves jockeying for power. Their angling and scheming suggest something profound about competition. Our tendency to compare ourselves to others often leads to competition that too frequently turns violent.
Jan 7, 2018
David Laments for Saul
Saul is dead. David receives the news. We would expect him to quickly seize the throne. Now was finally his moment. His advisors must have urged him to act quickly. But David does something unexpected. David writes a poem; he writes a poem in honor of Saul and Jonathan. David teaches Israel to lament.
Dec 31, 2017
Immanuel: Guest, Linda Bates
Linda Bates shares her story of how God revealed himself through faithfulness and healing.
Dec 17, 2017
Immanuel: Guest, Ron Replogle
Ron Replogle shares his story of how God revealed himself through faithfulness.
1 hr 1 min
Dec 10, 2017
Immanuel: Guest, Trent Selsor
Trent Selsor shares his story of how God revealed himself through the testing of faith.
Dec 3, 2017
The New Heaven and The New Earth
It is done. With those words, God declares are things are made new. What follows is the incredible and unexpected reworking of all things: bodies, creation, work... All things are made new. Revelation 21-22 is a remarkable conclusion to not only the book but the entire storyline of the Bible.
Nov 26, 2017
The Millennium and The Judgment
You wouldn't have predicted the Millennium or Satan's release. Having finally beaten the forces of evil at Armageddon, we expect the story to draw to a close, but it doesn't. In the full knowledge and experience of Christ's rule, humanity still believes the lie and turns away from God. The final moments of earth are not a vindictive God determined to crush those who oppose him, but instead, he is a patient God. He reveals more than we had expected. He waits longer than we could predict. We are left without excuse. We are given what we most desire.
Nov 19, 2017
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
The book of Revelation takes its time getting to chapter 19. The images of judgment and wrath have been long and difficult to work through. But what waits in chapter 19 is astonishing—salvation. A chorus of Hallelujahs breaks out culminating in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and the return of Christ on his white horse. For those who believe and endure, it is the final realized expectation of God’s promise to redeem and rescue his people.
Nov 5, 2017
The Prostitute and the Dragon
John is a great pastor. He takes his time as he builds to the final moments of Revelation. He is in no rush. He wants to make sure we are well prepared for what is to come. His question is one of hope. What are we really hoping for? Where are we placing our trust? What kind of salvation are we looking for?
Oct 29, 2017
The End of Judgment
It is the end—the final moments of judgment. By the end of chapter 17 we read God's words, "It is done." The world experiences the final full trajectory of their sins, and still, they refuse to repent. In this sermon, we also look at common explanations for reconciling the book of Revelation with other end-times scriptures.
Oct 22, 2017
The Angel's Warnings
Revelation has been building to the moment of final judgment. The moment has almost arrived, but not without more warnings. Three angels take their place in the sky declaring the gospel, the deception, and the coming judgment. The image is of a God patient, long-suffering and not willing that any should perish.
Oct 15, 2017
The Dragon's Beasts
Revelation describes Satan as a defeated enemy, thrashing around in desperation and bitterness. In chapter 13, Satan calls for his henchmen, two additional beasts—a kind of unholy trinity. These two beasts describe the typical tactics Satan uses to persecute and diminish the church. His tactics are force and fraud—power and propaganda.
Oct 8, 2017
The Woman And The Dragon
Last week we were introduced to the beast. Chapter 12, gives us a bigger image. We are told that this dragon, with 7 heads and 10 horns, is the ancient serpent—satan. We have this image of the devil, covered in red scales, with his pitchfork and horns, standing on our shoulder opposite of the angel. It's a cartoon. Revelation gives us a better image. Satan is a defeated foe, thrashing around in his final moments. We soon discover that for all his power, he is beaten by the simple word of our testimony—the word of the slaughtered lamb.
Oct 1, 2017
The Little Scroll and The Two Witnesses
As God begins to remove his hand in judgment, John is given a task: a book to eat and a message to speak. As the images of chapters 10-11 build, we are taken deeper into the church's call to witness. The experience of the church's witness, like the scroll is both sweet and bitter, but in the end, it is the hope of resurrection.
Sep 24, 2017
The Seven Trumpets
The Seven Trumpets are an image of God's judgment. Reading about wrath is a difficult topic. We prefer to talk about love and acceptance. But God's wrath and his love are not as opposed as we usually think about them. In fact, the very act of God's wrath is also an act of his love. Revelation helps us recognize it.
1 hr 2 min
Sep 17, 2017
The Seven Seals
The lamb has the scroll and in it, the mysteries of God locked up by these seven seals. These seven seals are the history of suffering, war, and poverty—they are the human experience. The experience that for many has made faith a struggle. Like the martyrs who cry out from beneath the throne, "how much longer," how can God say he is in control when evil and suffering seem to be the real experience of history. The bible isn't naive or cliche about that struggle. It sets the human experience of suffering right down beside the image of the throne.
Sep 10, 2017
The Throne And The Lamb
Chapters four and five are John's second vision. Before he had watched as Christ walked amongst the churched—on the ground. Now John's attention is turned upward to an open door. Stepping through it, he finds himself at the throne of God. What is happening there is far more important than how it appears. John finds himself caught up in worship. It gives us one of the most important images of worship in scripture. Worship is not something we initiate but something we are invited to participate in. That makes a big difference.
Sep 3, 2017
To The Church At Laodicea
The church at Laodicea was rich and self-sufficient. They had convinced themselves they were content. But their contentment was a flimsy, self-constructed, Godless pride. Jesus has strong words for this church, but he reproves those he loves and he holds open the possibility that this church may hear his knock and allow him in.
Aug 27, 2017
To The Church At Philadelphia
The church at Philadelphia was up against a lot. Jewish persecution, Roman disdain, a town that was being abandoned and under constant risk. But in the midst of it was this congregation of believers. Jesus tells them that he has set a door of opportunity before them; all they must do is believe with patient endurance. That request is hard when we want to take charge and create our own opportunities.
Aug 20, 2017
To The Church At Sardis
The city of Sardis was not what it used to be. It was a place out of the limelight of Rome. Being a Christian in Sardis was easier than other places. That had earned the Sardis church a reputation for being alive—blessed. But Jesus saw through it. Their spiritual apathy had left them dead.
Aug 13, 2017
Special Guest: Brad Lombardi
Brad Lombardi shares about MWBx and Jesus' parable of persistence in prayer. Be encouraged never to give up trusting and believing that God is at work doing good.
Aug 6, 2017
To The Church At Thyatira
The church at Thyatira was alive to God. Jesus commended them for their increasing spiritual zeal. But he had one thing against them. They had allowed a false teacher to lead them into idolatry. The teacher's pitch was access to deeper things, spiritual secrets, and hidden knowledge. Jesus offered an alternative, "only hold on to what you already have."
Jul 30, 2017
To The Church At Pergamum
The church at Pergamum continued to follow Christ, but increasingly it was a private faith. They were falling under false teaching that justified private faithfulness and public accommodations. But true faithfulness makes no distinctions between public and private.
Jul 23, 2017
To The Church At Smyrna
The church at Smyrna is the only one that still exists today. In modern day Izmir, Turkey, a small congregation still worships. They face pressure and persecution just like their founders. Jesus has nothing negative to say about this church, but he does warn them that they are about to face suffering. In reality, we all are—sometime in some way. So what do we do when we suffer? How do we live out Jesus' command, "Don't be afraid."
Jul 16, 2017
To The Church At Ephesus
The church at Ephesus is the first to receive a word from Christ. It forms a pattern for the other six messages. To the church at Ephesus Jesus affirmed their commitment to truth and faithfulness, but one thing he had against them. They had lost the love they had at first. It is a constant tension. How do we hold fast to doctrinal convictions and embrace a sacrificial love for each other and our neighbors?
Jul 9, 2017
John the Revelator
The book of Revelation was written by the apostle John. It was more than strange predictions about future things. In the first chapter, John promises that whoever hears this book and lives it will be blessed. This book makes a difference in the world we live in now, just as much as in the things to come.
Jul 2, 2017
In the final stories of 1 Samuel David and Saul are again contrasted. David's life begins to flourish in generosity. Saul is desperate for control even in death. David gives us a new way of thinking about being generous. It is a byproduct of a life that pays careful attention to God in all of the complicated details.
Jun 25, 2017
David's Complicated Exit
David is finally on his way out of the wilderness, but his destination is not where we imagined. David and his team will take up residence in Philistia under Achish his former enemy. David will soon be caught in a complicated game of deception that will force him onto the battlefield to face Saul and his own people. David's faith is put to the test.
Jun 18, 2017
We are shocked at how quickly the life is drained out of David. With one insult from the nobody Nabal, David finds himself craving vengeance. Death and ugliness take over the story. Worse, he assumes God is by his side. But David is stopped. He is brought to a stop by beauty. Not just a beautiful face, but words that pour the light of God into the barren wilderness landscape. David's hunger is refined.
Jun 11, 2017
David is still in the wilderness. There is more to learn. Asleep in the back of a cave, David and his men are shocked to see Saul step into the entrance. They all come to the same conclusion; Saul is a dead man. David is about to become king. But David soon sees something else—annointing. David teaches us to look closer. When we do, we discover far more going on around us than our eyes first recognized. The wilderness teaches us to watch—to see that the Lord is good and soaked into every detail of this wilderness life.
Jun 4, 2017
In chapter 23, David begins his first lesson in becoming king. David will learn to listen. It is a certain kind of listening, listening through prayer. It's a skill that doesn't come naturally for us. David teaches us to settle down, quit ourselves and hear things we hadn't before.
May 28, 2017
Holy Bread: Gifts for the Wilderness
David seemed to be on a fast-track to the throne. All of Israel was singing his praises. Saul was still mad, but even that might prove a political opportunity for David. We are surprised to see how quickly things begin to unravel. By chapter 22, David will find himself alone, hiding in a wilderness cave. But he doesn't go into the wilderness empty handed.
May 14, 2017
Saul Becomes David's Enemy
David's defeat of Goliath produced a friendship with Jonathan, but will only serve to further enrage Saul. As the end of chapter 18 puts it, Saul would now continually be David's enemy. Saul and David's lives teach us a lot about enemies, even ones we might not have fully acknowledged.
May 7, 2017
David and Jonathan on Friendship
David and Jonathan are one of the great pictures of friendship in the Bible. We need their story. We live in a world that's that's hard on friendship. Jonathan and David give us another way.
Apr 23, 2017
David and Saul And Goliath
David and Goliath might be the most well-known story in the Bible. It has become a part of our cultural imagination. "The bigger they are, the harder they fall." But there is more to this story than just a giant. The chapter is shocked full of characters with advice and opinions. David finds himself at the center of it all. An unlikely place for a shepherd running errands for his dad.
Apr 16, 2017
Easter: Practice The Resurrection
John places Mary Magdolene at the center of the reserection story. It's not coincedence. Mary's story sets in place a reserection experience that we discover in our own lives
Apr 9, 2017
Saul & David: The Story Beneath the Story
David had already been anointed king, but the story doesn't follow the plot we have come to expect. Where are the battles, the intrigue, the assassination, revolution? Instead, David becomes a musician performing for the crazed and rejected King Saul. But a story is developing beneath the surface—one David couldn't even realize.
Apr 2, 2017
An Introduction to David
David enters the story halfway through the book of 1 Samuel. David's story will pick up, just as Saul's is coming undone. But David's story can be hard to read. We have heard it so many times, we tend to read what we want and move too quickly past the parts that make us uncomfortable. There is plenty to make us uncomfortable. David's story is complicated. But we learn from his introduction, his story teaches us to come to terms with our own complexities.
Mar 26, 2017
Chapter 15 is Saul's final chapter. He will continue to be king for years to come, but it won't be under God's authority. It will be an empty title. An empty title for an empty man. Saul's life has been hollowed out. The image is still there. He still has is reputation and his self-delusions, but there is little that remains interested in God and faithfulness.
Mar 19, 2017
Saul's Rash Oath
Saul's world is unraveling. He is becoming desperate, even paranoid. Convinced he needs to be at the center of the victory he is watching, Saul again rushes to action. This time a forced fast he forces on his army. It will come with difficult consequences, but it teaches us about our own desperate need to stay in control.
Mar 12, 2017
Jonathan and Saul on Courage
The story of Jonathan and his armor bearer's assault on the Philistine garrison is one of the greatest in scripture. You can't help but be amazed at their courage. But this is still Saul's story; Jonathan's faith only highlights Saul's unraveling power. The two teach us about true courage and our own willingness to take risks.
Mar 5, 2017
The Anatomy of Saul's Sin
As well as things seemed to be going for Saul, chapter 13 brings it all to an abrupt halt. Things are unraveling. Saul's army is deserting. The Israelites fleeing out of the promise land. And Saul is desperate. He waits as long as he can for Samuel, but finally, is overcome by the pressure of the moment and offers the sacrifice himself. It seems like a small sin to us—impatience. But for it Saul will lose is crown. How can that be?
Feb 26, 2017
Saul's First Victory
Saul is shaping up to be a great king. He looks the part. Is spiritual life seems to be flourishing and he is about to lead Israel in one of its greatest victories over the Ammonites. But more is going on than we first see. Israel sees all the good times as proof of a king's benefit. They draw the wrong conclusions and end up drifting away from God.
Feb 19, 2017
Saul and the Lost Donkeys
Finally, we get introduced to Saul. He will be crowned the first king of Israel. He looks every bit a king: tall, dark, from an aristocratic family. By all appearances, Saul is exactly what everyone had been hoping for. Saul was exactly what Israel had asked for—a king like all the other nations. He would become an object lesson in the consequences of self-rule and pragmatism.
Feb 12, 2017
Israel Demands A King
Chapter 8 is one of the most important events in Israel's history. Their demand for a king would set off a roller coaster ride of achievements and brutalizing oppression that would stretch across a significant part of the Old Testament. Ultimately it would cost Isreal so much of the peace and rest God had restored. Worse than the outcome, God recognized their request was really a rejection of him as their king.
Feb 5, 2017
Samuel Leads Repentance
Samuel is finally back in the story, and none too soon. Israel is lamenting, devastated by the last three chapter's events. It looks like repentance, but Samuel digs deeper. True repentance is more than sorrow or guilt. Samuel leads Israel into. He teaches us what it looks like to repent with our whole hearts.
Jan 29, 2017
The Ark Returns to Israel
The ark returns to Israel. We can only imagine how excited the Israelites working in their fields must have been to seen it. It was a miracle. The Israelites immediately begin to worship. They are quick to make sacrifices but has everyone missed the point? Why had the ark been lost to begin with? Had anything in Israel actually changed because of it? Chapter 6 forces Israel to take a hard look at their own hearts and wrestle with repentance.
Jan 22, 2017
The Philistines and the Ark
The glory of God continues to move the story. Israel had tried to use God as an object and robbed his glory for themselves. Now they had lost the ark, the central symbol of God's personal relationship and history with them as his people. It's now the Philistines' turn. They too learn the painful less, God's glory can not be defined, used, or stolen. God will be glorified. We learn with them the valuable lesson. God's glory must be kept at the center of our lives.
Jan 15, 2017
The Ark is Lost
The ark is lost. It is one of the lowest most devastating moments in Israel's history. Who could it have happened? The author of the books of Samuel is making a startling point. Israel thought they had gone; they thought they could carry the ark into battle and be assured of victory. But their crushing defeat was a remidner—God is not an object. We too slide into the temptation of objectifying God. With it comes devastating consequences.
Jan 8, 2017
The Calling of Samuel
Israel is a barren place. Worship has disintegrated. Eli, the High Preist, seems distracted and his sons rob the worshipers of their sacrifices and women. 1 Samuel tells us that, "The word of the Lord was rare in those days." We too know what it feels like to be distant from God. To remember his voice and find little evidence of it around us. But God calls Samuel. It is a bit of hope. God is at work again. Samuel and his family give us a picture of a God who persistently speaks to us by name and the ways we can position ourselves to most easily recognize it.
Jan 1, 2017
1 Samuel introduces us to a new character, Hannah. She is barren. Israel is barren. With no son and no king, disappointment and discouragement rule the land. Hannah finds little help from those around her. Culture, family, religion—all offer advice. Some of it sounds good, others leave her feeling crushed. But they are all distractions from what God is actually doing. Hannah finds a way through. A way to God. There she finds herself included in God’s plan of salvation.
Dec 11, 2016
Advent: Simeon and Anna
Simeon didn't know what he was looking for, but he kept watching. The Holy Spirit compelled him. God was up to something—he wasn't sure what. But he was watching for it. Simeon teaches us to look for more this Christmas. He teaches us to watch for salvation.
Dec 4, 2016
Lead Us Not Into Temptation
Jesus ends his prayer with a view toward the future. He realizes that what lies ahead will be full of temptations—most that we will struggle to recognize. He teaches us to open our eyes and pay attention.
Nov 27, 2016
Jesus' insistence that we routinely pray for forgiveness is a reminder of how deep our sins are. Jesus doesn't just teach us to pray for forgiveness; he teaches us to practice it in our own forgiving.
Nov 20, 2016
Give Us our Daily Bread
Asking for things we need is probably the most common request of prayer. Jesus teaches us to practice is, but he also forces to ask deeper questions about what it is we really need.
Oct 30, 2016
The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth - Thinking About Politics
Not a single politician anywhere in the country is running with a campaign slogan that promises meekness. We aren't even sure we like being described by the term. But Jesus says that it is, in fact, the meek who will inherit the earth.
Oct 23, 2016
Your Will Be Done
We pray a lot about the will of God—mostly hoping God will let us know what's around the corner. In this sermon we discover what it means to pray for Gods will to be done, not just to be known.
Oct 16, 2016
Your Kingdom Come
There are few themes in the bible more prominent than the kingdom of God. It's not surprising that Jesus includes it, but what does it mean? How does it change the way we pray?
Oct 10, 2016
Hallowed by Thy Name
Hallowed isn't a term we use too often—Licoln once used it to hallow the ground at Gettysburg. But be honest, we aren't entirely sure what it means to begin our prayer with it. In this sermon, we work out a definition of this first request and consider how it changes our approach to prayer.
Oct 2, 2016
Jesus begins his prayer, not with a request but with a grounding reality—God is our father. Everything that comes after will be shaped by this truth. By Christ, we are made brothers and Sisters.
Sep 25, 2016
Prayer As A Response
Before Jesus takes up the task of teaching his disciples how to pray, he first lays out some warnings.
Sep 4, 2016
Aug 28, 2016
Aug 14, 2016
Sin Makes Us Boring
The ending of the book of judges is boring—hard to get through. For several chapters, we felt the tension and sin of Israel building. But no one had expected the story to fizzle out in this kind of mundane complexity. The author of Judges is teaching us an important point about sin.
Aug 7, 2016
Samson and Delilah
Samson and Delilah's story is one of the most well known in the book of Judges. But the story might actually surprise you. Samson is a complex character by this point. Tired of his calling. Frustrated with God's relentless pursuit.
Jul 31, 2016
Samson and the Escalating Violence
Samson can't help but be pulled into more violence. Polarization, abuse, self-centeredness, Samson teaches us about our own world and the challenges of recognizing what God is doing.
Jul 24, 2016
A lion's carcass full of honey bees is a strange sight. For Samson it is a test. All of his senses pulled into a moment, a sign, of what God is about to do. Samson misses it.
Jul 17, 2016
The prophecy of Samson's birth is a miracle. But it isn't easy for everyone to see. Monoah, Samson's father, isn't involved the way he feels he deserves.
Jul 10, 2016
Jephthah's story is a major turning point in the story of Judges. God, for the first time in the story of Judges, tells Israel that He will no longer deliver them. Their idolatry has spread too far and worked itself too deep. Israel turns to Jephthah. His story helps us better understand God's own relationship with Israel and gives us a better understanding of true repentance.
Jul 3, 2016
Things continue to get worse for Israel. It is becoming more difficult to recognize the good guys from the bad. Abimelech is the first in all of scripture to claim the title of king. The story lays bare the rocky path of ambition.
Jun 26, 2016
Abimelech, Son of a King
Abimelech's story is a story about leadership and getting things done. Abimelech is a man of action. A man who our culture would applaud for initiative. But judges forces us to take a closer look and has more difficult questions about who we are following and how we measure true leadership.
Jun 26, 2016
Gideon's story begins in hiding. By the end, Gideon can't keep himself out of the center of the story. Pride, we soon discover often finds its most fertile ground in those who have risen the furthest.
Jun 12, 2016
Gideon Encounters God
Gideon is an unlikely Judge. Hiding, trying to scrape out a living, he sure doesn't seem like a mighty warrior. But that's exactly how the angel of God sees it.
Jun 5, 2016
Barak, Deborah, Jael
War has broken out in Israel. Leaders are hard to find. Reluctant and fearful, Israel finds strength in an unlikely leader.
May 29, 2016
Othniel, Ehud, and Eglon
They don't get any more strange than this. Ehud and Eglon are one of the most remarkable and weird stories in the whole bible. But more is going on than first catches our attention.
May 22, 2016
Introduction to the Judges
Chapter 1-2 of Judges introduces us to the narrative form that will give shape to the stories of Judges. We are also introduced to the first judge.
Jan 24, 2016
Jan 17, 2016
Jan 10, 2016
Jan 3, 2016
Dec 13, 2015
Dec 6, 2015
Nov 22, 2015
Nov 15, 2015
Aug 23, 2015
Ruth and Naomi