Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Looking or Living the Good News

When we hear the word "Gospel" we think of a presentation of initial doctrines, specific to the Christian, faith that one must affirm to become a “Christian.” The problem is, when we look at the gospel as merely the starting line or the rudiments of the faith, we start to add extra things to the Good News, in turn making the Good News less than good news.  The truth that Christ died for us should change not just how we enter into the Christian life, but how we live our lives day to day. Every day we need to be refreshed in the Good News. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Delight and Desire

I fear that too often, and over the years, Christians have earned the reputation of being a group of lemon sucking sour pusses, who cross their arms and stifle enjoyment.  We found too many ways to tell people they are wrong without ever pointing people to the only object worthy of our affections.  You must understand no one has a greater claim to the unfettered pursuit of joy and delight than those who are in Christ Jesus.  Those of us who are in the family of God should be the purest hedonists seeking the purest happiness. 

“How can this be I though hedonism was a bad thing?  I thought seeking happiness is a selfish thing?”  

There are two ways we can seek happiness.  The first is seeking happiness that is a delight in self.  "I enjoy myself and I demand everyone else do as well."  We become the focus of our joy and pursuit of pleasure.  When this happens we can only find destruction.  This leads to destruction since in our brokenness we will fail ourselves and others.  This will eventually lead to a never ending chase to catch a shadow of the real joy.  

The better way to seek happiness is to seek God as the object of our enjoyment.  When this happens even the smallest pleasures are built on top of the deep, rock solid, foundation of the God's reality.  So, when we indulge in the cornucopia of culinary offerings at a feast, like thanksgiving, or your favorite restaurant, we do so with the promise of deep enjoyment. God made food and he made food so that we could enjoy that food and know him better.

ReadPsalm 37:1-7

Friday, July 10, 2015

Lifting Glory

Listen to this sermon here

Why is sin such an uncomfortable topic? To understand why sin is so uncomfortable you must understand the scope of God and God’s glory.  If God’s glory was a book, I could spend my entire life studying this topic and not get past the gold filigree on the cover.  To understand why we feel so condemned when light is shown on our sin we have to wrestle with the profound weight of God’s glory.    

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Shadow of Death's Valley

God reveals himself in poetry. He created us in his image as emotionally complex and beautiful creatures.  Songs and poetry cause us to experience a range of emotion that we cannot fully understand otherwise.  I want you to know that you were created for intimacy with God, and he understands the joy and hurt, the pain and celebration of this life.  I want you to see the hope of intimately being honest before God with the difficult experiences of this life.  After all isn’t that what the gospel is about?  Jesus came to die for us so that we could be called sons of God.  Shouldn’t you, as a child, intimately and boldly declare our deepest pains struggles and doubt to the creator of the world, who experienced the pain sorrow and struggles you have experienced?