Find the book of Proverbs in your Bible. I’m in this series called “Street Smarts.” The Bible says that the wisdom of God is crying out in the streets, urging us to listen and learn so we can be live skillfully in the “streets” and the paths of life in a way that honors God. Someone has said that proverbs are short sayings from a long experience. (more…)
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In 2014, Microsoft paid $2.5 billion to buy the company that created the video game Minecraft. The deal made the owner Markus Persson an overnight billionaire. Immediately he went out and bought a huge Beverly Hills mansion worth $70 million. (He out bid Beyoncé and Jay-Z for it.) Markus Persson now had it all … or at least he thought he did. A year later Persson posted a series of tweets that revealed the unhappiness and dissatisfaction he was fighting.
4:48am: The problem with getting everything is you run out of reasons to keep trying, and human interaction becomes impossible due to imbalance.
4:50am: Hanging out in Ibiza with a bunch of friends and partying with famous people, able to do whatever I want, and I’ve never felt more isolated.
4:52am: When we sold the company, the biggest effort went into making sure the employees got taken care of, and they all hate me now.
4:53am: Found a great girl, but she’s afraid of me and my life style and went with a normal person instead.
As much as we think a little more money would solve all of our problems, human history has shown that isn’t always the case. Perhaps this morning you’re at the other end of the spectrum. You came to church with money worries … not sure how you will pay your bills. The Bible deals with money matters … because money matters. (more…)
Finding and following the right direction in life is one of the great themes of the book of Proverbs. Turn to Proverbs 3. I’m in this series from Proverbs entitled “Street Smarts.” The wisdom we find in Proverbs is for living skillfully in our everyday life in such a way as to honor God. Proverbs is really a collection of wise sayings. Some think they were used by parents to instruct their children. Others believe that the Proverbs served as the curriculum for leadership training of young men and women who would take their place in King Solomon’s vast royal administration. Whatever the case, we are talking here about the things that need to be taught to our children and students … and that need to be modeled by all the rest of us. Read Proverbs 3:1-4. The next verses are two of the most familiar in the book of Proverbs. Read Proverbs 3:5-6. (more…)
On your way to work tomorrow you accidentally change lanes and cut someone off. You didn’t see them in your side mirror and as they honk at you they have to slam on their brakes. As you come to the next stop light you stop several feet short so you don’t have to look at the person you cut off. But they pull up right beside you with an angry glare on their face. He has rolled down his window and is giving you … a piece of his mind. Thankfully you have learned street smarts from…Proverbs 15:1 – A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. So you roll down your window and you say, “I’m so sorry. I didn’t see you. I hope you’re OK.” Or maybe you’re the one who was “cut off.” Someone makes an insensitive, cruel comment about you. You’re first instinct is to strike back, but you don’t because you have learned street smarts from…Proverbs 19:11 – A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. (more…)
The film “Risen” is the story of a Roman military tribune named Clavius who is under orders from Pontius Pilate to find the body of Jesus after His tomb was found empty on the first Easter Sunday. If they can’t produce the body of Jesus then it will substantiate the claims of Jesus that He would rise from the dead. Clavius thinks that the disciples of Jesus took His body and hid it somewhere, so he sets out to track them down and question them. In the movie there’s a scene where Clavius interrogates Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. He wants to know where the disciples have hidden Jesus’ body. For someone like Clavius it’s simply unacceptable to think that a man who was confirmed to be dead and then to suddenly be fully alive is ridiculously impossible. Bartholomew agrees with him, and then he asks the question that stuns Clavius: “But what if it is true? That changes everything.” (more…)
Let’s open our Bibles to Revelation 19:1. In what is called the Lord’s Prayer Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed by Your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” So we have a Father who is on the throne of heaven. There He is perfectly and appropriately revered and worshipped for who He is. So we should want His kingdom, His rule (perfectly displayed in heaven) to come to this earth. We should want His will as it is being perfectly carried out in heaven to be carried out here on earth. So the efforts to worship and hallow the name of God here on earth should mirror the way it is done in heaven. Thankfully we know what that heavenly worship looks like because God gave a vision to the Apostle John which we have recorded in the Revelation. (more…)
I’m preaching this series called “WORSHIP UNVEILED.” The book of Revelation is filled with many truths, but the greatest of all is the glimpse we get of what is true about God and His throne in heaven, now and for eternity. You see, worship is going on now in heaven, and will be for eternity. Jesus prayed to His Father in heaven, “May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” So the worship that goes on in heaven, revealed in Revelation, should be the pattern for our worship here on earth. (more…)
Open your Bibles to Revelation 4. To prepare our hearts for this new day I am preaching a brief series from Revelation entitled “Worship Unveiled.” Typically when we read Revelation we are looking for what it has to say about prophecy and the future. But there’s also a tremendous amount said about worship. The word “worship” appears more often in Revelation than in any other book in the NT. The Apostle John is given visions of Christ that are intended to encourage believers who are suffering for their faith in Christ. And one of the most important things we need to know in difficult days is what is true about God … He is in control, church! Last week we saw how Christ revealed Himself to John personally, and the worship that exploded out of his heart. Here in Revelation 4 John has another vision: (more…)
Let’s open our Bibles to Revelation 1. Perhaps the most important preparation for a new day in the life of our church is heart preparation. So today I’m beginning a five-part series from Revelation entitled “Worship Unveiled … Timeless Worship in the Revelation.” Revelation is the unveiling of Jesus Christ. The book is about Jesus and how He is to be glorified in His people. The vision God has given us is worship that resembles the worship we will offer to God for eternity … a worship that encompasses every generation. (more…)
Today I’m concluding a series entitled “THE MISSION … WHY WE’RE STILL HERE.” The reason God doesn’t take us on to heaven after we are saved is that there are others who need to know Jesus, and His mission for His church is to proclaim the Gospel. Through our Re:Vision process and the work of the SLT we have developed a MISSION STATEMENT that will hopefully keep us as a church riveted to what we’re supposed to be about. “We exist to know, follow and share Jesus Christ.” And so that the mission statement will become a reality in our church, not just a slogan or a motto, we are challenging everyone to pray this ONE PRAYER for ourselves and for our church: “Lord Jesus Christ, give me the hunger to know you intimately, the faith to follow you fully and the passion to share you fearlessly.” (more…)