Beholding the Glory

Luke 9:28-36 – The idea of the glory of God can be confusing or even “religious” sounding. But on the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus gives us clarity about what glory is all about. Often we think if we were in the place of Peter, seeing a miraculous display of God’s power, we would be changed. But it takes much more than just seeing or experiencing something amazing–our hearts need to be transformed. Often we want to do what Peter did, we “put up tents” to place Jesus on level playing ground with the other things in our life that we think are glorious, but Jesus doesn’t work that way. It’s only when we see the glory of the cross that we can do what God says in this passage, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”

That Awkward Moment When...

Mark 7:24-30 – Most of us dread awkward moments. We avoid them at all costs. But as Jesus interacts with a woman from Tyre, he creates an awkward moment. Why? To bring us into something beautiful. What looks like a dismissive and judgmental interaction actually serves to dismantle false perceptions and teach us about grace. In our cultural moment, we can so easily slide into comfort, laziness, and even cynicism. But this passage breaks those chains as we see the reach of Jesus’s mission, the riches of his glory, and the resilience of faith.

Fear in the Storm

Mark 4:35-41 – As we are sailing through life, storms will come. What do we do when we find ourselves overwhelmed by the waves? Are we responding with faithless fear, or faith-filled reverence? Faithless fear is ultimately joyless, and tends to withdraw from worship and the community. Faith-filled fear, however, is when a different kind of storm comes into our hearts when we see who Jesus is. The significance of Jesus calming the storm was not the improved circumstance, but the demonstration of his authority. Jesus might not calm every storm, but he can calm every heart as we rest in the gospel. The wind and waves still know his name.

The Sign of Jonah

Matthew 12:38-42 – The Pharisees (while plotting to kill him) ask Jesus for a sign. But he won't play. Instead he gives them the anti-sign...the sign of the prophet Jonah. The only problem is that Jonah is a terrible prophet. So how does Jonah point to Jesus? What is this sign and how does it relate to us today? Like the Pharisees, we can come to Jesus with a certain set of expectations, and when those aren't met, we can withhold trust or whole-hearted devotion. In other words–we're demanding a sign. But the sign Jesus gives us in Jonah is everything we need to believe him, trust him, and follow him with everything.

Anointed with Tears

Luke 7:36-50 – Have you ever been to an awkward dinner party? In this amazing story, a sinful woman (probably a prostitute) crashes a dinner party at a self-righteous Pharisees house while Jesus is dining there. She falls at the feet of Jesus and pours out her tears and her treasure. Meanwhile, Simon the Pharisee is indignant. So through a story, Jesus tells us that about the difference between the cold indifference of Simon and the generous, sacrificial, passionate worshipful transformation of the sinful woman. True worship and transformation comes through realizing the depth of our sin and the sufficiency of God’s grace. It’s only through faith in Christ that our debt is paid and our souls can be at rest.

Seeing Jesus

John 3:1-21 – As we look to Jesus our goal is to see Him. To really see Him… to behold Him. In John 3:1-21 Nicodemus has a remarkable encounter with Jesus. In this encounter we observe 3 necessary ingredients to really seeing Jesus.

Palm Sunday

Mark 11:1-11 – The Triumphal Entry Jesus was one of the few times in Jesus life when he was met with pure unfettered worship by the crowds. What did it look like? Worship is more than singing the songs we like or showing up to church when we feel like it. The crowds welcomed Jesus with obedience, sacrifice, and reverence, and in our worship we must do the same.

Examining Our Enmity

Numbers 14:1-10, 20-45 – In Numbers 14 we observe some crazy behavior in the People of Israel. While it is easy for us to look disparagingly upon the Israelites… it is much more productive and healthy for us to recognize the same behavior as it exists in our own hearts. In this message we examine the enmity toward God, which springs forth from sin.

Understanding Sin

Genesis 3 – What is truth? How do I determine right and wrong? Who am I? These are the fundamental questions, which define our existence.  If we live our lives on the basis of false answers to these questions our existence will be inauthentic and incomplete. That’s what sin does, it distorts our very person and provides false answers to life’s biggest questions. We need to understand sin so we can understand (and defeat) the root of what desires to take us down.

Praying Like John

1 John 5:14-15 – There is an old and well worn axiom in our culture, which states that, "anything worth doing is worth doing well." That is to say that when we engage in an enterprise, we should take care to do it with the highest degree of effectiveness we can muster. This is especially true, or ought to be, about prayer. In 1 John 5:14-15 the apostle John instructs us in a kind of prayer, which is most effective. Listen to learn how to pray this kind of prayer.