Your Kingdom Come: Spiritually Shaped – 9/18/2016

Sermon based on Matthew 5:7-12

Jesus will take you on a tour of your heart so that He can create spiritual space inside of you.  He will show you the things that have occupied your heart, and as He slowly pulls them away, He will begin to shape your heart in three key areas:  your character, your desires and your priorities.  He calls this “blessedness.”  Blessedness is the shape of a heart that reflects God.

Your Kingdom Come: Spiritual Space – 9/11/2016

Sermon based on Matthew 5:1-6

The kingdom of heaven is first and foremost a kingdom of the heart.  It may be other things as well, but it is first and foremost a kingdom of the heart.  We accumulate a lot of spiritual clutter in our hearts.  Jesus wants to take you on a tour of your life and show you all the spiritual clutter, and how to open the kind of spiritual space that I’m talking about here.  Jesus calls that spiritual space “blessed” or “blessedness.”

Life in the Spirit: Marks of Maturity – 8/28/2016

Sermon based on Colossians 3:1-3, 12-17

How do you become more loving, joyful, peaceful, and so on, and how exactly do you measure that kind of thing?  That is a little difficult.  The problem is that we are really good at being nice.  We are really good at being polite, and we tend to judge someone’s character on how nice they are.  Just because you’re nice or polite, it doesn’t mean that you’re growing in spiritual character.  Are there actually marks of spiritual maturity that are concrete and measurable?  According to this passage, spiritual character is revealed by three concrete choices that you make in your life.

Life in the Spirit: Spiritual Community – 8/21/2016

Sermon based on Ephesians 4:7-16

I don’t think that you can mature in spiritual character outside of spiritual community.  I don’t think that you can achieve your full potential without others who are coming alongside you, encouraging you, holding you accountable, speaking truth to you, reminding you of your goals, and sometimes, just picking you up and carrying you across that line when you can’t run anymore.  I believe that something extraordinary is possible in a community of grace that is deeply purposeful, deeply invested and deeply connected.  But it is going to require a deeper understanding and practice of spiritual community than we have ever known.

Life in the Spirit: Walking Worthy – 8/14/2016

Sermon based on Ephesians 4:1-6

Until someone rubs you the wrong way, you have no idea what your character is really like.  It is easy to be loving when everyone around you is friendly and agreeable.  It is easy to be patient when everyone is on top of their game.  It is easy to be gentle when your kids are attentive to correction.  You don’t grow in character unless you are engaged in relationships that challenge you.

Life in the Spirit: New Character – 7/24/2016

Sermon based on Galatians 5:16-25

What would it look like to trust the Spirit to create growth in your life?  Because the Spirit knows how to grow the character of Christ in you.  Character is an interesting thing, because most people define character as what we do, but we all know that it goes a lot deeper than that.  Character is not just what you do, but who you are.  The Spirit knows how to grow spiritual character in you, and so He changes what you do by changing who you are.

Life in the Spirit: Nothing to Fear – 7/17/2016

Sermon based on Romans 8:31-39

We live in a world where terror is coming closer and closer to home.  People are willing to kill you for your beliefs in a concert hall, in your place of employment or strolling down the boardwalk in Nice.  Interestingly, our world is no longer so different from the world in which Paul lived, who was terrorized for his religious beliefs, and yet, he has a different perspective.  As Christians, we can have freedom from fear, and Paul gives us three rock solid reasons for this confidence.

Life in the Spirit: Wholeness – 7/10/2016

Sermon based on Romans 8:27-30

A puzzle is a metaphor for life.  Underneath it all, you have a belief that wholeness is possible.  That is the beauty of a puzzle.  You believe that there is a coherent picture behind the chaos and that there is a designer who is causing the pieces to fit together.  The struggle of putting the pieces together is going to challenge that belief, but the Spirit might actually be holding back a piece to that puzzle so that you will learn something.  What is it?  God is the One who brings wholeness out of struggle.

Life in the Spirit: Groaning for Heaven – 7/03/2016

Sermon based on Romans 8:18-27

My five-year-old daughter asked me a good question the other day.  Why do we have to die in order to go to heaven?  Surely God could take us to heaven without having to go through all the pain and suffering that is involved.  Why are we allowed to suffer or struggle in this world?  Suffering is the place where we learn about hope.